To my former self “Aim for the stars but expect to be standing in a bit of mud”, “Aim for each star equally” and “Mothers are right (usually,75%).Having dreams is great but sometimes (always), you’ll get half of what you want. Standards are also great but being picky does narrow ones’ options, which is a bad thing to be before rejection letters. Furthermore, there are those in your life, who love you and give advice and ask things from you that are really in your best interest. You’re young and you may know what you want but trust that being older does mean being a little wiser. The most important message is to try to live a scheduled life. Being a free spirit is great and all but so is sleep. Buy two calendars and a scheduler. Dedicate time blocks for studying, reviewing notes and work for your classes and commitment to these times. Life will be little less stressful, and you’ll get more sleep. I want you to have time to nurture that dreamy, brassy and loud part of yourself. Also when you take leadership positions, you’ll be more effective on campus.
If I could go back and talk to me as a senior, I would tell myself to stop getting so nervous everytime I thought about leaving. I was so scared that I wouldn't make friends and that the classes would be too hard and that I would get homesick every 10 minutes and almost all of those things weren't true. I made friends, my classes are difficult, yes but manageable and while I do love my family, being away from them isn't unbearable enough to distract from other things that I need to focus on. And, just as a joke, I'd probably tell myself that my roommate isn't psychotic so don't worry about that, either.
It's me: you. I've come from 10 years into the future to give you some advice. First things first: don't think you need to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life right now. You've got so many interests that it feels like you're changing your mind all of the time, and that's totally okay. What's most important is enriching your life with friends that will always stand behind you, being aware of what's going on in your country as well as the rest of the world, and always strive to learn something new.
Most importantly: It gets better. Being an adult is awesome, but definitely get out and have some fun while you're young too. That said, once other people get to college, more important priorities begin to fall into place and so everyone else is right there with you going through the same thing.
You got this!
P.S - No I didn't arrive in a Delorean and please for the love of God lose the Hot Topic Tripp pants.
I would tell myself to engage with others more readily. I was shy for my first semester or so and ended up only having the people I lived with as friends. Although they were fantastic, I missed out on the opportunity to discuss ideas with a more diverse group. I often tell freshmen to be sure to talk to and get the phone number of at least one person in each class. That's important in case you miss something. More than that though, it's easier for me - a relatively quiet person by nature - to fully participate in class discussion when I feel like I have friends around me. In addition, on such a small campus, the walks between classes are much more interesting when you get to personally greet four or five people who you happen to cross on the way. One of the most fantastic aspects of the liberal arts experience is the ability to engage with people of a variety of backgrounds but with equal levels of passion. Relationships are essential. Talk to people!
Learn time management, and learn note-taking skills. More than anything. It is always better to get work done during the day, and have the nights to relax. Pace yourself - have the readings for classes with you wherever you go, and read and annotate throughout your day while you wait for things or if you get brief amounts of free time between classes. Go to the print lab at least thirty minutes before you need what you're printing. Your school work and your best friends are more important than parties, and in fact, partying with just your friends is a lot more fun than going to big, cantankerous parties. You'll know who these friends are because they'll want to stay in with you for fun, rather than encourage you constantly go out. You have control over your grades, your work, your investments and your happiness. When things seem too hard to handle, just breathe, make a plan, communicate with your professors, and remember: you got this.
Whatever you do in college, don't procrastinate. All it does is put a lot of stress on you at the end of everyday. Make sure to get enough sleep, for if you're tired in class, it just makes it harder to concentrate and get to work on homework when you get out. Always put school work before social life, at least to some degree, because if you spend too much time with your friends, you may have difficulty finishing your work later. Always remember that, no matter how long you think an assignment is probably going to take, it's probably going to take longer, so don't schedule your day thinking that you only have a couple hours of homework. On the weekends, make sure to at least get a start on your work on Friday. Also, use the writing center on campus. If you take any rough drafts for papers there, they will edit it for you. This can only do you good and doesn't take up much time. When you go, just take some other homework with you. Stay on top of things and don't allow yourself to fall behind.
