Aquinas College-Grand Rapids Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Ashley

The advice I would give my high school self is to take more chances. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be unique. Your uniqueness is what people like about you. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks. Ask the guy you like out or to a dance. Join more than just one or two clubs, get involved with your school. Take more classes that give you college credit, because college is expensive. Also, Challenge yourself. Without challenging yourself there is no way you could ever be prepared for college because college challenges you every day and without practice you are sure to fall behind in some of your more challenging classes. College is a lot like high school in the way that the people act the same but the classes are different and provide more of a challenge so when you study your senior year, study as if you were already in college. Then you'll be more prepared than your fellow classmates in just about everything.

Connor

Never underestimate the value of hard work. Be prepared to make sacrifices to make ends meet. Although some days taking on multiple jobs may seem overwhelming, it may be necessary to afford your college education. You have dreams now, of what your life will be like. These dreams probably include what college be like. Be flexible with your expectations. Some of the best college experiences are free and unorganized. Engage other students outside of the classroom. Learn about where your peers come from. By learning their stories you enrich your story. Get involved. Don't simply sign up for a club because everyone else does. You don't seem to connect to any of the clubs? That is okay, start a new one! And most of all, none of it matters if you do not have fun, learn, and grow from the four years you will spend in college.

Ruben

I would tell my high school self to break up with the girlfriend before going to college (before summer started even), save all the money you will make during the summer, not to go into pre-med because you won't like it (switch to accounting/economics), don't join over 15 clubs but rather focus primarily on 5 clubs at college, change your roommate preference so you would be able to get a better roommate, and don't get into a relationship until you actually want to.

Jacquelynn

Focus more on school, and don't allow yourself to assume that you can get by without studying like high school. You're going to miss your family and friends but you will make new friends and your family will always be there for you when you come home. This is your future, and there is no second chances.

Elisabeth

If I were able to go back in time to give advice to myself, I would first tell myself to get into the habbit of saving money. School is a lot more expensive than I anticipated. I would have told myself to get more involved with the community and after school clubs, in order to be eligible for more scholarships. I would have suggested to start small. If you do not have the income or scholarships to go to a well-known university, that is okay. Start at a community college to help cut costs and then transfer. Community college is a great place to help find out who you are, what you believe, and what you want to be. The diverse atmosphere allows a well educated opinion to be formed and an experience with other cultures. I would have told myself to not look down on a community college experience. Finally, check into all your options, and do not be afraid to ask questions. If I had asked more questions in high school about college, I am convinced I would have no debt going to school now.

Kevin

College has been so beneficial to me because it has given me a chance to continue my running career and through this, I have become the happiest I ever have been. My teammates have become my family and have always been there for me. Running has always been important in my life and in college, my love for running has expanded so much. I am glad that I continued my running throughout college. College has given me the chance to realize that I want to become a teacher and help high school students get to college. My college experience has presented me with opportunities to branch out and create new friends. I thought that I wanted to be a teacher when I graduated from high school but when I got to Aquinas, my advisors helped me reach that goal. They gave me the right classes to take, what tests I need to take and they gave any other advice that I needed. Without college, my life would be very different today, and I'm very happy that I decided to attend.

Deborah

College has taught me who I am and not only allowed me to polish my talents and abilities. It has assisted me in learning my flaws and understanding ways to grow and mature from them. I have gained friendships that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. College has also taught me how to adapt to my environment without changing who I am as a person. I have learned how to be diverse around others and interact without losing my identity. College has been a growing experience for me and Aquinas is a great school. I have gained education that I do not believe I would get anywhere else. Mentally I have grown and been able to hold conversations with many different people with different views. I have been taught to think outside the square and sometimes to even consider the grass on the other side before making hasty decisions or comments. Looking at the overall picture of something and what it says to someone else, can help you see what the artist was attempting to portray in one simple stroke. College is an amazing experience that I learn from every day and love it.

Nora

My roommate’s alarm goes off, I wake up, get dressed and the two of us head out the door for our 8 AM Biology lecture. We walk through the forest-like campus, exchanging greetings with familiar faces as the sun comes up. I sit through the fifty minute lecture about the Nervous System and stay a few minutes after class to talk to my professor about last night’s episode of The Office. This description was a typical morning on my small college campus. Going to a small school was better than I ever imagined. Being a Biology major, I was able to talk to my professors often. They really cared about me and my future. For me, college was not only about academics, but about relationships. The relationships I made in college have helped me grow into the person I am today and helped me to achieve my professional goal of becoming a Physician Assistant. Without my college experience, I would definitely not be where I am now—getting ready to start graduate school. I am grateful that my experience has changed me in many positive ways and I have my Aquinas College community to thank for that.

