Transitions are scary. When you're 18 and heading off to college for the first time, it is normal to feel a strange mixture of excitement and fear that you've never felt befoe. This is your first chance at independence. Your first chance to get out of the town you've spent your whole life in thus far; a chance at new experiences, friends, places, and knowledge. It is also your first chance at heartbreak, possible failure, and hurt all while you're hundreds of miles away from the comforts of home. But don't be scared. While the uncertainty of it all is most definitely unsettling, you are in for the greatest adventure of your life. During this time you will make lifelong friends both professors and peers. You will get the opportunity of a lifetime to live and learn in a foreign country. You will find a passion you never knew you had for a subject you had never even heard of that will become your career. So don't take it too seriously, but treasure every moment. These are the years you'll look back on most fondly after graduation and for many years to come.
If I could go back in time to when I was a high school senior and provide my past self with information about making a new transition after graduation, supported by the intelligence and experience I know now, I would overly convey the importance of self-determination and confidence. Emerging from a background of Mexican grandparents that never completed high school, parents who never completed college, and being the eldest of two children, the daunting challenge of attending a university or college was one I didn’t believe I could accomplish. I ended up settling for attending a community college ten minutes from the campus of my high school because that was all I considered myself to be capable of. With the wisdom I encompass now, I would tell myself in my senior year to just believe in my own capabilities and have confidence in my academics, because with that kind of self-determination, any achievement is possible.
Get your life together girl. You're smart, but not smart enough to think you can breeze through life when you go to college. Its hard, harder than you ever imagined. Your brain will be tired all the time, and making new friends will be stressful beyond compare, but it'll be okay. College is where having a work ethic comes in handy, but that's not all you'll need. Learn to manage your time now, because you won't have time to figure it out later when you barely have time for sleep. There are a lot of things high school doesn't prepare you for, college seems to be one of them. P.S. You don't need twenty-five pairs of pants. Trust me, the drawer space has better things to store. Like food.
Knowing what I know about the college life and making the transition , I would advise myself to be confident in my capabilities and to use my available resources to be as successful as I want to be. When I was a high school senior, I decided that I could easily pass all my classes. Therefore, I didn't push myself beyond what I was expected of, as I should have done. Entering college , I kept up with the same attitude, and something tragic happened in my family back home, and this made my transition harder throughout first term. If I kept up with my capabilities, and told myself everyday that I would be successful, and I could do anything I put my mind to , I would have been one hundred percent more successful during my first semester. My advice to all high school students: Use what is available, to better yourself. No one expects you to be perfect, but in college , they do expect you to push yourself. With perserverance and self determination , you can go ANYWHERE in life, and you WILL be successful !
As you embark on your collegiate adventure, I urge to consider the following thoughts:
First, please remember how blessed you are to be a part of Centre College. Being able to attend college puts you among a minority of people around the world, and you must cherish every moment and opportunity.
Secondly, never conceal the fact that you love to learn. The gift of knowledge is never something to be ashamed of and should be celebrated and explored. Being a part of the Centre community will give you the time, resources, and opportunities to explore concepts you never considered possible.
Thirdly, attend each Norton Center event, each convocation, and each guest speaker lecture. You will have the opportunity to learn from a variety of intellects, performers, and speakers ? many people you will have never heard of and many you will never forget.
Lastly, please have a copy of your car key made. It is inevitable that you will lock your key inside your car on a snowy Sunday morning and AAA will be unreachable.
Continually remind yourself that you are blessed and love every moment ? academic, personal, social, and spiritual.
Best of luck, Kate
The best advice I could a student about choosing the right college is that you will know the right school when you visit it. College is something that you make it of it. As much as I believe that a parent should have a say in the college process let the student decide because that school will be where they are spending the next four years of their life. I always beleived that there is a always a college out there for everybody, you just have to find it. You'll know the school of your dreams when you visit. Let the college experience take the wheel and just enjoy the ride. Expect nothing and learn everything.
Parents: Don't limit your childs college options simply because of money or distance. Allow your child to explore his/her options. There are ways around all of life's difficulties, so give every opportunity a chance.
Students: Talk to friends and relatives, and use different college search engines to find schools that fit your interests. Look for schools that will be intellectually challenging and that will allow you to expand your mind. Studying abroad is also another opportunity that may be of interest. It is important that you make sure the school offers it's students as much as possible. The worst thing is to realize your school doesn't have all the programs you are interested in. Also, don't limit yourself to a school based on one academic interest because chances are you will re-think your major.
