First of all I would tell parents to support their children in any endeavor they wish to pursue. Even if you cannot support them financially, support them mentally because it can make all the difference. Homemade cookies and help with laundry is often worth more then a tuition hand out. I am the first of my family to go to college, and my family is not rich. Their encouragement has made me want to achieve and because of that, I have found ways to pay for my education. Students, dream big! Set your sights on what you want and go for it. If you work hard, your struggles will work hard for you. You cannot give up! Don't be afraid to ask for help, often angels are disguised as strangers and you will never know unless you ask. The best way to make the most out of a college experience is to take chances and make friends. Friends can be your family away from home. College will be a whole new world and you must explore every corner in it!
I would say that you should make sure that the college has the major, minor, or whatever you are interested in. If you choose a college and find out they don't offer as much as a different one, then it will be hard. Also, visit the school. Make sure that when you are on campus, it feels right and you could imagine yourself being there whether it's to visit as a parent, or live there. Also, cost. Make sure that the college is a good value for you and would be worth any money you need to pay. When you're in college, try to be outgoing and meet new people. Talk to people in class to get to know them, and sign up for small volunteer opportunities. Also, it's important to manage time! Don't get caught up in all the new freedom that comes with going to college. Make sure that priorities are set and that homework always gets done on time. Enjoy your experience! It's really fun exploring new areas, learning new things, and experiencing new adventures.
I would tell my senior self to make more of an effort to study and make a good habit of it. Just because you can coast through high school it doesn't mean you can do the same thing in college. Also, I would've told myself to not pick a major for the first few years of school, just take general courses that you'll need for higher classes until you're settled into the person you become after you leave high school and you really know what you want from life. Learning that money doesn't grow on trees and that you should focus more on your classes then trying to work a full time job would be a lot easier if you paid attention to the amount of school debt you're accruing. Just because you don't see that number doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And if you take some courses and you still don't know what you want to do, it's ok to take a step back and take a break so that you can straighten yourself out. Because it's your life and it's your choices.
College is not something that should be taken lightly. You need to buckle down and realize that this will be the foundation of the rest of your life. When you walk into college on your first day, give it your all. Study, don't cram the night before a test, and never miss a class. You are paying for your college education, if you fail because you were being lazy then you've wasted your time and your money. Take it seriously. After high school you're going to realize how much work you have to put into your studies to receive the grades you desire. There's always a tutoring center in all colleges, take advantage of that. The people you go to high school with will fade away, it's inevitable. There are too many people you would have to keep in touch with. Hold the ones you care about close to you and never let them go. One day you will thank me for telling you all of this. When you graduate from college with honors you will thank me.
If I were able to speak to myself as a senior, I would tell my self not follow what the tests are telling you. I came to college as a math major and spent two years working on it before I took a history course. I realized right away that I was not enjoying any of the math courses I had been taking and that my true passion was for history. I had picked math because of all the standardized tests I took in high school. Not a single one of them related to history, and I was basing what I was really good at on the scores I was getting on the tests I took. They all said I did an excellent job in math, and I decided that since I was doing so well on those tests, then I must like it. That wasn't true, and if I had taken the time to look at what I really enjoyed, I would have been able to work on a major I enjoyed for much longer. So if I could tell myself one helpful hint, it would be to base my decisions on my passion not on a test.
First off, I've gained a lot of experience and knowledge from attending this college. My teachers are very accomodating and wise. They know what they're teaching and are passionate about it as well. I've met many people, and I keep in contact with most of them. I think that some of these friends will end up being people I talk to throughout the rest of my life. This college offers a lot of options for being social. There are many clubs, events, and activities. In the dorms, there's always something going on. The people are very friendly and the R.A.'s are helpful. I grew up in Portland and had to move down to Corvallis for school, so when I've been living on my own at OSU. This has been a great experience for me and shows me how prepared for life I am, and what else I need to do. Attending OSU has been valuable to me because I've gained knowledge, friends, and experiences that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, there is so much I could say. I would tell myself to not be so afraid and to go for what I really wanted, to not be shy and just get out there and have some fun. I'd tell myself to save my money becuase I don't realize how much I'll really need it in a few months. I would encourage myself to live in the dorms and to put myself out there and make some awesome new friends, friends I will have for life. I'd make sure that I was enjoing my last moments in high school becuase they really are precious and closer to your heart that you realize. I would make sure that I was spending time with all my old friends before we all went away, and to really get that quality time in. The most important thing I would say to myself however, is not to get caught up in anything. Enjoy every moment of school and cherish the opportunities that I am given.
All I can say about choosing the right college is to find a place that you could call home for 4 years. I toured a couple of reputable colleges and could not stand them. I personally discovered after touring the Universities of Washington and Oregon that I did not want to go to school in the city; I now go to Oregon State which is very much away from the city, which I love. Others find exactly the opposite I love OSU and have a lot of fun, but I think the most important thing is to remember why you are there. While my college is a place where there are parties EVERY night, it is important to balance the fun with the work. It is said that "you can retake a test but you can't relive a party", and I would say that this is poor advice. Stay on top of your school work to keep the stress down, and you will have a lot more fun in the long run. You CAN go out every night, but that does not mean you should.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself I would start by saying change what you are doing. I would also tell myself how important it is to try my hardest and do not give up, you will make it to graduation day. I would tell myself I should start looking for a job so I can save money to help pay for my college education. At first you may think you can not make the transition into college but you can do it just try and stay focused on what is important. The next thing I would tell me is once this is done you will have a career in the field you want and if you get good grades now it will help you when choosing a college in the very near future. College at first may seem hard but just put your mind to it and ask as many questions as you need to so you understand what is being said. Do not procrasate, leave yourself enough time to get your work done so you are not stressing about it at the last minute.
When you first get to college make sure you get out and get to know people. It will make life so much easier because you will have friends to study and hang out with. When you miss a day of school you will have people to get notes from. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and be social. Also, go out and get involved. You do not want to be stuck in your dorm room all day doing homework, it is not fun and makes you get homesick a lot faster. You also need to realize that speeches are not that scary. You can do it, you do not need to be nervous about it. You will take one class with these people then probably never see them again so if you make a mistake that is okay. Go out and have fun. Join clubs even if you do not konw anyone that goes to them. After awhile you will get to know people and make new frineds. Lastly, go to the pre-vet club meetings. You learn a lot and they are worth it.