I have still yet to embark on my college experience!
I have learned so much about who I am and where I want to go. I came out of a community where alot of young people stay around get very low paying unsecure jobs, just because that is what's familiar to them. However, being at school I have learned that I have a drive and passion to go places in life, learn through experience and education, and to make a difference in the world. My school is giving me this opportunity and I am so gladd that I am taking it. It has been so valuable for me to attend school and learn more about the potential I have, and also to be humbled by how little I truly know. Yet, school has enabled me to keep learning, experiencing, and growing in ways that I know will enrich my life.
The most valuable part of my college experience thus far has been the broadening of my perspectives. I have learned so much more about who I am in interacting with students from different backgrounds, professors with expertise in a variety of areas, and living among others in close vicinity. I am gaining real world experience, and have appreciated the ability to make the most of the beautiful and resourceful city of Seattle in which I live. I truly believe that the world is at my fingertips and after graduating from Seattle Pacific University, I truly do believe that I will be able to chang the world.
Paying for my schooling independently has forced me to appreciate every penny I spend. Each time I sit down in class at Seattle Pacific University, I spend $300. That's $300 that could be donated to a local animal shelter, or spent to feed homeless families. But no; it's being spent on me learning. Thus, I know I have to use this education to be a productive member of society. The money that I am putting into it has to pay off in some way that benefits others besides myself. Since I have the means to get such an education, it would be foolish not to. But, it would be equally foolish to pay for this education and not do any good works with it. Now I have come to this realization, but I have also come to the realization that I need outside help. If I graduate with $80,000 of debt, I won't have much choice what I do to make a living. But if I could lessen that debt, I would be able to choose what I do with my life not on the basis of money, but on the basis of making a difference.
I think in the time that I have been in college I have really grown up a lot. I have realized that I have to work hard to get what I want, and that's what I have been doing. I know if I wouldnt have gone right away and taken a year off I might not have gone at all. By going this semester I now know I have what it takes to finish college, and move on with my life.
I have learned so much academically. I also have become more independent and comfortable with myself. This is my first time living away from home. Seattle Pacific made this transition as easy as possible. They are not overly controlling, and they don't try to hard to make dorm life feel homey. But they do a great job of matching incoming freshman with supportive upper classmen as well as encouraging life long friendships between peers.
I love the city that's filled with opportunity to learn and to grow. I've been involved in biomedical research as well as inspired to mentor homeless teens. My professors have challenged me and intimadated me to succeeed. It's been great.
I spent the first 40 years of my life unsure of what I wanted to do. I had no idea what I was suppose to do with my life. I stayed home with my children until my youngest child was in school. I worked at a factory for 10 years.
In 2007 the factory I worked at moved their operations to Mexico. I was laid-off and I was consider a displaced worker. I was able to go through a program which paid for me to attend training. I choose to go to a community college. At first I thought about taking the radiologist courses, but decided to take graphic design instead.
Taking graphic design was the best decision I have ever made. I have always loved computers and computer programs. I enjoy photography, and have always be interested in art, font, font styles, and lettering. By the time I had finished my first graphic design course (Graphic Design I) I knew this is what I am supposed to do with my life. I am a graphic designer.
If I had never attended college I may have never realized "what I want to be when I grow up."
It's the first quarter of my Freshman year at Seattle Pacific University, and I already feel like I fit in, like I've found my niche. SPU is a very inclusive school, and there are so many oppurtunities to get involved. Between campus life and Seattle life, I really have to pick and choose what I want to do from day to day, because there's so much to do. In addition to this, SPU's quarter system of semesters is a really good idea, as it allows more oppurtunities to take the classes you want and need. The majority of professors are fantastic, and classes are small enough to get to know your professor fairly well.
On a sidenote Gwinn food isn't too shabby.
