I know you enjoyed being super-involved in high school, but college is a bit different. There are plenty of extra-curricular activities to do, but don’t bit off more than you can chew; you will become overwhelmed. The activities that you do become involved in, be committed to; just don’t start off super-committed and then completely stop. You will miss high school initially…it was a good run, but college will vastly overshadow high school in opportunities/activities and you will really enjoy it. Your high school friends will move to distant places and even though you may not like it, your relationships with them may weaken; just stay connected with them. You will meet life-long friends here who are quirky just like you. Make good first impressions. Everyone is entering college alone and nervous; first impressions make a big impact, but don’t judge others. You will be pushed past your breaking point in some classes but you will survive. Your advisor may seem like he’s setting the bar high, but you will thank him; you will your own exceed expectations. Just remember: grades are NOT everything, friends and family are.
There is plenty of advice I would give to myself as a high school senior. The most important advice, however, would be to go into college and the transition with a completely open mind and an open heart. Nobody knows what exactly to expect while transitioning into college so hoping for the best, but expecting the worst is sometimes the best idea. I would also advise myself to be extremely outgoing and to break out of my shell early on. It makes finding friends and building relationships so much easier. Being very nonjudgemental towards others is also very beneficial in making the transition. It is so important to keep in mind that everyone struggles their first year of college and everyone handles the stress and transition in a different way. Therefore, one must be understanding, patient, and willing to lend a helping hand for anyone whenever needed. One last piece of advice I would give myself would be to remember that who you were in high school means absolutely nothing in college. College is a brand new start so take full advantage of the opportunity to recreate yourself and start fresh! Enjoy and don't stress!
Trust your judgement! You know yourself very well. The college search process is overwhelming and exciting. Place a high priority on visiting many schools with different programs and campus life offerings. You need to feel that you saw everything before you make your decision. Making the transition to college is scary, you are not the only person who feels the way you do. I suggest meeting your roommate before moving onto campus, you will feel much more relaxed if you have one person you know on campus before arriving there. Be outgoing! Do not turn down the opportunity to meet fellow classmates whether it be through an orientation activity, on campus entertainment, or a dinner out with your floormates or dormmates. You won't regret meeting too many people but you will regret not getting out there and making friends before everyone has their set group. Enjoy your freshman year! It goes by so fast. Be sure to take tons of pictures to look back on. One last thing, don't slack on your schoolwork! It is just as important as your social life. Ask for help when you need it! Good luck and have a blast!
Finding the right college can cause angst for many people. They wonder, how will I find my fit? What if I choose the wrong school? Selecting a college is actually quite simple. All you need to keep in mind is yourself. Not in a conceited manner, but you need to realize what you like, dislike, who you enjoy being around, and how open you are to new and foreign experiences. If you enjoy the students, facutly and staff, the buildings, dorms, and city, then you're headed in the right direction. For me, the overall atmosphere reeled me in--a combination of all of these things plus location and size. Sure, money plays a huge role in your decision too, but if you look into different scholarship opportunities, find a job, and talk with the school, any dream is possible. Making the most of your college experience means getting involved with activities/groups you enjoy (so, in-turn meeting people like you), getting adequate sleep and exercise, and being open-minded. College is the perfect time to test your limits, try new things, and really find out who you are as an individual. Study hard, of course, but live life!
I have attended college for a year and a half now. In this time I have not only received a well-rounded education, but a better sense of who I am. Augustana has given me the education that I believe will help me achieve my future career. It has great professors, challenging courses, and topics that I find truly intriguing. Along with my phenomenal education, I have received a better understanding of who I am. College is the first time away from your parents where you can be who you truly want to be. College gave me an outlet to express who I am in my class, extra-curricular activities, and social life. I was able to join a number of extra-curricular activities that helped me realize what is truly important. I joined two organizations: Augie-Green, an organization aimed at making the campus more eco-friendly, and the Gay Straight alliance which is an organization aimed at promoting diversity and understanding on Augie’s campus. This work helped me realize that I want to be a lawyer so I can help the less fortunate and oppressed in life. Overall, Augustana has given me a better understanding of myself.
