CUNY City College Top Questions

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

Yves

Read first about what you would like to major in in college. Do an excessive research into majors and don't let people tell you what you should become.

Stephane

As a first generation and minortiy student, I would simply advice myself to stay focus and keep the same optimistic attitude that will make you successful four years later. As a current graduate student attending Columbia University for my Master's degree, I would not have change my overall experience at my college. I am pleased with all the decisions I have made, I am grateful for my wonderful professors and mentors who have inspired and challenge me for the real world. Finally, I would simply tell myself to "keep up the good work because you're doing great!"

Sarah

I would tell myself the simple words, "everything is going to be okay". Going to college is a huge transition but as long as you understand that things will get better it makes it easier. I would also say make sure you have someone you can go to for emotional support because it can be hard. I would also say try to make as many friends as possible because not only do you need friends for your emotional wellbeing but you're also making connections for the future!

Chantae

I would tell my High School self “motivation is the key to getting things done” and that I shouldn’t let opportunities blow by. I would encourage myself to continue to retake the regents exam so as to not end up in remedial like I did. I would tell myself to be more social and bold and start networking with other people who shares my interest to better myself and start taking steps towards my career. I would advice myself to ask more questions concerning things of importance because it never hurts to fully know what’s going on and because it would help me to avoid future problems that stems from ignorance. But most importantly I would tell myself it’s never too soon to start working on scholarships. Paying for college isn’t easy and even with the assistance of financial aid, more often than not it’s not enough. In order to have smooth sailing from the start of my college career till the end of it, this is the most important thing I would’ve advised my younger self about.

latisha

I would advice myself that High School is nothing like college, I have to work much harder and know that the professors would not be as easy going as the teachers in High School. I would also remind myself that I will basically be on my own in college, professors would not be questioning or showing much concern about one student's missing work or test. I would advice myself to just stay focus, sit in the front of every class, and make sure the teacher atleast knows my name. Understanding the material, no matter how many questions needs to be asked is essential in college, especially that the tuition for each course is so expensive. So my biggest advice to myself as a whole, is to keep reminding myself that the college life is much different from that of High School.

Andrea

I would tell myself to complete the FAFSA in the beginning of January. It should get finished right away so it would be one less thing to have to worry about. Also, focus onschool work!! Don't worry about what other people think of you and don't feel the need to have a boyfriend. That will only take away from the valuble study time. When I got a job, I should have saved most of the money for when I transfer schools in fall of 2014. The final thing I'd tell myself is to not be too outgoing. Go back to being the shy girl I was in 8th grade. It would've kept me out of the little trouble I was in and also prbably would've helped my study habits.

Michael

Life is very competetive. Treat everyone around you as your competitor. Make friends, but only use them if they help you strengthen your goals, and lower their chance of succeeding.

Kirsten

I’d tell myself that college is nothing like high school, studying vigorously and smartly is a requirement. High School, although it taught us an amazing skill did by no means prepare us for college, especially in the sciences which will later be our major. I’d advise myself to immediately look at the requirements of our major and plan out which courses to take from that semester until the semester we graduate. Do this by aligning your major requirements, with advice of peers who have already been through the major. Do not rely on your advisors advice because you will have 7 advisors throughout your college career. None of which will ever know you by name because they change with semester, and most of which are unfamiliar with the college courses and requirements. The advice taken from them will on most occasions be wrong and set you back. In summation I’d tell myself to have a plan for my college career, in essence not wait for the information to come to you but to seek out the information yourself, and plan accordingly. College is an extremely autonomous place, where your future and its success are in your hands.

Crystal

If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to make the most out of your senior year because it'll be the last year in high school then it's off to the real world. I would encourage myself to join clubs, make new friends, and to join different sports. I would also like to make sure that I did my homework every day, take notes, and to study. If I were already used to that routine, it would have been a much smoother transition in to college. I would have also suggested to apply to more colleges and apply for more scholarships since their are so much oppurtunities in the world and paying for college would be much easier. If I had this advice while I was a high school senior, I would have an easier transition to college and it would be much less stressful. I want to take any oppurtunity that I can in order to succeed in life. The earlier, the better! So don't delay and prepare for the future.

sashan

I would have entered college as a double major instead of just choosing one, and I would have made up my mind about what I wanted before I got to college.

