Eastern Mennonite University Top Questions

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

Lauren

Dear self: You are not nearly as wise or cultured as you think you are. When you get to college, you will meet people who know more than you, get better grades, and have traveled farther. High school is fun and all, but you really need to spend more time thinking about who you are as an individual. It's too easy to get wrapped up in the identities of your friends and allow them to define you, so stop! Seek who you are outside of society's pressures and labels, and you will be better prepared for the college world. Now, I don't want to suggest that you will immediately find yourself and stop worrying about others' perceptions of you. This sort of thing is a life process! However, it will be much easier to transition to college if you have already begun thinking about who YOU are and want to be rather than being who others want you to be. Most of all, have fun! College is challenging--and it should be--but it's also the best time of your life, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Taylor

Stay focused, branch out, stay away from cliques, and teachers are there to help you. Being the first to go to college and potentially graduate from it is an accomplishment! You can do this, the going gets tough but you will make it through! I believe in YOU!

Riney

Dont be afraid to meet new people! I was really nervous coming in at the begining of the year because I didn't know anyone! Well it is competely different than the high school drama. Everyone is living together and creating these great friendship so don't feel like you can't just join in on the fun! Also try new things, don't be scared to put yourself out there and be brave. College is like a pool on a hot day, it isn't much fun unless you jump right in!

Olivia

Dear high school seniors, There is only so much advice to give. However, there is some advice, some I wish I had known before jumping into college life. 1. Be brave and outgoing! 2. Work really hard and don't get behind, it will only hurt you. 3. Try new things. College is a time full of fun, laughs, friends and new experiences. 4. Join clubs, sports, Bible studies and other groups because meeting new people is so incredibly important your first year. and last, 5. Be yourself. College is a time of learning who you turly are. It is a time to question what you want to do and but also a time to enbrace who you are and enjoy the wonderful and unique person that God created for a purpose. Never forget that! Because no matter how small you may feel, you are important! With love, Olivia.

Tevin

Personally, I would've taken more advanced classes to better prepare me for my upcoming school year in college. The classes you will experience in college are going to tougher than any class you have ever taken in high school. You have to study alot more in college. Therefore, taking advanced classes in high school is a smart idea. Also, you will need to apply for several scholarships throughout your senior year. College is very expensive, and without scholarships one will have a very difficult time paying for their tuition. Getting more involved in clubs and honors programs can also be very beneficial. Several colleges look at your transcript and see how involved in high school you were. So, being involved in clubs and such looks excellent on your transcript when applying for college. These are some of the simple things i would've done to better prepare myself for a smooth transition from high school to college.

Amanda

I would tell myself to buck up and finish the math classes and even try to take more in science so I would not be as far behind as I am. My consoler ended having me in a UBSCT Math class (which means I had not passed the state test) and also Algabra 2 math class. I was failing the Algabra 2 class so I dropped it half way threw the year and ended up putting myself behind for my future as to which I have to work even harder for now. I would tell myself not to give up in my dreams and settle for something I may not want to do. There is much more I would tell myself but since I cannot go back in to the past, I will simple move on and work as hard as I must to accomplish what I need.

woodrow

Some advice I would give myself is not to wait untill the last minute to trun things in. In high school you can get away with stuff like that, but in college its the real deal. I would also tell myself to learn how to manage my time because time management is very important in college

Sondra

Don't stress yourself out worrying about getting straight A's. There is a lot more to learn in college than what's taught in the classroom. Invest in relationships. Try new things. Explore. Have fun. Make mistakes.

Bonnie

Being able to go back in time and talk to myself about to start college, I would have some advice. First, I would say stay true to your dreams and goals. I would tell myself about how there will always be temptations and opportunities to do the wrong thing, but always work hard and not let distractions derail you. Always be happy and confident in your choices, but look at all of your options first. Failures may happen, but you should only learn and grow from them because they are what help mold you into the person you'll be in the future. Lastly, no matter what anyone says, your present and future is your choice and it is up to you to decide where to go, what to do, and who to be. Stay true to yourself!

