Cornell University Top Questions

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

Eno-obong

I have gotten a lot of education that I could have not possibly imagined

Ellie

Personally, I believe the most rewarding part of my college experience has been more extracurricular in origin than anything else. Before attending Cornell, I was immensely worried that I wouldn’t find my place at such a prestigious school, seeing as I am not considered an extraordinary student academically by Ivy League standards. Yet almost immediately during my freshman year I came to realize that it’s not academic records that define Cornellians, it is the things they do outside of schoolwork that makes them unique. Cornell opened my eyes to an array of issues surrounding the globe that I would not have been exposed to otherwise. Since my freshman year I have been involved with an anti-malaria organization on campus that saves hundreds of lives each year simply by recruiting volunteers and fund-raising year round to purchase bed nets. Being a part of this organization has given me a new outlook on life, one which encompasses the idea that education should be used to help others as well as yourself. There is no doubt in my mind that choosing to attend Cornell has made me a better, more caring person and for that I truly feel blessed.

Olivia

I have grown up. My parents are what I consider over protective, of course, this describes almost all parents. In high school, I would try to find ways to rebel and rarely was successful in my attempts. When I did get around them, I only ended up learning that they had their reasons for saying no. With one year of college under my belt, I find myself saying, "No, not tonight," to some parties and invitations. I am responsible for the work I do, representing my parents, taking care of myself, and working towards my future. I now appreciate my youth as time seems to be moving so fast. Life is more in prospective because Cornell forces me to live one day at a time. College has also improved my social life tenfold. In high school, I drifted from group to group with no foundation of people I could always turn to. I felt different and thought differently about certain issues. At Cornell, I have found great friends and good conversation. The campus is filled with interesting individuals so thoughts run the spectrum of creativity. I have found my place in a sense.

Josephine

I've gotten to know really interesting people who teach me as much as the professors do. It's been challenging, but I've also had to learn how to take on responsibility for myself. The start of college is almost like a clean slate. Especially at Cornell, no one else knows much about my past, so the person that I present to them is the one that they'll know from now on. It's very interesting to see the kind of person you really are when you're stripped of your usual surroundings and comforts. It reveals much of who you truly are and what you're capable of.

Elizabeth

I've met a number of wonderful and engaging people here and I feel that I have learned the skills that I need to succeed in life.

Lyla

Leadership experience, a great education, access to more resources than I would have had at any comparable university. A great town to live in.

Levi

I have gotten a good education and I have receaved a good oppurtinity to improve my life. I have learned new things about me, for example the best way that I learn. I learn best when I can go at mostly my own pace and have oppurtunities to receacve help if I need it. But the biggest thing I have gotten out of my college experience is the sense of freedome that I have. I get to choose what classes I want to take and I can pick my own area of study.

Corinne

Tick, tock. The clock droned mercilessly for months as I waited with bated breath to find out if my dream college would accept me. After receiving my acceptances, I paced relentlessly until the deadline, torturing myself with options. One year later, I am happily flourishing at a college that I did not expect to attend. I traveled 3,000 miles, leaving behind my close-knit family and friends. Now, I am happy at my school because I earned my place there. I am carving my own path as a distinct person. Don?t choose a college for prestige, location, or friends. Pick the college that you feel will make you happy and celebrate your choice. Once at school, talk to every person imaginable and smile at each person who walks by. School is more rewarding when you have friends to share your triumphs and sorrows. Time will fly quickly, so don?t regret the past. Soak in every experience. Squeeze knowledge out of every professor. Your choice of school will not shape your life, but your attitude will, so treat college as an dventure. Surround yourself with interesting people. Explore what makes you different. Experiment with creating your own destiny!

