Make visits to your top choices, and talk to the students about the questions you have. Most students are willing to answer questions and will be honest, and visiting will give you a feel for the ins and outs of every day life at the college Give thought to school size- it plays heavily into the experience, socially and academically. Think about location- your distance from home will affect how frequently you're able to return on long weekends and breaks. Consider the climate of the school- a consistently cold environment can really bring you down if you're not up for it. If you're sure you know what field you want to study, research which schools are best in that specific area- just because a school isn't on a top 20 overall list doesn't mean it isn't excellent in your area of interest. If you have an interest in studying abroad, make sure they have diverse programs beforehand. Once you've chosen, take advantage of the extracurricular activities offered by the school. Most schools have trips and activities freely available; keep your eye open for them and if you're interested, don't think twice.
Not only has Messiah provided me with an excellent education, but it has also demonstrated life lessons. Since Messiah is a Christian College, I have learned to incorporate my religion, my love of Christ, and my duties as a Christian into my daily activities. Simply 'going to church' is a more important part of my life now, but faith has also flooded into every aspect of my life, such as extra-curricular activities, the classroom, and friendships. So far at college, I have discovered how insecure in my faith I am, but that if I ever want to grow in that security, that Messiah is filled with the exact right people to help me do so. On a bigger level, I have become more self-aware, in how I view others, how I am viewed by others, and how I treat others. Messiah, and college life in general, has made me a more independent person, while completely trusting that I have people to lean on to help me through when needed. But, because Messiah is a Christian campus with few distractions and temptations of secular campuses, I have grown , and am growing, into a mature person who makes smart decisions.
Expect the unexpected! Take advantage of opportunities given to you. Don't hold back. When I went off to college I never ever ever in my wildest dreams expected to study abroad. When I got to college I realized that they had a study abroad program in Uganda. I had always wanted to go to Africa. I decided to look into the program, and decided to go. It was one of the best semester's of my life. I learned so much. I learned more about God, myself, other people, another culture, and another beautiful country. After I returned I became aware I could study abroad again. I went to Australia, and continued to learn and be challenged. While in Australia, I realized a semester in Jerusalem would fit into my schedule, and still allow me to graduate on time. I leave in 3 weeks. Being a Christian Ministries major, I cannot wait to be studying in the land of the Bible. These experiences have enhanced my education in unimaginable ways. Messiah makes these experiences possible in the sense that two of the programs didn't cost a cent more than it would cost sitting at Messiah College (airfare included)!!!!
Hi Sarah, I know you are fooling yourself and saying that you have time to work out your application process. You really don't. Start researching RIGHT NOW more schools and write down where you want to go. You want to go abroad, you want to live abroad, you want to study languages and cultures and ethnicities and topics of reconciliation and justice and peace and sustainability. You want to get the most out of your Environmental Science and Spanish classes now, because that will be the foundations of your future studies. You want to focus on community development and ethnic/racial tension and food security and accessibility. You want a college that won't crush you under it's massive student debt for the next 20 years of your life. You want to apply to every scholarship that you have the SLIGHTEST chance of winning, you want to pursue your passions, even if it does seem like a pipe dream. You want to yield to nothing in order to achieve your goals of making a lasting impact on the global, national and local community.You want to grow in mind body and spirit. You want to make a difference.
Choosing the right college to attend is one of the most important decisions you will make. At this college you will be trained in the profession you choose and most likely work in until you decide to retire. Something that may seem scary at first really can turn into a nightmare, or a dream. To find the right college, I would have to recommend getting as much information that you can about colleges that fit the requirements you want. If you are interested in a college in your state, with a certain tuition, and certain major, do the research and find the schools that match. Upon researching the matching schools, write pros and cons, which will help you put down on paper all the randomness that is flowing through your mind. The college years are said to be some of the most memorable times of your life. Making good decisions is an important part of this experience, the first decision about where to go. If you don't have a certain major choosen, don't stress. Academic advisors are available to help you make the deciison about a career. Most important, make friends, but choose them carefully.
