College can be an extremely scary thing. Most people are leaving home for the first time, and the thought of being away can cause lots of anxiety as you search for the "perfect" college. The truth is, there is no "perfect" college! However, the effort you put in to your experience will make a college FEEL like the perfect fit for you. The number one thing to look for when searching for a college is people. The beautiful thing about college is the people you will meet who will help you with your education and career advancement, will play a major part in your social life and will help you make those networking connections you need. The best way to make your college experience great is involvement! Get involved in any way you can-athletics, student government, theater, greek life, an on-campus job...ANYTHING! By being involved, you will feel like you're an important part of the campus, and involvement will give you more opportunities to meet that number one important thing-people. Just remember, dorm rooms, dining halls and internet access are all things to consider...but it's your own attitude that will make you soar!
First off, I would tell myself to really not procrastinate, because the workload increases. On that same note, I would also tell myself that most college classes really aren't all that difficult. Another piece of advice I would give myself is that college class sizes (at least at Wilmington) are nothing to freak out about. I feel like my professors here actually know a bit about who I am, even if I haven't spoken to them personally outside of class. A third piece of advice I would give myself is to be more open-minded. Since college, I have met so many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds. Fortunately, I have learned to accept them alll! A final piece of advice that I would give myself is that college changes people, sometimes for the better or the worst. I know that I have changed a lot in just my 1 1/4 semesters here at Wilmington College. Since college, I have learned to become more independent, made great friends, and got baptised in the Holy Spirit at a recent collage youth group retreat. In conclusion, college has made me stronger in all aspects of my life!
“Don’t get discouraged when your Modern Dance teacher tells you you’re discombobulated. Your tendency to think electives (like dance) are easy A’s will be proven untrue; sometimes the classes you thought would be a breeze end up being your biggest challenges. Don’t let it get to you. It’s easy to feel like you want to give up and don’t care, especially if you have a teacher who uses methods you’re not used to, but in college you have to care. No one will be there looking over your shoulder, checking to see if you’ve completed all the assignments by the due date. College is a place where you get to take responsibility for your own actions. From this point on, your life has a lot to do with the choices you make, so consider your decisions well. Discouragement can be natural part of transitioning to college life, but if you’re clever enough you can use that ‘I can’t’ attitude to propel yourself forward. The most rewarding things in life come from accomplishing what you never thought you could. Even discombobulated people can get A’s when they aim for it.”
START LOOKING EARLY. No one in my family went to college before me, but my mom asked around for advice. We barely started looking for colleges in time. You need to look early in order to make the time for visits and research. Also, before you can try to see where you want to go in the future, you have to determine where you are now. You can't move forward to fulfill your dream or try to improve what your doing, untill you know where you're at right now. So get to know yourself so you can get to know what size and style campus your looking for. Lastly i would say to enjoy your journey. Try not to let the college search stress you out. Most people are so focused on their goals and future that they miss out on all the things they have going for them right now. I chose to pay attention to what was happening and as a result im really happy. Some choices will just never be perfect, but you can always make the best of what you have. 10% of life is what happens to you, 90% is how you react!
When I quit high at 16, that mistake affected my future immensly. Until I had the opportunity to finally go back to school at 42 , I was insecure with people, I had dead-in jobs, and acted shy. At 42 my life changed forever. I remarried to a great man and I had the opportunity to attend ACC-Austin. It was not easy at first. I had to take (7) math dev. courses just to pass college level Algebra. I did it. Then a couns. suggested I see a ADD Dr. because of my testing skills. I did and had severe ADD. My grades went from D's & F's to A's & B's with meds. I loved learning at ACC. The kids in my classrooms were so smart. They treated me with so much respect and really helped me with getting the info I needed. I enjoyed the smaller classes, and the good attention you get from the Profs., and I really miss those wonderful students. I am so secure today and feel so forfilled in my life. I also read the paper daily just to keep up with the world. I thank ACC for my new life.
If I could go back and talk to my high school self, the most important advice I would give myself would be to get good grades. I know this may sound like a no-brainer, but this advice wouldn’t be so much for the academic side; this advice would be more for the eligibility to be involved on campus. There were many things I wanted to do while in college that I couldn’t because of my GPA never being as high as it should be. I missed out on the chance to be President of a club I participated in for 3 years. I also missed the chance to be one of the first members to pledge a new chapter of a historically black Sorority on a predominately white campus; that was a huge deal. But the biggest thing that my GPA kept me from was being an RA (residence assistance). If I had a good enough GPA to be an RA, the cost of living would have been significantly reduced for me, thus giving me the opportunity to live on campus my last semester, something I was unable to do because I couldn’t afford it.
In picking the right college I would tell parents and students to find a place where they think that they could fit in. A place that they could see themselves staying at for four years. I would also have them keep in mind the distance from home and the size of the college. I would also have them speak to as many students from that college as possible. Not just students that work for the college any students that they can find on campus and get thier opions of the college. As for fitting into a college I would tell students to join in on as many activies as possible. Go to the sporting events and the activies that the school offers, you will make more friends if you do this. I would leave them with the best edvice I could, being that whatever school you pick will not be perfect, it will have its downfalls and things that you hate about it. And I would assure them that there will be bad days and days where you just want to quite, but it will get better just give it time.
I live on campus and get to experience so much. When I first arrived at Wilmington College, I didn?t know anyone. Now, it has come to the end of my freshman year and I have many friends. I am in a sorority and many organizations. I have experienced the 7:45 am class and it was during a pledge season. I had to get up early every day for a month and getting maybe 5 hours of sleep. I would not change anything or do anything differently. I would still live on campus because you don?t miss out on anything. I have been lucky to miss the fire alarms to go off at one in the morning but these are experiences you only get in college. When you live on campus, you get a little more freedom from your parents to do things your way. You set your bed time and you get up when you want to. Although more freedom does mean more responsibility but I have learned to love this freedom. I?m on my own and loving every experience that I can take in.
In the process of selecting the right college for you, consider a wide variety of colleges and universities. Make sure to include small and large campuses in your search, along with public and private institutions. One of the most surprising things I found when applying for financial aid was that the private universities were willing to offer me more money than the public schools. So much so, that the cost of both types of schools were almost equal. When applying to colleges and universities, also take a look at the excracurricular activities they have to offer. These activities not only excentuate your academic experience at the college, but can help you escape the academic rigor. Once you have been accepted to an institution, get involved in the extracurricular activities on your campus. These activities are great ways to make connections with professors and other faculity members, along with other students.
If I could travel back in time, I would give myself age old advice: worry less and enjoy the moment. I would tell myself that Wilmington College is the right choice for me, and not to be worried if I am at first overwhelmed by all of the activities at orientation. I would also tell myself not to worry if it takes a while to make friends, because ultimately the people who have the same work ethic and values that I cherish will find me, and that they will become good friends. I would also tell myself to maintain confidence and know that everything works out. Furthermore, I would let myself know that the workload will not be much different than high school and that I will get good grades (a 4.0 average) as long as I continue to work hard. Ultimately, my advice to myself would be to allow myself to be open with others.