Steven

If I could go back in time to high school, I would tell myself to enroll in college ASAP! I am 48 and waited late in life. College is about 5-10x the cost of what is was back then, and the cost of living has skyrocketed. So, self, do NOT wait 30 years after high school to enroll in college! DO IT NOW!

bethani

If i could go back in time to talk to myself about college. My advice will be to never wait to the last minute to get work done. You want to get all the important things done because the deadline for things are not as long as you think. Waiting for the last minute to get things done will put you in trouble depending what needs to be done. Plus, it's better to get work done so you won't have so much stress on yourself. Sometimes when you wait too late you don't get everything done. I would also tell myself to do lots of scholarships and grants because that can help you pay for school. There are lots of scholarships that are being offered today because of the college tutitions are expensive. Another advice I would say is to be focus on school. Too many people are going to school and not being focus. When your not focus you tend to forget about school and get bad grades or drop out. Being focus can help you keep a good GPA. These are the advice I would of told myself about college.

Peter

The advice I would give myself would be to study notes on the daily/nightly basis. I realized the importance of note-taking and studying my notes every day and not cramming information into my head the last second. I honestly believe if I had a more forceful and encouraging teacher that would have brainwashed us to study our notes and textbooks, I would be in a higher education school like a SUNY or even an Ivy League. There are so much people with the potential to exceed great limits and become someone great in the future.

Natasha

Initially, Barnard College was my dream school because of its excellent women's studies program and its impeccable reputation. Reality struck me when I realized my SAT scores, GPA, and low income background didn't reflect the majority of the Ivy League’s school standards. I was so limited in my thinking that I could not even fathom the prospect of going away for school, much less apply to an institution asking for more money than my parents made. If I could reach my high school self, I would motivate her to apply to less safety schools and try going after reach and target Colleges such as Mount Holyoke, or Barnard College.I would urge myself to research schools, majors, and scholarships before applying anywhere. I would also encourage myself to have more confidence because I still have a chance of being admitted into those particular reputable institutions through programs like HEOP, Seek, and College Discovery, despite having low scores. As a backup plan, I would tell myself to enroll in a 2 year school and complete an Associates of Arts degree, then transition to a 4 year school to earn a Bachelor’s degree for women and gender studies.

Connie

I would nag at my past self to apply for scholarships and to not be lazy when writing essays for my applications. I chose a school closer to home so I could save money and commute instead of dorming, but I wish I had had the proactivity to apply to more scholarship opportunities so I could have the money to dorm. Commuting isn't too bad but I also feel like I am missing out a big part of the college experience by staying home. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to manage my time better and set my priorities straight. I didn't think scholarships were too important but I realize now that no matter what amount you can get from a scholarship award, it helps a long way.

Antonio

The very first thing I would tell myself would be "college is not impossible." In those days, I was convinced college was something available to people with a lot of money and stellar grades. Seeing as I lacked both, I didn't even bother with college applications for years following my graduation. I would explain to my past self that financial aid not only exists but will make it possible to handle the textbooks, transportation, and the food I would have to buy. I would also explain that the CUNY system allows for a one-time application fee that covers up to 6 separate applications. While I would be reluctant to pay at first, I know I would see the benefit of this feature. The last thing I would tell myself is "I know you can do it." It is the very same line a very important person told me long ago. While the memory would remind me of his death, it would also stir feelings of determination and remove any doubts from my old self. I could have told myself about the awards, the grades, the extracurriculars, and all of my accomplishments, but I work better when challenged.