Picture the next four years as a blank canvas, pure and white and waiting to be covered in brilliant color. You have the chance to repaint yourself however you want, leaving behind the things you disliked about yourself in high school and accentuating the things about yourself that you value. Be daring, assert yourself, wear a funny hat, dance to class, talk to people. Be kooky and loveable and confident because you are a beautiful person. Don't be afraid to open up to others, because chances are people are a lot more friendly than you think, and the sooner you make connections the sooner you will start to feel like you are at home. Continuing the painting metaphor, don't rush. Paint slowly and with great detail. Live every second to its fullest because college isn't going to last long. Go about your life with the intention of making memories. Take chances and never let an opportunity to try something new and fun slip through your fingers. Tell that cute boy you like him, go iceskating even though you don't know how, take walks in the rain without an umbrella, and keep a journal.
Trough attending college I have recieved a better education that is applicable and improves my life, setting me up for a succesful career. Some would say that is the point of college; but for me that is just the beginning of that I have gained. There are some practical skills I have gained since being in College. I've learned how to prioritize, study efficently, and budget. Also I've gained the much needed skills of doing laundry and cooking ramen noodles. However, more importantly, going away to college allowed me to experience what it is like to be on my own. It allowed me to question what I thought in a safe environment and as a result my beliefs and opinions have become my own, not just something I grew up with. Through college I have been exposed to different cultures and lifestyles; I have learned how to step out of my comfort zone. Also I've learned how to be flexible and meet people half way (you have to when you have roomates). Overall college has taught me how to love, respect, serve and live with others and how much nicer a community is when this happens.
Parents - don't force your child to go somewhere that they do not want to go. Give them advice and listen to them and walk along side them through the process, but remember that this is their experience. They are becoming grown-ups that can think and act on their own. It's tough, but they have to feel comfortable and excited about their home for the next four years. And when they come home, remember, they've been surviving on their own since they've been away. They aren't five anymore. Students - take advantage of this incredible, unique opportunity. After college is over, it's over, and there are soooo many resources at your finger tips that won't be there soon. Be adventurous and try something new. Be attentive and spontaneous and really make the most of your time, because four years goes terribly fast. Study abroad. Join a club. Go to dances. Stay up later than you should (sometimes). Pull pranks. Talk to your professors. College is a time like no other and it's important to realize how valuable your time there is before it's too late. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Tara, Stop listening to your high school teachers, friends' parents, and the nurses at the doctor's office. Where you choose to go to college is NOT the most important decision you will make. The college you choose will not determine whether or not you succeed in life. Those who view it that way do not understand the true value of college. College is not about a name that you get to flaunt on the back of your car for the rest of your life, it is about getting an experience that will surpass just four years of your life. Choose the school that will allow you to explore yourself, and your surroundings further. Choose the school that will challenge your beliefs and ways of thinking. Upon graduation, you will not remember all the information from every test you took throughout school, but you will remember the relationships you made and the experiences you had. Dare to pick the school that no one has heard of, if that is the school that will inspire and encourage you. College is what you make of it, don't expect it transform you without effort and a positive attitude.
When finding a college, do your research and be informed about all stages of college: applying, attending, and post-graduate life. Make sure that you can afford college and try to take out as little loans as possible. Also, make sure that the college you attend prepares you for a job or graduate school after you obtain your undergraduate degree. Make sure your college offers things that you enjoy doing or really want to do, such as theatre, music, sports, studying abroad, etc. Attend a college where you have some freedom in the classes you take. Allow yourself to take a class solely because you would enjoy it. That way class will not always seem to be a burden but also enjoyable. Find the college that suits you best and you will be able to make the most of it. If you like small settings, choose a small college. If you are very social and do not need one-on-one attention from professors, choose a large school. Lastly, make sure when you are attending college you do not take for granted having friends in such close proximity. No time in your life will that happen again.