Trust your instincts, go with what you really want and not what you think that your family wants or that your teachers expect of you. Your inner drive is so strong, it will take you on incredible adventures and you will grow into a generous, successful, kind, and very valuable woman. Do not question yourself. Do not look at what others are doing. And do not waste time trying to fill 200 words to appear intelligent or empassioned when you have nothing left to say.
Honestly, I would tell my high school senior self to relax a little bit, and to enjoy my last year a bit more. Senior year went by so quickly, and it was somewhat of a blur at the end. I would tell myself to really enjoy and embrace the special senior moments, to soak up these memories, and to continue to expand my circle of friends until the end of high school. I had a very intense focus on academics throughout senior year, had some disappointments in athletics, but truly made some great friends in high school. We have all managed to stay in close contact, even though we are scattered all over the United States. Once my college decision was made, I would tell myself to lighten up a bit, to fully embrace what lies ahead while still making new and lasting memories, until senior year is officially over. Even though I was so ready for high school to be over, I now truly miss certain elements like the unique comradery on my cross country and track team, and certain teachers who really encouraged their love of learning, which is far more important than just earning letter grades.
Now I say this as a word of caution: DO NOT BE LIKE ME!!! I'm saying don't imitate me because I applied to a total of 18 schools. That's right 1-8. I had this phobia of not being accepted into any school so I had a back up for my back up that was going to be my back up if my original back up did not want me. It was awful trying to remember all the passwords I had created so I could log into my student account for that specific school and decline their offer. It was too much of a hassle. I'm sure you're wondering so I'll tell you, out of all 18 schools I got accepted into 12, wait-listed for 2, and rejected from 4. My advice to you is to keep it simple. Get about five schools in mind: one reach, two for sure's, an d two back-ups. Above all, MAKE SURE THEY MEET 100% OF THE DEMONSTRATED FINANCIAL NEED. Always look for that because their financial aid packages will be the best!
I would advise my high school senior self to trust his upbringing, talent, and faith to assist in the transition to college life. I would assure him that there is no academic or social quandary too complex to be overcome with diligent attention given to the problem that is vexing him. My high school self would find confirmation with me that he emerges unscathed, with more confidence in his own abilities, and a greater affinity for individual enterprise as a resource for solutions to difficult situations. He would learn from me that it is more crucial to know in what direction he would love to be headed than to know at the outset how to reach his goal. I would impart to him that patience would take him farther along his path than trying to find a speedy resolution to the tensions he feels to advance towards his aspirations. My high school self would leave me having gleaned an insight into his abundant potential and resiliency when confronted with seemingly insuperable challenges.
You must make academics your first priority ! You are not just splashing around in a wading pool, here! Make sure for Claremont that you have comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and sandals. Health care is iffy, so maybe you don't want to go here if you have a serious medical condition, especially if it is lung-related, because of the smog. You may be offered street drugs and alcohol while you are here---so learn to say NO! If you want to meet the person of your dreams, you can get married here, as plenty of professors have divinity degrees as well as academic specialties.. Just make sure you get married by graduation day, in a quiet little outdoor ceremony at the Sundial. If you come from a colder climate, you will be astonished at the heat. To keep your little computer of a brain cool, plan to live in Oldenborg Center or one of the newer dorms, or study in an air conditioned library or lab. This campus has been known to be used as a movie set, so never do anything here that you wouldn't want to see on film ! When you turn 21, throw a party!
Assuming I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, the most important advice I would give myself would be not to jump into a long distance relationship during your first semester of college. A week before I left for college, my best friend confessed his feelings for me. Although I had only a vague feeling for him in return, I thought it would be nice to have such a strong relationship at home while I was trying hard to make new friends in college. It turned out to be harder than I thought, and by the end of winter break, we had broken up. A long-distance and long-term relationship was not what this guy was looking for. Although I always knew this, I had naively agreed to a relationship in an attempt to change his mind. Clearly unsuccessful, I spent the first couple months of my second semester being depressed. Not caring about grades, I ended with a B in one of my classes. I wish I had known never to get involved with him in the first place.
College may look hard but the reward of the satisfaction of knowing how far you have come and how much you did not know makes all the work worth it. Going to a smaller school is not a bad start it lets you get done with what is needed without the distractions that are common to large schools. With a small college you are able to feel like you know everyone and build great friendships that will help you through the rest of your life.
