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What is the most important thing to know about college before going?

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Suzanne’s Answer

College is a financial investment in yourself. The investment can be costly, so my advice is to choose your college and major based on your potential career path/talents/interests.

With that said, college is also about infinite possibilities. Sure the social experience is fun, but you are there to learn, in fact you are PAYING to learn! Don't forget to be a dreamer....be agile and flexible to change that plan. I was a political science major and have never worked in that field. I've worked in Sales, Marketing, Event Planning, and now Operations, but I wouldn't have traded my college experience for anything. While I didn't go into the field I mainly studied, I know I built the skills and ambition I have today, during that experience. It was worth every penny, but it is also what you make out of it.
Thank you comment icon Thank you this site was very helpful. Pedro
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Quentin’s Answer

That you don’t need to have the answers to life right now. Be open minded and learn everything you can
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Martina’s Answer

The most important thing to know is affordability. Some students attend Junior colleges to receive their associates degree and then transfer to a 4 year university. Also confirm if the College or University you plan to attend offers the degree program you plan to major in.
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Andrea’s Answer

The experience should work for you. Don't hesitate to reach out to school counselors and staff if you don't feel like it's working as well as it could be. You have much more of a say in creating your experience and shaping your future than you might think.
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Linda’s Answer

That life is gray. In most instances and in many disciplines, there is not a right or wrong answer. Open yourself to the "gray" and learn to feel comfortable with it.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Abigail,

The most obvious answer for me is sometimes not the most obvious - it wasn't for me when I went to school. College is harder. Sure, it seems obvious that the subjects would be harder as it is up another level from high school. But it is harder in ways that can be unexpected. In K-12 schools, teachers are very invested in each of their students. Much of your success in K-12 is because teachers are so invested in you, pushing you and connecting with you at a very close level. While a class of 30 people can seem huge, it is often tiny compared to the classes that you will take in college. I had one class that was 300 students. One class. And in college, most teachers are about conveying information, not making sure that you learn it except through the use of homework or exams. And those can be far apart - once every few weeks rather than every day. When I was in college, many of my teachers didn't know me personally and didn't engage with you personally unless you went to their offices outside of the classroom setting. Now some classes are smaller than that, but it can still feel like one in a large crowd. Plus, since you are an adult in college (for the most part), there is not as much support. You are expected to be proactive about what you need. If you need help with an assignment, you need to ask and potential go outside of the classroom for help (like the student union). You are expected to figure out how to manage the large workload. School gets really hard right when many college students are also learning about how to be an adult. Maybe you have moved away from home and are learning how to live with new people or in a new place.

College can be a challenging experience since it is a lot of change at once. Your best bet is to be very active in your college campus. Learn about the resources in places to support you as a student. Build relationships with other students in your classes, especially the big ones. Ask for help from your teachers since they will be able to provide you direction to support if you don't know where to go. College requires a much more proactive approach to being successful.

Gloria
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Simeon’s Answer

Look at the curriculum for your classes, print them off, and take a look at the assignments percentage of your total grade. This will give you a better idea of what to focus on when it comes to studying. Look for good work-study options on campus. There are sometimes really easy assignments and you can even sometimes be allowed to do your homework while doing some of them. For instance, I worked in the front desk of my dorm signing in visitors and sorting mail. If there were no mail or visitors, I was able to work on my homework while I waited and it was easy to focus on getting it done since I couldn't leave the desk. This helped me support myself financially while also giving me focused study time.

For studying, it's much better to study in small ten to fifteen minutes sessions multiple times per week as opposed to cram studying. It's way less stressful and the information sticks better. You know how TV advertisements are trying to repeat the same message to you in small chunks multiple times per week? It's the same thing. Our brains retain information way better when its repeated often in small chunks. When you have multiple hour study sessions, the odds are that you're going to be zoning off once the first thirty to forty minutes have passed.
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Javier’s Answer

Definitely find out what you are passionate before going to college, find out what you want to do in the future. Make sure try to apply for any scholarships available, try to find a college that suits the major your going for is right for you. Just have a mindset that you really want to go to college.

College isn't for everyone but you the beauty of college is to have a open mind and learn. You are going to find things you like and dislike.

Good luck! Try to shadow someones job to see if that interests you.
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