So, you’re slated to go to college in the next year or two, but you’re not sure if you’re prepared? Learn from these current college students! They looked back on high school and told us what they wish they would have done differently to prepare for college.

“I wish I would have taken my college search more seriously,” said James Keeley, a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “I wish I would have devoted more hours and work toward planning for my future rather than coasting along.” James, who graduated from Omaha Skutt High School, also said he should have used binders or folders to organize his college options rather than having assorted acceptance letter and financial aid papers scattered around his room.

James’ advice for high school students: “Organization and planning will help you out ten-fold as your college career plays out. If you use an organized approach to your college search, I guarantee you will look back and thank yourself in a year’s time.”

Grand Island native Abigail Huggins, a freshman at Concordia University, wishes she would have taken more dual-credit courses while at Heartland Lutheran High School. “It would have given me a bigger jump start on college,” she said. “I also wish I wouldn’t have underestimated the difficulty of college courses. I could have prepared myself better through my high school studies.”

Abigail’s advice for high school students: “Apply for every scholarship that applies to your situation, and if possible, take college courses in high school and you’ll thank yourself later.

“I wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself in preparing for college,” says Mitch Robey, a graduate of Papillion-LaVista South High School and now a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. “I frequently asked myself if I would be smart enough to succeed in college and the truth is, it’s not how smart you are, it’s how hard you’re willing to work! I also wish I didn’t worry about finding new friends because in reality it’s super easy!”

Mitch’s advice for high school students: In regards to scholarships, apply, apply, apply! (If you have scholarships you don’t have to resort to surviving off of ramen!) And don’t stress out too much! Overall, college is a fun adventure you get to write for yourself! So do well in your future classes, work hard for your goals, but don’t forget to have a little bit of fun along the way!

Natalie Saenz is a sophomore at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff majoring in journalism.  She wishes should would have been open to more college options. “I applied to only one college without considering other options,” she said. “Although I love WNCC, I regret not considering more schools and expanding my opportunities. Natalie, a graduate of Scottsbluff High School, also wishes she would have taken more high school courses related to different majors or interests. ”Since I’m majoring in journalism, I wish I would have joined my high school newspaper staff. Having that newspaper background would have helped.”

Natalie’s advice for high school students: “Apply for as many scholarships as possible; having the extra cash helps when the unexpected occurs!”