Earlham College Top Questions

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

Katherine

Think about what is rewarding, not what is interesting. Do you want to deal with the philosophy of life, or do you want to help people directly? Do you want to contemplate the theory of how history affects the present day, or would you feel more rewarded by helping others? My high school senior self was selfish and egocentric. It is doubtful that these questions would change her opinion, but it is always worth a shot. I could have saved myself several years of a low-paying job and soul-searching had I not focused on being a historian. At 18, the difference between an intellectual reward and a spiritual reward was small. Yet, maybe posing these questions would have persuaded her to at least think about what makes her happy to the core, not what is fun to debate. Life experience has proven to me that philosophy is not rewarding, and that true joy is seeing how my actions directly improve the well-being of others.

Jessica

I would tell myself to explore more and to relax more when entering Earlham. I would not suggest a change of college, but rather comfort the fear that was present all through my senior year that I had chosen the wrong college. I would, however, warn myself about the amount of work required for finals at Earlham. Earlham is definitely a good college becuase they make students work incredibly hard to earn the grades they want. This does make for better people in the long run, but it is still a bit of an adjustment.

Rebecca

Dear Rebecca, I know you are nervous about going to college in the fall. It will be the first time you've lived away from your childhood home, your family, and friends you've known since preschool. I won't sugarcoat this for you - college is going to be hard. Academically, you will learn things about the world that will shake you to your core. Socially, you will have to learn how to live with your best friends and people who drive you crazy (often, these are the same people). Emotionally, you will experience extreme loneliness and even depression, at times. But you are strong. Not only will you graduate college in four years, you'll graduate a better, smarter, more mature person. You will graduate knowing yourself and feeling confident in who you are. It will take you these next four years to get to that point. When you have trouble - academically, socially, or personally - seek help. Tell a professor, a friend, or a counselor. You never have to endure anything alone. Just look to the light at the end of the tunnel. Do your best, and remember never to worry about that which you can't control.

Anna

I learned a lot about myself through the challenges of college. I am glad to have attended a school which pushed me continuously. There are always new boundaries to explore at Earlham and I am grateful for all the things I was able to explore.

Safia

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have told myself to evenly balance out social life with acedemic life , especially during the first semester. It seems simple but one will quickly learn that it is difficult to do so when you are meeting new people, making new friends and starting new relationships. It does not matter how hard one works in high school, the focus can be easily lost in college. It is good to be social, however, one must keep motivated during college to obtain good grades because they will depict how successful you become in the future.

Lama

I will tell myself: "Don't worry. Life is a journey and the confusion is only a natural big part of that journey. Do what your hearts wants you to do and don't worry too much about the future, because even then you won't have it all figured out."

Michael

Take more time looking for direction rather than hoping you come across it. Spend more time looking forward than back. Take more time looking for the right program. Stop being pessimistic, its not that bad.

David

Well, I actually graduated during my junior year of high school, however, I would have told myself that college is the greatest culmination of experiances you will ever have.

Helen

The important thing is not to think about what you want to do with your life, but what you want to learn next.

Kristin

Firstly, I would say that your dream school isn't always the right school for you. Most people I know didn't pick Earlham as their first choice, but now they wouldn't pick anywhere else to go. I also think it's really important to assess your cohesive needs as a student - although academics should be at the top of the list, location, extracurriculars, and social life can make or break your college experience. Enjoying where you are and who you're with always makes schoolwork seem less stressful. As for making the most of your college experience, don't close yourself up to change. One of the best things about college is you can open yourself up to new experiences and schools of thought everyday.

Yuliya

visit the school and attend the one that is community oriented such as earlham

L.

visit, go to the college where you will be the most popular kid. one exists

Brittney

Picking the right college is more than choosing where your fellow classmates choose to go. I picked a college that most of my past classmates would not have even considered, and I loved it. The school that you select should be the best fit for you, individually, or not even the best fit for you at all, if that makes any sense. Choose the college where you think you will learn the most about yourself, as well as the field that interests you the most. For example, I am from a conservative background and chose an extremely liberal campus. At first I was unsure of my decision, but after completing four years of school there, I know that I could not have picked a better option. The best way to learn is from those who may not have the same viewpoints as you do. If we spent all of our time around people who were like us, we would never grow as people.

