When you step onto a college's campus and you feel like you belong there, then you know you found the right school. I think so many students look for specific attributes which eventually sucks them into an uncomfortable environment. I have seen many people come to Brevard College and leave because it is too small, yet these are the same people that only came to Brevard because they were able to play a sport or they liked the dorm room. Their are also students, however, that come here from all over the world and fall in love with the school because of its community and lifestyle. It is important that the school carries your major and possibly a sport if you are an athlete. But, make sure you visit the campus and look for what you like about the school, not what you don't like. Sometimes it is easier to make a list on what the school must have, like costs, athletics, and major. Start the search as a young high school student, and you will eventually find a place where you belong. God will let you know when you step on the right campus.
Whatever you learned in high school, throw it away. Nothing can prepare you for the emotional, physical and mental rollercoaster you are about to embark on. While you are packing and getting ready to move in, remember you do not need to bring everything you own because when you visit home you'll have nothing to wear. There is no need to take every pair of shoe you own because more than likely you'll only wear the same four. Do not worry, you'll have the same friend you made your very first day throughtout your whole first semester and you will laugh and cry and gain the freshman fifteen together. It may seem like you'll never fit in and make friends but you will find your people and these friends will be there forever, no matter the circumstance. When you sign up for your classes the first semester do NOT overload, take it easy as it will ease the transistion into the college life. The best advice I can give you is for you to be yourself. You can go into college and be whoever you want and yourself is the best choice you can make.
I would love to go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, because I would ask myself to really look at the requirements for the future I'm going to need. I found myself in a college in South Carolina for over two years and the inability to pass the state Praxis I test, while I had passed it in North Carolina the year prior and knew I would have difficulty with this. I should have checked the rules from state to state first, and realized that staying in North Carolina would have been more efficient, but now I have to hustle to graduate on time due to having to transfer in the middle of my junior year. Explore the majors, how well the school is known for that major and it's faculty, and do your homework on what you really want out of the education and life, before choosing a college. I should have been more open to schools and not as worried about the outside architecture of the buildings. We live and learn, and too bad I didn't listen to some others' advice when it came to this subject.
I would say to look at all options before making a decision. Make sure its a good fit for the students needs. I attempted a large University right out of high school and failed after only a semester. Now that I attend a small school, I am able to receive the one on one instruction that I need in order to succeed. I would also advise that every student learns differently and at a different pace, so if a person does not do well at a certain school, its ok to transfer, or even take a break in order to find that right fit or figure out who they are. Making the most out of a college experience is solely reliant on the students desire to learn and grow. If they value their education, they will make the most out of it. Setting personal academic goals, getting involved in extracurricular activities, participating in community events and volunteering are all ways to make the most of a college education. But the student must have a true desire to learn, grow and experience it for themselves.
The first advice would offer is to do your research. There are so many colleges out there to pick from and knowing what you are looking for in a college is a great way to narrow the number down. One way to do this is to figure out if you want a small college or a large one, close to home or across the country, or most importantly what you want to go to school for? If you pick a college that doesn't offer your major you may be wasting your time and money. The next thing to do it make sure you visit the campus, something can sound wonderful on paper but you will only know how well you will fit when you see the campus and your self on that campus. Lastly while you are visiting make sure to ask the most questions you can to make sure you like what you hear, asking numerous people will give you a great sense of the campus and it's faculty. The main idea is finding a place that you love and will enjoy going to. If you follow your instincts you will find the right place for you.
I would advise myself to STUDY!!!!! In high school I never did, never had to. I graduated high school with Summa Cum Laude honors and a 4.1 GPA. With that in the books, I figured I could just skate through college without having to study ever like I did high school. I was sadly mistaken. My first college test I failed miserably. It was that smack in the face with an "F", that I realized I was in serious trouble if I didn't learn how to study. I tried so many meathods of studying. Making myself go to study hall, studying in the library, with music, while eating breakfast, making note cards, and it didn't matter because the results were showing no progress according to my test scores. I finally got it right once I started taking notes and attending study sessions with groups from my classes. Once I got that down to an art, my grades began to go up and my test scores were A's and high B's. So the most vital advice to give my high school self, study!!!
Find a college that best suits your needs academically, financially, and socially. Everyone's view of what they're looking for is different and only the student can decide what is a good fit for them. One of the most benefical things to my college experience has been living on campus. It allows me to join different clubs and organizations and meet the different people in my dorm. It has opened up my eyes to the different beliefs and views in the world on a variety of issues. This helps me to clarify and strenghten the beliefs I had before arriving at school. Living on campus has helped me to become more independent and rely on myself to be responsible for my school work and actions. This becomes your home away from home and must be a place you feel comfortable. Overall, I would say this has been the most important thing in my college expereince.
Time management is of the utmost importance. Take the opportunity while you can to learn to manage your own time, to motivate yourself and to plan your own future. Focus on what you want to do with your life and set out your goals. Follow your dreams but plan out how to achieve them. Have faith in yourself and you can achieve whatever you put your mind towards. College is different from High School, but it is something that youc an adapt to. Take charge of your own destiny, use the resources that college will provide you and you will succeed. There will be pitfalls along the way and you must be prepared to modify your plans, but if you can maintain your objectives and stay focused on your goals you can achieve them. Be strong , have faith in yourself and enjoy this opportunity. Make the most of it.
The best advice I could give myself would be to get out and help more people in any way possible. Do not limit the help to fellow students, help anyone and everyone - try to leave everyone you meet better than how you met them. The "Golden Rule" which is "treat everyone how you want to be treated" is inadequate. Follow the rule "treat everyone how they want to be treated". College is a time of development and change, so take the opportunity to develop the habits to be a better, more empathic, person. Also, smile and say hi to everyone.
Be yourself and don't be afraid to challenge your limits. Go out for the musical and climb a rock. You are awesome and you are capable of doing great and magnificent things you never thought were possible. Be bold and go after every opportunity. Collect experiences and one day...you will be an awesome grandma!