Calvin College Top Questions

What should every freshman at Calvin College know before they start?


If I could give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to be open. Calvin College is incredibly diverse, so there are people from all over the world with different cultures and opinoins that one is exposed to. Coming from a small suburb of Chicago, I was never exposed to a diverse group of people. When I came to Calvin, I was able to step back and expand my worldview. Calvin offers so many opportunities to get to know others and hear differnt opinions that one can learn a lot from being here, I have.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would inform myself that even though college is scary, it will become my home. I would reassure myself to take deep breaths and know that it will all work out. The people are friendly, the food isn't bad, and I won't be judged by the way I look. I'd tell myself to walk into it with the biggest smile on my face and with my heart on my sleeve. I'd advise myself to be way more outgoing and to accept everyone for who they are. Most importantly, I would tell my high school self that she is beautiful and that she is loved because being insecure will prevent you from being who you truly are.


I would tell myself to figure out my career path and stick with it. The challenge of college is that there are too many options for you to pursue and each time you switch your major you are wasting money. I would also encourage myself to work as much as possible the year before college in order to have fewer loans. Another piece of advice would be," Do not go in thinking you know everything, because you will be proven wrong". Make many friends and do not expect your roommate to be your best friend. Be confident and do things that you believe are important . Also, do not let others like advisors or classmates deter your career path, if you are set in a career than stick with it. Speak up in class and chat with a professor because recommendations will become important. There can be many set backs, but as long as you have a goal in mind then fight your hardest to achieve it. Sometimes living away from home can be brutal, so keep in touch with family and friends. If you are struggling use all the academic resources avaliable and/or minimize your class load.


Keep looking ahead an see who you are becomming. You can’t live to your fullest until you let go of what’s holding you back. There’s a lot to learn and a TON to experience. Take courage and walk ahead into a new phase of your life. It’s full of challenges and struggles, but it is also full of great experiences, opportunities, and sheer FUN!! 1. Stay true to yourself – It’s easy to let others shape you or to become who you think others will like, but stay YOU! 2. Experience outside of a classroom – Get out and do something you thought you’d never do or might be uncomfortable doing. Get involved on campus! 3. Be willing to alter your opinions – You will be challenged and will run into situations that will really test what you thought before. Take all opinions into account and learn to change for the better. 4. Study – But don’t stress about getting everything perfect right away. You’re going to do fine. 5. And don’t forget to eat and sleep! Don’t be afraid to jump into the unknown…you never know what you might discover.


Overwhelmed. Nervous. Hesitant. Terrified. Those are words and familiar feelings I know are flooding your brain as you make this next step into a new season. But don't be afraid: college is NOT like high school. Sure, you will still find jerks and partiers and people trying to cheat their way to the top. But that life doesn't have to be for you if you don't want it. People here are serious about their future, and want mature friendships that last a lifetime. Professors want to give you individual help or simply just chat and get to know you. The upper classmen aren't looking at you like a little freshman to devour; they want to support you and treat you as an equal. This is your chance to take chances and really live life to the fullest before you are truly an adult in the real world and things are 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} your responsibility. Take advantage of the relationships, activities and the world of opportunities you're offered, and Don't. Look. Back.


I would tell myself “ Listen life starts once you get that diploma. This isn't the most important time in your life. You won't remember 99{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of these people. Don't be so eager to graduate while not making any plans for college. I know you think you want to take a couple years off but don't, its not worth it. When you get to college, organization is so important. Don't think you can be successful with doing what you're doing now. Stop wasting time, you never know when adult life creeps in and you have more responsibilities. Think of college as the gateway to everything you’ve ever wanted, but never could afford. Think of college as a way out of electricity being cut off,living check to check, and living in shelters. Look at your mother as an example of what happens when you don't take college seriously. Yes she did the best that she could, but she spent her college years having babies. Make better decisions than that. You have a chance to change the next generation. Stop accepting mediocrity and take a step towards excellence.


Don't ignore your instincts. Follow your heart. Listen to that inner voice, it is God changing directions in your life. Enjoy every aspect of college life, it goes by way to quick. Take a lot of pictures. You'll need them later to remember who is who and why they were important in this time of your life.


Do not take drugs or drink too much, associate with those students who are pursuing success, and balance fun and school work. Of all the people in the world, about 10{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} will not like you, no matter what you do. So, be true to your convictions, and accept the fact that there are some people that will not like you. Start saving money for college because your parents will not always be there. Follow your heart. Do what you love. Don't just look for jobs that pay the most money. In order to be happy you must find your purpose. Knowing your purpose will help you survive the most difficult time you will ever go through. College is not life. Life is what happens after college. Take what you learn in college into your real life, but be willing to toss out what college taught you in favor of what works.


When I look back at myself as a high school senior--loaded down with AP classes, fretting about which college to go to, and worrying about the future while trying to enjoy my last year of high school--I wonder how I can have learned so much in just one short year. I've learned plenty of lessons the hard way, such as the importance of sleep and the necessity of actually reading the textbook once in a while. Other things, such as how great it is to get to know your professors, or the wonders of a united dorm floor, took longer to learn. If I could go back in time, I might reiterate these lessons to my high school self. But when I think about it, people did tell me those things. I had plenty of advice to work with, but certain lessons can only be learned through experience. A huge part of college life is making mistakes, then growing and maturing through them. Perhaps the only advice I'd give myself would be: Stop worrying. Don't take life too seriously. Live one day at a time, trust God, and don't be afraid to make mistakes.


Never pretend to be somebody that you’re not. A lot of people come to college with this idea of starting over fresh by trying to become somebody else, but they end up burning out after a few weeks. Don't be afraid to have confidence in yourself. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect on your first day of college. You won't remember the name of everyone you meet, but neither will anyone else. Every freshman is in the exact same situation that you are, everybody is nervous on that first day. Just breathe, and remember who you are. People will like the real you a lot more than than person you think everyone wants you to be.