Dear Darren, There are a few things you should know about college as you prepare yourself from high school graduation. Probably the first advice I can give you is do well in high school grade wise and take the ACT and SAT tests. You want to ensure you do well on those two tests because these two tests are placement tests for the college or university that you choose to attend. After graduation you should take sometime off school and determine what you want to do with your life. Once you figure out what you want to do as a major you should start to look at individual schools and figure out which one would benefit you after graduation. After making the decision to attend a certain school you should meet with a counselor and begin to pick your classes. Ensure you pick entry level classes so know what you're getting yourself into before jumping head first into the core requirements. While you're attending school you need to limit your distractions so you can focus on getting good grades and maintaining your attendance. The last advice I can give is to participate in all class activities and events.
The advice I would give parent and students would be to find a college that has what you need and is affordable. To make the most of the college experiance I would suggest that they make sure they will enjoy their time at the college and the college suites the need of the student and the parent. I would also tell them to look at all their options, don't just stick with one school, look around and be flexible to some extent to make sure that they get the college that best fits thier needs and will give them the best experiance because they found a place that fits thier personality and needs. I would also tell the student and parent to be prepared for the unexpected and to use their resources available at the school to get the full experiance and to be prepared to work for their degree because you get what you pay for and it is up to the student to show that they want thier degree or not. The teachers are there to teach those willing to learn and do the work, not to pass you along because you are paying for it.
I was hired into my company when I was twenty and was confident I would retire here. Because of this sense of stability, I didn't feel the rush to go to school. After almost ten years, I was given my displacement papers and walked out the door. I never felt so helpless in my entire life. My husband was also having employment difficulties and I was the sole provider to myself, my husband, and my 11-year old son. I was faced with the harsh reality that I would not be able to obtain another job that could provide for my family without a college degree. I was not able to do anything about it because I did not have the money. This added to my sense of worthlessness and depression. I was re-hired after three months and am now back to work; however, I don’t believe I will have that sense of security again. I re-enrolled in school and am determined to never feel useless to my family again. Feeling useful to my family and in the fact that I am providing for our future is what I am receiving out of my college experience.
If I could go back in time and visit myself during my Senior year, I would stress the importance of continuing education. Back in the 1990's, an Associate's Degree was enough to land a good job.However today, most employers want a Bachelor's Degree if not a Master's. I would instruct myself to stay enrolled in College until I reached the Bachelor level and stay home with my parents to help ease the strain. As an adult, 18 years later, with three kids trying to return to college while working full time is not a desireable path. It is hard work and very stressful. I would be sure to point out these facts to "my senior self". I would emphasize the need to be diligent and focused on my work, and to know that four years of life at the ripe age of 18-22 is not even the beginning of life as we know it. The four years will be minimal compared to the rest of one's life after college and acquiring a wonderful and meaningful career. Bottom line, stay in College until the Bachelor Degree is completed, at the very least.
I have received much more out of my college experience than I ever imagined. I have only been attending Baker College for a short time, but I have learned life-long, valuable skills. I have learned that it takes a great deal of commitment and planning to reach goals and flexibility to attain them. I have learned to make my education a priority and to balance my studies with my family and even to take time for myself. The instructors I have encountered thus far have taught me to push myself, to think outside of normal resources and to not take second-best as an option. It took me 25 years to make the decision to return to school to pursue my educational goals. I did a good deal of research on colleges and, I believe, I made the best choice for myself. I also feel I am setting a superior example for my children with my new-found discipline and pride. There are also those, younger than I, which had thought it too late to return to college. I hope I have proved them wrong.
I personally had the mind set of thinking I knew everything of what it was exactly all about, however now that I have lived it and have experienced it for a little over a year and a half, boy was I wrong. So if I had the ability to go back into time and talk to myself I would defiantely say its not going to be just a cake walk as high school, your going to have to work your hardest, stay focused, and also manage your time well. However you may have some time for friends but thats not what it is all about, they arent going to get you trough school, only you can. I would also say to myself that even though I have to work ten times harder in school than someone eles, I still need to stay focused and keep working hard, because in the end im going to have a great job, that I am going to enjoy doing and experience different things each and every day that I am there. Lastly, whatever you end up putting your mind to your more likely to succeed in the end.
If I could go back in time and advise myself about making the transition to college life I would stress that determination, maturity, time management, critical thinking skills, test taking skills, and effective listening skills are the keys to doing well in college. At the age of 18, I possessed the critical thinking, test taking, and listening skills but I didn't have any responsibilities. I was not mature, lacked motivation and had poor time management. I feel that if I went to college right after high school, I would have partied instead of studied. This would have frustrated me and I would have dropped out or failed. I also would tell myself that time is not on your side. It took 17 years and two children before I enrolled into college. Now, times are hard economically and socially. I would tell myself to take advantage of your youth and freedom and utilize the skills that you possess to become whatever your heart desires.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself about high school it will be to learn as much as you can. Knowing what I know today I would not have dropped out of school in 9th grade. I received my GED but thats not go enough for me I felt like I took the easy way out. Attending college has been a challenege for me not being able to understand everything. I ask a lot of questions until I understand what I'm trying to figure out. That's why it was so important that I stayed in school and learned everything I could have. The advice I would give myself would be until you spread your wings you will never know how far you can fly. Now , I 'm the first in my entire family that's attending college and that makes me feel so good about myself. Just seeing my two year old son trying to read his book when I doing my homework motivates me more. I have to finish so that my son will finish school and attend a college.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to stay focused. I had a bad case of senioritis my senior year and did not stay on top of my school work or any kind of work for that matter. My G.P.A could have been a lot higher if I stayed focus during senior year, and could have recieved more scholarships with a higher grade point average. I could have seen myself doing better and getting better grades, but it was senior year. All that I really cared about was hanging out with friends, going to football and basketball games, and just getting the year over with so I could be free. Boy was I wrong. I am not free and that is what i would go back and tell myself. College does not mean freedom. I would go back and tell myself that. It is harder than high school, and more expensive than high school. So stay focused, save money, and enjoy everyday you have left in high school.
Instead of jumping into marraige without education I would include my education as part of my married life. I would choose to go to college while raising my children so that they would realize the importance of a collage education. Giving them that inspiration to attend and complete a college education in todays economy is very important. A college education is a very dedicated thing. To work hard in college means to acheive the first part of ones goals. Back then I thought college after marriage responsilities. Today I think back and I could have done both. My Children are now becoming college oriented and I am very proud of them. The biggiest advice I would give myself if I was coming out of High School is to stick with a thought of immediate education for todays work world you never know when you are needed in a marriage or other home situation to work and contribuite to the family