If I could go back and talk to myself in senior year, I would tell her to go to an in-state school, take it easy, and listen to my gut a little more. I know you want to start your life, and that is okay, but you must learn to control the fire you feel inside. Even though you are correct in thinking that you "only have one life to live and you might as well make the most of it", you have to realize that debt is a really big burden to carry around with you. You are a very emotional and firey young lady. I love that about you, but maybe this time you should slow down a little bit. You are going to miss your family terribly, and even though the pictures depict the campus to be lovely, you have to understand that because youre struggling so much financially, you will suffer here a bit. Its going to be a rough ride from here on out, but no matter what you choose, you can do it. Keep spreading light and have faith that you will make the right decision now.
I have three main points of advice that I strongly encourage you to take into conisderation:
1.) It doesn't matter where you attend college, but rather, it matters what you make of that college education and experience. If you take advantage of all the resources that college has to offer, I promise that you will thrive. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone in the process.
2.) When deciding on a college, don't choose a school for it's name or location but choose a school based on what feels right for YOU. I emphasize the word "you" because, ultimately, this is a place where you will be spending the next four years of your life. This is a time where it is okay to be selfish and think about what is truly going to make you happy.
3.) HAVE FUN. You are about to experience the best four years of your life. School comes first but that does not mean you can't meet fantastic people and make amazing memories together.
Don't fret too much over which college to attend. College and life in general is about what you make out of it. Given a situation, give your best effort and make the most out of it. Study your butt off for school. Party your butt off while you're not studying to build experiences and memories for a lifetime. You're given so much free time in college. You'll never have this much free time after college. Do as much as you can while you're in college, while you have time to adventure. You'll do great. Give it your best. And never look back! Better things are ahead of you. Keep going.
Entering a new phase in your life is always scary. You’re worried about what your new classmates and roommates will think of you, including: how you dress, act and everything in between. You’re going to feel really awkward at first. You’ll always be second-guessing your outfits and how you plan to spend your free time. Those feelings are completely normal. The most important thing to remember is to always be true to who you are. You worked eighteen years (or longer!) to become the person you are today and, guess what: that person is pretty great. You’ll fit in with the right crowd by just doing what you’ve done the rest of your life. Other than that, remember to eat well and exercise. Working out is a great way to relieve the stress that college can bring and balance out all that Easy Mac you’re going to make in your dorm room microwave. Take a deep breath, study hard and enjoy meeting new people over these next four years. It’s going to be great.
When you get all moved into your freshman dorm room, don’t immediately start pushing your mom away - you’ll start to miss her sooner than you think. Please pay more attention in art history. It’s information that you’ll eventually wish you had memorized. Start going to the French club meetings sooner. You could have been fluent by now. When the hurricane traps you in your dormitory hallway with twenty other kids you have nothing in common with, don’t fret. Everyone else feels as awkward as you do and you’re only a week away from best friends.Get a job immediately.Kiss the girl you meet during the party on the waterfront, underneath the electrical tower right after you realize the music stopped and everyone else is a speck in the distance.Search for scholarships relentlessly and call your parents once a week.Beware of spicy crawfish.Use ratemyprofessors more – a talented teacher can make any subject interesting; while a dull one can ruin the classes you’re most excited for.Seriously, go lightly on the crawfish.Stop believing that college is the step you take before real life, and realize that it’s already begun.
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As a college junior, I can see the value now of entering college on my own, without my high school relationship. That is not to say that all high school relationships are doomed to fail - there are some that can work and there are couples that stay together for all four years of college. However, I would tell myself to end the relationship I was in before entering college, rather than dragging it out until my sophomore year. A lot of pain and heartache could have been avoided had I cut the relationship short before my freshman year of college. My seventeen-year-old self needed to know that she would be okay - better, even - without a boy. Being single would have allowed me to try new things without fear of causing a fight, or to date other people while everyone was still new to the school. Overall, it would have meant the freedom to discover who I was - without the influence of another person who wanted me to stay the same. Be free, I would tell myself - cut loose and be you!
i would say to never take anythig for granted and to choose the college based on where you see yourself best... not where you wish to tell people you go to school.
