Birmingham Southern College Top Questions

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

Brianna

Wow. There is so much I could say to my Senior Self. I've learned so much in just one semester of college. I would tell myself first and foremost, to not get lazy. I would stress the importance of staying focused and not slacking in my final year of high school. I would also tell myself to start much earlier in choosing a college and applyign for financial aid. I wish I had taken it all more seriously and filed my FAFSA sooner. I missed out on financial award opportunities because I procrastinated on finalizing my college decisions. I would brace myself for the rigor of college. I didn't realize it would be so difficult and so much different from college. I would tell myself to buckle down and spend more time studying instead of putting everything off and being so laxed about things I should have taken seriously.

Jordan

There is no question that I would advise myself to hold less importance on social statuse among the other seniors. It seems almost impossible to teach a teenager not to care about popularity, but I wish I would have been happier and more relaxed during my time in high school. I feel as though laid back people can take things in as a whole easier than high strung people are able to do. Simply put, don't get caught up in the moment. Sit back and enjoy the time you are given with people whose company you enjoy; try not to let mean students affect your quality of life suring this crucial time coming into adulthood.

JianHang

If I go back and become a high school senior, I will get as much information as possible about the college that I want to go to, such as what kinds of programs that could benefit and be right for me, what are the special and outstanding activities that serve students, and what are the opportunities to further my education once I graduate. To make the transition easier, I will make sure I fill out financial aid applications if I am qualified, pass all of the required exams for the college I wish to go to, and seek scholarships if they are available for high school graduates. What’s more, I need to make sure I perform well in high school. To be better prepared for college, not only will I need to keep high grades, but also realize that school activities and community services are important as well. Also, I can always get help from my school if I have any questions, such as contacting my counselor to get advice. Overall, it is important for me to finish the process. I should realize that go to college I should be more self-confident, motivated, independent, and responsible.

wudu

I now that how to live in compuse with so money students , who come from different ethinic group , race , religeon ,and who speak different languages. More of i now living in divercified sociaty with peace and harmony .Even if there is divercified people I also understand each student in the campus can live in this divercified stution and how to be succsused for the objuctive of each student . In campus ,although there are things which done in group ,there are things which need individuaaaaal effert so i understad this things in my capus live .In campus the students should develope self confidence and honest.I also now that the student who mcame frome the fammily should take the responsiblity to care them selves from un wanted thinga which may affect their live.

Marissa

If I could go back and tell myself what I liked about college, I would definitely have to mention the small community. It makes one feel welcomed. I am a transfer student who transferred from LSU to Birmingham-Southern. The size of LSU was miserably annoying and impersonable. I feel like I actually belong at Birmingham-Southern. I feel I can grow and be myself in this small setting. Feeling at home at college is very important to me and I definitely found this at Birmingham-Southern college. I would not change my college experience for anything. I am completely happy with my choice.

Dallas

Dear Dallas, It’s me, your best friend and future self. And do I have news for you ... your life is simply incredible! Your relationship with Andrew is rocky, you're still verbally bullied for being gay, and you’re exhausted from maintaining a 4.17 GPA. Life is stressful and confusing right now, I know, but it gets unbelievably better. You’ll break up with Andrew and find Nathan Hendrix, and his beautiful and simple love will make you soar through the clouds. You’ll finish your freshman year at Birmingham-Southern College with a 3.71 GPA and you’ll be completely okay with it. That’s right, no more beating yourself up because you missed “perfection” ... in fact, you’ll come to accept that being “imperfect” is not only okay, it’s what makes you, well, YOU. You’ll also find a superbly supportive family in your fellow musical theatre majors and professors at BSC. Most importantly, you’ll wonder at the world again as if you were a child. The confusion and turmoil you go through now will inspire your future peaceful self. So don’t be afraid – it’s absolutely worth it!

Tyson

The friendships developed have been great; the academic experience though difficult, rewarding.

Robert

One of the most difficult parts of my transition from high school to college life was my ability to communicate with others inside and out of the classroom. I attended a high school with only 14 other seniors; as a result, most of our classes contained no class discussion and I never participated in any of the few extracurricular programs our small school offered. However, I am now a member of many organizations at my college, have a great social life compared to my high school life, joined a fraternity in opposition to my high school self, and now I lead classroom discussions and am able to communicate my ideas without any fear. This ability to communicate with others was developed during a freshman honors class that graded 50% on class discussion. I was forced to learn how to communicate during my first semester of college,; as a result, I completely changed my method of communication from the year before and excelled in my classes. I am now able to communicate with others inside and out of the classroom, which I believe is something I should have learned to do far before my senior year in high school.