Understand something, Dan: the world does not change for flying 3,000 miles. It didn't change 3,000 miles across centuries ago, and it doesn't change 3,000 miles across in this global age. Understand America has its culture that transcends its states. Understand that college isn't high school and high school isn't college, but just like two people remain people despite their uniqueness, so too are both similarities & differences between the former and the latter too large to ignore. Which is to say, make the best of your high school years, and make the best of your college ones. Do not harbour ill-will towards those things which make high school difficult, and do not harbour lustful hopes for a better, kinder, different future come graduation come summer come that plane trip that will send you 3,000 miles away.
You expect more from people, and more from society. It can happen and your optimism is needed. But know where you're coming from, and know where you're going, and realize the world stands still as much as it moves. College is no haven from the hell of high school, despite more driven people.
If there is something that you want, go get it. Don't let others expectations and desires cloud what college is for. It's not about the piece of paper that you take away at the end that counts, but what's not on that paper that does. At the end of the day, its what you know, who you know, and how you use it. Don't feel disappointed if you try your very best. and remember that those who are sucessful among us are successful because they overcame adversity best. Lastly, what separates those who do good from those who do great, is that those who do great are never satisfied. Don't succomb to compliance, always strive for better.
Before coming to Pomona College, I expected to be challenged academically in my classes, and this has certainly been the case. I also expected to have intellectual discussions outside of the classroom, but what I didn't foresee was being challenged in such a way that my opinions and views have changed. This change is not a dramatic shift in ideology, but rather, it has been a process of encountering new or previously obscured ideas, raising questions, and looking internally. My peers and I have had conversations about current events and topics from class, but what I have found even more stimulating are our informal discussions about subjects that are manifested in our everyday lives. The dynamics of race, class, power; beauty; gender roles; life at Pomona College; civic engagement...examining these subjects through discussion has more than widened my scope; it has been a valuable learning experience. The fact that students at my college create spaces for intellectual conversations is a wonderful thing to me. I have grown academically and socially my first year, and plan to continue.
Emily, try to remember what life was like before college applications, before the capital reason for being involved was for your memories to be squeezed into the single-spaced cell of a resume. Think of the times when you tried something new only because your friends might want to hear about it. When the value of your actions was placed in how boldly and how skillfully they were performed, and not by the sheer quantity of activities or by the semblance of dedication. College will be this time before pretense. Although you are going to learn and to work, you will have gained nothing by padding your story with internships you hated or classes that only look good. Learn the things you love, and you will have enthusiasm to share -- you can't share your well-stuffed resume. Be the person you want to be, not the person you thought you had to be. Make your story one worth telling, and only then will you be fascinating. Only then will you have stretched your boundaries. Only then will you have truly learned. Only then will you find the person, the job, the life you always wanted.
As a high school senior I was intent on being admitted to a prestigious university so that one day I could get a high paying job. I failed to recognize college as an experience in itself. The transition to college wasn?t a difficult one for me. Yet, I wasn?t prepared for how college would change me. I never felt like I had changed at all until I came home for my first winter break. Suddenly, I could carry on political discussions with my dad like never before, yet, I felt stifled by the rules and regulations that came with living at home. My relationship with my high school friends, who I often spent hours talking to about nothing with during my senior year, suddenly felt strained. I knew for the first time that I could never go back to my high school life. The best advice I could give my senior self would be to embrace the changes and growing up that you will do in college, and don?t be afraid to follow your passion. College itself id an experience, not a means to an end, and the time one has in college should be treasured.
If I could give advice to myself a year ago, there would be two points I would emphasize. Firstly, read. College is not just about finishing homework assignments; it?s about broadening your knowledge and being able to communicate that knowledge with your peers and professors. Reading gives you a fresh perspective to age old questions and allows you to gain more from the new material you learn in your college courses. I used to only read what was assigned to me in English class. Now, I read anything I can get my hands on, newspapers, magazines, credible blogs, classic literature, and books that interest me. By just reading, I?ve opened my eyes to a much wider horizon. This brings me to the second piece of advice. Be open. Be willing to take classes beyond your major. Consider majors you hadn?t considered before. Take chances with friendships and experiences. There is always something to learn and something to gain. Think about ideas you would usually immediately disagree with and understand the other side of a situation. In general, make the most of everything that is offered to you!
