Grades don't really matter. Now this sounds extreme, but I have to be honest. Grades will not define your college experience. When I was deciding between staying home to study for an exam and going to a weekend water polo tournament, one question came to mind: "When I leave CMU, what will I remember? That I did a few points better on that one exam or that I had an exciting, new, and enjoyable experience doing something I love to do with some amazing people?" It's a pretty loaded question, huh? It's definitely something to think about.
I wish I would have known how much different college classes are from high school classes in the sense that I was caught off guard by the workload in the beginning of the semester and I spent the rest of the semester trying to bring my grade up to my standards. I also wish I would have known that I could have handled juggling classes and extracurricular activities because I was so afraid that my grades would fall if I got involved in other things but I feel as though I would have done better if I kept busy.
There is not much that I wish I had known before I cam to this school. Having visited this school before, when I came back to start my school year, I was comfortable and knowledgable of the school. During Orientation week, OCs and RAs assist the freshman of their respective dorms to allow the transition to be easier and smoother. However, I cannot say that I knew every single detail of the school before I arrived. I only wish I had known how much the workload was here at this school.
I wish I had know exactly how academically-oriented the school is because I did not realize how intense the school is. I wish I had also known that although there are many good majors to study it is very difficult to change your major because there are so many required classes that one needs in order to graduate in four years.
I wish I had known what my field of study was. I changed majors after coming to college into a field I had previously never studied. It would have been a great help if I knew what I was interested in when I was interested in it (or would have been interested in it) - in high school that is.
Nothing really comes to mind. Coming from a tiny hippy high school, I wasn't prepared for the workload at Carnegie Mellon. But I was told it would be a lot more work here, I just didn't know how much more or what that workload felt like.
I wish I had been more certain about what I want to do-- the school will support you if you want to do interdisciplinary studies, but there's a difference between interdisciplinary and interested in too many things.
Not to be apologetic about special considerations due to religious observation. Also, that the more you push (with a smile on your face), the more you get out of the beaurocratic chain.
It will be tough! But find friends and form study groups quickly to ensure you will have a strong support group.
I wish I had known how tough the academics really were. You really need to sudy hard in order to do well.