By Sheridan Scott, Nancy Allen, and Anya Settle
Each year in the U.S., 2.9 million young people graduate from high school, 70 percent of whom are heading for college. They’ve read the catalogs, spent months filling out applications, been accepted, chosen a school, shopped for dorm accoutrements and packed up their childhoods. But then what? What makes college a great experience? How do you make the most of what’s offered on campus? How do you make friends? What should you do when you’re homesick, or when your roommate parties ’till all hours? What are time drains to avoid? How do you come out ready for the real world? 12 college students from all walks of life and different types of colleges and universities share the insider knowledge that isn’t in the school catalog: what made it work for them.