Drexel University Top Questions

What should every freshman at Drexel University know before they start?


I would choose not to give my high school self any advice at all. I found that the best way to grow as a person is to learn from your experiences and your mistakes. Although I could give my younger self some very helpful advice on how to approach college the "right way", I would not have experienced certain challenges that have shaped me into the person I am today.


If one day there was a machine invented that would allow me to only go back in time to the point where I was a high school senior, there are a plethora of things I would give myself advice on. For starters, I should have done a lot more research on the major I chose, which is electrical engineering. I have always had an interest in electrical engineering, but back then I only had a general concept of what it was, so when I got to college I was extremely dissatisfied with myself to see other students in my age group that were more experienced than I was in the major. So the first thing I would tell my high school senior self is to start learning and getting more familiar with electrical engineering. Aside from being more prepared, I would also advise my former self to always remain positive. There were many occurrences where I felt down between that time and now, but as I look back at it, those instances do not seem as serious as I once thought they were. So having a more positive attitude through it all would have helped tremendously.


I would not settle. I had a great senior year and took a wonderful backpacking trip, but I settled. I didn’t apply to my dream school in my dream city because I didn’t like their application, so I just settled for a similar school that is also wonderful. I also settled when I felt I was in adequate shape for my backpacking trip instead of striving to be better. Once you learn to settle for things not as great, or better, you carry that into college and then it will be carried into the real world. I settled for my first internship because I was scared I wouldn’t get a better position. In high school you’re still a kid. Take chances, do things that scare you, say yes, but whatever you do, don’t settle.


If I were able to talk to my 18 year old self I would tell him to wait and consider. College is certainly a great venue to explore yourself and get a great education, but it is more of a fools errand to go just for the sake of going. College must be more about realizing your full potential in what you want to do, not a destination of peers. College should be something you choose to go to after you have had time to get to know yourself more outside of the classroom, apart from pure theory and the friends you grew up with. Finding who you are takes time, and is worth the investment, but to spend an exhorbent amount of money on a hybrid of finding yourself and finding your vocation is a costly venture. I would strongly urge my younger self to absolutely go to college, but to spend at least a year unplugged from the rat race of getting the degree, and plugged into real life. Take a job doing something you have never tried before. If my younger self is so insistent upon going to college, I'd recommend community college for your cores.


My study habits were good in high school, but I was worried that they would not translate well into college. I would tell my past self now that having good study habits from high school are very important. Without good study habits, your grades might not be that bad overall, but the individual grades might be very unpredictable. One week you might get an 80, and the other week you might get a 50. With good study habits, you might not get 100's all the time, but you will not need to worry as much at the end of the term to see if you will pass with a good grade or not. I would also tell myself that being able to balance your social life and school life should come naturally. You will know how much time you need to study and how much time you can spend with your friends, don't try to change your study habits so you can hang with your friends. The reverse is true too, don't over study when you need to relax, it really won't help all that much.


If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice my high school senior year, it would simply be to diversify the scholarships I applied to and increase the volume of scholarships I would apply for. I underestimated the difficulty of getting a scholarship awarded to you as well as the general cost of living on campus at Drexel. There are plenty of scholarship opportunities out there but you cannot pick and choose them based off of which grants the most money. Every dollar counts and even a small $500 scholarship would help.


If I had the opportunity to give advice to my high school self, I would stress the importance of prioritizing school assignments versus having fun with friends. My biggest regret has been that I spent too much time feeling sad and lonely while being away from home and feeling left out of college cliques. I would tell my high school self not to worry about the “college experience” and to listen to everyone who says to just focus on my school work and that the fun and friends will follow. Having a difficult freshman year of college has created a steep climb to come back from. I would explain that college courses, especially in my accepted college, are harder than in high school and require a lot more study time than high school did. My high school self was overconfident and unfocused because I thought I always had plenty of recovery time for grades without realizing the long path to reclaiming my GPA after a few bad grades. Above all else, if I could say one thing I would tell myself to stop being stubborn and naïve about school because it is very different from high school.


I would tell myself that that you should not push of assignements until the last minute because the more time i work on it the better it will end up, even if i think that i can do it quickly. I would also tell myself to start lloking for scholarships sooner because it would make things alot easier for the future.


If I could, I would get into that time machine and first and foremost freak out my past self. After I amm done with making fun of myself, I would tell myself three things. First, I would tell myself to be honest with myself. I'd tell myself that what I really want is adventure and hands on experience, not a brand name school. Then I would tell myself to chill out. I would tell myself that everything is going to work out. I would tell myself that while there is a long road ahead of me, I will find my place in the world and the college that is perfect for me. Last but not least, I would tell myself to value the people around me. They will be by my side when life brings out the worst in me, and they will smile with me when things are great. I would tell myself that human capital is the only thing that remains when times are hard, and therefore I should pay more attention to my family and friends. These three things would have made the transition much easier for me and for the people close to me.


I would have worked a lot harder in high school. Money-wise, the biggest regret I have is not attending community college first to get my core credits out of the way before attending a university. I don't regret the experiences or the times I had throughout my college career so far. I am very fortunate and everything has been a learning experience and every single day I grow to be more mature and the person I want to be for the rest of my life.