Elizabeth

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would begin by saying that all of the drama that seems so important doesn't matter. As your friends begin to move on, remember that your new life is about to begin in a matter of months. You are about to make so many new friends. As you spend most of your nights working on Algebra and Anatomy homework, devote as much time as possible to studying for the SAT. Learn the words you don't think you need to learn and practice the math that will hopefully catch on. Remember that although graduation is coming up, final exams will make a difference. Stay in touch with your teachers. You will want their advice when you're considering your major. They may seem like they're only there during the day to bore you out of your mind, but they're not. They are there to watch you succeed and to help you further down the road. Your life is amazing now but wait until you begin your new life as an adult in one of the most scary yet wonderful places.

Amanda

Dear Amanda, I am the future you entering my second semester as a freshman in college! You made it, but to make life easier for future you please take my advice. Never stop looking for scholarships, you need them, your school is expensive but worth it. Develop a consistent study habit, don't just tell yourself you will be a good student really prove it now. Get more hours in a classroom you have picked the right major Be open minded, greek life is better than you think Be prepared to let go of home, I know that you think nothing will change but be prepared for it anyway Take a finance class or learn to budget, it would really be helpful in avoiding some tight spots I've been in Be proud of who you are more confidence comes but develop some now for when you arrive Remember it's ok if volleyball is not your entire world, LIVE YOUR LIFE Be consistent and dependable in everything you do Work on your core GPA Never think that mom and dad are not proud of you, they always are no matter what you do Boys can be stupid, move on!

Brittany

Going back to the high school me...there is no one "college student" image that you have to uphold once you attain the position of one. These next years are years to try new things, be your own person, re-discover what you believe and where you stand on a moral scale, if you do. There is no right or wrong way to do things and to experience things...just know that whatever college you choose to spend the next several years attending, whomever you choose to spend your time hanging out with, whichever activities you choose to take part in: you are responsible for making those choices. Yes, there will be some sorry ones along the way, just as there will be some you couldn't have made any better. Either way, you can learn and grow from them, deciding what you are and aren't comfortable with. Be open to new experiences, be open to new ways of thinking, and, of course, be open to new people. Most importantly, build a community of friends, professors, and staff that you can grow with, because in the next several years, you can become the person you want to be.

Reba

The first advice I would give would be to pace myself. Do not be in a rush to to get this experience behind you. You will make some of the most important decisions of your life in college. College is not a race. It is a plan for the future and the rest of your life. Get a fill for things before making important decisions. Do not be in a rush to choose a major. Enroll in different types of courses to determine the field that is most enjoyable. It doesn't matter what anyone wants for you, only what you want for yourself. Next, take advantage of this opportunity. Being able to go to the college of your choice is a blessing. Get involved in campus activities, join a club, make new friends, and try new things. College is an opportunity to explore. Take it. Last but definitely not least, have fun! This doesn't mean party every night, but explore the campus and take a break from your studies occasionally. Life has to have balance. Don't become so invloved in your academics that you miss out on perhaps the most exciting time of your life.

Stephanie

Since this situation was only somewhere around six months ago, my advice is simple. I would tell myself to make sure and get involved as soon as possible. I would aslo tell myself that she should have done more scholarships, that way she could live on campus so that she could be more ivolved in campus activities. I would also tell myself to stop being so shy, be more out there and outgoing.

Zachary

Perhaps the most useful advice I could offer myself as a high school senior can be summed up in two words: "Don't worry." Throughout my college search as a high school senior, I was always anxious about what college would be like. I worried about how difficult classes might be and that I would not perform as well academically as I did in high school. I also worried about making new friends, since I barely knew anyone coming to BSC. But after two full years at college, I can definitely say that none of my fears came to fruition. My time at college has been one of the best parts of my life. So I would assure my past-self that everything will be alright. While it is important to care about my future, I should not waste my time, effort, or health in constant anxiety over how things will turn out.

