It is spring and in a few weeks....kids will wrap up high school and make the fateful choice on college. So my ten bits of advice.
1. You will only be at college for four years....unless you go on for a masters, or really foul-up your first year and have to repeat. Don't screw this up. You can figure at a low-cost state college, that your dad or you....are tossing $15,000 a year for tuition, board, food, and gas-money. At a regular up-scale state-school, you might be using up $28,000 a year. If you think this is some social club, pub-drinking association, or lifestyles-orientation theater.....boy, you got screwed.
2. You have basically two kinds of lecture-dopes or professors. One that actually knows something and is willing to part with this knowledge.....or one who is a dimwit and just reads out of a book. Do some research and ask stupid questions before concreting up your class schedule. Once you find competent instructors.....stay with them. Once you identify incompetent instructors.....let people know and avoid them at all costs.
3. You'd best add up what this degree will cost and ask yourself how it relates to income levels and job opportunities. If your degree is Russian literature, Japanese art, Civil War history, or volcano science......ask yourself where this is going lead and how the income works out. Most Civil War buffs end up as park rangers, history teachers for high schools, or Air Force Intelligence Officers. Throughout the entire US in one year.....there might be ten positions opening for Russian literature. If you did something stupid and got a degree costing $80,000.....what's the value for the rest of your life?
4. A bunch of dopes will try to hype up off-time for some diversity or fake cultural garbage. If you got time to waste and you like fraudulent gimmicks.....fine. If you stand and ask stupid questions and just get stupid answers.....maybe you ought to avoid the episode. Just because some idiot says 'diversity matters'.....doesn't really mean that 'diversity matters'.
5. Some people you bump into will be life-long friends. Some will not.
6. The idiots who designed campuses never meant for them to be easily figured out for a 'rookie'. You'd best go spend a day or two prior to your classes starting, and get a decent road-map from the dorm to the classes.
7. College isn't supposed to be some simple cake-walk where things make perfect sense. It's built as a challenge. Either accept that or walk away.
8 College isn't really designed as some theater production episode of Shakespeare. Probably half the professors or instructors you bump into.....are a bit odd and half-way insane. You might end up thinking this is kinda like an episode of Gilligan's Island.....where the Professor, the Skipper and Mr Howell offer daily bits of wisdom, and the rest are just there having fun.
9. In twenty years, you will look back and regard all of this as some life experience, where you learned some things....forget most things....and feel shocked at how it paid off.
10. In the end, you may finish up with only one real positive or understanding.....knowledge is only half the trick. Applying it or manipulating it.....is the real pay-off.