Most agree high school is a difficult transition. We watch those closest to us continually change. Preferences, opinions, appearances, and social groups fluctuate. Next, we are somehow expected to choose our future life path overnight. This can be an agonizing, confusing, and unsettling experience. Where do we begin to find ourselves among the sea of change? These changes were extremely distracting to me.
Though not inherently bad, distractions distort and lessen our focus. I feel in hindsight had I possessed a richer self-awareness, I would have had a clearer vision despite the changes that surrounded me.
Having a rich self-awareness softens life’s transitions. Listen. Observe your feelings, listen to your gut, and follow whatever it is that rings deep inside you. It is the best way to do right by yourself, to maximize your life potential, and to rise above your setbacks.
Self-awareness allows us to better utilize the opportunities we are given. College is a wonderful opportunity, a time to explore, and to learn about great things. At this time, practice listening to yourself, continuing to learn about yourself, and working towards becoming more of the person you dream of becoming. Quiet! Listen to you…
I would tell my self hey jamal k robinson stop playing around in class and pay attetion more, be more serious, because college is not easy, and a few years from now your going to learn it. and dont worry about twitter and facebook, becasue your going to be deleteing those things a few years from now, because you going to realsize your education is more important then a social life. so star now and not wait
College (and nothing in general) ever happens exactly the way you pictured. Pack everything. Take half of it. Use campus resources your student fees paid for. Submit financial aid early. Do not sign up for Netflix. Nobody has it all figured out, that’s okay. Everyone you meet in college can teach you something valuable, so be open and listen. Strive to remember people and something they’re passionate about. Greet them by name. Smile. There will be times when you feel like you’re losing it. That’s normal. Remember, this too shall pass. Journal. Take pictures. Develop curiosity about everything. Be ambitious. Read a lot. Ask questions. Maybe even in office hours. Be flexible and prepared to change your mind and major. Do what you love. Register for 16 credit hours, no more or less. Drop “that” class, if you can. If a course is miserable in the first week or so, it will be ten times worse by the end of the semester. Keep in touch with professors who might write a letter of recommendation for your dream job. Call mom. Respect yourself enough to study and have fun everyday. Take it one day at a time.
I would make sure that I expressed that I could do so much more than I ever thought was possible.
I would have taken harder classes senior year so I would have been more prepared for the work load my freshman year. My views have also changed since I'm an international development major; I would have told myself to be more active in helpful causes or volunteered more to help my community.
I would tell my past self to research colleges earlier and decide where to apply by November instead of January. I don’t think I can stress enough how important deadlines are; regarding applications, aid, scholarships, programs and housing. The number one thing I would tell my high school self is research scholarships and apply for them early. I am learning that valuable lesson now as I am scrambling to come up with scholarship award money. Another piece of advice would be: be optimistic but not naïve. Sometimes things fall into place, however you can’t count on them to. Something I am realizing this summer is to appreciate your family while you’re living with them. Be grateful for your home, house and town because you’re going to miss it while you’re away. Life may seem routine in high school, because it is, but that routine and safeness won’t be around forever. I wish I would’ve understood that I have/had a lot to learn and to value other people’s views even if it conflicts with mine. And always remember that you get what you work for.
Dear High School Self,
In the coming months you will be exposed to many new experiences that, if navigated wisely and with determination, will strengthen you and further your growth into a wonderful, young person. There will be difficult times, sticky situations, learning curves, but many rewarding and life-enriching moments along the way. To ease your transition into college life I want to inform you of the importance of one thing: responsibility.
