From my experiences at community college, I've observed the subtle decline of humanity. As eager high schoolers have been subjected to four years of fermentation within one enclosed institution, forced to endure spoonfed information and statewide testing, they are urged to pursue secondary education. Never before have I been allowed to observe my demographic in action outside of the constricting HS environment. The majority of my classmates have decided to pursue self destruction: skipping classes, drinking to excess, and remaining highly unmotivated during the point in their lives that will most affect their futures. One fateful day on campus, while others were mesmerized by free energy drinks, I realized that I cannot allow my college experience to be trivialized by marketing campaigns and caffeine stimulants. I've learned that I value my education above intoxication, and wish only to pursue it to the highest degree. I've learned to remain engaged and aware regardless of my socially inebriated company. I will be transferring out of my CC this January to attend a four year university, where hopefully my peers will value the incredible opportunity that too many are unable to experience. The world needs more thoughtful individuals.
Understand the balance between work and fun. Learning this skill is crucial - not only to success in college, but also to the rest of your life. A well-balanced individual is familiar with two nuggets of knowledge: that dedication and hard work are vital to personal success, and that relaxation and strong relationships are necessary in shaping a joy-filled life. Upon reaching college, you will learn quickly that collegiate courses are significantly more difficult than in high school. Don't let your intellectual capabilities go to waste! Set your goals high - soon you'll find yourself reaching them. Remember that studying is work - not leisure. If you approach your work with the right attitude, you'll soon find it rewarding. Many college students try to work at college, and see fun as an irresistable evil. Don't make this mistake! Make conscious decisions to relax, make friends, and enjoy your time Remember that fun should be intentional. With the right attitude, your leisure will enhance your life. Work hard, have fun. Mastering this paradox may not make you all-powerful, but it is one way to help better your college experience and the rest of your life. Good luck!
Never reside with a housemate who is not on a lease. Even when unofficial subleasing was possible, no authority held the housemate accountable for paying bills, and great upheaval was needed to remove the unwanted guest. This became especially problematic when the aforementioned resident agitated friends and romantic relations and also purportedly used methamphetamine. Never lose faith in yourself. The world will constantly doubt your mettle. Explicit and implicit messages will daily remind you to give up. Find many reasons to defy them. Never lose sight of the big picture. There were days—even weeks—last year when I looked forward to nothing short-term. When my part time job scheduled me nearly 40 hours per week on top of a demanding, full-time academic course load, I wanted to drop out, quit my job, and never look back. I completed large swaths of tasks in dutiful fashion until I rekindled a zeal for working, studying, and daily living. Afterwards, the obligations no longer burdened me. I wish I wasted less time wracked with anxiety about all the commitments and enjoyed every day more. I have learned for the future, but could have avoided great drudgery.
First, look for colleges with academic programs and student activities that interest the student, as well as college and class sizes, religious affiliation, and surrounding population size. Next, tour the campus to get a feel for it and see if it is the right fit. The student should see if they are comfortable and can visualize themselves there. Besides touring, students should talk to professors and current students, and eat in the cafeteria. Once at your campus as a student, it's important to meet new people and get involved, even if doing so feels slightly out of your comfort zone at first. Having a feeling of belonging to an organization, club, or sport can help a new student fit in sooner and feel connected to their college. Having your dorm room door open while you are in it, especially during the first weeks of school, invites other students to stop in, say hi, and make new friends. Form study groups for classes that are tougher or go to designated tutors - students who are smart use tutors in college to keep up with classwork and understand concepts. Finally, balance socializing and schoolwork to make the most of your college experience.
I have matured into a young man throughout my college experience. Learning to balance a rigorous academic regimen (double major, business, and psychology) and a competitive Division II wrestling schedule was not easy. This busy schedule made me work that much harder in the classroom and on the wrestling mats. I am a four time academic All-American, and a two time national qualifier. I am confident that I am ready for post-graduate life. Throughout my college experience, I have had the chance to travel the country with the wrestling team, and compete on an NCAA National Runner-up team in 2010. Along with wrestling, I also had the experience of being a first time home buyer and a landlord. By the time I graduate college, I will already have three years of house payments completed on my mortgage. I have also had the opportunity to listen to very influential people talk on our campus such as: Madeline Albright, Al Gore, Jane Goodall and Maya Angelou. I also had a great experience with my internship at BrightPlanet where I got to meet one of our board of directors, Admiral John Poindexter (national security advisor for the Reagan administration).
