In terms of finding the right college, many factors go into finally making the "right choice"; however, many think that once you choose your college that it is set in stone -- and sadly, for many, it is quite the contrary. One might never really know what life on campus will be like, even after a tour and proper research. It is truly about the entire experience, one you're living and taking the courses, meeting the fellow students, etc. I would say to firstly make sure the setting is appropriate for the student; I, for one, could not imagine being in any other setting than one that is urban. I need public transportation, easily accessible stores, and the ambiance. Secondly, the major does not necessarily need to be stressed early on, though coming to a school that specifies in a trade or career (like my school, Wentworth) should be thoroughly researched beforehand. Finally, in order to make the most of a college experience, there should be a proper balance of working hard and fun. A student just should make sure not to have too much of a good thing. Rewards are only meaningful after working hard, after all.
The best advice I can give when looking for the right college is never compromise. The right college is out there, and with the help of websites and books, you will find the best college for the price range you can afford. And remember, once you have found the right school, visiting the school will only confirm your insticts- or even steer you in a different direction. It's also a great opportunity to speak to enrolled students or college represenatives. They can help answer your questions about housing, student life, on campus activities, and even financial aid. Once you've made it to the college of your dreams, you can make the most of it by focusing on your education. With the right amount of time management and persistence, there will always be time for friends and activities. You have to remember- you are attending college to gain an education. You will naturally make friends through classes and dorm life that will enrich your college experience as well as ease the adjustment to your new college life. Last but not least, never forget that going to college is the experience of a lifetime, so smile!
As a high school senior, you pretty much have it all figured out. You survived all those demonic teachers, have a solid group of BBFLs (Best Friends for Life) and the underclassman totally walk in your shadows. Even though college seems like unknown territory, after building up thirteen years of practical knowledge and life lessons, you're pretty sure this will be manageable. Right? Well even though it's important to remember who you are, where you come from, and where you want to go, it's also important to realize that you're starting a fresh page in the book of life and for the first time ever, you will have full control over how it is written. Despite whether you considered your high school experience to be perfect or less than ideal, you should consider approaching college life with a whole new perspective. If you start off with an open mind and a willingness to move outside your comfort zone, the foundation for a successful college career will already be beneath you. Maintain your intelligence, judgment, and core values, then go become the person you want to be.
If I could give advice about choosing a college, I would suggest going to a school with a campus you feel comfortable on and with several majors you're interested in. Making the transition to college is already difficult, so choosing a campus that is accomodating and enjoyable to live on is especially important. There's going to be down time between classes and you should live in a place that makes you feel happy and safe. Also, always have a back up plan when it comes to your major. I chose a technical school that didn't require many general education courses, and when I decided my major wasn't right for me, it was difficult to transition to another school without throwing a year of my life and a large sum of money away as the credits didn't transfer. Only go to a tech-school is you are one hundred percent sure on what you want to do with your life, because they are excellent at giving you hands on experience for a rewarding career, but difficult to switch out of. I switched out of Architecture and will be attending as a Civil Engineer major this fall.
As a freshman in college finished with my first semester, I have experienced just a taste of what is to come. A key piece of advice, that other students would agree upon, would be how college is completely different than high school with there being a huge work load and you're on your own. However, I would emphasize that you are on your own as you're responsible for your own actions, grades, problems and other various things. College brings a great education opening many doors for an individual, but it also brings many distractions. There are events, parties and other situations that would pull you away from your work and studies. The golden rule is school comes first with fun and friends later, do not let them distract you or keep you from what you need to do. Work hard and do not give up when things get tough and seem impossible. If it seems that there is no way you can pull something off, make a way by working hard and keep going until you successfully finish the task. Another major thing to do is get help and work with others, this helps a lot.
Before you choose your college, be sure you know exactly what you want, especially if you're going to a trade school. Otherwise, you may fall behind like I did. Sometimes you can attend a community college for two years then transfer to a partnering university. This will help save you and your family a lot of money. When you get there, do all your work to the best of your abilities. The higher your grades are, the more likely you will receive more financial aid. Don't ever let your grades slip. If they do, don?t be afraid to go out there and get help. Get to know your professors. They'll be more than willing to help you. Your professor might even show you some work they did in the field as a real life example. College isn't just all work and no play though. Make friends, do an activity you like, find an internship related to your major. These activities will provide a more enjoyable college experience. The last thing you want to do in college is outcast yourself. These are suppose to be the most enjoyable years of your life. Make them that way.
Even though everyone gets senioritis during their senior year, you really need to keep pushing yourself and taking AP and honors classes, because some of those transfer over and eliminate some classes in college. Also don't think that you need to jump right into college, take a year off and figure out for sure what you want to do. I took a year off and joined AmeriCorps NCCC, its a national service program that lets you travel the country. I got so much experience doing that, I spent time in the Midwest rebuilding after the flood of 2008 and i learned a lot about the construction of a house. There are a million different opportunities out there, try everything out before you spend all the money on school then realize that isn't what you want to do. During the summer try to find an internship at a local business that would be something you're interested in to get a feel for the job. i took the easy way out while i was in high school, i worked for my mom and took all extension classes, i wanted good grades and free time. Don't be like me!
Begin early to find the best school that fits your needs. However this is easier said then done. How do you know where to begin and how do you know what you are looking for? You must remember, although education is the main reason for attending your school of choice, it is also the time when one is truly able to find them self as a person. You must start the process off being true to yourself by knowing what type of atmosphere you are most comfortable in. Having always been from a small town, I knew I wouldn?t be comfortable in a large classroom at a major university. By narrowing my search down to smaller schools, I knew I would get the personal one on one relationship with my professors that would allow me to get the most out of my education. By knowing what atmosphere works best for you, the type of experiences you hope to gain will become clearer and will help you make a decision as to what school works best for you. This time in your life is all about you, so make sure you are able to enjoy it for all its worth.
Venturing back a year before now I see myself as a high school senior stressed out, and biting my nails as I apply to colleges at the last minute. I was cramming to get everything done and nervously waiting for the schools to reply. I was a scared wreck. I would sit down and have a talk with younger less educated me and tell her to make sure she gets things done early and to not wait till the last minute to get applications, homework, and essays turned in. I would tell my younger self not to worry about making new friends at school it will happen if you just act like yourself. I would tell myself to form study groups at school to help with homework and to meet new people. I would tell myself to make sure i go to campus events. I would tell myself your roomates are going to be the most amazing and caring people and even though youll have your differences your glad they are there with you. I would tell her that no matter how much leaving your friends hurts you the ones that really care will still be there for you.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior about transitioning to college I would tell myself to just be myself. One of my biggest fears going into college was that I wouldn't fit in as I am and that I would become a different person that who I want to comfortably be. Thankfully at Wentworth Institute of Technology I do, at this school no matter who you are there is someone for you to be friends with and people accept you for who you are. Another thing I would have told myself was to get a metal bike lock. I brought my beloved expensive road bike to school with me and it was stolen promptly after arriving on campus. I'm not going to lie I'm a little girl from the suburbs exploring the city who experienced first hand the high crime neighborhood WIT is located in. The bike lock acceptable to riding to drama rehearsal in high school wasn't fit to guard my cardon fibered disc breaked beauty from Mission Hill. Other than that I wouldn't want to give away all the surprises to high school me.