Through my varied professional and educational experiences, I have learned that, contrary to the wisdom bestowed by my high school guidance counselor, not everyone will follow the same path to adulthood. I first entered college at the tender age of 18, completely overwhelmed and without a sense of where I wanted to be in five, ten, or thirty years. The series of life events triggered by that single hastily made choice ? service in the US Air Force, followed by many years of college while working full time and raising a family - has driven my desire to assist others in reaching their own personal and professional goals. My experience with University of Redlands School of Business has been absolutely outstanding I particularly appreciate the focus placed on the students? own professional experience as a foundation for instruction and learning and the level of commitment to learning older students have. While I have maintained my professional goal of working within human resources and staff development, my classmates and instructors have further inspired me to focus even more on becoming a leader in the adult education community as this segment of higher education is, unfortunately, often overlooked by many institutions.
The prospective student should determine first and foremost whether or not they would prefer a college with enormous class sizes, or smaller class sizes (in which you get more individual attention and more accessibility to professors). Knowing exactly what tuition will cost, and the availability of on and off campus housing is also very important. Location of the college is also an important, but sometimes overlooked factor. If the campus is far from home, gas/plane tickets will occasionally need to be purchased. Rural areas might be too boring, big and lively cities might be too distracting. Go to each campus and take every tour possible. Some colleges will have the prospective student and/or family sit and talk with a counselor of some sort- have all your questions prepared. Definitely make a stop by the financial aid office to discuss potential scholarship or grant offers. If at all possible, walk around the campus unaccompanied by the tour guides and see if you can run into some students that are willing to answer questions: they will give you more honest responses about the quality of on-campus housing, receptiveness of professors and school administration, off-campus entertainment and social activities.
?I think you?re good at empowering and healing people. I think you?re good at empowering women,? the advisor rattled off with precise articulation, as if he were reciting a well-rehearsed poem. I was given these words when I was questioning my identity. Ah. Guidance. If only it were that easy! But it wasn?t. When I discovered the Johnston program within the University of Redlands, I was overjoyed to identify my passions and craft an emphasis that strengthened them. However, learning the initiative and management skills were the backbreaking methods to my emergence as a true leader. When I think of The University of Redlands, and the high ratings I gave it in campusdiscovery.com?s survey, I think of Johnston. Yet, because the College of Arts and Sciences at Redlands and the Johnston Center are combined in a constructive environment, I had so many choices. I could design my women?s studies classes and take classes in the art department, taking away skills to create my own activist-focused art. I learned to be an entrepreneur for myself. Simply put, that?s what I want for my children someday: lots of choices and entrepreneurial leadership.
The first two years at the University of Redlands has been a unique experience. Imagine a beautiful exotic campus the size of USC but with a small private school located on it. There have been times when I have not felt socially pleased, such as the first semester of sophmore year. However, I have always had one or two good friends here and there that made us stand out. When it came to everyone else, I was cool with everyone. The social life here was somewhat similar to my last two years in High School; partying. Other than the social life and the unique people I have met from around the country, the education is splendid. The extreme small classes of 10-15 students allows you to receive a lot of individual attention from your professors, almost like a private tutor. In adittion, all the professors are quite diverse and extremely educated. To sum it up, the most valuable experiences from attending the University of Redlands has been the education, the few important friends I have made, and the California culture. Coming from a background of having lived in Europe, Montreal, New York, and PA, California shall be my future.
The transition from high school to college is a milestone. Legally, you can do pretty much anything and college leaves it to you to keep your parents in the loop. It's liberating and scary to have that much freedom but remember that, should anything happen to you, your parents will also be affected by your choices. Rather than hiding aspects of your life, be real with them. If you're doing something that you wouldn't want to tell your parents, ask yourself if it's worth doing. Demonstrate your responsibility by handling your finances. Get a job and keep track of hours worked and pay days so when the pay check comes, there's no surprises. Create a weekly alert system for your bank account. Create a budget and purpose for savings like a car, study abroad, etc. then work towards that goal. Finally, avoid the "freshmen 15" by buying food, like milk and oatmeal, to eat rather than consuming only unhealthy commons food. Brush your teeth at 10PM to prevent snacking and create a schedule to work out and make a gym buddy to motivate you to adhere to it. Most important, be true to yourself!
