Be prepared for transition. For most students there are five phases seen in the first year of college. The first phase deals with a student?s honeymoon. Here students meet new friends and find that they have much more freedom then in high school. This leads to the second phase, the culture shock. This phase deals with students missing their high school friends, becoming homesick and realizing that midterms are coming. Students finally realize that college involves work. The third stage deals with the initial adjustment. Students here, usually in the third month, find their routine. This also coincides with the end of the semester and a sense of accomplishment is felt. The fourth phase deals with mental isolation. Here students find that they may not like their major or just do not like college. This is when most students, usually in the middle of the second semester, find college the most difficult. The final phase is the acceptance stage. The year is almost complete and the student now sees the university as a home. To sum it up, having parents and students recognizing this general outline of transitional issues helps both see that these types of issues are normal.
The best way to find the right college is making sure one finds the college that best fits the student. The student should search for a college that accommodates to his/her personality and study habits. Some students may prefer a small school over a large one, and vice versa. Some students may be able to attend a socially active college and still perform well academically, others may not. Whether a college is affordable is important. Students should apply for as much financial aid as possible; this includes loans, grants, and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are more favorable because they provide money that doesn?t have to be paid back. It?s best that students visit the colleges they?re applying to. Different colleges have different environments, and are located in different environments. Visiting a college will help a student determine which environment is best for them. A student shouldn't choose a college because it?s an ivy-league or ?well-known? university. They also shouldn?t choose one because their high school friends are going there or their parents went there. If a student finds a college that best matches them, they?re more likely to perform well.
College can be a scary place, but if a student finds a college where they are comfortable and have access to support from their classmates and faculty, the college experience can be wonderful. Sometime we tend to stereotype the college experience as long hours at the library or crazy parties at a fraternity. College is so much more than that. The experience should teach a student to grow not only in their knowledge of a subject matter, but as a person. A good college is one that provides a student the oppourtunity to experience new things, learn about other cultures and beliefs, and to explore independence in prepararion for life and a career. . A university that provides safe and enjoyable outlets for a student to separate from their role as a child and learn how to be an adult will be the most successful in encouraging and fostering the growth of a student. The ideal college will be one that best fits the indevidual and provide the environment that a person can identify with and enjoy. To make the most of it, have fun, stay focused, and appreciate the oppourtunities that you have been given to grow as a person.
As a senior in high school I had dreams of going to a large college where class sizes reached one hundred fifty people, planned to be near my friends, and attend school where I could easily recognize a face. Unfortunately my academic scores showed that I needed individual attention in the classroom, because of the needed attention some advice I could give myself then is to let go of the big dream and accept what will benefit my education. When I applied to Marymount Universlity I had only the knowledge that my program was very popular and one of the best in the country. When it came time to choose my roommate I chose blindly and that alone brought many challenges. My roommate from Florida and I from Michigan gave us each different outlooks of society, mine liberal her more conservative. Advice that I would give myself going into this experience is that not everyone has the same tolereance and acceptance for different cultures and beliefs as I do, but it does not mean that their view and opinion is right. I hope that this advice would be taken and projected toward all aspects of transition into college.
How do you find the right college in a sea of potential schools? It is not an easy task. Sometimes a student grows up dreaming of attending a specific university, only to find out when they visit that it was not what they had dreamed of. My advice to parents and students is to take time and visit several schools. It gives the student a chance to envision themselves attending that school. Sometimes just seeing it gives a person the feeling of ?this is it? or ?this is so not it.? Try to attend a class or two on campus in order to experience how the professors teach. If a student feels they cannot adjust to certain teaching methods then that schools is not for them. Once the right school is chosen the fun part begins! To make the most of their college experience, students should learn how to balance their academic life with their social one. It is wise not to take on too much the first semester of college. Time management is the key to a successful college experience. With the proper balance of school and fun college is easily four of the best years of ones life!
I would definitely advise myself to be much more serious about my grades and GPA. When I was a senior in high school, I honestly did not care about my grades or the college I would get into. Then once I applied and got rejected, I started realizing how important all this was. But unfortunately, it was too late! Then decided on going to a 2-year community college, which was a very rewarding experience! Even then I was not too worried about grades and GPA, because I was under the illusion that once you graduate with an associates degree then you would be granted admission to any college of your desire. But I learned it the hard way, that's not always possible. Thankfully I was granted admission to Marymount University. This was a hugh turning point for me. I started paying attention and cared much more about my grades. From a 2.4 GPA, I pulled myself up to a 3.8! I have made a mistake once, maybe twice. But not a third time! I want to do something with my life and be successful, not be a failure. Education is important and should be taken seriously.
Key advice I would give is to do your research. However, you will not know exactly what the campus is like unless you visit it in person. Also, do not count your parents opinions out, they are a bigger help than you expect. When visiting, do an overnighter, or eat lunch in the dining hall. All of these things that you could do while visiting the college, are important to see if this is the right school for you. When you find the right school, both you AND your parents will know it:) While at college, your experience will be more enjoyable if you get involved. It sounds cliche, but it is the truth. Not only does getting involved in an extracurricular activity give you something to do, but it is an easy way to make friends. Getting involved also helps you manage your time more efficiently because it makes you set yourself on a schedule which is crucial. In conclusion, making the right choice of college to attend is undoubtly a difficult one, but when you do your research both on and off the computer, and get involved, there is no way you can go wrong.
I would have advised myself to not to feel obligated or confined to only one major area of interest and to take the time to really think about what suited me best. I started out as chemisry major, then I changed to biochemistry pre-pharmacy track. Aafter graduating in 2008, I know longer wanted to do pharmacy. With the recessation, I tried to find work doing research but was unsuccessful. Consequently, I decided to go back to school to become a registered nurse. It took me two schools and six years to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life and now I'm finding it harder and more frustrating than ever because I could have received my nursing degree from my alma mater and be working in my career. I just felt from obligated to finish because it was five years and my parents were helping me pay for school. I think if i would have waited to decided what major i wanted to commit too, I could have finished my general education courses and gotten involved with various organizations and clubs, I would have discovered my passion alot sooner.
Because my major, B. S. Nursing, is very competitive, I've become very diligient and persistent in working to make good grades and actually learning in my classes in order to put myself at the top of the applicants list. Those qualities will help me to sell myself in order to advance in my career. I am especially glad that I took my classes seriously and worked to learn the material instead of merely memorizing random information just to get a grade. As a result, I scored high on my nursing entrance examinations and feel very prepared for nursing school. After all, I know I would not want a nurse who does not know what they are doing, so it's a good feeling to know that I'll be a competant nurse. The classes I took also helped me to see the world differently and to understand it better. Working while in college also helped me learn to time manage and budget--two skills that I know will help me when I'm an adult. College has helped me to grow up and prepare myself for the responsibilities and challenges of being an adult in the real world.
The only advice I would want to give myself, were I to go back in time and advise my high school senior self, would be not to nail myself down with a major right away. There are a great number of advantages to entering college undeclared. If I had known that I would switch from declared to undeclared before again delcaring a major, and was aware of how helpful entering undeclared could be I would have taken that path. Knowing what I wanted to do was helpful at times, but realizing it wasn't going to work out and that I had taken so many major specific classes became quite a stressor. If I knew this was going to happen I would have entered undeclared, gotten my core classes out of the way, and felt my way towards the best fit for me. Had I done this I would have saved myself from alot of worry and uncertainty, and would have provided myself with a sure footing. Since you can't go back in time and change things it helps to be able to see that everything will work out, but knowing would have been quite a luxury.