I'd tell myself to not pick a major and just take the time to explore what I'm actually interested in. It's okay to not know what you want to do with your life yet, you're only 18 and just beginning to find out what the world has to offer for you.
Regarding roommates: be vocal about what you want and need, they're not going to figure it out if you keep quiet.
Make sure you actually go to class, but don't be afraid to skip for something that's worth it.
Don't value romantic relationships over your friends; these people are amazing and you're going to form your own little family. Try not to resent your friends when they don't do the same; remember, it's a learning curve.
These next four years are going to fly past you, so enjoy it. Take lots of pictures and keep little souvenirs of the trips you take.
But most of all: breathe.
If I could go back to being a high school senior, I would tell myself to enjoy the moment. As a senior all I could think about was all the things I wanted to do. I couldn't wait to graduate college, start a career, get married, and have a family. Now that I have done all those things, even though they are even more fantastic then I ever imagined, I look back at high school and think how fantastic that was too. I look at pictures of those days and think how beautiful I looked, and how much fun that was. If only I had taken the time to appreciate it then, rather than racing ahead to the future, maybe I would have felt more fulfilled. Instead, all I wanted to do was get to my future and fast. Now, ten years later, all I want to do is slow it down. I have two daughters of my own, and I just wish I could have a pause button to keep them in place for a while, to enjoy them as they are now. Just like I should have done. I should have enjoyed myself as I was then.
I would tell myself that my reputation is the most important thing I have. I should be careful about the image I project to others and not be too spontatneous and impulse driven upon arriving at college. I should realize that it is also incredibly important to use discretion when making new friends on campus as it is difficult to break free from one social realm and enter into another. I would also tell myself to focus more on long term planning and future goals and not take for granted the opportunity I had in attending a fairly prestigious school. I would tell myself too be more patient with life, be more driven and pay more attention to what I may want to do upon graduating and to examine the career choice that I had planned for myself and gain real world experience in that field to make sure that it was right for me. Lastly, I would tell myself to be patient and to never be discouraged regardless of any health problems or obstacles on the way to success that may be encountered.
In high school, I wanted to join the military. Looking back now, I think I'd sooner take up knife juggling or casually memorize pi. An injury from a pole vaulting accident caused me to lose the appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, for which I had worked all four years. I was devastated--and suddenly I was valedictorian with no college plans. I pulled myself together and found St. Mary's. I also found my own voice. I wasn't a member of a platoon. I wasn't a stereotype; I wasn't a statistic. I was a writer, a traveler, a backpacker. I was on a greyhound traveling across the country. I was on a plane to Vietnam, and a rickshaw in Pondicherry, India, in a canoe in the Amazon. I was without a bed or a guaranteed meal every day. None of that mattered. I learned that the world was my campus. I learned that the freedom to learn about myself and the world was what college had give me: new dreams. I am far less sure of my future, I am very nearly penniless, and I am happier than I have ever been.
My experiences in college through one semester have given me a lot of experience in the real world socially and economically while also learning a lot in the classroom.
Through one semester, I've had to deal with drug-dealing roommates, poor experiences with a baseball coach and transfering schools. Those experiences socially have tought me how to deal with any negative situation and somehow find the positive and the ways to overcome these obsticles. With the drug-dealing roommate, I notified the school that I was in no way involved and I shouldn't be held responsible if he were to get caught. Sure enough, a week later he was caught by the police in an off-campus situation and was suspended from school.
Economically, my family has experienced divorce, unemployment, and a lot of debt in the past 5 years. With these main economic problems, my parents have given me the responsibility to pay for my own college education. With that huge responsibility, I have had to become very aware of my personal finances and manage them accordingly.
In the classroom, I maintained a 3.55 GPA and learned a lot in my various fields of study.
Ive really become a better person overall by attending SMCM. Before, I really wasn't outgoing, motivated to do work, and and didn't have many friends. In college, you interact with everyone more, and especially at St. Mary's your classmates are very nice and really want to get to know you and be your friend. Not only that, but my professors and friends have motivated me to work harder and do well for myself. St. Mary's has made me into a better person overall, and I love what I've become and the place that made me into who I am today.
Through my small, liberal arts college education, I have experienced quality teaching by teachers who knew my name, in small classes filled with students who knew each others names. I have developed important social skills, as well as strong bonds with my classmates and my professors. Additionally, I received a well rounded education, focusing not just in science, but English, history, and art. As a result, I am able to address problems, not just from one perspective, but through multiple lenses. My mind is flexible and my knowledge is broad. I am equipped to go anywhere and do anything. I am prepared for a lifetime of opportunities and changes, as well as any challenges that lie ahead.
