Time management and goals are the key to succeeding in college. Many college freshman fail in these two categories. They often fail to realize that study habits will be much different in college than in high school. Much more time must be dedicated to studying in college. So when students only focus on their social life, they tend to fall behind on their academic studies. There needs to be a good balance between academics and social life. When both of these areas are balanced, one is able to life a memorable and successful college life. Related to time management, living a goal oriented life is also important. College freshman need to set and prioritize their goals. Academic success needs to be at the top of the list. When a student places all of their focus on one goal, they are bound to fall behind in other areas of their lives. In order to succeed in college, students need to define and pursue their main goal while still maintaining other areas of life. It all comes back to time management and allocating the neccesary amount of time for each category or goal.
When choosing the right college you need to look at a variety of aspects. Does it have a good program for the major you are choosing to pursue, what size do you want, what social aspects and extracurriculars are most important to you? The trickiest aspect for any eighteen year old is being absolutely certain that they know what career path they want to embark on over the next four years. How can any student be certain that this is what they want to study. I would advise students and familes to take an honest look at four years into the future. What kind of job do they see themselves applying to? If you choose a school based on the program and then later decide that this program no longer is what you desire you could face a change in major and possible even a transferring of schools. While transferring is not the worst thing that could happen, it can cause financial and credit transfer difficulties. Be honest to yourself as you choose your college and choose the one that is the best fit for the student not based on the desire of the parents.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I think I would tell myself that college would be much different than high school. I would need to tell myself that I would need to study much more than I did in high school and the classes would not be as easy as they were in high school. I would also tell myself not to go to parties every weekend and to go in to the professor's office and get help. I would tell myself that answering questions and being more active in class would help me to get to know and become more comfortable with the professor and the class. I think being more comfortable would have given me the confidence to go ask professors for help with thing that I didn't understand. Finally, I would tell myself that communication especially with a roommate is key. To have a successful relationship with a roommate you need to talk on a regular basis and work on solving problems instead of getting in fights about things posted on facebook, use the resident assistants they are helpful.
Choose a college for the right reasons. Moving out of your parents house and to a new city is exciting but believe it or not, living with a room mate and fifty or so other guys on a dormatory floor can be a real challenge. Choose your room mate carefully and make sure you share the same values. Make sure you keep track of events on a calendar. When an assignment is due, college professors expect it to be turned in. A calendar or planner can make or break your final grade. Your grade can slip from a B to a C simply because an assignment is not handed in on time. Your end of sememster GPA determines if you can stay in college or not. If you need help, ask for it . Have fun and try to make new friends. Treat college like a job, work first fun later. Eat in the cafeteria and try to converse with people. Work out in the fitness center or join a group of some kind. Stay connected with others. Lastly, if you change your mind about your major, don't worry, you're not alone. Thats what college advisors are for.
If I could go back in time to 1995, the year I was a high school senior, I would stress the importance of school now and in the future. I would encourage myself to visit with school counselors, college adminision representative and have them explain to me the different things they can offer (since no one ever explained this to me). I would tell myself to focus in high school and actually try to succeed instead of doing just what is required of me; which would open more opportunities for myself to attend college with scholarships and getting a bachelor's degree; since it is so important in today's job market. Additionally, I would explain the benefits of being involved in school activities, social interaction and internsips that are available through the school to better improve job experiences. Finally, I would explain the benefits of receiving a Master's degree right after receiving my bachelor's degree because attending school while you are 30 with 3 young kids is not easy.
I would have to tell myself to take high school a little more serious. Spend that extra time in your journey to better understand the world. Do not just study with the intent to better yourself, but instead look to better others and the community around you. You do not have to benefit from every Endeavour you take in life. Just because your upbringing was not one of money does not give you any less opportunity than any other student or person. Be willing to accept help from those who offer it without letting it affect your ego. In return, also be willing to help those that help you without taking into account how they can benefit you later. Stop looking at the value money wise of life. There are many things in life that will reward you in other ways than payment of money. Other minds can add to what you know and give you an unbiased view of the thoughts or plan you may be trying to build. Reach out to others that want to accomplish what you do. Not everyone is competition.
If I went back to when I was a high school senior, I would give myself a few tips. The first tip would be to learn a study routine that I can use for any subject. Getting into a habit of studying at least once a day will help when it comes to the harder classes in college. The second tip would be to open up and become more outgoing; this will help making new friends from all different backgrounds, which will help one grow as a person and mature. The third tip would be to still keep in contact with your high school friends and family; they are your support system and will help make an easy transition into college life. The last tip would be to know your career goals. If you follow your heart, you will be determined to become successful and achieve your goals. For example, after being diagnosed with cancer, I realized how much I want to help people; this is why I am determined to become a nurse. As long as I follow my heart and work hard, I know I will succeed.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell my self that size and location really does matter and affect your happiness. I used to think that I would be happy at any place of any size. I went to a larger school last year that was in the city, and I was not happy at all. I transferred to Clarke and now love my college experience and would not trade it for anything. I would tell myself to make sure that you can really see yourself living at the college and being happy. I would also tell myself to try to meet as many people as possible and see what their attitude is towards life and school. It is not good to be around unfriendly and negative people all the time. I would also tell myself to sit in on a few different types of classes and see how the teachers teach and see if the size of the class is an environment that I could excel in or not. I would tell myself to look at as many schools as possible, just to make sure.
Finding the right college for each individual is very important, as every person is unique and requires different needs. College is much like a caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. First the caterpillar must find its special place where it is going to make its' transformation, much like a student in their search for a college. Once the caterpillar finds that special place, it will begin its transformation. Throughout the four years that each student is attending college, he or she will transform into a professional. Throughout the process, every student should make the most of the college experience. In order to do so, he or she should become involved with him or her interests, such as sports, clubs, and classes. College is much more than academics, it is about the transformation into an adult, learning not only the knowledge to be successful in his or her career, but also the knowledge to be successful in life.
Start looking and applying for schools early. Start looking for financial aid and scholarships early. Be sure to read and correct any mistakes in applications before sending them off. If needed, take the paper to a local library to see if someone there can help you. Remind your children that it's ok to not be accepted to some schools. Visit as many campuses as you can. See if overnight stays are available at some schools - it gives a more true view of the school. Talk to professors, guidance counselors and other random faculty people at the school. Take your own campus tour to see if it's right for you and your children. When in college, join as many clubs and organizations as possible! It will help you make friends and give you more life experience. Have fun! It will fly by.