This is a special dedication to all the students out there, I have one message for you all; leave your mark! They say college is one of the biggest stepping stones in our lives, and it's quite true. If you think about it, we spend a few good years of our lives studying and planning our future around whatever academic institution we are in. Might as well make the best of it then right? You don't want to graduate college and realize you made no difference, correct? 

Making a difference has been painted as quite dramatic due to the media. Changing the world,curing diseases, climbing mountains, swimming with electric eels… However my definition of difference is somewhat simpler, but has proven to be effective. So with the start of colleges this fall, I thought it's about time you get a little boost before the beginning of a new academic year. 

1. Leave your mark by making the right kind of friends. I am not giving you the parent lecture about not hanging out with the bad crowd etc… I am talking about friends who will last you till you're old and wrinkly. Friends that will probably tell your kids about the time you snuck out after curfew. Friends that will stay up with you through all nighters, freak out with you before your exam and take care of your cold feet before your wedding. If you have at least one person like that, you will have left a mark, because I guarantee you, none would do all that to you if it wasn't reciprocated. To find friends like that, means you made a difference in their lives, made their lives somehow more easier and with more smiles. That right there is one hell of an accomplishment and a big difference in both of your lives. 

2. Leave your mark by joining clubs. Colleges are filled with all kinds of clubs, music, acting, debate teams, sports etc… Joining them not only helps you meet more people, interact more and grow more but you could end making a big difference. Whether it's scoring the goal in the last minute, ending the debate in a jaw dropping manner, you will always be remembered. More importantly you will pose as inspiration to so many. How awesome will it to be remembered or used as an example by others from here on then. 

3. Leave your mark by starting your own club. Can't find a club that interests you, make your own. The clubs you are thinking of joining all started by someone thinking of an idea and forming it. Why not be the club someone else is thinking of joining, also having the title as founder is quite prestigious. Pick something you're passionate about, it could be as simple as cleaning up your neighborhood and starting your campaign. Urge people to join and watch how in a matter of months you will be making a difference. Even after you graduate, your club remains and will be talked about for years.  Now that is leaving your mark, literally. 

4. Leave your mark on paper. Ever thought of becoming a research assistant? It's the kind of thing that takes a long time, but in the very end you have your name published online and in print. How amazing would it be, that someone chooses your research as their main source during a midterm or research paper.