Pushing off the dock and into the St. Mary?s river requires me to take a leap of faith. At first there?s a burst of cold, but as I submerge, the water swallows me leaving me feeling free and empowered. As I resurface my heart beats differently as though I have rediscovered life. When I came to St. Mary?s I thought I was certain of one thing: I would never be truly happy because my life would never be my own. I believed that my parents, my boyfriend, and my high school determined my future. Instead, St. Mary?s pulled me into its current and opened up all the waterways of the world to me. The beautiful river and history illustrated to me that while I was connected to my past I did not have to continue it. The in-depth teachings and the strong belief in the importance of originality showed me I must fully submerge myself to be in charge of my future. Finally, St. Mary?s led me to believe that the most important lesson is to enjoy life and that includes love, learning, and jumping in with a splash.
College allowed me to develop as an independent person. I have one older brother. He is incredibly bright and social. I grew up feeling like I was constantly in his shadow. After going to college, I was able to break free and discover my own personal interests and strengths. When I studied abroad in Greece, my eyes were opened to another culture and taught me to be adventurous. I was a very picky eater growing up, but Greek food brightened my palate. Now, I will try any food!
Attending college was particularly valuable because it was a big stepping stone in learning what I truly want to do in my life. I became fascinated with culture and how food plays a role in culture. The obesity epidemic and eating disorders are substantial issues in American culture. These issues are rooted in our culture and our values. I want to pursue a career in preventing obesity and eating disorders and encourages children to live a healthy lifestyle. Without college and the help of my academic advisor, Iris, I would not be the same person I am.
The first day of college is terrifying. You are surrounded by strangers, all trying to succeed in a new environment. High school has left you with certai stereotypes, and you struggle to figure out which group you will belong to here. My college almost instandly proved these instincts wrong. St. Mary's is labeled as a "hippie" or "liberal" school. After my orientation there, I realized why, and was grateful for it. The people there are much more open minded than those at my private, Catholic high school. Upon meeting them, my terror quickly receeded. I was not expected to be any certrain type of person. I could find my own way, without needing to fit into a group. Just because two peopel do not share the same beliefs does not mean that they cannot become friends. In college, I learned who I was. I was given the freedom and opportunities to travel and join a variety of clubs, all teaching me new things about myself. Without this invaluable experience, I would still be suffocating under the weight of others' expectations, not knowing my potential as an individual, or the amazing things I could do in life.
I have gotten a lot of insight into very different aspects of the world through my college experience so far. I've taken Political Science , Music in History, Contemporary Biology, all kinds of Psychology classes, ethics etc. I've learned and still am learning about how to study better and retain informantion better. I've learned that procrastination is the root of college evil, just don't do it , it won't benefit you in the long run. I've learned that even though school and grades is important you have ot set aside time to relax, takea breath , eat, and have fun and then go back to studying and doing your homework. It has been valuable to attent St. Mary's College of Maryland because I'm furthering my education so that I can graduate and hopefully get a nice job , my ultimate goal is to become a child/teen therapist.
College is a wonderful place to discover what you want, what you want to become, what you are capable of achieving. Don?t be afraid to do different things and develop new interests. Everything that you choose to participate in will have an impact on your life in the future, and so will everything you choose to skip, so choose wisely.
Take your college classes seriously because the grades are important, but know that you are a good student and a smart student, that won?t change so loosen up and enjoy yourself. Meeting new people and having experiences unrelated to academia will shape the person you are going to become, and that is serious too.
For every class you take do something new and different. It will be such a rewarding experience and you will be amazed at what you can do!
For you, graduation is a certainty; know that. But the rest of college is an unwritten adventure from the first day you step on campus; make it one that you look back on with genuine joy and no regrets!
Slow down! This isn't high school, and you wouldn't want it to be. You don't need to join everyclub and take every class. Think simple. Take your time to tryout new and different things, but there's no reason to stretch yourself too thin. You've got four years in this place to explore all it has to offer. You no longer have people holding your hand, constantly watching out for your physical and mental well being. So, you need to be the one to be looking out. If you need help, you need to ask for it. Go to your advisor, meet with your professors. College is stressful; so always find to relax. Stay calm, have fun, and soak in the freedom. However, never loose sight of your goals. You know what you expect of yourself, now you need to go forward and get it.
