Besides the practical advice your mom will give about laundry and eating habits, here are three broad principles that can enrich your college experience... 1. Make every minute count. Constantly hone your time management skills; procrastination lowers your chances of surviving college with your sanity in tact. Even when you set aside time to relax, make it quality time spent with friends & family. 2. Communicate with your teachers, especially those in your field. Learn as much as you can from them. Their professional experience can make your own more fruitful & perhaps even lead you to choose a career path that excites you. 3. Find what you love to do. Since most college students change their majors several times, explore your options by taking electives, join a club, volunteer, and attending school functions hosted by various departments. Get in a group of students who share your major and work on extra-curricular projects together: discuss your favorite classic novels, compose and perform a song together, attend a math & science seminar together... your options are limitless. Enjoy this season of your life as time to discover what you have been created to do and to forge life-long relationships.
Don't worry about making friends quickly- the lasting ones will enter your life natuarally. Make sure you are constantly checking the syllabus to stay on track with assignments and reading not mentioned in class. Try to work on homework directly after class, while the subjects are fresh in your mind, but study for quizzes and tests the night before so you can remember it clearly. Try to maintain healthy relationships with your nieghbors and get to know them by having meals together or being spontaneous and fun. When people are friendly towards you, try to return their positive emotion, rather than merely absorbing it. This will keep them from becoming emotionally exhausted. Get as much information from your professors as you can, making the price of your education worth it and introducing yourself as an interested and driven student. If you are having problems with procrastination, follow these steps. First, isolate yourself from distracting friends and environments. Second, listen to music just loud enough to drown out your surroundings, but quiet enough to not be a primary interest. Third, work through your homework, constantly changing perspectives when you loose inspiration. Finally, take heart and persevere.
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Attending Biola University has been a growing experience for me spiritually, educationally, and socially. My major is Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in linguistics. Before coming to the school, I knew I wanted to end up in mission work overseas possibly working on translating the Bible. Biola requires that every student earn a minor in Bible. The Bible courses that I have taken so far have already doubled what I knew before, even after growing up in the church. This has not only given me a firmer foundation in my beliefs, but has increased my desire to learn more and share this book with others. My general education classes have also been very worth-while. After one semester of both History and Writing I feel I learned more than I did in all of high school. The professors at Biola are excited about the subjects they teach and genuinely want each student to learn. These classes did not just teach me to memorize facts, but to analyze them and think critically to draw conclusions. The Biola community has also stimulated social growth in me. Having contact with many diverse people gives me opportunities to learn from and value many views.
Knowing what I know now, the fundamental word of advice I would give my younger self can be summed up in this old age adage: less is much more. Entering college is an exciting time for anyone! University life is brimming with opportunities for academic and professional advancement (as well as friends and fun of course)! However with so much pressure to achieve societal upward mobility, the aforementioned things can easily become superficial markers of achievement instead of enriching experiences. When we see all of these opportunities as things to be “had”, we focus on getting them rather than cherishing them. Practically this principle can be summed up with these two words: slow down. Relax. These four years will be filled with innumerable opportunities. Seize a few and cherish them well throughout the years. Don’t try to do every internship that you are qualified for. Choose one or two and stick with them. Stop trying so hard to make friends with every person you meet. Instead pursue things you are good at and that really enrich your life, and true friends will come. Work hard at a few things with a few good people, and enjoy the time.
The cliche is true: college will be the most formative time of your life. That doesn't only apply to the obviously impactful things such as making career decisions, clarifying personal beliefs, and learning to live on your own. These things are important, but there is much more. This is the place where you will have to answer the question: how can I live well? Deeper than career decisions, you will have to develop the vision of life and happiness which will ground future career choices. Deeper than clarifying your beliefs, you will have to hone your personal character and set the patterns for your future habits. Deeper than learning to live on your own, you will have to learn to live with yourself, admitting to and coping with your shortcomings, owning your mistakes, and setting your own priorities. After all that high-minded talk, I'll tell you what you should do practically: find yourself at least two mentors to regularly share conversation and fellowship with. Choose people who share your values and who either know you or are willing to get to know you, but above all, choose people who live well and follow their advice and example.
What has truly enriched and impacted my college experience is remembering to intentionally pursue being "present" while in college, meaning reminding myself that I only get to do this season in my life once so make each moment count. Though I have grown and have been challenged academically, what I will remember from my time in college is not so much my 30 page thesis paper or a final exam, but instead the deep thriving relationships that have been cultivated with my peers, faculty, and staff memebers through rich, honest conversations, late night talks in the dorms about things that truly matter, growing through hardship with a community who truly cares for you, and experiencing people truly invest in the future good of others. Choose a school in which the product of it's education is not merely measured by the amount of money one will make after graduating, but can also be measured by observing the character of the it's graduates. Choose a school who's goal is to cultivate men and women of character and integrity and is interested in whole person development and the rest of the "college expereince" will come naturally.
Before attending Biola Univeristy I was enrolled at UC San Diego for a year. Through this experience I am able to compare the well known UC system education with what a private University offers. When I began my search for colleges my head was in the clouds and I convinced myself that the most important aspect to look at when making my decision was the location of the school and how highly respected the University was held. The advice I would give perspect students and parents would be to not negate these aspects however broaden their perspective. The school that a student chooses should resonate with their personality and ambitions on nearly every level. If the student enjoys a close relationship with the professor then a UC school or IVY legal University would not be a wise decision. In addition take into consideration the cost and work with the financial aid departments to find the best payment plan for the family. There is not experience like the one you will gain from a college education so I urge future students and parents to find comfort in the choice and if there is any hesitation research some more colleges.
If I were to go back and give myself advice as a high school senior I would focus the advice on three areas: academics, campus involvement, and meaningful relationships First, I would tell myself to continue working diligently and conscientiously on my academics as I have in the past. After all, that is the reason I am attending college, isn't it? Next, I would encourage myself to become involved with on-campus activities and student leadership positions such as new-student orientation programs and Residence Life Staff (RA). I would tell myself: "You are only in college once in your life, Bre. Do everything you desire that you won't be able to do once you're graduated." Lastly, I would remind myself that, while there are responsibilities that must be accomplished in priority to some things, at the end of the day your most vibrant memories come from the relationships you form. Take time to make friends that will last for life, gain wisdom and insight from your RA's and Resident Directors, and ask professors to chat over some coffee so that you can soak in the knowledge and life experience they have to offer.
When choosing a college it is important to consider three main components: academics, community, and location. Because academics is so key, it is important to research intensely and possibly see a personal counselor, because there are schools all around the nation that have incredible programs that could fit you as a student, but because of their location, you will never hear about them. When looking into a certain program, also try to find a school that has a few programs that look interesting, because most college students do change their major during their college experience. In regards to community, it is important to be in an atmosphere that you can grow as well as learn about yourself. You're college years are when you develop emotionally and mentally the most into, defining who you will become. And having a school that supports and nurtures that is essential. Lastly, location can be a very important factor. Many students do not wish to go far from their home state or even town. So, when looking into colleges, decide early on whether or not you even want to consider schools that are far from home.