Jessica

I would tell myself that the long hall is not nearly over yet, but it is just beginning. The short two page papers that I was use to writing are a thing of the past in college, so I should appreciate them and do the best I can. When it actually comes to the writing of papers, the grammer has to be even better and more thought out in your drafts than your typical final copy. In the start of college it may seem important to make new friends and find a group of people that you can fully connect with. In reality it is a much better idea to get to know your teachers and to develope an effective homework routine, and get better tips on studying. The studies habit of your high school years do not even begin to cut in for college tests. It may seem like alot of work now, but once you are thought all of the hard work and stress. Walking across that stage and starting the career that you have been striving for will feel amazing.

Michelle

If I knew then what I know I would have taken more classes that required more intensive writing to prepare me for the level of writing expected of a college student. I would also suggest that I visit more colleges to begin with since you don't know what you want till you experience it.

Mariah

Mariah, You don't have to worry about not participating in all the activities and trying to be popular. When you get to EMU you are going to be one amazing person. I bet you didn't even think about the possibility that the girl you are now will become a leader for a week of campus wide activities dedicated to preventing sexual assault. And you will make that trip to the MIddle East thanks to the university. It will be great. I want to make you aware that you will be raped on the trip and it will be tough, but you will come back so strong and become student government president and a community advisor for the dorm hall! So when you graduate from Patrick Henry and get ready for EMU don't be nervous on move in day. The hall you're living on will change your life and the people you meet will not judge you like you are judged now in high school. I'm not saying college will be easy, there will be challenges, but you are going to turn into a person you never thought you would.

rachel

Be ready to study and manage time more wisely, cause in college it only gets harder. Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone and meet many new people. If you need help, get it. Stay focused on school, but do not forget you social life, hanging out with friends, and doing the things you love. Enjoy all four years here cause these are some of the best years of your life.

Vanessa

College is all about balance. For me, the hardest part about this transition was learning to balance athletics, a social life, and academics. Academics was my first priority and playing a sport took up much of my time in the first few months of college. Because of this, my social life was the aspect that suffered. While I ended up with a few very close friends, I wish I had gotten to know many different people. My advice to myself, therefore, would be to be friendly and outgoing. As a freshman you have to remember that all of the other freshman are in the same situation as you, they are also trying to make friends. You can not be afraid put yourself out there because you never know what life-long relationships you will form.

Valerie

I have gotten that Highschool really never prepares you for what is next. College is a world of it's own. There are new rules and a very different mannerisim between the professor and the student. College may be more lax on the time you take your class but the work is much more detailed than during highschool. It is good if there are friends to turn to during class to ask questions. It is also a good idea to be able to talk to your professor and get help when needed.

Kristen

While enrolled in high school I took dual credit courses. It is through these courses that I began to foster my love of the college environment and the different clientele that takes college courses. The experience has helped me tremendously and has made the transition to a future employee so much easier. The experience has shaped my future in a way that only college can. No more Proms, National Honor Society inductions, Sr. Girls dance, etc. It is strictly business with eyes on the future. College has allowed me to focus on my BS in Petroleum Engineering and appreciate the things that I learn along the way. This appreciation has committed knowledge to long term memory which will allow me to hopefully one day be a force in a degree field that is dominated by 90% men. College has given me the confidence to conquer regardless of what the odds are. Knowledge is king and without college I would not be as successful as I am today.

Maria

Through my college experience, I have grown and matured into a better person. My university has a great education program. I have learned a lot of content and how to apply it in the classroom. With almost every class, we have had experience in the local schools giving us more interaction with students that we can relate our knowledge to. Our professors have a lot of experience as well, that they freely share with us. The professors also have taught us how to integrate our faith with our teaching. Not only have I learned a lot of information and feel ready to join the work force, but I have been included in the community of the school. I have found many places to connect and use my talents. Without going to college, I would not have become outgoing, adventurous, and independent. My college years have made me who I am today, a mature adult ready to live and work in the real world.

Alicia

From my college experience at EMU, I learned a great deal about myself. Between the Cross-Cultural experience, the friends that I made, and the support of my excellent teachers, I feel prepared to go out into the world with a fuller sense of my priorities and my goals. Since EMU encourages students to take a variety of classes, I was able to take psychology courses and discover a passion for psychological study, especially as it applies to Art Therapy. In addition, EMU, being a Mennonite college, helped me to gain an awareness of my spiritual beliefs and to persuade me to think critically as to why I believe what I believe. Having grown up Mennonite, to gain different perspectives on my denomination, as opposed to the more conservative church I grew up in, helped me to gain a new appreciation for my heritage. However, because of the diversity of the student population, as well as my experience abroad, EMU enlightened me and helped me to gain a sense of appreciation for other religious beliefs and cultures.