I like college. In fact, I like learning. I always have. Call me a nerd if you wish (You'd most likely be correct. [You didn't hear that from me.]), but I won't deny that I like learning new things. I like Lord of the Rings, Classical music and long words (like floccinaucinihilipilification) too. Deal with it. At any rate, college has been a lot of fun for me. Of course there are professors that I don't like - that's life. There have, however, been a couple that were really excellent - in fact, my Philosophy professor is absolutely part of why I'm majoring in Philosophy. I like thinking. My college experience is not valuable, though, for what some of my professors told me to know; it is valuable for what the other professors taught me to learn. Not for the communication it commanded, but for the conversations it caused. It is valuable not for the grades it gained, but for the curiosity it cultivated.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. ... [He] who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
I have found out who I am and what path I should be on in my life. I have grounded my faith, and plan to stay on that path. I have found my passion in life, both politics and French. I can explore outside of my majors because our requirements for graduation require it. Which I enjoy because I am interested in so many different things. My teachers are very supportive in everything I do, and really care about my future. I have had great opportunities to advance my education through hearing guest speakers, attending conferences, and having great teachers who will spend the extra time to explain concepts I do not understand.
I have learned to become independent and self-motivated. Since entering college I have new dreams and aspirations for my future. I know that working hard really pays off and my future seems so much brighter because I have goals. I have made amazing life-long friends and have had my ups and downs these past two years. It has been valuable to attend this school because I have grown in my faith and confidence and know that the world outside of school can be amazing when we look at our goals from a young age. I know that when I graduate I will be able to pursue my dreams because of the confidence I have gained. I have become focused on the future yet loving every minute of living in the moment.
After taking a year off of high school in order to travel and do humanitarian work in Haiti in Mexico, I chose to attend Seattle Pacific University, because I feel like its vision statement lines up with my own personal convictions. The depravity of the human condition that I have seen with my own eyes, has compelled me to work on behalf of humanity. I feel like SPU is a great tool that will train me to be fit to work for a non-profit organization. SPU has a great business school, with a unique emphasis on global development. SPU also has incredible professors who have graduated from universities like Harvard and Berkeley. They offer their own expertise to the field they profess and pour their hearts into teaching us students. I am grateful for the small classes that allow me to get a more personal education. SPU has truly impacted my own life and I look forward to the my future in non-profit business world that will be fueled by my education at Seattle Pacific University.
Through the career center, and experimenting with different intoductary classes, I have found my true passion. The Global Development studies major has constantly challenged me to be unselfish and use my oppurtunites to help the less fortunate. Learning about the "stupid deaths" such as children dying from diseases that we have have had cures for over a decade, frustrate me and fuel my desire to help others. The small size of the school makes it easier for it to be a srong community of students. We are learning how to put pressure on our elected officials so that they will use our resources for the common good of the people of the world. The chances to become more apart of the school are also very abundant. I am part of the school's worship arts ensemble, and it has not only improved my personal skills as a musician, but also to increase my faith in God and to be in community with strangers. Seattle Pacific University also has a great career center, where they will guaruntee some sort of intership before or after graduation. Seattle Pacific University is what I've been looking for.
The main advice I would give my high school self is to understand the privelege of an education in the United States and make the most of what it offers. This can be obtained through being involved in extra activities and optimizing on every academic opportunity. High School offers numerous extra curricular programs that provide experiences many will never have. Opportunities of sports, clubs, and social events are not only great ways to meet different people but they are also great experiences that can positively shape the future. Another privelege offered in high school is the academic and learning opportunities. It is important to make the most of every chance to gain knowlegde and take the challenge to not only strive for an "A" but to challenge oneself to thier full capability and potential. Keep the perspective to not measure success by the resulting grade but by the amount of knowledge gained. Remember to always be appreciative and recognize the privelege to learn in such a great environment with advanced technology. This advice to my high school self would not only prepare me for a better start to college but also help build character and knowledge needed for life.
The first thing I would tell myself is make sure that you are perpared to study hard. Work while you are taking classes so you don't have to take out so many loans. Never give up it will be hard but it will all be worth it in the end and don't let your advisor tell you that your major is not right for you. You are a bright young woman and are capable of anything you put you mind to. Also beware of the freshman 15 it could easly be the freshman 30. There is also things that I would not tell myself because many of them are very good expericences that I learned a lot from and everyone needs to learn a few things on thier own.
