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How do prepare for college

How do you find a college that fit you and what you are studying

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

You're going to college first and foremost to further your education, so it’s important to pick a school where you feel you’ll succeed academically. The best way to do this is to research the degree programs offered. Even if you don’t have a set idea of what you want to study, make sure the college or university offers a wide variety of majors and minors for when the time to declare comes. Class sizes are also an important academic characteristic to consider. Some students thrive well in large lecture classes, while other students prefer smaller classes. If you're not sure which academic setting is a better fit for you, think about how you prefer to learn. Are you more a hands-on learner or one who prefers to sit back and absorb.

AFFORDABILITY
Cost is another important factor to consider. You want to make sure that the school you choose is affordable, offers a reasonable financial aid package and won’t tack on a ton of student debt in the future. Make sure you do some research and ask questions about the school’s financial aid services, as well as potential scholarships to apply for. The financial aid office provides prospective students with a ton of information regarding how to apply for aid, the different types of scholarships and grants offered, as well as other resources and contact information.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
Going away to college is often the first time students experience a new sense of independence and responsibility, and different students want to experience that in different ways. Some students dream of going to a school far away from their family and hometown after high school. While others prefer to be closer to home. When considering a college ask yourself how comfortable you are with the distance from home. Are you able to drive to and from your hometown, or would you have to fly each time you want to go back home. Although you're at college first and foremost to further your academic career, it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of fun during your free time! The surrounding environment of the college will influence your overall experience as well.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Of course, you're at college to further your academic career. However, there are other opportunities to get involved in as well. Make sure that the schools you're considering offer extracurriculars that interest you and that you might want to get involved in. Yes, this one may sound a bit cliche. But, the college you choose will be your home for the next four years. When you're on campus or imagining your future at a college, it should just fee "right". This is a good sign that you’ll be happy and thriving on campus, both socially and academically.
Thank you comment icon This is great advice and very accurate. Kizzy Lincoln
Thank you comment icon Thank You Lizzy. Doc Frick
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi James,

This is a very good and challenging question that you are asking. Looking at your question I have focused on the "fit". I am not sure what your major is but many schools offer a wide variety of majors. Fit is made up of a couple of things: location, cost. and community.

Location: You need to consider if you want to go to school near where you live now or you want to go away to school. When I first went to college, I thought that going away to college would be a wonderful adventure. I didn't know what the challenges would be. Living in another state was more expensive than my home state, especially having to pay for a new place to live with a stranger. (I lived in a dorm.) Then there was the expense of a four-year college, high profile school. I didn't save for college so my mom paid for some of it in the beginning. After a while, I had to take on the expense and ended up in a lot of debt. I wish that I had known that you don't have to go to an expensive school far from home to get a great education. You can earn valuable college credits in a community college. You can now go to school online rather than having to move immediately.

Cost: You need to consider how you will pay for school. The big name schools, such as Penn State, can benefit you in some career fields. It is great for a reason. However, many colleges provide a great education where you pay less and avoid paying for name recognition of the school. I would make sure to apply for scholarships early and often (all four years of school) to help lower cost. Or consider moving through college slowly, part time so you can work.

Community: It is hard for me to regret going to college away from home. I grew as a person very quickly by moving away. I do wish that I had gone to a less prestigious school closer to home. I moved to a city in a state where everything was foreign from environment to the culture of the people. I felt unable to fit into the community and did not take advantage of the resources of the school. It was a great school in a small city. I suffered from bias from the small town that I lived in. Looking back I would do a lesser known school is a bigger city. You need to consider what you appreciate about the community that you have around you and look for it in the colleges that you want to attend.

Good luck on your college search. College is a great adventure (even close to home).

Gloria
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Elizabeth’s Answer

These are both great answers! I'd encourage you to go on a campus tour if you can. There are also virtual tours as well. Find alum and get their take on living there. Go on youtube and find all you can about the school. Do you see yourself there?
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. Different colleges have strength in different subjects. You better find out what careers you have interest. The relevant subjects are the major and minor you can look for.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Think about what you have interest, eg your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc and identify the related careers
Eg if you like music, would you like to be a musician, singer, musical artist, music composer, music producer, etc
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents, etc
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue. The relevant subjects of these careers you can look for
5. Explore the college review on these subjects and find out the entry criteria
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear James,

Planning and Selecting the Ideal College

Embarking on your college journey involves a series of steps, from conducting research to selecting the ideal college, applying, and preparing for a new phase of life. Here's a detailed roadmap to help you gear up for college and discover the one that suits your interests and chosen field of study:

Self-Reflection: Start by understanding your passions, talents, and ambitions before you begin your college search. Reflect on your academic accomplishments, hobbies, and career dreams. A career assessment test could be beneficial in pinpointing potential study areas.