I would most importantly tell my high school self that college is not a joke and that particularly for students interested in the pre-med route such as myself, from the getgo a high work ethic is required. Moreover, I would have advised myself to have taken AP Chemistry, for without having taken the class, I am far behind in comparison to some of my classmates and having to do twice the work. College has proven in but a few months that it will take hours upon hours upon hours of work and many years to achieve the status of MD I hope to one day obtain, and by communicating that sense of work ethic and mental stance required, as a senior I would have spent more time mentally preparing for my current position. Additionally, I would advise my prior self to apply for more scholarships and to spend more time on reading about what life in college is like, so I would be prepared for what college life confronted me with. I would tell myself that I need to watch out for girls, alcohol, and the temptations of college life, and that I keep a steady mind throughout.
Well, I'd start with "GO TO POMONA!!!!" Then I'd probably tell myself this: don't worry. You make good decisions in the future, and you're really happy - even when you're super stressed and sleep deprived. Pomona has the right environment for you to grow as a person. You like where you've ended up as a second year student who's doing too much but meeting new people all the time. Even though it's a small school, it has all the advantages of a big school, and trust me - liberal arts is the way to go. I know you're going to look at UF again, but you were right to rule it out. You don't want to spend your time taking what they think you should take. You want to get creative again, you want to learn stuff that's not even related to 'classes'. It's really the right choice. The financial aid stays even when the economy goes to shit! Seriously, don't stress about the future, or getting homesick. When you get out into the real world and have responsibilities, you realize that there's no time to look back.
Sometimes colleges will advertise something that they have as unique and special while in reality many other schools offer the same thing or something similar. So if you like a school for one thing just check to make sure other schools don't offer the same thing
The advice I would give to a student searching for the right college is simple: do tons of research. You should utilize resources like princetonreview.com that have already done the brunt of the investigative work for you.
In order to begin, you must have a conversation with yourself. Make a list of what you feel you most want/need in a college. For example, would you like for your college to be large or small? Would you like a strong presence of sororities and fraternities on the college campus? Is school spirit important to you? Do you need a lot of financial aid? Most of all, you must search for the strongest programs that would best suit your academic interests and the curriculum that would best suit your academic whims.
Once you have a strong list of schools to compare, begin researching what the student body of each school is like and begin to contemplate how you would fit with each school's social climate. Take a look at the political and religious environment and other things that are important to you in order to help shorten your list. You will find the perfect college in no time!
The best advice I can give any prospective college student is to be open to change. When entering my college, I had absolutely no idea I would pursue a double major in Chemistry and French, but luckily, I picked a school where both were strong options. Choose a versatile school where you will feel comfortable. As an average student beginning an undergraduate education, chances are you will be 18 years old. It would be folly to even pretend that we have all the answers or a solid life plan at this age! I still have absolutely no idea where I'll end up, and I find that wildly exciting. Follow your passions, but make sure you leave room for outside forces and personal revelations. Know that you will grow immensely over the next few years and make sure you take full advantage of that fact. Choose a nurturing environment that will enable you to reach your full potential!
You just need to reach for it. Apply to any college that the student wants to try to get into, even if it seems impossible. You never know! Also, no matter where you attend college, it really is the experience of a lifetime. You meet so many new people from different walk of life, and making friends with them is really exciting. Also, I recommend embracing whatever subject it is that you want to study. If a student is forced to go into Pre-Med even though they really want to be an English major, will they really put in the honest effort to become a great doctor? No. If there's anything that this world needs right now, it's passion, and that's something that can only be gained by pursuing your real, honest interests. If everyone studies and pursues a career in something they love, where can we go wrong?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of quality schools to choose from. It's a daunting task to find the right one and students, parents, and college counselors often apply arbitrary and subjective criteria to try to narrow down the possibilities. Talking to a variety of students who go to a school (and have gone there for more than a few weeks) is possibly the best way to get a feel for it, because it's important to remember that you can't judge a school based on the one student who gave you your tour. Overnight stays are a good idea, but students will still decide where they want to go based on how much fun they had (which can be not much if they come on a Sunday or Monday night). Stay open-minded.
