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How to become a "human being with immense potential."

I encountered this quote from Australian musician Nick Cave on the Marginalian, a philosophical, literary-minded site full of reflections on life and art.

Cave writes in response to a letter from a 13-year-old asking how to live life to its fullest.

His reply contains some of the best advice I've seen for teenagers (and adults) to make the most of their time. There is so much pressure on high school kids today to achieve and to create a "perfect" portfolio for a college application. Simultaneously, college admission professionals are complaining of the "sameness" of their oversized applicant pool.

I believe that Nick Cave's suggestions are precisely the antidote to sameness and to stress. This is the pathway to self-realization, self-knowledge, and freedom from external validation. It's also a headstart to becoming an interesting person who is ready to make the most of a college chosen for its ability to cultivate continued growth and realization of potential.

Read an excerpt below.

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