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Stephanie Grant

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Some freshmen don't quite know what to make of college when it first falls into their laps. Many choose to turn their confusion into optimism. Not surprisingly, the delight of trekking campus, rain or shine, for an 8 a.m. math class wears off quickly.

Stephanie Grant may be the most optimistic freshman of them all. She posts pictures of herself on Facebook to network with old friends and make new ones, and invites to such groups as "I can guzzle more beer than you" don't even annoy her yet.

"I won't know anybody so I want to try to meet a lot of new people," Grant says.

As an actress, shy isn't in her vocabulary. She stole the spotlight her senior year in her high school's production of No Day But Today: A Tribute to Broadway, a variety show about a girl like Grant who dreams of Broadway stardom.

Before Grant hits New York City, she starts a four-year stint at Georgia State University this fall to dual-major in business and theater. With its high-rise buildings and Tony-award winners, Atlanta is another rung up in the climb to fame from her native Fayetteville.

But finding the way to museums, clubs and theaters (not to mention classes), is enough to intimidate even the most gung-ho freshman.

"I want to know where everything is. I know that's a little tricky," she says, sounding more excited than nervous about college. "It just seems like a new chapter. It's a big step from high school to now be on my own. So I don't know, I just feel like I'm growing up."

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