FInd the one that you like and make sure you agree with the school's philosophy. You have got to do this because the school's philosophy will be pushed on you for all four years, and you dont want to have to fight something for four years. Make sure it is the right distance away/close to home. To make the most of your get involved with groups, sports, clubs and other things on campus, you will have lots of fun. remember to meet people and make friends, you will remember these people for the rest of your life, they will become closer to you than your high school friends. And most of all just have fun, don't get stressed about things it will just make it harder.
I would say that visiting the college is the most important part. I know as soon as I visited the school I currently attend, I knew that was where I was supposed to be. It clicked, and I knew it was the right place to be. Everything else clicked into place. Regarding making the most of the experience, all I can say is get involved. Whether it be varsity sports, clubs, intramural sports, musical groups, or any other organization go for it. You will meet amazing people, and have the most memorable experiences of your lifetime, guaranteed. You will love whichever college you pick, because you create the experience, your school does not dictate this.
I would tell myself to work hard at academics, but not to stress too much about it. I would tell myself to pick a few organizations on campus that I could get passionate about and stay dedicated to them. I would tell myself to try and make a lot of friends from different groups around campus, but once there is a solid foundation, stay and cultivate those friendships instead of just trying to make more and more friends. I would tell myself to be as open and friendly as possible to the people around me. I would tell myself to become a math major instead of a business major, that way I wouldn't have wasted my freshman year on business classes.
Make sure to pick a school with all majors you might be interested in; lots of students change majors during college. Make a list of the top most important things you want in a college before you begin the search; be sure to consult this list everytime a school comes up. use the princeton review website and college search, it was really helpful. Once you get to school, no matter what, determine to have a positive attitude about your college. Determine to make friends, go to all the freshman activities and enjoy them, try things you've never tried before, be friends with people outside of your major, work hard at your studies, have fun!
The most important thing I gained from my college experience is self respect. I never considered myself smart before or even really all that educated. Going to college has changed that. I now have a 3.5 GPA and am very knowlegable in all sorts of different subjects. It feels good. I have learned so many knew and interesting things. Things I never even thought I would be interested in. School has inspired me to learn as much as I can. I believe college is a very important experience and definatly worth attending. Attending college has given me self respect, a new insight to the world, and tons of new interests to go along with it.
As our country heads into harder times and people are beginning to pinch their pennies, it becomes very clear that price tags do not necessarily reflect quality. Before getting set on a certain option, make sure that you know what you're doing this for. For students who want to get anywhere, the time for just going to college for the sake of going and having fun are over. Sure, there will be certain students who will do well despite their social life, but college shouldn't be based on the social aspect. It's been built up that way to the incredible disadvantage of our student base.
Don't feel pressured in to picking a major right away. I went in to college with a major in place already. Now, looking back on it, I wish I had taken a broader range of classes and my major may have changed. Also, there are lots of schools out there and the perfect fit for one person could be the worst place for another. If you begin school at one place, but are not happy, there is no shame in switching schools. Go where you'll be happy and learn the most. That is what will best prepare you for your future. College is a great time of life, so don't spend it being miserable.
It all depends on what experience the child is trying to gain from college. Obviously, I am more focused on my education and becoming a more well rounded human being. That is why I chose Grove City College. I am also blessed because it is a Christian College and that has deepened my faith tremendously in addition to my academics. If the child is looking for a party school, obviously Grove City isn't it, but it really all comes down to what school the child feels he or she most fits in.
I would suggest tapeaking with current students at the college to see if your personality will fit in with the population. Remember that tests and finals are a different expeience in college than in highschool-- begin studying before the night before the test. Remember that, although it is important to get good grades, it's just as important to have a good time. Make friends that will encourage you both academically and socially so that you can have a balanced and awesome experience.
I have gotten so much out of my college experience so far! Grove City has amazing academics, it is a great Christian environment, a very safe campus and very affordable. The academics are challenging but I learned a lot just in my first year. I have had the opportunity to play varsity and intramural sports, participate in ministries, and make many wonderful friends. I highly recommend Grove City to anyone looking for a good Christian school with a good academic reputation.