Donald

If I could go back in time and talk to my former self, the first thing that I will say to me is, "you will do great things." I will look at my aloof self; the self that has been yearning to find a place in this world; the self that has begrudgingly followed monotonous and mundane tasks; the self that didn't know his self; and tell him that in college, you will find everything that you need. "I, that is, you will come across something incredibly precious. That thing is, 'a start'. Even though you care very little about the things that you are doing now and the topics that you are learning, just know that the knowledge itself isn't everything; it is what you do with your knowledge that makes the difference. Learn what will help you to be a great support to this world. Do not follow a script. Do not force yourself to fit a mold. Be smart. Be caring. But most importantly, be you." "Do not be afraid about college. This change will be the best that ever happens to you. Follow your heart. Do not confine yourself to one field. Have fun."

jason

If I were to go back in time, I would particpate in a relationship instead of isolating myself from my classmates, who I saw were in worthy of my time. I spend way too much time in the libary alone with my studies and became a geek without friends in highschool. I had so much time in highschool, but I was too focused on my studies that I rejected many potential relationships and hurted many people with my arrogance and carelessness. Now that I am in college, I begin the make more friends, but I just don't have the time to do things with them. I wish everything would change...

Avin

The only advice I would give to myself would be to not forget that senior is the the most inportant year as we make a transition to college. I needed to apply for more scholorships, be more rigorous with my schoolwork, and apply for the FAFSA as soon as the application was applied. I am learning now that money doesn't grow on trees and everytime I see the money going out from my bank account, I wish I had applied for more scholarships. Right now, I apply for at least one scholarship a day but I am still waiting to get any type of financial help.

connie

I would yell at my past self for not being more open minded on where I want to go for college. I was too set on staying in New York City for school and only applied to schools in the area. But, right now, as a commuter, I wish I could go away for college. Just scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook, I see my friends with their roommates and new friends and I always feel a tinge of jealousy. Dorming would've been a great experience. If I could go back in time, I would've done more research on other schools and applied to different types of schools-- not just limiting myself to schools in the city.

Misty

Look ranking is important, you need to work harder so you rank is higher and the school you want to go to will pay you to go. When you go to college you are gonna get a slap in the face, listen to what the teachers tell you. You are not going to be able to turn things in late. Try not to be afraid when you move into the dorm it is ok other students will go through the same things. Living on campus is one of the best things you can do. Think before you act trust me if it feels wrong it probably is. And trust yourself you can do it, do not hold yourself back.

Lauren

If i went back in time, to the point of almost graduating highschool i would tell myself College is not like highschool. You have more freedom to be an adult and make all your own choices. You will not be constantly told "do your homework" which is REALLY great. Choosing when you go to school is another plus, having days off to relax before jumping back into school work really helps to keep you focused.

Eboni

Make sure to put myself out there and always ask for help because help is there for you all the time no matter what.

Janna

Join the Army NOW and retire after 20 yrs. Get a good education while in the military. Go for an RN degree.

TRACY

I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO DEFINITELY TAKE THE TIME AND PATIENCE TO MAKE SURE THAT I AM TAKING THE COURSES THAT WOULD DEFINITELY FULLFILL MY CAREER CHOICE, AND THINK VERY LONG AND HARD AND DO THE NECESSARY INVESTIGATION IN CHOOSING A MAJOR. I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO PACE MYSELF TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND NOT TO OVERLOAD. I WOULD DEFINITELY TELL MYSELF TO TRY TO INVEST IN SOME COLLEGE ACTIVITIES TO BE MORE WELL ROUNDED AND INVOLVED IN THE COLLEGE LIFE. I BELIEVE THAT COLLEGE ACTIVITIES ARE DEFINITELY A GOOD WAY TO BOND AND FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THE SCHOOL AND OTHER CLASSMATES. I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO CONTINUE TO WORK HARD AND CONTINUE TO PUSH MYSELF BECAUSE THE REWARDS ARE SO WORTH IT. BEING A SINGLE MOTHER, I WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE TOLD MYSELF TO BE SAFE AND NOT BE SO QUICK TO BECOME A MOM AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE, BECAUSE IT IS A STRUGGLE AND THERE ARE A LOT OF SACRIFICES THAT COMES WITH THAT DECISION. HOWEVER, WITH WHATEVER CHOICE OR CHOICES YOU MAKE, NEVER GIVE UP AND KNOW THAT WITH PERSERVERANCE AND PERSISTENCE, YOU CAN REALIZE YOUR DREAMS.