Michael

Dear Michael, If you thought high school was fun, then you'll love Cornell! Even though you'd eventually adjust without my advice (emphasis on "eventually"), there are a few things that you should know if you want to make the most out of your college experience. First, improve your study habits; I know that you're smart, but Cornell is tough and you won't be able to enjoy your college experience if you're always worried about low grades. Second, triple major. Seriously. 3 majors is the most you can finish in 8 semesters and I know that you're interested in more than just psychology (how about history and sociology?). If you're making your parents pay 40k+/year, do more with your time. Which brings me to my third tip: always make time for friends. Your improved study habits will make this easy; the adventures you have with your friends will be more meaningful than anything you do in class (provided that your GPA stays ABOVE 3.0!:)). Finally, no girlfriends until senior year; girlfriends = less time/opportunity for new experiences and self-discovery. Enjoy yourself, man. I know I did. Sincerely, Your future self

Kathryn

Before I left home to attend college my parents made sure that I knew how to do the basic things necessary to take care of myself. I knew how to do my laundry, how to set and wake-up to an alarm clock, and how to call home as often as I needed, even if this meant every day. I made sure that I knew how to take care of myself academically, being well-versed in the ways of studying, but my transition was still difficult because I had not yet learned the subtle art of time-management. If given the opportunity to go back in time to advise myself about transitioning to college life, my advice would center on time-management. In college you spend less time in class and have more free time that needs to be used wisely. I would share how to budget my time such that studying takes priority, getting the attention it needs, and such that I have time to enjoy with my friends . Perhaps most importantly, I would advise myself to take time alone to relax to prevent becoming overwhelmed by all the other demands and responsibilities of life as a student.

Eric

If I could go back and talk to my high school self, I would first exlpain how college is not what you expect. I would tell myself that even though few people know each other, not everyone will be excited to meet new people. That's not saying, though, that college isn't great. There are plenty of opportunities to meet people and have fun, but they're not always obvious; sometimes you have to go looking for them. Another thing I would tell myself is to really consider what you are looing for in a school and what various schools have to offer. And don't wait untill the last minute for those applications, as some of them take longer than you might think. Don't be dissapointed if you get rejected; there are plenty of good schools out there, and you don't know if your dream school would have been a perfect fit in reality. Stay positive and don't go against your gut or your convictions, even if it means not fitting in in certian circles. There are plenty of people at any college who think like you, so don't be afraid to meet people.

Scott

I'd say "Don't worry, about a thing. 'Cause every little thing's, gonna be alright." -Bob Marley

Kimberly

What if the classes are too hard? What if I don't make any friends? What if I get home sick? What about roommates? Can I do it? Going to college is a huge change in ones life and if I could go back in time there are definitely a few bits of advice I would give myself. The first thing I would say is not to be so nervous! Most colleges have special housing just for freshmen so the transition is easier. I would also say; YES, IT IS GOING TO BE HARD! But you?ll do JUST FINE! I would remind myself that I?m a hard worker who has never given up and should have no reason to think I would do so now. I would say, yes, you will get homesick, but you'll get through it; remember that you're not alone and that no matter how far they are you're family loves you. Also, you WILL have problems with your housemate nevertheless, be yourself and it will pass. You will make TONS of friends who will help you through the awkward times. I would mostly emphasize that school is demanding but not unmanageable.

Brianna

I would offer myself the following pieces of advice... Apply for scholarships Keep deadlines in mind Utilize student services And most of all, RELAX! These are truly the most important aspects of a smooth transition from high school to college. I have been in college for a short time and I have already learned so much, not just intelectually, but also about myself. I have learned that there is an entire world after high school and the key aspect of living that life to the fullest is to be as happy as possible. While I was in high school I could never get past the competative aspect of everything. I wanted to be the best and most involved. That, however, is not what I know to be important now. Now that I am in college I know that what is truly important is being brave enough to admit that what others expect of you, and even sometimes what you expect of yourself, is not the right path for you. While pleasing others can be tempting, being happy and fulfilled is far more important.

Daniel

The first thing that I would tell myself is how important time management is. Time management is a major reason why I have been successful in college. Time management is so important because of the new freedom that a person gets when they start college. Time management is also a factor in what I would tell myself next. I would also tell myself not to wait until the last minute to work on my assignments. One way that college is different than high school is that in college the professors assign homework assignments and give you a week or more to do them. Most students wait until the day before to start their assignments so they are rushed and therefore do not do as well as they could have done if they would have started on it when it was assigned. Another thing that I would tell myself is to make sure that I stay organized. I was not organized at all in high school and I still managed to do very well. When I started college I quickly realized that organization would be a key factor in my success.

