I would tell the high school senior version of myself to be more relaxed about the process. With such obstacles to face as time management and harder classes, as well as the social aspect of meeting new people everyday, the experience seems quite nerve wracking as you go into it. But having already gone through all of that, I would tell myself not to panic or stress and just try my best and work hard. Things have gone extremely well for me after making the huge adjustment to college life and I would explain that to myself then, as I recall being terribly worried all summer about it. I would also encourage myself to be more open with people around me during the process. I found after a little while that talking to other students and faculty made life a lot easier. Students are all pretty much going through the same thing and that is a very important thing to know: you are never alone. People, especially advisors, are very understanding about the difficulties of adjusting to a radically different lifestyle and workload unlike anything we'd ever faced ibefore. Talking to others made a large difference in my experience.
To truly make the most of you college experience, you need to be organized and set boundries for yourself. It is very important to remember that you are at school to get an education. As alluring as facebook is, do not waste your whole day looking at pictures and bumperstickers. If you stay on top of your work during the week; you have plenty of time to go out and have fun on the weekends. Furthermore, you should try to get involved in extracurriculars on campus. They help you meet new people and develope skills that future employers will be looking for. I personally am very involved in two organizations on campus. If you can stay on top of your work, extracurriculars do not hinder your GPA. If you do find yourself to struggling in class, talk to your professor. Even if you do not find their help usefull, it still shows you are invested in the class. One last word of advice- be kind to your roommate. Even if you are two completely different people and cannot stand each other, be nice and respectful because at the end of the day they still have a key to your room.
Parents, students, it is imperative that you take into account your financial situation while, at the same time, seeking the best education that you can afford. As regards to the college experience, I suggest that you do stay on campus if possible for the first year or so. Nothing can relate to such an experience when one is one his or her own and making friends. It can really be a great way to open your eyes to the world and to interact with a variety of different and wonderful people from all over God's green earth. It also helps one to re-evaluate his or herself. This has proven true with my own experience and is something I'll never forget; in being of a unique breed (Qu?b?cois), I have had the chance to mingle with people much different than myself and even came across some who share a common ancestry. Do not, by any means, feel obligated or compelled to go out on Thursday nights or weekends, as can often be the main talk around campus. Be an individual/yourself and you will profit more than you think any alcohol-related social gathering can promise.
If I could go back, I would give myself four key pieces of advice. First, I would tell myself to step out of my comfort zone more in those first weeks of school to better meet people. Second, I would encourage myself to go to more of the campus-sponsored events such as the dances, dinner on the town, and bingo. Both of those pieces of advice would have helped me to meet more people and get more invoved on campus. The third piece of advice would be to buy a hat and a good pair of winter boots. I was not prepared for winter in Cleveland, so this piece would have helped me to keep my feet dry before all the stores were sold out of boots. Finally, while the written roommate agreement is essential for ensuring a good roommate relationship, I would tell myself NOT to include my aversion to “manufactured cheese smells” in the agreement. This piece would have saved me much ridicule and good-natured teasing in the long run. All-in-all, while my transition to college was not a bad one, these pieces of advice would have improved those first months of college.
I would give myself the advice: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! I was recruited for the honors program after my freshman year at JCU. After getting over the stereotype of "bookworms, nerds, etc" I enrolled in the program, and it was the best thing that happened to me during my college career! It challenged me in ways I had never imagined and I gained not only a tremendous education, but the personal confidence that the knowledge I have can never be taken away from me. Know that your education teaches you to creative problem-solve & you will be able turn the status quo upside down. As a young working professional I now desperately crave the challenge of graduate school. I know that it will give me the power to become a leader in the workforce, and gain more power to steer my career path. The more education you have, the more power you have to control your own destiny and the opportunity to help others. Lastly, you can lose your friends, your family, your home, or your money but the one gift you will have no one can ever take from you is your EDUCATION!