CheRae

I have experienced Professors who are there to see you succeed unlike in high school where their goal was a paycheck and having you pass a test. My school also made it very affordable for me and I have seen them work with many students through grants and loans. That kind of care isn't found in many homes and i feel lucky that I can have it in a school. Also the community of harrisonburg has taught me to be more sustainable, all of our dorms are eco friendly in the sense that lights will turn off if no movement in the room is detected, and we have two way flush toilets and many other things that make a difference in the community. EMU allowed me to create my college experience, which consists of faith, study, performances and fun. EMU has taught me things about myself that I could have never learned in a classroom.

Ethan

The first thing I think about is the quality of the education. I would not trade the Teacher Education training that I've received at EMU for any other college or university's Teacher Education program, and I mean that. I have also learned about time management, how I learn, how others learn, how to be a coach and a tutor, how to work at a variety of jobs, and also a great deal about the world that I live in and how that will affect my job as a teacher. Much of my education has been the result of a desire to learn and become a more complete individual; planning ahead and thinking of what I can do to better serve the students and community with whom I will be working as a teacher has been a huge part of my education experience. EMU has provided me with a goal and life mission. I wasn't exactly sure that I wanted to be a teacher earlier in my life, but I wanted to serve the community that I would live in. Becoming a teacher and coach will allow me to do that.

Kayla

i have learned that college isnt just fun and games. that even living athome you still have the same stress of living on campus, and i learned that i need to better manage my time with school and homework. its valuable to me caus ei could use this in everyday life and at a work place.

Benjamin

I have gotten an education. Education is the compiling the experiences of predecessors with your own; forming them into useful information that applies to whatever your main focus is as well as general knowledge. Obviously picking through all of this information and turning it into something that makes sense is difficult. What college does for us/me is it takes all of the information and retains the most useful experiences. Then people who are skilled at explaining these experiences (professors) tell it to us in a way that makes sense. I have learned about nursing. None of my learning would have been possible if the trials that my predecessors had gone through before had not been explained to me.

Sara

I would like to tell myself to be more open to making new friends. Befriend people outisde of your dorm, talk to the people in your classes, dont always sit at the same table in the caffeteria. There are tons of great people out there, and you will never know them unless you get out of a rut to talk to them. Also, work hard at your studies, college is harder than high school, and you cannot slide through getting A's without working for them.

Karen

Take your time to explore every option, education opportunity and avenue available to gain knowledge and experience.....and enjoy yourself. Decisions do not need to be made hastily and certainly not under pressure from yourself, family, peers or professors. Ultimately, evolving into your own self and truly knowing who you are will make decisions of "what you want to be when you grow up" a little easier to answer. There are so many things in life that can be taken away from you......education, knowledge and experience are yours to keep forever. Building a foundation of knowledge, education and experience; anchored with a secure sense of self makes for a much brighter future no matter what decisions you make or where life takes you.

Anita

Anita, keep up the good work and don't give up. I know you think you can always finish school later and that you need to help your family now, but trust me, you will help them more by finishing and excelling in school. You will be so proud of yourself that you have accomplished something that is well within your reach and you will also give yourself and your family the head start it needs to continue on to something that could enable you to sustain yourself and your family, if you don't quit. If you quit now, it could be years before you have the opportunity to fulfill your dream. It could be much more difficult to retain details and stay motivated and keep up with the pace of college level work. Anita, if you quit, you will never be satisfied until you return and follow your dream, and the challenges will mount against you. Right now, you are young and free and have a multitude of opportunities at your grasp to help you finish highschool and college. However, if you refuse to listen to this advise, don't relent until you finish, even if at 43.

Erin

I would tell myself to pray more about my situation. I did not really think of what God might have me do. I would also prepare myself more for being rejected. I just assumed I would get into a certain school and didn't and I took it really hard. I really should have trusted God more in this situation and rely on Him.

Shaena

I would tell myself to study harder, much harder not only my classes, but SATs/ACTs. If i would have done better then I wouldn't have to take the Praxis 1 test. I would have had more scholarships and maybe even a full scholarship to school. I would tell myself to make sure that I ask many questions about classes and which ones are neccary and which ones were not. Lastly, I would tell myself to get more involved in clubs and other organizations. Being more involved would be more fun and you get to meet a lot of new people who you could be life long friends with.