Kaylie

Kaylie, you are a hard-working, kind-hearted young lady who is happiest doing a variety of activities. I know you swore that you will focus solely on academics your first semester of college. For most people that is what they need but Kaylie you don't need that. Don?t force yourself to be someone you aren?t by taking away what really matters to you-building relationships and helping people. You'll still struggle with classes and at times feel like you?re failing; you will have to work harder than you ever have in your life too, and at the end of that first semester you?re going to be disappointed in your grades and your GPA because you hold yourself to a very high standard. Just know this: that number, your GPA, can never truly reflect how hard you had to work to stay in the college of your dreams. Do not let that number define you or all that you have accomplished. As long as you stay true to whom you are and your values while working hard and enjoying your college experience you have truly succeeded?and that?s the greatest achievement of all.

Laura

Forget everything you've ever been told about what you need and what college is. Take a moment and breathe. Ask yourself who you are and what you want. Don't panic if you don't know the answers -- a main component to the college experience is self discovery. It is so easy to get caught up in the statistics and the rankings, but that may not be what is truly important to you. Only you can know what will make you happy, so try and put the rest on mute and listen to yourself. It sounds corny, but its true. Do what will make you happy.

Whitney

Don't forget to define yourself - know who you are. All throughout high school, I had the sort of friends that took me years to find, but who, to this day, form a tightly-knit group that I would hate to ever see fall apart. When I entered college, I was unsure of where to put myself - how to relate to people who don't know even the first thing about me, except that I'm just another one of the many freshman who happens to be in the engineering school. The first few days, I felt truly unsure of what I was doing, at this university with so many brilliant and engaging people. I racked my brains desperately, wondering how the heck I wound up finding the amazing friends I found in high school. I started to realize that my tendencies were to be more withdrawn, chosing to read a book in my room rather than go downstairs to the lounge. In turn, I started making friends in class, sitting with random people at meals, and making an effort to get to know the other people in my hall. The rest will come in time.

Jake

I would give no advice. Life is best when lived blissfully and unironically.

Jjais

If given a chance to speak with the high school senior version of me I would advise ?acknowledge your fear of failure, but try anyway.? It took me the majority of my college career to recognize that I had purposely overcommitted myself to multiple extracurricular activities as a way of ensuring I never had enough time to dedicate to my academics. By allowing myself just enough time to pretend to study, I could convince myself that had I actually put the necessary time into studying I would have surely earned an ?A? rather than that ?B?s? that adorned my transcript. Secondly, I would stress the fact that asking for help does not make one weak much like not asking for it does not give one strength. While I had no problems asking for help in an academic setting, when it came to my organizations I believed I had to do everything myself instead of delegating tasks to other competent members of the executive board. Thus every semester I would be off to a great start then my midterm grades would remind me that by trying do everything by myself I was just hurting myself and my GPA.

Eric

After graduating from high school I came into college with complete confidence that I would continue to perform at the top of my class. What I failed to take into consideration, was that everyone coming to this school performed at the top of their class. When coming to college you are longer competing with a small pool of students from a particular zoning district. You are now competing with some of the brightest students in the world, and depending on your personality, this can become quite stressful. You cannot come to college and compare how successful your experience is, or is going to be by comparing yourself to those around you. Instead I would suggest that you just do your absolute best, and try as hard as possible. To avoid depression and unneeded stress which could take away from your education?

Charles

The main message I would give my younger self is to be open-minded and willing to leave my comfort zone. College is better than high school, but it is not without its ups and downs. I would tell myself to seek out people and things that I enjoy and that benefit me as soon as I arrive on campus. I would urge myself to find something to be committed to early on, so that I could build a good reputation for myself and be recognized for my efforts. I would remind myself that my parents are always there to help, and that they give excellent advice. In terms of academics, my most important piece of advice would be to avoid procrastination. It may feel good in the short run, but it only hurts in the long run. This effect is amplified in college, where few adults are there to bail out a lazy student. Finally, I would tell myself to look forward to a great and challenging year ahead.