In college you will find your self challenged, academically and socially, in the best way possible. With a higher education you have the opportunity to better your mind and the core of your being with the abundance of new knowledge being presented to you. However, this can be overwhelming. The merits of expanding ones mind are easily lost in the distractions of everyday life and even ones future goals. So I say this: stay grounded in the present moment, complete the task(s) at hand, and do not lose sight of your end goal. Each assignment, each exam, each academic course, is a stepping stone to success and focusing your time on these things is what will ultimately see you through.
Breaking out of your shell is the most rewarding thing in the world. Instead of staying where you feel comfortable, open yourself up to the opportunities that may present themselves as you branch out. Friendliness and kindness go a long way in the world today. It helps you make amazing, lasting frienships, or at the very least, makes your college experience more enjoyable. You will disagree with your roommate about something. However, working through it will only make you a stronger, more confident person. Strive for your best, and only YOUR best. College is a very competitive place, but don't be discouraged if you're not top of the class. Everyone achieves success differently and works at different paces. You cannot compare your level of achievement to anyone elses if it is the best work you are capable of. Above all, remember to be nothing more than yourself. You command the most respect from people when you are true and genuine.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!! Investigate what scholarships are available through your university and any other external sources. I never considered how much my student loans would impact my life until Wells Fargo was sapping me dry during the deepest part of the recession. Each dollar you borrow for college, you will have to pay back $1.50 later, when you need it the most.
Network. Not just socially; professionally. Find out what community you would like to be a part of after college, and insert yourself into it during college. Those connections will not be at your disposal after you graduate, and there's no way to turn back time.
Keep a mindful eye on your deadlines. Partying is awesome, so party your freakin FACE OFF! (I had that one covered as an undergrad) But also know when NOT to party: When you're ill, when you have an exam the next day, when you should be meeting for a group project, etc. There is plenty of tme for partying, and 95% of the time it's a GO.
Take advantage of career services, free campus events, and student employment. Kick ass buddy, I know you can do it!
I would tell myself to definitely try and work on my time management skills.
Every freshman should know to calm down, and don't try to show off. We know you're freshmen, we were in your spot too. Don't talk down about teachers or TAs about grades if you don't put in the time and effort, this isn't high school. Professors are there to help you get ready for the real world. College is different than high school, and you are going to have to adapt. Just keep calm and carry on. =] Don't feel pressured to do something just because you hear an older student talking about it.
If I could go back in time, the one thing I would tell myself would be to be smarter about picking my "joke" classes so that I could have more easily formed a minor. Basically the way the classes work their are four groups.
Major classes: These should come naturally
Pre-Requisits: You have to take these, don't rush into them.
Minor classes: If you plan to take a liberal arts major like me, it's a good idea to double-major or minor in something else. The key to these are that you should remember to take classes in the same department early on so that you may add to them earlier. For example, I wanted to minor in history. Stupidly, as a freshmen I took a Latin American Studies class. This would have been great except that the class was labeled under Latin American Studies, and not History. If I has taken the HISTORY of Latin America, than that would be one less class I'd have to take now. Talk to your advisors about classes. You can do yourself a lot of help by picking smart classes early on.
Joke classes: I recommend communications.
I’d tell my high school self to be prepared for personal insecurity, and to combat it. Be yourself—and don’t be shy about it. There will be so many new influences and people from every conceivable background suddenly crammed into your mental and emotional life. There will be a huge pressure to conform, but to be different, to be quirky, but fit seamlessly into the group. But never forget that you’re an individual with a past and an identity. Your experiences will mold you and shape you, your opinions may change as you learn new things, but never be ashamed of what you believe or who you are. Your individuality is your greatest strength. Diversity isn’t just different skin colors or economic backgrounds mixing—it involves personality traits and ideas too. Be Diverse. Be You.
Graduation isn't the end, it's the beginning.