I would tell parents and future students to stick to their instincts about a school. You can usually tell how well you will like a college by the people that you meet while visiting. Make sure to ask lots of questions and to get a good sense of what the school is like. It is also helpful to match up as best you can the right size, academic, athletic and extra curricular activities with your own needs and wants. If you can sit in on a typical class, to get a feel for the classroom. Meet any coaches that you may play for in the future and ask them how their players fit sports and studies into their schedules. Anothers important factor is location of the school. I would suggest keeping the distance from home, close enough that you could go home if you wanted to or get away when you need to. The environment around the school is important, make sure you appreciate the scenery because you will be spending the next four years of your life there. My last words of advice is that when you do get into a school, remember what a huge accomlpishment this is.
My college experience taught me how to be more independent and to find out things by myself. Throughout my high school schooling I have always had my parents are my sisters so going to college gave me the chance to find out what I could do on my own. I have also learned how to better my time management skills which helps with juggling extracurriculars, a job, classes, and homework. Responsibility is another big quality that I got out of my college experience because I have to keep job and get certain paperwork in for my programming board position. Throughout highschool the advisors usually walked you step for step but in college it is your job so you have to do it yourself. Living on campus has helped me live in a community with people I have never met before. I have made some really good friends that will probably stay friends after college. Finding a strong group of people that will help me whenever I need it or someone to just laugh with during stressful times is a great thing that makes the college experience well worth it.
I have always pushed myself even harder than my parents push me to do my absolute best in school. If I had the opportunity to give myself advice, I would remind myself that college is where one goes to school because one wants to further their education, not because they are required to go. Instead of stressing out about the differences between high school and college, I would encourage myself to look at how similar they will be for me. Because I was always my own motivation in high school, college will not be such a huge transition. I also know that college is a lot more competitive than high school, because everyone has their own desire to be there. Therefore, I would encourage myself to simply do my best, not compare myself to other students, and keep in mind that I should do all that I do for my own benefit. There is no point in wishing I had done what anyone else has done because they are in a different situation. I am very proud of all I have accomplished, and I would not change anything that I have done to make it to this point.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would say these 3 things: Make sure you figure out financial aid awards first while choosing a school, make sure you know what you want to study is a good choice to transition into a lifestyle, and get involved - start your own club. With these three things in mind I would be able to choose a school that would have both excellence in academia as well as financial aid award benefits that match estimated need. Choosing what I would want to study and seeing myself in that future tense I would know where and with whom I'd like to associate with and create a change in that field instead of floating around for 2 years until you have to declare a major. I would do more soul searching and take interactive tests to find out my strong points before hand. Lastly I would start my own club with something I love and that the school may not have, like chess. Chess teaches the art of strategy and that what you do with your time is important. If you put effort in you get results.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD TELL MYSELF. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO DO YOUR ASSIGNMENTS WHATEVER THEY MAY BE BECAUSE YOU WILL REGRET IT. I HAVE SEEN MANY STUDENTS REGRET PUTTING IT OFF AND THEN HAVE TO SCRAMBLE TO GET THE WORK DONE. I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. TIME IS ANOTHER BIG ISSUE. LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WITHOUT OVERDOING IT BECAUSE IT REALLY HELPS CUT BACK ON YOUR STRESS LEVELS AND KEEPS YOUR MIND WORKING PROPERLY. STUDYING IS ANOTHER BIGGIE. BE SURE TO STUDY 110% OF THE TIME WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN CLASS, BUT THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS STUDY THE MATERIAL JUST LEARNED RIGHT AFTER CLASS BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT BY DOING THIS, STUDENTS RETAIN MORE INFORMATION THIS WAY...I LEARNED THIS IN MY INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY COURSE. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!!!! BELIEVE ME THE PROFESSORS ARE NOT JUST GOING TO GIVE YOU AN "A", YOU HAVE TO EARN IT AND IT TAKES QUITE A BIT OF WORK YO DO SO, SO DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED AND WHEN YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO EXTRA CREDIT GO FOR IT!