DePauw University Top Questions

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


When you're going to decide on the right school for you, YOU MUST visit that school. A visit will help you really see the campus and understand more about it. MOST importantly, while you're there ask a lot of questions. Don't just talk to the tour guides because they will tell you what they are scripted to say. Talk to anyone you see, stop people!! Ask people for their honest opinion about the school, especially what people don't like. This will be very helpful to your decision since you'll have an idea of what to expect if you attend that school. In addition, think about all you want from a college. Find a college with a really good alumni network and see what the rate is of job placement. It may not seem important now, but your senior year you might have wished you knew what the likelihood of you getting a job would be. You go to college because you want a good job, so find out what the chances of getting that job are once you graduate. Lastly, make sure you make the right choice for YOU and only YOU!


Never trap yourself into a particular college just because a friend or family member went there or wants you to go there. Go somewhere you are comfortable, where it makes sense for you to be and where you don't feel out of place the minute you get there. Talk to admission directors and staff if they're available while you're searching to find out if their personalities mesh with your own. Never go to a "good school" where the staff/faculty can't be bothered with students outside of classes or business hours--if you wouldn't have them to your house for dinner, how are you going to spend the next four years with them? Think about what REALLY matters in your education -- chances are, you won't be in the same career for the rest of your life so if you're going to be a media specialist today, wouldn't you like to have the skills and ability to adapt what you've learned to become a museum curator or an archaeologist if you want to? Getting a job is important, but the more you can do now, the more enjoyable life will be.


Find a place that not only fits who you are now but also the person you hope to become. You will continue to be shaped by the people you surround yourself with and the environment in which you live. Think about your goals, hopes and dreams and find a place that will nurture you and give you the education and experiences you need for your future. Sure, you want to make sure the food is good and the buildings are tidy, but also pay close attention to the students and faculty, what they say and how they interact. Afterall, these are the people you will entrust to shape and mold your mind and goals for the next four years. College can be daunting, but when you look using the correct criteria, you are sure to be rewarded in the end.


I recommend looking at and visiting several schools, even if you think you know exactly where you want to go. When you visit, look at the facilities and ask many questions about the campus resources. Most importantly, ask students about the quality of professors and their availability throughout the school year. The best way to succeed in college is to communicate with your professors. Let them know if you are struggling and ask them for help when you need it. I have never been denied help and guidance from a professor when I asked for it. As far as the social aspect, college is an amazing time of growth, and it gives you the opportunity to learn from all different types of people. When choosing a college, look for diversity among the students. Also, look ahead of time into the available extra-curricular activities. They are a great way to meet new people and make friends during this fast-paced and exciting time in your life.


At DePauw University I have worked on campus as a tour guide, and one thing that I always tell the families that I am giving a tour too is that the only way to know if a university is right for you is too go there and take a tour and get a feel for what life is like there. Then once they get there to make the most out of their college experience by being outgoing, making tons of friends, joining clubs or greek life and to be themselves so that they will feel comfortable and confident and by doing that people will be able to see your true personality.


College is one of the most important and rewarding times in your life, chosing the right one is essential to making the most out of your educaitonal experience. Go where you want to go for reasons that will be important to you in the long run, not just because it's where all your friends from high school are going. When selecting your school it's important to know the basics of what you want. Will you thrive in a big or small school setting? These are the types of things that are unchanging in a University and it's wise to know ahead of time which atmosphere will suit you best. Once you've chosen a school take full advantage of all the resources it has to offer you, you are paying for them so use them! Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it; go to your professors' office hours, use your librarian, she can be the most helpful tool for writing a good paper. Going away to school is a truly liberating experience, it's a fresh start so be true to yourself right from the beginning and have fun with it!


When looking for a college that is right for you I suggest you go with your gut and what feels right. Dont look at statistics and ACT/SAT scores. Go where you feel you can further yourself. You dont want to just be a number in a pool full of students. You want to be able to stand out and make a difference. Go where you can be yourself and and make the best of yourself. Sometimes that school that is reknown for having the best students may not be the place for you because you will not be able to stand out. Don't blend in, make a difference!


In all honesty, choose the school that you think you would best fit in. I am still have some regrets about choosing DePauw, mostly because I don't think I fit in as well as I could have somewhere else. I think my college experience would have been completely different if I hafit in better. Once you do choose the school for you, make sure you make the effort to meet new people. Having friends on campus helps a lot if you are far away from home. Having someone to do stuff with on the weekends is a great alternative to partying and drinking. Overall, just have fun! But keep your mind on your studies. A college education is one of the most important keys to a successful life!


If you are able to, spend a few days on campus during the school year to get a feel for what it would be like to attend the school. Also, request opportunities to speak to students from the departments that you are considering majoring in. Speak to a wide variety of students , including those who dislike the school. A school is still a business interested in taking your money, so you'll want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly before you spend a penny.