visit the school
The college process is inevitably stressful for both students and parents. However, I think that a lot of this has to do with mindset. My mindset shifted during the course of my college application process. When I began, I felt anxious to get into the "best" college I possibly could. At first, I felt that, quite linearly, the most academically challenging college was the best college. My definition of "best" changed. My definition broadened dramatically as I began to look at more and more factors for each college. Knowing myself was an extremely important tool in deciding which colleges to eliminate, including some of the "best" ones. I had to ask myself over and over, "what kind of weather do I want?", "what size college do I want?", and "how close to a city do I want my college?", just to name a few important ones. The hardest part is deciding which answers to these questions matter the most. My definition of "best" became whichever college contained the most factors that were important to me. No one has heard of my college, but I accept that because it is the perfect college for me; I am happy with my decision.
There is not a lot you can tell a person about picking a college besides that it has to feel right. A college can give you a lot of money and they can be in a great area but until you go there and meet the people you will not really know what it might be like to spend 4 years of your life there. I got into Stanford but chose Pomona based on the experience I had while visiting both places. Both gave me financial aid and both are great schools but Stanford just did not feel right and I would never take back my decision to attend Pomona College even though many people, including my parents, thought I was crazy. You have to keep in mind what kind of environment you enjoy; a big cit y or a quaint town., what kind of weather you are used to; snow or sunshine, how hard you want to work, and even location relative to family. When you go and look and talk to people who are there, you will know if it feels right or not and you will know if you will be happy there or not.
I'd say that it's very important to speak with people who are living the college experience. If you can stay with or interview a current student, that would be wonderful, but also try to get more than one perspective if the school really appeals to you. Every school has a few unhappy students or students whose lifestyles you would not choose for yourself, and sometimes those are the people you happen to run into. Take some time to wander around campus outside of a tour, and think about your specific direction and whether you could see yourself persuing that course at that school. If you don't have a specific plan, then you're like me: diversity of courses is important, along with the people you will spend four years with.
Stay overnight at the school on a weekend. Visit classes. Talk to the students. Learn about the groups and organizations on campus, what students like to do for fun, what there is to do in the surrounding area.
My advice for anyone looking into going to college is to visit a college--stay overnight if the college offers a program like that. I never stayed overnight at Pomona College before applying there. I visited twice, but was always embarrassed of staying overnight, thinking that the students would make fun of me or leave me in the room while they went off to have fun. From my experience with prospective students on campus, that is not how it is. Everyone is welcoming, and wants to help you find the right place for you.
In the end, go with your intuition. Spend as much time at possible schools as possible, and literally get a feel for them. Some people get caught up in wanting to go to the "best" school, but that doesn't make it the best school for you. Ultimately you'll have a better life making the choices that make you more happy, even if some consider them to be "less prominent" choices. Since college is a significant portion of your life, go where you feel would make you the most happy.
There are theree things that have been invaluable to me about my experience at Pomona College. The first is the comprehensive support network Pomona offers its students. This includes orientation trips into beautiful places in southern California which promote bonding among freshmen and the upper classmen who lead their trips, as well as the Sponsor and RA programs, counsiling resources, tutoring, and career advising. The sponsor program is particularly special. Every freshman is required to live in on-campus housing in a hall with 11 to 19 other freshman and two Sophomores, their sponsors. The Sponsors are overseen by RAs but, unlike RAs have no disciplinary obligations and, therefore, apply the training they go through towards advising their freshman and keeping an eye on their transition to college without the freshmen worrying about getting in trouble if they come to their sponsors for help. The second most important thing is the size of the school. I wanted a small school but did not want to feel too limited. The Claremont Consortium allows for the small school feel (going over to professors' homes for dinner) with ristriction. And finally, location is important. I love having access to the outdoors and LA.
Finding the right college is a really tough experience for both the student and parent. Don't stress about it too much! I know a lot of people who have transferred schools after a year. The truth is, you can never know exactly what you are looking for before you get there. I highly recommend visiting the school before making any decisions; overnight stays are helpful. If you are a student, think about what clubs, activities, and classes in high school have made the most impact on your life. Are you happy when you do them? Is it something you think is really worth your time and effort? If you really think you are passionate about something, don't let anyone take it away - find a school that has a focus on that subject. If you have no idea what you want to do with your future, small liberal arts colleges are a great way to explore a variety of options; if you have a clear concept of your future, go to a larger university with a specialized program in that field. If the school if right for you, you'll know as soon as you spend time on campus.
