These days, kids spend the entirety of their academic careers being shaped for college. Unlike inspirational schools across the world, here in the US the focus is on memorization and mastering skills that are going to look good on a college application (and hopefully result in some financial aid while you're at it). While there are plenty of issues with the American school system (that's another article for another day), it can't be denied that the better you do in High School, the easier getting into college can be.

The only question is, what happens after you get in?

There isn't an AP class on choosing a major or deciding on which intramural sport to play. No one tells you how to make friends, or how to get along with your roommate, or how to get involved on campus as a commuter. Luckily, there are former frightened high school seniors (like myself and others) around to offer a little guidance.

The secret to college majors

When you break it down, only 20% of the job market (and that's being generous) requires a certain degree to be hired. If you want to be a doctor, or a dentist, or a teacher, there are certain things you need to study when you read the higher education time of your life.

Beyond careers like that, most businesses requiring a college degree aren't picky about what the degree is in - they just want to know that you took the initiative and did the work to earn it.

The trick to choosing a major is studying something that you're interested in. Not only is it easier to sit through lectures on a subject you're passionate about, but it may just lead you to your future career. Being surrounded by professionals in your field of interest has its perks.

Be a part of your campus

Whether you end up at a community college or a four-year, private university, getting involved is an essential part of the college experience.

Studies show that students who immerse themselves in the campus community, rather than going straight from class back home, graduate sooner and report better experiences.

This doesn't mean that you should be throwing yourself at every opportunity that you come across. But there is a lot out there, more than you'd probably expect, and there's nothing wrong with trying things on for size.

Get involved with your student government. Rush a Greek Life organization. Try the anime club if that's something that catches your eye. Also, joining clubs and organizations on campus is a straight shot to some new friends if you're looking to expand your social circle.

Don't be afraid to put yourself first

The most important take away from all of this is to remember that college isn't for everyone. You might try it out and love it, and spend the rest of your life immersed in higher education (like I plan to do), or you might realize that it isn't the right fit for you and drop out before you finish your first semester.

So long as you're doing what makes you happy, and you have a plan, whatever decision you make is the right decision for you.