The winters in Rhode Island are fairly normal for anyone who has grown up in the northeast, but coming from Texas, they definitely took some getting used to. My advice if you're from a warmer climate is to stock up on clothes that you can layer (tanks under long-sleeved shirts under sweaters under jackets, etc.), winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves, etc.), and invest in a good coat and snow shoes. Oh and rain boots too. Spring - and even fall - can be pretty rainy. That being said, fall and spring are gorgeous on campus and even winter has its unique beauty (think sunny days when everything is covered in fresh powdered snow). Another interesting thing about Bryant is the amount of group work we do in classes. Expect to be assigned group projects pretty much from day one. Around 80-90% of the classes I've taken in my four years have involved some sort of group work. This is meant to help prepare students for real-world work environments in which teamwork is very common. Sometimes group projects can be annoying and tedious, but looking back I can definitely see how they have helped me to grow as a person and learn to work well with all different kinds of people in groups. Other than that, get ready to have a lot of fun and work your butt off for the next 4 years! Every college experience has its ups and downs, and Bryant is no different. But in the end it will all be worth it, and you'll be looking back and wondering where the time has gone. So soak it up and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.
I have experienced many different situations and moments that have truly helped me in developing my character and shaping me into the person I am today. My experiences have truly been some of the best in my life. I have met some outstanding people that have made me want to push myself and accomplish things I've never thought of accomplishing being a first generation college student after first moving to this country from the Dominican Republic. My professors helpfulness, the great friends Ive met, the valuable resources and tremendous service learning experiences traveling to New Orleans, Dominican Republic and other states across the country with my Rugby team, Have all truly been the building blocks to my development. They have all taught me very different lessons but keeping the same goal and focus in mind of pushing mysef to be the best I can be and in helping other along my journey making it an even more rewarding experience along the way. So, what exactly have I received from my college experience....EVERYTHING! It was a small school in Smithfield, RI but the best 4 years of my life.
I would highly recommend that students do research into what type of college they want to attend. Whether it be a liberal arts school or a school thats focused more on business or science. The second most important step to take would definatley be to visit the campuses of the schools you choose. You should also look into their resident life department to see if you could spend a day with a student to get a feel for the life on campus. For the parents to feel comfortable with their investment in college they also need to do research into the opportunities that a school can offer their child. The financial aid benefits and career assistance are two of the biggest factors they should focus on. Also, if they like, they should take a look at the housing on campus to see if it is worth the investment. Finally, both student and parent need to sit down and write a list of pros and cons for each school to make sure they can narrow down an appropriate list. If both parent and student can agree on most of these levels I've mentioned it will be easy to choose.
Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, advice that I would give myself as a high school senior would consist of knowing how to balance classes, building a schedule that would allow ample time for myself to get all of my work completed in a timely fashion, and choosing classes that would focus specifically on my field of work. Balancing classes would be important for me to do so that I would not overwork myself and carry more classes than I could handle at one time. I would explain that having a healthy amount of rigorous and light classes is important for allowing myself time to complete all of my work so that I would not have to "crunch" (try to cram a lot of work in a short period of time) to get everything done on time. Finally I would explain that the significance of selecting classes that concentrate primarily on my desired field of work so that I graduate with my desired degree in the field I want most. For me, it is better to be a master of something than to be a jack of all trades and a master of nothing.
College is everything you dreamed it would be, and nothing like you expected. Keep reaching for your highest goals, dreams and aspirations. When people see your dedication, drive and focus they will go out of their way to help you. Go for the school of your dreams. If it's a true fit, they'll be honored to have you. The same thing goes for jobs, internships and scholarships. Don't date freshman year. This is a time in your life to work on YOU. Practice learning about and loving yourself before you try to learn about and love anyone else. You will make close friends in TIME. Don't worry if you don't find "the ones" right away. Be patient, keep reaching out, and they will find you. When you go through some really challenging times your loved ones (family and close friends) are going to help you pull through them. You will find ways to pay for college. Just keep working at it; where there's a will, there's a way. Do what scares you (in a good way). Never underestimate yourself. Remember that life is a journey so try to enjoy the ride. Have Fun!
The most important thing about finding the right college is to know exactly what you want. It is vital to know the general attritubes of the school you are looking for such as location, areas of studies, and size. Once you discover what you want in those variables, it is easy to gather a list of schools.. After the schools are selected a visit is a must so you can get a glimpse of the colege life on that campus and how it caters to your own needs. You need to make sure that you are extremely satisfied with the school and to address any problems you have before you make a decision. Another way to get a first hand glimpse of the school is to talk to someone who is either an alumni or current student. Make sure they are not trying to sell the school to you but are being genuine. Once you decide on your school you need to make the best of it by getting involved. I made the mistake of distancing myself from extra-curricular activities but when I joined a campus group (a fraternity) it made my college experience far more rewarding.
If I could go back in time nad prepare myself for the challenging academics at Bryant University I would. I would warn myself to keep in mind the amount of work heading my way and to brace myself because it is completely different than my experience in high school. I would also tell myself to be more open and and to let my guard down. For the first semester of my freshman year it was diffcult for me to make friends because the transition and the workload overhwlmed me. I stayedto myself and didn't make much friends at all. I would tell myself to let go a bit and to allow myself to balance both a social life and an academic life. Lastly, I would tell myself to save up money for books because they are very expensive. It has alwas been difficult for me at the beginning of each semester because the books are expensive and my financial aid usually does not cover all of the tuition. Saving money through out the year helps me save for the tuition that my aid does not cover and also for the books I need. I just hope I listened!
I love Bryant University and I never imagined myself wanting to stay at school through breaks. The students and teachers make this experience great and I learn a lot from everyone else there. It is a small school so I get individual attention and teachers are willing to sit down with me and explain material I do not understand in the classroom. I have learned the value of hard work and good grades. In high school, I never had to do homework or study much to get good grades, but in college, it is different. It is very challenging and I spend most of my time on school work. It is all worth it in the end because I made the Dean's list and I am proud of the work I do. Not only do I spent time on work, but I also spend time making new friends and enjoying the whole college experience. Having friends down the hallway that I can see at any time makes me have to manage my time and not waste it. It has been very valuable to attend college because I am learning more than I did in high school and becoming independent.
I would tell myself that college is a very different lifestyle and although you might think your study habits are sufficient from highschool there are serious adjustments you will have to make. There is a much greater amount of free time that you will be tempted to waste. The workload is less but the tests are worth a greater amount so it is vital that you prepare well for the tests and not just cram the information in the night before because you WILL NOT get the grades you got in highschool by doing this. The library is a useful place to study and is probably not somewhere you are used to going but it will benifit you even if its only for an hour everyday. The resources that colleges offer are very reliable and should be taken advantage of in order to get the most out of your college experience. Do not think that you can go out to parties when you have class the next day even if all of your work is finished. Your learning after a night of drinking and staying out late is not the same.
The advice I would give to parents and/or students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is to definately go with you gut feeling when you visit a campus. If thats difficult then try to cut down your possibilities to 3 main choices. From there give each school a score out of 10 based on your needs for size, location, and distance from home. Then take the college that scores the highest overall. If their is another major decision other than those 3 factors, then factor that in as well. This should make it a lot easier to realize what you truly want for your ideal college. In making the most of the college experience the best advice would be to just get involved on and off campus. When you get involved you begin to prepare yourself for the real world and you also will meet so many new people and make a lot of friends. When you have both real world experiences and a good chunk of friends, then everything else should just fall into place!