Parents and Students: VISIT the schools of interest (preferrably while the school is in session)! This is the best way to find out about a school. Parents will have questions that can be answered; students will be able to see their future possibilities.
Lastly, students, follow your instincts - you can make the most out of the college you choose.
Go there to learn and grow as a person.
Do not be fooled by prestigious names or locations.
Go where they will give you enough money to not be burdened when you leave, and enough support to help you succeed while you're there.
The most important step to finding out what college is right for you is visiting the campus. Without getting a feel for the community, lifestyle, and student population at an institution, it is impossible to make an informed decision about college. Choosing a college is about choosing where you feel comfortable. As the expression goes "If the shoe fits...wear it." Even more, making the most of your college experience means that you must always remember the reason you came to college: to get a degree. By keeping academics at the forefront of your priorities, everything else (social life, extracurricular activities, etc.) will fall into place and become even more enjoyable. Never lose sight of the academic tasks at hand, but always remember to cherish the little things.
Deciding on the right college should be an exciting experience for everyone inolved. It is imperative to be thorough and consider everything the student desires in her college experience. Picking a college means it is time to leave highschool and being highly dependent on others in the past. The best lesson that can come from college is how to become accountable for your own actions, and take control of your life. It is a balancing act between the education you have to take seriously, and the social development every 18 to 21 year old needs. Every moment you spend living life to the fullest during college, is a moment that you prepare for incredible success in your future. Many say that college will be the best four years of a person's life. If you pick correctly, by considering what you want for the future, what you desire from a college, and where you want to be in four years, I think it only prepares you for countless years in the future that will undoubtedly be more enjoyable.
There are so many colleges that picking the right one seems impossible. In reality, you shouldn't ask what the college can do for you, but ask what the college will allow you to do. Stop focusing on the college's accolades, and instead focus on yourself. What can you do during your undergraduate education that will make the time and money worth it. Then find the school that will allow you to do that. The college choice won't make or break you, it's what you choose to do while you're there.
Find your passion, what makes you happy, and pursure it without letting money, geography, or anything like that hold you back.
I believe that just about any college/university in the US has the potential of being a great place for one's child to attend, but digging further into the world of academia, and trying different approaches could better aid you in choosing a college that better fits your child. Not many incoming freshmen have an exact idea of what field they would like to study, but having some idea can be helpful. This can help you determine what type of school your child would like to attend. Similar to individuals in different professions, some school's have greater strengths in some fields than others. One school may have a strong math/science program, while another school has a noteworthy business adminstration program. These should be taken into consideration. Read college rating books, check out websites and consult high school college counselors. Another thing that could help your choice in finding a good school, is actually visiting the school. Any school can look good on a pamphlet or on a website, but you will never know how it feels to be there, until you visit the campus; similar to doing a small test drive, before purchasing a vehicle.
Choose Centre College if you're willing to put in a lot of hard work and time and you're looking for a great challenge and life-changing 4 years!!
The most important advice for parents or students still looking for the right college is to find where you feel at home. It is easy for students, and especially for parents, to becocme overly concerned with a school's ranking or reputation. But the fact is that the better ranked school may not always be the better choice for the student. Furthermore, students are far more likely to excel at a school where they are happy and comfortable. Students and their parents must keep an open mind when examining schools and realize that this search is different for everyone, and students must ultimately attend the institution that will provide them wwith the best education and the most opportunities for success. This advice for open mindedness extends to a student making the most of a college experience as well. I did not attend my first choice school, however once I was there I made the most of it. As a result I got involved in several activities, spent a semester in London, and made lifelong friends. The most important thing to remember is that you only have 4 years of college, and you should take advantage of this short time.
I would encourage each student and parent to visit as many schools as they can that they are interested in. Likewise, I would highly recommend an overnight stay because they allow the student to get an actual feel of how the school really is. And lastly, I would encourage to sit in on classes that you are interested in and talk with the professors to get a feel of how the cirriculum is set up.
I dunno, I guess it's tough, really...
Try to be as well rounded in your decision as possible, but still know what your priorities are. I wanted to travel a lot and got that oppurtunity through my university.
Find a school that fits your taste. If you want a cheap, emotionally distant school with classes so large they make learning difficult, go to a state school. If you want personal relationships in small classes that encourage you to learn, choose Centre.