If I could go back in time I would tell myself that time management is the key to my success in college. Procrastination is no longer an option. I will need a small agenda for my first year, but I should expect that this agenda will need to grow in size after this first year. I should also expect to feel a sense of accomplishment every time I check something off of the agenda and a sense of relief knowing that I can continue to be an active member in my sorority and campus organizations because I have gotten better at managing my time. I would also remind my younger self to enjoy senior year and being a teen because being a sophomore in college and no longer a teen is a scary thing. Thoughts about the real world start to slowly intrude into your mind, and you start wondering where your life is going, which is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Lastly, I would let it slip that there will be a great support team of friends, professors, and employers there for me everyday, so to take one day at a time and remember to breathe.
I would tell myself to keep up the hard work and BE RESPONSIBLE in everything you do. Don't allow complacency to set in and always give everything your best effort, no matter what you're doing. I would also tell myself to be more confident and not worry about the silly little things that have no impact on the big picture. Set goals for yourself and then have mini goals that help you attain the your main aspirations and don't ever give up on something just because it is difficult. Your four years in college determine a large part of the rest of your life and they are incredibly important so don't mess around and do everything to the best of your ability.
I would tell myself that it is worth the extra effort to graduate in 3 years with a high GPA (which is what I did). Though I wish that I had taken a semester or summer to study aboard. The few trips that I have taken abroad have been very educational and widened my world view. I would also warn myself to do my due diligance in researching schools. I transferred schools after my first year of college because I was unhappy with the rigor of coursework at my original university, and I wish that I had not spent a year not getting the most out of my education. I would also tell myself to take more language classes to either become more fluent in the language I took or learn the fundamentals of another language. I avoided these classes because my high school language classes were not interesting. When I took a language in college, however, I found the classes very interesting and beneficial to my skill set. Though there are not many things that I would change about my college experience, I would advise my younger self to take these things into consideration.
I have been attending my community college for almost 2 years. The experience that I have received here has been a very great experience. I work on campus so I am very involved in activities and in my study. I know various students who just go to class and go home right after class, but I believe that getting involved in different clubs will better a student's college experience. I conduct campus tours, make student identification cards, and inform students about the different clubs that my school offers so they can become involved and volunteer. Since I started working I became more concerned on keeping my GPA at a high level, making sure that I get to know and talk to my professors, and lastly became involved or volunteered somehow in my campus. I think becoming aware of everything that goes on improves a person as a student because you wouldnt just go to school and dread being there since it may seem unamusing. Becoming involved made my college experience in a community college more amusing to me and my education. I come to school with enthusiasm and dont dread waking up just to go to class or work.
I came to Southwestern knowing no one. Nobody from my high school class decided to come to Southwestern during the college selection process. After being here for a semester and a few weeks, I have gained friends where we support each other and have fun when we need it. The classes here are vigorous, but as a liberal arts school, I have been able to expand my horizons while focusing on my major at the same time. I have learned several life lessons and grown as an individual. I have developed independence, and gained an understanding about my parents. Even though I've been experiencing drama, I am learning how to work through the stress with the help of faculty and friends. When I look back to how I was one year ago, I have definitely seen a change in myself as a person and as a student. Southwestern is truly an experience and is a college that changes lives.
As a freshman at Howard community college, this past year has definitely been an eye opening experience for me. I have grown not only in the intellectual sense, but as a person, as well. I have become more confident in who I am and what I believe, as entering the realm of college has a way of challeging your past beliefs and cementing your convictions. Embracing this new season of life has molded me into a more confident, outgoing person, ready to take on the world. Although I still don't know what I want to become, college has opened doors to a whole new world of possiblilties and I have been enjoying the exploration. I have had the opportunity to take several classes in fields I might be interested in, which has provided a glimpse of what would be in store for my future should I go in that direction of study. I believe that college has been a worthwhile experience so far, and this is just the beginning!
