The most important part of finding a college is visiting and finding that "feel". When you feel like you are a part of the campus and the activites going on around you the whole college experience is better. Finding your own "niche" is the most fun of the whole campus life. Explore, enjoy, and meet new people!!
The advice I would have given myself during my senior year in high school would have been to apply for more scholorships and study more to get better grades. I wish I would have done that now because its super hard to keep up with college classes and have the grades in college that I had in high school.
Personally, I found Christ while at campus and to me that was the most important part of my experience. Academically, I was able to pursue my interests and find a job in that field. I feel confident in my abilities post school and confident of my opportunites for Grad school and jobs
Choose wisely a college that will help you grow in the area you are gifted. Colleges that equip students to not just learn materials but to also carry themselves in this world are the way to go. Study hard and take college seriously. It will make or break your future.
The first thing I would tell myself is to be more ambitious. I would encourage my past self to spend more time pursuing extracurricular activities that pertained to my passions: music, painting, writing, and most importantly, my concerned interest in other countries.
College is what you make it. At most colleges you can get a good education. Your state college is not going to give you any worse of an education then a college in an exotic location. Start early and take your time while looking for the right college for you.
Find a school that's really interested in YOU. The school that asks what you need rather than pursuing what they need from you is the school you need to gravitate towards. The people are what matter, not the facilities or the location, but the people in it.
It is important to research the programs offered at each college in order to make sure you can complete your major there. Also choose a college that has the class size you'd prefer. I think on-campus activities make a college experience so much better.
While money does play a part in deciding where to go to college, don't let it dominate your decision. Sometimes, paying more means getting a better education and getting a great college experience. You don't want to look back thinking "what if"
I would take my education my seriously. I made the mistake of not picking a degree and took classes that ended up being unnecessary. This wasted time and money and I ended up at college an extra year. Also, I would plan ahead on finances.