Concordia University-Chicago Top Questions

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

Matt

I would give myself the advice to be more open to all people without judging them because you don't know there story and where they came from.

Justin

The advice I would give to myself would be to not go to Aurora University, as it was a waste of time, and I could have gone to Concordia much earlier. If I did, I would have a lot more friends.

Jasmine

If I could rewind to August 2008 , I would do a complete spin on my life. From the people I surrounded myself with to the classes I chose to take. The first thing I would have done differently is not take any study halls and retake classes that I previously got low grades in. I would come to class on time and not be complaceive. I gradguated with a 2.8 and could have had at least a 3.5, but I settled. Today, I am learning that being mediocre isn't good enough for me. I am ambitious and want to be the best person I am capable of being for myself and for my son. I want to expand my knowledge and if I ever fail, I want to try again and again until I get it right. I would have told my senior self that friends come and go, but your educational background is always permanent !

Aminat

If I could go back in time, i would tell myself to pay more attention in class, do my assignments and not to play around. Although i came to this realization late, i know if i had put in all my best. I would have been able to make a lot of difference academically, my grades would have been better and i would have been able to get admission to any school i wanted.

Natalie

All the energy you are spending worrying about boys (Denny included) is energy wasted. Do not worry about who you will spend your life with NOW. God has a plan for you, I promise. It looks much better from my perspective. Also, do not be afraid of Concordia's Lutheran tradition. Remember that you need to be open to listening to their beliefs as much as you think they need to be open to listening to yours. God has so much more for you than what you see now, and EVERYONE is trying to tell you that. Don't be afraid of being independent. You won't know how strong you are until you try it by yourself. Just TRY IT. And, heads up: pay attention to the mission work on the mission trip. Not Bryant.

Jacqueline

The advice I would give myself if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior about college would be, that I definitely need to concentrate more on my high school grades, instead of just always trying to have a passing grade. In high school everyone talks about needing to get good grades for college, but no one really puts much effort into it. All the students really just try to get a passing grade which is a C or a D. If I would have gotten better grades, I probably would have been able to attend a university instead of a community college. Now that i'm in college I have been striving to receive A's in classes, and so far i have succeeded. I find school very important and put much more effort in trying to get great grades.

Sandra

I would go back and tell myself that it is okay to let loose once in a while. Not everything has to be stone cold serious. I would have told myself that it is normal to let yourself have a little fun and not be afraid to procrastinate every so often.

Jennifer

I would have told myself that nothing is as important as maintaining good study habits. If you let yourself get behind than the homework and stress can consume you. I would also have told myself not to worry about roommates too much because I spent my entire summer worried about it even though it is relatively easy to switch roommates if it does not workout. I also would tell myself the benefits of going to the library for more than just getting resources, first semester I always did my homework in my room but there are to many distractions there and it was hard to focus. I now know that the library is my sanctuary when I really need focus and I feel more awake than in my own room. Ultimately I would remind myself not to stress over the small details because if I remember my homework, appointments, and deadlines and get everything done then it becomes a lot less of a task and I can schedule in a brake every now and then.

Amanda

I would tell myself as a high school senior knowing what i know now in my first quarter of college to take it seriously! When i was a senior I was simply so ready to graduate high school and be out of there that I didn't take very much of my school work seriously. College is so much different than high school and I honestly feel that I was not ready for it, but I was thrown into it anyway and forced to grow up fast. My high school also did not prepare me for college well because they tolerated many things that a college never would. I would push myself harder to do the best that I could instead of slacking off like i did. Although I didn't do my absolute best I am glad I enjoyed the time with my classmates while i still had it. All in all if I could talk to myself as a high school senior I would have kept my butt in line!

