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Get organized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take advantage of the help of the financial and academic advisers at the school you wish to attend.
Study skills are very important in college! Start preparing for college by working on your study skills and your independent learning skill. College is different than high school because you have much more "down" time, but that time is suppose to be spent studying on your own. Start reading and working on your note taking skills.
I find that one of the best sources of fuel to success in college and successful preparation for college is by WANTING TO BE THERE. If you don't know what to major in or don't like your school, don't wait until you have almost completed a degree to change your mind. Most schools will not transfer all of your credits and generally schools will only take a maximum of 75 to 90 credits. School is expensive, so make sure you want to pursue the work you are pursuing because otherwise you are just wasting mom and dad's money or even worse your own money. People talk about college as a unique experience that fulfills some type of rite of passage for the young adult. While it can serve this purpose it is not the only way to get out of the parents' house and start life on your own, there are many other ways to achieve this and still eventually attend college. Don't just attend college because someone told you have to in order to succeed in life. College attendance alone won't get you a job and without any purpose could become a $100,000+ waste of time and money.
Don't go to college without knowing what you want to do in life...I am not saying you need to plan out your whole life but if you get a degree in psychology have a good idea how you are going to use it.
Next if you truly don't know what to choose as major forgo enrollment at the prestigious university for one year...most colleges allow you to defer enrollment for a year once you have been accepted...this time can then allow you take a year to work, gain some emotional or spiritual enlightenment, or go to a community college to take first year prerequisite classes or sample classes at a major discount.
Finally make education your priority. If it isn't your priority when you start college your first day then may not get the learning experience that you are paying for and again you are wasting time and money.
I like Neeta's response below. A few other thoughts:
1. Practice being very organized with your time and personal scheduling. Block out time on your calendar for certain tasks (social, work, personal) and make good on these commitments. You'll need a good deal of self-responsibility and self-discipline to do well in college.
2. Sharpen your study skills. Read articles/books on how to study most effectively. Students who struggle often don't have a good understanding of how to read, research, take notes, memorize effectively. Know what works best for you and hone these skills.
3. Practice your curiosity - Exercise your extrovert skills; be curious and don't be afraid to ask questions. Students who get the most out of college (and have the most fun) are those who engage and connect with those around them. You'll seldom have more opportunity in your life to gain insights from so many people as you do in college - take advantage of it!
Focus on your classes (grades are super important), so are extra curricular activities, and volunteer whenever possible (local animal shelter, fire house...). Reach out to colleges and universities professors in the department you are interested in. Ask them if you can shadow an undergrad or grad student. They also the way to get in. Likewise talk with companies you are interested to work at and see if they program for students.
If you think about it - the first 20-22 years of our lives supports us for the rest of our lives.