If I could go back in time to my high school self, I would tell myself to search harder for scholarships. Because of not having enough money, I couldn't afford to stay in on-campus housing for even a year, and I feel like I really missed out on college life by that. If I had had more scholarship money I could have stayed on-campus longer and made stronger friendships before moving off-campus as a junior. Also I think I would have told myself to make sure and step outside my comfort zone more when meeting new people, and to be friendlier. I am a very shy person, so I don't talk very much to new people I meet, and I think I have probably missed out on some very great friendships because of that. Other than that I don't think I'd tell myself anything. Other than the money issue and being shy, I have had a very great college experience! SPU has been great!
If I could go back and talk to myself I would tell myself to learn how to study. Studying in college is nothing at all like high school, it is ten times harder. I would also tell myself that I am capable of anything that I set my mind to. In college there are so many amazing people with new ideas and drives to reach their goals and help others create goals for themselves. I would tell myself that I should go for anything and everything I set my mind on. No giving up when it gets tough and stick it out, because no matter what I will make it through any of the hardships. The transition is not the easiest in the world, but go in with an open mind to meeting new people and make the most of the journey, because college is what you make of it. Also, college is not cheap. So work hard, get good grades, and keep on working so that way you can go wherever you want with less obstacles in your way. But even if there are obstacles, push through, they arent too great for you to handle. Good Luck!
College is a time of finding new friends, exploring career choices and discovering who you truly are. This is what most high school seniors have been told, but there is most to transitioning into college life. The first quarter of college is full of ?firsts? and ?news?. First college class, new crush, first paper, etc, but one problem that I ran into was a feeling that I was never warned about in high school. The feeling of the second quarter, this is a feeling of reality, a feeling of more class work and homework. The newness wares off and the actuality of different friends and harder classes set in.
This is not a horrible feeling, but a shocking one coming from an exciting whirlwind first quarter. I wish that I had prepared myself mentally, physically and spiritually for this large change. If I could I would love to go back in time and tell the high school me to keep working hard Winter quarter even when the college experiences isn?t constantly fun or exciting because once you fight through you learn to be content, even excited, about the friends you have made and at the school you?re at.
The minute I matriculated to a college, everything changed. Used to four years of identifying myself as a knight ( my high school mascot), I began to see myself as a falcon (SPU's mascot). As I realized that my last few months of high school were a formality before starting the next chapter of my life, I began to lose interest in my current social life. It seemed as if every hug shared, every tear cried, and every hello in the hallway began to lose all its significance. Most of my peers were begining to feel the same way, knowing that their lives as indivdiuals were about to begin in a few short months. And looking back on it, those moments were relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of my life. I had a very difficult senior year and it was comforting to know that in college I could be whoever I wanted to be, it was one of the only times in my life that I had a truly fresh start. So I will forget the bad, remember the good, be excited for the chance to not make the same mistakes made in high school, and enjoy my individuality!
Looking back at my high school year, I would tell myself to work a little harder, which is a very typical answer I know, but it's the truth. I worked very hard my senior year, but I would tell myself to do more things for myself. My mom did a lot of things for me which I took for granted. If I could, I would tell my high school senior self to buckle down on those things instead of letting my mom do all of it. I would also tell myslef to enjoy high school. College can be a lot of fun and hard work, so enjoy high school while you're there. I would also tell myself to work harder over the summer and save more money.
I think that college is a huge life lesson that is a different path for everyone due to the many different factors of what our lives involve. Whether it is sports, religion, partying, weather, size of school, money, close to home, etc; everyone?s needs are different and I think that making sure you meet your needs is the best advice I can give. When picking a school, make a list of everything you are looking for it to offer you and don?t settle for less. Be picky and don?t let others influence your decision. If you want to have a good experience in college and not have to worry about transferring, then find a school that is everything you want and more. There are so many to choose from, so dig deep and find one that is just the right fit for you. I know that I personally found my niche and you will too!
Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie. What are you doing? You have really got to buckle down and apply yourself in high school if you want to make in this crazy world. You absolutely will regret waiting to go to college. The longer you wait the harder it is to go back. Look, I know you think you want to go ahead and get married, have a family, be a "domestic housewife" or whatever they call it. Don't get me wrong, your little girl turns out beautiful. She's so smart, but don't you want to be able to give her more? I mean, if you go ahead and do the college thing you can still live with your parents and let them pay your bills for a little longer. Trust me, you DO end up going to college, but waiting is your biggest regret you have in your life. So my advise to you, Stephanie, is just jump! Jump right into the college scene. Go for it! You're good at figuring out what's expected of you and how to survive anything. You got this. Don't wait.
It would be interesting to go back in time and discuss college life with my earlier self. For one, I would want to emphasize the importance of staying on task and making sure the main focus of school is to learn. There is obvious room for social activities and fun times, but the main reason for being there is to get a quality education in order to be hirable in the "real world." I would also support the notion of being involved with as many extra-curricular activities as possible because the rewards are endless. Not only do you get a chance to continually meet new people and gain more friends, you are doing something incredible for the school by staying involved.
If I could go back in time and give myself advice about college life and making the transition, I would tell myself to finish out two years at community college because it is SO much cheaper. Also, I would let myself know that I would end up at Seattle Pacific University so that I could make sure to take classes that would be earning credit at both schools. I would make sure that former me filled out more college scholarship applications. I am sure that there are more things I would have changed, like studying a whole lot harder for my AP tests so that I could get better than threes, making it possible to et more college credit. I wish I had planned everything better or had some guidance to figure out how to get through college without worrying about finances - and I thought I had. If I could have had advice from who I am and where I am now, I would have changed so much for the better, but unfortunately, that did not happen and I am trying to fix that now. I have made the transition, now I need the money.
Don't stress; everything will all work out in the end, even if it isn't what you had originally planned.
Do more research about colleges; ask around about others experiences and take the time to visit and get to know a school.
Prepare yourself for the transition to college. It isn't easy, but it IS the time of your life.
Learn to time manage. You WILL be bombarded with a million activities and things to do everyday, but you have to learn to say no sometimes.
Have fun. Enjoy the rest of high school beacuse time flies, but do look forward to college.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior there isn't too much I would say. I have an older sister who was already in college, so having her along with the staff at my high school I think I was well prepared. Although, I would tell myself that applying for financial aid and scholarships is extremely important, because paying for school is a challenge. I just figured it wasn't worth my time, but now I am realizing that any amount of money helps. I think it would have also been nice to know for sure that going to a smaller school like Seattle Pacific University was a great choice for me, or that I didn't need to stress about the work load because I am fully capable of handling it if I use my time wisely. Besides those couple things I would have nothing else to say. There is nothing I did last year in high school that I regret, because I had people who cared about me and looked out for me.
If I could go back in time and advise myself for the college years to come, I would tell myself three things. First, I would caution myself to not underestimate college. Upon starting my college career I quickly realized that college is not easy, nor is it meant to be. I underestimated the immensity of change that moving to college brings in ones life, the academic rigor of the classes, and especially the importance of organization and time management. Furthermore, college has stressed to me the importance of relationships. I would counsel myself to hold on tightly to the relationships that I truly value including friends, family, and my relationship with God. Amplified by the fact that I am approximately 330 miles away from home and constantly surrounded by countless distractions, it is a substantial amount of work to continue these relationships that have been so influential in my life. Lastly, I would stress how essential it is to enjoy the full college experience. Yes college is about an education, but it is also about discovering yourself, learning to look beyond the here and now, to broaden your sphere of influence, and change the world in which we live.
Life in college is an exciting journey. You are faced with the amazing sensations of success as well as the frightening feelings that you may fail. Learning to balance schoolwork with free time is key while attending college. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself the advice to study hard your senior year. There are always opportunities on a college campus to have fun, and not do your homework or study. After living the college life, I realize that the transitions from living at home, to living on your own and being held accountable for your own study habits are huge. I should have concentrated more on figuring out what helps me to focus the best. This would have enabled me to not struggle with finding out what works during those first few weeks of school, and that would have saved a lot of frustration. I realize that college is more difficult than high school, and although I may not have had to study as much as I do now, it would have been beneficial to know what study habits are most successful for me.
