i would inform myself that college is a unique experiance and a journey that I have the privlegde of going on in my life. I would also tell myself to work hard but to remember to enjoy myself and leave time to spend with good friends. Furethermore, I shoulf be proud of my accomplishments and always look towards the positive side of every situation because everything in life happens for a reason and every situation turns out to work in your favor in some way or another. Work hard and play ahrd is a good motto to remember while in college. Not everything will be easy though, sometimes you will run into situations that may worry you and cause you pain, but it is important to remember that you will get through these sitations, and these unpleasant situtaions shape you as a person and help you learn from your mistakes.
As someone who visited a huge variety of schools during my initial college search and ended up transferring half way through college, I would encourage you to be sure of what would ultimately make you happy as a student. Any college can be fun if you make it that way. However, there is something invaluable about attending a college or university where students actually care about their academics and strive to achieve during their time in school. Also, the diversity of the student body is imporant as well; it is more fun and interesting to live in a community where everyone has a different opinion and way of life. Otherwise, what could you learn? I think the best way to make the most of your college experience is by finding a few organizations that you can really sink your teeth into and become very involved.
To a future college student: I'd say to really think about the kind of person/student you are. You want a campus that fulfills your needs, socially, physically, emotionally, etc. You want a campus that has people who are similar to you, in terms of ambitions and social scenes, but also enough diversity to learn about other interests and people. You want a college that will help you find yourself as well as what you want to do with the rest of your life and help you reach your goals. The kind of person you are and the kind of person you may want to become makes a difference as well, if you are introveted, but would like to get more involved, maybe seek a smaller school that has more personal attention and encouragement for each student, etc. Good luck, and you'll be fine!
If I could go back to when I was a senior I would tell myself to slow down. As a senior I was very focused on getting into a top college/university that I let it take a toll on other areas of my life. I would tell myself to be nicer to those around me. I was always cranky towards my parents, the two people who helped me the most to get into college. I regret that. I would also encourage myself to take that precious time before college to explore a new interest. When I got to college, I discovered that I didn't like to do the extracurriculars that I did in highschool such as, field hockey and student government. I felt sort of lost because I didn't know what made me, me. I think its important that we live in the moment, even as we prepare for what lies ahead.
I think students should keep their options open when apply to college. They should not restrict themselves to a location or a type of school if they have interests in others. Every family does have financial concerns, so it is difficult to follow your heart and select the best fit or dream school, but sometimes you have to think about which decision would be the best in the long run. Once you are at college, you should definitely make an effort to create new friendships because those you meet at the beginning are most likely to be the friends you will have throughout your years, so make use of the early years. Join what your interested and don't overwhelm yourself with commitments.
Follow your heart. That's the most important thing. So many students worry about money. Money is important, especially these days, but there are so many ways to work that out after you're accepted. It's more important to be where you want to be. If you're doing what you love, at a college that you love, then you'll work hard. And if you work hard, you'll be successful. There are times when it will seem more complicated than that, but it's really not. So many people feel hindered by money, when in reality, there are tons of options for anyone willing to ask for help and work hard for it. Once you follow your heart, the rest works out.
The first thing I would recommend to students looking at colleges would be to visit the campus. Once you visit the campus you can get the feel of the surroundings. It helps you figure out if you could picture yourself at the school. Students and/or parents inquiring about different colleges should also take tours of not only the campus but the surroundings (for example: the city or town close by) because that is also an important factor. Students should try to sit in a class and see if they enjoy the class size or if they like the way the professor lectures.
I knew Wellesley was the right school for me from a gut feeling. I have never regretted the decision, but every student needs to find the school that is right for them (cause I am positive there is one). Ask questions and if people aren't sure of the answer ask again. Once at school, ask for help when you need it and help others when they struggle. Help form a community and don't forget to help your community. Volunteer, reading to children, etc. And if you don't like your school transfer. There is no reason to be unhappy.
I would advise the student and their parents to follow their intution in selecting a school. Picking a college where they feel comfortable, happy, challenged, safe and excitied is the most important thing in making their college experience a successful one. Once there, the student must, MUST, take advantage of every single opportunity given. They should find what excites them and truly love and commit to it. They have to work very hard, but not sweat the small stuff. Those 4 years fly by in a flash.
I would tell students to spend 50% of their time on academics and the other 50% on social activities and extracurricular. If you overspend on one or the other, you will either sacrifice crucial self growth/networking/relationship building or you will sacrifice your GPA. Spend a night at each school you want to go to. Talk to MANY students of all majors and years. Everyone's college experience is unique so you need as many perspectives as you can to achieve a full understanding of the school.