I would have worked a lot harder in high school. Money-wise, the biggest regret I have is not attending community college first to get my core credits out of the way before attending a university. I don't regret the experiences or the times I had throughout my college career so far. I am very fortunate and everything has been a learning experience and every single day I grow to be more mature and the person I want to be for the rest of my life.
Don?t be scared of uncertainty. Things will work out for the best. Don?t stress over ever little detail. It is just a wait time. Focus more on the things that are important to you. College is where you learn many valuable life lessons that will make you a better person. You will be able gain skills that you never imaged to have. You will meet people that will make an impression on your life. Embrace every moment; they fly by before you know it.
Make sure to absolutely to try and go and visit campus of any school you are applying to. I applied to many schools outside of my scope of travel and had to go on pictures from the internet. Also take into great consideration of how far you want to be from home because you will want to go see old freinds and travel home every now and then. I also reccomend to do a 180 turn from your usual environment. I'm from a rural area and love Philly now.
My advice would be to talk to actual students. Colleges put on a good show when you're there during orientation and talking with financial/admissions employees, however, a lot of what they show or tell, isnt really true. Colleges not only out there to provide a good education, but to also make money. While talking with actual students, ask direct questions, and take their answers to heart because they are experiencing the school first hand.
If I could go back in time to my senior year at Council Rock North, the advise I would give is don't take anything for granted. It goes by so fast. Listen to the advise of the counselors who want to prepare you for the college you have choosen. Study, and study harder, get up your GPA so you won't have to go to the summer program. Or maybe do make sure you go to the Drexel Summer Program, it prepares you for what college is all about.
When looking for the "right" college, first understand what the student wants to do when they graduate. If they don't know, make sure they go to a larger univeristy with many options. But if they are looking for something specific from their college, then the oportunities available in that field should be your determining factor. Also, You done have to go to a top 'party school' to have a LOT of fun; its college, your going to have fun!
I would tell myself to do a lot more research because the college you choose can turn out to have a massive impact on your future. There are many things to take into consideration but it must be taken seriously. Also, don't be afraid to look around at a lot of different colleges before settling on one. Finally, look at rankings in the major that you plan on studying so that you are getting the best education that you can possibly get.
I would tell myself that the class grade isn't everything. There are resources on campus that must be taken advantage of. Students can build their own companies, engage in activities with people of similar mindset, or go outside the comfort zone and learn about students with different backgrounds. Studying abroad is probaby the main thing I wish I did more as a student. The world is large and you can't confine yourself to the classroom.
The advice I would give parents and students is to find a school in a comfortable setting, close enough to home that you can go there as much as you need but far enough away to make your own life. Once a school is selected make sure it has at least 3 programs you can see yourself potentally working in. The average undergraduate changed their major numerous times, so make sure if this happens to you that you can stay in the same school.
Campus visits are important. You have to be comfortable with the campus and the area around it. You have to be able to see yourself not only attending that college but enjoying being there. Once you attend a college it is important to be open to new things and to get involved. By doing this, you'll make all different types of friends. This will not only make your experience a great one but it will also help you grow as a person.