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Assumption College

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

If I could return after college to myself as a high school senior, I would give that senior three pieces of advice. The first advice would be to take every opportunity presented. This could range from taking a unique and challenging class to applying for an on-campus intership. College is an experience; one should take every possible opportunity. In the end, one can learn something different besides skills for a career. By seizing an opportunity, one can also learn more about himself or herself. Secondly,one should get to know the professors and work hard. Professors are full of knowledge, and most are willing to share it with their students. Getting to know professors could help someone choose a career or learn something new. They are also willing to help students with other factors, such as choosing classes, finals, and other things. In addition, work hard in college. The harder one works, the luckier one becomes. In the end, it will pay off with extreme success. Lastly, one should enjoy oneself. Again, college is a once in a lifetime experience. One should experience new and exciting things, as well as open one's mind to a different world.

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Embrace the Unexpected College is a time meant for establishing values and laying the foundation for a better life. Would it not be better if it was my own life instead of somebody else’s? While advice from friends and family is helpful in navigating the murky waters that are collegiate life, it should not be taken as literal instructions in how to attend college. Marching to a campus with misconceptions based on opinions from those who have sailed through college before will only result in catastrophe. The student’s plans will crumble into ruins, leaving him brokenhearted and disheveled. Moreover, remaining uptight would not allow for any growth. Instead an outline should be designed so that maximum flexibility can be obtained. Unexpected events are the blessings of college. Decisions made on a whim can result in wondrous opportunities (However, they can also devastate lives so be careful). That is why one must look at college as if it was a block of clay. Once a shape has been molded, it can always be adjusted to meet newly discovered needs. I am hoping that once my time at Assumption expires I will have sculpted a "Jordan" instead of a "David."

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The most important advice I would give to parents and students about finding the right college would be to *thoroughly* research every option available to them before making a decision--visit every campus possible and really pay attention to the overall atmosphere, making sure you feel comfortable. Often times, a student will make up his or her mind without really getting to know everything they can about a particular school, only to be disappointed once they arrive on campus. Make the most of every option available to you and don't rule any college out before you've physically been there and walked around the campus. This is crucial to the college selection process, as a college may sound great on paper only to be less than ideal upon visitation. In terms of making the most of the college experience, find ways to stay busy and involved in campus life. It's incredibly easy to get lazy when presented with so much freedom at once, so it's important to remain focused--don't neglect your studies, join some clubs, write for the campus newspaper, etc. There are a host of great opportunites open to those who look for them.

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To prospective parents and students, I would say to spend as much time on the campus as possible prior to making a final decision. When it comes down to it, after the diploma, the atmosphere of the school is what is going to remain with the student after graduation. It is most important to consider what type of learning and growing environment the student wants and needs. Do they value sports? Service opportunities? Forging strong and lasting friendships and student-teacher relationships? Are the students that attend the school motivated, hard working individuals? Do they plan for the future and make moves that push them forward to that future? The overall culture of the campus is not something that is immediately obvious from looking at a brochure or talking to a guidance counselor. First-hand experience is essential. Talk to alumni, talk to students who attend the school, talk to faculty and staff. Once the decision is made, start to develop your own niche on campus by taking advantage of any safe and positive opportunities that come your way. And most importantly, don't be afraid of a challenge!

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As a student at Assumption College, I have learned and suffered the hardships of college life. There are many instances where I wished to change my decisions, yet there is only one advice left to give. If I could have a discussion with my High school self, I would emphacize the importance of taking more advantage of the opportunities and resources provided by the shool. Much like many students, I valued my social life sometimes more than I should have. If I could give one piece of advice it would be to buckle up and give it my best, instead of focusing on becoming a social butterfly. School should always come first as one's innermost key to a successful future. I believe it is not who you know that matters, but the knowledge gained in one's journey. In this world, no one can take away someone's knowledge, however; materialistic objects can be lost. My past self should focus on being the best she could be and not worrying about the pressures of college life. Success is often achieved by those who opt to take the road less traveled towards a bright future, not the easy way out.

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Do not be overwhelmed by the numerous college options available to you. It is importatnt to visit as many colleges as possible, so that you can narrow down your choices. Do not worry about tuition, especially if it is a private school, as many private ones offer large financial aid and merit scholarship packages. You should be more concerned about finding a college that you can see yourself spending the next few years of your life at. You really need to make sure that you will be comfortable at the school, that you will meet good people and have many opportunities. Talk with students, spend a night at the school, and sit in on classes, so that you can really get the "feel" of what life at each particular college will be like. Once you are in college, please do not feel that you need to drink to fit in. I, for one, do not drink at all, and have never had a problem finding things to do on the weekends, and have made many great friends in the process. Other than that, you should work hard, manage your time wisely, join clubs and activities, and volunteer!

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Making the transition into college life is not going to be scary. It's going to be a gradual realization that you are your own boss now, and that you have the ability to do anything. You can do your schoolwork on time and get stellar grades; or, you can allow yourself to fall into a rut of late assignments and late nights. Don't assume that because you have this freedom, you don't have to work hard anymore. The only difference is that now it's your own responsibility to motivate yourself. What inspires you? Keep it in mind because you may lose it along the way. Never be afraid to be yourself; if the people you surround yourself with don't appreciate the real you then you have the wrong set of friends. Being around people you connect with, and having relationships that thrive off of mutual support, are the two most important things you can do in college. If you have these connections, motivating yourself to be a better you will come more naturally. You have the power to succeed- every tool you need is inside of you. You're smart and capable, never forget that.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would help myself better understand the transition. I would want myself to know that every other freshman at the college is in the same situation as you: away from home and in need of new friends. This similarity is something that I would tell myself to use to my advantage, primarily by treating others with the sort of warmth and friendliness that I wanted in return. By reaching out to the other students as soon as possible, the transition to new friends is smoothed. I would also give myself the advice to become more involved in extracurriculars, as this is another great way to ease the transition since it gives you the opportunity to make new friends. Participation in these activites helps to build a support base, so that when a person needs support, he or she won't be relying only on family back at home. This being said, I think that the most important advice I could give my high-school self would be to just be open to becoming the best version of myself, because four years truly does fly by.

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Dear Nick, To make the most of your college experience; make sure your doing it for yourself and not someone else. Furthermore, make sure that it is something that you do not consider work, but think of it as something you would do as a hobby instead. Do not give in to going to parties, drinking and doing drugs just because some of your unwise friends think that is what college is all about and are using peer pressure to try and get you to make the same mistakes as them. Those people are jealous of you and really are not friends. Think of college as the beginning of the rest of your life. Do something that you love with passion. Prepare yourself for the hardest time in your life too. Such as fighting off all the peer pressure and making good decisions in return, constantly battling through financial struggles, not to mention the strenuous hours of homework, projects and studying that you will have to do. Last, balance your studies with your life and God. Do all of this and you will get a job worthwhile and be able to work like you do not need the money.

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The number one piece of advice that I would give to myself is to simply have a calm and open mind. I would explain how the first year of college can appear as one overwhelming mess between the amount of school work, living in a dorm, meeting new people, and being involved on campus. It's natural to be nervous and excitied about your first year in college, but it's important to figure out how to apply such nerves and excitement, for example, figuring out what causes each emotion. I was nervous about being able to handle my workload, and during my freshman year, I should have taken the opportunity to visit the academic center and my professors' office hours more often. I would have been a lot less stressed! I would also tell myself to be open to the numerous opportunities that college provides. I would recommend attending club fairs and events advertised on campus. I would remind myself that I don't have to commit to any club right away, but attend meetings for each one I'm interested in and make a decision from there. Be excited to take new chances!

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