Take the time to explore different schools. I didn't look very hard when choosing a college, and just went to NMU because of its location. I was lucky in finding a school that fit my personality and life goals, but if I had actually put effort into finding a college I wouldn't have had to rely on luck. Once you find a college, put yourself out there. Find a campus activity that you enjoy and stick to it. I know plenty of students that fall into the traps of partying because they haven't found anything better to do with their time. Remember that you are paying for this experience, and what you get out of college will determine, to a large extent, what will happen for the rest of your life.
My advice to parents or students looking for the right college would be to do your homework on the college. Some of the smaller universities might be the leader of the pack in certain fields. You might not find out unless you ask. As for making the most of the college experience, don't be afraid to have a social life! I've had the most fun at (ice) hockey games, and I've met some of my best friends through student organizations, both Greek and non-Greek. Just remember to balance your social life so that your grades don't suffer. Partying every night instead of designating one or two nights a week to kick back and relax can find you on academic probation or flunked out before you know it.
I have yet to begin my college experience, but I do know that it will be of great importance to me. The University I have applied to, and hopefully will attend, is far too expensive for me to afford. It has been my dream school ever since I was 14 years old. As well as applying to my requested school, I also have planned on becoming a Physical Therapist ever since then and have stuck to the intended profession to this very day. I know that my attendance at the Ohio State University will be of great value to me and for my future career and life. This scholarship would help in more ways than one, and I would be eternally greatful for your support in pushing me one step closer to my dream.
Follow what YOU want to do, not what your family, friends or teachers pressure you into. What you choose to do in college is going to shape the rest of your life. Just because a friend encourages you to go to the same school, doesnt mean that it will be the right fit for you. Do research, talk to current student, and dont be afraid to travel far distances to places where you may not know anyone. I drove 6 hours to a college where i knew no one but when i attended orientation i made friends with a dozen people i am still close friends with 4 years later. It may be scary now but when you look back on graduation day you will be glad you took the plunge.
Trying to find the right college can be an adventure if you treat it like one. When I was searching for colleges my first step was finding out if it had the field of study that I was hoping to take. After I found a few colleges that seemed interesting I did the best thing you can do, I visited the campus. You can learn anything you need at a campus tour. You meet real students and get a feel for your surroundings. My first tour is when I fell in love with Northern Michigan University. College visits was an important bonding experience for my parents and I. After seeing how happy I was in the college setting their fears for my future were pacified.
If I were to give advice to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to start filling out as many applications for scholarships as possible because the less loans I have to take out the better. I would also tell myself to start applying for jobs on campus because it is very difficult to get a job as a college freshman and I will run out of money very fast. I'll tell myself to look for a second job while in high school so I can pay for whatever costs my financial aid will not cover. I would tell myself to start studying harder and more for each test to get used to the increased amount of studying that I will have to do in college.
I have been going to college for less than a year now and have already learned how valuable my education is. As a first year student I have classes with many students the same status and age as myself. But along with us, there are a few older first year students. Talking to these older students who have decided to finally get their degree, I learned just how important my educaton is. Each one of them gave me this advice, "don't wait on education, it's what going to take you places". "All our dreams can come true-if we have the courage to pursue them" this quote by Walt Disney sums up how valuable my experience at college has been so far.
Parents, personally contact the financial aid department and see how helpful they are about providing information about student loans and financial aid. It's an important process that a business that is taking so much of your money should be a good resource for for information. Students, get invovled. Don't be afraid to try several different clubs, sports, or activities and then pick one or two to be committed to. It can seem intimidating at first but making life-lasting friends comes with time and there's a lot of other people out there just like you. Be patient and put yourself out there. It'll pay off as time goes on.
Going back to High school would be a blessing and a curse. As much as I enjoyed high school I feel that I did my absolute best and appreciate how hard I worked while there. I used my time well and went with higher education instead of slacking off. If there was one thing I wish I could have told myself it would be to focus more in the health field and learn my medical terminology a bit better, spend more time on my math skills and continue to enjoy the less stressful days. I did graduate in the top ten percent and was very college oriented. But allowing me to focus more in my field would have benefited my direction in college.
There are a few simple things to keep in mind when selecting a university. First always make sure that there will be many options for growth educationally and socially. Second be sure to find a university that has a high standard of excellence. Finally visit multiple schools so the student will have many refrences to make a well educated decision. The university does not make you but you make the university. The students past, present, and future are what a college is so do some research to find out where your student will really shine. Life is short and college is shorter so make the most of the best 4 years ever.