Kendrick

I would tell myself that the transition isn't all that bad. Come in with an open mind and ready to work hard and everything will be fine. More importantly though I would tell myself not to take things too seriously because while it may be important to do well in school during the college years its also important to have fun and make friends in order to find out who you really are. The people you meet come from all different types of backgrounds so no matter what type of person you are you're bound to find a people you can connect with.

Antoinette

Congrats! You did it; college is right around the corner. However, in order to make a smooth transition to college, you should make a commitment to being hardworking, healthy and open minded. Looking back on my first semester of college, I see that I did not make the healthiest choices in terms of nutrition and sleep habits. In hindsight, I realize that a healthy body is the foundation for a successful college experience. Limit junk food, keep a regular sleep schedule and get as much exercise as possible; although some choices may seem insignificant now, the accumulation of a semester's choices can affect your GPA. Furthermore, I encourage you to push yourself harder than you ever had before. Getting in to college is not enough, you must maintain your GPA if you wish to graduate and pursue a career/further your education. Go the extra mile and study like you have never studied before. Comparatively, college is a time to self discovery and exploring your options. I urge you to be open minded and meet new people as well as try new things. College is over in the blink of an eye; have the time of your life.

Christine

High school is full of stereotypes and cliques. At any school, you will find groups of students labeled the jocks, nerds, popular girls, theater kids, goths, and overachievers. We can hear whispers bouncing off the hallway walls; the popular girls gossiping about the goths or the overachievers starting rumors about the nerds. But college is different. There are no categories to fit in or cliques taking separate tables at the dining halls. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to shed the notion of stereotypes and open my mind to the different types of people I will encounter in college. I would encourage myself to join different clubs and see people for who they really are instead of the stereotype or label they might have fallen under in high school. In the same regard, I would tell myself to offer my true self to others and keep an open mind about the person I am meant to become through the exploration period that college represents.

Marisa

If I could talk to myself as a high school senior three years ago, I would refrain from all feelings of jealousy and nostalgia to give the best advice of making the dreaded 'college transition'. First, I would advise to maintain a strong relationship with your favorite high school teachers before and after you graduate. You will never know when they will be an important resource or reference for an internship, job, or scholarship application. Second, check the median grades and speak to previous students before enrolling in courses so you can gauge how much time you'll spend studying for those classes and can avoid taking too many heavy courses in one semester. Third, read the bios of your professors and find something interesting about their research or work. Take note of their office hours and make an effort to visit them early in the semester and get to know who they are. They are people too. Last but not least, know this: alcohol and parties do not run out. Eager as you are to attend your first frat party or play your first beer pong game, there will always be opportunities to do so, so don't rush.

Rachel

Hello, former self, As you head off to college, don't become proud and think that just because you excelled in high school, that you're going to do well easily in college. College is definitely more independent and you are responsible for what you do. No parents means that you have to learn how to take care of yourself more, but always apply what your parents would say in a situation where you aren't sure what to do. Always stick to what you believe in, look to God for guidance and He will walk with you along the way. Make as many friends as possible in the beginning, because as the semesters pass by, people will be less open to make new friends. Be open to new people, foods, activities and events, because college is a place to explore and find more of you identity. Don't be pressured into doing something you're uncomfortable with, because you are the one who will live with the consequences the next day. Don't worry too much about grades and such, the more important thing is to build relationships and connections. Try your best, God will do the rest.

Nancy

The biggest shock I got was on my first exam where I found out that the lectures only covered part of what you had to know. Take the reading assignments seriously! You are expected to learn as much or more from the reading as you do from the lecture. That was so different from high school where the reading was just advanced preparation for the classroom. Also, if they offer review sessions, go to all of them. College is fun and of course there is partying, but make sure the partying doesn't take over and affect your success in college. Be prepared to skip a party to study for an exam. Then you can live it up afterwards! It's well worth it in the long run.