Christine

In finding the right college it is important to have an idea of the community you are looking for. Decide what is important for you not only accademically but also what sort of environment you think you would best be able to live in. What is most important is that you are happy at your college and learning what you want to learn. It is important not to get caught up with what is a more prestigeous school and rather what fits you, personally, the best. Make sure you visit the college! Colleges always try to make themselves pretty on paper but if possible stay the night at colleges you are seriously thinking about attending. That way you will better be able to get a sense of the town, and the on-campus environment and community. The best thing to remember is that learning can happen anywhere as long as you are motivated and happy. So make sure you choose a place that you are happy at.

Alexandra

It is extremely important to have at least a small inkling about the academic background, alumni networking abilities in your school and international experiences available. Living in a nurturing, small private college offers opportunities that are not found in large public universities. I believe that it helps one ground themselves and build confidence whereas large universities in cities offer the city but not necessarily the college community found in smaller private schools. It is a huge investment and it is important to choose a school and graduate on time.

Mark

Make sure to visit the campus and go on the campus tour.

Julia

Ratings are not everything, Harvard with its honor system have people that cheat, we can't do that - that is reflected in our GPAs. A name does matter, but I belive Earlham will move up over the years.

Claire

I would encourage incoming college students and their parents to invest in their interests and motivations, and to access the value they seek in a college education. I would strongly recommend looking into smaller-name colleges, with an appreciation for an individualized education and overall college experience. Campus life is also integral to how one relates to their college and their peers, and it's important to choose a setting which enriches your goals. Keep an eye out for programs to study abroad as part of your major or general studies, and pursue opportunities unique to the campus, whether through a professor's expertise, a peer's cultural background, or surrounding the school's own issues and traditions. You'll find a more complete understanding of yourself if you are receptive to budding interests, new perspectives, and challenges alike.

Humberto

Talk to a counselor, visit, be realistic, apply early, be flexible.

Martha

Be very careful to find out that financial aid and faculty aren't being cut due to the recession.

Elissa

over-research and talk to a college counselor.

Laura

Something I did when I was choosing a college which helped me was really thinking about what I liked and disliked about my high school and using that information when looking at colleges. For example, my high school had very rigid general education requirements and I wasn't happy with that and so I looked for colleges with more flexible gen eds. In other words take the experiences you have already had in school and use them to figure out your own preferences about your future education. As for making the most of the college experience, seek people out who have things in common with you by getting involved with what you're interested in around campus, try new things, and go to campus events. Colleges bring a lot of free music, workshops, and lectures to their campuses, so take advantage of them. Finding a community to be a part of while you're in college will make all the difference. I also recomend studying abroad. My experience abroad was excellent and colleges tend to offer great opportunities to study in other countries.

Andrew

Find something(s) that you enjoy both academically and socially. Enjoy yourself but also think practically. Consider your classes and activities. Think beyond the lecture, most of the best discussions occur outside of class. Don't forget to challenge your peers and yourselfs by considering opposing viewpoints. Remember that this is your time to learn and be a student. Cherish that opportunity and make the most of it for yourself. Make sure to keep yourself healthy throughout your time at college as these experiences and habits will last with you for the rest of your life.

hmayer

Go with your instincts- sometimes there's something that you want, or feel that you don't know about yet, but you'll just have a feeling, a sense- an nudge of intuition- trust it!!

Wesley

A college choice is to be made by the student and not one's parents. The student must be intuitive and willing to take risks in the game of college selection. If the student has the ability to sit down, pour herself onto an application as well as an interview and have no feelings of regrets, she will have succeeded in taking crucial steps in terms of both growth and independence. This clearly is not the end and therefore one must step out of the high school comfort zone of lectures and homework, and into the world of self-exploration, self-motivation, and proactivity.

Michelle

It really seems to be up to the individual as to how much they get out of any school. Some schools are easier to get involved in on- or off-campus activities, but overall it is up to the individual. It is useful to look for any specific programs that you want, and if you are unsure as to what kind of career you want, or even what to study period, I strongly suggest a liberal arts college.

Brian

There are a lot of people that tal abou how crazy and wild they were back in college, but at the end of the day, you are there to learn. A great course catalogue with amazing professors that can teach you what you are interested in is far more important to you than any frat, club, or team.

Donna

Students- Wherever you end up, you have the ability to make or break your experience. Those that are the happiest are the ones that find the positives out of any situation. My parent's choose my school for me, and I resented it. Yet, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I found my passion and my future. I loved my undergraduate experience because I made it what I wanted and did the things I loved- intensive learning, athletics, photography, and study abroad. Things don't always work out the way you want, but if you can find what makes you happy and embrace it- it won't matter. I walked away from my undergrad getting everything I ever wanted and then some- I challenge you to do the same.