Michelle

In high school I never really knew what college was about. I thought it was just a time to move out and go to classes just like high school. My school was set in preparing students academically for college, so I was set for classes. But I don't think I was ready for the amount of people I would meet. I came from a Catholic school of about 520 students. Going from that to a college of 2,600 was a little bit overwhelming. It would have helped me a lot if I could have spent time on campus more than just the few individual days I came to visit. If I was a senior again and I could tell myself anything, I would tell myself to not worry. No matter where I go I have all the opportunities at my fingertips and I just have show people that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I was shy in high school and I thought that I was always going to be shy and that college was just a big high school. But now I know I can do anything if I have the confidence in myself.

Abigail

Dear Abbie, Transitioning into college life is going to be more difficult than you think. I know you think being farther from home isn't going to be a big deal. You think that you'll be perfectly content away from your family and your friends. Abbie, you'll be wrong. The transition into college is going to be a difficult one. You're going to miss the people that you spent your entire life growing up with. You're going to wish you chose somewhere closer to home. Don't give up. You'll make it through. You're a strong and confident girl-don't ever forget that. Make friends you can trust and have fun with. Don't succumb to peer pressure and don't put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Remember all that you were taught growing up. Don't forget about your life in high school, but don't dwell on it either. Thinking about how great your life was back then does not change your current situation and only makes things harder. Embrace where you are in your life because college is going to fly by even quicker than high school did. Good luck!

Kelbi

I would advise myself to make as many friends as possible, as quickly as possible. Choosing the college that I did I am further away from home then most of my graduating class. So I would definetly tell myself to make as many friends as possible. I would also tell myself to get out and have fun. When someone invites me to do something I should go. I would tell myself just to pick classes that I want and have fun with them, as well as take more than 15 credits every semester so I can graduate on time. The last thing that I would tell myself to do is to get off Facebook and actually go do all of the things that I just mentioned as well as study a little more.

Alexandra

College isn't as easy as what you picture in your head. You know the bumper stickers on facebook that say you can only choose two options out of the three choices of good grades, sleep, and a social life? Well as much as that sounds like a joke, I wish it was. It isn't easy, there will be tears and sleepless nights full of cramming, but in the end it will all be worth it. Balance your time between school, sleep, and friends. Put your health first, school second, and friends last. I know going to college you think about all the freedom you have for being on your own, but it is during this time where you need to step up and prove to the rest of the world that you can take on the resposibility and succeed on your own. Don't let the social scene influence your education, as hard as those situations are to stay away from, you need to focus on your future and what is best for you. After all, why else would you be going to college?

Emily

If I could go back in time to give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to not give up. Even through all the sick days and all the pain of having migraines daily, to stick with it and try harder to get the grades that I know I was capable of making even if I didn't believe it then. To trust in my teachers and that they really wanted to see me succeed. I would also tell myself to get into the habit of studying with others so that when I'm in college my study habits wouldn't slow me down in achieving the grades that I could get otherwise. To become more organized and timely with schedules to help myself get into the idea of having deadlines all the time. I would also tell myself to learn how to make new friends. I would tell myself this because it's hard to make new friends in a new environment with different people. When you have no friends your level of success goes down because you feel that you are alone. You need friends and others to succeed in life.

Kathryn

Relax. Pick the one that feels right. Bring sunscreen and extra whiteboard markers. Go out and meet people even when you don't feel like it. Rearrange the furniture as much as you want - you'll never have modular furniture again, so it'll never be easier. Stand up for yourself but also be willing to compromise, especially in roommate situations. Do your homework. Talk to your professors - they really do want to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for or offer help. Play in the rain. Celebrate birthdays exuberantly - decorate with toilet paper, if possible. Watch for bargains. Buy and sell your textbooks online. Animal crackers, salsa con queso, and homemade fudge from your roommate's grandma will become major food groups. Use the resources available at the library, career center, financial aid, and the department office of your major. Investigate grad school early. Take advantage of the cafeteria unlimited salad bar. Drink lots of water. Wear warm boots. Take a minute to appreciate warm sheets, fresh out of the laundry. Thrive.