My experience at Southwestern University transformed me from student to colleague. Professor interest and confidence in me, even as a first year, became my impetus to develop beyond the classroom and explore my role as a global citizen. Through outlets like the Paideia program – an honor program in which diverse cohorts of students meet for biweekly salons and collaborate on civic engagement and research projects – I was able to befriend students from nearly every department on campus. This allotted me a fuller, more complex understanding of my own subjects and my potential impacts on the world. With my curiosity sparked, I began an independent study which has since become my honor thesis and book project (to be published in 2012). The lively and intense academic environment of Southwestern also enabled me to assist in the direction of a Shakespearean play alongside a professor, spend a summer studying Comparative Ethnic Urbanisms in NYC, and present my own work at the Young Rhetoricians’ Conference in California. Southwestern helped me develop from a shy young woman into a strong public speaker, published author, and PhD-bound lifelong student. Southwestern's value, for me, is in how it has helped me better value myself.
A college of Southwestern’s academic caliber provides less time for socializing and self-indulgence in lieu of academic study, but as a liberal arts university, Southwestern makes it a priority to invest in the varying interests of each student and provides an arena of rigorous academic study that also embraces artistic means of gaining and exercising intellect. Thus, I have gladly received professional instruction in music, photography, writing and other of my personal interests in my coursework. The highest emphasis may be placed on writing, however. However, while fiction is my forte and prime interest in composition, my Christian faith also pulls my interests toward ministerial writing; for example, allegorical novels illustrating biblical doctrine, and so forth. Southwestern has proven to be a breeding ground of educated individuals possessing the ability to expertly communicate ideas, both verbally and in written form. I have seriously grown in my ability to write while at Southwestern and this is a priceless gift in my opinion. In sum, I hope to be able to continue my education at Southwestern and further hone my various skills for use in the future. This scholarship would enable me to do just that.
During my time at Southwestern, I was able to expand my research skills and present my research at two national conferences. In doing so, I feel better prepared for a graduate school program that focuses on research. Also, because the courses are so demanding, my study skills have improved. Although I (as many students at Southwestern do) spent a majority of my time studying, I was still able to be actively involved in the social scene on campus. Therefore, I feel I was able to find the perfect balance between having a social life and academically preparing for my future. Furthermore, the one-on-one opportunities that professors at Southwestern offer are unlike any other experience that I have heard about on other campuses. Professors know their students and become actively engaged in their life outside of the classroom. In doing so, I feel that professors have ben better able to write letters of recommendation for students seeking internships, employment, and graduate school acceptance.
The biggest thing that I got out of my college experience was when I discovered my passion for psychology. When I first started college, I was not sure what I wanted to major in, but I was leaning towards Computer Science. I enjoyed the programming classes, but math is definitely not one of my strong points, so I had to work really hard just to pass those classes. One year, I took an introductory course in psychology, just to see what it was about. I ended up absolutely loving the subject and I knew that I wanted to learn more about it and become a psychologist in the future. I am now working on a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and loving every minute of it.
Southwestern University has allowed me to continue to pursue my Business major and Comunications minor at a prestigious school. Southwestern has also opened my view on life and different people, allowing me to accept more people for how they are and not to pre judge how individuals act or look. I have also made life long friends that I can trust and talk to whenever I need. Attending Southwestern has also allowed myself to become more responsible and independent because I have to live on my own now, without parents or anyone who I look up to to use as an example. Southwestern has set my career and what I want to do with my life. It is very valuable to attend Southwestern because it does not only teach you academia and expand your knowledge, but it also allows you to grow as a person and become stronger through life lessons so you can live a comfortable and happy life.