College provides an academic fresh start. living in the dorms or living on your own allows for much distraction and with that novelty, excitement for the social aspects of college may begin to take over. Though those social relationships are so important, and will more then likely last a lifetime, dont forget there needs to be a balence. Understand that college is not like high school in really anyway. know that you probablly wont walk away with a 4.0, and reading for fun may become a past time (untill breaks that is.) Make sure you carefully think about where it is that you want to go and what truly fits your needs the best. Try not to be swayed by parents or friends, but really think for yourself. Eat in the cafeteria. Get to know the faculty and dont take for granted the oppertunity to learn from some of the best professionals in their feilds. Dont forget to take care of yourself, and do not fear change. This will be a turbulant experince, you will get knocked down, but you will leave so much stronger a person, and with a much clearer understanding of your vocation in this world.
If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give an update about what college life is like and advise that I work harder this senior year to get more scholarships. I would tell myself that the transition is not too difficult, though it will be nerve-racking. The most important information I would give my high-school self is to not worry about what other people will think of me, what kind of grades I am going to get, or whether or not my roommate and I will get along. I do not think I would tell myself about my roommate because I want to let that experience of getting to know her to just happen like it did, but I would give myself reassurance that my roommate is a great person and we will get along really well.
I think it would be important to tell myself that there are road bumps and being in such a community with so many different people and personalities is not easy, but it can be fun. Classes will be hard, people will be controversial (at times), but the rewards are worth it!
Looking back to who I was just three years ago, a senior in high school attending a conservative Christian school, two words come crashing to the front of my mind that I wish I could yell to myself, ?JUST JUMP?! When I was applying to colleges and universities I took a very passive approach, applying to all the schools my parents liked. Granted, being the typical lazy senior I lacked a strong opinion, but I wish I had cared just a little bit more and taken some risks. If only I had dared to travel, step outside my comfort zone , or even, heaven forbid, apply to a public school! College is the time of life for exploration, learning, and developing into the person you want to become. Looking back I wish I had reaserched schools more, cared more, kicked my parents out of the drivers seat, and actively navigated my future. If I could I would elimate all those past fears and doubts and apply to places I did not think I could get in, schools in places I had never been , or at least a school with a football team. Looking back I wish I had just jumped.
If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a senior in high school I would tell myself to practice my studying habits and to take school even more seriously. I've always made school one of my top priorities but if I would have just made it my number one priority, worked harder in class and learned good study habits, it would have made my transition to Seattle Pacific University a lot smoother. I would have told myself to drop my bad habit of procrastination because in college procrastination will set you back and make my college experience a lot more stressful than it already is. I would tell myself to listen to what all the college counselors told me about college and truly take it to heart to make myself even more successful. Most importantly, I would have told myself to apply for as many scholarships as I possibly could so that I wouldn't have so many loans that I will be having to pay off after I graduate. This is what I would tell myself if I could go back in time, and if i could, things would be a lot easier.
Embrace the opportunity to make the best investment you will ever make: your education. Do not let tales of other individual's college experiences deter you from having your own experience. The reason all people do not have a degree is because they are challenging to obtain. The reason employers seek employees with degrees is because they appreciate the sacrifices it takes to earn one. Not everyone is brave or tenacious enough to even give it a try, much less succeed. But you are. It does not matter that you are a slow reader, or not excited about math; there is so much more out there to learn about. The subjects that are difficult are not impossibe and will be your most rewarding (and surprising) victories in the end. You will see that the only person who thought you could not accomplish a college education was yourself. In the end, people you admired for their stellar knowledge will begin to admire you. Summon up your determination and realize your potential, because your college experience will be more liberating and rewarding than you ever imagined.
