As clich? and overstated as it may sound, the number one rule you should follow as a prospective college student is this: visit as many schools that you are considering as possible. In my quest to find the right school, I found that my number one school quickly dropped to my number two school after my visits. Confused about why? Websites and phone calls can only tell you a tiny piece of a college?s story. By visiting a school, you learn of its atmosphere?how responsive faculty members are to your questions, how friendly the students are, and even how tasty (or sometimes nasty) the cafeteria food is. I picked my school because I felt comfortable and at home there, and I don?t regret it! Once you pick your school and start your college journey, be yourself! If you felt right at this school when you visited it, make yourself at home when you get there. Join as many activities as you have time for?this will help connect you to people of many different interests and backgrounds. From one of the shyest, most awkward people in the country, try new things, trust yourself, and have fun!
If I could go back to my high school years and give myself any piece of advice, I’d tell myself “get involved”. High school is the perfect atmosphere to get involved in extras curricular activities such as Honors clubs, Athletics, Student Government etc. Getting involved helps build character as well as giving you the opportunity to discover your strong points. During high school I spent more time socializing than actually participating in any school activities, and once I entered college I found that it was difficult for me to find my so called “click”. It took me about a year to muster the courage to get involved in school organization’s as well as well as volunteering within my community and I found the experience was quite rewarding. Had I had the right mind set to be more “involved” within my high school career, it would have been much easier for me to know exactly where I fit in within my college life. Networking as well as being part of groups and organizations has helped plenty in my effort to expand my social life within college, opening opportunities for me everywhere.
If there's anything I've learned, it's that now-a-days people love concise lists consisting of things they can relate to. The thing about doing this with pieces of advice is that as you type them out, you realize that a lot of the things you "learn" when you go to college are the things that your parents, older family members, and other influential figures told you for the first 18 years of your life and those cliches truly earned their notoriety. So I would advise myself and whoever else to really listen to the words of others even if it at the time it seems like annoying nonsense or irrelevant information. I can type all I want to here but chances are someones mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, english teacher, gym teacher, lunch lady, cab driver, mailman, whoever, has probably already told you in one way or another. So really the greatest piece of advice I could ever give someone in my opinion is to really listen to those around you. You're either going to learn from following someone else's words or learn from ignoring them and well sometimes one's easier than the other.
Allow yourself time, there will always be a temptation to procrastinate, to say "it can be done later," but at some point there is no later to defer your life. Today, start and finish something, even if it is hard. Write essays, ask for help if you need it, and make the effort. Nothing in life is done without hard work and in the future you are going to find that out, so today make plans and set goals that are feasible. Nothing is ideal or perfect and that in itself is a good thing, be ready for the mistakes and learn from them, but you also need to be prepared because the plans you make are also not going to play out in an ideal fashion. Think about multiple possibilities all the time not just a single idea because you never really know anything but yourself. On that note, keep exploring yourself, growing, changing and learning. Don't just be satisfied with an A in class but a fullness of understanding, true knowledge. Too many are depressed with bad grades when that is not ultimately what makes the man. Finally, be kind to everyone it is infinitely important.
If I traveled back through time and met my high school senior self, this is what I would say. “Hey, it's me. I mean it’s you. Anyway, there are some things you need to know about college before you pack up and move in to your new life. You should consider making a checklist of your personal goals and expectations of campus life. Why, you may ask? It's simple. You need to write down your goals so that you can stay focused on what you want to accomplish in your studies and personal development. You need to make a list of expectations so that you can evaluate how campus life has measured up. This is more important than it sounds. There are many opportunities to try new things and a vast list of important dates. This makes keeping focus of your personal goals and expectations difficult. If you could keep track of what you expect out of your campus experience, then you can do something about the missing experiences by keeping your eye open for similar opportunities or creating your own opportunities if necessary. If you do this for me, buddy, I will thank you later.”
Staying organized at all times and not procrastinating would have been great traits to learn and practice in high school, but I chose to put more emphasis on figuring out ways to get out of class and get to my part time job fueling planes at a nearby airport. Aviation and making money were much more interesting and rewarding to me at the time. Taking school seriously and working hard to learn all of the math I could would have also been very beneficial to me in making the transition from high school to the Univesity of Tulsa. I would advise Luke to spend less time trying to be funny and entertaining and more time studying and applying himself. I would advise Luke to follow the rules which would have kept him in the classroom more and in the principal's office less which would have led to a more disciplined and better educated student with better skills for transitioning from high school to college. If I could go back in time to being a senior in high school, I would advise Luke to take his parents advice in order to become a successful college student.
Choosing a college is a big decision and maybe one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life. I have found, as with every business or establishment, that the people really make the difference. Even though TU offers everything you could need in a college, my experience here wouldn't be the same without the great people I have met. When I studied abroad in Spain I made friends with the other Americans that were in my school. However, all I could think about was how I wanted to take my friends from TU and move them to Spain because my new friends just did not seem to be able to live up to my expectations. So please do not worry about sports, school colors, how far away you are from your family, or if your relationship with your boyfriend will hold out. Check out a wide variety of colleges and VISIT them. Get a feel for the people and the atmosphere. Trust your gut because you will meet the best friends you have ever had and they will support you in everything you do. Those people will make your college experience the best it can be.
Having experienced two full years of college, the main thing I would emphasize to my past self is that it is okay to fail sometimes. This was the one thing that I struggled with when entering college. In high school I was always accustomed to doing well in basically all subjects, so when I transitioned to university and realized that this was not always the case, I went through a phase of major frustration. I developed an inferiority complex when I saw others excelling in the same subjects with which I was struggling. This gave me intense anxiety, which only led to me continuing to struggle. Thankfully I had a decent support system to guide me, but at the time I was miserable. So to the high school senior Zeinab Hassan, I just want you to know that not everyone gets it on the first try. Different things come easily for different people and just because you struggle a little on a subject, it does not mean that you are a failure. It just means that you have to make the commitment and put in the extra work for a better outcome, you will see the results.
Dear Maiten, You need to learn that fate needs a little help sometimes. Maybe applying to only one University just because you thought it was the right fit for you, wasn't the smartest idea. You got accepted to your dream college, and it was a moment of felicity but then, you realized that it would have been better to have more options. That's not that big of a problem now, because you're already in college, pursuing a career that will make you happy and will aloud you to do everything you always wanted, help people who don't have the opportunity you had while also doing what you love, art. You always stayed very busy during high school, two part-time jobs and college level classes were the best thing you could have done. I appreciate that busy life you had during high school because that has prepared me for very busy days, weekends and breaks during college. Get more involve in things, don't be afraid to stand out for what you believe. Do not worry about what people say, those things do not matter when you're in college, and follow your dreams.
College is a very exciting and a life alternating experience in so many ways. For me I have gotten a lot out of college because I wanted to. College can be can very beneficial if you are motivated, ambitious and willing to work hard. I have been very involved in different organization here on campus in order to get the most out of my college experience. In doing this I gained great friends, good time management skills, leadership experience, created a great social network and a foundation for my career. We are always told to go to class get good grades and prepare ourselves for the working world. I have done all of that but what people never tell you what else college has to offer. Things like good friends, fun, unforgettable experiences, things not to do, dealing with finances, and living on your own are just as important. Putting a value to my college education is not possible. It is priceless because I have gained so much from my 3 years here. I know that the things I have learned here will affect how I live the rest of my life in a good way.