Cassandra

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. As a college junior I am very active on my college campus. I'm a Residential Assistant on a freshman floor, captain of a track team, and somewhere between all of that I work a babysitting job, and continue working on my elementary education degree. I arived on campus August 10, 2011 ready for a year full of challenges and adventures. Once my residents, freshman girls, started moving onto my floor I started to think back to what I would have loved to know when I was in their position. I believe the only thing that would have truly calmed me were the words from Jeremiah 29:11. Knowing that my story has already been writen and that I am just watching it unfold. And when things get rough to know that they are all part of the plan, my struggles will make me stronger, my acomplishments will bring me joy, and my time at Concordia will bring me memories that will last a lifetime.

Kristen

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give some advice on how to relax in school and enjoy the experience. I would tell myself to concentrate on trying to really learn the material being presented to me instead of just memorizing the facts for a test. Also, I would advise my past self to take a wide variety of classes since, often times, a person finds a new interest or even a career path simply by enrolling in a random class.

Felicity

Attending college has and continues to take me through new experiences. It has truly been a pleasure to have the opportunity to be able to attend an elite university. It has allowed me to prove to myself and others that anyone with motivation can do anything. I was born and raised in Palm Springs, California. I came from a lower income family, and as long as I can remember my family has always struggled financially. There have been many unfortunate events with my family and every experience I was put through turned me into the strong determined person I am today. College allowed me the perfect get away from my chaotic life with the family. Being so far away from home has taught me the meaning of true independence. I have learned to figure out my own financials and how to make it in life without needing my parents 24/7. Deciding to attend college in Chicago instead of California is truly an experience. At first it was a culture shock, but it has opened my eyes to new things. I am able to understand and grasp different aspects in others cultures.

Sara

I feel blessed to be attending SDSMT and I am studying hard for my Environmental Engineer degree. I am proud to be a good example for my children, to show them that one can change their situation to make a better future for themself at any age, through any hardships, and even with physical challanges. Also, learning about the sustainability of our earth and going to a school that values that has prompted me and my children to be more aware and contribute by recycling, growing plants and trees, conserving energy and water use, etc. I have learned to reach out to other students and professors for help with studies and appreciate the importance of networking. My children spend time at my school where they have met my professors, socialize and play games with students, enjoy their great food, and marvel at the emphasis that the school puts on "Green" living. Not only do I enjoy learning and have professional and personal goals that this schooling will help me to acheive (building my family a self-sufficient monolithic dome home), but my schooling has also opened up a whole new positive outlook on the future for myself and my children.

Devin

What I have gotten out of my college experience was to always have a back up plan an have a strong network because now a days it doesnt matter what school you went to or the grades you recieved while you were there, it's about the people you know and your plan for life. You have to have a strong network so when you need that job after college or just some connections in general, you have someone to call or have a referance because everyday it gets harder and harder and harder for people to get jobs that they want. I know a woman who has a assoicates, bacholers in two majors, and a masters and she still can't find a job, or a good one with the cridentials that she has and the worked that she has put in. She was a teacher in the city of Detroit, where I live and she got layed off. In that city, no teacher should be getting layed off, especially with her type of skill and knowledge but thats how hard getting a job is. Your back up plan you should have already planned since highschool.

Joy

My college experience thus far has taught me a lot about people in general; I have learned why they act the way they do at times, whether the actions are welcomed or rejected. I have learned not only about the behavioral part of others, but more importantly, I have learned--and continue to do so--that every individual has a story that ultimately explains their behavior. Most people overlook the "why" when an individual acts contrary to what they consider to be "correct." Perhaps they reasoned that people are simply "too different" to bother tolerating that particular individual, or maybe there is another reason. However, in my college experience, I have learned that people are not as different as they might seem; no one likes to feel alone, unloved or like a cast-out. That is why I have to say that my time at college was valuable and quite priceless.

Sanah

I have gotten a lot out of my college experience. It has taught me how to be independent and I have learned to see the world in a different way. Life can be like an adventure and if you don't learn how the world works, you can get eaten alive. It's like survival of the fittest. I learned that life isn't as easy as it seems. I feel this is very valuable to me because I wouldn't be who I am. Without the changes I have endured, I would not be as open-minded and as knowledgable as I am today. I'm glad I am lucky enough to have gotten the opportunity to learn more about our world today and how to survive it.

