Dear High School Senior, All of the dreams and ideas of college, leaving your family and friends behind, and embracing your individuality are about to become a reality. If I were in your shoes again, I would have changed many things. First, I would have considered my GPA. Is my GPA high enough to be recognized on the deans list at my future University? Next, I would consider my SAT and ACT scores. Did I study hard enough to recieve a high score? Are the scores high enough to be recognized by my University? Did I take the test more than once to recieve a higher score? Another to consider, did I involve myself in clubs, organizations and activities to be recognized by my University and Scholarship comittee? Did I search to the best of my ability for Scholarships online and through local organizations to relieve myself from college debt? The last and most important thing: Did I consider all of my options of majors and college choices before making a final decision and ask professionals about careers? Answer "yes" to all of these questions and you will be most successful in college. Good Luck. Thank you, Erika L. Winter
College can be an enjoyable time, but can equally be a time of great frustration and confusion. In order to avoid confusion, one must learn to prepare oneself for life after high school as best as possible. To make the most of one's college experience, research, as well as experimenting with career paths, is essential to the process of choosing a career. This will allow a student to gain experience in many fields, and it creates more opportunity for the student to choose the best suitable career. Parents should talk about careers when their children are young. This will help them to create dreams for their future, as well as allow the parents to see the interests their children have in future careers. In order to make the most of their time, a student should have some idea of their future major by the time they are a sophomore in high school. Once a student chooses a career path, they should meet with their school guidance counselor who can start a course schedule for them to follow, as well as plan, arrange, and create future schooling oppertunities. Getting to know people in that field of study will be beneficial.
The advice I would give to parents and/or students about finding the college for them would be to visit as many as possible. Get an insider's view from a current student. Also, look for somewhere that could be a spring board into a good Graduate school that will eventually launch them into the career of their choice. It's important to look for a school that will assist in Financial Aid as much as needed, as well as any extra curricular activities that the student would be interested in. If location and distance are important to the family, it doesn't hurt to take that into consideration as well. Making the most of the college experience would probably have to do with putting yourself out there, possibly even into situations you may not be automatically comfortable with. Sometimes the most awkward situations make for the best friends and most cherished memories. Taking crazy pictures and midnight Wal-Mart runs are also conducive to great memories. In short, to make the most of the time given don't be completely consumed with academics or sports. Life is about more than getting a high GPA. Live it out loud.
The most influential advice I have received in my life is this: "the world is bigger than the town that you live in." I have grown up in a family that understands that there are so many opportunities beyond the limits of your comfort zone. As a senior in high school, I believe that this belief would have been a benefit to my aspirations. It is a waste to aim for a "comfortable life." I went to high school in a very small town of approximately 7,000 people. The intimate culture in these neighborhoods encourage everyone to attend the same universities, move back home, marry the high school sweatheart, and not to be concerned of things beyond the state borders. Although I am out of this town, attending a different school, I believe that I could have pushed myself farther. (Perhaps not geographically...) I believe that I made the right choice in attending Southeastern University. But I did not take opportunities, in high school, to expand my understanding of the world--the vastness of it. I know so little about the world that I live in. The people and cities that exist across the ocean. What do they think?
One of the main things I have enjoyed are the relationships I have made and the impact I have had on people, and they on me. An experience that was especially significant to me was when I was a Resident Assistant. I loved being a "go to" person on campus. Even when woken up at 4am because students locked themselves out of their room, I was thrilled to be able to help. It was valuable because it taught me responsibility. I enjoyed meeting such a variety of people. I love to sit and listen to peoples' views on life, morals, eternity, or anything else they have an opinion on. I have found that if you listen long enough, you earn the privilege of then being able to speak and be heard; there is a great richness of life that comes with that privilege. The ability to influence people is scary and fulfilling and is valuable because 100% of success involves interaction with people. Academically, I LOVE to learn and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of earning excellent grades. I have learned the valuable lesson of completing grueling work; life is hard and I have learned to rise to its challenge.
