Denison University Top Questions

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

Madeline

Stress. Stress. Stress. That was my senior year. I worried about getting into college and making the right guess about where to spend the next four years of my life. And while I was caught up in this whirlwind of worries, constantly feeling pressure crushing my brain, I was blind to the things I would miss most when I finally left home . I realize now that while I was spending hours studying and completing applications , I was missing out on eating dinner and watching Jeopardy!, going on bike rides at the start of spring, and playing baseball at the diamond down the street with my family. So what advice would I give my high school self? Leave your worries about making the perfect college decision behind. You will end up at a good school, and you will be happy. Focus instead on the memories you will make during that last year with your family. In the end, sadness from rejection and glee from acceptance are fleeting, but the memories with those you love most will last forever.

Adrienne

I f I could go back in time and talk to myself as a High school Senior... I would tell myself to work harder in my academics so I could get better grades. I would say "Be more outgoing and sign up for more clubs, so you'll have alot more experience to go on your transcripts." Another piece of sound advice would be to go see the transfer counselours at least twice a year, so you don't get stuck taking classes at a community college longer than you need to be. "Write your goals down, know what you want to do; have a vision of yourself in the future so you'll have something to work towards. My last and final piece of advice would be to never let a bad grade make you or break but let that grade help you study harder and help you set a higher standard for yourself, so you can succeed.

Alexandra

Education is important. It’s why you go to college to prepare for your future and opportunities for career advancement in the future. It is not only about education. That’s the most important, but don’t forget to make friends, to put yourself out there, try new things that maybe aren’t what you would normally participate in but speak to you. Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn how to pick yourself up in an environment that is there to help you succeed. Your parents, your friends, and your professors are all there to pick you up. It won’t be easy, but it’s all worth it. The As, Bs, and Ds, though when you try and want to succeed, you won’t fail. Flirt, and don't let the past get in your way. Nothing needs to be preconceived, because everyone is as new as you. And seniors really aren't that scary, and they'll help you out as much as anyone else, so don't be afraid. Stand tall, and smile.

Julia

Julia (18 year old self), Go all in with everything that you do. Those years go by so fast, so cliche, I know! I know you are scared and anxious, but you will love it and wish to continue learning. You will find that academia is for you, a little late for that awesome GPA, though. Trust yourself and your decisions. Have confidence in yourself, most importanly, your ability to adapt, learn, and achieve those goals. Set more of them! Be focused on the now, and stop the reverse modernism (don't worry, you will learn what that is your second year in, you'll write an awesome paper about it!). You will meet life changing people and have wonderful opportunities, so stop being afraid. The fear and anxiety will create a long adjustment period in which you will see yourself as failing. You are not failing! You are becoming a stronger person. You will be proud of yourself years later, despite the terrible job and seemingly elusive money. I am proud of us. Be proud now! Be Confident. Be Fearless. You have it all in you. Self-Aware, Proud, Confident, and Struggling Graduate, Julia (24 years old)

RUBY

It is good to be persistent, but sometimes it is better that you just take a break. It will not be the end of the world if you do not read an article. Make sure to communicate with your professors. You are not alone; there are many people who want to help you succeed. Make sure that you reach out for help when you need it. Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed, take it one step at a time.

Aparna

These are the five pieces of advice I would give myself if I could go back to being a high school senior ready for college. First, I should remember to maintain a healthy balance between academics, extracurricular activities, and time with my family and friends. This balance is necessary for a successful and happy college experience. Next, I would take the time to learn about the various resources offered by my University such as academic and career advising as well as health counseling. Utilizing these services would contribute significantly to my academic and personal development. I would also advise myself not to put too much on my plate. I should choose the activities that are important to me and pursue these wholeheartedly. Fourthly, I should remind myself that my college experience will be a journey comprising of both ups and downs. I should build a close network of friends and faculty who can support me during trying times and make the best of every situation I come across. Lastly, I would advise myself to have no regrets about the decisions I make as I will be able to learn something beneficial from every experience!

