I would tell anyone that is applying to college to make sure that it is somewhere that you really want to go. I love my university but it was a very tough decision for me because none of my friends attended this school with me, which turned out to be a great thing. Yes at first it was hard to adjust, but it gave me a chance to show myself. It is also really important to find somewhere that you can afford, I know everyone wants to go to that certain school but it has to be something that you are going to be able to pay for. No one wants to come out of college with thousands of dollars in debt. Also HAVE FUN in college, and be yourself. This is your time to shine and live it up, but don't go too crazy. Its the time for you to mature just like your parents want you to.
With what I know now, I would advise my high school self to have faith and trust myself more! Being on your own in college means making decisions for yourself without anyone looking over your shoulder. Having more confidence in who I am and how I was raised would have helped me make better choices during my first year in college. Trusting myself and my gut feelings would have saved me from a few awkward situations, improved my grades and overall helped me grow as a person. Additionally, being able to reflect on decisions that I made helped me realize areas that I had potential to grow in. My high school self should know that it is okay to make mistakes! Stop being so hard on yourself, and have confidence. One way or another, everything works out. Trust yourself.
The college search is all about finding what is the best fit for you as the student. Make sure to look at schools of all sizes and compare them to eachother. This will help you notice the differences in each school so you can really find what you do and don't want to be a part of. Be sure to also focus on what schools are offering for scholarship and grant packages because you don't have to pay these back, however, for loans, you will. In addition, make sure that the school accepts outside scholarships from your high school, employer, etc. Finally, look at what majors and organizations are available and also consider how flexible the school is in creating new programs. A school that is willing to help you customize your future is a school that cares.
If I could go back in time and talk to my high school self I would tell myself never give up. I know that during high school that I thought that I should give up and that I would not be good enough for college. Especially having a really young mom everyone already expected me to just be another statistic. I would tell myself that what I am doing is good enough and that I am going to be accepted to an amazing school. Also that I am much greater than the statistic that I was born into. I would also tell myself that things are going to get harder before they get easier. Especially when my dad was going through Chemo Therapy but that we where all going to make it and that you are going to make it to college to further your education.
My first piece of advice to parents and students is that college is not for everyone! Some students are not mentally prepared for the freedom and responsibility that comes with college. Too many of my friends from freshman year flunked out or dropped out because they realized college wasn't for them. So students: Be prepared! Along, with you extra long twin sheets and fake ID, bring some wisdom, some responsibility, and a drive to do well academically. And Parents: Be prepared! Your college students don't need to hold you hand anymore but along the way they will need your wisdom, your encouragement, and your approval. Please don't keep them chained to your hip and please don't drop them off at the curb with only a goodbye.
My college experience has been one that could only demonstrate Stetson's commitment to its students. As a freshman I struggled to adjust to a non-athletic environment and it was reflected in my classes. However Stetson never gave up on me and help me overcome the adversaties I faced. As my college career continued my life changed significantly and Stetson played a large role in shaping the person I am today. Through the help of great professors, deans, and the amazing ladies in financial aid the difficult challenges I faced at home and in school were easily overcome. Now as I continue my graduate studies at Stetson I feel at home and possess the necassary skills to persue a demanding career at the conclusion of my MBA.
First, advive for parents. Make sure that the school has a great program for what your child wants to do with his/her life. Most of the time these schools can be expensive; I'm not saying to go into a large amount of debt, but spending the money no is the best way to help out your childs future. For students, don't be afraid to get out there and get involved from the start. College can be scary and overwhelming. Like myself, some of you make come from small towns where you've known everyone since you were a small child. However now you might have to go out and actually meet people on your own and make friends. Get involved in the community and don't hold back your personality, it will pay off big time in the end.
One thing i have gotten out of my college experience is that it is important to get involved in activities and clubs around campus. Not only is it fun, its a great opportunity to make connections in your field. It looks great on a resume and certain clubs could score you scholarships. It is valuable to attend college because not only will it prepare you for the "real world", but also that is where you make life long friendships and industry connections that will land you in a successful career one day. There are those lucky people who landed themselves in alot of money without going to college, but we are "everyone else". We are competing for the jobs . Having a "degree" can get you the job over someone who doesnt.
I would make myself as strong of an individual as I am today, and overcome all the personal struggles I went through that caused my grades to fall terribly, which made all the colleges I applied to decline me. I very do wish that I could go back in time. Life would be much easier if only had the strength then, that I have now. However, there is a flip-side to this, because I believe the strength I have now is directly because of who I was in highschool, and all the negative results of not getting into a good college is what spurred me on into becoming who I am today. So, to be clear, I do not really know whether I would want to change anything. Everything in life shapes who a person is, and I am happy with who I am.
I would tell myself to stick with the hard classes. The Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses you take in high school will be a great benefit in preparing you for college courses as well as providing flexibility in classes you will be required to take. Every advanced class you take now has the potential to remove a basic required class and allow you to move into the meatier college classes sooner. Keep your nose to the grindstone to earn those college scholarships which make going to the school of your choice a reality. Stay active in sports and community service so you are well rounded and a leader in your school. the academic excellence combined with the activites will make a difference in your options.