University Culture

High School Students

Where to Start

So, you’re on the fence about this university thing. Here’s a great place to start!

It’s been proven that although many students have the desire to go to a four-year university, they don’t end up going. Why, you ask? Simply put, because the hardest step is always the very first one.

Many students don’t know where to start, who to talk to, or even what to ask when they find someone to ask. Follow these very simple steps below and learn about the first things you should do to create a university culture in you:

1. Realize your potential and make it a goal to enroll at a university after high school.

If you’re the student who thinks you’re not ready for college, your grades are too low, you don’t have the funds, you can’t leave home (just yet), or have any other looming concern, the very first thing you should do to ignore your doubts is to believe in yourself. You’ll be amazed at the fascinating things you have the ability to do if you simply believe that you CAN do it.

Do you have what it takes? YES! Everyone (even those of you struggling in math, those who aren’t very good in econ, and even the ones who haven’t started that final bio project) can succeed in their education. Note: It WILL take a little elbow grease, a desire for a better future and a whole lot of academic determination for you to attain your goals, but folks are right when they say it will all pay off in the end. Realize your potential now, and set that goal today!

2. Begin to explore your interests:

Have you ever been asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” If you’re like any other high school student you probably want to scream “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW?!” The truth is that many students, just like you, have no idea. The great news? It’s okay. You don’t have to be 100% sure what it is that you want to study or even choose your life-long career at the young and fun age of 16. These decisions take time and you shouldn’t be forced or pushed to making this decision.

Now, that’s not to say that you should second guess yourself if you DO know what you want to study. In fact, that simply proves your determination and commitment to your soon-to-be college major or academic course of study.

Always know that college majors are easy to change during your first and second year of college, in case your initial idea doesn’t work out.

Taking fun and interesting classes will broaden your perspective on the opportunities you have in education. If you have no idea where to even start, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  1. What do I love to do? (Sports, helping people, computer games, helping animals, going to large social events, staying home, etc.)
  2. What can I see myself enjoying every day? (Medical work, social work, politics, owning a business, etc.)
  3. What kind of environment do I want to work in or not work in? (Outdoors, in an office, something that I can stay active in, in a crowded space, in a quite space, etc.)

Career inventory assessments are a great tool to helping you select your career interests and in turn your university major. Check out your on-campus College and Career Center to find out if they have assessments you can take to answer a few questions about yourself and learn what never-imagined things you could be great at!

3. Locate and visit your high school’s college and career center.

Most high schools have a center or office for students interested in college exploration. Every student should know where this center is located on campus. You should look into locating this area on your high school campus, and when you find it…tell your friends! Trust us, it will become your second home when you start to look at different universities, college prep classes, and especially scholarships.

Here you can take those career inventory assessments we were telling you about, find out what colleges and universities are available to you, or even speak to someone specifically about your interests and challenges.

Check out the place during your lunch or free time to learn what you can use to grow your university culture.

If your high school does not have a specific center dedicated to college exploration you can always go to the next best thing. Even better and more informed than Google is your high school counselor.

4. Locate and visit your school counselor.

If your college and career center still has you searching for answers, you can count on your high school counselor for anything involving college exploration. Not only can counselors help you by answering tough questions, they are also available to make sure you are taking the right college preparatory classes and that you are signing up on time for college entrance exams.

School counselors will be your go-to people in your time of need, so locate the nearest one to you and schedule some bonding time!

5. If nothing else, look at the facts: Education pays!

Did you know that someone with a bachelor’s degree can make up to a million dollars more than someone with a high school diploma over their lifetime? Facts are facts. Education pays in so many ways:

  1. It makes you feel accomplished and determined to take on your bright future
  2. You meet so many new people (and potential people to give you a job after college)
  3. You gain knowledge that you couldn’t gain anywhere else but with a university experience (from your classroom and from experiences like study abroad where you have the chance to study in a different country!)
  4. Your family gains pride for themselves. Not only are you succeeding, but everyone around you shares in your success
  5. And last, but certainly not least, you reap what you sow. The more education you attain, the higher your salary becomes. Check out the chart below to see what we mean!

Education Pays chart