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what are some college tips for highschoolers?

what advice could you give to people who are still in high college help school about their college future

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Subject: Career question for you


7 answers

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Justina’s Answer

Start thinking about what you're good at, what you like, what you don't like. There are a lot of Youtube videos that you can watch where people talk about a "Day in a life of a ..." So I would say definitely check out a bunch of them. Start making a list of characteristics of a career that you think you would enjoy, and narrow it down from there.

Another question I would ask myself is what would I do if I could pick anything without considering the obstacles/money. How can you make that a reality? Anything is possible with hard work and grit. If money is an issue, look for scholarships early. Are there side hustles that you can take on or part-time jobs to help you save?

Ask for shadowing opportunities. Apply to internships. Are there any volunteer opportunities? Are there older peers from your high school that you can ask? Alumni from your high school?

Ultimately, pick something that you will enjoy doing as a career. Statistics say that you spend 1/3 of your life working, so take the time to explore and figure out. Sometimes our interests change, and thats okay. We grow as humans and we will change throughout our life. Just make sure to put your best foot forward.
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Danielle’s Answer

I advise shadowing and researching as much as you can prior to deciding your major. This is a choice that is often required early on in college, and looking back at my 18 year old self; I could have used a lot more first hand experience. I wasn't aware of many avenues that would have been a great fit for me. It was hard to imagine all of the options that lie ahead without having an introduction to them.

Try to network/become involved in groups. It is amazing to meet new people and give yourself the opportunity to grow in new avenues that you may not have seen yourself in before.

Stay safe, but enjoy your time there! It will go fast :).

Best of luck to you!

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Peter’s Answer

1. Take the time to find out what you're passionate about and don't feel stressed if you're exploring while in college (world is your oyster!)
2. Find a mentor in the year above you if possible! They can help with narrowing down your options and picking
3. Apply to several schools during your app process and take advantage of the UC system (through 1 or 2 essays) and common apps.
4. If you can, try to visit as many of the schools that you end up applying to
5. Have other peers / family / friends (or even crowd source) review your college essays before submitting within the apps - Don't be afraid to ask for help!
(Suggestion: Possibly push yourself out of your comfort zone and ask someone already a student at your target school if they can help since they also know what the school is looking for application / essay wise - either online or during your visit)
6. Apply for scholarships! There's a lot of free money out there and it beats taking out loans..
7. Apply for both financial aid via FAFSA but also Collegeboard (they also provide more aid there in addition to fafsa!)
8. Balance both the social and academic scene while in college. Whether that is joining an organization to feel more connected to your community, network and taking on leadership experiences (similar to clubs!)
9. Build good hygienic habits (you never know if you'll meet the one!) and good healthy habits (i.e. exercising a few times a week, eating right, sleeping)
10. Make sure you take care of your mental health as well! (School is stressful but its not the end of the world)
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Kim’s Answer

I have mixed feelings about my own college experience. I set myself up well for success from a career perspective, but I locked myself into a program I didn't really enjoy. It wasn't until I took a year off 5 years later to teach English in Japan that I realized I liked being a technologist but would enjoy it more if I changed the industry I was in. That was a long time ago. I spent a couple more years in Japan, moved to Australia for 13 years, and then moved back to the US. I have a role that incorporates technology, leadership, and a lot of communication. It's fun but always changing.

The advice I give to you is the same I give to my kids:
-Study something you love but back it up with courses that will make sure you can support yourself and provide career flexibility. For example, someone interested in filmmaking can study that but build out their degree with programming languages (for instance related to streaming/video production) and/or finance.
-If you're in a degree program or at a university that doesn't feel right, make a change.
-Understand you might end up doing something completely different from what you studied. I know a physics major who went straight in software sales, a biologist who went to coding camp and became a software developer, a mechanical engineering major who opened a ski shop.
-That being said, I know very few english studies types who feel they might the right choices. The only one I know is someone who complemented her degree with technology courses and became an operations manager.
-Depending on where your career goes, you might want to take a graduate course. Try not to burn yourself out financially or academically in undergrad.
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Zahid’s Answer

Here are some of things I wish I had known starting college:

1: Don’t go to college if you don’t HAVE to. Unless you are a going for a career that requires college, such as medicine, engineering, law, etc., you don't really need to college. You could go to trade school and be very successful through that, you could go into sales or start your own business. I've met individuals that made over $100K without any college degrees. So it depends on what you do want to for a career.

