Looking into schools, I was very focused on majoring in music at a Christian college. Now that I am 23 and have had time to reflect I would have done a lot differantl. First, I would have gone to Cosmetology school right out of high school because that is where my true heart's calling lies. Second, I would have picked a less expensive university or community college to attend because I am in debt up to my eyeballs. Third, I would have picked a state school in order to take advantage of state funding and cheaper tuitions.
The only thing I wish I would have known is the change in difficulty from high school to college. College is more stressful when it comes to school work and extra ciricular activities. Balancing everything out can be tough, but its also a great way to be challenged. The amount of knowledge professors expect students to know is amazing. The pace is very fast and there isn't a lot of time for screwing around. I also wish I would have known the process of financial responsibilities better because those can be stressful.
That the campus life is radically different than most other colleges. It's hard, because I feel like I'm living in an Evangelical Christian bubble most of the time - perspectives aren't that varied, and most everyone has a similar story. Political views are largely conservative, and sometimes I feel like I'm getting biased information from others. I came to Bethel from a secular public high school, and the social life, information presented, and attitude of the students is very different. I wish I had known that.
College requires an extreme amount of hardwork and personal effort on the student's behalf. If you want to succeed in the classroom, you need to learn how to manage your time, money and resources properly. You will retain a lot more than you think and, in the end, you will be very thankful you took the classes you did. Don't give up when classes seem impossible because they will always get better. And, finally, don't always live by other people's words, live and learn for yourself and you will be great.
It sounds silly, but I wish I had known not to set my standards for people so high. Attending a Christian private school, I expected many people to be similar to myself. I am very conservative and practical and expected many people to be the same way. I wish I had also been prepared for living with so many different people in a small space. Not just roommates, but classmates and teachers as well. There is no place to really "escape" each other which forces people to deal with situations head on.
I wish that I would have known to not be afraid of change, but to embrace it full on. Many other people are going through the exact same change as I was, and it would have helped to ease my worries, knowing that I was not alone. Change is a good thing because it stretches us to do things we never thought we were capable of doing. Going to college was one of the biggest changes in my life, and if I would have known to not fear that change, my first college experience would have been so much better.
Coming into Bethel University, I kind of knew what to expect. I knew that it was a Christian university, which is one of the main reasons I decided to attend this school. However, it was fairly difficult for me at the beginning of the school year. Everyone always talks up how great college is, yet I was having a rough time finding friends. I wish it would have been emphasized more that everyone is going through the same thing, and that I should not be discouraged, but keep branching out to others.
Before I came to Bethel University, I wish I would have know that it isn't perfect. I got the impression from my visits and other people that go here that there was nothing wrong with Bethel. But, since I have come here, I have realized that it is still just a college. There are people who don't always follow what they believe. I just wish they wouldn't have made it out to be something other than it is. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I don't want to be given a wrong impression.
I wish I had known more about the freshman living. If I would have had some previous knowledge, I could have put myself in an environment with students closer to my personality. Previously, I am living in a dorm that has a bad label and I feel like this prevents others from truly getting to know me as an individual. I also wish I could have known more about credit transfers, specifically how those courses would count for classes at Bethel.
I wish I had known that Bethel's registrar's office has an extremely difficult time keeping track of transfer records. Since I'm a student who has transfered in approximately 13 credits, it was not easy for me to have to make multiple trips and phone calls and fill out forms several times to ensure that all my credits were appropriately transferred in, as Bethel lost my records several times.