Mariana

At this point in my college career, I'd say that what I got out of my college experience is a sense of what it means to be independent. For instance, previously, I've never been concerned about money because everything I needed was provided for me. However, now, I have been seeking employment and gaining experience so that I would be able to pay for what I need on my own. Also, I enjoy spending time volunteering, spending time with friends and family, and other things that aren't academic or work related. Therefore, I realize that to really be able to be independent, I must be able to prioritize and manage my time.

Christina

I attend a community college in my area. When I first began school, I was young and didn’t realize the value of an education. I dropped out after three semesters. Time passed, my life continued to grow and I matured. I returned to school full-time with the idea of obtaining my Associate’s degree in Small Business Management and had no real intention of continuing my education beyond that point, fearing that I wouldn’t be able to handle the upper division course material. As I have progressed through my classes, I was honored to find that I made the Dean’s list every semester with a 3.0 or higher. Though I am in school full-time, I continue to serve in my home church ministries, work part-time and raise five children. I look at all that I have accomplished thus far and can sum up that I have done well. Through my accomplishments I have become more confident in my abilities to achieve more. If I had not returned to college to finish my Associate’s degree, I would not have gained the confidence in myself to continue on to obtain my Bachelor’s degree.

Alejandro

So far i have gotten alot out of my college experience. I have learned how to make friends and be helpful to all my peers. Playing on the soccer team for the university has helped me experienced a high level of competition. My freshman year has been very valuable to me. I have learned alot of new things while attending concordia university. The quality time that i get to spend with teachers really helps me be successful. I am content with the accessibility to all my teachers.

Magdalena

My college experience has been life changing! I earned the money needed to pay for the first semester by myself. This was the first time money was coming out of my own pocket for education. This meant that if I did not try my best I was only hurting myself and the hard work I had put in to get myself here. Knowing this, I had more motivation to work hard in my school work and extracurricular activities. My first year of college was also the first time I did not live with my family for a whole year. This meant that I was on my own. I did not have a curfew or set of rules that my parents could enforce because I lived under their roof. The feeling was both exhilarating and terrifying. I was responsible for my actions and had to rely on myself and my own conscience to know what was right and how to make the correct decisions. The whole experience was very valuable to me because I learned independence and what it meant to be an adult. I learned to rely on myself and my own willpower which made me strong as a person.

Joseph

The advice I would give to myself would be the following. The key to successful years in college life is not about grades or getting the most spectacular degree that will ensure a salary of six digit numbers. The true value of college life is WHAT I want to value during college life. I have one life to spend energy on, therefore I might choose something worthwhile in college so that I can look back and say, "I did not waste time." I should not put all my focus on, "Where will I get an education, what dorm should I choose, or I need that specific grade in order to continue my life." A person who has chosen a goal or degree he or she sees worth doing and spending every second, sweat, blood, and tear will always be happy. No matter what the obstacle, no matter the rejection letters, no matter what. If you are serious in getting a degree that will lead you to a career you find worthwhile then you have that drive to succeed in college life. That is WHAT you need to value. That drive that will take you to that ultimate goal and reality.

Holly

If I could go back in time to give myself advice about college, the main thing I would tell myself is to be active and try as many new things at the start as possible. Getting involved is a great way to establish a group of friends and helps make the campus more familiar. Granted I am not the shy type of person, but I would tell myself to stick to my gut instict because having faith in myself is the best modivation to try new things and do will at them. Also, even if the orentation events seem lame, try them because learning to laugh at myself early on will help to build confience in the future. All in all I just need to stay true to myself and trust that every part of my life up till now has prepared me for this and everything will be just fine, and deep down I always know it!

