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What should I know about college?

Of course there is increased freedom and workload, but what else catches people by surprise?
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Ken’s Answer

There are several things that are very important when getting to know about colleges:

  • The first is focus. It really helps to develop a career focus before entering college as it will help with the selection of courses and provide a common interest area around which to develop friendships in collge.
  • It is also very important to control costs. As you will be faced with many decisions regarding money, it is very important to have some good ideas about reducing costs in college
  •  It really does not matter what school you attend, as the most important factors are how well you do with the school work, which is an indication to an employer about what kind of employee you will be, and the effort that you put forth in your networking to set up networking connections that will help you throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video for you to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
• It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
Here are some very important tips on how to reduce college costs: ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml

Balancing time is very important in college, as things are not as structured as in high school. Here are some good tips from people who have found good ideas about balance: ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective ## ## http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html ## ## http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/ ## Ken Simmons

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Andrew B. I see that you posted this question a little while ago so I hope my answer to you (or others who may read this response) is still helpful.

For me, the most surprising thing when I went to college was the initial "hands off" approach of my professors. You are right in that there is a lot more freedom in college. For the most part, your professors won't be taking attendance and they likely won't be checking to see if you did your homework. But they do expect you to be doing your work. And that will show when you get exams. In some ways it can be a bit of reverse psychology :). It could appear that your professors don't care if you show up to class or if you do you assigned studies. In most cases, their expectation is that if a student is struggling in their class, the student will reach out to the professor. It is less likely that the professor will reach out to the student, as is more the case in high school.

Hope this is helpful and best of luck to you!

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