Posts Tagged ‘advice for college’

Michelle Obama’s Top Tips for College-Bound Students

Who wouldn’t want a few snippets of practical advice from first lady Michelle Obama? The incredibly accomplished first lady graduated from Princeton University and then Harvard Law School, making her a great source of info for college-bound students. In fact, according the Washington Post, the first lady recently spent some time talking about the college application process and offered her words of wisdom to college-bound students at Georgetown University,

We’ll share her piece of advice with you, and then offer our feedback on it. Here goes:

1. Make sure that you apply.
It may seem like a lighthearted piece of advice, but the first lady was not joking around. It’s simple logic: if you don’t apply, you won’t go. Students shouldn’t doubt themselves or base their decisions on what their friends decide to do. If you want to go to college, you have to apply.

2. Think about how many student loans you can realistically handle.
According the Post, for many years, the Obamas spent more money each month on their student loans than they did on their mortgage. This is definitely a heightened issue in today’s economy. Although education is not cheap, students should not assume that’s just the cost of an education. Do some financial planning and make sure you can afford the schools you’re accepted to.

3. Take ownership of your college search.
Your parents and mentors have great advice to offer you. But at the end of the day, if you’re the one that’s going to be paying off the student loans, you need to take responsibility for your college search. After all, it’s your education. Do the research and find the college that suits you and that you can afford.

4. Push yourself and venture away from home.
The first lady has a good point; a young person can learn so much about themselves and the world by leaving the place they’re most comfortable. Still, this is not an option for everybody. In fact, for some students, commuting to school and living at home is the best way to continue with their education while saving money.

5. “Don’t let fear guide you.”
What a great point for life in general! Obama stressed that choosing a college should be based on goals and dreams, not fears. Don’t be afraid of your own success or a choice that might surprise the folks around you.

6. All along the way, “work your butts off.”
Hard work pays off. Maybe not right away, but in the long run, you will learn more from working hard than slacking off. Also, you will garner more respect for your work ethic and you might pave a path for yourself that wasn’t there before you started working on it. The point is, once you get into college and enroll, the journey’s not over.

Will you take some of Michelle Obama’s advice? What advice would you give to college-bound students?


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4 Ways to Transition from High School to College

Categories: College Life

abcWe know we’re preaching to the choir if we tell you that college is way different from high school.  You’ve heard it a million times before: college means freedom, expanding your world-view, and most of all, time-management.  Before you eject yourself out of your seat so you don’t have to hear another cliché piece of information about college, the following 4 pieces of advice are things that have actually come as surprises to incoming freshman.

So, here are 54ways to transition from high school to college:

1.  Check in with your advisor every semester
In high school, it’s pretty clear what classes you have to take to graduate, and somebody’s more or less holding your hand along the way–and no we’re not talking about your homecoming date.  Whether or not your high school sweetheart heads to the same college as you, you have to take your graduation requirements into your own hands.  Too many college students coast through 4 years of school, assuming they’re on track to graduate and are unfortunately road blocked when they learn they never took that quantitative reasoning class they needed to graduate. How can one circumvent this? Meet once a semester with your advisor to make sure you’re on track. Requirements can get tricky and you want to make sure you fill them. Otherwise, it can cost you more time and worse, more money.

2. Find study buddies
Since you’re eventually going to major in a study, you’ll have the opportunity to deliberately take classes with certain students within your major. Instead of finding yourself lost and confused at midnight before an organic chemistry final, have your trusty study buddies by your side who can help you and vice a versa. Your peers are a great resource–so surround yourself with some study buddies you trust. 

3. Mark test dates clearly in your calendar
In high school, if you were sick, no problem–you could make the test up at a later date.  In college, this gets trickier.  It really depends on the professor and the course.  Never assume you’re going to be able to make-up an exam. Instead, you can usually find out early on what the exam schedule is, and if not, bug the teacher. If you have a conflict you can foresee early on, like a religious holiday, a wedding etc, talk to your teacher at the beginning of the semester. If you wait, it might look like you’re just trying to get some extra study days.  Most of all, you don’t want to miss an exam you don’t have a conflict with just because you didn’t realize when it was scheduled!

4. Give everybody a chance
This goes under the umbrella of “expanding your horizons” but we figured it was too important a part of the transition from high school to college to leave it off. In high school, you could probably walk into the cafeteria, point at each table and say which clique sat where. In college, you have the freedom to completely avoid the clique mentally. Part of this is not prejudging everybody you know. Give people the chance to prove themselves as a friend before you brush them off.  An open mind will turn college into a journey instead of closed off island.

Do you have any pieces of advice for transitioning from high school to college? Comment and share!