Daisy

Going back to a high school senior, I would have pushed myself to take the AP exams in order to get ahead with my credits in college. There are so many great opportunities in college that you can enroll in after taking the mandatory first year seminars if no AP exam credits were transferred to complete the requisitses of those classes, therefore delaying your ability to take higher level classes. After seeing the good grades I am getting in college I am certain that I could have done so much better in high school, but then again I have learned from my mistakes which motivates me to do the best I can with my college work. Anything I want I can get in life as long as I strive for it and I believe the same goes to anyone else.

Alena

Dear Alena, When you are ready to go to college @ Central Wyoming college, make sure you have everything you need to register and don't give up on trying out for scholarships, TRIO help, friend advice, or help from any of your teachers. Always turn in your homework on time and never give up. Set your goal high and try out for anything that meets your prioraties/goals. When school starts, always come to class on time and don't forget anything that you might need for that certain class. When it comes to meeting new people, just be yourself and don't try to be someone else. Don't be afraid to ask for help from your friends or family. Also always look for something that you might be interested in and try to help others in return.

Moriah

First off, I would have encouraged myself to apply to better schools. I love where I ended up, but Denison University was at the top of my list in terms of academic difficulty, and I finished my first year with a spot on the Dean's list. I was convinced that I wasn't good enough to go to Tuft's or Vassar, but I underestimated myself. And even if I hadn't been accepted to those schools, it would still have been worth trying. The other piece of advice that I would give myself as a high school senior is to TRY EVERYTHING! High school and college both present great opportunites that are unique to each. I'm sorry to say that I did not participate much in extracurriculars in high school, and I regret it. I was too hung up on "being cool". I was the shy, quiet kid in the back of the room, and it never occured to me that only a year later, anything I could have done to embarass myself wouldn't have mattered in the least. At least I broke out of my shell in college. Pat on the back for that.

Nathaniel

My college expierience has helped me to identify myself as a leader. Being surrounded by a diverse community, like suffolk county community college, has helped me realize my aspirations. Through the recognition, and support, of the faculty on my campus I have been able to become a Peer Menor (a paid position that helps fellow students enroll in school) and the vice-president of the student government of Suffolk County Community College's eastern campus. My goals are to go to Sacred heart University and get my masters degree in game design and development. Eventually creating my own game studio where i plan on inventing a method of gaming that mimics electrical signals sent to the brain that will give gamers the ability to smell, feel, and even taste things created by game developers in a virtual enviornment.

Tyler

From my two years at Denison University, I have been challenged academically and socially. Denison has required that I put in many hours of work to receive the grade I want, where as high school was just the opposite. It has required me to think about problems from different angles in order to solve them. I have had classes where I have been outside of my comfort zone, talking about subjects relating to sexuality, political leanings, race, and gender. Through these discussion I feel like I have matured. I am also a part of the research community in the Biology department at Denison and abroad, in particular with oncology and cardiology respectively. I work several hours preforming faculty guided, but student led research, which will prepare me for my future career in research. My faculty advisor had inspired me to seek out internships at hospitals and that is how I became involved in cardiology as well. Denison has been invaluable to my growth as a student and as a person. I have met individuals that have brought many opinions allowing me to see issues from many different perspectives. Denison has prepared me to be a part of our global community.

Karin

Growing up, I was introduced to the idea of college early on. To my family, it was expected that we would go to college after high school. It was never forced or demanded of us, but rather was just part of the process of growing up and becoming independent. I valued education my whole life. This value came from my parents who both sacrificed so much in order for their children to attend private schools and receive the best education possible. My college experience opened me to a whole new kind of education and personal development. During those four years, I learned more about myself and my values than I ever had while getting my high school education. My college experience was not just about passing tests and getting a degree. It was about finding myself and my passions, about learning who I am and what I can do to make a differnce in my world.