Maggie

My advice would be "Get your education now before you get married and have kids. As it is easier to get an education without the other day-to-day distractions."

Yetmwork

I would give an advice for myself, do every school work ahead. Starting from application, easays, and decide early which school I want to go and why I want to go that specific school, in addtion of mind readiness. Other than this I will tell my self to make sure that i can affored that school financially.

Angelica

I have always been very focus on what I want, so I would not have said anything else The only two advice that I would have said to myself is that I needed to read more and put more effort on my writing..

Charity

I was quite afraid when I began college. I remember sitting in my dorm room feeling so stuck...I would be at this place for four years! My fears, my shyness, and my academic drive to get perfect grades shaped me into a worried freshman who spent too much time in her books and too little time stretching herself socially. If I could go back in time I would have told myself to take it easy and to not be so afraid of new things. Nothing I experienced, whether it was my first Anatomy and Physiology test or my first presentation, was as bad as it seemed at the time. Since my freshman year I have grown so much, shed many worries and released alot of fears. I still have alot of growing ahead, and that's okay because life is a journey where we all have the opportunity to walk towards who we were meant to be. I would have told myself that the journey would be scary at times, but full of joy and growth too. I would have told myself to embrace the challenges and to not let the fears keep me from walking straight ahead.

Krista

Firstly, fill out more scholarships, even if you don't think you could get it, because you really never know what you could get. Secondly, look at all the requirements for your chosen major and make wise choices as to what classes you take, so you don't have to take full loads in all the remaining semesters. Also don't sell yourself short. You have as much opportunity to try different programs as anyone on campus does and consider these advantages as you prepare your scedule. A four year plan is crucial, and very helpful in the long-run, so take the time to lay one out as best as you can. This will help you to see how to fit in all the possilbe opportunities.

Michael

I would say to myself that college is not like high school and if you aren't willing to do the work you won't make it as a college student. Also i would say,"Michael, maybe you should go to a community college and get a better paying job and fill out more scholarships so that you will not have to apply for any loans. Learn how to manage you time now because when you are on your own responsibility is on your shoulders not your parents. And overall remember to have fun, because these are expected to be your best years."

Jessica

The first thing to consider when thinking about which college to choose is what type of field that you are interested in pursuing. If you have no idea then pick a school that has strong programs in many areas. Also I would start out at a community college for the first year to just get the basics out of the way and not pay so much. Also make sure that you are attending a college that will really give you the experience you need to go on and find a job you want. When you think about what college you want to attend you need to think of the future aspects more than the here and now. Once you have chosen the college you need to become very active there and choose a path to get your classes done on time from the beginning.

Michael

Pick the college that feels right to you. If your gut says no... don't go.

Jeremy

You have to find a college that is the right fit for your needs. You should know what fields of study you are interested in and see if they are offered at a potential school and judge the quality of these programs. You should see what kinds of financial aid the school gives out and if you can afford to attend the school. Look at the campus facilities and determine whether they meet your needs or not. Also look at what kind of people attend the school and if you think you will be able to fit in or not. College is a big investment, so a wide range of factors should be considered before the investment is made. A student should take everything into consideration and ask themselves if they could picture themselves at the college or university for four years. Your college experience wil be a lot better if you visit the school and make an informed decision before enrolling.

William

I would advise parents and/or students to take their time in choosing a college. Parents should not choose the college for their student, but they should be their if the student needs assistance with anyhting. It is important to start the college search early and go on campus visits, take nice, in-depth tours, and really get to know the place because that's where one of the most valuable parts of your life will be spent. Choose a school that you get a good feeling about. Talk to other students, meet with professors and just find out as much as possible about the school. Above all, it is very important to choose a school that represents true equality and social justice for all that works endelessly to promote and advocate for social justice!

