Posts Tagged ‘going to college’

5 Reasons to Relish in High School Before College

Being a teenager means wanting the next best thing–the newest Apple product, that new Ed Hardy shirt, those Uggs, a Razor scooter, a laser disk player, a MySpace account–and some of those things you wind up regretting.

Look, I basically sold my soul to my parents for three months to earn enough allowance to buy Jurassic Park on laser disk, so I understand what it’s like to want the next best thing with all your heart.

I especially understand when the next best thing is college, which means freedom, no parents, new friends, no more social cliques, and getting to be a grown up.

So let me play devil’s advocate with you because it’s likely you’re going to ignore your parents’ pleas to you to “not grow up too fast.” But hey, don’t grow up too fast. Sure high school can seem lame because everyone’s telling you what to do and you’re just like, so over it.  But, let me try to convince you why you shouldn’t let yourself get too over it too quickly.

5 reasons to relish high school while you can:

1. Your friends
Chances are, you’ve made some of your best friends in high school, or even just that one in a million person who also prefers mustard over ketchup 100% of the time. Our high school years are essential in forming who we become largely because of the friendships you make. So even if you’re not popular, or you feel too popular, whatever your angst-y angle on the situation is, your high school friends are special because they’re going with you on this weird roller-coaster of adolescence that nobody else will ever quite understand. So don’t be too rushed to say goodbye to them.

2. The guidance
You’re probably sick and tired of people telling you what to do, but if you can just spin it a little and think of what every teacher, parent, or counselor is saying as suggestions that you can take or leave at the door, it might be little easier to swallow. The thing you need to grasp is that you’re not an adult, as mature as you may be. And being in high school is a unique opportunity to be around adults who have had experience in life who can guide you. Your high school is a community that is literally built to help you succeed. Get the most out of its resources and your relationships before your pop a wheelie out of there.

3. The extra-curricular activities
High school, of all places, is the place to learn how to be involved in something, to grow with a team of people, and to eventually take on leadership positions. Whether it’s sports, DECA, debate, theater, choir, student council, volunteer, or anything else, your high school activities give you the opportunity to be passionate about something and to also expand yourself as well-rounded person.

4. The fleetingness
Blink and it’s over. You’re in your mid-40s wishing you could just be back in those high school halls, high-fiving your pals as you pass them in J-Hall, stopping to chat with your crush of that moment, and leaving for biology with the delightful and exciting sense of butterflies in your stomach. High school, in retrospect, is super fun. You’re just with a bunch of your peers all day learning about things you never knew before. But yeah, then it’s gone.

5. The preparation
I know I’ve been a bit sentimental about this whole relish your high school years thing, and it’s not like I wish I was back in high school or anything–I mean, I totally do–there’s a badminton rival I’d really like to meet face-to-face with again–but here’s a non-sentimental point. High school prepares you for college. If you’re all “I’m just so over this!” and you decide to graduate high school early, for the wrong reasons, you won’t be as prepared for college as you could’ve been.

So yes, it’s okay to delete your MySpace account, but just enjoy the days you have left in high school.

Are you “over” high school? Or do you think students take high school for granted? Leave a comment below.

Who Are America’s Undergraduates?

Categories: College Life

diplomabiggerIn the midst of all that hype of how you’re going to get into college and pay for it, one very important question gets lost: Who is actually going to college?

Although pop culture spins it a certain way, most students are not focusing all their attention on trying to get into the most selective private colleges in the nation with hopes of becoming the next president of the United States, CEO of some conglomerate that secretly owns everything, or just desperate to live up their wealthy family’s noble legacy and tradition. The vast majority of students just want a college education to help them make a better living than statistics tell them they’d have otherwise.

The Chronicle recently published an article explaining that most college students are actually attending community colleges and public four-year colleges and that a huge portion of those students attend school part-time–a fact that is often overlooked. That’s definitely a tidbit that’s left out of the popular American conception of the “college experience.” In fact, the American “college experience” of Greek Life, football games, partying is not what the actual college experience is for everybody. Students that come from families with smaller annual incomes are not as likely to go to a four-year selective college that offers that kind of “typical” college culture.

To help us grasp what the undergraduate landscape is accurately like, The Chronicle crunched numbers from 2007-8 in two data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Here are some of the trends they found:

  • 39.4% of undergraduates attend community college
  • 37.5% of undergraduates attend public 4-year institution
  • 16.5% of undergraduates attend private nonprofits
  • 6.6% of undergraduates attend for-profits
  • 25.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is less than $20,000
  • 2.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is more than $200,000

Here is the breakdown of colleges attended by students from families earning less than $40,000:

Public 2-year – 50.0%
Public 4-year – 6.8%
Other public 4-year- 15.9%
Nonprofit research-extensive and liberal arts colleges – 1.6%
Other private, nonprofit 4-year – 7.0%
Private for-profit – 15.3%
Others – 3.4%

Do these numbers surprise you? What’s the college experience you want or have had?

10 Smallest Colleges in the U.S.

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We have been hearing a ton of feedback on the big school/small school debate, like these comments from Cappexians Emily and Audrey:

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The debate could go on forever about the pros and cons of a big school versus a small school, but in the end, it’s what floats your boat! If smaller classes, guaranteed attention from professors and faculty, and a close-knit community is something you’re looking for, how about starting off your college search with the 10 smallest colleges in the United States:

1. Shimer College
Enrollment – 81
Fun fact – Shimer college, now co-ed, was originally founded as an all female college. Its classes are exclusively small seminars–how could they be that big!– in which students discuss original source material rather than read textbooks

2. Sterling College
Enrollment –
99
Fun fact – Sterling College is one of seven colleges part of the Work College Consortium, which means it’s an institution of higher learning where student work is an integral and mandatory part of the educational process.

3. Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
Enrollment –
128
Fun fact - The Lyme Academy is known for its contemporary focus on the history and tradition of representational art, centered on the study of nature and the figure. So if you want a contemporary focus on the history and tradition of representation art, centered on the study of nature and the figure…this might just be the place for you…just…maybe…

4. Bryn Athyn College
Enrollment - 155
Fun Fact - Bryn Aythn’s College’s original campus and surrounding community was designed in 1893 by Charles Eliot of the firm Olmstead, Olmstead, and Eliot – the famous firm responsible for the design of New York City’s Central Park.

5. Art Academy of Cincinnati
Enrollment –
156
Fun fact – Students at the Art Academy of Cincinnati work closely with faculty members who themselves are professional contemporary artists (student to faculty ratio is 10:1).

6. Burlington College
Enrollment - 166
Fun fact – Burlington College is one of the few American universities to offer study abroad programs in Havana, Cuba. So if you have an undying desire to relive your favorite movie “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” this might be the easiest way to get the clearance to go to Cuba.

7. College of Visual Arts
Enrollment –
189
Fun fact – The College of Visual Arts is comprised of 5 school buildings including a 1915 mansion.

8. Montserrat College of Art
Enrollment –
270
Fun fact – Well-known alumni of Montserrat include prominent fashion designer Sigrid Olsen, sculptor Carlos Dorrien, and children’s book illustrator Giles Laroche.

9. Cogswell Polytechnical College
Enrollment –
287
Fun fact – Among Cogwell’s other programs are animation and video game development.

10. Judson College
Enrollment –
324
Fun fact – Judson is one of the oldest women’s colleges in the United States, but is now co-educational.

What’s your take? Do these schools sound too small or are they just the right size? Leave a comment!