Cole

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, what I would say is, "Cole, stay focused in the here and now. Take care of the things that you know need to be done. Remember not to be so lazy about your homework and the assignments you think are "dumb!" The fact is that many will benefit by your success. You will open new doors to greater potentialities than you thought possible. Effort is required. There is no free lunch. You should still have fun, but rather than procrastinate and put off your studying until Sunday night- why not get it done on Friday? That way you will be able to enjoy the weekend without having to worry about failing the test coming up on Monday. Remember that these are the crucial months where you must decide how you are going to stage your emergence into the world at large. Make them count. For every individual that receives an education- the world is one small step closer to a time where both the young and old, the rich and the poor alike, can fulfill their total potential."

Genevieve

I would tell myself that doing homework is what helps to make you succussful with passing class. Studying and going to class everyday is so important. Making the transition was easy, and making friends in class will help with the tough coursework. Keeping up your grades is also very important. The scholarship for Aquinas is based on GPA and grades, and it helps to maintain those so tution is small. Study and get help when you need it. Aquinas offers a lot of advising for most classes. By doing homework and managing your time, you will be successful.

Rebecca

College classes are a lot more challenging than high school classes. If your sitting there bored on facebook you should probably get off and do some reading or studying even though your test for chemistry is later next week. Get a job. When people say that college students are poor they mean it. Don't worry about making friends, every other Freshmen on campus is stressing about the same thing. Just because you might not like your roommates or your suitemates it doesn't mean that you can not live with them. When you go home on breaks you really miss all of your friends at school because they become your family. They help you through your trials and you help them through theres and together you both grow and learn from each other. Learning to balance school work with other activities is very important and however hard it may be you might have to give up playing a sport or acting in a play if it means better grades.

Amber

I would tell myself to not bother going to a community college, go straight to Aquinas. Yes, it is more expensive that way but the atmosphere and helpfulness of the teachers are so much better than a community college. Aquinas teachers push their students to do well and it will be a much greater asset in the future than saving some money now. Focus on the academics, and put them first. It's alot better to make friends in a work place environment and excel in school than it is to be friends with everybody and let school work slide, even the tiniest bit! Remember to save money and apply for scholarships, because college pays for itself only after you graduate. Lastly, remember to eat well and stay active. It's a key part of being able to focus in the classroom.

Joordn

I would not have had senioritis so bad and actually worked hard and kept my GPA up. My whole high school career i worried about grades and sports and how well i did, but my senior year i let the grades slide so that i could consentrate on getting a track scholarship. i got that track scholarship like i wanted, i also got a academic scholarship but if i had kept my grades the way they were in previous years i would have gotten $2,000 more. and now after i just lost $4,000 from the Michigan Promise award that was revoked this year that money would have been nice because i would of had that $2,000 cushion! Npw i have to figure out how to pay for Ireland in the fall and school next year! So winning this scholarship would be just the answer to my prayer that ive been looking for.

Ben

I would try to look harder into a college that i like as much as Aquinas, but cheaper in price. The price of this school is what is holding me back, not knowing whether or not I have enough for the next semester is very stressful.

lauren

i would say that the most important thing is to make sure that the school you are looking at has the exact major and degree you are thinking about, and or are going in to. This is imporant becuase you do not want to end up attending a school that will end up hurting you becuase of transfer issues or what not. No, matter where you go you will always meet new people that will help you to grow in what you are currently interested in.

Anne

In my opinion the most important part about choosing a college thats right for you and your family is to visit and stay over the night if possible. This is a great way to find out what you do and don't like about the college. My advice to students looking to make the most of their college experience would be TO GET INVOLVED. Think about what you're already or may be interested in and see if there are clubs or groups that involve those interests. If there aren't then don't hesitate to start your own club. It's much easier than you woud imagine. Also just be open to new things and people. College is a great experience to branch out and find out what your interests are. For parents, I think it's important for them to understand that college is a time for their children to grow and learn about themselves. It can be a hard transition for students and even harder for parents at times but as long as you let them know you love them and will always be there for them every thing will work out for the best.

Abby

Be sure to look all over the place. Never be afraid to look outside the state you live in. Also if you love football or were around it all your life, go to a school with football you WILL miss it.

Jennifer

My advice to parents and students on picking a college would be to pick a college that they feel at home at. Pick a college that will bring out the best in you. My advice on making the most of your college experience is to split your time between social life and school work. Don't be afraid to ask questions in class. Be involved in school clubs. The most important thing is to not procrastinate.

Rachel

Finding the right college for your son or daughter is extremely important. Visiting campuses is very helpful in making the right decision. If your son or daughter feels comfortable at a college it makes all the different in the world in how they are able to perform at that school. Therefore, going on plenty of college visits will help your son or daughter see the differences between schools, first hand, and can help them make their decision. Just because a school sounds good on paper, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be right for them in the end. Really explore your options; college is too expensive to have regrets! The college experience is something that is very important and it goes far beyond classes. It can include: living on your own for the first time, balancing school, jobs, and/or sports, making new friends, and exploring new cultural venues that may be offered through the school or city. Dicovering what the world has to offer is very exciting and is often emphasized in colleges across the country.