Elizabeth

Don't bring your intire closet. And make sure you are yourself, you were born an origanl don't die a copy.

Megan

Don't get discouraged about all the stuff going on at school. College is way different and everyone will accept you the way you are and be your friend. You will meet a lot of nice and friendly people and have a great college experience. You will meet some great professors that you will remember the rest of you life. Some of the classes will be very difficult but you will work hard and get through them and the ones you don't pass you will try again and work even harder next time. You will meet some great freshman friends your sophomore year and you will be a great help them. You will become a family and grow stronger everyday and build a bond that will last forever.

Alyssa

I would tell myself to do my research! College is a huge investment, of time and money, and ultimately helps define you as a person. Therefore where you go and what you study is a life changing decision. Take time and look at all your options, and most importantly make sure you give yourself options. Apply everywhere and anywhere you might possibly be interested in, that way you can see what you are offered and make your decision based on that. Also start applying as soon as you are able for scholarship and grants and any financial aid you can get your hands on. The most important thing is to take your time and pick a school that fits all of your needs as well as wants, because it is out there you just have to find it.

Matthew

I would tell myself not to worry so much. As a high school senior, I was very caught up in the pressures of finding a good school and picking a carreer. I would encourage myself to go to community college and explore the different fields at a reduced price so I could find my favorite major without feeling like i was wasting money. There is nothing to be afraid of, so I wish I hadn't worried so much about where I was going to end up. I am very happy with where I am now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I certainly couldv'e gotten here just the same with much less stress. So, past self, just relax. Things really will work out in the end.

Jocelyn

The most important advice I could give myself or anyone else would be to learn how to make friends. The friends you meet in college are far more important than your major and they will last a lifetime. Prepare yourself to get involved and meet new people. College will also force you to expand or even change your comfort zones. If the change is for the better, it is beneficial to make the change. Also be prepared to work more on your own. In college, there are not teachers and other faculty members always available to wait on you hand and foot. It is important to learn how to solve problems on your own and become an independent person.

Kimberly

Accept that you are learning maturity. This means two things: (1) you need to start growing up and (2) this is a process and you will mess up. This maturity frequently means doing what your mom would want you to do even though she isn't there to make sure you do it. Maturity needs to involve your whole life -- personal and professional. When one part of your life is hurting it will affect the other part, so be wise. Keep up with your work, but know when to say, "I've had enough." Build strong relationships with your friends, but know when to say, "I need to do my work." GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Everything suffers when you are exhausted. Finally, treasure this time. It is wonderful and it will be over far too soon.

Dallas

Hey Dallas...Dallas...DALLAS! Yes, you! Will you please look up from your homework for like two seconds? Listen to me, it's important. You've been working like crazy for four years, getting superb grades, taking AP courses, and studying like it's goin' out of style. Don't worry, you already know you're getting into college. You already know you're getting a scholarship. What you don't know is what an incredible ride you are about to step on to. You've lived with structure, a commute, dinner on the table, quiet house at night. Are you ready for this? For the 2am pizza runs? For the last-minute projects? For the standing ovations, heartbreaks, ultimate frisbee, girls' nights, and bake sales? How about the class discussions that spill out of the classrooms into the courtyard? The professors who become second parents? The moments when you realize that you are sitting in a classroom and learning exactly what you will be doing only a few short years from now? Are you ready? Here's my advice...brace yourself. Enjoy every moment, and remember everything. It's a crazy ride, hang on tight and love it all.

Tim

I would tell myself not to be so worried about the transition and to do my best to manage my time. Just because there's less hours in class and the campus is alive until 2am on a weeknight doesnt' mean that you have to stay up that late.