Ujijji

If I could go back in time, and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would definitely tell myself to prepare for the close-minded, conservative students who believe in racial separation, and are xenophobic. Upon my arrival on campus, I had already come into contact with elitists and snobs who were not hesitant to tell me their feelings about my presensce on campus. Being a minority student in a predominantly white university can be very daunting, and it doesn't help when others put you down for being who you are., especially for something that you can't change, like your skin color. What made it worse for me was that these views were printed in one of the independent conservative newspapers on campus. In going back in time, I would tell myself to not be scared, or thoroughly defensive. I would tell myself that I could use those opportunities to shed light upon the ignorance of others, and to show them that I deserve Cornell just as much as the next person who worked hard to get here. I would tell myself just that, that I deserve Cornell.

Michael

First, to my younger self I would warn, the Freshmen Fifteen is not a myth so watch out for all those cookies in the dining hall! Yes, they are delicious, but it is an important lesson in self-control and nutrition to eat the free apples instead. That way, you can indulge when the time is right, like after successfully writing that twenty page art history paper. Secondly, don?t waste time on anything negative, be it mineral, vegetable, or animal. You choose the things that surround you, so be honest enough with yourself to pick the good, substantial people, places, and things over the fleeting, inconsequential ones. Don't shy away from a challenge or complain in the face of adversity. Live the life your Nike's live and ?Just Do It!? You won?t regret it, and it will end up being something you'll remember and laugh about for a long, long time. Lastly, give more than you get whenever possible. After all, as Mary Oliver said, you only have ?one wild and precious life?. Live it large. (But not literally! Remember to resist the cookies!)

Victoria

First and foremost: FREEDOM. Your life will be completely in your hands. It will be sitting there staring up into your eyes, your heart, your soul, wondering what you will want to do next. You will be entitled to so much power, for it will follow your every command and desire. HOWEVER. Great power does not come freely. It is highly imperative that you conjure up the correct types of commands and wishes! You cannot allow yourself to succumb to the wild life of your new foreign environment. Of course, you must roam and romp around in order to experience all of the the fun that college has to offer (oh the fun you will see!), but even more importantly, you cannot get behind on your own duties as a scholar. Be hungry to discover what is in store for you. Dig deep to find what is in the depths of your courses, your professors, your peers, your passions, yourself. I know you will not listen to everything that I have said thusfar, but just remember one thing: breathe in each moment every day as if there is no tomorrow. Never let your life be idle in your hands.

Amanda

Trying to decide which college to go to is very overwhelming. One important thing that may make the college decision less painful is deciding what you as a student, an athlete, a musician, etc. want in a school. Deciding this before even beginning to look at schools will help you narrow down which schools you want to apply to. Then, once you find out which schools you are accepted to, re-evaluate these original criteria. In terms of the transition to college, you will meet many new people, experience a different environment, and have a heavy workload. It is important to remember who you are as a person and who you want to become because there are many new influences you will encounter. Therefore it may be helpful to create a list ? literal or mental ? of the goals you wish to achieve while at college; it is a chance to establish yourself as a person and to determine what type of career you may be interested in. Although the workload can be overwhelming at times and it can take a few months to establish a work routine that works for you, once you settle in it becomes much more manageable.

Deanna

Deanna, I'm not going to sugar coat anything. Adjusting to life on the east coast is tough. It's hard to be away from family and friends and live on your own, but it's important to take advantage of your freshman year. This is the time to make new friends, try new sports, join interesting clubs, and give back. But you also need to stay focused and think ahead. It's so easy to procrastinate but just try to manage your time wisely. You're at Cornell to get an education. There are so many amazing resources there that you need to take advantage of! Work hard, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Invest in a good pair of rainboots. Flip-flops do not cut it in Ithaca weather. Take time to be active and exercise. Get out of your comfort zone and push yourself. Take classes in all disciplines and figure out what subjects you like. Go into NYC as much as you can. Even though you have so much work, try to read for pleasure too. Use these four years to figure yourself out. It's scary, but you can do it.