Anna

I realized after my final decision that I had made the wrong one. I felt and knew where I needed to be attending school in my heart, but I had so many inhibitions and my parents and I were both wary of the outcome that we decided not to go with my seemingly 'outlandish' choice. I wanted to leave home and head to school in Chicago (almost three hours away from home). Yet, looking back, I believe I would have done things differently if I had received support and encouragement in my choice. The best advice that I can give any confused students or parents is that you only get one shot at college. Sometimes, people get lucky and 'end up' at their dream colleges. Other times, they need to seek them out. Whatever the way is, follow your hearts and go with your gut-because that will lead you to an amazing place filled with opportunities. Take the risk-it will be worth it in the long run, if that is where your heart is truly taking you!

Jessicah

Find a college that has what you are looking for. If you like the city and large groups of people, find a college that has a more city setting and more students. If you prefer a more country setting with less students per class, then find a college that offers that.

Bradley

Shop around and do well in high school!. The grades you get really dictate your choices on where to go. The better you do, the more choices you'll have and the more scholarship money you can get. Don't be afraid to check out schools that you are unsure of. They could end up being your first choice.

SARAH

be sure to touring the campus, private tour if possible. And also check out the town or City the college is in.

Shanita

The best advice I could give parents and students about chosing the right college is that they need to come together and discuss the options. The parents can not decided for the students nor do I think the student should decide by themselves. Parents and their students need to look at all their options and what they both want in a college. For example the parents may want something affordable and close to home and the student wants to go somewhere that excells in their major and has a great student life activites, with this you can add them together and look at what schools offer this. This way everyone is happy in some way and it will lessen the tension when it comes down to decision time.

Darek

When looking for a college a student should not go where his or her friends are going, but where their dreams are going. Everyone makes new friends in college and you can always see your old friends as time goes on. College is an experience that is short lived and long remembered. Students should pick a college that fits your personality and a college that will accept you for who YOU are. Going to college is about developing your mind, so use your mind to decide on your school. I see many people go to school to be with friends, girlfriends or boyfriends, and settle for a school that does not suite them, and they do not live up to their full academic potential. I now attend a school that none of my friends from high school went to, and I value my education, and still hold close connections with my friends. I encourage parents to help educate their children on their choices of schools applicable to them. Help your child choose a school that they like, that also challenges them intellectually and will provide a desirable sustainable future for them. Do not forget that the choice is ultimately theirs.

Brianna

I would advise students and parents to take a tour of every college and to find out what specialty areas the school does well in. Even though the student may feel s/he knows what career s/he wants to enter into, that will probably change. So make sure that the school the student chooses to attend has a variety of different programs in case there is a change of mind. Also, make sure internet access is readily available because it is important for almost every aspect of both schoolwork and of a good social life.

Kevin

the advice i would give a new student would be to go to the campus. Stay there for a weekend, check out the classes ask questions that are important to you. A school can't be solely judge on the education you recive from there. if you like the people get to know them better, add them on facebook or some other soical networking website...ask them questions about there day so you can get a week rounded grasps of the college that you are intrested in. thank you.

Rob

Visit the school as many times as you can before you make a decision on a school.

Michael

To take your time in making a decision. Visit a bunch of different schools that are different sizes to determine what school is the best for you. After you visit a school right down what you liked and disliked right away so you don't forget and mix schools up with eachother. After visiting a bunch of schools determine a few that you like a lot and stay overnight there so you get a feel for the campus. Make sure to sit in on a few classes so you get to see what the professors are like and what the other students are like as well. Ask students what their experience's with the school has been, and what they like and dislike about their college. The most important thing is to start early and take your time because when you find the school that is right for you, you will know it.

Amy

Check out Clubs and organizations. Also check on what kind of school environment is right.

Katie

I would tell them to consider all their options and weigh out what is most important to them. Once you chose a college, accept the fact that that's what you chose and trust that your made the right decision.

Christina

I think that it's important that future students spend an adequate amount of time pre-planning and researching colleges and looking at practicalities, especially finances. I believe that it's extremely important for the future student to know (and feel) their parents' support. I also believe that it is important for the student to have a list of expectations for their school (so as to zero in on the best school for them) and to have a set of personal (life/long-term) objectives to use to see if the school of their choice aids in accomplishing these objectives.

