As you begin to look for colleges actively consider all criteria - don't rule out an institution simply because you do not think it is perfect right now. Remember, you will grow and change through the collegiate journey. Consider attending a school away from home. This will help to provide you with many new experiences and will help broaden your horizons. Make an effort to become actively involved in campus activities. Many individuals who are dissatisfied with their college experience never truly took advantage of all of the opportunities made available. Choose your major wisely. Find out what career opportunities are available for the major. Consider double-majoring in complementary fields, especially if one of the majors that interests you is somewhat limited in career opportunities. Take advantage of the time your professors set aside to meet with you, especially if you are struggling in a particular course. Always prepare yourself to grow and expand, and look for opportunities that will help to stretch you. Do not "settle in" and coast your way through school. Graduating early is not always the best option. You may save a littl emoney, but you will lose invaluable experiences.
Most students stress about finding the perfect college. Unfortuneately the perfect college does not exist. Every student has their own opinions about what makes it perfect. The advice I gave to my brother while he was looking for schools was to find a school with options. Options on different majors that were of interest to him, of activities and oppourtunites, of internship and career placements, and options for social networks. Most college students change their mind about their major and end up at a school that no long reflects their goals. So finding a school that has a few strong departments they are interested in is key to staying happy with their choice. Once the carloads of belongings are unloaded from the car and tearful goodbyes have ended it is crucial for students to get involved. Belonging to the commnity in a purposeful way gets students connected with one another and brings a sense of pride for their school. Students should contribute to the school to which they are receiving their education from. Getting involved in activities introduces students to people from different walks of life who can open their eyes to a world they were never aware of before.
It is best to know what it is that one is looking for when searching for the appropriate college or university to further one?s academic studies. An informed decision is imperative. While the vast majority of undergraduate schools are suitable for continuing one?s education or entering into the workforce, one size does not fit all. The advice carved centuries ago on the gates to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi is still meaningful today. ?Nosce te ipsum.? In English, this reads ?know thyself.? Comparing one?s unique interests with the qualities of prospective colleges can help to determine the best choice. Major areas to consider include: academic rigor, resources, size, location, job availability, social environment, and other personal preferences. Making the most of the one?s college years is not necessarily completing a checklist of experiences, social encounters, and cultural norms. Even if such a list were available for completing, the result might be less than satisfactory. It?s important to remember that it is not the obligation of the school to provide the proverbial ?college experience,? but rather the student?s prerogative.
My four years at Eastern University helped me become a better person, not just an educated one. The faculty, staff, and students at Eastern are concerned with developing the whole person into someone who is actively pursuing his/her passions through family, work, and community involvement. I was surrounded by people who pushed me to expand my horizons, not so I would agree with them, but so I would understand my perspective, my purpose, and my life to my utmost capacity. Through my college experience I didn't just gain knowledge, I became wiser. I grew in my ability to ask questions, think deeply, solve problems, counsel others, and give generously. I developed deeply-rooted friendships with people who I would be beyond proud to even call an acquaintance. I'm not just impressed with the ambitions, potential, and accomplishments of my classmates and friends; I'm amazed by their depth and character, too. I could say that Eastern provided me with the best four years of my life, but it gave me more than that. The time I spent and people there gave me the tools and courage to continually search for and create life's best experiences.