I am just going back to colledge after 25 years. I have decided that I would like to further my education and career by attending college. My children are now grown and it is a decision of mine to go back to school. When you are young, it is a part of life to go to school or to not go to school. After 25 years, I have decided to go back to school. To make this decision after such a long time is a need that I have to fulfill. It is something I want more than anything in life at this point of my life. I think that this makes me a great candidate for college because I have experience in many parts of my life, but I also know that this is a thought through decision. I want to work in the health field and be a part of the wonderful things that come from working in the health field. I believe that I can make a difference in this world. Life is short and I am not done learning and hoping to learn.
I have gotten more life experience from my college experience. Life experience is the most vauable experience any indiviual can receive. This can be obtain thru a family crisis or a weekend camping with friends. I have learned more about decision making and time management. These areas have been significantly impacted by my college experience. A huge impact on decision making came when I was at my first party and I was pressured to drink. I had never drinked before and didn't want to say no to my friend. He took me to get a drink but had to go. At the moment he left, I felt relieved and thought about my decision not to say no. This experience and the afterthoughts really helped form my decision making skills and I really am grateful for it.
I have been in college for only a few months; however I feel as if I have experienced so much. I have experienced living in a dorm, moving away from home, playing a collegiate sport, joining groups such as Catholic Student Association, Pirate Crew, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, meeting new diversity of people, and creating a new chapter in my life. Starting college was like opening a new journal in my life. I had the pen in my hand, and the opportunity to write my own journey. So far my time in college has been the most challenging and exciting time in my life. College has been valuable to my life because it has forced me to grow up and start to be more independent. It has also challenged me in many ways, especially, academically. I feel like every day is a new and exciting challenge.
I have discovered what I want to major in and accomplish in life. In the beginning of my college career I was unsure, so I decided to try out a couple majors. After taking some classes and doing some volunteering, I discovered I want to be a teacher. I think the longer I have been in school the more I appreciate my teachers and the job that they do. My volunteer work helped me choose an age group, but it was mainly my teaching classes and classroom experience that contributed to my newly discovered goal: to become a certified, influencial and succesful 1st grade teacher. I believe that even my first few classes in my college career were valuable. Although they were not classes in the area I focused on today, the helped guide me to the right decision and discover what I am capable of.
The most valuable thing I have gotten out of my college experience is life. Southwestern University has surrounding me by so many people like me. I'm not saying our campus isn't diverse, but everyone here loves life and feels like part of a giant family. I have made friendships that will last a life time, and connections that will further me in my future career. The professors not only teach they're respective subjects, but they teach life lessons. Some at SU would consider the professors mean, but its just tough love. I have learned so much regarding my major, and so much more that has nothing to do with a formal education. My attendance at Southwestern University gave me something truly valuable, a kickstart for life.
I would adivsemyself to practice reading and writing as much as I could and then more. These two skills are the most important for producing successful work in your college studies. I would also tell myself to apply as early as possible for any scholarship that is even remotely applicable to me. The stress of adjusting to college is only compunded with the stress of financial insecurity.
College life is fun and exciting, but that does not mean that there are not responsibilities like studying. I knew going to college that I would probably spend more time studying than I did in high school, but I still felt that I would be able to spend the week focused on school and have weekend to relax. My high school self should have been prepared to sacrifice some weekends which would have made my first year less of a shock. Some other key points for survival at any university include using online resources to purchase books at least three weeks before a semester starts. This sometimes includes emailing professors for book lists. Also purchasing school supplies for both semesters in August when everything is on sale will help reduce costs! Mainly, I would say try and meet as many new people as you possibly can because study groups go a long way.
College is a completely different world. It is like having a double life, one back at home and another on campus. I would tell myself to create my second life exactly how I want it. It is a fresh start surrounded by people going through the exact same thing you are. The transition is scary at first, extremely scary, but completely worth it. The advice I was given going into college is the same I would give to myself again, stay focused. That doesn't exclude the social focus, but you are in college for a reason, to grow into an adult you would be proud of. I would tell myself to "be the change you wish to see in others" and make a diiference.
In college, you can be almost anyone you dream to be, so make it happen.
