Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Parodies?

So its not Friday, but I saw this about a month ago and thought it was pretty cool. Its a parody of Les Mes from the South Korea's military and since the official soundtrack of Les Mes just came out on Spotify, it made me think of this.

Anyways, enjoy!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome to College 101

So after a sudden huge scholarship contest and a week long sickness that took me out and sent me two weeks behind in school, I'm going to start blogging this month again. 

So for those of you who may not have realized, I'm basically hurtling towards the end of my senior year in high school (seniors 2013 woot woot!) and so I've had to delve into the topic of college. And since I've acquired a certain good amount of college knowledge (at least I think so), I've decided to spend some blog posts sharing tips and commenting on all things, college.

So, I don't know how many of you are in college, out of college, or not in college yet, but these posts are mostly aimed towards those either going into college or in college. And for those out of college, feel free to comment and add your own opinions and tips!

Today's post will be a basic college 101 post. The next several posts will include: Majors, College Costs, Scholarships, Types of Colleges, etc.

*Note: For those living out of the United States, take notice that when I use "college" I'm using it to refer to both colleges and universities. For those living in the US, yes, there is an actual difference but for the sake of simplicity, I'll just use college here.

I'm sure you've been told, but if you're probably going to go to college, now is the time to actually start thinking about it! Trust me, if you put it off until senior year, things will get hectic and fast!

  1. Create a list of what you want in a college: You don't have to know what you want your major to be yet or anything, but just pick things you're looking for. Don't worry about price or anything like that yet either, you're just creating a list of what you want. 
    1. For example: 
      1. Athletic offerings.
      2. Campus Safety
      3. Campus setting (urban, suburban, small town, large town, etc)
      4. Diversity of student body.
      5. Extracurricular organizations and events. 
      6. Faculty experience
      7. Financial aid availability and deadlines
      8. Length, time, and location of classes. 
      9. Majors.
      10. Tuition and fees. 
      11. Housing. 
      12. Transportation and cost. 
      13. Support services (meals, job placement, career services).
      14. School reputation
      15. Percentages of students who graduate/return the following year/employed within one year of graduating.
      16. Location. 
      17. Religious affiliation. 
  2. Start gathering a list of potential colleges: Once you've decided what you want, start looking at colleges that match that criteria. Don't worry about the number. 
    1. Awesome tip #1: College Fairs. These are great places to see and know a lot of colleges without having to travel! What I did was visit every booth (well almost everyone) and either talk with the people there or just pick up brochures. Remember that they're there to answer any question you have and pick up the brochures there in case you have something you want to look back on. Ask your school counselor if there's any nearby you can attend. 
    2. Awesome Links #1: Sites like College Board, offer free search engines that you can use to create a list of colleges to check out and then you can look at their profiles. College Board asks you what you're looking for and then matches you to ones that best fit. Click Right Here to Go to it!
    3. Awesome Links #2: College Week Live is a free site that's basically like an online college fair. So in case there isn't one near you, you can go to here! 
  3. Consider possible careers/majors: Don't be afraid to pick something really odd or random or whatever. Just think about what you like to do (hobbies for example), things you're good/not good at, favorite classes, etc. 
    1. For example: When I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I made this huge list of majors/careers and it looked a little something like this:
      1. Jeweler.
      2. Writer. (English/Creative Writing)
      3. Journalist (Journalism/Photojournalism)
      4. Fashion Designer (Fashion Studies)
      5. Geologist. (Geology)
      6. Photographer. (Photography)
      7. Librarian. (Librarian Science)
      8. Astronomer. (Astronomy)
      9. Web Designer. (Graphic Design)
      10. Psychologist. (Psychology/Sociology)
      11. Anthropologist. (Anthropology)
      12. Paralegal. (Paralegal Studies)
      13. Historian. (History)
    2. Awesome Link #3: Sites like Occupational Outlook HandbookACT: CareersCareer Ship, and Iseek, let you explore different careers/majors and some of them provide you with interest surveys. 
    3. Awesome Tip #2: Interest Surveys are a great place to help you decide what kind of job you might be good at or what you would like to do. Typing "career interest surveys" into Google might be a great way to start. 
    4. Awesome Tip #3: Go to a college website and look at their majors. Most college sites will tell you what that major is like and what kinds of jobs you can get with it. Some even provide more resources to learn about that major/career. 
    5. Awesome Tip #4: What if I can't decide on a major? No biggie! Most colleges don't make you pick one at least until your junior year, and even then, most colleges now have a "undecided major" for those who don't know. 
  4. What else...
    1. Take the PSAT your junior year to help you get ready for the ACT or the SAT
    2. Request materials from colleges (My favorites are when colleges send you these 300 page "viewbooks" for free. And don't be afraid to request more information  Its free and you can customize it usually to get what you want to know).
    3. Arrange college visits (remember that list you made?), the summer time right before senior year is a great time to look at colleges. Visits are a fantastic way to really really get to know what a college is like. 
    4. Make sure to keep up your grades junior year and make sure you have the right classes and credits to get into college. 
    5. Start looking for a job to help earn money if you don't have any yet. Trust me, you'll want to start saving ahead of time because college costs a lot and that's not even just for the tuition! 
    6. Talk with your parents about college. What can you afford? Do they have an expectations for you? 
    7. Talk with your school counselor. Most of the time they can give you tips on colleges, majors, and all sorts of stuff! They're even payed to help you with things!