If I was able to go back in time and talk to myself, first I would tell myself that everything is going to work out. I remember the consuming fear I had about choosing the right college, making new friends, and moving away from home. Therefore, I would consolidate my past self and tell her to hold onto her confidence and patience. I would admit the transition is difficult, but she has strength still undiscovered that will help her adjust. Next, I would tell her to stay strong and open her mind to the oppertunities she is presented with. Being an undecided senior, I constantly had other people pushing me towards making the decision they expected me to make. The stress was overwhelming, and I let it overtake me. I missed a lot of scholarship oppertunities and never decided a major. I entered college as an comfortably undeclared major. I never took up the oppertunities to job shadow around my community, go to career fairs, and research possible careers. This decision is my greatest regret. I was left trying to set up these oppertunities myself while also balancing my work and class load. Lastly, I would say, "Never lose faith."
My college experience has exposed me to so many things that I do not think I would have ever experienced had I opted to forgo college. Living in the dorms for the past two years has allowed me to meet hundreds of great people; many of them who I feel will be my lifelong friends. There are so many activities to get involved in and there is literally something for everyone. There is the Democrat and Republican clubs, intramural sports, and associations for each major. They are great ways to network with many diverse people and create connections that will carry on to life past college. Attending sporting events that go on many times during the week promote a sense of school pride and bring everyone together to support our teams. Parties are not the only social events during the evenings so students who do not want to be in that type of environment have a variety of activity options. Various clubs sponsor movie nights or bring in musicians and comedians almost every night of the week. Attending these gatherings help form friendships where people can bond over mutual interests. I would not trade my college experience for anything
Dear self, In order to better prepare yourself for college you need to be able to read quickly and efficiently. Read as much as possible! Do not read simple reads, but rather something that will challenge your intellect. In college you might need to read 200 pages in one night! That is insane to imagine as a high school student but trust me, it will happen. Read the book Mosaic of Thought, written by Ellin Keene and Susan Zimmermann, the methods will help. Practice summarizing and synthesizing information you have just read and monitoring your understanding while you read. Understand that going to a tutor does not mean you are stupid, it actually shows you are a responsible student. You are involved in almost every extracurricular activity there is to offer. Realize that in college you need hours dedicated to school work. You cannot be involved in everything you want, narrow it down to the ones you enjoy the most. Dedicate one hour of every day to do something you love, start everyday with breakfast, and you will be amazed at how much happier and less stressed you will be. Also, call your parents, they appreciate hearing from you.
The most important and valuable experience I had during my first two years at college were distance related. I would advise parents to encourage their son or daughter to choose a college far enough away that driving home is something left for extended school breaks. College is a transition period. As difficult as it is for some parents to have that separation from their child, and as reluctant as some students are to leave the place they grew up, learning to rely on oneself is priceless. Keeping the safety button of "home" at a distance allows students to enhance their creativity. It allows them to become immersed in a new environment. Equally as valuable as the distance, is the sometimes frightening concept of not knowing anyone. I see too many students at my school who are still friends with their high school chums. This is not a bad thing, but it deters the growth of social skills and dampens the desire to branch out and throw oneself into new situations in the future that could bring ultimate benefit and experience to the student. Comfort is a worthy thing, but learning how to create comfort is even more worthwhile.
Hello Tony. The future is one that will test you spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. You will meet people who inspire you to understand what faith and truth means through multiple perspectives of others and through the histories of others who have existed before you. You will get to understand what the freshman-15 is, but also understand the impact of leading a healthy, unselfish life as a consumer and world citizen on this planet of 7 billion. Emotionally, there will be times where you are so stressed and emotionally drained, you do not know what to do. However, you will learn the value of naps and time management, which will lead you to form a successful and efficient schedule for your soon to be busy life. Mentally, you think you know what you are doing, but the reality is, you don't! You will be tested mentally to adapt to a new influx of knowledge and ideas which you will struggle, but ultimately succeed if you keep your hardworking ethics up. At the end of the day, don't forget your kindness and compassion towards others. Be patient and don't make things difficult. Cherish life and knowledge. Tony