The best advice I could give them is to go to each school personally after acceptance and get the feel for the environment. Do you think its somewhere you would feel comfortable? Are there any clubs that particularly interest you? Do they have good equipment and resources for your specific major? How are the living areas? Is it clean? Its very important to know these things before coming to a school. How are thr professors? Does the school feel like it would be the right fit for you? You should be excited about going to college and should be happy with your choice because college is an experience that will last you a lifetime. It is also important that there are activities outside of school that you can partake in after hours. A movie theatre, coffee house, mall even a walmart should be located atleast within a 10 miles radius of the school. if there isn't, what does the school/student life dept do to keep student fulfilled and entertained. I know many students who have transfered schools because there was simply "nothing to do". The best advice I could give is to make an infformed decision.
Find the college that suits you -- the student. It is your decision and thats something to remember. Do your research. Think long term financing -- is this education going to cause unnecessary debt for me? If so think about two years of community college, get the basics out of the way, save thousands and then attend your choice university. Get involved! Activity not only looks great on resumes, but you meet friends for life . When you're apart of an organization you have the chance to broaden your horizens, make contacts and socialize at a higher level than just attending class. Talk to your professors! I also recommend fellowship with professors. Eating lunch with my teachers helped me to learn more than just the curriculum.Those connections are the same professionals that may write your recommendations once you graduate. Enjoy every minute of your college experience. Take it all in -- the stress, the anxiety, the long hours of study, the small dorms, and the drama -- because it comes and goes so fast and you really will want to make the most of one of the best experiences of your life.
Most importantly, I would say it is vital to find a school that provides a balanced combination of comfort and uncomfortability, sush that as a student, someone looking to attend would enjoy being part fo the school and take pride in it, but that it is also an environment that challenges the safety of everything you knew and understood up to this point. A student needs to let college stretch themselves, and help them learn more about themselves, as well as grow into yourself. Also, to put it simply, a schools environment is very important. Students may end up very dissapointed when they show up to a school because the students are not like them, or the philosophy of the school or student body doesn't match up with theirs. Make sure there isn't a values conflict, or a discrepancy between the school and what you want. Another important factor is location. It is easy to find a likeable school just about anywhere - but it is easiest to decide WHERE you want to be first: far away or close to home, in what part of the country with what whether, etc. This will help make the decision narrower.
When it comes to finding the right college it is important that you look at schools that offer the degree at which you are interested in. Finding a school that has a good academic program and is genuinely interested in each students' success at the school and helping each student land a job post-graduation. The College experience is one of the most difficult, yet the most rewarding time of anyone's life. When going to college and taking general education classes, think back on the time your English teacher in high school made you do this really hard project and then thank him/her for preparing you for your college level classes. Aside from academics it is important to get involved in groups to get the full college experience. These groups will get you connected and help you form friendships that will last a life time. Enjoy life while you can, but while enjoying it, don't forget to work, because when college is over and you are thrust into the real world, remember that you will have to work and provide for yourself. College is one of the best ways to learn and succeed in that.
I would say: Josh, make sure you study hard and work on you GPA because it will aid in your college avenues. Also, make sure you stay focused; worry less about following the crowds or about what people think of you. Their opinions will not get you anywhere. Apply for as many scholarships as you can--College will not be cheap at all. Consider what interests you as a future career because switching majors is no easy thing. You are smart and capable. Put your efforts towards your intellect rather than basketball; Basketball won't get you through college. Try to get involved with the community. doing so will aid you in experience for the future and classes. Be prepared to learn how to make decisions on you own. The best way to do that now is to learn not to lean on your family for help. When you begin college, do not get caught up with hanging out with the masses. Focus on your studies, and you should find a few good friends that will be of great encouragement to you throughout school and hopefully life. Always ask questions, and go to teachers for assistance--they won't mind.