In the future, it will be easier for students to get into college. While access to quality education has improved in recent years, so too has the number of students who can access it. While many institutions are working on ways to make it easier for their audience members as well as their customers and employees, there is still a lot of ways for outsiders to get into college. This means that you need an excellent starting point from which to begin your search. Here are some guideposts that might help with your quest:
Be an active listener
One of the first things you need to get yourself ready for is to get more involved in your community. You can start a club, help out with a project, or even serve as the contact for a community group. You can find this kind of activities at both public and private colleges. The more you participate in extracurricular activities, the more you will feel invested in your school and will be able to connect with other students and have a better time than if you are just looking for a summer job. In addition, you will be more likely to talk to students who you may not otherwise have a chance to talk to. This will give you a much better understanding of the school, and you may even be able to ask about your classes or a student’s interests in a more personal fashion. This can be a amazing extra-curricular activity for your senior year!
Be aware of your comfort level
One of the best things about college is that you can start to feel comfortable with it almost from the moment you step foot inside. You will be spending the majority of your day with other students, and there will likely be plenty of times when you feel a little nervous or unsure of yourself. This is normal, and it is not a reason to be uncomfortable or hesitant. You will feel so much better when you put some muscle memory into place, and you can start to feel confident and empowered as a student at exactly the right time. There will be times when you feel like you have no idea what to expect. This is normal and expected, and you should use it as a learning opportunity.
Don’t assume you know everything there is to know about college
One of the biggest advantages of majoring in English is that you will have a much more informed perspective on certain topics within a few years. You will understand much more about “How to Pick a Fight with the U.S. Secretary of State” than you did about, “What makes an H-E-B Store profitable,” or “Why should I care about finance?” At the end of the day, you will have access to a world of information that you may not otherwise have had. For many, the decision to major in English may be the deciding factor in their decision to attend college. Some may choose to major in comparative literature, while others may choose to major in political science. Even then, many will decide that they are more interested in history, philosophy, or international studies. There will always be others who choose to major in English, and they will likely go on to have careers in publishing, the entertainment industry, or as an academician.
Get to know your professors
It is important to get to know your professors as soon as you are admitted. You do not want to be stuck with a composition book with 59 different pages dedicated to “classics” while trying to fit in a session on “creative writing.” Getting to know your professors is like getting to know a friend: You will likely spend the best part of your life talking to them, listening to their ideas and experiences, and collaborating on research. When you are new to the system, it can be a challenge because you will often be frustrated by the sheer amount of information that is available. That will change once you get used to the system: In a few years, you will be more aware of the volumes of information that are available and be more ready to sift through it.
Ask for help when you need it
A huge benefit of majoring in English is that you are likely to get help when you need it. You will likely be able to ask questions, find support, and get advice from your professors at the same time that you are trying to fit in a class on creative writing. This is a huge advantage, and you will likely be asking for help often. At the end of the day, you will have more resources than you may have ever expected, and they are probably not going to be available to you in a day or two. At the same time, it is nice to have some control over your own time: You can ask me for help on weekends, or you can check out a different department if you need help during your breaks. When you are actively looking for help, people will often become available to you. There will be times when you need extra empathy, or you need to know the ins and outs of certain projects. When you are actively looking for help, people will often be ready to provide.
Look into colleges outside your home or area
A true English major has to be completely immersed in the language. There will be times when you are at a loss for words when it comes to certain words or concepts. You will often want to look into more advanced programs, but there will be times when you just want to spend some time learning the basics and applying it to your everyday life. At the end of the day, almost anyone can benefit from a little extra work. You will likely be able to find a lot of inspiration in your peers, classmates, and fellow students at other colleges. You will have a much better chance of success if you are actively committed to learning the language and applying it to life.
With so much choice in higher education, it can be hard to know where to start. With the guideposts discussed above, you will be well on your way to becoming an English major. With so much choice within the school environment, it is important to make sure that you are making the right choices. Almost no one ever said that they would like to go to college, but that is exactly what they are doing – it is what they are doing and they have the ability to do it again and again and again and again. The school will give you everything that you need to become a great student and a great human being. The only thing that you will need is the ability to take a few extra tests and apply yourself. If you want to do it again and again, the test scores will be there for you every time. So, don’t think that you are too late: Apply yourself, read some books, and take some tests! What are you waiting for?