The one thing that I would tell parents and students who are looking at colleges is to go visit colleges. As a student, you will be spending a lot of time on campus (commuter or resident). As a parent, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with your child in this setting. The physical campus can tell you a lot about a school that you just can't get over the internet. Make sure to visit the whole campus - dining hall, gym, dorms, classrooms, you name it. I think that this played a large part in why I chose both of the colleges that I did. As far as making the most of your college experience, I would just suggest moderation. Make sure to study, but make sure to take breaks. Join groups, go out to lunch, then go back to the computer lab. Make sure that you will never look back at this time and hate what happened during these years - you should love your life every possible moment.
If I could go back in time and speak to my highschool self I would first tell myself that everything will be okay! Things have a way of working themselves out. I would tell myself to focus on my work because it does matter and you actually need to read the material given in order to succeed. You can have a social life while doing well in school, you don't have to compensate one for the other but be sure you keep your priorities in check because in the end, what you do now will effect you later in life. It is important to branch out and meet new people, especially people from different backgrounds in order to expand your horizens and become cutltured. You'd be amazed at how different yet similar many of the people in the world are. Don't be afriad to try new things and meet new people. Make connections and alwasy be respectful to your professors, they can really help you in future endevors.
There is no doubt in my mind that college for me has and will be the key to becoming a mature adult. All my life I grew up in a small farm town and went to a school with a graduation class of 48 people. Very small! Deciding to go to college to become a Physical Therapist has been the best decision of my life. So far, my first year has helped me gain several skills that I wouldn't have gained anywhere else. The biggest challenge for me was being away from home and out on my own. My small town that I grew up in was very close and so was my family. Now that I've been to college and living on my own I've gained confidence. In life it is essential to have confidence. People without it are less likely to go places in life. I now realize that I am the only one who can control my destiny and that the key to this drive is believing in myself. If I don't believe in myself, then who else will?
I gained a lot of personal growth through my college experience so far. I learned a lot about myself, and the chosen field I want to go into. Working with kids that are picking the same major, leads me to enjoy it so much more than I thought I would. As a male, going into nursing was initally very scary but so far I haven't been scared at all. I've gained a lot of friends and support, and have no doubts about it. I think the college experience I had so far shows that I can become the person I want to be, and not to be afraid of it. I need to go all out for what I want and not be scared. I didn't have a lot of friends in high school, and going through this first semester, I've gained so many friends. I feel like a new, more happy, person and cannot wait for this spring semester to start in only two weeks! It seriously has been the time of my life, and more than I hoped it would have been.
There are so many things that I could tell myself with what I know now and there are many things that people did tell me as a high school senior that I now understand with new meaning. I left high school with lots of friends not realizing how much my life would change in just a few months. My biggest piece of advice would be to not have any expectations about college. Nobody can anticipate the way their lives are about to change or how little changes depending on the college and a persons personality. My second piece of advice would be to go away to college. Go live and experience something new and different. Go live on your own and become an adult. I didn't dorm at my school and that is one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had lived on campus at a college that was at least an hour away from home. You can always come home if it doesn't work out, but at least give yourself the option.
The most important thing I have learned in college is how to deal with the struggles of living on my own. I have had to buy all my textbooks, groceries, and come up with money for daily living expenses. Along with being a full time college student, I am a two sport athlete, and have held a part time work study job. Transferring to D'Youville college this year from a community college, I have had to meet new people in two totally different settings. In the classroom I have learned how to take notes better, how to interatct with others in lab, and have improved my study habits. Outside the classroom I have learned to manage my time, social skills, and how to be a part of a team while not knowing anyone. It is valuable to attend college because you are not only getting an education and degree, but learning everyday life skills that a person needs for the rest of their life.
I would tell myself to take college more seriously the first two years. Also i would have advised myself to apply for more scholarships ahead of time and throughout college. I would tell myself to really get involved in the clubs offered at the school they are super fun and really help you make friends. I would tell myself to be careful; at soccer so that I did not recieve the injury that i did making it extremely difficult to play my last year. I would advise myself to eat better and work on my organization to prevent getting worn out and tired quickly while at school. And finally i would tell myself to really push myself and fill every semester with as many opportunities as i could as far as classes because there are a number of classes that i wish I had taken that are no longer offered. i avoided them to lighten my work load but i could have taken them on in hindsight.
College has been an adventure. I am an older student, married, a full time job and children. This adventure to higher learning has been a balancing act. I love learning new things and going to college has provided me the opportunity to continue to learn and expand my horizons. Over the years there has been highs and lows, crazy nights studing for finals, my son quizzing me for my tests, missing my sons sporting events, and sometimes telling my husband, "Sorry, I have to study", but watching me excell and complete my classes with good grades has shown my children that through hard work and perseverance anything is possible. Education is a high priority in our home and through my actions I have shown myself and my children the value of having a college education. The experience is pricelesss and once earned can never be taken away. It is the key to a better future.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to either jump into college with both feet or not at all. I wish I would have focused more on school when I first attended college out of high school. I see young kids attending college now just barely passing and worried about the party tonight more. If you put yourself to it and work hard studying, your life will be easier than having to go back when you are older. When you attend college as a middle aged adult it is much harder for you to pass your classes due to brain functions (memory) and your life being filled with more distractions such as kids, job, household duties. My advise is to study hard, excel in all your classes, and succeed in granduating college while you are young and you will have the rest of your life to have fun and an education to go along with it.
I was nervous about attending a community college. I thought that the academics would not messure up to those at the four year universities in my area. I have found that my classes are just as hard, if not harder, than those offered at the four year universities. The teachers are excellent, and grades are earned, not given. I feel as if my community college has prepared me for the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) just as well, if not better, than any other college I could have attended. The best part about my community college is that I have never had a class with more than 40 students in it at a time. The one-on-one student/teacher interaction is more than I could have asked for. The facilities that my college has may not be the same size as the universities in my area, but the learning that takes place inside of our facilities is much greater.