Decisions are the hardest thing to make, and this just happens to be one of the biggest ones of your life. It will change you completely, and you will not realize just how much it has until the very end. Everything you thought you knew will crumble; you will realize how much there is to learn, and how much the rest of your life relied on This. Single. Decision. Through all the stressors about choosing the right school - you will. The decision process is miserable but devoted pros and cons lists will work. Consider what size of school you need, make sure you pick one that requires an internship - or at least do one, remember that every other freshman went through the same process you did, and learn to make ramen (boil water). This time, breathe. Realize that goals are made through thoughts, but reality is made through action. You cannot fix every problem in the world, but you can fix the ones you find most important to you. As long as you have an open mind, clean your dishes, and balance social life with school work (time management is key) you will have the best four years. Ever. Guaranteed.
I wish I had the chance to go back in time and speak to myself as a high school senior. I remember I was apprehensive about attending community college before transferring to Longwood University. Jealousy consumed me as I watched my peers brag about what colleges they would attend that next year. I had a high enough GPA to attend most colleges, but a four-year university was not in the budget. Transferring seemed my only option, but I was ashamed to tell others I was going to community college. Now, after having attended community college for a year and transferring to Longwood, I see that I am a stronger person because of my experience. Community college served as a stepping stool in my transition from a high school student to a college student. I was able to experience the more rigorous classes, while holding a job and still living at home. It was a character building experience, and I learned a lot about myself during that year that I had dreaded as a senior. If I could go back, I would tell myself to be confident of my choices for my future, and not worry about what others thought.
What admissions counselors always tell you about finding the school that is the "right fit" is absolutely true. If you don't feel comfortable on the campus of a school, than you're in the wrong place. Once you find the right campus, get involved, but not too involved. Two organizations is safe number of things to get involved in early on and maintain a good bearing of your academics. Come to school with an open mind and a strong understanding of your beliefs and practices and be ready to encouter people who think in polar opposites of you. Don't get offendend when people disagree, but use the opportunity to learn. Volunteer whenever you can, before and after college. There's so many people that could use your help and gifts, so use them wisely and often. Use every moment to learn. Four years is gone in a second and every missed opporunity to learn is a missed opportunity to mature and grow as a person. Listen to people intently and think before you speak. Also, be ready for the greatest amount of stress you will have encountered up to this point in your life. Use a planner, always!
I believe that parents and the prospecting students have to take in consideration of what type of majors the students wants to achieve at and what kind of environment is best suited for students such as learning or phyisical disablities and city or rural environments. The students should have an idea of a major, it will aid them on deciding on a college for their major instead of having to transfer later. Personally, I had choose more large campus than smaller campus because I wanted to live in the city life and just have a fun time during college. But the larger campuses had over a hundred students per classroom and I wasn't used to the idea of so many students in classroom and the professor not knowning who I was if I needed help. So I applied to those smaller colleges and was accepted to both schools, I decided to attend the college that had more security measures and social life than the other school. Though my college has a social life on week days and some weekends, I feel that I chose the right college for academic acheivements and my college experience has be amazing.
From my own college experience, I would tell prospective students and their parents three things. First, I would tell them to look into what clubs and organizations are offered on a particular campus. Getting plugged into a strong club or organization from the beginning is very beneficial and important. So many students think the only way to have fun is to drink and party with their friends. I, however, have never partied or drank with any of my friends, and I have numerous unforgettable memories. My second piece of advice would be to look into getting a good advisor. When it comes to academic success, it is important to have a strong advisor that can help you get things done and keep you on track. I am currently with a second advisor, and this one is still not up to par for me. In other words, having a poor advisor can prove to be extremely stressful and chaotic. And thirdly, I would tell them to pay a small bit of attention to the student population size. Some enjoy smaller colleges, while others would rather have large student bodies. This can also make a big difference.
First, make a list - write down anything and everything that you have ever wanted out of your once-in-a-lifetime shot at college, as well as your life after college. Perhaps you want to take up sailing, you?d like to tailgate before an NCAA football game, or you could want to smash atoms in a particle accelerator. You could aim to be a corporate executive on Wall Street, or maybe just a kindergarten teacher. This is one point in your life where you have immense control of your own future, so put some time into it and be honest with yourself. Next, get some early practice for university-level study and research colleges like crazy. Chisel away universities until you have about a handful left, and visit as many of those as you can. Sure, go on the university-sponsored campus tours, but go out of your way to talk to students. Ask them what they really think of the dining hall, what classes are like, and what they?re doing for fun on weekends. Finally, compare your top choices and seal the deal. Once you?re at college, it?s all about making your dreams come true.
If you know what you want to major in locating the perfect college is easy. However, if you're not sure what you want to do with your life look for a school that has a large variety of majors. Also, consider what size school would best fit you. During your freshman year utilize your general education requirements to help you find what you want to major in. If after your first semester you feel like the college you choose isn't right for you, transfer. There's nothing wrong with transferring, you just need to do it ASAP in order to graduate in 4 years. Most colleges will accept your lower level credits, but once you start taking upper level courses they'll be harder to transfer. Whether in a small town or big city, many students complain that there is nothing to do. Activities are not going to magically appear, you have to make an effort to look for them. Your college and surrounding town are eager for you to participate in a variety of activities that are free or in-expensive. Always be on the look out for fliers or ads in the local or school newspaper.
The advice that I would give prespective students is to find that place that you really feel at home. Go on campus tours of places that you are applying to attend and walk around,hear what they college representatives have to say, ask questions and just see if you feel comfortable. I will never forget the first time I came with my dad to visit Longwood. The campus was so beautiful, and I just felt like I had already been there for years. Once I got to Longwood I instantly got involved with Student Government and became the Vice President of my class. This really helped me to adjust to college life, and meet new people outside of my hall. That is the other piece of advice that I would give, to get involved and meet alot of different types of people. Since Longwood is a small campus it is important for students to become involved in something, whether it be a club, intermural sports team or greek organization it's a must. This way you can make your mark, and have longwood feel more like home than a college. That's what Longwood is to me, it's home.
If I could go back with the knowledge I know have, I would encourage all of the students in high school to really work hard and get the help they need. By working hard and receiving a high GPA, there are many more options available in schools and scholarships. Taking duel enrollment and AP classes are also very important. Duel-enrollment allow for students to virtually begin collage while in high school. The only difference is the school doesn’t charge students the prices of college students. By starting early on in high school and taking those classes this prepares the students for their future and will be able to take a variety of college courses when they move on to higher education (or students can possibly graduate early). Preparing while in high school for the many possibilities of ones future is the best advise I can give. It is so incredibly important to have a strong foundation from high school that will continue on through the many years of college. Having a strong academic work ethic is important and can lead to ones success.
The main things that I would tell myself, as a high school senior, are that to make better choices when applying for colleges. Although I am currently enrolled at Longwood University, I feel that I made a mistake in my decision of coming to this school. I don't really fit in and I wish I had done more research when applying to schools. I have now applied to five other transfer schools that fit my personality and would be able to encompass my lifestyle, likes, and dislikes, which is something that I was not able to understand when I was a senior in high school. I feel that I began giving up on school work and caused myself to get way too stressed out way too easily. I now know how to manage my time and my stress, which is something I was not able to do back then. It's important to keep your friends circle close during that year, as well, and I started pushing mine away because I thought I would never talk to them. Innovations in technology are bringing people closer together and that's something that I have learned and have now embraced.