A lof of people choose a small college because the idea of a large university scares them. This should'nt be the case. Adjusting to any college enviroment can be difficult but ultimatley rewarding once one finds their social groove. Consider first your academic goals, then choose a school that you feel you would be most comfortable at size-wise. I wouldn't suggest attending a tiny school like the one I go to. Small schools tend to be very cliquey and imitate high school enviroments, the exact atmosphere a young college student should strive to break away from and mature. From my experience, the maturity level of students at larger schools compared to students at smaller, enclosed enviroments differs drastically. Those who attend small schools tend to behave not all that differently than they did in high school, as compared to students in larger universities who have a real "college mindset". My suggestion to anyone is not to let the size of a school deter or intimidate you from going there. I allowed that to happen to me and now I will never know what it might have been like to attend a real university.
When I began college in 2004 I attended the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. I lived in the dorms and met friends that I still keep in contact with seven years later. I enjoyed everyone on campus, as well as classes and professors. Almost everyone was friendly and helpful. People were concerned about their health and the outdoor activities were numerous and promoted by the University . The food was amazing and the rec center was as well. For the last year and a half of school I attended Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York and that is where my degree is from. It was much smaller, cliquey, and people working at the school did not really seem to care about me. Ideas seemed to be more conformed. Let's not forget how expensive! The health facilities were not very good, nor was the rec center and food was awful. The positive thing were a few amazing teachers. From my different experiences I would advocate a state school for anyone entering a college at this time. I would have saved money and continued to have an amazing experience if I would have stayed at a state school.
I would say to parents to definitely encourage children to look at all their options and to plan ahead. Its a huge step in one's future and plays a major role in your career. Definitely take time to visit schools that you are remotely interested in. It is crucial that you like the environment of the campus. Go to a school that offers many majors, various degrees, because people change there mind, sometimes they dont want to leave there school but have to because they do not offer a program of interest. Financially, you need to weigh your options. I go to a private school and the cost is rough. I stress about the loans I will need to repay in my future. Make sure you will be ok financially before taking that step to enroll in that particular school. Ask questions, talk to whomever there is to help you. Guidance counselors, advisors, peers, they're people that can help you make the best decison that will make you happiest. College is the best years of life and there fast. Not only will you most likely leave your school with a degree, but you will make numerous lifetime friendships.
Mount Saint Mary College has been preparing me to be the best I can be. Education and researching with all of the endless possibilities as a Nurse, it can be achieved, it can be done. Upon graduation I plan as my goal to work in my community and continue with Higher Education to pursue a Nurse Practitioners degree. This is very exciting and motivating to me to achieve and pursue these long term goals. An even longer future goal is to own my practice or to partner with medical professionals with same community goals in mind. This college experience has taught me that education is everything, that a good career is everything. Preparation into the real world is everything, it is my goal and MSMC has taught me this. Preparation to success of a career and goal is what we all should have as a US citizen. The college experience has been very valuable to my new future, of which I aspire to help and to give back to my community. I wish to continue higher education. To continue with aspirations and achieve a Nurse Practitioners degree with hopes to give back to my community even greater.
When looking for the right colleges for your child make sure to take your time and travel around each one. It is important to explore the surrounding area and talk with students on campus, not just the tour guides. You will find out much more from a student sitting at a local restaurant than the tour guide. Also, find out the average increase in tuition per year. Sometimes schools award small scholarships, but by the time your child reaches their senior year their scholarship is no longer worth as much as it once was. Students, get involved. Go to your schools club fair and sign up for every club that interests you. This is the best way to get involved, meet friends and find out new and exciting things to do on campus. Even if you do not stay involved with the club, you will meet many new people that be able to help you in the future. Also, find balance. Yes, school is for learning but not just the curriculum, you are also learning about yourself. Get out and socialize, meet people, but do not forget the main reason why you are at college.
Parents like to find the school for their children instead of allowing them to find it themselves, which helps them becoming adults and responsible. Students must know what they want to do and not what they believe they want to do according to their parents. Some students use this as a chance to get as far as possible from their "nagging" parents. So parents should give them space to choose the school, but the parents should also ask from time to time how the search is going, and remember not to nag. This is how I ended up where I am now, at a school that I wish I had never found, but I have made some good friends who make it a better place everyday. To the students make sure the school you find is the one "you" want to go to and not because a friend or two is going to attend that school. It might turn out to be your worse dream and can destroy your friendship. And remember the cost of the school is important also. Think of mommy and daddy, now and forever. They will always be there for you through thick and thin.
During my senior year of high school I chose to follow my heart and move to Palo Alto, California to be closer to my boyfriend at that time. If I could go back in time and give myself advice I feel I would be in a much better situation. It is very hard to listen to my friends talk about their freshmen year of college. Living in the dorm room, experiencing new people and attending college classes. I have lived with the regret of giving up what should have been some of the best memories of my life for a boy. If I could only tell myslef, "Your education is something that you can have with you forever. Your knowledge is one of your most prized pocessions that seperates you from others. Do not follow a boy, boys can wait. You are young and need to experience life to its fullest!" Now I attend community college in Arizona and I love my campus and teachers. Slowly I am making up for missing my freshman year. I hope to have enough money to transfer to a university to have an even better college experience!
In finding the right college, if you are going to live away from home you first have to be able to picture yourself at this school, 24/7. If you can't seeing yourself living there but can see yourself taking classes there, then that is not the right school for you. You have to feel 100% comfortable with the dorms on campus and with the feel for the campus. If you like smaller groups and are used to a smaller size high school, go for a smaller/medium size college. On the other hand, if you are used to a lot of commotion and large schools, a larger college will be a better fit. To make the most out of your experience, you have to get involved rather then just study and do well in your classes. Take challenging classes, join many clubs and then take leadership positions at the ones you like best but limit yourself to only a few clubs so you can dedicate more time to them rather then try to divide your time into many of them. Get to know a lot of people, and have fun because college is once a lifetime.
There're many things I would tell a senior in high school. One thing is to apply for as many scholarships as you can. They become very important in your years in college. From your books, to tuition, to any other expense imaginable; college isnt free. The scholarships are though, so they must make sure they full them out. You may think you will be getting a lot in financial aid but were in a recession. Don't make the same mistake I did; save up your money, and do lots of scholarships. Lastly, the thing im going to talk about is the transition into college; aka a scary process. Your moving out of your comfort zone, to the real world. The thing I would tell high school students is that every freshman you are meeting, and every freshman in the world is going through the same process. They're all as scared as you are, so just say Hi to each and everyone one of them. You will make some good friends this way.
I would definately tell parents and students to go visit as many colleges as they can. I went on lots of road trips with my mom to visit colleges, even though I ended up going only about 25 minutse from my house. I would definately reccomend living on campus your first year that way you can be involved in orientation. Every freshman is in the same boat, they are looking to make friends and have the best college experience that they can and in order to do that I really think nyou need to live on cmpus your first year. And one last thing I would reccomend is not to dorm with your high school friend, even if they are your best friend. You need to branch out and make new friends, im not saying that you should dump your old friends, but its important to make new friends, especially ones that have the same major as you, that you will be able to connect with them throughout your years at college.