Erin

For parents and students, I would highly recommend before settling down on one college, to visit all of the ones you are interested in, and ask many questions. Do not merely choose a college based off of a brochure or where your friends or parents want you to go. This is the time to pick what is going to be right for YOU as a student. Your parents may have loved their alma mater, but that doesn't mean that that particular college or university is going to have what you want and need to succeed. So talk to faculty and staff, meet current students and ask all of the questions you can think of, to get a good understanding of what each school is like. Consider the surrounding city and area, the climate, and types of extra curricular activities you want to participate in. Remember, this is YOUR future, the next 2-4 years (or more) of your life. Pick what fits best with you. Take advice from ones close to you, but let the decision of where you are going to college be your own. Don't forget that you are picking your your future experiences as well.

Carmen

Trust Jesus

Andrew

I would suggest researching a variety of colleges that offer a well rounded program for whichever area of interest you are going to pursue. When your choice is made, get involved on campus. There are many people who are in the same "boat" as you are whether it be a first year college student or a transfer from another college. Most people are very friendly and as anxious as you may be to make friends. Enjoy .

Alexandra

Definitely pray about it! God already has the college picked out for you! In order to make the most of your college experience, make as many friends as you can during your first year and get involved!

Lauren

When looking for a college to go to, don't choose one just because your best friend is going there or because the weather is nice, try to pick a school that you feel you will be the most successful at. Visit as many schools as you can before or while your applying to them. Look for schools that have a lot of variety just in case your major changes. Small schools are really not that bad, they give students a more personal experience with their teachers and more one on one time. Remember Financial aid is your friend, take advantage of it! To make the most of your college experience, try to get involved in a sport or club. If your school is in a warm climate or its just a nice day outside try to bring your studies outside, its a good way to meet new people.

Andrew

In order to find the right college, take a broad look at all types of colleges: Public/Private, Big/Small, Urban/Rural, Close/Far from hom. This will give you a good idea of what you like so you make the right choice the first time. Visit days are a great time to visit a college, but they are also one sided as the college has planned for guests. Therefore, try to go on a random day, and spend some time looking at the campus without a guide. To make the best out of your college experience, make sure you pick a school you'll feel comfortable with. It is also best to be at a school where your major will fit in with others, so you can expect like-minded people among the diversity.

Laura

I think that in order to find the right college, you need to do a lot of research and have a clear plan of what exactly you want to do with your life once you graduate. You should have in mind the type of atmosphere that fits your personality best, and remember how each visit made you feel. Sitting in on classes and talking to current students at the school is also key to finding a good fit. Taking all these components into consideration will help you make the right choice for your college education. College is what you make it to be. If you have a bad attitude, you won't have fun. You need to be constantly open to new opportunities while still making time for homework. Fun can happen anytime if you are open to it! Just don't slack off and become lazy, or things could go downhill fast.

Ashley

Selecting a college is fun and exciting! Parents and students need to remember to not rush a decision. They need to take their time and allow for different options. Another suggestion is to make the decision a team effort between parent and student. College is a huge step not only for the student, but also for the parent, and they deserve to help in the decision making process of selecting a school. When narrowing down schools, the best way to make a decision is to visit the campus. Stay the night with a student, and follow them to their classes. This will help you really get the feel for the school itself. When finally deciding, feel confident on the decision. To make the most of the college experience, the best thing to do is to get involved. Colleges have so many different clubs or groups that you can join. By joining one or more of these groups, you will be introduced to new people. Friends are so important during college. The friends you make now, most likely will be friends for life.

Jose

Figure out what you want to do in life, and what interests you. Don't look at what everybody else is doing. Don't go to a party school. Look for scholarships, and grants.

Brittan

Every college or university is looking for a student that will be an asset inside the institution and out. This is the way that potential students have to present themselves to be taken seriously. The best thing a potential student can do is to figure out their path and then present themselves as determined, driven, passionate, and ready individuals. It is this way that a student will have the ability to choose between several different universities. It is much better for the universities to be after a student that they see good potential in than a student having to fall back on their last choice because of wasted opportunity. Once the student has chosen the university they want to attend, not only will they have a better success rate, but they will more likely be able to take advantage of the opportunities that a college or university offers. One thing I've learned the most about college is that I have to fight to get my tuition's worth and the more ready and willing a person is the more they will get out of their education.