Don't hesitate - jump into things more quickly, be bold. You're going to love college life and being away from home, so don't be so worried about it. Don't be afraid to get more involved right away, you'll handle the schoolwork much better than you thought. In the meanwhile, please look up scholarships and such. This should come as no surprise, but your family can't handle the loans very well and the idea of leaving your school is devastating. So keep on top of it, and start pestering your mom NOW to start helping. Save up money, but don't be afraid to use some of it to be yourself. Because college will really bring you into being yourself, and you will love it. Life is, and will be, good.
If I could, I would tell myself this: In its simplest form, Southwestern University helps us determine not only what we would like to do after graduation, but who we would like to be. University is a time of change and growth. It allows us to grow from children to adults, from dependence to independence, from questioning to understanding. Like the changing of the seasons, Southwestern University allows us to grow into the people we truly are. There are no rules on the clothes you can wear, the things you do between classes; the norms of everyday life as you once knew are all but erased. We shed these old ways of life little by little, one day at a time, our leaves fluttering to the ground as time passes, until finally we are left with nothing to hide ourselves. We are exposed to the elements, to grow stronger and in confidence in who we want to be. You?ll find that as the wind whisks away the leaves, the people and memories that keep you rooted become your remaining connections to the world as you once knew it and the defining factors of what will grow in its place.
Visit all the colleges your are applying to, stay overnight talk to as many people as possible. Once you are there talk to your proffessors, go to class, get involved in at least one group, and do the assignments!!
When you are looking into a college that you want to go to, make sure you visit the campus and get a feel for the atmosphere and people that go there. While there talk to as many people as you can and even try to attend a class in your intended degree if possible. While in a class observe how interactive students are, if you plan on skipping class go to a large school and if you want one on one help go to a smaller school. While you are on campus talk to the department head for your intended major to insure that when you graduate you will be able to get into your intended field or grad school. If all of the information you gather seems to add up to the school for you, talk to financial aid. MAKE SURE YOU CAN AFFORD IT. Financial aid will help out a lot if you push and work every angle, but don't put yourself in a position to take out more loans than you can pay back when you graduate. College will be the best years of your life if you pick the right one.
Do your research. Find what interests the student applying and use websites like the college board to find what suits you. Apply for lots of scholarhips. It helps if you know what you might want to major in but it's not necessary. Do college visits; how you "feel" on a campus is completely different when you're actually there as opossed to looking at it on paper or the internet.
In order to find the right college, the student should visit as many colleges they are inerested in as possible. Try on different colleges. They each have a different vibe and atmosphere. I think visiting the college and talking to current students will really help in making the decision. Also, make sure the college has the major you think you are interested in. If you are interested in Engineering, you do not want to go to a college that does not offer that major. You will just have to end up transferring.
To make the most of your college experience, the student must first do an analysis of themselves and think about what they want to get out their undergraduate career. I think it is a good idea to be a well-rounded student. Take advantage of all the opportunites around you-- get involved on campus, get to know your peers and your professors. Do not be afraid to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. College goes by fast and you want to be sure you did more than just go to class, study and then graduate.
I would say do not be afraid; don't be afraid to leave your home, what you know, or your comfort zone. Just go for it and, trust me, you will not regret it. College is the most important time in your life and you get so much out of it, coming out a different person than you came in.
visit the school to see if you like the way it feels!
To any parents and/pr students who are looking at Southwestern University to further the students education, I say this: Southwestern is a small liberal arts school where students are academically focused. Professors have personal relationships with almost all their students and are willing to meet students outside of class. In fact, they encourage it. This is the right school for people who want to be in a small community where they will see someone familiar every time they step foot outside. I would definitly advise that anyone who enjoys going to big sporting events and thrives in a school-spirited atmosphere should think twice before attending Southwestern. I also think that a campus tour is a must because the campus is truely beautiful. Another good aspect of smallness of this school is that there are many opportunities to be involved in numerous organizations. This is a great way to mingle with people from all different walks of life, because despite its low student population, Southwestern is home to students with many different view points and opinions about life. If someone is looking for a small, academically based liberal arts school, then Southwestern University will not dissapoint.