Gregory

Visit the campus more than once and in different seasons. Meet with professors in your interested field and you will be able to tell if it is for you.

Sally

Don't decide on a specific area of study in your freshman year. Take your time and take classes from several areas because you might discover something that you didn't like before. Get involved in clubs and social activities. Also, never buy textbooks from the bookstore, you'll almost always find them cheaper online.

Anna

Really, you only get one shot at making a choice about which college or university to attend, for starters. That's the hard part. I believe as parents you need to encourage your students to dive into what the love, who they are, and what the hope for in life-because their universities will help to develope and foster these things. As parents it is important to remember that their child's choice may not be theirs, and that they all need to work together in the decision. As students, listen to your parents, remember to tell them that you love them and appreciate their advice, but go with your gut. Go with what feels right for you, and remember to discern what you need, want, and hope for in a college. Then, make the decision and don't look back (even if family gives you a hard time!). Once you get to college, live on campus at least the first two years, dive into extra-curriculars, walk as much as possible, and try new things. Don't be afraid to feel a bit uncomfortable . Remember to make friends, exercise, work your butt off as a student and have fun!

Stephanie

The best advice I can give is filling out applications and visiting each college until one "seems right." That is, financially, student/teacher ratio, and overall how comfortable one feels at the campus. As for making the most of the college experience, I recommend trying out different clubs/organizations and not going home on the weekends. I've found that a lot of Aquinas students go home on weekends and I really think it's important for some people to be away from home for awhile, especially in college. This is the time that students figure out who they are going to be and sometimes that's hard to figure out around parents. It's also a good idea to hang around dorm lounges and cafes in the area. It's a great way to meet fellow students and without some of my friends at college, I would have had a harder time dealing with some stressful moments.

Brandon

An environment that fits you, from the layout of the campus grounds to the size of the classrooms. If you look hard enough you will find the one thats for you.

Chrissy

In order to find the right college the student should visit as many as possible. Starting during the junior year of high school or sooner is advisable in order to not feel rushed. Narrow your choices down to some favorites, and see if the college offers an overnight visiting program for prospective students. Also research how many of the graduates get jobs in their field of study. Talk to as many people on the campuses as you can in order to get a feel of the school.

Dan

I would say that it is difficult to know for sure until you actually attend a school. However students should look for a school that fits their beleifs values and personality best. There are schools of all different religions sizes and location. They should pick a school located where they want to live in the country and also how close they want to be in relation to their family and home. Students should also look into the extra curricular activities clubs and sports offered by schools and pick something that fits their interests. Students should also make sure that field or major they are interested in is offered at the school they are considering.

Kelsey

The best advice I can give is advice that was once given to me: Never rule a college out until you have toured it and experienced it from a student's point of view. Parent's opinions are important of course, however when it all comes down to it the student's dreams and interests are what need to be focused on. After visiting Aquinas as a high school junior, I KNEW it was the school for me. As a student ambassador at Aquinas now, I see looks of love and respect on prospective student's faces, and sometimes even disgust. That is ok! There is a reason our country has so many options for higher education, because everyone is different! NEVER be afraid to be meticulous in your college search, EVERYONE deserves to get what they want out of their college experience, no matter your financial situation, religion, ethnicity, ect. Be picky and don't settle!!! Get everything out of college you deserve!

Kristin

If I had to give advise to someone about a college choice, I would tell them to keep in mind that it should be the best choice for you, not necessarily your friends choice or where your friends are going to be. It has to be what you want. College is supossed be a big change in your life because of the new experience you will have. You should not go somewhere that you do not want to go or feel comfortable going. You will meet new people wherever you go. Your experience should be a good one, but keep in mind that you are there for a reason, to get a degree that will help find a job for the rest of you career life. If you are not sure right away what you want to go into, then I would suggest a community college or non-so-expensive college to start taking your general education classes to see what kinds of classes you may want to take later on. Also, part of the experience of college is not just about the education, you should also have some fun while you are there, make the best of it.

Ashley

Make sure to look around at a lot of different campuses in order to get an idea of whether you would rather attend a small or big university. Also, make sure to start your search for the right college in junior year of high school. That way, you are ahead of the game and there is no pressure to make a quick and rash decision. Keep your grades and extra cirriculars going in order to find a college that is right for you. Don't get too anxious about the college experience because it's easy to fit in and make new friends. Remember, this isn't high school anymore and you will be treated equally to even the upperclassmen. Take your time with your decision, it's very important!

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