It's frequently just assumed that once you graduate high school you'll go to college. But you shouldn't go just because it's expected. You should go because you genuinely want to continue your studies and because it's needed for your desired career.
2. What do you want to study?
Not every school offers every major, so before you start spending money on applications think about what you want to study. Then you can see which schools match your interests and avoid applying to ones that don't have the degree program you want.
3. How are you going to pay for college?
College isn't cheap, but there are multiple ways to fund your education, including scholarships, grants and loans. You need to plan how you'll be paying for college and may need to pick your school based on how you are funding your education. For instance, if you think you to need to take out loans, pick a cheaper college to keep your loan amounts down.
4. Where do you want to live?
Do you want to live at home, on-campus or in your own apartment? Your choice could influence your future school. Obviously if you want to live at home you have to apply to a school that's in commuting distance. If you plan on living on campus you better apply to a school with residence halls. Finally, if you want to get an apartment, look at locations with housing in your price range.
5. Will you be working?
If you think you'll work while pursuing your degree, make sure you're somewhere with job opportunities for students. Another thing to consider is if you already have a job that you want to keep, since if that's the case you need to find a college nearby.
6. Are you actually ready for college?
Even if you want to go to college, you still need to think seriously about if you're ready for the many challenges that come with it. Are you academically prepared or do you need to take some remedial classes first? Do you feel mature enough to handle all the responsibilities of being a college student? There's nothing wrong with admitting you need another year to prepare.
Lqra college is an exciting and life-changing experience. It may be the first time you’ll be living on your own, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends, meet new people, and learn about your interests both personally and professionally.
I would recommend focusing on before college would be to look at school organizations and/or clubs that you would be interested in and figuring out when you study and focus best. My problem going into college was not having an idea about when I study best and I struggle my first semester of college because of it. Just having an idea about how you work best is a good thing to have.
I hope that helps!
Good luck this year!
Anna recommends the following next steps:
Anna recommends the following next steps:
This is a great question; thank you. From a parent perspective who has young adults and nieces and nephews in college I recommend the following items for your consideration to look at BEFORE attending college:
• Do you know how to take care of your finances? Do you have a savings or checking account? This will be beneficial when your parents need to transfer you funds (sometimes urgently), etc.
• Do you know how to go to the doctor "by yourself"? In college, there will be times when you may need to see your primary care physician. Are you capable and comfortable making and attending the appointments by yourself? Do you have a copy of your parent's medical insurance card? Make a copy for your use and keep it in a safe and secure place.
• Do you know how to handle your school affairs? Know when deadlines are due for important information such as FAFSA, job study, etc.?
• Research the campus grounds and community beforehand (ie, virtual, telephone the college and ask questions, etc). This is extremely helpful because when I was in college I was able to get a job in walking distance from the school because I surveyed the community in advance. Once I got to college, I applied to a company and got hired. I remained employed throughout my college years.
These tips are just a different way of thinking about things to do BEFORE college. Hope this was helpful. Best of luck to you and much success!
Something that I would recommend to do before college is to look into the opportunities that the college offers. Check out the extracurriculars and get involved with as much as you can, as early as you can. First of all, you will grow your network early on in college of new connections that will be a resource for you. This will also give you a chance to diversify and increase the amount of people you know in college, outside of your friend circle. Throughout my past three years of college, every internship that I had was through organizations that I was involved in, where I was able to network and find new opportunities. Additionally, many companies sponsor different organizations which would be a great thing to look into and get an "in" into the company through getting involved and showing interest early on. Finally, after joining different organizations, try your absolute best to gain leadership experience which will offer you a great resume builder and good experience early on in your career- especially during college, leadership opportunities are less of a time commitment and they show that you are hard working and involved.
This may seem like a lot to think about right now, but this is something that I wish I knew, because I'm involved in a lot now and I'm so grateful for every opportunity and experience that is has given me.
As a forward-thinking young adult, I would recommend that you start to find your path by first reaching out to professionals in your local network. Speaking to parents of friends, family, etc. can be a very insightful way to learn more about different fields of study, career paths, and areas of interest. After taking the time to look into some areas that interest you, ask yourself which ones stand out the most! From here, consider pursuing a passion project related to these topics in your free time as a starter.
When you reflect on these topics prior to selecting a college major, think about what you want to prioritize in your career. Is it helping people? Making money? Overall job satisfaction? You will benefit greatly from asking yourself these challenging questions early on.
If you already know where you are going:I would recommend look into what classes interest you or excite you the most. It would also be helpful to look into clubs or organizations you might want to join on campus.
If you don't know what college you are attending yet: I would recommend researching various colleges in the area, and taking a thorough look into what the college offers. Consider both academics and extra-curriculars. In terms of budgeting for college, I would recommend looking for scholarships early (think about your strengths or unique characteristics, lots of scholarships out there!). This is way down the road - but also consider if you will need grad school for your desired career. If you think you might need it, you might want to develop a budget for undergrad.
It's great you are thinking about college so early! It's such an exciting time in your life, don't forget to slow down and enjoy it! If you have the resources, travel as much as you can, and learn about new cultures and people different than yourself.
Feel free to reach out with any additional questions!
Megan recommends the following next steps:
I hope this helps!
Best of luck!
It could also be a good idea to stay close to friends and family during this time. This was one time in my life that I had little to worry about. Every other summer included interns, classes, or just work!