To find the right college, visit, stay overnight. Seeing how a school looks during the day, and examining the social life at night are radically different. On top of focusing on the academics, students must be happy and engaged. And don't ever forget that no matter where you go to college, there will be a niche to fit. Don't worry if a student is socially awkward, worry more if his morals and ideas will be challenged, and whether or not this challenge will come in a positive or negative way. The academics are important too, but consider heavily these other, often overlooked factors when making a good college choice.


Everyone is different. For me, finding the right college meant visiting everywhere I was accepted and literally setting foot on campus. I fell in love with my school from the moment I stepped out of the car. Go to school where you feel the most comfortable. Take into account the atmosphere, the landscape, and the people around you. Pay attention to such things as, do the majority of students look happy? and how they react to you and others around you. Keep in mind what you want from college and pay attention to those details. Capitalize on every opportunity. Take advantage of what your school has to offer by way of extracurriculars, academic support, free lectures, art shows, concerts, computer help, etc. There are loads of hidden gems tucked away in the campus calendar, so check it out! Study hard, but play hard too. It is important to do well in school but also to do well in life. Make friends, join a club or two, and exercise. College is really about finding out who you are and what you want from life while learning skills and education to help you out in the real world.


I would have them make out a list of EVERYTHING they're looking for when selecting a college. Everything matters even from small details such the kind of weather they would like to live in to the large details such as the job and internship opportunities the school or the surrounding community has to offer. The search for the right college is difficult, but making out a detailed list could ease the pressure, especially when you visit your highschool or community counselors. They can help prospective students find the colleges that meet their criteria to the best of their abilities. Searching for the right college is the perfect opportunity for prospective students to discover what will truly make them happy.


Simply this: "Time". In today's society, we all seem to be in a hurry to find or create the ideal, when in reality the ideal may be either in front of you, or what you believed to be the ideal may not have been ideally GOOD for you. This process takes time, and my advice would be the use of patience in our decisions. Haste in the decision process can be unforgiving, yet as well haste in the attempts to mold our situation when clearly there is an issue can cause more harm than good. Understand that time allows not only thought, but time allows for experience. During one's first year, those experiences allow for more informed decision on both the parts of the student as well as the parent. Patience can be one's greatest ally, but a lack can be one's greatest hindrance. I'm still applying this principle to my own life, for if I were to refrence the Bible, for it is a great part of my faith, I would turn and quote Philipians 4:6 which states that we must "be anxious for nothing." Regardless of what you believe, it's wisdom.


My first peice of advice is to ask what the student wants to do with his life. If they are a million percent certain, look for a school that has a great program the student's interested in. If there is any room for doubt, choose a school with plenty of flexibility so that the student can keep the options open. Second piece of advice: don't be afraid of loans...! Third piece of advice: Parents, understand your child is growing to be a man/woman. So give them space and treat them like adults. Trust me, when we feel vulnerable, we'll come to you. Lastly, students, focus on learing something new every day, and your experience will be completely worth it.


The right college includes all the classes you plan to take - and even more classes that you never even thought about before. College is an exceptional commitment and it's all about opportunities. In college it is very possible that you will change your plans for the future and a truly good school will be able to accomodate for that change. A college or university that you feel limits you in a field, lifestyle, major or level of comfort is a poor choice and only you can make that decision. When you can walk down a sidewalk or street on campus and marvel at the scope of people and opportunities around you, then you have found where you belong. And don't let anyone talk you out of it.


Vist your choices, known what learening enviornment fits you best, budget accordingly and pray for guidence, go with you gut feeling.


Make sure you visit a variety of colleges (i.e large, small, public, private, Christian, small town, city, etc.) Even if you are certain you know the kind of college you want to go to, it can't hurt to at least see everything first. Campus tours are great for information, but if you really wwant to get a feel for the campus, walk around on your own, talk to some students, or even plan an overnight stay. The campus tour is good, but I learned more about the school just walking around and seeing what life at the school was like. If you're looking to play a sport, make sure you meet some team members to make sure you like the fit. Also, don't throw out any choices simply because they're expensive or you don't think you'll get in. Go through the whole process first. Then make your decision. Things may work out better than you thought they would.


Go with your instincts but keep an open mind. Sometimes you'll get that gut feeling when you step onto a college campus that says, "This school isn't right for me." Other times it will say, "I could really fit here." But still other times, you might be the person that swears she'll never go to a school because they send her so much mail, submit your free common application anyway, and end up spending 4 unforgettable years there. That was me and because I reconsidered my school with an open mind, I found opportunities I would not experience anywhere else. Once you get enrolled, move in, etc., take advantage of the unique opportunities your school has to offer (as much as you can while still maintaining your grades and health, of course). Explore different clubs, participate in internships, build relationships with your professors (their letters of recommendation may really come in handy), and remember to stay open to your own personal growth and the growth of those around you.