This week, I want to tell you PI Girls about what I wish I knew in high school before applying and going to college.
1. Go to university straight from high school.
For one, I wish I had gone straight to university instead of going to junior college. Junior college is much cheaper and does help some students save money, and it gives you time to discover what you really want to do if you don’t know. But if you already know what you want to do and you can financially afford it, I would recommend going straight to university.
2. Apply for scholarships.
I wish that I had applied for more scholarships than I did. Although I did apply for and was able to receive some scholarships and grants, I wish I had done even more research. There are lots of scholarships out there and a lot of financial aid available to students. I would advise doing thorough research for the full amount you can really apply to your college education. Read my article on the top 10 websites for scholarships.
3. Live on campus.
I never lived in the dorm. I wish I could have experienced the dorm room lifestyle. Although I have shared a room and have somewhat of that type of memory, it would be really awesome to have joined a sorority and have seen college from that perspective. I was a commuter at my university, and I was able to be part of worship on occasion and was able to join the honors society, but I think it would have been deeper in fellowship and community and an enriching and interesting experience had I lived on campus. Not all campuses would be good to live at, especially if they are known to be party schools, but at my university (VUSC), it would have been really neat.
4. Get involved.
I wish I had been even more involved on campus. Even though I did volunteer and participate, I could have attended more chapel services. We were required to go to chapel at my school because it is a private school, and I was exempt from attending three a week, or the minimum, because I drove over 30 miles to get to campus. But I am sure that if I had gone to more services, it would have been even more spiritually enriching. The services I attended and led were quite memorable, so no complaints here, but I could have stepped out even more and gone to more.
Volunteer, participate, walk into open doors and you won’t regret the memories you have later. I remember participating in newspaper class dinners, filming on campus for journalism and doing worship voluntarily for school. All of these experiences have taught me lessons, deepened my faith and pushed me further. Even taking photography opened my eyes and trust with the world and this faith walk with Jesus. I also loved being a part of Lambda Pi Eta, and had the honor of being vice president and going to San Francisco for a conference, and I grew as a leader.
My advice to you is to go to the clubs on campus, attend the events and parties, and explore. Adventure out in life and enjoy! It is only for a season in your life, and when you do walk out of your boat in faith, you will have the reward of unexpected memories.
5. Meet new people and invest in lifelong friendships.
I wish I had developed even more friendships. At my school, I was a commuter, so I was in and out of campus, although I did meet some neat and pretty amazing people. I have kept in touch via social media and have maybe really deepened friendships with two people who are lifelong friends. I am very grateful I met one of the most beautiful people, Esli, at my school, who now is married and just moved to London to work in ministry and assist her new husband, and I got to watch her journey with God and see the fruition of answered prayers. We met and were instant sisters in Christ, and I will be forever grateful for her. I am grateful God sent me a sister to pray with, and whom I can now visit in the UK. I even have a friend or two whom I have connected with regarding journalism.
You won’t ever regret building deep, solid friendships. College is once in your life and you want to keep your eyes out for those treasures. It is a time to get out of your comfort zone and explore outside of the norm or what you grew up in. Granted, quality is better over quantity and you don’t need 10 best friends—really, having one or two sisters in Christ is AMAZING—but really invest in and water your relationships. They are vital in life, amen?
PI Girls, what is your experience from attending college or what do you wish you knew before applying or going to college? Comment below!