Megan

Visit the school and stay the night if you can. As well as meet people there and ask as many questions as you can. Look at your future and see if you can see yourself there and happy!

Carolyn

Visit, stay overnight... it's what worked for me

Emerald

Visit and apply to as many schools as you can and ask as many questions as it takes to get the answers you need.

Dylan

Visit every school. You won't get a good feel for a school unless you spend the night. Once at school, pursue a major that you are interested in, regardless of job possibilities after school. Do what you are passionate about.

Armen

1) Do not let your child have complete control over the choice of where to attend college. High schools seniors are entirely uncapable of making that choice, especially given the financial aspect in respect to our current economic crisis. 2) Make sure to send your child to a campus close to home. Your average college campus is a vial corrupting place. Maintain close supervision of your child is the only to make sure your child gets anything whatsoever out of college, unless you are looking to be grandparents anytime soon. 3) Accept the fact that your child will never be the same. 4) Finally, be sure that you get your child hitched to that nice little neighbor girl, if not your son your son will end up in the arms of some sad drunk girl.

Stephanie

Search long and hard; use all resources you have to the maximum yield that they can offer. Doing lots of research as well as following up with visits is vital. College is important, and not just to find a job. College is an experience that helps you find yourself, and your place in the world. It shapes who you are. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to really devote a lot of thought, time, and effort into finding a school that will be right for you or your child. Do not leave the decision to your high school guidance counselor, they often do not have a broad enough background or knowledge of schools that are not focused on "traditional" areas such as law and medicine. Schools with more specialized and less-common areas of interest will be entirely up to you to find. Do not give up, or settle for what others tell you is good for you. Find your own path; e-mail the admissions department, ask for more information, set up an interview, visit the school.

Lillian

It is really important to see each college that you are interested in and speak with both students and professors there. Not every college is a perfect fit for every student. Asking questions is absolutely necessary when shopping for a school. Somewhere might seem like a great place from it's website or brochure, but being there and getting a feel for it is the only real way to tell if it is going to meet your needs.

elena

the education you recieve from college depends on you more than any other factor.

Joshua

Don't pay so much attention to college guides; the most important thing is VISITING where you want to attend. I almost applied Early Decision to a school I thought was perfect, until I visited it. Visit classes, visit college housing, visit students, and go with your gut instinct about how comfortable you feel.

Larisa

Start your college search early and do campus visits! Ask the students on campus what they like the most and the least about their school.

Melody

Look for schools that are strongest in the area of study you are most interested in, but also give you choices to explore other areas you might not have considered and may fall in love with.

Erum

A small college is best suited to one`s needs since your social circle is likely to increase faster. Also, a college with lots of diversity, or a college which welcomes diversity helps students gain perspective for opinions that they never would have on their own. It gives life a whole new meaning and one is exposed to different views, cultures, values across the world while in at college.

Samara

Don't think you have to settle for a big public state university. Check out smaller schools and smaller programs. And don't think that just because you failed Chemistry your freshman year of high school that no one will ever accept you. I did, and Earlham wanted me so badly they paid for over half of my tuition. Hold old for the school that's right for you. Do your research and prove to them you're the student they've been looking for.

Laura

As a homeschooled student, the best advice I can give is to homeschoolers: find a school that non-traditional. Unless the student really wants the formal learning experience, I highly recommend finding a school that doesn't give grades, allows students to design their own major easily, does only one class at a time, etc. Try to get a feel for how flexible the school is in doing things a little outside the norm. The hardest thing for me (and one of my other homeschooled friends at my college) was adjusting to being told how to learn (what classes I have to take when, doing busy-work homework, etc.), when, as self-dictator of my own education for 10 years, I already knew perfectly well how to do it. I resented conforming to what the school said my learning cycle should be, and I resented that I had so much homework that I couldn't properly pursue my own interests. Even in classes I enjoyed, I only barely had time to complete all my homework anyway, let alone going deeper into a subject. So I suppose to summarize: find a place that mimics the homeschool style/values of learning.

Zipporah

First of all I would tell students to make sure their grades are up to part and that they begin to work on scholarships to attend college. Study Study and more study is the key to getting into the college of their choice

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