Claire

When looking for a good college to attend, do not simply choose a place because of its name. Think about what it is that you want to get out of your college experience and make your decision from there. I chose a smaller college because I wanted to go somewhere where the professors would actually know my name and would care enough about my education to help me succeed. My college may not be known for its football team or 'ivy league status,' but it is definitely known for producing the most respected leaders and scholars of tomorrow. Once you have chosen the college you want to go to and have moved in on the first day, things may seem a little scary. That is okay. You will make friends and get involved and pretty soon, you will be the one comforting prospective students by telling them what an amazing experience college can be. It is important that you learn to make every effort to pay attention in class and get homework done. While college can be a lot of fun, you are also there to learn and to expand your education for the betterment of your future. Good luck!

Abigail

Never make a decision based off a school's reputation or how the school represenatives treated you during the admissions process. Get familiar with the campus and choose a random student to ask about the school in order to get an honest opinion. Oftentimes, students selected by the school to greet prospective students may lie about certain aspects of the school in an effort to make the school look good. Admission counselors are almost always nice to prospective students simply because they are trying to lure someone in. However, once you have been accepted, they barely even speak to you.

Hannah

When looking for the appropriate college, take into account that things will be different from high school so one must not make comparisons to it. A college a student should look for a place they feel most comfortable; this should not only include the campus but the area surrounding it as well. If you prefer to be in a more college centered town then look for one that caters to that. Also if the school you are looking at is not as school spirited as you like but they have many striking qualities then see if there's another college nearby; you could enjoy their sporting events and still go to the other school. Basically the student would get the best of both worlds. In the end it should not be the parents choice; the student will be the one attending the college and attempting to make it a place they can call home for the next 4 years.

Rebecca

The best advice I was ever given about finding a school was the best advice I could possibly give. It included several instructions, here they are. Go visit the campus. Find out if the campus is friendly. If you hold up a map and look lost, a friendly campus will mean that several students will come up and offer to help you find your way. The attitude of students on the campus can make all the difference in your college experience. Sit in on a class in a field that you are interested in. Talk to the teacher after class. It is good to know that the teachers truly want to teach and interact with the students. Read the student paper. Find out what students are saying about their school to each other, and what things they are interested in doing off campus. Have an open mind. Something that could seem at first to be a strange thing might end up being your favorite quirk about a given campus. Lastly, don't worry too much. After all, your college experience will be what you make of it. Make it great.

Marcie

Do your research. Plan ahead. Follow your heart. Don't let ANYTHING keep you from attending the college of your dreams. Money should not be a determining factor in setting the foundation to your future. While it certainly does play an important role in the decision making process, it should not restrain you from going to the school that is right for you.... especially when there are so many resources available.... you just have to do your research. I visited over ten college campuses, and when I set foot on Birmingham Southern's lawn, I knew that this was the place for me. With the help of my parents, I did everything in my power to make this dream happen. I will always cherish my college experience because I know I didn't take anything for granted. Seize every opportunity that comes your way and know that four years go by faster than you think.... but then there's always grad school......

Isabel

Do not base your decision solely on the prestige of the school. Some of the best schools are not well-known but the resources and the passion of the professors far surpass the facets of some prestigous schools. Think about really seeing yourself at a school because you will live there for the majority of the year. Lastly, be sure you are happy. There is nothing worse than attending a school you are miserable at, trust me.

Katie

The decision to attend a college or university is probably the most life-changing decision a person can make. It's important to know whether or not the school has the academic program(s) you, as a student, are most interested in, but it is equally important to find a college environment in which you will thrive. Make sure the school will challenge you, the professors will embrace and teach you, and the students will accept you. If you have a tendency to drown in crowds, go to a small school. I believe you learn much more at small colleges and universities anyway. You get to know your professors and build lasting relationships with academic counselors. Small schools also make it easier to meet students. Parents, understand that your student's happiness is most important. If you want them to go to Yale, but they believe they'd be happier at a community college, please try to listen to them, as hard as it may be. And students, remember that choosing a school is only the first step. Really try to embrace the entire experience. Take classes that interest you, and volunteer if you can. You'll never regret it.