Irving

What I have gained from my college experience is my work ethic. I enrolled in community college right after high school and quickly learned that I needed to stay on top of things. The classroom pace was noticeably faster, forcing me to actively listen and write down only necessary notes during lectures. Furthermore, should I relax my attention I could miss vital information. I learned that one isn't going to be spoon-fed in the college environment. I developed and improved ways on how to engage myself in the classroom as well as ways to improve outside of the classroom (notably studying methods). This experience has been very valuable in my self-improvement. I've become more responsible and accountable. I've always thought critically but the college taught me methods to put my thoughts into action. My experience at community college made me grow-up. No one was going to look after me, I had to do everything on my own and if I had an issue or problem I had to seek out the answer(s).

Stetson

I have made invaluable friendships, been exposed to enlightening experiences, and intrigued in the classroom. I have become a mature, perspicacious adult with the skills to be successful in whatever situation life throws at me because of my liberal arts education!

Albert

I learned that partying is not everything. College is alot of fun, but is alot of hard work . Partying with new friends and having fun is great, but getting an education in something that you truly love is amazing. Friends move on and memories are forgotton, but education also sticks with you for life.

Katherine

My college experience helped me to adapt to a number of jobs in varied fields after graduation. The combination of a liberal arts education, internships, and research opportunities helped me to work in education, governmental permitting, and social advocacy positions after I graduated. None of these doors would have been open to me without my college experience.

Joyce

I returned to college at the age of 34 years old. I completed my Associate Degree in Nursing and have worked in the healthcare profession for 15 years. Going back to school at that age allowed me to see college from a different angle than most students. I was able to appreciate the opportunity to learn, Interacting with students who were working toward the same degree allowed me to observe healthcare as it applied to people in different social, ethinic and financial groups. Having been out of college for 15 years, I am now looking to further my career my furthering my education. I truly belief that education is the key to opening doors. Once again, I will be an older student in college, but I think it will encourage me as it did before.

Shannon

I have grown up a lot while being at college and being at Denison has changed the ways I view race and other societal issues. Many speakers have came and spoke to the campus and have given great advice on how to deal with the real world. The different programs such as academic tutoring, game night, off-campus shuttles, etc are really great things that Denison has to offer. Many alumni have been back to visit and they tell the students about the many opportunities we have once we leave Denison. There was a time when I was unsure about continuing my education because of all the problems that I have encountered while being here. I'm glad I decided to stay because I believe it has made me stronger as a person.

Gregory

If I could go back in time, and give my past self advice for college, I would say to try harder and to put more effort into everything I did. I ws really interested in instrumental music and tried pretty hard in that, but not too much else. As a young kid, I could always pull through things well without putting forth too much effort. After I started high school, that was not the case anymore. I figured it would get better, but it didn't. I would tell my old self to sit down at a desk, turn off the television, turn off the computer, and open a book. If I studied even half of the time I was being entertained, I would have been so much more ready for college, and I probably would have had many more options in terms of universities and scholarships I would be eligible for.

Lauren

Be open minded, communicate with professors, and get some sleep. All three of these tips, if drilled in my head before going to college, would have sincerely helped my sanity freshman year. As a naive freshman I thought the world was only comprised of biology and psychology. Not until Denison's liberal arts education required me to take African Art & Visual Culture did my mind begin to expand with the knowledge that there are many things to learn and experience out there. And by efficiently communicating with my professors (emailing, having meetings, going to office hours) my GPA has increased my sophomore year. Not only am i building a good relationship with my professor, but they can also help me focus on what I should ultimately be taking away from the course. Lastly, although sounding like my mother, getting sleep is the most important study tool. So GET OFF OF FACEBOOK! :-)

Angie

Dear high school senior, When choosing which college is right for you, think about what you want to gain from your college experience. Do you want to focus on athletics? Greek life? Start a "green" team? Finding your niche will help you adapt to any college, and can make your experience a deeper and more meaningful one. Having pride in your school is important and is developed through your own committment to it. So, when your reading through all of those college guide books, decide what is most important to you, and what each campus has to offer that will make you feel at home. For me, I wanted to find a University where I could get a strong science curriculum, while still playing varsity soccer. Finding that perfect combination was difficult, but the long arduous search was definitely worth it in the end.