Seniors (duh duh duh...)
Last year of high school. Big time, right? Now I know most kids will slack off, but trust me, I'm tell you this now because it really is super-duper important. Keep up your grades and partipate in things! Join clubs and sports, and have fun! 
  1. Start narrowing down your college choices: The fall is when you'll need to start applying to colleges so make sure, summer of junior year, or at the beginning of senior year, to start narrowing down your choices. I recommend at least applying for at least several different ones. At least one or two you know you'll get into. And one or two you think you might be able to get into. 
    1. Awesome Tip #5: Most colleges have a "priority deadlines" and if you apply to deadlines, not only will you get a decision sooner, but you might not have to pay an application fee. 
    2. Awesome Tip #6: Make sure to keep a list of what colleges you have applied to, and if you've been accepted or not, and what their deadlines are. 
  2. Visit the colleges if you haven't already. For the ones you really can't visit (like the ones in a different country or out of state, a good look over the website, a call to the admissions, and a request of materials should do fine). 
  3. Start searching for scholarships! There's a ton of sites out there that will help you look for scholarships. 
    1. Awesome Tip #7: Never pay to apply to a scholarship, to receive one, or to have someone match you with them. Click here for more advice on how to avoid a scam.
    2. Awesome Tip #8: Sites like College Board's Scholarship SearchFastweb, and Cappex will help match you will hundreds or thousands of scholarships for free. 
    3. Awesome tip #9: Don't be afraid to check out books in your local library, book store, or even with you counselor for scholarships/books on scholarships. 
    4. Make a list!
      1. Deadlines.
      2. Gather the materials you'll need to apply (letters of recommendation, essays, acceptance letters, transcripts, etc).
      3. Make a list of scholarships you might apply for, you are going to apply for, you have applied for, ones you won/didn't win/, and stuff like that. 
  4. What else...
    1. Keep your grades up!
    2. Take or retake the ACT or the SAT. You can find plenty of study materials at your school, library, or on the websites themselves. 
    3. Complete the FAFSA.
    4. Don't wait until the last minute!
    5. There's probably some other stuff I'll have to update here...
    6. Make sure you have everything ready. Compile a list of things you'll need for scholarships and anything your college might want from you.
Sareh's top College Resources
Other Resources
  • Rate My Professors Is a free site you can use to check out the professors at the schools you're considering. The reviews are made by students for students. 
  • Chegg- Need to start looking at textbooks? I've heard in the grapevine that Chegg is the best site to look for new, used, and rented textbooks. You can even use it to check out courses, get study help, and sell your own textbooks!
  • College Majors 101- This site is great for if you want to know anything and a ton of things about different careers and majors! 
  • College-Insight- This gives you all the data you'd want about a certain college here. Its even free and no login required!
Awesome tip #10: Need help figuring what exactly you should be doing? College Board has a great resource you can use! Their My Plan is easy to use and helps you keep track of everything you need to know/do.

So, do you have any tips you'd like to share? Or are any of you going off to college this fall too?



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