Advice to High School Seniors Looking into Colleges

I’m writing this with one week left of my first semester at University. As you all may know by now, I attended a semester of community college in Fall of 2017, but chose to take the next semester off to focus on a career path that I really enjoyed at the time. However, that career ended abruptly (by choice) and I decided to go back to school.

Picking the right school for me was extremely easy. I first visited CSU when I was a junior in high school and my school offered a field trip to tour the campus. I immediately fell in love with the area and everything the school had to offer. I knew right away that I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I was sold on Cleveland State. Looking back at it, I should have done a lot more research before committing to CSU. I don’t regret my decision, but I sometimes wonder if I would have been amazed by any other campus had I opened my mind to other schools.

My sister is a graduating senior in high school this year, and she has decided on following my lead in becoming a fellow Viking at CSU come Fall 2019. This was a decision that was urged by many financial and convenience matters. However, she did have many other options on the table.

I originally wanted to post this before she made her final decision, but I figure if I do it now, it may help someone else too. I compiled my best tips and tricks to finding the perfect college for you. These are all things I wish I knew before I chose CSU. I really love my school, but I could have done some things differently. So please, please, take these tips into account before you chose the school you will spend the next four (or more) years at.

1. Have a good idea of what majors you plan to study.

Yes, I said majors. Have backups and plenty of them. There is a good chance that you will want to change your major at some point. You will want to know that the college you are going to will offer great opportunities and educations for whatever you may change your major to.

2. Don’t follow friends.

Those of you who haven’t listened to the episode Meg on the Mic with Zach, I briefly discussed the backlash I received for “following” my boyfriend to college. I explained that I wanted to attend CSU before I dated Zach. I just planned on attending after another year at a community college. However, the idea of having a friend who was going through the same freshman experiences as me encouraged me to skip the second year at community college. It made things so much more exciting and it gave me strength since I’m such a scaredy-cat.

BUT I really encourage everyone to branch out if possible. If you and your best friend both happen to chose the same school, that’s great. But please don’t base your college decision on where your friends are going. College is your time to make new friends and make memories with new people. Sure, you can still do this with your old friends, but sometimes it’s easier to be thrown into a pool of strangers believe it or not. I’ve made a lot of friends in classes full of people who were in the same situation as me- alone.

3. Reach out to people who attend schools you’re interested in.

This helps a lot with getting the feel for a college. Campus tours are meant to really fluff up the campus, student life, and education programs. The only true way you will know what a school is like before attending yourself is to talk to someone who currently goes there. Even better- talk to someone majoring in the same thing as you. Remember, tour guides are often times students who are paid to say certain things to you while you’re on your tour. Talking to students who aren’t obligated to hype up the campus will be brutally honest and answer all your questions without holding anything back.

4. Consider location.

Are you planning on bringing a car? Are you allowed to bring a car? Do you want to be close to home? Far from home? Near certain resources? These are all important questions to answer. I live about an hour away from campus, and I’ve found that it’s the perfect distance for me. I don’t have a car (I don’t drive. I think we’ve been over this) so I can’t get home by myself in case of emergency. But I can always rely on a family member or friend coming to get me since it’s not too much of a trip. It’s a good distance to test my independence while still have my family a drive away if I need them. Maybe that’s not for you though. Maybe you want to be far away from home. If you think you can do it, go for it.

5. Don’t disregard schools because of the cost.

You most likely will not be paying full price for college. With scholarships, financial aid, and other sources of financial assistance, tuition will be much more manageable than it may seem at first.

 

I have so many more tips that I could share, but for the sake of this becoming a long read, I’ll cut it off at five tips for now. If you guys have any questions or tips of your own, let me know and I could do a follow up post.

Remember to follow megannlouise.com to be updated when posts are published! 12 Days of Blogmas is right around the corner and you’ll want to be in the know when the holiday posts are up and ready to read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My First Week of Classes at CSU

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This past week seemed to drag on unlike any other week has. It was my first week of school since December of last year. Going from a community college, to no schooling, to a large university was very intimidating for me. I didn’t know what to expected. Fortunately enough, I didn’t have too hard of a time adjusting.

Saturday 8/25

The Saturday before classes started, CSU hosted Magnus Fest (Magnus is the name of our mascot). It’s basically a piss poor welcome party for freshmen and transfer students. I could complain about everything that was so awful about it, but I’ll keep it to myself. Just know it was painful to watch pan out. Although the actual event was a disaster, I did meet new people and learn about what is offered around campus.

Monday 8/27

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t shaking to core on my first day. I had to ride the RTA for the first time, know where my stop was, know how to get to my building, and get to class before I was late. Spoiler alert: almost didn’t do that. But I made it to class with roughly 3 minutes to spare. And in my attempt to get to class, I met someone in my class trying just as hard to make it on time. Hey Andrew, if you’re reading this!

Day one wasn’t exactly how I expected it to be, but that’s no surprise. At least I survived. If I could do it once, I could do it a few hundred more times. To celebrate making it through our first day, Zach and I went out to dinner. But of course nothing can work out in our favor. My order made me sick to my stomach, and Zach’s order was served raw. What a way to end our first day.

Tuesday 8/28

Going into the second day, I went into things a lot more comfortably. I knew where my class was, when it was, and where the closest bus stops were to the building. However, nothing would’ve prepared me for a 3.5 hour class on the history of film. Let me tell you- total snooze fest. After about an hour and a half of lecture, I start to catch myself dozing off. Thank goodness for the ten minute break we get though.

Wednesday 8/29

Wednesday I have the same schedule as Monday so I knew where everything was, and I was finally out of the “syllabus” classes (you know, when the teachers all read the same classroom rules and go over every little thing they expect from you this semester). So Wednesday was officially the first day of learning and all that. I enjoyed it. I missed taking notes and listening to lectures when I took my mini hiatus from school. It felt really good getting back into school. I know it won’t last long, but I love it so far.

Thursday 8/30

Thursday was yet another 3.5 hour class. It was in the same room as my Tuesday lecture, but I had a different professor. I liked this one a lot more just because he swore a lot and had a really bubbly personality. As much as I hate what the class is about (Analysis of Film Language), I know it’ll be easier to get through with such a charismatic professor.

Friday 8/31

Luckily, Friday wasn’t bad. I only have two classes that day, so I get done at 2:20. For me, that’s a blessing since every other day I end at around 5. I was able to get home at a good time and unwind. I originally had plans to go home and see my family over the long weekend, but I slipped and hit my head, making it difficult to see/walk/think. Pretty sure I have a concussion, but that’s up in the air. Since I was so out of it, I decided to stay at my place for the weekend. And as strange as it may sound, I was glad I didn’t go home. I’m starting to really love living on my own.

In just one week, I’ve made some really cool friends and met some other interesting people that keep my day exciting. I’m still trying to find a way to beat the heat… especially when I have to walk almost ten minutes from one building to another. Tomorrow starts week two and I’m anxious to see what else gets thrown my way.