make sure to make friends with different types of people....it really makes the experience
I would tell myself to go out and talk to people on campus. Many people and friendly and willing to make friends instead of ostracizing people they don't know. I would also tell myself to make sure to get A's the 1st 2 semesters, and the workload and classes will never be as easy as they were then and its helps to boost your G.P.A. when it is possible
If I could go back to myself in my senior year of high school, I would advise myself to not be afraid of failure. Throughout my academic career, I have always been pushed to do more than what was expected and to never "drop the ball" or fail at anyhing. I was driven to try to be the best. When I began college, I learned that being the best isn't the most important thing and that failure is not a defect in character . To fail at something isn't a sign of weakness or wrong. Failure is just an attempt to achieve something and finding out that your approach may not be the right one. If you fail, it doesn't mean you are stupid or inadequate, it means that you need to alter or change your perspective or approach to a challenge in order to succeed. Once I grasped hat understanding I was no longerafraid of failure. If I failed at something, either academially or personally, it meant to me that I needed to reaccess my approach and try a diferent way to achieve my goals.
Join clubs. Be yourself and have fun. Get involved and don't care what other people think, because many people are only living for themselves. Learn to accept things that you cannot change, and learn how to roll with the punches. Life goes on even if something may seem like the end of the world, and don't let life pass you by because it sure goes by quickly. Leaving home and going away to college is a rough transition, but if you use your resources and accept that others are going through the same thing, your transition will be a lot easier.
I would tell myself to be open to new ideas, as well as to become more social as a person. Mostly, I would tell myself to become more focused and diligent as a student as well as to know your limits. I have always been a hard worker, but I realized I have a learning disorder while in college which greatly affects my ability to stay focused and understand topics. I can get over this obstacle with hard work, but it would help if I learned the importance of time management and to not procrastinate on assignments. While I usually get everything done on time, I would be better off and a lot less stressed if I started things earlier.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would try to impress upon myself the idea that things have a way of working out for the best. I was very scared about leaving home to go to college, and did not enjoy the college application process. I stumbled upon St. Mary's College of Maryland accidentally, and applied blindly, just as I did to six other colleges. I am so happy every day that I made this accidental discovery, because I cannot imagine being as happy anywhere else.
Keep on truckin'!
I would start by telling myself that I am making the right choice by attending St Mary's. I would tell myself that although I am unsure how to approach the next four years of the rest of my life, there will always be people who can point me in the right direction so long as I have the courage to ask, that everything will be easier if I let the little things just roll off my shoulders and that a good night's sleep can cure anything. I would tell myself not to let stress come before the things I love. I would tell myself that it won't be easy, that I won't always get what I want or what I think I deserve, but in the end, it will all have been worth it because it I will finally know who I am.
If this is the advice from only 1.5 years in school, I cannot wait to see what I have gathered from St Mary's by graduation.
Practical Aside: I would tell myself not to chicken out of the AP exams. No one tells you how valuable a few extra credits are.
I would tell myself to stop worrying so much. I would say "Hey, look, in a few months you are going to move to a place that's amazing in so many ways: for its natural beauty, its kind and welcoming students and staff, its challenging academics, and its dedication to the world around it. Within two days you're going to realize just how incredibly lucky you are to go to St. Mary's and wish you never have to leave it, just like so many of the other students there. You're going to learn new ways of looking at the world you would never have thought of, whether its an entirely new perspective on Greek mythology or the incredible perspectives of the Hindu religion, or how to read and analyze literature. Most importantly, you're going to make lifelong friends. Not all of it will be easy, but, looking back, you won't regret a single thing."
There is no one right college for anyone. Ultimately college is what you make out of it. So, find a school that will give you the academic tools you need, which you feel comfortable about, and go in with a positive attitude and enjoy it while you have the money.
I strongly believe in visiting the college of choice and spending time getting to know the campus. It is important to gain a sense of the campus before making a decision. Research the school; find out what it's known for. Talk to students and don't be afraid to ask questions about the campus. Parents, make sure your child knows that they have your full support no matter which college they chose, even if it is not your alma mater. Understand that it is his/her time to chose a future alma mater. In addition, understand that even if your child doesn't come home every weekend or doesn't call every day, he/she is still thinking about you and still loves you. Students, don't be afraid to venture into the unknown, but as my mother always says, "Remember who you are." Be confident in the decisions you make and don't let fear decide what courses you will and will not take. Don't be afraid to speak out, ever. You have a chance to start fresh so use this opportunity wisely. Lastly, aim high in terms of GPA first semester. It makes things easier later.
When looking for which college will suit you best, decide on the sort of program that you would like to enter, and find schools that fit the bill. To narrow down between these schools, its important to look at class sizes, as well as the extracurricular activities available.
