Things I Wished I Knew About College While In High School

Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash

In high school, college seemed confusing.

I had no idea how everything worked related to classes, majors/minors, and my entire future. My guidance counselors didn’t really help, and being an only child, my parents were just as confused as I was.

I went into college completely blind and learned a lot pretty quickly. These things that I have learned are things that I wish I knew when I was still in high school, and maybe they can help the people who struggle with the same thing I was struggling with.

If you have any questions about college, shoot me a DM on Instagram and I will answer based on what I have learned.

1) AP Classes / Dual Enrollment

In high school, I took a few AP classes here and there, but nothing too crazy. I knew that they would be important and that they would give me “college credit” but I didn’t know the full extent of what that meant. As I got into college, I learned fairly quickly as to how important these classes actually were, and I learned what I should have done.

While in high school, take as many AP / dual enrollment classes as you can. While yes, they are more work than standard classes, the hard work pays off. It is much easier to take these classes in high school than in college. If you pass these AP and dual enrollment classes, you won’t have to take them in college, and you will save yourself a ton of time and money.

When you get to college, you are going to want to take classes related to your major, and if you take all of your gen-eds in high school as AP or dual enrollment classes, you can save time and money and skip them in college.

2) SAT/ACT scores aren’t everything.

In high school, I focused A LOT on studying and getting good SAT scores. I figured that as long as I had good scores, it would be fairly easy to get into most colleges. But that’s not always the case…

All of the time that I spent focusing on test scores, I should have invested in a club or organization. Many colleges don’t only look at grades and scores, but as how your high school career was as a whole. One of the major colleges that I wanted to get into paid a lot of attention to these things, and they were things that I neglected.

It is much better to have a balanced high school career than one focused on grades and scores. Invest more time into your school and your community, and you will have a much better chance of getting into certain colleges.

Not saying you have to join LARP’ing club or perform in the weekly atheist choir, but do something cool and interesting and it could really pay off after high school.

3) Popularity is stupid.

One of the things that a lot of people talked about in high school, was popularity. Everyone focused on becoming the most popular person in school, gaining the largest amount of Instagram followers, and knowing the highest number of people.

But, absolutely none of this matters in college. You will never see 95% of the people from your high school ever again, and trying to become popular is a complete waste of time. If the people who focused on their facetune skills and Instagram aesthetic actually invested in their future instead, maybe they wouldn’t be working for pyramid schemes that sell CBD oil to old people.

The truth is, nobody cares about popularity in college, and if they do, they are the wrong type of people anyways. College is huge, and everyone is equal when it comes to popularity. So, don’t waste your time trying to become popular in high school because once it is over nobody cares anymore.

4) Applying to colleges.

When I was in high school, I only applied to three colleges, all of which were in my home state. I grew up in a small town and didn’t even consider leaving the state for college. But, it could be a good idea to apply to ANY school that you would even consider attending.

As I have been in college, I have grown as a person and have matured a lot. If I would have known that this would have happened while I was in high school, I would have definitely considered more options for universities to attend before I chose what I chose.

I don’t regret my decision, but it still would have been interesting to see what would have happened with other options.

5) YOUR major is YOUR choice.

Going into college, I knew I hated math. I have always been terrible with it, and I knew it was one of my worst subjects. But, for some reason, I wanted to be an engineer. I didn’t know why I wanted to be an engineer, and I knew the large amount of math that was required, but I still wanted to do it.

During my first semester of freshman year, I instantly regretted this decision. I was struggling in the first math class that I had to take, and I knew that I couldn’t work my way up to Calculus 3, even if I tried.

So I changed my major.

And this is when I realized that I only wanted to be an engineer because of my family. Many parents and grandparents sometimes make it seem as if you have to be a doctor or an engineer to be successful, but that is not true. Some of the most successful people in the world didn’t even go to college.

My family only had the best intentions in mind when trying to tell me the pros of being an engineer, but it just wasn’t for me. So, going into college, realize that your major is your choice and that you are the sole decision-maker when it comes to your future. Your family will always be there for you and support you no matter what your choice is.

These are just a few of the things that I learned while in high school. If you are interested in learning more about my college experience, check out these articles:

Freshman Advice: Living In A Dorm vs An Apartment

The Benefits Of Joining Greek Life In College

Freshman Advice: Is A Meal Plan Worth It?

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