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1. Study abroad. That's one piece of advice I got before going to college, and I was accepted in a study abroad program and was prepared to go before a travel issue prevented me from going. I wish I had applied to other study abroad programs afterwards and gone. Instead, I graduated early and started my first job before the departmental and main commencement ceremonies, so it worked out.
2. Take all of your required classes first, but sprinkle in one elective per quarter/semester if it fits. College is a time for you to learn and discover what you're passionate about, not simply completing all required courses to get a degree (or a dual degree) as fast as possible. Many people will tell you they wished they enjoyed college more, or that college were longer. So don't rush through college. It's one of the most fun times of your life.
3. Talk to your professors and maintain a professional relationship with them. It doesn't have to be each teacher, just a few that you really learned a lot from and resonate with. I only did this with one teacher, which was worth it, but I wish I had connected with more teachers. This will help you in the future, when you are in the professional working world if you need advice or insight, and if you want to go back to school, you will have someone that can write you a recommendation letter. Teachers will be more than willing to write recommendation letters for former students that made an effort to make a connection and maintain that relationship over time.
4. If you are in high school and you already know what you want to study, e.g., business, then select business for your major when you apply to colleges. Some schools have a freshman direct admission program where after you are accepted into the university, your application is sent over to the college to see if they want to offer you acceptance into the major. This will give you the advantage because you get to avoid the sometimes steep competition in getting into certain majors. For example, if you want to major in business at the University of Washington, select business for your major on your application. If you get accepted into UW, then they will forward your UW application to the Foster School of Business, and they will decide if they want to accept you as a Freshman Direct student. If they do, then you're in as a business major, and you don't have to compete with so many other UW students who want to get into the business school as freshmen, sophomores, or even juniors.
5. It's okay to change majors. Hopefully you make the decision to change majors before you are too far down the line, like with one more quarter left before you graduate. If the first quarter/semester of classes don't make you want to do this for the rest of your life, keep going for another quarter/semester or two. If by then you are still miserable, then you can talk to a school counselor about making a change. Be informed, oftentimes it is very competitive to get into a major once you've started school.
Last updated Oct 07 '17 at 19:59