Parents, as well as students, should not become enamored with college rankings, as they only compare certain aspects of the school. It is important to find a school that is a match with you and your career goals. Do plenty of research about anything that may interest you outside of class: internships on and off campus, volunteer opportunities, potential research opportunities, etc. Finding things to do outside of class is vital towards providing a balance to studying. Look up special academic programs that may help fulfill your goals. Educate yourself about the schools as much as you can, as this will allow you to make a more informed decision when it is time to send in your deposit. In addition, visit the school while it is in session. Schedule an official tour! Speak to as many students as you can about academics and student life so you have adequate information to imagine yourself as a student at the school. This helps you to envision not only what to expect from the college you could be living on, but also the type of individuals that you will be working alongside and collaborating with for the next few years of your life.
The best advice is to search yourself first. What are you looking for academically? Private schools are more academically strenuous but often offer more resources/finances while public schools generally offer more free time for fun. What kind of people do you want to be around? Each campus has a unique feel: diverse, sports oriented, academically focused, party animals etc. Choosing a student body will determine if you go to football games, the theatre, the library or into the city on a Saturday afternoon. What do you want out of your location: sunny weather, family nearby, a coastline, a big city, the capital, the mountains? Do you want to know everyone on campus or is it ?the more the merrier?? Find out what kinds of activities the school offers. TALK TO CURRENT STUDENTS!!!!!! Do they find students and faculty active or apathetic? Intelligent or underachieving? Friendly or cliquish? WHEN you visit, ask students about the best and worst things about life as a student there. Lastly, take a deep breath. THIS IS EXCITING! Don?t stress out. Enjoy the process : ) When you get there, try EVERYTHING you ever wanted to try before you leave!
I have acquired a true sense of purpose, growth and direction from attending Oxford College of Emory University. Such a cultivation of my interests and encouragement to pursue my dreams is what makes my education at Emory not only valuable, but priceless. After graduation, my high school classmates were full of great expectations for fulfilling our dreams. However, I’ve noticed a striking difference in our college experiences when we reunite over breaks. This difference is that many of my friends from high school aren’t at colleges that make them feel that going to college is actually worth their time and money. Of course some of this anxiety is normal, because we are all eager to “get our hands dirty” with practical, real life experience rather than simply reading about it. Yet, I have never questioned why I am in college like my friends. I know that with every quiz, paper, and reading assignment, I am getting closer to fulfilling my dream of making a difference in the world through politics. My college education is valuable, because it has taught me that as long as I work hard, my dreams don’t have to loose grandeur in coming true.
Not until recently, after thinking of the most important pieces of advice, did I come to the realization that giving insight to myself of college’s forthcomings would have ruined the exciting wonder of the unknown. Attending a university is a huge learning experience and some of them may be unfavorable. I can honestly mention that I am comfortable with all occurrences thus far in my college experience. I believe that both positive attributes and negative ones contribute to a successful college experience. If I had not gotten a less than desired grade on my first African American Studies argumentative paper, I would not have displayed as much appreciation after months of “trial and error” when receiving my first A. Also, say I had not gotten off at the wrong MARTA train station, I would have missed out on a rather unique journey exploring the night life in the city of Atlanta with my friends. I hope as a senior I would remember that college is what I have deemed the “Kingdom of Trial and Error”: it is best to be open minded in general but cautious when making decisions, especially important ones, and to accept what is destined.
I have gained knowledge. Knowledge of academics, varying cultures, and even life itself. Emory is a rigorous academic institution that has a wide range of opportunities for its students to excel. I greatly value the time and efforts that the professors put into teaching both inside and outside the classroom. When I look back at my first semester of college, I ama amzed at the amount of information that the professors were able to teach their students in a short amount of time. Furthermore, the students are able to express and take pride in their culture as well as being able to experience the festivals and/or the religious ceremonies of a great variety of cultures. For example, at Emory, the Indian Cultural Exchange group organized a Diwali festival including food, dance performances, and even fireworks. Finally, college has taught me the value of money and the difficulty of a job. Through federal work study, I have been able to work and experience a little bit of what work life is as I have never held a job before. To summarize, college has been a very valuable experience in which I have gained more knowledge than I expected.