Find a school that fits your lifestyle. If you don't like cold weather but love being outside, choose a school further south. Also make sure you are comfortable with the school's size. Some students feel that big schools are overwhelming while others feel that small schools are too boring; find your own perfect balance. If you stop by the campus you should definitely check out the cafeteria food. Remember: you're going to be eating that stuff about twice a day, everyday (unless you have a lot of extra spending money to eat out all the time). You should also take housing into consideration and ask if you can see a typical freshman dorm. Are freshmen required to live on campus? If so, when can students move off campus? Is there affordable yet acceptable off campus housing available? Overall, make sure you like a lot of things that have to do with freshman year, like orientation, housing, food, etc. because if you don't enjoy your first year at a school odds are you will always have that bad taste in your mouth and no matter how good upperclassmen have it, you will never enjoy it.
Find a school that seems to fit you and then search for schools similiar to that school. Once in school start immmediately to find a group interested in the same activities or ideas as you and begin to immerse yourself in campus life. This will make the transition easier.
College indeed flies by, although at times it may seem to be endless when you are overwhelmed with exams and papers. Enjoy your college experience and make the most of the opportunities that lie before you. I have met life-long friends and mentors that I know will continue to flourish throughout the remainder of my life. I discovered my passion for science and ways that I can give back to others in my own community. I found my voice and told others through my work in advocacy & education. I have no regrets and wish that I could rewind the clock and relive some of the greatest moments of my life on that beautiful campus in Georgetown, TX. Go Pirates!
Visit all of the campuses you are interested in, talk to some of the students, and get an idea of how comfortable you could be there for 4 years. Making good friends and having an active social life will greatly increase your chances of finishing your degree.
I strongly recommend going to a university that offers small classes. The small classes that Southwestern had enabled students to have in depth discussions. The students were encouraged to ask questions to the class. The class would then discuss what the answer to the question may be with guidance from the professor. This type of learning environment is highly recommended versus lectured classes.
After speaking with some friends from larger schools, they explained that some classes they would only show up for tests. Is this learning how to articulate your answers or memorize multiple choice? Real life is not multiple choice and some questions do not have one answer. Students need to learn and discuss their opinions instead of memorizing answers in their short term memory.
I am a student and I do not know what my parents would suggest. If I had to guess, I would recommend for parents to visit their children often, annouced of course. College is a difficult transition time for students whether parents can see that or not. Thus, children need their parents to visit and show emotional support.
Don't base the decision on money. I based mine off of where I felt the most comfortable and that worked out well for me. Think long and hard about where you want to go both for school and in life following. How will the schools you're looking at fit into that picture for your future? I really appreciate my parents letting me go to school so far away from home and I'm glad that I had the strength and courage to go there myself. It worked for me and helped me to persue other dreams since graduation.
I think the most important thing is to know what you want, which is difficult, because often it is hard to know. What helped me was visiting the campus and talking to staff, faculty, and students. I find faculty and students will be the most honest with you about their experience. Also, do your research. Know what you would be willing to live with, like a really small student body if you want small classes. Explore the surrounding areas and always ask a lot of questions!
Many colleges can be the right one and it's primarily up to you to make the most of it.
Prestige can be illusory. The best way to really judge the quality of a school is by looking close-up a its faculty. If you tour the college, ask to meet a professor. They should at least have time to say hi.
Be honest with yourself about what kind of college experience you're looking for. Do you want to personally know your professors? Do you want to sit in large lecture classes? Are you looking for a very competetive environment or would you prefer a school that has a really active social scene? If you can answer these questions you'll be able to really narrow which schools might be right for you. Also consider whether you want to go home a lot on the weekends-- this might determine how far from home you decide to go. Whatever you decide, realize that you can always transfer schools if you're unhappy with what you've initially chosen. But before you make any kind of decision to transfer make sure you're giving it your best shot. The first semester is inevitably hard and it will be an adjustment. Everyone is in the same boat though and most schools do their best to help you adapt to your new environment.
go to an overnight visit and ask lots of questions.