Andrew

Go to community college to fill pre-requisits because it is cheap and it would also be a place where one would be able to better determine what they want in their degree.

Julia

Every student has to juggle the aspects of location, price, activities offered, and relationships when determining where to go to college. There are steps that can be taken to clearly see both the positive and negative results of selecting a school. Ways to achieve this clarity can come through researching the college, talking with past alumni, and making list with the pros and cons from the information that has been collected. By using the internet to get student reviews, looking at the college's website, and by taking a campus tour, and talking with guidance counselors, a person can begin to see if each college offers the degree and social life that is desired. Insights from alumni can also give the student an insider?s view to the entire college experience, including how to make friends, budget expenses and handle the course work. Finally, by organizing the information collected in a way that displays pros and cons, a person can see if a certain college has what they need to reach their goals and create the memories that they want for years to come.

Elise

In order to find a college best suited for you, you need to find one that has a program that caters to your needs. If you know what you want to do with your future, you can apply to colleges that specialize in certain areas. If you do not yet know what your career path will be, a liberal arts college will do fine until you discover what it is you are most passionate about. Another important thing to look for in colleges is the campus and class size. While a large school is perfect for some, others will feel more comfortable in a smaller school. It all depends on where you would feel most at home. In order to make most of the college experience, I would strongly recommend living on campus for at least your first year. Living with people allows you to get to know them much better, and you will build stronger bonds. I would also suggest an on-campus or close to campus job with a few hours a week. Finally, try to balance homework with free time, as both are important. You need a social life but you also cannot forget about academics.

Liz

I would advise fellow students and searching students to research and visit as many schools as posible. Look at schools in the type of environment you would like to live and work. Don't just throw out a school because someone else says its no good or go to a school because someone else is going there. Search for yourself.

Kirsten

Find the school that fits YOU best. Not your parents, your friends, or even your potential major. Yes, those things are all important, but the school is where you will be going for the next four plus years, you need to be one-hundred percent comfortable in the environment.

Cindy

The advice that I would give students on choosing the right college is to go visit as many colleges that they would consider attending and see what they have to offer in regards to academics, sports, student life and how well the school seems to fit your needs. I think that choosing the right school you have to be sure when you do go vist make sure you feel comfortable being there and that they offer the program of study that you wish to go into. Don't go to a school that you don't feel that great about because it's going to be four years of your life that you'll be there. In making the most of your college experience make sure that you participate in groups, organizations and activities that are of interest to you so that you can make friends and feel like a part of the school family. Be sure that the school you choose to go to gives it's best effort in making your college experience the best. For parents I say let your child chose you don't want to choose for them and have them hate their college experience.

Sarah

I was accepted to many colleges, but I was narrow-minded when it came to selecting my school. I knew I wanted to play two sports, and I knew I wanted to go into education, which my school was well-known for. I never even went to another campus to check out what they might have to offer! Prospective students need to take time to visit each campus they might be even slightly interested in. New students might even find it helpful to ask around when they visit campuses. Current students will almost always give a truthful answer about the housing, the amount of on-campus activities, off-campus activities, jobs, ministries, and clubs or programs that they might like to belong to, and overall college experience.

Josh

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Robert

College is a place that students can be stimulated to grow in knowledge, friendship and personal skills. When looking for a college do not just look for the cheapest or the best academically, but I would encourage you to find one that has a relational atmosphere. If this is the case then you will see that academically they are great and that they will be willing to help you financially no matter the cost. In a school that is relational you will find that the Professors and Teachers care about the students and other faculty members. With that atmosphere you will find the enviroment is academically stimulating. So search for a place based on their care and love, and the enviroment created by students, faculty and staff and there you will find the college that will provide the best education; the college of your dreams. Blessings on your search for a beautiful college. Thanks for your time.

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