Elizabeth

I applied to nine schools in my senior year of high school. Once I finially eliminated larger schools, I visited four schools in one week: TCU, Baylor, Millsaps, and, finally, Birmigham-Southern. Upon I stepping onto the three other campuses, I did not fall in love with them. After I arrived at BSC, I could see how friendly the community was and could see myself fitting in. My advice to prospectives is to visit the school, talk to the students, sit in the cafeteria, go to class--spend a typical day as a student there. Then, and only then, can a student decide if they will mesh well at the school. In order to make the most out of a college experience, a student should study hard and work hard, but also get to know the people on her hall, get involved in organizations, volunteer, and basically, make relationships within the college community and the people in the surrounding areas. These relationships are what have helped me succeed and stay motivated to work hard towards a degree.

Cam

Try to get involved as much as you can, only to the point where you can still maintain your grades.

Samuel

I think one of the best things prospective students and parents can do is vear off the beaten path and really find the "guts" of a college. To me, some of the small details make all the difference; details I wish I would have known before I got to college. I didn't know that all of the buildings at BSC stay open 24 hours or that my campus police officers will pick me up from anywhere in the country if my car breaks down. Knowing these small details would have solitified my decision or could sway a decision for a prospective student having a difficult time deciding between a few schools. I tell prospective students that I meet to go talk to students that don't work in the admissions office and that don't give tours. They can tell you the details students really want to know;:sports, girls, boys, parties, etc. Also, when they're on a visit to a school, I tell them to venture off the campus tour and explore for themselves. Find out what the school's culture is really about.

Courtney

Make sure your student is ready for college. Make sure they visit the campus and not just a campus tour, let them stay the night with a student host or a friend so they can get a feel for the college and what it is actually going to be like. Let them sit through a class provided by teh school so they can know how the education settings will be. They need to know how big their classes will be and how effective it is for them (if its a big class are they going to be able to get as much out of it rather then a small class). I believe that you should let the student choose were they want to go rather then pushing them to go somewhere else. I feel like if the student wants to go somewhere then they are more likely to apply themselves more then at a place they don't want to be.

Mitch

Visit as many schools as possible. Once you have narrowed the search, talk with current and former students. I have learned that in most instances the administration will help you make the choice that is correct for you. It is important that you realize the magnitude of this decision. This locale will be your home for the next four years and your entire life will be impacted by your experience here. College is fun, but college is work; it is the "make or break" for what will become of your life. We are having fun now, living the Life of Riley, as they call it. But the reality of day-to-day living is right around the corner and what we do now will determine how we adjust to work, play, family and, well, life. My advice: choose your school wisely, enjoy yourself, but reap the benefits of the experience for the betterment of your future.

Mitchell

Most importantly, remember that these decisions will impact your entire future. Many times as young people, we only see the present, the here and now; focusing on the best "party" school, or where our friends are going to school. But selecting a college will be one of the most important decisions we will ever make. Most incoming freshmen have not decided what career they will pursue. As we begin our college studies, and mature into adults, our perception of classmates, friends, professors, and the world around us will begin to change as our world broadens and new experiences bring new ideas. Finding the college that will allow you to grow as an adult, while offering you the opportunity to learn is paramount.

Matt

College is an exciting time of life and it can be vastly different from anything you have ever experienced before. Parents: college is different now than it was many years ago. It is much more rigorous to get accepted and it is very easy to fail out before you know what is going on. Students: It can be difficult at first, but it just takes time to adjust. Sometimes people have to fail before they will learn - this was so in my case. Believe it or not, failing two classes my first semester taught me so much. It was a costly mistake that I will be paying for, but it was an eye-opener. Just because you did well in high school does not automatically guarentee your success in college. I firmly believe that if you put your mind to it, you can acomplish anything!

Loree

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a college, is to remember that it's ultimately your decision. You have to be ok with what you pick because it'll be where you call home and the people you meet there will soon become family. Disregard haughty reputations when picking a school, pay more attention to how comfortable you feel when you walk on campus or how intrigued you are by its course offerings and community involvement. Get your money's worth and go where you'll be happy.

Brad

Don't be magnetized by major universities, without getting a feel for how smaller colleges are first.

Lisa

Before choosing a school make sure to visit it. Talk to some students you see on campus and ask them about their experieces at the school. Look for a school that excells in your interests and values. To make the most of your experience do your work but make sure to get out and meet new people and have adventures with them.