Enjoy your friends and your teachers. Your teachers are there to support you as resources, not as big, bad, judgemental superiors. Take advantage of all the insight they have to offer. They have been through the process of personal and intellectual growth as well as financial responsibility that you are about to begin. There is wisdom in their position. They can see you in your most raw moments and understand your strengths and weaknesses, and from there they can enable you to play off of your strengths and develop your weaknesses in order to enter college ready to step up to academic, social, and extracurricular requirements. High school teachers place themselves in that environment because they want to prepare you for the next step - reach out to them and ask for advice, for guidance. And allow your friends to bring you back to earth. High school should be enjoyable as much as it is preparatory. You are devloping in every capacity through your education, so allow yourself to be educated by peers - learn how to laugh, how to communicate, how to plan, how to be active. Enjoy high school because it will directly translate into enjoying college.
I would tell myself to always keep an open mind. Open yourself up to all the possibilities that going to college has to offer, not just academically but in every ever way as well. Never let an opportunity to experience something new slip through your fingers. Now is the time to discover who you truly are and what you can offer the world. Take advantage of all the resources you have available to you. Get off your butt and get involved. Form the friendships that will last your entire life. Have fun! Oh, and don't forget to study! Remember to fit that in there somewhere. Trust me, time passes faster than you think.
I would tell myself to be sure in your decision. Every college has positives and negatives and just because your first choice has negatives, don't discard it. Every person has a place. Each person has a school that they belong at. Do not fret over all the small choices and know that there is a place for everyone.
Be real, be yourself, and be open.
Going to college and being on your own and away from your parents provides one of the greatest growing phases in life that you will probably experience. My advice is to enjoy this time away and figure out who you really are and find what you believe and what you want out of life. Don't be afraid to have a heavy social life because it is the friends you make in college that will be with you for the rest of your life. True, studing is important and I strongly advise that you make friends in your major to study with but don't spend all of your four years surrounded by books because that will only lead to a miserable and stressfull college experience. It will take time but eventually you will find a balance between your social life and studying. As a final word I must say, make sure you find yourself a good group of friends before you become involved in a dating relationship because possibly the relationship might end and if you do not have a friend to be there for you, you will hate your college experience all the more.
Remember as a freshman to enroll in college courses that I can realistically succeed in. College is so much more difficult then high school. I was incredibly ambitious when I registered for classes, and I'm still trying to repair the GPA that I got as a result.
In high school, all I could think about was Graduation. I was so focused on that one day that I didn't fully comprehend the fact that Graduation was not my destination, merely one more rung in the ladder of my life. In hindsight, I would tell myself of a year ago to view Graduation as merely another individual event, and truly focus on what lies beyond the threshold of my high school experience. I would encourage myself to remain focused, hardworking, and involved during high school. Even though it is just a passing time period of my life, high school very much set the stage for the success and progress in my current pursuit of a higher education. Throughout high school I held myself to unrealistic expectations and never rewarded myself with positive reinforcement. Support from yourself is just as necessary as support from others. My final words to myself that I wish I had heard earlier in life are, "Stay true to you. Stay focused. Live it up. Work never ends, but high school does."
Don't compare yourself to others. These would be the first words of advise I would give myself if given the chance to go back in time. College means you are becoming an adult; there is no coming home when you graduate. It is easy to talk about being mature and independent, but actually living that way is a completely different story. Many of my friends went to private liberal arts colleges and hence I felt obligated to have my own small school experience. However, as I look back upon my choices and current situation I would advise myself to realize that college is much like buying a car. Make sure you are getting what you pay for. Just because the sports car looks cool and helps you with the ladies, doesn?t mean that it's the right choice for you. More and more I realize that education needs to be my focus not my social life. Figure out if the schools you are looking at are truly worth the cost and have the programs you want. There is no shame in going to community college if you have no idea what you want. You are not your friends.
If I could talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself that I am no where as smart or as talented as I think I am. A lack of self-esteem has never been my problem and I was briming with confidence during my senior year of school. Not only was I a top student, but I was involved in many extra curricular activities including student council and varsity sports. I had a solid group of friends and a steady boyfriend. As i prepared to leave for college I remember thinking "I hope this whole college thing meets my expectations". Ha! I thought I was smart; I met students who had published articles in scholary journals. I thought I was talented; I met filmmakers, artists, singers, actors, and musicians. I wish that I had the humility to have embraced these people whole heartedly and been able to get to know them better. But no, I wasted a good part of my freshment career feeling competitive and always wanting to prove myself. If I could go back, I would tell myself that I am no where as great as I think I am, but thats ok.
