Dear Potential College Student, The tasks ahead of you may seem insurmountable: scanning the country for a college that meets your needs, deciding what needs absolutely must be met, and raising funds to meet your dream. It seems paramount that you get everything right. Everyone says your entire future hinges on these decisions. To some extent, they are correct. You must decide the basics. If you want to major in Engineering, you shouldn't attend a Liberal Arts school. However, the most important thing is to take charge of your education, no matter what institute you choose. When you arrive, your GPA will climb onto a pedestal, demanding all your effort. However, your education is in your hands. You decide how much you want to learn. If you easily make straight A's, don't use your teacher's measuring stick--raise your standards, do extra work, and do what you think should qualify for your A. If grades simply aren't your strong point, but you're doing your best, relax. You're getting an education. Finally, never forget that learning takes place outside the classroom. Your social life can open as many educational doors as any professor can.
Find the right college that best suits your own personal needs and not of the people around you. Morals, academics, social life, and religious beliefs have major influences on the college you choose. In college, you have to be willing to do the amount of work and dedicate time to studying to earn your degree and prepare yourself for the future. However, college is also one of the best times of your life. College is where you meet new friends you will keep the rest of your life. It is important to pick a college that has the same morals so you are surrounded my people, friends, and teachers who are on the same page.Parents have the best intentions for their children, but children need to have the deciding factor.College students don't want to go to a college their parents forced on them where they are unhappy because they disliked the choice their parents made. Make the most of your college experience becaue you only get to live it once and it goes by so fast. Being involved and learning new things about life, and discovering yourself are all a part of the college experience.
Parents, your children are about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives. This is the time where they will learn to spread their wings and "fly" to their destiny. These next few years are pivotal to their success for the rest of their lives, and your influence on their college decision is a very important step to where they will go. You always want to remember that your child is not only going to recieve an education, but to enjoy themselves and have a fun time. So you want to help them find a place where they can learn and safely have fun. Please encourage your child to make the most of their college experience, and find a place where they can embrace this experience. As a student I want to tell you to always support you child in their decision making, no matter what outcome there is (failure or success). The love and support of a parent is always worth more to a student than any amount of education achieved. As you send your child off, I encourage you to sit back and admire your life long teachings and influence in their lives.
I believe the best advice for finding a college is to find the school you feel at home the most at. When I was looking at schools I tried to picture myself in the hangout place with friends or in the quad studying. Or even in the dorm room hanging out with friends. The right school is not the school that all your friends are going to or the school your parents basically force you to go to. The best school is the one where you feel comfortable so that you can grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. Just because the financial situation is better at one school should not be your deciding factor either. If you are feeling completely unwanted at that school then you will be completely miserable for however long you stay there. Go to the school that even when your paying off loans 5 to 10 years down the road you will still say " I would not trade those years at (insert your school here) for all the money in the world!" College is going to be where you grow up, find the place that will allow you to do this.
I would say weigh your choices carfully. Do not rush into anything. Research the school, cost, financial aid opportunities, facilities, houseing, available communication, professors, Accredidation, meal plans, and crime rate. There are of course a lot more things to consider, these are just a few. If I were to go back and do it all over again I would better plan my four years of class schedules with my counseler and I would buy all my textbooks off of Amazon instead of the school book store. It is very important to learn good study habbits before college so that when you get here you will not be overwhelmed with the work load and will be better equiped to balance study and a social life especially if you are involved with extra curricular activity. In the end, the majority of the time, the right school is looking and screaming at you in the face, you just can not see it yet. After you pick your school it usually becomes very clear and obvious that it was always going to be that school.
To be honest, I would not have much advice for myself. Even now, at times I feel I do not really know what actions I should be choosing. However, the one vital piece of advice I would relay to myself would be to put complete faith in God. Putting every choice and every action into God's hands has probably been the most difficult task or assignment I have had to fulfill while at Trevecca, but once I was able to trust in Him, every choice I can make knowing He is there for me, watching over me, and protecting me. If I could have begun this mental step in high school realizing how important it truly is to living life every single day, many of the problems I have faced in college do to insecurities, doubts, and fears would have never even crossed my path. God is the light to my future, and I will continue to put all my trust in Him as I enter more challenges along this journey. No matter what is placed in front of me, I know He will always be by my side, and He will always love me.
The advice that I would give, is to do your reaserch. Look at what the school offers, as far as majors, extra activites, how the social life is, and what else they offer to the student body. Visit all your possible choices, and ask the important questions that you have, like how much, can I live off campus, can I have a car on campus being a freshmen, or what are the class sizes. Make sure you know everything about the school that you are looking at before making your final desicion. Make it based on where you feel more like home and where you know thata you will be able to focus and get the most out of the money that you are spending, college is not something that you should take lightly. And definately something that you do not want to waste your money on. Enjoy college, it is a fun experience and one that will last a lifetime. Picking the perfect school for you will help with that experience!
If I could go back in time I would tell my senior self not to procrastinate, read for classes, and to develope good study habits. This year in college I struggled with procrastination and was constantly having to stay up late writing a paper the night before it was due. Next, in high school you can squeak by in classes if you don't read the class material, but this is not the case in college. I failed one of my first tests because I studied only my notes and found out that the test was mainly on the reading. Finally, I would have to tell myself to start developing good study habits. Your college grades reflect how you perform on tests because there isn't very many class assignments to help boost your grade like in high school. If I was to relize this in high school I would have not been taken by surprise when I got to college and would have recieved better grades my first semester.
Make sure you look around. I actually transferred to from my original school. I made the mistake of just checking out a few schools. Start early and go visit as many schools as you can. Take everything into consideration! What does the college offer (academically, socially, emotionally, physically)? What does the town offer? Are there ways to get around? What can I be involved in? What are the people like? Will I like the class sizes? Can I get a job on or off campus? Does the school have resources that I will need? What is there to do on the weekends? Are people willing to help me if I need help? What are the professors like and are they willing to work with me? There are so many questions to ask and don't be afraid to ask them. Make sure you go on campus tours and try to meet people before you even go there. Exchange emails and keep in touch!
College has given me a better work ethic. In high school, I was never really challenged, the assignments were all so easy and recquired little effort. College has shown me that in order to get what you want you must work for it. Another thing I have learned from college is that making friends is essential. My first semester I hardly talked to anyone. I did not feel comfortable opening up to new people. I soon realized that friends who are going through the same experiences are crucial. One other thing I learned from college is that I am a stronger person than I thought I was. Some of the assignments and projects so far have been so difficult. There were times (and sometimes still are times) that I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up, but I didn't. College has made me a more responsible, friendly, hard-working, and dedicated person.