College search should begin as early as possible. Begin college preparation during the freshman years, visit colleges during the school breaks or summer, tutor your students from an early age to achieve great GPA in high school classes. Encourage your children to take a variety of courses aduring high school , including science , math and English. Involve the high school children to get involved with community service opportunities, such as the Civil Air Patrol, or teh TRIO Upward Bound pre-college programs. During the junior year tutor your kinds with SAT questions. For example, solve an SAT new word every day and post it in their emails or cellular phones. Search for scholarships in your state, and do not discard colleges in your state or backyard, as they offer great opportunities to retain students in their states. When you visit a college, plan teh visit, talk to students at the library, meet professors of a special major, talk to your advisors at high school. Plan to visit National college fairs as they offer under one-roof most basic informations available in the surrounding areas. Boost their confidence so that when they enter their freshman year they can handle college life.
I believe that finding the right college is your true first step in becoming an adult. I say this because, either with your parents help or on your own, you have to RESEARCH the colleges. By research, I mean investigate them. Some ideas are...Do they have what you want to major in (not sure, make sure the credits earned can be transfered), is there a "tutoring" program (if needed), what sports are offered/provided, what are the dorms like (how many students per room), is there a work study program, do they offer their own grants or loans, what is the tution (in or out of state) and go visit them. Remember this is going to be your new home for year(s). Your teachers, your roommates, your "neighbor's", even what you'll be served to eat will be out of your control. They will all be determined by "random draw" and who's won the food contract. Your resarech is important, your questions will be answered with the help of the staff, teachers and current students. Where you fit in, your utopia, is just a question away. Your college experience is what you make of it.
I feel that the best advice I could give to a parent of a student about to go to college or a student themself is to know what you're looking for. When you know what kind of environment and experience you would most likely want to immerse yourself into, then that can help narrow the choices for a college you'd like to attend. Once you're able to find a place that has what you are ultimately looking for, being able to have a great experience comes soon after. Getting involved with campus activities and the college community will really help a new student have a great experience. Through this, you will be able to meet new people from different parts of the country, even the world. You will be able to learn new things, get involved, and even learn new things about yourself. I know that I have grown so much as not only a student, but as a person in general. I am still continuously learning each and every day I am experiencing college life whether it is going to classes every day or being apart of a club or hanging with my friends. Be yourself!
If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, I'd have some advice to give: College is great, but don't rush it. There may be some advantages to putting college off for a year or two after you graduate high school. A teenager who has never paid any significant bills can't really conceptualize the kind of money necessary to pay for college. When I signed the dotted lines on my student loans, I was ignorant and made some bad decisions. I think that spending a year or two working before going to college would have helped me realize the investment I was making and made me more aware of the realities of student debt. A year or two of work before college would also have given me time to save up money for college, dramatically decreasing the overall cost of college, since loans must all be repaid with interest. I think a person grows a lot in their first year of paying bills, and I think that having that experience before going to college would be very beneficial to students. Don't be afraid to take a year off before going to college.
In order to make the most of the college application process, I would suggest to a student or parent that they go beyond the advice of high school guidance counselors. Take it upon yourself to read between the lines. Know your options, know your goals, and establish a pretty good idea of what it is you're looking for in your school. Interviewing at your target schools and spending an overnight stay in the dorms is one of the best ways to get a feel for the place that you may find yourself for the next four years. Beyond the obvious, another piece of advice I've found myself giving to my younger sister, who is currently going through this long and stressful process herself, is to relax. While the significance of this time in the student's life is clear, it's important to be able to keep things in perspective, and to understand that no matter the result, success is not outside your grasp. There are many roads to fullfillment, and no matter your means, if you are steadfast and determined, you can come to your desired ends.
If i were able to go back in time, i would tell myself to stop procrastinating. Getting accepted and picking classes was the easy part. I would tell myself to start getting loans as soon as possible. You are completely on your own once you leave high school. Your parents can only do so much for you. I would of told myself to step up my game and realize the High School is almost over and i need to focus on what is in front of me. I noticed during my senior year, everything was too easy. I never understood why, i thought it was because they were cutting us all a break from the four years we put in. I was wrong. I know now that it was easy so we could give 110% to going to college. I was one of those people who blew it off and thought my parents would do eveything for me. Again, i was very wrong. I would tell myself to pound the pavement and get out there. Visit the college and get as much information about financial aid that was humanly possible. Hopefully it's not too late for me.
When you are looking for a college go with what you know you like. If you like being around people then go for a bigger school, if you like individual attention when it comes to classes then a smaller school is the best choice. Finding a school depends on the student, their likes and dislikes. As for making the best of the college experience, when you get where you are going be who you are. Don't try to be someone else, let the true self out. For years in high school I had to think before I said anything, think before I did anything. I had to make sure what I was about to do fit into the mold of the "society". You're at a new place, no one holds you to the mold that you once had to follow. You are free to be the one you were meant to be, embrace it and love it. As for friends be with the people that make you happy, that make you laugh a nd smile. They won't judge you, they'll love you just the way that you are. And that us what counts in life.
In finding the right college you really need to think about what you want to study and the kinds of settings you want to be in. I made the mistake of being indecisive in my major and have to transfer because I decided I want to study something the school I go to doesnt offer. The key thing is to be happy with the people you are around. I enjoy my school I love the small setting and the area its in. When chosing schools dont look at them as,"oh I can afford this", or "oh, this is not an option its too expensive", look at all schools as, "what can this school offer me?" Always apply, go look at the school, see what it offers for classes, and expierences you probably couldnt get anywhere else. The best advice I can give is always stick to choosing the school you think you will be happiest at. In order to do well and learn to ones full potential you need to be happy in an envrionment that fits you best.
As a high school senior, you are about to face the end of your career as a secondary school student and embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. Whether it be at college, a full-time job, or the military, I encourage you to find out who you are as a person and what your passion is. Passion is what will guide you through the next chapter in your life and help you better understand what kind of person you want to be. Making that transition from high school to college can be tough. It is one of the first times you've lived away from home, you will meet dozens of new people, and will be challenged academically. But you CAN do it. Intimidating at first, but within the first year you will discover just how capable you are. So stay motivated, maintain a positive attitude and have confidence in yourself. But most of all, have fun. I've been told these are "the best years of our life". :)
Students and parents seeking the "right college" for their upcoming experience should consider the type of person that they are sending to college. Students who have done well in high school most likely will do well in college. It is important to remember that going far away is not always the best option for students, especially those who are just 18. Make sure their are enough discussed activities that you can see yourself participating at during your first year. Do not choose a school because your best friend is going there as well. It is important to choose a school where you feel you are going to grow, not a school that mimicks high school so you feel totally comfortable. Students should base their decision on their personal intrests because they are ultimately in control when they finally attend their "right college".