TAYAYABA

I would advise my self that I could have done better in high school if payed more attention and been serious.

Monica

I know you are worried and anxious about college life. I understand that right now you are thinking, "an undergraduate degree is not worth the huge financial investment that some schools are asking of you" but I think you are thinking about it the wrong way. This is an investment in yourself. If you cannot afford the bigger school you desire and are a bit reluctant to attend your backup schools, then compromise. Go to a school that satisfied your needs in all the ways possible, without breaking your parents budget and the future investment on your siblings. Dorm if you want to! Save by looking for an off-campus apartment with friends. You are worth the investment. There might be some guilt but I know you will work harder because of it and give back to your family in a greater way. For the first time in your young adult like, make this choice your own. Regardless, I know you will find a way to work things out!

jessica

I would tell myself to stay in school and graduate. Then, go to college and get my associate or bachelor degree,before getting married. School is so much easier when there is no man or kids to continually interrupt. I will tell them how hard life can be without a education and how hard that you have to work for minimum wadge i would do my best to help them realize how important education is and tell them to just keep trying no matter what obstacles you face it is worth it to over come them as early in life as possible. I would advised myself to work hard at whatever my hands found to do, focus a lot more on my academic endeavors, read more, use time spent with friends and family wisely. High school was fun however I could have graduated with a higher GPA if I had settled down and focus on my books and less on what friends were involved in. I would listen more to the advise given to me by my mother and the elders around regarding ceasing all opportunities granted to me most of all an education.

Sara

You may or may not be sure of yourself now, but allow yourself to be comfortable not knowing and not having an identity. Life is going to change how you see yourself every single day. College is a time to be totaly unsure and totally ok with that. College is a time to try things you never thought you would, socially, academicaly, and otherwise. By doing this, you will learn so much more about yourself. Don't be afraid of making change, be easy going, and go with the flow. However, when you feel strongly about a value or ideal, don't compromise that. You need to trust yourself and trust your gut. You are beautiful and perfect and flawed. There is nothing wrong with that.

Shari

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, the advice I would give myself would to dream big because anything is possible. I would have applied to more scholarships and told myself that college life is what you make it to be. Be open to meeting and establishing friendships with people, because learning isnt limited to just inside the classroom. Students not only learn from what is taught to them in class, they also learn how to facilitate and actually use the knowledge they learn by sharing it with others and learning from each other. By doing so, it creates a spark of interest that ignites in students creativity and willingness to learn. Another form of advice I would tell myself is to be more involved in the oppurtunties that college offer. Besides starting my own club called The Asian Language Club, I would have liked to have urged myself to join a sport like fencing because, not only is it healthy, but it is a window of oppurtunity to do something positive that contributes to the school.

Adam

What I have gotten out of my college expererience are a variety of things. College has shown me how to manage my time which is crucial. I have also learned how to prioritize my life as college can interfere with your social life. Overall, college has been valuable to attend because it taught me how to mature and manage my responsibilities. High school can only teach out a number of things, but attending college taught me more than what I expected and I am grateful for that.

Rema

I think the college is fine overall but I just wished their were more guidance in future careers because nobody really helps unless you go bug them for it. I also do not receive financial aid so it is horrible to pay for classes that I do not want to be in but have to take in order to be a full time student. They should open more class sections for students who actually pay for college.

Sullivan

As a freshman, I suppose I haven't yet completed my "college experience," but nevertheless it is already effecting a change in me. I think my experience is unique to an extent, because of the school I attend and the city, but at the same time can be universal. At City College, I am learning how to take care of myself. It isn't just the classroom experience that matters. I am learning to become an independently functioning member of society, cooking my own meals and taking in the abundance of culture that New York City has to offer. I am also meeting new people, and making friendships that are already very dear to me, and that I know will appreciate in the years to come. All of this is invaluable to me. College is there to help open your mind to the rest of the world, and I don't think I'd be having quite the same experience anywhere else.

