Recent news from the college search / admissions / finance front.
While this household [at least the college application aspects of it] is in a bit of a lull between Early Action applications and Regular Admission applications, I’ve been thinking about what comes next. Not the FAFSA nor the decision letters, but skipping ahead to sending Mod Squad Pete off to some campus-to-be-named-later and what he needs to know when he goes.
College is about more than Nietzsche, lattes and theoretical physics; it’s also the place you really grow into adulthood. It’s the transition between living with your parents and living on your own, and if you don’t fully exploit it you could be cheating yourself out of half the experience. So in between the Frisbee and the cram sessions, think about doing the following things:
1.) Adult-ize your email address: Once it was cute to be HelloKitty15, VixenVamp, or ItalianStalion919. And that time has passed. There’s something very high school about those xx’s and references to Final Fantasy, and like it or not, your email address will be judged by your professors, your friends and the hiring manager of that place you’ve wanted to intern at forever. From now on, the email you give shows a lot about you, and it doesn’t hurt if it’s easy to remember. This means using just your name, on a respectable site, with as few random numbers or letters as possible.
2. Noël Rozny, writing for My Career Pathfinder, offers College Tips: How to Prepare For College Classes. The college class structure, homework assignments, and exams are all different from high school. (Hat tip to Jodi Okun with collegefinancialaidadvisors.com)
You’ll be thrilled to hear that most college professors don’t assign and collect homework. While there is reading that you’re expected to do, no one is watching over your shoulder to make sure you get it done. So before your classes start, set up a schedule of when you’ll get your assigned reading done. Making progress during the semester will ensure that you’re not trying to cram everything in before finals, and it will also prepare you for the questions or discussions your professor springs on you during lecture.
3. Justin Snider, writing for The Hechinger Report from Teachers College at Columbia University, offers Tips for succeeding in your first year of college. The post provides a number of excellent points, organized in two series, starting with four things to do before you start college:
- Establish routines
- Read, read, read
- Learn how to cite sources
- Research which courses to take
Snider follows that with four things to do in your first semester:
- Take a variety of courses
- Speak up in class
- Leave electronic devices behind
- Learn to manage your time
4. Who better to ask about getting ready for college than a college student? A college senior at Bentley University offered up The 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Freshman Year of College.
With only one more semester left in my life as a college student, I can’t help but wonder; would I change anything? My answer is absolutely not. However, there are some lessons I have learned that I would have liked to have told my 18-year-old self given the chance.
5. Finally, 8 risky things you should absolutely do while in college, offered by Hannah Kay Hunt, a senior at Wake Forest University. Hannah makes this argument for taking philosophical, intellectual, social risks:
College is when we grow from wide-eyed 18-year olds to “young professionals.” Something earth-shattering happens: we grow up. So what is it about those four years of glorified boarding school that makes us stop posting too many inappropriate Facebook photos and start getting our lives together? For a lot of us, it’s the failures – the growing pains – that turn college into our glory years.
Here are a couple of her suggestions:
- Apply for completely random jobs
- Attend a church service for a different faith
- Take a super difficult (but awesome) professor
Plenty of lists here for Pete, who has an ‘adult’ email, can do his own laundry, and could survive for a while on bagel and omelet sandwiches. I’ll let him figure out for himself what else he needs to learn…