College Exploration: Make use of resources like college search websites (for example, BigFuture, Cappex), college guides (like the Fiske Guide to Colleges), and college rankings (such as U.S. News & World Report) to discover colleges that match your interests and ambitions. Consider aspects like location, size, campus vibe, cost, available courses, faculty credentials, student success rates, and extracurricular activities.

Campus Visits: Plan visits to the campuses of your choice to get a sense of their atmosphere. Take part in guided tours, information sessions, interviews, and open houses. Engage with current students and faculty members to learn more about campus life and academic offerings. If possible, visit at different times of the year to experience various facets of campus life.

College Applications: Once you've shortlisted your potential colleges, kickstart the application process. This usually involves submitting transcripts, test scores (SAT or ACT), recommendation letters, personal statements or essays, and application fees. Stay aware of application deadlines and specific requirements for each college or university.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Explore financial aid options such as federal grants, loans, work-study programs, and scholarships from colleges or private entities. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you can after October 1st of your senior year in high school to maximize financial aid possibilities.

College Life Preparation: Acquaint yourself with college expectations by enhancing your time management skills, cultivating effective study habits, developing critical thinking abilities, and boosting communication skills through reading, writing, and engaging in discussions on various topics.

Connect with Accepted Students: Interact with accepted students via social media groups or email lists provided by the colleges you're considering. This will give you a glimpse of campus life from the perspective of current students.

Informed Decision Making: Weigh your financial aid packages and academic offers from each college you've been accepted to before finalizing your decision. Consider factors like affordability, academic programs, campus culture, location, and post-graduation career opportunities when selecting the right college for you.

May God bless your journey!
James Constantine.
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Misheli’s Answer

Hi James !

College preparation may be an exciting and challenging experience. Here are some suggestions that might help you in the process.

1. Get to Know the Campus: Have a tour of your college campus prior to classes starting to identify important buildings including your department, library, and student services. It will be easier for you to get through your first few weeks if you understand the layout.

2. Get Your Schedule and Time: Develop efficient time management skills. To manage your classes, assignments, and other obligations, use a planner or an electronic tool. In order to balance social life and academics, time management is essential.

3. Create a Budget: There are financial obligations to college living. Create a budget to control costs for things like supplies, entertainment, food, and books. To track your spending, think about utilizing budgeting applications.

4. Get Your Textbooks and Supplies. To save money, look for digital or used copies of books. Acquire the required materials as well, like pens, notebooks, and a sturdy backpack. Before classes begin, buy or rent textbooks.

5. Know What You Need to Do for Your Course: Go over your course syllabus as soon as you can. Recognize the requirements, the grading scheme, and the assigned readings. This will assist you in keeping up with your assignments.

6. Make a Studying Schedule: Whether it's in your dorm room, the coffee shop, or the library, find a quiet place to study. Establish a regular study schedule by designating specified periods each day.

7. Take Part in Campus Life: Take part in organizations, clubs, and extracurriculars. This is a fantastic way to broaden your social circle, acquire new abilities, and strengthen your ties to the university community.

8. Make Your Health Your Top Priority: Keep up a healthy lifestyle by eating well-balanced meals, working out frequently, and getting adequate sleep. It's critical to look after your physical and emotional health because college life can be stressful.

9. Create a Support System : Seek out study groups, make connections with classmates, and don't be afraid to ask instructors or academic advisors for assistance. Your mental health and academic performance can both benefit from having a support system.

10. Remain Open and Flexible: College is a time for personal development and discovery. Keep your plans flexible and be receptive to new experiences. Seize the chance to study both within and outside of the classroom.


Although going off to college is a big change, you can make the most of it and have a great time if you prepare well and have a positive outlook.

Good Luck !
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