I think the most important thing you can do for yourself is to focus on your personal aspirations and needs. It is easy to get flustered and nervous during the application process, and therefore easy to look to those around you and accept their influence and suggestions far too easily.
Also, don't play it safe, don't take the easy way out. Do something exciting, and take a risk. This opportunity for change is huge - you can choose from so many different kinds of places, so don't rule anything out from the onset. Experiment, explore, and listen to what your gut is telling you. There is a place out there for you, and know that one of them will make you happy.
Know that it is ok to not know what you want to do or major in, and in a way it's almost better. You leave more options open for yourself. Go with this openness! And have fun with it.
Visit and spend the night at the place where you want to go. Make sure to eat the food there too, because you'll be eating it for the next few years. Just because one school isn't as well known as another, don't discount its value. And visit home every know and then. You'll miss your parents and family, trust me.
Visit every school, look for a place where you want to live, not just study or party.
First of all, visit schools. For me, my visit to Centre was the deciding factor for me because I felt so at home here. Find a place that is home for you, a place you can really see yourself being happy for years to come. As far as making the most of college, really dive into your campus by being involved, getting to know other students and professors, and taking advantage of all your school has to offer. It may be difficult to adjust at first, but if you don't complain about it and shrink away from everything, pretty soon you'll find yourself referring to your school as "home" and you'll wonder how you ever felt uneasy there.
It is definitely a must to go and visit the campus, preferably on a day when school is in session. That way you get a wonderful feel for the true atmosphere of the school. In choosing a college, go with your gut. Chances are it won't be wrong. If you feel like you can really find a place at a certain shcool, then go for it. There's really nothing to lose. Once at school, it's a good idea to get involved in something. It can be a movie night with people on your hall or something bigger like running for an office position of a club or playing a sport. But it is important to get involved - don't stay in your room, get to know people, and find people that share your interests. The social life is great, but studying HAS to come first. Set up some sort of study plan or time management plan, or even a rewards system for yourself. It can be hard at the time, but being able to spend time with friends later makes it all worth it. Good luck in your search, and ENJOY YOURSELF!!!
When it comes down to, just go with what feels right. When you step on a college campus you'll know if it's right for you. Don't force yourself to like/dislike a place based on what you hear or what your're friends say. Be your own person and make the decision that fits YOU the best. College is a time for you to learn more about who you are and to truly come into your own as an adult so make sure you find a place where you feel comfortable doing that.
Always make a visit and try to see more than just the academic side of things. College has a lot of free time and if you're not comfortable with the social scene then you're not going to like being there. So try to visit on a weekend, hit up the frat houses, and watch a football game. Give the ENTIRE school a look before you decide. Don't base a four year decision on a website or a tour of an academic building, get to know the school, the students ,and campus environment before making your decision.
My advice for students and parents is to shop around for schools. Don't make a decision based on one visit, or a visit to one college. Even if the first one you visit seems like the best, visit a few others just to make sure. Even if you stick with the first one, you will have a better understanding of what it is you like about that school, what it has that others don't, and what kind of campus you feel the most comfortable on.
And parents, let your student do the talking. Let your student set up the tour times and interviews. This is their choice for their future, and ultimately, they know in their hearts what is best for them. Let them decide, make mistakes, and decide again. Life and college are about trial and error, and learning the hard way. One cannot gain true knowledge and experience without having first screwed up.
If the college allows this, I would suggest highschool junior/seniors should do an over-night stay with a student at that college so that they can attend classes and get a feel for the social life of the campus. As for making the most of the college experience, I would recommend just getting out there and doing what you enjoy most. Join clubs, sports, study groups, greek life, or whatever it is that you enjoy to do because soon you will be friends with kindred spirits.
I would tell parents of prospective students to focus primarily on two things: their child's wish and their capacity to launch that wish into reality. Allow your student to own this decision; the more control he/she has over it, the more likely it is that he/she will be happy. Obviously things don't work out sometimes, and perhaps your student will be one of the unlucky ones who transfers after their freshman year; nevertheless, part of maturing is taking on greater responsibility, and for many high school seniors choosing where they attend college is the first major life decision they can make completely independent of others' influence. Allow them that opportunity! To the student I would say this: simplicity and organization are musts. Analyze your financial aid packages and weigh your options, but in the end go with your gut; chances are you won't regret it. Once you get there, have a bodacious time...but don't allow your fun to be saturated with partying, drinking, and shirking your work. Don't forget that college is first and foremost a continuation of your education; don't lose sight on your purpose for being there.
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