2: Look at a community college to start with. Doing a couple years at a local community college can save you a lot of money, not to mention the same classes are easier at community college level than at university level. You will need to see which universities accept how many credit transfers. For example, Cleveland State university accepts just about all the credits from community college; and a lot of students were going to community college for all their education and transferred to Cleveland state in the last semester and graduated with with pretty good GPA. At the end of the day, employers just look at what university you graduated from, not where you took all your classes.

3: Start looking for grants as a high school sophomore and junior. This takes time and some deadlines end early so you will miss out on them if you start in your senior year. Start early in making a list of organizations that will help pay for your college. There are many grants and scholarships that go unclaimed because people don't even know they are out there, such as those from Coke and Pepsi and other companies they don't think of money giving companies.

4: Shop really hard for colleges and look for a bargain. Let's be honest here, unless you are going to Harvard or Yale or Princeton, most colleges are pretty much the same. You will get whatever education you want out of college based on what you put in more so than the prestige of that college. So why pay twice the price for a fancy name? Shop around. Look around the country. Get the best price for the degree you want.

5: Forget your friends. Friends are great but life isn't a big elementary school that you have to hold hands and go everywhere together. Choosing a college base on where your friends or boyfriend/girlfriend is going is a dumb move. You need to make a choice that is best for you as you are deciding what you will do for rest of your life.

6: Start networking now. You need to start thinking about potential places to work or build your career immediately and network with individuals from such companies of fields. These connections will do much more for you than the name of the school on your diploma. Join LinkedIn. Get a job in a related field. Find connected people and learn from them. Most people also get job through their network or find it lot easier through connections.

7: Save you money now. Pay as much as you possibly can in order to keep you loans as low as you possibly can. If you can work during college then do so. If you are not taking summer classes then work the summer and save that money! During college year look at Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, it provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education. Students can receive FWS funds at approximately 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions. More on that here:

8: Think about summer classes. If you do not plan to work in the summer or can afford to work and study, take a class or two in the summer. Summer classes tend to be shorter in duration so only essential things are taught plus it's usually easier too. You could take a harder class in the summer so you have only one class to focus on, content will be less and that's one less class you won't have worry about with the load of other classes.

9: Think about the most affordable living arrangements. Do you have to live on campus and pay their meal plan prices? Can you find a way to commute or live in off-campus housing with others who will split the cost?

10: Are there any jobs for the degree that you want to pursue? What do those jobs pay? Have you talked to a few people working in that field? What do THEY say about the job market? The pharmacy job market, for example, is flooded. But NO school will ever tell you that. They want your money. They’ll sell you a degree. They don’t care if you find a job. Lot of us found ourselves in this boat. They advertise "shortages" in so and so field and so everyone runs in that field and when you graduate they have too many entering that field that it's hard to find a job. And next year they start advertising "shortage" in another field and like the pendulum everyone runs toward that way, thus they have a study stream of students and their money coming in regardless of graduates finding any job later one.
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Natalie’s Answer

Hi Bryce!

I think a big piece of advice is to not rush into anything just because you feel like you have to. Take your time figuring out what you love to do and what you're passionate about. When I graduated high school it almost felt like everyone in my class knew what they wanted to do in college and I didn't. So I took it slow and started out at a community college, but I was always comparing myself to everyone else. Now I'm so glad that I took my time because I was able to figure out what I really wanted to do and now I'm at another school that I love.

Also, make sure you do your research and find a school that's right for you. There's a lot of options out there and it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out where you want to go. You don't have to go to the most expensive school to get the best education. It's all about the effort you put into learning. Community college is a great way to get started, especially if you're unsure about what you want to do, and it's much more affordable than going straight to a university.
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Damion’s Answer

1. Try and figure out what you want to do. This is not always easy but in the case of college, it helps shape your path.
2. Do your best in school academically and become active in club organizations and/or athletics.
3. Volunteer. Find something you can help with that you are passionate about.
4. Using #2 and 3, apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can. There is never too much free money!
5. Try and be realistic about where you want to go to college and get with your academic advisors and find out
if you can go to these schools.
6. Have a couple of backup schools selected.
7. Enjoy your time in high school. It may seem tough but later down the road of life I hope you can look back and say that you had truly memorable times in high school.