Every college is going to give you the education you need to be successful in the "real world," and any book or counselor will be able to point you towards the college that is best suited for your intended major or career. What is most important, in my opinion, when deciding which college to attend is to visit the campus and see if the "vibe" is right for you. What I mean by this is that each school has an intangible aura, present in the student body, professors, and classes that elicits a different feeling in each person, of either comfort or distress. Walk through the halls and try to imagine yourself in a year walking there as a student, would you feel content? Once in college, take advantage of every possible opportunity, because you will only be at that school, with those people, and at that moment in your life once (and you're paying for those opportunities!). Don't let anyone or anything stop you from meeting someone, taking a class, or joining an organization. There is nothing worse than leaving college saying, "I wish I'd done..." and nothing better than saying, "I have no regrets."
Please make sure all your passions can be exercised at the college you choose. Even if you do not want to major in that field, it is very beneficial to your person as a whole to be able to take a class or two expanding your artistic abilities, discussing Roman philosophy, learning how to rock climb or working with children. Being happy at this point in your life is very important. It is surprising how much more enjoyable college is when you can do things for fun!! Also, explore the learning environment before you decide. Are big lecture halls for you or, like me, do you need to be able to raise your hand and ask plenty of questions, engage in good discussion, and connect personally with your professors? I can guarantee that if the learning environment is not conducive to your learning style, you will not be happy. As you can see, happiness is a motif of my advice. Finding a college that will give you the experience you need will make you happy even before you are a student there. Make connections, follow your heart, and make sure to enjoy this section of your drive thorugh life. :)
Since I have only been in college for one semester, I have not been able to experience everything that the University of Redlands has to offer yet. What I have been able to experience is: amazing teaching staff, great community, a beautiful campus, freedom, and courses that push you to the best scholar. The teaching staff at Redlands is very applicable to the students. They are always ready for class, ready to answer questions, and open to meeting outside of class to help you with your questions. Even if you might not be able to meet with a professor one-on-one, there are still numerous programs on campus that are here to help. The community of students is by far the best I have ever seen. Everyone is welcoming and friendly and willing to help you out with anything you have. The dorms offer a great chance to meet with other students that have the same interests as you or are in the same class as you. I have had an amazing first semester at the University of Redlands, and I cannot wait for the upcoming years as I continue to advance in my academic career and social experiences.
Parents ought to do their utmost to determine what their sons or daughters are really looking for; that is to say, what their interests really are. While college certainly presents its students with a time for dramatic change and self-searching, parents can do worse than act as guides in this initial way. I would not advise suggesting "dad's good-old alma mater" for the single reason that it is "dad's good-old alma mater"; this reason alone may not stand up to the individuality of the prospective student. Guidance is better than delegation in this respect, though the cost of education can be high. Students ought to heed the advice of their parents, but to take it with a grain of salt would not be rash. They are not the ones going off to college (though they may at first be the ones paying for it). This is the student's education; and to the extent which the student is willing to take ownership of her future, to that same extent ought she to value the selection process. Don't settle! Apply everywhere you might want to go. You might get in somewhere you didn't expect.
To find the college or university that best suits your needs, I would advise turning to the internet first. This can be a huge time-saver, and, with the information flow on the internet today, it is assuredly a best bet. Armed with a web-site like Campusdiscovery.com, students and families are bound to narrow down their search for the right school in a matter of minutes! One can browse through colleges based on very specific preferences and even see what the current students are saying about it. Once a particular interest is gained, a campus visit can be a helpful option. This can be expensive, but it is a great way for the student to experience the campus, social life, and environment first-hand. As far as making the most of the college experience is concerned, it is all about attitude and participation. Students will find that they will enjoy their college years if they have a positive attitude. Stay connected with people, make new friends, and try to attend events that appeal to your interests. Just remember to stay safe and keep a sharp mind for your studies.