Someone will tell you those words in the next few weeks, but you aren't going to believe them. But here I am, two years later, telling you the same thing. You're so worried right now about leaving everything and everyone you know and starting over in a new place, but you have nothing to fear. You are smart, level-headed, friendly, and you will do just fine. Yes, cherish the remaining time you have with your high school friends, but don't cling to them when you depart. New doors are opening ahead; you're going to miss them if you don't turn your head around and look forwards instead of backwards. You're about to enter the most exciting years of your life this far. Your whole life is ahead of you. Take the lessons you learned from the past eighteen years and become a better person. Take chances. Leave the cave. Dare to disturb the universe.
With love and respect,
I have been exposed to so many new and challenging things, all of which have helped shape me into who I am today. College was a big step for me, as I was born and raised in a town that's 1/3 the size of the Tulane University campus. However, I believe this step was necessary as it exposed me to customs, beliefs, and ethnicities that I had never come into contact with before. College is an invaluable experience, and I believe that choosing the right college to attend is half the battle. It has to mesh well with who you are as a person, and who you hope to become. Tulane has provided me with the support I need to prosper in an environment worlds away from the one I was accustomed to. I immersed myself in challenging classes, but met new people and made lifelong friends in the process. I am looking forward to continuing my educational experience at Tulane, and discovering what other experiences await me.
One word that would describe my college experience is growth. In my move from California to Lousiana, I was exposed to a different city and culture, which I have grown to love.
At Tulane, I was able to play basketball at the highest level and develop my skills to my personal best. I became C-USA New Comer of the year ,13th in the nation for three point percentage, and a Conference Champion. Also, I became the Vice President of the recycling club at Tulane and helped the growth of the club. We worked on informing the students of the importance of recylcing. Also, I spoke to residents about Katrina and helped revive the city by planting new trees. I enjoyed being a "Big Sister" to a freshman because I helped her get accostumed to a new life. By interning at UNITY, (organization for homeless), I grew into an even more giving person.
Now that I am a graduate of Tulane University, I realize the value of my attendance since I am a more intelligent and better human being overall. In looking to pursue my masters, I am thrilled for the new growth of the next chapter in my journey.
I am not going to be the usual cliché and write about how college has taught me to be more independent, though it has. What I have found to be much more valuable to my life is the way in which attending Tulane has forced me to explore, both my myself and my surroundings, and has constantly encouraged me to push and expand my comfort zone. I have learned that I am capable of being completely independent in everything I do, but perhaps more importantly have also realized that some people are always willing to support you; whether you believe you need it or not. Exploring New Orleans has left me with a powerful thirst to learn about new cultures and an undying desire to travel and discover the cultures of the world. Most importantly college has taught me how to bring balance into my life. That asking for help when I need it actually won't shatter my new found sense of independence; that it is important to discover new cultures but never forget where you came from and how you got to be where you are today. For me, college has been an amazing journey of self-exploration.
Truth be told, my only main attraction to Tulane while applying to college was the free application. When it ended up being my only option financially, I was less than thrilled. Two years in, I now laugh at how much I was overlooking about my college experience. Yes, Tulane has aspects that I wish I could change-- it is incredibly racially homogenous, and the social life becomes stifling as a result. I watch people, however, from all over the country come and fall head over heels in love with New Orleans, and it changes everything. New Orleans is a child that we all care for, and the people, the history, the suffering and inequality still so evident, the uncertainty of the future-- all of these factors give students a unique role in the fate of a city that allows us to grow up in profound ways. Mardi Gras aside, the city has changed my life--- and I could not be more indebted to it. Every time I step foot into the city I am learning justice, politics, grief, celebration, and most of all, how to enjoy every step of life in ways that could never be learned through books.
I've learned how to manage my time most certainly but I've also learned what it's like to really get a valuable edcuation. I've met many different people and I meet more every day. Everyone here has their own opinion and I truly enjoy the ability to share my own. I feel more empowered and so very lucky to get this experience.