The best advice I can give to parents and to students who are having trouble picking the right college is to let the student decide for themselves. You as a student can't let anyone else influence your choice. It is going to be your education, and it is going to be a school that you are going to learn from, not your friends, not your family. Visit the schools, spend a night there, join in on some classes, and find out if the school is everything that it appears to be. Don't be shy, ask any questions you have to anyone, don't always rely on the tour guides ask students who aren't in a hurry a question or two about the school, get honest opinions. Finally, go with your gut. Pick the school that calls to you the most, not the school that calls you the most.
I really enjoy my time at St Mary's. There are millions of things to do, and a great library for when you really need to get work done. Having the river there is great, because you can check out kayaks and sailboats from the school. The construction on campus just finished, and has tons of green features., with a new Student Services building opening this semester. The school is very environmentally conscious, and the food is great if a little monotonous ofter a while. This is a great choice if you want small classes, and accesible professors who will know your name.
Make sure when you want to find a school you visit it. I know plenty of people that made the mistake of choosing the school they wanted to go to without even knowing what it looked like (the facilities, who goes there, the staff, etc.) For me, visiting my college was the reason I decided to go there. I didn't want to go to any other school after visiting it. It was the first school I visited and nothing after it compared. However, I feel that it is essential to visit all the schools you plan to put on your list of choices.
The best way to evaluate whether a college is right for you is to experience it first-hand. Visit as many schools as possible. Tour the campus to see if the surroundings please you. Sit in on some classes related to your area of interest in order to evaluate how interesting and well-structured the academics are. Talk to as many students as possible, to see what the student population is like in general and also to find out what they think of their school. Stay overnight if you can.
If you are a parents, encourage and support your child in making as many visits as possible, and allow them to form their own unguided opinions. Your input is valuable but ultimately, their impression of a place is the most important one.
Make sure to visit the college that you decide to go to, find out if you can take a class or stay the night there. Make sure the size of the school is right for you and check out the classes they offer for your intended major.
Colleges and universities everywhere promote the well-being of their students and generally want them to suceed at their school. So, my advice to all those students striving to find the right college is this: research colleges and universities with the student's interests and potential programs in mind and then go to those colleges and universities to really get a feel of college life. If you feel strongly for two or more, don't fret - apply to all of them! I did not get my first choice college and at the time, I was devastated. However, I am extremely happy at the college I chose in it's place. So, go out there, get a feel for the academics and the spirit of each college, and find the one that seems to call out to the student's individual academic and personal needs. Trust me, you'll get there one way or another!
It is important to visit the college and, if possible, spend a night there with a current student. This will allow you to get a feel for the atmosphere of the campus, both in class and out of class. Most of the life on a college campus occurs out of the classroom, so it is vital to see what the campus life is like and decide if it appeals to you. Also, knowing whether a small or large campus is preferable to you is important, as it can impact your ability to enjoy your college experience greatly.
Actually spending time at the school prior to committing in important. You need to get a feel for the vibe and atmosphere of the campus and the people that you would be spending years with. Sit in on a class, eat lunch in the dining hall. Find somewhere to sit and observe the campus interactions before deciding where you want to go. You need to feel at home at college. Blindly choosing without actually spending time on campus is ridiculous.
At school, try new things and meet new people. It is incredible how different people's ideas can be. Take it all in. Try to do something new at least once a month if not more. Take advantage of the opportunities that the school has to offer.
Visit lots of schools and talk to lots of students. When you find a college that makes you feel at home, you'll know it. You just need to be clear on what makes you feel comfortable and what atmosphere will make you most able to do your work.
Be brave and make new friends. And get involved. Try to avoid forming a clique. A lot of students feel the need to form a new family when they get to school. That can be nice because you always have people to hang out with, but it's also really limiting. The bigger the community you form, the better.
Know in advance if you are looking for TRULY public school priced education, or if you can afford private school so you can compare private schools. Have a good perspective about public schools and the quality of education even at big schools. Keep an open mind and make sure that the student is willing to try new things- bigger classes, smaller classes, teachers, TAs, etc. make sure that they are independent enough and ready to make the most of the college experience so they can grow as a person.
Go where you can aford.. there are good people everywhere! The people like your professors and friends are what make college so memorable and enjoyable. Also, don't be afraid to go off and do something new all by yourself... it'll be empowering and you'll learn a lot!