Hoang

What I have gotten out of my college experience is the fact that hard work is involve in everything. I do feel that the standards here at my college are higher than average, but due to this expectation, it makes me work harder and push myself more. I remember taking a class at another college and felt how easy it was compared to my college. The Professors here at City College truly envelops the concept of thinking and understanding rather than simply remembering. I've also found my passion in teaching thanks to this college when I worked as a Workshop Leader in Organic Chemistry. I enjoy teaching people a lot more now and plan to become a Professor.

Yetsenia

Currently I'm in college for Massage Therapy and it has shown me that this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I dislike the environment my college affords us and I've decided to do something on the other end of the spectrum, but since I wont let this educational experience bog me down, I'll just finish and use it to help me pay my way through the next few years of my life.

Maria

Being in college has shown me what I am capable of, intellectually. When I changed majors from Illustration to Biology, I embarked upon a whole new field that was unfamiliar to me. I had never taken classes in Physics or Organic Chemistry before, and my coursework proved to be a daunting challenge. I powered through and became a top student in all my classes, regardless of the fact that my classmates had more experience in these subjects than I. I was so encouraged by my own progress but also by the admiration and support of my professors that I stayed at City College of complete a Master's degree in Biology. I am the only child in my family with a college degree. Being in college has given me self-esteem and self-respect. I can now approach any problem with clarity, focus and a drive that I did not possess before. Since matriculating as an undergraduate student, I have changed completely as a person, in the most positive way possible. I now know that I am intellectually capable of anything, and that I can excel in whatever I put my mind to.

Katherine

Since the inspirational words of president Obama, I realized the country needs more teachers and more nurses. I have always loved teaching things I already know to anyone, like my cousins and their homeworks. I decided to attend college and pursue my dream of being the person who inspires other minds to succeed in life. I wanted to become that inspirational figure that children will look up to because even though vertain events can happen in your life, you always have to look foreward and keep your chin up. With students coming into my classroom filled with questions, I want them to come out satisfied with answers. As soon as I stepped into the City College of New York I felt the vibe of good people, delicious foods and a comfortable environment to study and have fun in. I felt that its highly valuable to be educated without stress. Thankfully, the school has provided locations where there are people to guide you and to listen to any remarks. There have been many programs, many society groups and many great authority figures that set examples of how well the school is structured for the students at CCNY.

Hayley

My college experience has been completely different that I had imagined it to be five years ago. I am a single mother who works a full-time job and goes to school full-time. I am pushing extremely hard to achieve my goal of graduating with a Master's in Accountancy and then becoming a CPA. College has been one of the most valuable things in my life yet. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world and to see myself and daughter with a whole new light. Being in college makes me appreciate the things that I have now and helps me focus on my goals because the only way to go is up! My daughter gives me meaning to wake up every day and keep pushing towards my goals to make our lives the best possible! I can not wait until I walk across the stage with my degree. It will be the most full-filling and blessed day!!

Peter

I have managed to learn more from different students along with the professor, in which majority of the things that were taught were all field related (in my case, Chemical Engineering).

Irwin

In my past college experiences, I learned to be more outspoken and supportive to others. These lessons are valuable in that you need these qualities to be a leader, let alone make new friends. It has been valuable attending City College because I learned new material, made new friends, and learned to to get one step closer to pursue my dream, in this case, to become a health care professional. To become a healthcare professional, you need good grades and know the right people. By joining some clubs, you make new friends and meet the people that you are looking for, who in turn gear you towards better ways to pursue your future. I was geared to pursue my dream by being more motivated to succeed in all of my classes (not just prerequisites) and volunteer in my community to interact well with others and meet new people in different environments. It only takes one place to help you obtain a possibility for a better future, and that place is City College.

Diniece

I decided to attend the GSOE at the City College of New York where I am currently pursuing a B.E. Degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in Transportation. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that could directly affect the way in which us human beings travel and move from place to place in a meaningful way and his was through Transportation. With this notion, I grew interested in the way in which policies affect everyday operations on the ground in the transportation field. I have established the importance of research and post graudate studies upon graduation. The engineering school here, takes pride in teaching and mentoring its students and I feel that I am fully equipped with the knowledge and expertise to start making a meaningful difference in people lives through my degree.