Tulane University has provided me not only with the resources for a better education, but has exposed me to a completely new world that has in turn changed me as an individual. Located in New Orleans, the university strives to reveal the city?s unique and awe-inspiring culture to its students, bringing local staples to campus and encouraging students to venture through the historically rich streets of the city. Tulane further pushes its students to get involved and develop a desire to aid those in need and give back to the community through 20-hour and 40-hour service learning requirements necessary to graduate.
Tulane has provided me with every outlet necessary to get in touch with my inner New Orleanean, giving me an entirely new sense of community and place in society. The esteemed professors have not only managed to instill knowledge in me, but have inspired me to take my life in a significantly new direction, a direction that focuses on the needs of others, the environment, and the planet as a whole. This institution has been the catalyst in the unearthing of me as an individual and my appetite to better myself and society.
Attending college has been a turning point in my life. Not only have I obtained further academic knowledge, I feel that I have already grown tremendously in the seven short months that I have been at Tulane University. Although I was very nervous about being away from home, I have quickly adjusted and feel now that I have the confidence to do most anything. I think that is more valuable than most rote knowledge that I can ever grasp. I have met people from many different cultures, states and countries. I have sharpened my social skills of tolerance, patience and open-mindedness. I also feel that the professors at Tulane truly care about the students and it is more of a partnership in which we are involved. They see the importance of educating the entire person, not just forcing facts into your mind. They continue to teach me life lessons that I will take with me wherever I go. I cannot say enough about what I have obtained in my short time here, and what makes it even more exciting is that I have three more years to grow. Not many people get this sort of opportunity.
Looking back in retrospect, the biggest piece of advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be to broaden my horizons, and not have such a set plan for my life. I came into college with a whole ten year plan. I knew, or so I thought, that going to medical school and becoming a doctor was my life goal. I had a detailed list of how I would attain this goal. First semester freshman year I took both Cell Biology and Chemistry and it was the worst situation I had ever experienced. I quickly realized that being a doctor and going to medical school were just not going to work for me. Now I'm in my second semester of my freshman year and am devestated and lost because I have no idea what direction I want my life to go in, and that is a scary feeling. Now I'm not saying it's not good to have a plan, because it is. My advice is to prepare yourself for the change, be ready for it, and have some back up plans as well.
No more than a few months to this day will mark the completion of my first year as a college student here at Tulane University and I have learned so much already. If there were anyway to go back in time right now, I would go back to tell myself as well as my peers a few key things to ensure that they're time in college is free of stress. For starters, I would emphasize the importance of being on time and diligent with everything from going to class to meeting payment deadlines. Next I would speak make sure to note how imperative it is to keep in contact with your proffesors and to get help when it is needed, whether you get help from your teacher, a friend or tutor. Also I would have to stress that they have to utilize the facilities given to them on campus, whether its councling, tutoring, work or anything else that your school offers you. Lastly I would say to be open to meeting people and making friends of all different backgrounds whether they are black, white, hispanic, rich or poor.
1. The first thing I would tell myself is to get involved. By joining the band and being part of all of the activities I'm involved with, I'm defining my own college experience. Get out there, discover new interests, and make friends with all of the people whom you work with.
2.) Everything happens for a reason. I did not get into my dream school, and at that time I thought life had ended as I knew it. But now, I would never take back or change my decision to come to Tulane. It's been remarkable!
3.) Time magangement is the most important tool you need to be successful in college. Develop it early and you'll be able to do all the activites and classes you want to do.
I wish I would have known how difficult my first semester course load actually was. At the time I was an engineering major taking Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. I wish I would have known that more studying would have been neccesary for me to succeed in this semester. I also wish I would have known that sleep is not as easy when you have a roommate that does not sleep on the same schedule. I would have stressed to find a roommate with a better sleep schedule. I also wish I would have known doing community service is not as easy as it sounds. Between homework and extracurriculars it is difficult to find extra time to help the community. This is really the only things I was not prepared for as I went off to college.