Make sure you visit the college and talk to students. Admissions officers, especially in small school, really look to match kids to the "personality" of the school and you want to be sure that you actually fit that personality. Also, don't underestimate location. Pick the school based on what you see and how you feel about it, not how other people feel about it. Going to a school just because it's prestigious is silly.
I would tell parents and student to visit as many colleges and universities as possible. I think that school size, location, and focus of study is very important. The reason I like my school so much is because it is small, its in a nice location, and its a liberal art's college. All of these factors have helped me tremedously at becoming a focused student and discovering my passion. The small school setting allows a certain intamacy with professors, administrators and students. My school is in a small town in Southern California , it is small enough to keep me focused, but it is not too far away from big urban centers. Being at a liberal art's school allows you to take a variety of classes, and I fell in love with Psychology and Black Studies. Many things are important when choosing a school, so when that time comes around, make sure you know those factors that are most important. Lastly, have a great attitude, becausing having a positive outlook is the key to having a great college experience.
Students, if you haven't had very independent teenage years, take a year off. Get a job (especially abroad), just get away from your comfort zone (and your parents) for a few months. You'll learn about yourself, and won't have to go through major personal-identity crises while you're trying to get a degree and start your own life. And when you're looking at a college, for god's sake DON'T say to yourself, "I really like this school and the people here, but I don't have the (insert personal quality) to fit in." Just go for it.
There are so many colleges in the U.S. , and students often do not know where to begin in their searches. My first piece of advice is for students and parents to think about what their dream college would be like. Would it be a big university or a small liberal arts school? What would the students and the professors be like? What types of activities would be available for you to participate in? What would the college prepare you for? Where would it be? After establishing what you want from a college, I would advise parents and students to begin researching. If you go to your local library, you can find many resources about colleges around the nation, and most colleges now have their own websites. Visit and tour colleges; talk to current and former students. Remember that you are trying to find a college for yourself. What you want in a college will help you find that very place where you can learn and grow.
Academically, whether you're a science junkie or completely in love with the arts, choose a school with strengths in multiple fields. It often turns out that what you think you'll enjoy doing is actually the one thing you can't stand doing. Having freedom and flexibility in the type of major you choose, being able to receive an excellent education in any field, will let you truly discover who you're meant to be; so don't go into college knowing what you're going to be. Start with an idea, but be open to the many opportunities and possibilities available to you. Pick a college that feels comfortable to you now, but that you feel will challenge you in the future. College is about growing, as a student, as a friend, as a person. You're going to change, there's no stopping it. You'll go away to college and come back a different, hopefully a better person. You want to find the college that will most enable you to do so in a way that you want.
Let your kid do the heavy lifting, because he/she is going to have to have good research skills in college anyway.
As a tour guide myself, I know how much parents are concerned for their child's welfare at an entirely new environment. Realize that no matter which schools accept the child or which schools seem best to you, ultimately your child is the one who will spend four (if not 2) years at that school. Encourage your child to take your suggestions and thoughts seriously, but also acknowledge your child's own wishes and allow your child to exercise his or her liberty of conscience to decide which school is best for him or her. Whether the school be prestigious, large, small, or conservative, what ultimately matters most is the child's welfare, and if he or she decides on a school because he or she feels most comfortable, and quite viscerally, "right", there, then I think it is only right for the parents to allow him or her that opportunity.
The most important thing in finding the right college is to look for a place that fits you and will help you grow and meet your goals. There are plenty of college rakings out there, but there is no single "best" school. There's only the best school for you.
So much of college is what you bring to it and much of the experience can be obliterated by the instensity and competition that often overwhelms so many students and parents alike. Many students often underestimate the value of location; college should not be seen as a separate world unto itself unaffected by the outside world: the more that this mindset is embraced, the less rounded the college experience will be. College should be seen as a learning experience that helps one grow into oneself and learn what sort of person they want be, and any school that feels accomodating in this respect can be the perfect school if one. brings to it the right mindset.
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