Choosing the right college and knowing how to make the most of the opportunity is an extremely important life decision. The best advice I am able to give is to visit several campuses. Take a scheduled tour and a non-scheduled tour in order to observe campus life. Talk with students on campus for a more accurate opinion of the school's professors, programs, facilities, food, and activities. Definitely choose a college that you believe will meet your academic needs, but do not neglect observing the sense of community amongst the professors, employees, and students. Also, talk with the employees of the business and registrar?s office if possible. These people are very important and can either be a headache or helpful. This was very important for me because the first day seemed to set the tone for the rest of the semester and any opportunity to avoid added stress is always appreciated. People will greatly influence your college experience. In order to make the most of the opportunity, get involved with the school and the surrounding community. The relationships you build and the impact you make on others, while studying at any university, will be critical to your success.
The advice that I would like to give to students about finding the right college is to first learn about yourself, and know what it is that motivates you as a student and also what causes you distraction. With that knowledge I would then encourage you to look at schools that give you the chance to learn academically, while also having the resources to provide social and fun distractions periodically, to help enhance all aspects of your life both as a scholar, and as a citizen of the world. As a parent who perhaps knows their child better than most, my advice about finding the right college is to first look at your child with as much objectivity as possible; as someone who has knowledge about the personality of their son/daughter you can advocate schools that set them up for success rather then failure. And to help them to make the most out of their college experience I encourage all parents to gradually pull back and let your child learn how to stand on their own. This I believe will be the final tool needed for your child to do well in college and in life.
I would have most likely told myself that the amount of studying and time that you are putting into your classes right now will not be good enough for college. You need to prepare yourself more by studying frequently instead of just the night before. It is important that you do not make the mistake of not taking your first year of college seriously and you need to do good in all of your classes to obtain a high GPA, even the classes that you dislike. I would suggest that I take a couple summer courses at a University so that I have a little bit easier time with the transition. It is very important to learn good time management because it will be very difficult to juggle varsity soccer with coursework and you need to not save all of your homework till the night before it is due. It is important to have a social life but do not go overboard and limit yourself to the amount of late night parties and dances. The education that you will be recieving will effect your future so everytime you are planning on doing something, ask yourself, "is it worth it?"
I would definately have worked harder to improve my GPA and try to become well rounded with my school work. I attended a community college and was not offered a lot of help with simple questions as well as instructor availablity and tutors. My GPA graduating from the community college was a 2.3. I was accepted by King College on certain terms and conditions. Two semesters at King College and my GPA is now a 3.9. I beat myself up every day for not treating my course work the ways I do now. Although I am a first generation college student, I should have tried to reach other further to those who had attended college to help guide me through college. I realy did not enjoy college until I enrolled at King College. The instructors and faculty have truely helped get me to where I am today. As a high school senior in 2004, I would have advised myself to pick and choose colleges wisely. Not only with my college choices, but as well as advising myself to stay in the books and it will pay off in the long run. There is hope.
I would tell myself that friendships don't always last forever. High school friends are your friends mainly because you see them pratically everyday. But when the time comes for you to go to college and you end up 100's of miles away from those friends it's very unlikely that those strong relationships will last. You will move on and so will they. This doesn't mean that they completly have to leave your life. You'll hear from them occasionally especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas. But losing their intense friendship allows you to have new people enter your life. Accept new friends and make new memories. You'll always have your high school friends but this new part of your life with new friends will shape you into who you become.
I would not have listened to my guidance councilor when he said I didn?t need college and didn?t have the grades to get in. I would have found a way to pay for the schools I did get accepted to. I would have asked about scholarships and loans rather than thinking I had to pay as I went. I would have continued my on line classed when they were only 2 or 3 hundred dollars a class rather than the full rate of today. I would have made it more of a priority and not had children until after I had an education. I would look for a mentor, someone who would encourage me and support me in getting an education. This was a long time ago, but not being educated had been an issue for me all my life.
Grades really matter. You might think that it is your senior year and you just have to do what you have to do to get by. That is not true. When it comes down to it, you will be cramming in the knowledge to make an "A" on your next test because you are .10 points away from graduating with honors. When you go to college, you will be nervous. Don't be! It's an amazing experience and you will truly love it. Enjoy every minute of it. The friends you make in college are lifetime friends and those friends you thought you knew in high school, you really don't know. Take every second for what it's worth. Study. Sleep. Make new friends. But most importantly, cherish your college years.
Don't let money be an issue for going to the college of your choice, most financial aid departments will help you find the scholarships that you will need to attend their school. You will be there for years and it's important to be happy where you go to school because it influences how hard you work. Meet the professors in your field before committing because you'll be spending a lot of time with them, if you don't hit it off or if they don't take the time to meet you, it's an indicator of what's to come when you're in their classes. The professors that you have will be guiding you to achieve your dreams, don't choose someone who is not interested in you and your plans.
I would tell myself not to care so much of what people will think about me and just be more open to meeting new people. It really does not matter how hard you try to make friends senior year because next year those relationships will be totally different. It's good to keep in contact but evenually not seeing someone everyday will cause you to forget them because you were only friends because you had a class together. I would also tell myself not to stress out about not seeing these people anymore because in college you will meet the person who will ultimate be the best friend you will ever have.
Get everything turned in early. I am currently scrambling to get enough scholarship money to return to my education. If you wait too long to get your scholarships and financial aid turned in, it will be difficult to impossible to get enough money so that you don't have to get a loan. Also, if you can, live on campus. I live at home and I can't tell you how many activities I've missed out on because of it. It isn't bad to live at home, but if you've gone home for the day, you don't feel like coming back after class to do things.