I would advise myself to consider which schools were more right for someone like me. Where would I fit in fairly well, and where would I be treated like an outsider? I definitely would have chosen differently if I had realized how much of a shock moving from the "'hood" to a mostly upper-class neighborhood would be. And how much of a pain finances would become. Tulane is a wonderful school, but it portrays itself as something it isn't- as an all-encompassing, community-loving servant of the people that is adored by the city it occupies, when just the opposite is true. It'll be a great school for anyone who is okay with that, but it's a terrible fit for me, and I wish I had chosen differently.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior, I would most likely say, "Don't always take it easy in the Big Easy." Even though it is college, there isn't a lot of stress, because it is laid-back in Tulane. The only major stress-periods come from the very beginning of the year, when we adjust to college life, and during major exams. Because of this, I didn't spend a lot of time studying, when there was plenty of time. Although I did use up a lot of my time, hanging out with friends, working out, etc., I still clearly had a lot of time studying. It's not that I did bad on any tests, but I could've done better if I updated and reviewed my knowledge daily. Other than that, I would say, "Have a good time, learn a lot, and make a lot of friends." Open up to everyone, make conversations with strangers, and in general, be friendly, because this is a very friendly and personal campus. One last small thing I would also say is: Don't waste a lot of money on alcohol.
If I were capable of going back in time to my senior year, there are a number of things I would tell myself. For instance, I would encourage myself to go to class - bonus points awarded for getting there on time, prepared, and not in pajamas. I blew off so much of my senior year workload in favor of celebrating my last year of high school, and I really regret not paying enough attention now. Another important bit of advice I'd hand over would be to take the ACT early and often instead of waiting until four months before graduation. I would also encourage myself to study for it - a 31 sounds great, but in reality, it hasn't afforded me as many scholarship opportunities as I would have liked. A 33 in conjuction with a well-maintained GPA would have been my golden ticket. Finally, I would tell myself to set my college sights high and keep them in mind during my senior year. Having prestigious university admission as a goal would have been a key motivating factor my senior year, and it would have prevented me having to wait until spring (the "off-season") to be admitted.
The number one thing I would tell myself would be to relax. I was so high strung about the college selection process. It wasn't that I was afraid I wouldn't get in (I was accepted to my first school in September I believe), it was just that I had my mind set on one idea. I thought I had my life all planned out. And yet despite all my confidence in myself, I had doubt below the surface. I applied to nine schools, which in retrospect was a waste of time and money. Three of the schools I applied to didn't send responses until late March or early April, so I agonized over what would happen for months. In the end, the decision came down not to which school was most prestigious, but which one offered me the best deal for my family and my future, and I chose accordingly. I am so happy with my decision. It has been one of the best choices I ever made. Ironically, the school I go to I had applied to on impulse. i just wish that senior-me had taken more time to relax and appreciate life.
As a high school senior, I was constantly told that I could be anything that I wanted to be. Although I was fortunate that I had supportive friends and family who pushed me to set high goals, transitioning to college helped me to see the bigger picture. Living by myself two thousand miles away from home has caused me to define my own priorities and values. What I wish I could have known as a high school senior is that it?s ok to not know everything. You do not have to have your entire life as a doctor or lawyer planned out prior to arriving at your dorm. There is plenty of time to figure it out. As a senior, the most important thing to do is to find a decent college where you will fit in and find supportive friends. From there, the experiences you have will help you work out and determine your future. The classes I have taken, people I?ve met, and real life experiences I have had living on my own have helped me to determine my future in a way impossible to foresee while still in high school.
I would not have depended upon my senior counselor so much. Because I did I applied to only one school, luckily it was my first choice and everything worked out. But I would have liked more options. I also would definitely take scholarship searching far more seriously; I'm finding now that there are a lot of scholarships for students in highschool, but it's harder to find scholarships now that I have already started college. Another really big thing I wish I had done was internship the summer before college in a field related to something I like. For instance, last semester was my first college semester and I began taking courses for an architecture major. I really like architecture but I wish I had a summer job or something like that so that I could have found out earlier that what I really like is historical architecture, which is definitely not what architects today are doing! However, I think it is also important to remember that all of the courses a student takes are never wasted because they don't fulfill major or minor requirements; they are only wasted if you don't get something out of them.