Christopher

Given the opportunity to talk to myself a little over a year ago, I firstly would advise myself to enroll in AP Chemistry because it would be very beneficial to a great performance in a college chemistry course. With this taken care of, I would proceed to tell myself not to worry about adjusting to college life, as the transition is by no means overwhelming. In fact, the easiest thing about college may be the transition. For this reason, dedication to studying and school work must be a top priority. While a little fun via video games and recreation is essential to my well being, alotting too much time for such activities is a no-no. The most efficient and least stressful way to get through a semester is to create a strict schedulize and adhere to it as closely as possible. As far as relations with others are concerned, always be friendly and helpful. While some friendships are not meant to be, this approach generally works against social problems. This is advice I would not only give to myself, but to any prospective college freshman.

Laura

College is a time of experimentation and finding yourself, so do not be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone, but do not change yourself based on the views of others. Go with your gut feeling, it is almost always correct. People exist on campus that do not drink/do drugs for fun, so find them and hang out with them. Not everyone is accepting right away, so do not feel dejected if you do not make best friends right away. Academically, never feel shy when asking for help because your end-grade is more important than how silly you may feel at the time when you ask for clarification. You are in college to learn, so always give everything 100%! It may be difficult at times, but you will feel better about yourself and more accomplished in the long run. Also, do not stress if you do not get an A on everything! As I said, you are there to learn, but you learn better when happy -- so do not be afraid of a study break to hang out with friends, even if it means a slightly lower grade. Most importantly: Enjoy yourself! You are only here once.

nadia

If I could go back I would tell myself this: college is for having fun, but ultimately you have to remember why you are there, for your education. College is a time when we are given so much freedom academically and socially which at times can be overwhelming. It is important to have fun yes becuse you have worked so hard in school up to this point, but it is also important to work as hard as you play. The biggest challenge is time management once you are in college. Although you can get away with not going to class, it is important to go to your classes, discussions, or any office hours that your proffessor may have, one as a way to make yourself stand out and two for the opportunity for your proffessor to get to know you better. Especially when you go to a large school, you can get lost in the shuffle and so it is important to keep a good head on your shoulders. Have fun in college and don't stress yourself out too much because college is a time to finally get to take classes that are of interet to you.

Alicia

I would advise myself to take things in stride and manage my time better. I would advise myself to use fellow students, professors, TAs, and campus resources to my advatnage more often. I would especially advise myself to stay focused on my academics. After the first two years I was more involved in extra-curricular activities and unexpectedly involved in a relationship that was a bit unhealthy and distracting. The distraction was not worth havng my focus diverted. Nothing should ever get in the way of my overall achievement in college. I would probably try harder to avoid the relationship, but some things in life just happen. I never had to deal with such issues until my junior year in college, so it was a good lesson. Life is about learning, and life doesn't pause in college. It keeps going. Our responsilbilty is to be able to balance our academics with our social lives, career aspirations, financial hardships, and unexpected crises. Now I'm ready for a fresh start next semester. My anxiety is a bit high, but I would tell myself if I were a senior that in retrospect, the mental and emotional struggles are worth the rewards.

Darien

I would tell myself not to be as reluctant as I was. I did not get into my first choice school, rather I went to my safety school. I could name 10 family members that had gone to that school and I had wanted to do something new and break the mould (pardon the cliche, but I am a living cliche). Now that I am there I love it. I now realize that I have so many choices to make that I make my own path and don't have to do what everyone else did. I can make my college experience, and in turn my life, my own. I wish I had been able to realize that last year.

Wangzhong

Enjoy!

Melanie

Melanie, lose your naivety. Question more, trust less. Become more assertive in academic and social situations. Make sure professors and advisors know who you are. Fight for what you believe in. Don't hestitate to ask for help and know where to get it. Most important, have confidence in your ability.

Margaret

Be a dork. Wiktionary defines dork as: quirky, silly and/or stupid, socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. That's what college is all about! College is 4 years of focusing on yourself. Studying what you like, joining clubs you like, and socializing how you like. Unlike in high school, in college you can wear or do or eat something because you like it and more often than not you'll meet other people who wear or do or eat the same way you do. If I could go back, I would say try to find the balance between new experiences and the experiences you've already had that make you who you are. If you grew up on Mexican cuisine, try the sushi, but always keep you're Tapatio hot sauce in your back pocket. If you secretly doodle the Krebs cycle all over your notes (no matter the subject), chances are you'll find someone else as crazy for chemistry as you are. So don't be shy, don't try to be too cool. Be the one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. Be a dork. Be yourself.