Chris

Coming to Denison was the most frustrating, stressful, and miserable transition of my life. I have never been so upset during any point of my being, but i attribute that mostly to playing football my freshmen year. It was this transition that I have found to be such an important part of who I am today though. Were I to go back in time and talk to myself, I would undoubtedly have a few words of advice. The first being "embrace your new environment with open arms." I actually did not really have trouble with this necesarilly, but what was difficult was letting go of home. That is why I would tell myself make the most out of your new home. Do not seal yourself off from the outside world because it will in fact only make you more depressed. Remember the good old high school days but look forward to your new experiences, friends, and school. Most importantly I would say this: what i said above is not easy; however, if you give it time and effort everything will work out fine.

Giana

I would encourage myself to truly consider the location of the school and the liberal arts atmosphere more. I feel as, though I have assimilated well on campus, I may have grown more and defined myself as an individual more on a larger campus that could have offered me more diversity than my present school does. The main point I would stress to myself in high school would be: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR BUBBLE! I would also avise myself that not every hiccup along the way is bad- it truly defines who you will become.

Abigail

I would tell myself to look harder and to really think about what I wanted to get out of my college experience. I was not really into the college search process and I just kind of ended up at Denison. Fortunately, I got very lucky and love it here so much and wouldn't change it for the world, but I really would tell myself to look harder and to visit more places and apply to more schools.

Saira

I have two pieces of advice: First, don't set your heart on one school. I was lucky: although I was rejected from my dream school, I was first wait-listed which acted as a sort of stepping stone between waiting and rejection. The time from April to July when there was still some hope but not a lot allowed me a chance to fall in love with the school that I do attend and now that I'm there I could never ever transfer because I love it so much. There are more than one schools that fit your wants and needs! Second, when you're trying to decide between schools where you've been accepted SPEND THE NIGHT! I can't stress how much fun this is and it's a great way to really see the campus as the students do which immensly helps make an informed decision.

Sasha

Don't stress too much about finding the perfect college. As long as the size is what you want, and you can afford it, college is what you make it. If you go in thinking it will be awful, it will be. Also, if something bad happens, let it go. Don't judge the whole experience because of one bad thing. For example- if you don't like your roommate, don't hate the school, don't hate college life, just find something else to focus on like clubs or spots. Finding friends is the best way to make the most out of your experience. Just make sure they don't influence you to hurt your grades. And don't be afraid to make friends continously. You won't meet everyone on the first week of your first semester, so always be open.

Julie

Finding the right college is not always a cut and dry process. For some lucky people, visiting a school for the first time is enough to know that "this school is the place for me." But many people never feel that instant connection with a campus and that is OK. My theory is that most people would be happy at any college in the world as long as they get involved, make friends, and take advantages of the many opportunities that are offered on campus. The next four years are going to be some of the best you will ever have. Do things that you never thought you would do. Learn about and explore your campus, your town. Go to concerts, movies, speakers, rallies, protests. Meet people who are different from you. These are the experiences that will grow you, shape your worldview, and make you into the person that you will be for the rest of your life.

Robert

Three words: Small Liberal Arts. You just can't go wrong when you study the liberal arts, it will make you into the kind of person that America needs today.

Bradley

Dear parent, go on campus visits with your child and ask some good questions, because the students dont know what they need to be asking (probably). Make them pick a major, if they are undecided, so at least you can get specific information about one aspect of their potential education. Liberal arts educations, while seemingly impractical in finding a good job, will have the potential to sculpt your child into a world citizen with the kind of critical thinking necesary in these changing times. Do it.

