I would tell students that they need to make sure that the environment they are going to be living in is acceptable to them. Such as sunny, windy, rainy, snowy, etc... some of these may determine what types of activities and recreational sports they can participate in and hang out with other students.
Visit the campus and stay there for a couple days. Oregon State University was at the bottom of my college choices until I visited the campus and decided to go here. I got into all 11 Universities that I applied to and OSU was one of my backup schools, and now I'm here and I love it.
Look for a school that is in an environment that you can picture yourself living in for four years. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to major in right away. Look into all financial aid possible. Make as many friends as possible. Check out the Greek community on campus.
If you are receiving some money for college through scholarships and financial aid I would recommend that you go to a community college first. You get lots of credits for way cheaper. The only thing is that community college is usually somewhat easier than a university.
Dont be stuck with who you were in highschool. Branch out and explore your interests there are so many new activities and clubs that most highschools dont have. College is a chance to not only to study what you wish, but also to improve,reinvent, or expand yourself.
Find the best that will suite you academically, socially, and locality. Don't pick a school half ways around the world if being close to family is important for you. Find the middle ground, and be proud to go forward with it. Follow your dreams, not your parents'.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed. All the stress, and all the work will hit you all at once, and you've got to be prepared to juggle it. Begin mustering up the courage to interact with professors in order to develop connections that may benefit you along the road.
If i could go back and talk to myself during my senior year i would say, do your best and focus on the major needs to enter college. College life is nothing like high school, you have to apply yourself and much as you can and you have to want to be there.
Make sure you visit the school you want to apply for before applying and make sure you like it and it has degrees in the fields you are interested in. Once you start going to school at a univeristy, talk to your professors and ask questions, GET INVOLVED!!!
Visit as many schools as possible before even applying. Who knows, the school that looked good on paper may not seem so great once you arrive on campus. And keep an open mind! Sometimes your last choice school is where you will find yourself the happiest.