Do not walk with your head elevated, suspended over a crowd of those you consider lesser than you. Drop your hubris at home and make it a habit to engage with everyone who is a part of the student body, no matter his or her grade level. Having cordial social skills is a requisite to success in university, and if you enter university with your nose in the air and the conviction that you're at the top of the food chain, you will never be a desired member of any student society, lecture or discussion class. Learn to have faith in the qualifications of your teachers; do not get stuck in the mindset that teachers are merely supplements to textbooks, or that more information can be gleaned by reading a paragraph than having a discussion with your teacher. The lecturers at university are there because they have a professed interest in their field, so go to their office during contact hours and engage them in a discussion after class. Admittedly, not all lecturers will connect with the subject that they’re teaching, but regardless, do not make textbooks your sole source of information: seek out knowledge from your professors.
Finding the right college can be a daunting task, and with all the options out there it?s really difficult to know where to start. It is important to find a college that fits your personality. College is like dating. You can always see yourself working well with someone, but its not until you meet "the one" that you realize you have found the person for you. Searching for college mirrors the same process. There are a lot of universities that would be a good fit. However, its not until you discover the immediate comfort and energy of a university that you know you've found the place for you. Start off by looking at the basics. Is it academically challenging? Does the college offer what you are interested in? What is the social atmosphere? Do you get the sense that the college is working to improve and advance in its fields of specialty? Once you have narrowed down the list go and visit. There's no better way to get a feel for a school than by sitting in on classes and soaking up the extra-curricular atmosphere. Don't be unsure of your choices...be excited to dive into your college experience, wherever that may be.
When going on college tours, take the time to recognize the small differences between colleges. After a while, they can all blend together into an impressive collegiate mass of clubs, dorms, meal plans, and classes. However, very small traits of a school can make it perfect for an individual student. Ask your tour guide difficult questions (a challenge would probably make their day more exciting), and critically consider their answers. They are trying to sell you their school, so be aware that they will put a positive spin on anything they say. While thinking about colleges, it is sometimes difficult to know what you want or what would be that "perfect fit." Think about what you liked and did not like about your high school. How important are sports to you? School spirit? A strong reputation? People will ask you for a long time where you went to college, and how much you enjoyed it. Take the time to be confident that for years to come, you will be able to proudly wear your school sweatshirt and say, "Isn't it obvious?" and, "It was the best four years of my life." Remember, college is really all about you.
The most important thing I would tell a myself as a high-school senior is not to limit myself by applying to only one school. Although I applied Early Decision to Emory University, was accepted, and am thrilled to be at Emory, I always wonder about where else I could've gotten into and what it would've been like going elsewhere. I think its important to apply to a multitude of schools so that you not only have financial options, but truly find the school that suits you best. Additionally, I would tell any high school senior to go into college with an open mind. College is definitely a time of self-discovery; you might going into it thinking one way, however; you will always leave thinking differently. Not only do you learn a tremendous amount in the classroom, but you learn a lot about social interaction and relationships. I have learned the importance of pursuing what I truly care about and maintaining strong, intimate relationships, two things that were difficult to grasp in high school. The transition from high school to college can be easy or difficult; you just need to prepare yourself for it.
The transition to college is crucial to becoming a full-fledged college student and if not done well, it could affect your first year college experience as well as your future career. As a graduated high school senior, I felt like I could conquer the world and assimilate to college life easily, especially because I was going to school in-state and my parents as well as many high school friends were relatively close. I was completely wrong to think my life would not change dramatically so the most important piece of advice I could give is to not only expect everything to change, but also to let go of your old life. As a college student, you'll have different teachers, friends, and a different living space. As this is accepted, the transition to college life becomes so much easier. However, stay true to yourself, meaning do not trade your values and morals for anything, which can be tempting when you see yourself alone. The truth is, the other first year students are as scared as you and chances are, you will find a group that share the same interests as you. Obstacles are better tackled as a team.