College of the Atlantic Top Questions

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


Before you leave, make sure you have packed the essentials - plenty of clothes, snacks (because you will be hungry at odd times and often you won't have the energy to cook), and most importantly, quarters! Quarters are essential for doing laundry at college, so bring extra in case you need to loan your roommate some. If she doesn’t pay you back, well, you know where she sleeps... Also, you can't live on instant oatmeal and ramen during the weekend. Bring ingredients for pizza, pancakes, bread, cookies – you get the idea. Be prepared to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. They might be expensive, but they are good for you. Oh, and keep a stash of dark chocolate for emergencies. Once you are at college, remember to get plenty of sleep so you won't doze off in class. Take notes and ask your professor for help if you don’t understand something. Have other people read your essays and papers before submitting them - you will always miss some tiny but embarrassing error. When you are studying, take breaks occasionally, but don’t procrastinate, and NEVER leave things until the last minute. All-nighters are bad for your health.


II have only been attending this college for a month now and thus far I have met some of the most eccentric people that I hope to know and understand better for years to come. The teachers here are unlike any I have encountered throughout my educational experience. The classes are exceptionally engaging. The atmosphere of the school is extremely warm and inviting. It is small enough to get the individualized attention you crave and the open discussions are endless. I have learned that it is always acceptable to share my thoughts and opinion and that I will never be criticized for the way I perceive things. I am enlightened every day in and out side the classroom. To be reminded that my mind is creative and I can do whatever I wish is so refreshing. Everyday when I walk outside, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such magnificent beauty. I have the ocean in front of me and mountains behind me. What could be better than that?


I have learned that education can be fun, creative and interesting as well as informative and useful. I learn because I have a desire to and I know my classes can be applied to the path I choose in life.


Do what you want to do because out of this whole experience that is what you did best! However, make sure to tell your friends you love them! They are the most important people in the world, and you know how much they mean to you! Give Kim and Kelly a break...get to know them. There's a reason why your best friends are dating them. Tell Kenny to reach for the stars. Tell Caleb I respect him. Tell Jessie I love her spunk. Tell Ben he gives the best hugs. After you get to see a new part of the world, you're going to realize just how lucky you are to have those people in your life. Keep in touch with them and let them know how important they are to you. You would never be standing here if it weren't for their love and support; let them know it. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay surrounded by those loving friends, because even though it sounds corny, you'll be able to take on anything with them.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would tell myself to not only choose schools by academic programs offered and to do overnight visits at the schools I wanted to attend to make sure they were really the best fit for me. I made this mistake my senior year of high school which resulted in spending a long, unhappy year at a very large state institution - the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I corrected this mistake by transferring to the College of the Atlantic (COA) at the beginning of my sophmore year. I decided to transfer to COA because I felt it was the best fit for me not only academilly, but socially, intellectually, and environmentally and because it was the only school that promoted a real sense of community. The evidence of the existence of a caring community was clear during my two overnight visits to College of the Atlantic as was the close student-teacher bonds COA is known for. I wish I had considered these things when applying to schools as a high school senior.


If I could go back and tell myself anything that I now know about college and life I would remind myself to slow down and enjoy the experience more. I would tell myself that college life is a wonderful experience that I will only have one shot at and I would plan more in advance for extra activities to be involved in as well as learning to meet new people. I would like to go back and tell myself that the transition from high school to college life, while scary at times, it is worth it all in the end. I would tell myself to be more excited and not worry about things as much because in the end it all works out as it should. Overall, I would simply tell myself that college is only the first step to a wonderful time in my life and to enjoy every second knowing that I am fully prepared to take it on!