Robert

All I would say about finding the right college would be to find a school that makes you happy. I believe if you are happy you will make the best of your college experience. Being happy can consist of the people that you surround youself with, your focus academically, and your overall view of the campus. If you are not happy at school then your performance will reflect that and also your college experience will suffer.

Ally

Stay open-minded. There are a lot of colleges and universities out there so students should make sure they have seen everything before making a decision. Visit the campus and if you have your heart set on a particular school, try and interview once or twice with the admissions office. It shows your interest and they'll remember you.

Andrew

Do what you feel

Ian

Don't come into the college selection process with any biases. Keep an open mind and, soon, you'll find that you don't know much about what you're looking for. Most schools are great for someone, but the more you visit, the more you'll understand which great place is the right one for you. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. I only visited schools that matched my ill-informed standards -- small, mid- to highly-ranked liberal arts schools. The college I ended up attending is a great place, but after two years (and numerous visits with friends at schools all over the country), there's no question in my mind that I would have been happier somewhere else. If you're dying to go to an Ivy, visit your flagship state school. If you can't imagine life without Big Ten football, check out a tiny liberal arts college. Whe you do, talk to students, professors, staff -- anyone and everyone. Don't be shy. No one will remember what you asked if you decide to come, and it can help you make the most of the next four years of your life.

Cynthia

It is very important to do research and to narrow down what types of schools that are in interest to the student. The worst thing to happen would be to invest time and money into a school/experience that isn't what the student wanted.

Eric

Keep your search as broad as you can! If you only look at a few schools, then the one that seems the best only seems so great relative to few others you consider. When you visit schools, find Juniors and Seniors that will sit down and talk to you for a few minutes, and tell them to give it to you straight, and objectively at that. Often times students feel they have a responsibility to stretch the truth or accent the positives of their school, but they probably have a lot of information that you'll wish you had known a few years down the road.

Rachel

You need to visit the college and make sure it 'feels' right -if it doesn't feel right, don't go. Be aware of the immediate surroundings and ask yourself whether it is a setting you will feel comfortable in, realize that what is beyond walk distance or a short drive may be hard to access, especially if you do not have a car on campus. Talk to student on campus and make sure they have the types of programs you want academically and socially. Spending the night on campus is a great way to get some honest answers from student and experience the college for yourself. Lastly, realize that it is okay if you realy feel after a year that you made the wrong decision, even if it means leaving the school and starting over.

Michelle

DON'T BE AFRAID TO APPLY BECAUSE OF COST! If you find a college that seems perfect, but is way out of your price range, go ahead and apply and wait and see what the financial aid package looks like. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA! Also, just like with the admissions process, what you will get out of your college experience depends on how much work you put in. Join clubs and organizations - meet people. take the effort the first semester to get out and experience campus...you'll find your niche, just give it time.

Kevin

I would say go to whatever school fits you. When i first visited Denison i really liked it, I liked the whole atmosphere of it. Select a school where you like the environment that it has. Also, don't let price deter you. Many schools offer great financial aid. To make the most of the college experience I would say to get involved, whether it be in sports or clubs or fraternities or sororities. There is more to college than school, getting involved helps you meet many people and make friends.

Elliot

Pay attention to the types of students you see walking around the campus, the experience of the professors, and the overall geography of the school.

Lindsay

Don't make your decision solely based on tour/what you learn when visiting because that's what I did and I hate Denison; I feel soooo deceived and so do many students here. TALK TO STUDENTS WHO DONT WORK FOR ADMISSIONS OFFICE BECAUSE THEIR ANSWERS ARE WORTHLESS ASIDE FROM STATISTICS/FACTS. Honestly, really talk to other students--ask them what they HONESTLY think. Inquire about the social life--especially if you don't plan to drink. Ask about housing situation if you can't afford to live off campus. Don't pick school that's rural/secluded if you won't have a car. Even though the applications are annoying/costly, apply to many schools and be certain about your choice because four years is a long time to be miserable and transferring is really hard for lots of reasons. Don't pick a school just because they offer you the most money if you can financially afford to have more discresion. Finally, don't come to Denison unless you're a really smart upper-middle class preppy white kid who plans to go Greek. Those are only types of people who have a prayer of liking it here.