Anna

Almost any student can adapt to almost any college. It's all about your attitude going into college. If you are focused on making friends and joining clubs, then you will do these things. My advice is to look at college as an experience that allows you to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Professors and peers will help guide you while you find yourself and determine what you want to do with your life. At the same time, deciding what to do with your life is NOT a race. Students usually have at least two years to take courses in a multitude of subjects before making a decision. College is about making friends, learning about stuff that you actually WANT to learn about, connecting with professors, and becoming yourself in a controlled atmosphere without the pressure of a full-time job. Enjoy college, do well, but don't stress out too much over GPA. It's more important to learn the material and succeed at your job than earn a A+ from memorizing the material the night before.

Lucas

First and foremost, do not feel like you have to know everything about your life right now. Don't worry about money, or what you're peers are doing, or what your parents want to you be. Find something that fufills you, something that drives you and gives you passion. Once you know what that is, give yourself to it and let your ambitions guide you. Take a breath and trust yourself, even if you have no idea what you're doing. Intuition and confidence will take you farther than anything you will learn in life, but if you don't have faith in yourself you will have nothing to stand on when you're knocked down. Don't be afraid to try as many new things as possible, be adventurous, work hard, play hard, and most importantly be confident. The mind is everything, what you think you become. All else will fall into place. Learn from the past, live in the present, and work for the future without losing perspective. You only live once, so stop worrying and just be you. Do what gives you a reason to live. There's not enough time for anything else.

Nichole

Look for a school that teaches to your learning style. A big, active univserity is exciting but it's easy to get lost in mix when you're surrounded by all those students. The reason you did so well in high school is because you had such a great support system with your friends, your family, and your instructors. You are going to need to keep that support system if you want to keep doing well and so it's important to find a university or a college where the professors are going to be watching you and working with you so that you do well. And remember, your high school wasn't a hard school. You are going to need to buckle down and study for once. And learn to withstand the pressure. College is important, but try not to take it too seriously or you'll fall apart. You know yourself well enough to make good decisions. Remember that. Remember to think about consequences. Think about what you want in life. Don't stop until you're there.

arielle

I would tell myself to follow my heart. Don't let anyone try to tell you where you want to go, what you want to study, or who you want to be. I would remind myself that college is supposed to be the best four years of my life, so I need to live it for myself, not for anyone else. Although it is nice to receive advice from parents, friends, and teachers on which schools seem like a good fit, if you don't listen to yourself, there is a very good chance that you will end up at a school that is not for you. Leaving home and being on your own in a new place is hard enough, so why make the process harder by placing yourself in an environment that someone else chose for you? If I could go back in time, I would make myself promise that I wouldn't let other people influence my decision on where to go to college.

Vincent

Work hard in high school, don't mess around like you did then. Go talk to girls you like and don't be scared. Find out what you like to do and try to find out as soon as possible.

Caroline

Have a positive outlook. Be flexible and open to diversity. Be ready to work harder than you've ever worked in your life. Try to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Be ready to make lifelong friends.

Jessica

One very braod but also important advice that I would give myself is: do not be afraid to present yourself or to make mistakes. I remember in high school, I felt apprehensive about making mistakes, which in turn discouraged me to present myself with confidence. However, after coming to college and after several experiences, I realized that I can only grow by sharing my opinions and interacting with others who may or may not have different opinions from me even if I may be wrong. Learning is really not about making myself presentable to others, but it is actually the progress I make as I flounder through. Therefore, I realized I should not worry about how presentable I am or how agreeable my opinion might sound to others. Fear is the biggest hinderance to growth. Have courage to go on with what I hold or what I know. Then, I will find out soon if I am right or wrong, let alone all the more valuable knowledge and experience that I may have gained along the way.

Timothy

My only advice to my past self would be to remember my priorities, that while hanging out with friends, watching movies, etc, is fun, I'm going to school for the education, and the socialization is secondary.

Amy

College is what you make of it. Don't worry too much about where you go, but study hard and play hard once you get there.