You know the saying “it’s a small world?” Well, that is true now. No, the world is not decreasing in size, technology is merely wrapping the human race in a closer connected (wireless) bond. This new global connection is exactly what college is preparing students for. Not only is college a great social experience, or a place that will set one up with a job, it is a place that will teach one of the world outside the classroom. Whether in politics, economics, biology, or giving students opportunities to travel abroad, college is preparing students for the new "connected" world. Understanding cultures outside of one’s own is important for the coming generations for the fact that it is more likely that students will work with someone who comes from a different background then their own. Giving students an opportunity to study abroad so they can experience other cultures is exactly what colleges, like my own, are setting as a priority. As the world moves towards a more integrated society, incorporating other cultures into one’s study is irreplaceable knowledge that makes college essential to attend.
At Augustana, I'm more connected with people. My friends became my second family. I learned to rely on them at the same time I learned to independently take care of myself. I formed my own religious family and my theatre family. College connects me with people and gives my life meaning. In classes, I have improved my writing skills and opened my mind to new ways of thinking. I am building contacts with my peers and professors and learning to network. College is making my dreams a reality and my future dreams of being a professional writer are within reach. Augustana College will do its best to make sure I succeed in my career path. Augustana affirms that I am a special individual. I can't walk across campus without smiling and waving at friends, professors, and aquaintances. The custodial and cafeteria staff know who I am and my professors know my name and my likes and dislikes. The people at Augustana want me to succeed. With my connections of professors and friends, I will suceed in my career path. With my friends, I will have fun and relationships that will last me a lifetime.
Dearest Audrey, I know you better than anyone and love you in a way no one else can. I feel compelled to offer these words of insight. I have been there and done that, as they say. The future is not a place you are heading, but a place you create. You will never magically end up where you want to be or accomplish that list of “Before 30” that you wrote if you don’t plan. Dreams are attained and goals are accomplished by planning, organization, and perseverance. When you head out into the “real world” you must always keep your goals in sight. Fun need not be forfeited, but you must distinguish where your boundaries are immediately and commit to stick within them. Know that there is the daintiest, finest line between enjoying the utter beauty of the present moment and getting caught up and losing yourself in constant immediate gratification. Also young, sweet Audrey, don’t forget about your art. Creating beauty will provide you with a sense of completeness and create a space of retreat when school, love, and life get you down. Love, 30 year old Audrey who is just now returning to school
If I could send a message back to my graduation, I would tell myself to take more chances. As the classic overachiever, I spent my early college years playing it safe: keeping my nose clean, attending a school close to home, studying topics I already knew, taking classes from teachers who shared my strongly conservative values. I avoided many opportunities to grow by keeping my boundaries small, afraid of where rejection, uncertainty, or failure might lead. It's been thirteen years since I graduated from high school. This fall I will return to college, finishing my degree to expand the margins I should have stretched when I was younger. I wish my teenaged self had realized how many topics are worth exploring and how much you can gain from being rejected. Shaw said that youth is wasted on the young, and as I gain experience I see what he meant; now I know more of the largeness of the world, but three children and a mortgage limit my ability to discover it. The distinctive strengths of youth are best traversed by the young -- once gone, those opportunities are much harder to catch.
My college transition was quite the shell shock. I left California in January 2004 to a very chilly winter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at Augustana College. What a change! If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that the transition may be difficult at first, but would turn around and become a very positive experience. Based on that positive experience, I would advise myself to spend less time on the computer with my headphones on. Instead spend more time talking with my parents about their experiences at college as they went to Augustana as well. Knowing more about my surroundings and my community has always helped me appreciate the moment. So my advice to myself would be to make an effort and meet new people, learn more about the area, and learn more about myself. Being new is never easy, but it is how you handle yourself that makes an impression on others. Don't hesitate to be yourself. Don't be afraid to ask questions. College is an exciting opportunity to grow as an individual. That'd be my advice to myself.