If I could give myself advice, I would tell myself to calm down and meet as many people in my dorm floor and go out and eat when they invite me because they want to get to know me and be my friend. My freshman year was amazing because I finally broke out of my shell and talked to a lot of interesting people that changed my life. I would love to have known that going out is not stressful at all if you do not drink. There is no pressure whatsoever to get wasted (which I still love to this day). This information would have allowed me to get to know a lot more of the diverse and interesting people that Tulane accepted.
I would investigate colleges that specialize in what I am actually interested in studying, not in one that has a big name.
College life is the biggest and most beneficial transition of your life, trust me, I know. High school was merely mediocre at best, but college blows that experience out of the water Be aware that the bathroom is now down the hall and the water pressure is awful, so showers take forever and it's almost impossible to shave. Another thing I've found is that the key to happiness is friendship and everyone wants to meet new people so just say a friendly hi and you've got a new friend. Quite honestly, you'll meet some of your best friends this semester. So, when you're bored, go knock on a neighbor's door because that's the best part of living in a hall full of freshman; everyone wants to hang out. The workload is initially about the same as it was in highschool, but you need to get help in chemistry early because general chemistry is one class where when you think you understand it, you probably don't. Visit your teachers before the tests so they know you're trying and usually they're very understanding. And lastly, have fun! It's college, so enjoy!
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. All kinds of mental and emotional issues come up in this stage of life. You will have trouble but it can be dealt with if you will seek help as soon as you start to flounder.
Become for adult like.
Be more responsible for solving everyday situations.
Don't bring too much crap to school and be prepared to try new things. There's no point in being shy or pretending to be someone you're not, eventually the real you will come through and you'll find where you belong. Also, don't get a random roommate!
Don't stress, because everything will work out. You will be sleep deprived for the first few months, accept it. Be friendly, outgoing, and get to know as many people as possible. The first few weeks of school will be crazy but things will mellow out. Study but have fun!
Make sure you take all things into consideration, housing, academics, social activity, environment, fellow students, and cost are all a major component in college. If you aren't happy with one of those things, it could ruin your year. Once you're there be sure to be social! Get out there and talk to people, all of the freshmen want to make friends but you have to take the initiative. Also, academics are important. Study HARD for your first tests otherwise it will be a very ugly wake up call and it's hard to dig your way out if you start off really poorly.
Too much importance is put on where you go to college these days. I applied to 18 schools because I did not know where I wanted to go at all and made a big deal about deciding where I was going to actually go to school. Looking back now, I could have went to any of those 18 schools and been equally happy. Yes, what college you go to matters, but anywhere you go, there are text books, teachers, classrooms, and hundreds or often times thousands of kids your age - there are, for the most part, no overwhelming differences from school to school.
The attitude you go into college with matters far more than the school you end up at. Do not stress out. No matter where you go you will study, you will learn, and also have a great time - you only get out of it what you put into it, whether you are at an Ivy League school or a Community College.
In looking for the right college, never be afraid to ask the questions you really want answers to. Visit the campuses you're interested in and talk to actual students there. Picking a college isn't just about choosing the right academics or campus- it's about finding an atmosphere, culture and overall feeling that feels right for you. Make sure you think hard about where you feel comfortable, and look for that when you visit colleges. It's about a lot more than statistics and ratios once you are actually living and breathing at your new college, so try to take every opportunity to live and breate at different schools before you choose. And most importantly, make a decision for yourself. Don't feel pressured by people's perceptions of different schools or what seems to be "the right choices." The right choice of a school is where you feel you will be most comfortable and able to succeed, not what a magazine has rated the hottest school for the year.
Take your time in making a decision and be sure to fill out all the applications early.
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