As far as picking the school that would best fit you, I would definitely recommend going to visit the schools you are thinking about multiple times. Also staying overnight with someone at the school would be very wise because many times, tours can not do the school justice or give you a true sense of how you would fit in there. School is going to be difficult to trasition to, but don't let that discourage you. In the beginning weeks you may feel upset or evend depressed with all the change and feeling lost without friends, but don't let that discourage you. Put yourself out there and try to meet new people. You never know who your new friends could be, and always remember everyone is in the same boat as you. Academically, just try to not fall behind with work because it will catch up to you, and it's better to be ahead or on time then to lag behind in your classes and become overwhelmed. Just trying your best is good enough and don't let classes overwhelm you to the point of exhaustion and overbearing stress. You're there to learn and have fun.
Go with your gut. You'll know when you find the perfect fit. Don't judge a school till you visit.
When you visit a school and get that "warm fuzzy feeling" you know it's the one for you. Also, look at the people, how they interact with you and eachother, the location, resources and academics at the school, extra-curriculars/clubs, and campus dining. You want to feel comfortable, have fun, be able to get where you want with your career, and be healthy and happy.
I have an essay to write for class now, so i am going to do that now.
Think long and hard about what subject you'd like to major and have a clear idea about it within your freshman year. Do not be fooled by colleges that are attempting to run on a "business" type administration. Realize that most schools that preach originality are covering up for their lack of academic seriousness. Choose a school based on the surrounding area and their academic departments first; everything else only secondarily.
Do not stress too much about it. There is a great school out there for everyone.
make sure you do an internship. with the current job market, you have to ensure job security while you're still in school.
Finding the right college should definitely be something that the student does. The parents should always be there to support the student in this very important decision. Students should always make sure to visit the school (various times if possible) and just make sure the school feels right. Trust me, I knew after half an hour of walking around and talking to current St. Mary's students that it was the perfect place for me, and my parents supported my decision the entire time. My school had everything I wanted. It had nice dorms, good food, and a beautiful location. The college experience has been everything I wanted it to be. Unlike high school, everyone is there for the same purpose - to get a better education and to move on in life. Grades and years don't even matter at my school like they did in high school. Everyone is an equal. I have never been happier in my life, and I just want future college students to know that you don't even have to try hard to have fun in college. Fun people and events will just come to you. It's that easy.
Let your student choose. My parents pressured me to look for a certain element in schools, so make sure you go in with an open and broad mindset.
Everyone talks about what the "right" reasons to pick a school are - some say academics, some say the kind of social life you'll have, while others base their decision on location. I'd have to say that all of these things are the "most important". In order to make the most of your college experience, you have to find somewhere with an atmosphere that suits your personality, and there are so many choices that you WILL be able to find a perfect match. Now, atmosphere doesn't mean whether it's 80 and sunny everyday or if you're under 12 inches of snow by November (although that's an important consideration, too); atmosphere means what are the people like? Do they share your interests? Are they friendly and open-minded? Do you want the academic component to be cut-throat and career-driven? Are you interested in getting a well-rounded liberal arts education ? Are the activities that are most popular on campus things that you'd want to be involved with? Take the time to figure out exactly what the "personality" of the colleges you're visiting are, your decision will be a piece of cake.
Make sure that the campus environment is a good fit to your personality. If you are a partyer, then a campus which has a zero-tolerance alcohol policy is obvoiusly not the right fit for you.
Visit and tour as many schools as you can. Students, let your parents take you to places you might not have considered on your own. Parents, let your kids look at schools that you personally didn't think were right for them. Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. Eat in their cafeteria. Ask about their orientation process. Talk to the students; they are the true products of their environment. Check out the dorm rooms. Decide what school is best for you; and when you find the right place, buy a sweatshirt immediately! When you get to college. Make new friends. Go to class; you're paying to be there, so you might as well go. Ask your teachers for help; that is what they are getting paid for. Get involved. Join a team, a club, a fraternity or sorority. Do everything! Go to all the sporting events. Have some school spirit. Pull an all-nighter. Stay up til all hours on saturday night with your friends and then sleep all day sunday. Make lots of memories and take a lot more pictures. Make the best of it. You only get four years.
I truly believe that finding the right college is really not the most important decision of your life. It shouldn't involve the name and reputation of the school or what people will think of you if you go there. Determining the college for you is about being comfortable with who you are so you can become a better version of yourself. So often I think people become entangled with the notion of choosing a place where they think they can be someone they're not and start over. Everyone has positive traits that should be polished and valued rather than inventing new ones that never were a part of his or her personality. Go somewhere that will challenge you but not drown you. Never make your decision out of fear - like staying close to home - or for vanity's sake. Finally, choose a small number (maybe 4 or 5) but certainly not 11 schools to apply to and know that you'll be happy no matter where you go because you can make the best of any college situation. Dont get burned out in the process of applying. Your future is your choice, so enjoy it!
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