It is definetely important to weigh your options. You should spend time during your junior year of high school visiting any university that interests you. It will cost some money to do so, but it will pay off in the end when you enroll in the right school. Once you're enrolled at the college of your choice you can't shy away from oppurtunities. You should be involved with the activities you enjoy. At my school there are many oppurtunities for participation in intermural sports, student government, and various other clubs. If you don't get involved, the college experience wouldn't be complete. Through these activities you can learn invaluable leadership skills and make plenty of friends. Even though you should be involved with many activities, your education is always first, no matter what. College classes definetely take more independent learning and you need allocate enough time to learn everyting you need to know to succeed in the classroom. The information is not spoon-fed to you like it is in high school so do what you can to prepare for earning your own education. Taking AP classes is the best way to do just that. Good luck!
College is your final prepratory step before joining the real word, therefore you should pick a school that is the most suitable for your needs as a student and a person. You should pick a school that is well rounded in studies and social life. It is very important to attend a school that can give you an outstanding education in your chosen field but it is equally critical to attend a college that enables you to blossom socially. The social side of college helps students succeed in becoming well rounded and understanding of the many different types of people you will encounter in your life. You should look for a college that can give you the best of both worlds, a school with high academic standards as well as an emphasis on student activities and involvement. Also, any type of interning program a school may offer can be extremely supplementary to your education and contribute to your ability to get a job after school. Connections you or your college make during your studies can help you once you graduate. Look for a school that fits your personality but also gives you the means to succeed academically and socially.
Finding the right classroom....meeting new friends...learning new ideas. It's funny how that makes us nervous, from kindergarten to college. With college, though, there seemed to be even more anxiety. I was uncertain about my major and was not confident in dealing with "grown-up" issues, like financial aid. In addition, as a Hispanic coming from an almost 100% white high school, I had made many friends, but always felt different. I wondered whether that would be the same at college . I was so immersed in studies and my job that the first semester flew by. At the end, when I stepped back and "took a breath," I realized that I was certain that communication disorders/speech pathology was the right profession. Knowing that I had made the right decision gave me confidence that I never had before. My goals now are clear, which helps me maintain focus. I also realized that my focus, not just wanting to belong, had guided my choice in friends. For all of us--black, brown, and white--parties are a distant second to studies. Through all of its stresses, I have no doubt that college is a wonderful experience for me.
Be prepared for huge changes and challenges ahead in college that will enrich your life as an individual and will teach you what real life is like when you are away from your protective home. You will soon be engaged with : adjustment to and tolerance with the new environment, roommate, classmates, and professors; diversity to deal with people of different race, religion, points of view, habits; finances to manage and be accountable for your own money; time management to handle a very demanding schedule and workload; basic things that you will do for the first time like your own laundry or cooking; your own safety and health that you will be accountable for. Do not be afraid; enjoy every minute of your college years. Keep in mind that with perseverance and commitment you will brake barriers and soon will gain self confidence, and find your own niche. You will make mistakes along the way. This is expected and accepted. You will soon be ready to head off on your own with the support of many people and mechanisms available on campus to help you out and to make of your college experience an unforgettable one.
I have always been rather independent, yet what struck me the hardest about college life is how solitary it is. You go to class, live, and work with so many different people, that at first you just don't realize what seems to be missing. Coming from a smaller high school where I was constantly involved in many different activities, I was always busy, I always had somewhere to be and good friends to be with. It's easy, because everyone is going through the same process, on the same schedules. But in college, the people around you are all working towards different goals. Sure, they all want to get a degree, but their lives are going in completely different directions. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to connect with other people- to actively put yourself on the market. Networking is a crucial skill that you have to learn for a career, but it will serve you well in college too. Joining activities to find other students with common interests is an easy way to make friends, and will make the transition from high school so much smoother and your college experience that much more enjoyable.
The first thing I did when looking for a college was to pick schools that offer a wide range of academic programs. This gives you a lot of options if you are undecided or decide to change majors. Second, I decided on campus location- either rural, city, or somewhere in between. This is important not only in finding entertainment and things to do, but also gives opportunities for jobs/internships that may be available to students while in school and after graduation. Once enrolled in school, build as many relationships as you can- with teachers, students, and other faculty. Networking is the most important thing while at school. It makes your overall experience easier. You can get teacher reccommendations, an on-campus job, find out what course/professor to take, or simply borrow a classmates notes before a test. Networking is crucial. At times you may feel overwhelmed. Make sure there is a balance between work and play. Go to the rec center, hang out with friends, or attend an campus event. But also, find what there is to do off campus. Restaurants, shoppings, movies, professional sports. Just get out.
The advice I would give students about finding the right college is to simply go with your gut. Just choose the school that offers what you want. If it's not the right college for you, it's not the end of the world; you can always transfer, but you will never know how it's going to turn out if you don't try it. My advice about making the most of college involves two key points: balance and building relationships. I think balance is very important in life, especially during college because if you work all the time, you will eventually get burnt out. That leads me to the second key, building relationships. Relationships not only have the potential to be beneficial in the work field after college, but are also so important to a person's mental health. Make friends and have fun because although school is your main priority, everyone has to let their hair down and have fun too. Also, build relationships with your faculty; after all they have been through it all before and have some really good advice for their students. Parents, let your child make their decisions, but offer suggestions and help.
The advice I?d give to parents and/or students is to take an invested hands on approach in the college experience. Attend freshman orientation during the summer before school begins if offered by the college, but if not some colleges now offer a virtual tour of campus via their website; taking a day to make a trip to the college to become acclimated with the surrounding areas would be ideal. Search and find a mentor program in which the student can get involved in being a mentee; they will meet faculty and other students all of whom will give their college experience a positive start. Meet with financial advisors to acquire a full understanding of the various types of financial aid that is offered at that particular school, and ask any questions that may arise during the meeting or at any other time during the year. After exploring and choosing a program meet with an academic advisor to go over the curriculum; in this meeting the advisor should inform the parents and/or students of the classes the student is required to take. Lastly, forget not to ask questions, ask questions, and ask questions.
As a sophmore of The University of Cincinnati, I am extremely pleased with my college decision. I advise every person I encounter to apply for as many scholarships as possible. I try to educate students on the process of choosing the right school such as; college visits, shadowing students of alike major interests, becoming involved in sports (such as rowing), joining spirit clubs for the athletic departments; for all these allow first time college students to make friends much easier. For parents, I know it was difficult for my mom to watch me, her youngest, go to college; but what made things easier on me was the freedom she allowed me to grow with. I still had a curfew and let her know where I was, but the way I was able to stay later at the library to work on projects and attend the football games made my college experience all the better! College is a scary place in the transition from High-School, but as long as students get involved and research information about the school to see if it is the right match for them, they will not have any regrets. That's my experience at least.
I would have told myself the importance of taking advantage of everything that is available to me at the University of Cincinnati. It is easy for freshman to get caught up in the off-campus social life, which is very contrary to the University of Cincinnati's mission and core values. UC offers every possible organization that one can think of. They make it very easy for one to even found their own organization; and therefore put students at the center of our university. UC knows the importance of enabling students to truly be a part of our university. Once I overcame taking advantage of the freedom given to me by entering college, I was clearly able to see the benefits of UC have been pushed in my face. Everywhere you go on campus, there are opportunities available for everyone, which supports the diverse campus that we have. UC is a very fortunate university for all of it's achievements that have been made, it's outstanding programs including the nationally ranked DAAP, and the abundance of resouces available at our campus that make our university truly, UnComparable.