David

What you are looking for in a college before you enter will be different that what you will aprreciate about your school once you are enrolled and when you graduate; college is a formative experience. Consider your choice based on a bigger picture of what is important to you but with the willingness to have that change. Choose a well rounded school that can nurture your entire development, academic, social, spiritual, and vocational. The characteristcs of a well-rounded school resemble, and often are, the practices of a well-rounded student because the school creates a space in which the student can own his or her education . This kind of school, and student, holds their students accountable to lifestyle commitments and fosters cross-cultural dialogue and experience to provide a safe place for discussions of sexuality, spirituality, and politics. It maintains connections between factuly, staff, and students in order to create channels for critique. The school/student is connected to the local community to provide perspective and antidote to the tendency of university to become an isolated, ungrounded experience. Choose and participate in a school that can articulate a clear vision while inviting participation in the shaping of that vision.

Mary

If at any time during your visit to a college you feel uneasy about something, you might be better off to go with your gut feeling. Seek out the different settings around your campus -- talk to students, listen to their conversations if you're sitting down-- get to learn about the college from those who aren't even aware that you're listening or observing -- that will tell you a lot.

Melanie

I would advise every student and parent to start early and visit schools while they are in session to get a better idea of who the student body is and how the campus will feel if you live there. Sit down and think about the things you want most in a school, and then think about the type of work you'd like to do upon graduating, then pick the school that best meets both of those needs. Talk to students that are currently attending in the department you're interested in, meet the professors and sit in on classes. Get the best possible feel for what the college actually is - not what the admissions department tells you it is. And finally, trust yourself when you make that final decision and look forward to some of the most rewarding years of your life!

Jason

Go visit the college during normal classes. It is one thing to visit during the summer but you must get a feel for campus life as well as the institutions strengths in the classroom. College is just as much about developing lasting relationships as it is developing the skills to get a career. They are basically on of the same. Once you have picked a school look for the different ways that you can be involved on campus and in the community surrounding the school. This can add so much more to you college experience. College is a time to grow and explore and take advantage of that. Enjoy what you are doing.

Kyle

Make sure you can afford it, and make sure your kid will always enjoy it for the amount of years they plan on attending it.

Mary

Find a vibe you like-whether large or small school. Be open to the fact that it will be a learning experience- for better and worse in your life. Be willing to try different activities, and methods of studying and balancing a social life.

Lucy

Visit the campus in person, and when you have time to visit the surrounding area and go to events on campus. Have your child stay in the dorms if possible, and let them spend time on their own on the campus.

Rhoda

Visit and stay in the dorms. Also talk to students and professors in your department. Get their stories. They will be who you interact with the most. You need to also take note of how easy it is to get ahold of those professors. They should be able to meet with you and take that time.

Braydon

My advice is simple - to find the college that suits the student best. Whether that be a college that specializes or has the best program for the students desired major or one that adheres to the student's social wants/needs (or both!). My experience at Eastern Mennonite University is one that I would not trade for the world and I encourage all students to find the university that suits them perfectly.

Jessica

First, don't be afraid to look! There are so many different schools out there, each with its own strengths. You shouldn't miss out because you didn't take the time to explore your options. Don't let the opinions of others determine your decision. Research a variety of schools, maybe even a few you are skeptical about, and then pick your favorites. Don't choose your school without visiting first! The campus visit is when you truly get a feel for the atmosphere of the school and whether it is the right fit for you. Once you've made your visits and sent in your applications, wait for your acceptance letters and make your decision based on research and first hand experience. Once you've found the right school, it is up to you to give yourself a great experience. Go to class and pay attention. Your professors know their stuff. Don't be afraid to meet new people and try new things. Take a class or two that just sparks your interest. Get involved on campus in clubs or intramurals; it's a great way to meet people. Most importantly, be yourself and have fun.

Luciana

Home is what it felt like when I found Eastern Mennonite University. I believe that when you feel at home, then that's where you belong. Home represents family and I believe that EMU is like family to me in so many ways. I live 8 hours from home and if I wanted to I could go to a friend's house for break and feel completly comfortable. EMU has helped me grow as a woman and as a servant. I have grown closer to God this last year and not because the campus offered church related activities, but because of the people I lived with and saw everyday. Their examples have helped mold and prepare me for the world. I have also made wonderful friends that I know I'll have for life. When I struggled and was scared as a freshman people comforted me and made me part of the EMU community of believers. There are countless schools that offer great education, but non can measure up to the extent of care and love that EMU offers. I look forward to going to my other home, where I can be myself and grow. Thanks : )

Jeff

Make sure to go on many college visits while going through the decision process to give you a glimpse into what the campus is like and if you can see yourself there or not.

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