“I come from a family where I sort of led the pack. My parents always allowed me to pave my own way, hoping that my inner motivation would put me in the right direction. They found that this security in me would eventually make the road easier for my brother after me; if I could do it they could too. My parents weren’t very academically intelligent. They couldn’t help me with my college applications, financial aid, navigated college websites. They were supportive but couldn’t do much more than that. Some of my advice for entering college:
1. Take control of your academics. Counselors can only do so much to help you and believe me, by the time your appointment arrives weeks later, you forget the reason why you needed to see them in the first place. Print out the IGETC or other major/minor forms and be your own counselor. Educate yourself on the system. It will greatly increase your path for success.
2. Get a job. Nothing is more important for the job hunt after graduation than work experience. Employers could care less that you got an A in Microbiology. Work part time somewhere and try to get promoted. Employers care about the valuable skills you attain and how well you work well with others. Get a job.
3. Find something you’re interested in and develop it. After I filled my schedule with the required courses, I would add a “fun” class (hopefully that fulfilled a requirement) that I had an interest in. For me it was holistic classes such as stress management and nutrition. Now, my graduate work is going to be in Chiropractics and Nutrition. So take that “fun” class because for all you know that could be the beginning of your career.
4. Stay active. I don’t care what you do but keep moving. I had my best study sessions after I went on a hike or went climbing. It gets the blood flowing and if you do it with friends it increases your social sphere.
5. Become an adult. If you have parents that take care of everything financially for you, ask them if you can take control of something. Have your parents send you your mail like car registration or your phone bill. These are the years that you have the ability to LEARN how to do this stuff without having your credit score slammed if you forget when the due date is.”
-Julia, Senior at CSU Channel Islands