Really make sure that it will be a good fit for you- make sure that you really like the school's environment, and also make sure that the money situation is handled ahead of time. It's also important to decide how close you want to be to home.
First thing first is to decide what area of the United States you want to study in. Narrow down your search by region. Then, I would make a list of things you do or don't want to happen at your university such as no drinking in the dorms, no sororities or fraternities, ethnic diversity, etc. Read school policies and talk to people you know about if certain schools adhere to your lists. Don't let money be an issue! I didn't apply to my school at first because it was too expensive, but expensive private schools are willing to give out a lot of scholarship money to desirable applicants. Apply everywhere you'd like to go, even dream schools, and see what the schools offer you.
For students, try and visit your colleges you want to apply to. Sit in on some classes, try the food, explore some, talk to students (dont just ask information questions about the college. Just talk to them you would someone at your high school). Make sure you college as a good program for not just your desired major but other majors you think might be fun. A lot of students change their majors. Also note the area in which you school is in... do you want to live in a big city, a college town, or in the middle of nowhere? As for making the most of the college experience, study abroad if travel is something you want to do. Participate in things that "seem interesting" ". Just do them the more you do the more good experiences you'll have. Also be easy going, especially with roommates. Dont let little things bug you cause if you do living with them for a year can be hell.
Parents, dont force your kids to go to your school! Support them and be prepared to let them go! Oh and they love you even if they dont say it or dont call often.
I grew up on the island of Sri Lanka and applying for colleges in America was a daunting task for me, simply because I had no idea what was coming. I debated long and hard about what I was looking for and in the end formulated a list in my mind of what factors I prioratized in a school. I wanted a medium sized liberal arts college with small class sizes and I wanted financial aid. Applying to an expenisve private school seemed stupid at the time as money was short, but my advice would be to go for what you really want...it paid off for me. Not only did I get into SPU, I got a wonderful financial package and I am absolutely loving it.
To make the most of one's college experiance, I would say invest in quality friendships. Decide on taking an easy first quarter so you have time to explore, test the waters and settle down. Get involved with things you enjoy and learn about things you want to know about. Make the most of your opportunities because being a young college student is something that comes around just once. Realize you are privileged.
There's no such thing as finding the right college. There is no specific college out there perfectly designed for you. But there are good colleges, great colleges. I think one of the most important factors in making the most of the college experience is one's attitude. If you recognize that the school won't be perfect, you may begin to appreciate the little aspects of your college that are what you have been looking for. The key to making the most of the college experience? You. It's not about the school spoon-feeding you fun or an never-ending supply of friends. It's about discovering, no, taking the opportunities the school provides; it's about purposefully seeking out those with whom you'd to be friends. Carpe college.
I believe that a college experience is much more than an expensive education. Living in close quarters and learning mounds of material amidst the transition from child to adult cannot be likened to anything less than a hurricane. Yet, a college experience is comparable to learning how to love the hurricane, to surfing on the waves while the wind tosses the water this way and that. Given that making it through college is somewhat of a fight, it is paramount to capitalize on the experience by finding the best fitting college for each person. This can be done by visiting the school and seeing if it operates with a vision similiar to your own. In some cases, the mission of a university will be difficult to understand; for some, it will be utterly clear. The closer a school's mission statement is to your own, the more applicable your education will be to the rest of your life.
Know what you want. If you can't figure that out before you get to school, at least have a good idea of what you don't want. This applies to every aspect of college life. If you don't know what you want to do with your career well enough to let that be the largest influence in your decision, know what kind of lifestyle is going to keep you satisfied while attending school. Do you want to live in an urban area or a rural one? Do you like the rain? The snow? What sports do you want to play in college? When you know this information, make sure your criteria is met by the university you choose and the city it's located in. Your physical, social, and emotional contentment at school are vital to your academic success. Don't opt for a perceived academic advantage at a school if it means sacrificing those things that will keep you happy.
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