Jacquelyn

Experiment, see what works for you and what doesn't, and never allow yourself to fall pressure to the ideals of yourself and society.

Ben

Think about yourself as a person and what you are looking for sexually, academically, athletically, and in sports. Coed dorms are always a plus, small class sizes are good, and you should know what you want from sports teams

Leah

Do an overnight at the colleges you look at and visit several classes in your potential major(s), as well as a few just for fun. Get to know the students, and ask them questions about their experience. Don't let the admissions office tell you everything. Pay attention to money: how much debt do you want to be in at age 22? Can you compromise your first choice college to stay out of debt without compromising your education? Education is as much what you make of it as what the school makes of it, so don't depend on your professors to lay everything out for you. Seek out connections between all your classes. Get involved in clubs and non-academic activities, and join something you wouldn't normally do, just to meet new people. Get out of your comfort zone, because you might discover something amazing. And STUDY ABROAD!!!

Greta

I know it sounds cliche, but part of the reason I went to Denison was because of the feeling I got my first time on campus. It felt comfortable and like home. It's important to try and visit colleges of interest, to get a feel for the campus and the people who go there. I also think it's important not to settle for a school you have little or no interest in. It's hard to make the best out of what you have, when you really don't want to be there. While you're in college, put yourself out there and stay active in your college community, and the surrounding community. Without spreading yourself too thin, try to take advantage of activities and coursework that your school has to offer. Most importantly, relax and have fun!

Amber

Parents and prospective students should research colleges of interest thoroughly. Find out the financial aid and scholarships available, as well as the overall culture of the school. Investigate the average classroom size to determine if the size is suitable for personal needs and disciplines. Find out ratio of diversity at the school, specifically international students, the number of US states are represented, gender percentages, and percentages of racial minority groups represented on campus in order to better assess the importance of diversity and tolerance on the campus. Find out what extracurricular activities and academic clubs are available on campus accompanied by the specific number of students involved to determine the ease at which one can get involved and balance their academic workload. Also, find out about the campus facilities, residential life, and the surrounding areas (e.g. vandalism and violence rates on/off campus) to ensure that it is a healthy environment to thrive in. In order to make the most of the college experience, get involved in and outside of the classroom; get exposure to different cultures and diversity of all kinds to gain more insight into other?s perceptions. Challenge personal views, grow academically, and build integrity daily.

Amanda

Don't just the schools with names you know, look at what school is right for you. I chose a small school, because I needed an environment that would be more nurturing; and the differences between small and big schools are vast. If a student is responsible enough to attend a big school, then definitely do it; but at small schools it is easier to get leadership experience and to just be involved in different activities. Every school is different, and campus visits are important to get a more full understanding of the school's dynamics. At the same time, you should not base your whole understanding of a school off of the people you stayed overnight with. Also, don't completely base your school choice off of the career you see yourself going into, unless you are positive and have experience in that field that has solidified your desire to go into it. It is best to keep your options open with a liberal arts school.

Wagner

Go visit the campus first. Don't let big names like Harvard and Yale intimidate you. Small liberal arts colleges are just as challenging if not more challenging than the Ivy league schools and they are often not impossible to get into.

Alyssa

Things happen when you least expect them to: I visited Denison towards the end of my college visits, and wasn't expecting to fal in love with it like I did. After all that driving and flying, I'd finally found the one college that was right for me. Obviously, this doesn't happen to everyone, but, believe me, if you look then you'll find a place where you can be happiest.

Amber

Colleges are typically the same. Pick one that is in a location you want to be, isn't too expensive, and enjoy the experience.

Brandi

Look for the best college that supports your views and a place where you would feel comfortable. Also find a school that will allow you to express your ideas in a fun way that is educational as well. Look for a college that supports your transition into college and your stay in college.

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