Save money and be prepared. College is expensive, it is no joke. Loans are serious, and financial aid isn't going to cover everything. I worked hard in high school, now in my first year of college, I would have told my high school self to work even harder. College is competitive. A summer job is necessary, and saving all the birthday money and spare change counts. Don't underestimate the 100 dollars and why you should save it. That money could make all the difference in college. Be prepared. College is one of the best experiences of your life. Make sure that you enjoy every moment. Here I am in second semester already. While enjoying college is important, be prepared for all the "free time" that comes with it. Free time is such an important necessity. Learn to balance school work and free time. Should you be watching tv or working on the essay that is due in two days. College is a lot of freedom and responsibility. Be smart and learn to balance the two. Don't stress out. College is worth every penny and every second. Work hard, and save. Success is imminent.
College was an eye-opening experience for me in several ways. To begin, I had my first real exposure to drugs and sex. This was not a "first hand" exposure, merely observation of their prominence in the lives of those around me. Actually, I spent the entirety of my college-years getting to know the woman I married shortly after college. In addition, college gave me an opportunity to step outside my own box, which I would have been less inclined to prior to leaving the nest. I joined a fraternity! Since I was a transfer to Stetson, my time as a Greek was short but I prevailed with leadership and community experience as well as some of the best mates, brothers, a guy could ask for. What I valued most at Stetson was the diversity of activities that I was able to participate in due to the school's small size; in addition to the fraternity, multiple christian ministries, Gospel Choir, Russian Club and work-study. My college experience truly broadened my horizons and provided an environment where I could develop and maintain relationships with those around me.
Find out a situation that you are most comfortable with, and go with the college that best suits these needs. I weighted my need to stay at home with my divorced mother heavily in my case, and don't regret it. Because of this I picked a school nearby, and lived off campus to save money. If you're social, and feel that in order to experience college-life to the fullest you need many friends and need to be able to immerse yourself into academic and social pursuits, join a sorority/fraternity and definitely try living on campus. If you're into the arts, focus on schools who offer reputable Arts and Science degrees. Being a business major, I looked into the reputation of Stetson University's Business School before applying. It was rated #1 in the state at the time, so I knew I'd be getting the most out of my money. Always remember that you (or your parents) are paying for you to attend this college, and because of that you should be experiencing college life exactly how you want to. Never go second best, and always think ahead for your future in your career!
I was quite the slacker in high school and almost wasn't accepted into Stetson University. My GPA was unimpressive and I graduated with no honors. I also had atrocious study habits and a bad attitude. My study habits caused my grades to suffer my first year and a half of school. This complicated things once I decided I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, as my academic record doesn't make me very competitive and I will most likely have to complete a post-baccalaureate pre-med certificate program, costing more time and money. My bad attitude (combined with living off campus) kept me from forming many friendships my freshman year. I also took a semester off and started in the spring, forcing me to take summer classes just so I could graduate on time. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a highschool senior, I would tell myself to be more ambitious. Get better grades, start school on time, and go out and join clubs and make friends as a freshman. These things enrich the college experience and make all the hardwork so much more worthwhile.
In order to make the right decision about college, know what you what in a school and visit all of your possibilities. My first year of college was at a school that looked like a fairy tale on paper, but once I was attending and living at the university my life was miserable; my normal high academic standards and community involvement plummeted. Once at a school that I loved my life seemed back in order, and my future seemed brighter than ever. It is also important to choose a school from your heart, let no one but yourself make the ultimate decision of where to go. You must also remember your budget. When I was younger I didn?t have a true concept of money, but now that I am attending a school with high tuition costs, I have realized truly what money means. I never want to leave Stetson until I have earned my degree, but I have come to the realization of what a good education costs. In a perfect world anyone could be educated anywhere they chose, but as of now choose based on what you can afford, but never lower your personal expectations and goals.
First, I would like both they to know that they should base their decision on finding a university based on your current situation and personality. The future will come in time and you will have a lot of growing up to do within your 4 yrs in college. Parents and students always base their decisions on the future, "who has the best grad/law school"? or "Where do you want to work after you graduate"? One should ask "who has a variety of majors, so if I decide to change majors I can always find something I like" ,"where have I always wanted to live at temporarly and is the campus safe"? "How is the school spirit in the school"? "Does the school have sport teams that I would attend games or are there clubs that interest me"? "Do I want small classes vs large classses"? There are so many questions that have to do with the current situation and personality of a student. And lastly, parents and students should take a tour of the campus. There is a feeling that you get inside that makes you belive "this is where I belong" you will know which school to pick.
My college experience has been very interesting and a very blessed oppurtunity. I am so very thankful to be attending college because no one in my family has had this chance to even get out of high school. I am now learning in school the many different things in criminal justice and even out in our world. Being a student in the criminal justice field and even just learning about people and how to help society from crime is my best interest and i love learing of more ways to protect our United States. This is a valuable experience to attend because the simple fact that i want to be a part in helping society and the world we live in. Coming from a family that struggled to even attend and finish grade school, makes me feel accomplished and the younger family members will look up to me and hopfully i will show them the right path. I could honestly use the extra help for staying in school because it has been a struggle. I promised myself that i will not give up and i will keep reaching for the stars. Hopefully later i will show youngens the same road.
So far, I would say that the most important benefit I have gained from my college experience thus far is maturity. An 18 year old who has just graduated high school cannot be expected to have the maturity and knowledge to know what he/she will be doing for the rest of his/her life. Personally, when I graduated from high school, I was just glad to be out of my house and did not really care where I attended college. After being in college, I have grown up a tremendous amount and realize how important these years of my life are. Knowlege, like formulas, procedures, writing techniques, etc, can be gained from a book. Learning how to take care of yourself and make important decisions without the guidance of parents or counselors is something that must be learned through experience, which is something that I have done. Being a single father of a child with a severe illness, the decisions I have to make in life are very important. Staying in college so that I can get a good job and support my family is something that I KNOW I must, and will, accomplish.
Confidence. Every time I make an appeal to a prospective college student or ask myself this question I always come up with this word. I believe high school offers a unique experience, where self assurance is built and students really get to know themselves. As a high school senior I knew I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I knew since I was in elementary school myself. Then, however, it was easier to beat myself up when I didn’t score perfectly on exams I studied hard for. Now that I can clearly see the benefit of my natural drive to do my best, I would regress two years and give myself surety of my success to come. I surprise myself all the time; It’s incredible how much I’m capable of and how hard I work. With the help of my professors I'm already closer to fulfilling my dream than I ever I thought I’d be. I love working with children; I've been volunteering at local schools and have even landed a teaching apprenticeship. Confidence, although it was acquired over time for me, is what motivated and still motivates me to expand my limits.
Going back in time and the advice that I would give to my high school self are few simple things. 1) Become more organized not only in my learning but how I organize my work in folders etc. 2) Take dual-enrollment classes so to give myself the advantage of having a step up in my college status. 3) Develop better study habits, in high school where I could cram the night before and ace every test, in college that is not at all possible. In college having structured study habit can take you a long way. Study groups and doing well-informed study guide are very instrumental for success within college. Last and most important I would tell my past self being lazy and lackluster is bad. In high school where you can switch often once in a while and still be average, in college that is certain not possible. In college you must stay upon your game at all times, submit all your work on time because in college the professors aren't there to baby you but to produce successful citizens of society. In simple terms don't be average strive to become extraordinary.