Here's a few things I'd like to impart to the next generation through my experiences. If I could go about college differently this is what I would do...
1. I would not have went to a Catholic College. Because transferring is a nightmare. They're going to have you take classes that trap you. You'll lose your credits for those courses. Those courses don't matter anywhere else. They make you take religion courses that don't count anywhere else.
2. Go to community college first. Get all that core stuff out of the way, ENG101, whatever 101. Take them all at community for the first year or two and THEN go to the college you want. It looks a whole lot better saying Drexel graduate or Temple graduate then community.
Chances are the person looking at your resume would think that you worked hard and worked your way up to those colleges. Or that they themselves either graduated from Temple or Drexel. Either way you win. Besides community is cheaper.
3. If you can help it. Don't go to college as soon as you graduate. Take a full-time job for about a year. Yes, a year. That's what I would've done if I could. Take a years full-time job. It's nothing like being broke going into college for 4 or 5 years. This way you'll have money saved and something to fall back on.
4. When you are in college. Work out EVERYTHING yourself. All your classes and courses. No one cares if you graduate at that school but you. It's actually beneficial for them to keep you there as long as they possibly could. So pardon my expression if you would, but you must be up their asses every semester about the classes your taking. It may make a large difference between being in the class of 2007 or the class of 2009.
5. Do your best. There isn't a feeling more irrevocable as regret. It's there forever. But as along as you know you did everything you could and you did the best that you could. You won't feel regret. You'll know that you were wholly in control and that all your decisions and mistakes were your own and that you did what was best. There's nothing you will regret most than NOT listening to yourself.
Well, there's my two cents. And that's what I would've done. Had I had the chance to redo school. I would've taken that path. That's the most doable plan I would've taken.
The insane plan that I would've taken is...
Going to a two year college...to get some sort of certification (like real estate is 1 years worth of classes) and to be a CNA is a couple of months I think. That way I'd have a chance of getting more money when I went to take a year off to work save up money from that AND then dove into school for four years.
18-graduate high school
19-20 - take an a courses where I would be certified for a real job
20-21 - work for a year in that real job
21-25 - go to college
and I also say this because people respect age, the older but not to old that you are the more likely you'll be hired for something. They'll respect that you've been working and that you're experienced rather than someone who just got out of college.