To parents and students looking for advice on finding the right match and making the most of the entire college experience, I would say: research until your eyes roll into the back of your head, ask questions until people are sick of it, and visit as many campuses as possible. Don't hesitate to go to school far away from home- I often think that I would have been much happier had I left Texas and gone somewhere more liberal and diverse. Students- make note of what you are looking for in a school, what you hope to get out of it, the kind of milieu that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Then pick the school you feel best represents that. Heck, go with your gut and take some chances.
I feel it is very important to visit the campus of the prospective college that you wish to attend. I believe that the school has to feel right for you. Can you see yourself spending the four best years of your life there? If not then reconsider your choice. Also do not let athletics decide or limit your college search. Athletics is often important for prospective students, but like the NCAA comercials say, "The majority of these athletes will be going pro in something other than sports." Pick a school that will allow you to truly find yourself, and find what it is that you are passionate about. Do not pick a school because your friends go there, college is about having new experiences and sometimes it can be uncomfortable. Without adversity growth is not possible, and that is what college is about. Personal growth and getting prepared to live your live, wherever it may take you.
Find a campus where you know you'll get the most out of the experience personally. It's not important how good the sports teams are or whether it's considered ivy league. The most important thing about a college is finding a place where you're comfortable with your surroundings and the people on campus. Parents, encourage your kids to take a wide variety of classes their first year so they can decide what they're interested in pursuing. Students, subject in college is never taught the same way it was in high school, so take at least one class from a field you weren't into in high school just to see how things have changed.
Choosing the right college is about knowing what makes you happy. If continuing a family legacy is what makes you happy; if attending the same school as your friends is what makes you happy; if taking the plunge by yourself is what makes you happy; if being in a small school or a large school in-state or out of state is what makes you happy, then that's what you should do. If the fit is wrong, it can take away from what should be your chance to discover who you're meant to be. You should take advatange of opportunities that are presented to you. Temptation to relax and slack off after high school can easily strike when parents are no longer watching your every move, but college is preparation for the future, and the things you learn are the foundations for what you will be making of your life when you graduate. Everything you learn is meant to enrich you, even if it doesn't seem like it when you're writing the ten-page paper. Don't forget to ask for help when you need it; life in an out of school can use support.
When you walk onto a campus the first thing to do is breath in deep. If you don't like the way it smells, leave. You need to be in a space where you can breathe in and it isn't a chore. After that test, go on the tours, ask all the questions, and then stick around for awhile. Walk into random buildings on your own, approach people to see how they respond. Make it a point to seek out potential interest groups and see how they might respond to you. Schedule to sit in on a class in the subject you feel passionate about- pay attention to the way students interact with their professor and the other way around. Talk to the financial aid office, the business office and any other offices the student may have to approach throughout the year. Make money the last reason why you choose a school. Money exists and is attainable wherever you may go, but the right education makes all the difference. Enough cookie fortune comments, pursue several universities and allow their acceptances or rejections to help you choose from those places the student enjoyed the most.
Find a perfect fit for you, not for your best friend, not for your highschool sweetheart, but for you.
Don't believe people who tell you that you can have small classes at a large campus or large parties at a small campus (without getting caught). If they tell you that professors at large schools really care about you, or that professors at small schools will let you get away with skipping, not doing work, etc. they have an experience that is an exception to the rule, and are lying to you.
Apply thinking that wherever you end up is where you will stay, don't consider transfering as an option when applying (unless transfering within a school system to the main campus).
Apply to dream schools and be willing to be suprised by how not "ideal" college ends up being. It is people who come in expecting to have a specific experience that are let down the most. People who come in with an open mind end up loving it.
Also be willing change who you think you will be when you're in high school, it will ease your cognitive dissonance in the end.
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