There are many factors to consider when searching for the "perfect" college. In fact, many people tend to forget just how many there are. It is not just Ivy league vs. Non-Ivy league or Expensive vs. Inexpensive. After choosing the specific type of college you want to go to, you must then narrow down the hundreds of college that fit that same criteria. This decision must not made in haste, but diligently thought about. Entering a college is much like entering a relationship. It can't be one-sided , you must like the college and the college must like you. The college you choose must cultivate YOUR talents and abilities. If the college is unable to, this is not the college for you. This is why we should accept a rejection letter with thanksgiving! It just prevented you from entering a terrible relationship. When you finally meet the right one or find the perfect match, your college experience will undoubtedly be the best ever. Of course there will be the unwanted visits to the student accounts office and extremely hard exams; But these will also be the greatest times as well. Absorb all you can and grow! Good Luck
Now that I've been out of high school for almost three years, I've gained some wisdom about college life that I wish I would've known when I first entered my university as a freshman. First, I would encourage myself to join a few clubs/organizations right away. It took me a few semesters to become involved in groups with purposes I care about (such as the environmental group, gender equality group, and an underground student news publication). In these groups, I've made deep friendships and expanded my views of important issues in the world. Also, I would remind myself that it's not embarassingto utilize the academic support center on campus. At first, I felt like tutoring/writing services were only for those with learning disabilities. Now, I realize that almost any student who seeks to better understand a subject or improve their writing can benefit from the university's services. Finally, I would tell myself to get off campus more often: learn to use public transit and experience cultural activities in the city. I think those activities would have enhanced my education and helped me develop my independence and creativity.
Picking a college is an incredibly important and life altering choice. It is important to look at all different kinds of schools before making the big decision. If possible, make overnight visits to get a feel for classes and social life at the school. Make sure to take into account financial situations and possible career paths. Don't settle for something if you are not completely happy because college is important and you don't want to be unsatisfied during your time there. Once the college has been chosen, there are many things you can do to make the most of your experience. Take advantage of extra-curricular activities. It is a great way to meet people with similar interests. Time management in college is crucial. You have to balance the time you spend with friends with the time you spend studying. Definitely develop relationships with professors because they have a wealth of knowledge and life experiences to share. Go to class and study hard! You are responsible for yourself in college so don't waste your time. If you end up unhappy, do not be afraid to transfer; you shouldn't have to settle when it comes to college.
The transition from high school to college was by no means perfect for me. But as a college sophomore, acquiring the ability to reach back two years in time to aid my 18-year-old self through my the transition would be frightening. Undoubtedly, there are things that I could have done differently to make the transition less demanding and more straightforward, such as avoiding specific classes, applying for certain university programs, and avoiding certain company. But with a lack of a process of trial and error comes a vacuum where wisdom and experience should otherwise be found. I value the learning process that I went through to arrive where I am today - a more knowledgeable, understanding, sophisticated and mature person. And I'm still experiencing the same process as I press on through my remaining years as an undergraduate student, and ultimately as I advance through the rest of my life. Because of this insight, I would be truly fearful of how I would go about assisting my past self through the transition, as any one learned experience gained is infinitely more valuable than facing an easy process.
My college experience is one that I wouldn't trade for anything. To start, my time at Eastern prepared me for my future career and life paths. I participated in two internships which showed me that my choice of a major in social work was the right one for me. These internships paved the way for my current job working with teenagers in foster care. In addition to my internships I also studied abroad in Spain for a semester, which was not only valuable in improving my Spanish-speaking abilities, but exposed me to diverse cultural experiences and some very interesting and wonderful people (not to mention delicious food!). Another extremely valuable resource that I gleaned from my time at Eastern is a solid network of friends and professional contacts. I still keep in contact with many of my friends from Eastern and lean on them for support, guidance, and comradery. I also stay in touch with several professors with whom I had close relationships, and their guidance to me post-graduation has been invaluable. The experiences, relationships, and career preparation that I gained from Eastern are second to none.
My college experience has its ups and downs. Of course finding jobs that correspond with my degree has been difficult as is the state of the country recently. I am always grateful and value that I had the priveledge of an education, but feel college did not prepare me to deal with the expenses and obligations of a working individual's life. I blame myself for not being completely certain on a plan for my education and sort of "going with the flow" as many college kids do. Now that my aspirations of law school are over, I find myself slightly limited in the job market by having "only" a bachelors in Political Science. My most successful positions I have held have nothing to do with my degree whatsoever and I may very well have been able to obtain them without a degree. So this being said, I believe the value of college lies in working toward a goal and contributing to your future. If I had taken more time, I may have done things differently. Though my plans have changed, I do believe it is the road to begin working toward your passion and excellence in that passion.