I come from a family in which college isnt a norm. I am one of the first in my family who has made the commitment to a college education. If I was in a situation where I can go back in time to give myself advice there are a couple things I would highly recommend to myself. First, I would focus on studying. The high school that I had attended did not exactly require studying skills for education. Yes, application was necessary, but I lacked on the study techniques. Without realizing it, by not developing good study skills I was only putting myself behind in the race before the gates were even opened. Even though I have learned the hard way, I have already developed some base of study skills that are allowing me to score higher on my tests. Another important peice of advice I would acknowledge myself of if I was able to go back in time is priority. What may be first on my list of things I want to do, may not necessarly benefit my future's results in the greatest way possible. Organization and prioritizing are a couple things I have been currently working on.
In my own opinion, I think it is very important to look a lot of schools. I personally only looked at 2 schools that were completely different from each other so it was easy to pick the one that I favored more. I think students need to be exposed to everything their school can offer (from housing to athletics to social activities) in order to decide what would be their best fit. I also think that it should be the student's decision, with little input from their parents because if you are not completely satisfied in where you are going your chances of being and staying happy in that place are slim. As far as making the most of a college experience, I have found it very important to get out of your room and take advantage of all the activities your campus has to offer! Even if you don't like what is being offered, chances are that there is someone else that agrees with you. The more time you spend making friends and being active, the happier you will stay and the more enjoyable your education will be for you.
I'd tell myself to study, learn to study and to stop procrastinating. And probably to acquire some time management skills. I've never been one who needed to study and in all honesty, I haven't had to study much through college, but I would have done better if I had. I also would have done better if I hadn't written most of my papers within 24 hours of their due date. Procrastination just adds to the stress level and it's high enough from normal college activity. And then there's the issue of time management. Sometimes it's necessary to do homework instead of watching an all day marathon of some show you've never seen (and are now addicted to) on ABC Family or Lifetime or wherever. But most importantly, have fun and experience all you can. That's what college is for. Join clubs, organizations, step outside your comfort zone and do something crazy. And if you have any good friends from high school, keep them. You need someone to hang out with on breaks so your parents don't drive you crazy.
First off, don't slack! I know you're good at getting by with A's and B's with fairly little effort in most of your easier classes, but that really doesn't help when it comes time to study for the harder ones. It gets you out of the habit and makes you want to fall back into the bad one of slacking. There are always going to be things you would rather be doing, but succumbing to that feeling won't get you anywhere in the real world. When you get to college and have all this spare time on your hands, you're going to have to choose between studying or playing and relaxing. Of course, the latter two are way more inviting, but when it comes down to a test, you're going to wish you'd have studied more when you had the time. Cramming for a seven chapter biology test is not fun. Now, of course, you will have to slow down and take a breather every once in a while; if you didn't you would have a breakdown. Just get into good habits now, and it'll make things easier later.
Let the student pick the school. That is where the student will be living for the majority of the next four years. If the student does not feel at home at the school, the student will not have a fun, rewarding college experience. There needs to be communication between the parents and the students so that both are happy with where the student is going. The parent should encourage the student to apply to certain schools, but should not pressure or force the student to go to a particular school. Also look at the classes and class size. The student needs to pick a school that has an environment the student can learn and succeed in. Once in college, get involved with the college community and organizations. This is the easiest way to find friends. Don't worry about making friends in college, because, if the student picks a school that the student feels comfortable in, the student will find a group where the student belongs.
I would advise everyone to experience their college in person before making any decisions. You should talk to the students and faculty and not be afraid to ask questions about the religion and politics of the campus because those things can make a huge difference in how comfortable you'll be at the campus. Many colleges offer "Senior Sleepovers," where a prospective student can spend the night in a dorm with a current student and attend classes the following day, as well as meet with financial aid and academic advisers. Senior Sleepovers are a great opportunity to really get the feel of the campus and decide whether it is the right place for you to spend the next four years of your life. The most important advice is to get to know the campus and the people before you make the decision: be abosolutely sure this is what you want.
As everyone has probably stated, I would have started the whole college recruiting process earlier for swimming. I should have gotten my name out to more colleges and applied for way more scholarships. However, I dont regret what I did or didn't do in high school because that chapter in my book is over. I am in a great college with teammates, friends and professors that I couldn't ask more from. My life has been great. My Dual Enrollment classes transfered over. I tried my best in high school and it took me very far. Im learning a lot such as time managment, living 800 miles away from home, and more which have helped develop me into a young man. So to be strait forward, I wouldn't tell myself to do one thing different in fear that I would change the future. I have no regrets and thats how I live my life.
College has given me so much since I have been in high school. What I mean by this is that i have learned about myself, not only other individuals. Doing this gives yourself a way to see how you compare to some of the world. When a anybody realizes what is happening around them gives them a better chance of being successful. I have learned how to study in/out of the classroom plus helping other classmates and friends with my experiences. This is not to say that I have helped some other person but to give a prospective to that person that I never did get. With these attributes that I have acquired I'm stonger, smarter, and better person. I understand that there is more to learn but for the moment these are the things I have learned from the first two years of college.
By attending college away from my home and outside of my comfort zone, I've learned how to live alone. I have people I talk to in classes but they aren't exactly friends. At first, I was scared to go to college. I didn't know anybody. I barely knew the town I was in, but after a few semesters, it started to feel like home. I learned how to go out by myself and not feel completely awkward. I learned that I can live happily and successfully by myself if I have to. I've also learned to appreciate my hometown more. Since being away, I'm more excited about attending high school games and meeting up eith old friends.
The most important advice I would give is to first speak the professors one on one. If you didn't get along with them when you met them, then you never will. Talk to the students. Don't just talk to the people that look like your friends from highschool, but pick random people and ask them there opinion. Someone will give you the truth about the school. Pay attention to the students attitudes walking around. Ask yourself if you could fit in there. Most people go away to college far from home, so you have to make sure that the place you are going to go can become a home away from home.