Raymond

Attending college was one my best undertakings ever. I learned about the immense amount of knowledge available at my disposal. I learned not only about myself and my affinity to all that we tend to call the others. Above all I was set on a path to learn to know my true self and to determine my purpose here in this world. It was quite a discovery and the process continues to this day, but I am grateful for my college education without which I would still be ignorant, or rather insensitive to this so necessary part of living.

Lizhu

I attend The City College of New York and it is very diverse with so many students from all over the world, such as China, Korea, Japan, Greece, Bangladesh, Peru, Indiana, philippine, and so on. I cannot miss out the richness of diverse cultures and backgrounds in college and this is one of the college experiences that I cannot overlook at. There are wide and unthinkable opportunities offered in college such as different majors, study abroad program, exchange program, financial aid, scholarships, competitions, technologies, and the list goes on. I am blessed with the financial aid since my family has low income and I cannot believe how close the college has made my dreams come true. I am currently excited about studying abroad because I have not studied or been outside of New York for ten years! With my major in architecture and the AIAS community, I am able to meet architects and other architecture major students from all over the world. College is filled with talented people and it is no doubt that I am taught by authors, scientists, architects, artists, and other professions in each class. College experience is the beginning to unlock my potentials.

shahzeb

So far I have learned many things through out college experience. First would be living independantly and having to look out for yourself and keeping up with all the work load. The studies are heavy but well worth the time we put in. It is amazing to how much each class covers in a matter of a semester. I am looking forward to upcoming college years.

Juan

I came into college with a mind set in music composition/theory. I also came into it with mind full of fear. The stereotype has always been that a musician doesn't make a lot of money. I found it hard to believe that my hours of daily practice was absolutely useless in the real world. I pushed on for the first few months in the hopes that I would be inspired by my classes, peers, or anything. The first few months of college were spent with caution because I was studying music heavily but I wan't sure if I was wasting my time. After speaking with many fellow musicians, teachers, and anyone else I could get my hands on at this college, I had an epiphany. The music industry is not as black and white as I had seen it. There is an unbelieveable number of jobs in music that I never thought about (film music, production, public relations, orchestration, advertising, etc...). I can now go into studying musicianship knowing that there are enough opportunities for me to take in the real world because of my college experience.

Nicole

Attending college is an amazing experience. I have learned alot since I began. Earning a bachelor's degree is a valuable asset in the world today.

Stacy

I have learned a lot from my freshman year of college. I learned that college is definitely a lot harder than high and therefore I shouldn't overload my schedule. Also, college classes (mostly) are much more interesting than high school. I enjoy the classes more and am more eager to go to class. I learned to try new things and find out what I'm good at. It has definitely been worthwhile to attend because I feel like I have found out a lot about myself, though I still have a long way to go.

Karyn

Passionate. Determined. Ambitious. Driven. Hard-working. Focused. I feel by going to college it have only instilled in me more motivation to attainmy dreams. Though the road may be difficult to obtain my dreams I will never given up. Every day when I go to school though I may find the rigor of a particular course overwhelming sometimes or I may get frustrated in a mathematics course, I look back and recall that I live in America. There are people across the globe that would die to have the opportunities that I have. They only hope that one day they can obtain an education or they may never attend school at all. My mother immigrated to America before I was born and she has always told me about the lack of opportunities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I use this everyday as my motivation to appreciate the value of a true education.

Christine

My college experience has been quite unique in comparison to other people. This is because I was accepted into a seven year program at City College/Sophie Davis in order to receive my B.S. and M.D. degrees. Therefore, I had to complete my undergraduate studies in 2 years which meant lots of hardwork and dedication. I was not able to have the typical college experience. However I am grateful because my training as a medical student has transformed me from an unwise 18 year old girl into a 23 year old mature young woman. I have been given this extraordinary opportunity to make a change in so many people?s lives as a doctor. I will be able to improve the lives of my patients while also serving as a role model for the next generation of physicians. As a Hispanic women and the first college graduate of my family, this is more than I could ever have hoped to achieve.

Joshua

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