Goucher College Top Questions

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

Brian

The first thing I would do after meeting past-me would be a slap in the face – as hard as I could. “Wake up!” I would scream as I entered my lecture about commitment. I had all the opportunities anybody could hope for as a high school student – I was an Oregon state record holder in swimming, I played the piano and violin, and was engaged in my classwork. My issue was that I was too noncommittal – I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue in college, let alone which college to attend. I would tell my past self to not worry about choosing “the right one,” that we will succeed. I would warn myself about the dangers of being noncommittal – of how due to apathy, the college deadlines all passed me by and how I had to transfer to my dream school from my first college. And finally, I would hug him and tell him to be brave, and that it is okay to commit to things even if you are unsure of how they will turn out. It is okay to make a non-optimal decision, as long as you commit yourself fully to your choice.

Nadav

In between graduating high school and coming to college I took a gap year and worked with AmeriCorps National Civilians Community Corps. I knew throughout high school that I was not ready for college, and after my gap year I figured I would probably be a bit more ready, I was not. My transition into school life isn't over yet and the whole process has been extremely difficult, not because of missing home or being on my own, but because I want to live life and make experiences in the real world, not read and learn about what other people have done and are doing. If I could go back in time and give my 18 year-old self some advice it would be this: Be ready for a struggle. This life thing is not easy and there will be times when it feels impossible and you will want to quit, but there are to many people depending on you to give up. Mom and dad, your two sisters, yourself, but most of all the people that you are meant to help in the future need you to get your degree so that you can help change the world.

Veronica

When i was a senior i knew what my major was going to be. Nursing. When i started college it was stressful for a freshman because the professors were a little harder and no one is there to hold my hand and say everything will be easy because college is definitely not. If i could go back to my senior year and talk to myself i would say to really prepare for college because it is a whole different atmosphere. I would also say that its much more expensive and the fact that studying is going to be all that i would be doing. Another fact about college that i would explain is to not slack off at all. Slacking off and not studying a lot will result in failing the class and being put on acedemic probation. One other fact, is grades. Yea in high school you can get a D and still pass well in college its a C or better. Mostly earning an A is better because it will be a boost of confidence. I would also reccommend to myself that to plan classes ahead and make sure to plan them wisely. and i will be successful.

Ashley

Wow, there are several pieces of advice i would give myself. First of all, I would have formed a study for the AP classes I took to better prepare myself on the material being tested over. I feel that some of the AP teachers do not teach as well as they could have, definitely feel as though some did not have the passion for teaching the class. I would not have loaded myself with as many of these classes and would have concentrated on the AP classes I excelled at the best. Secondly, I would have started the college search at the end of my sophmore year instead of the middle of my junior year. This would have allowed more time to concentrate on scholarship applications and their requirements. I would have also visited the colleges more than once before making my decision, possibly spending a couple of days to really initiate myself on the process and living experiences, although I did well at my junior college, it will definitely help me at my next university which is a private institution.

Kate

You've always tried to fit in, while being you. You've always known the importance of being yourself, but you've always felt the social pressure to be like everyone else. In college, embrace yourself. You leave everyone you've ever known behind and you be you. And people love you, just the way you are. You know how to be a good student, you know exactly what you do and do not want to do. You are strong in your convictions. Maintain that. You will make hastey, poor decisions, but they make you stronger. You are allowed to make mistakes. Just don't regret those mistakes. They will make you someone you are proud to be and even more impassioned to be the person you want to become. You will be more than 'just fine.' You will be great. So take a deep breath, and enjoy all that you can, and learn all that you can - inside and outside the classroom.

Svetlana

I am proud to be an American Citizen. When I come to America as immigrant I was 26 years old. At that time I was so busy to survive, did not speak English and did not have a job , I had in mind to go to College but I thought it's not for me, because I am not so smart and education will not change my life. Now, when I am 35 and it's my second year in college with straight A’s, I regret that I wasted so many years. Looking back at that time I would give advice to myself not to waste time and go to college . In order to succeed in College I have to do my homework on time, the best way is do it little by little every day, than to postpone it to next time when I have more available hours. If I have question about any subject the best way to contact teacher and ask her, because I was so shy and didn't want to bother anyone and tried to come up with my own answer but that wasn’t always right answer. Be yourself and you will succeed!

Lindsay

I would tell myself to take a variety of classes that correspond to interests that I want to explore. There are certain areas of interest I wish I had explored earlier because later on it was harder to fit them into my schedule because I had to give priority to the requirements I had to get done. I would also tell myself to not bother taking classes that I had no interest in. I feel like I wasted some time taking classes that I had absolutely no interest in just because it was a class that fit into my schedule. Even though four years seems like a long time at the beginning, college is too short to spend your time on something that is not important to you. Finally, I would tell myself to get involved in clubs sooner. Clubs are also a great way to explore interests that are non-academic and are a good way to make friends at the beginning of the semester when all the first-year students are still feeling unsure about who they are going to be close friends with, and meeting many new people is a great way to discover that.

Mary

Although I have only completed two years of school at Goucher, I have had ample experiences which have shaped the individual I have become. I have become alot more accepting of others opinions and have been exposed to this in and out of the classroom. Given the small size of Goucher, we tend to have extremely intimate classes. Professors know us by our names, and certainly know when we aren't in class. The majority of my classes are discussion based, which holds you accountable for your assignments. I have been part of some controversial conversations in class and have had to learn to accept others opinions and respect them, however acknowledging the advantage of the different views. Furthermore, being part of an athletic team, I have had to learn to put my wants, views, needs, and aspirations aside and adapt my teammates views to ultimately unite and perform together. This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned in my life, but ultimately, I believe I will be able to apply this skill to my life when I have a job and have to work with others to succeed at the task at hand.

Daisy

I was never really a high school senior, since I was homeschooled all my life, but if I could go back to that me of the past who was preparing for the GED and applying to the local community college, I would say this: "Plan ahead! Way ahead!" I got so comfortable at community college, and students probably have this problem in high school, that I didn't really think about where I'd be going afterwards. Transitioning to a 4 year college is such a huge step. In most cases you're living in a new place, and spending your time with new teachers and subjects. You have to make sure (as much as that's possible without living it in person) that the academics and the campus life are a good fit for you. Visit schools, conduct interviews, poke around all you can. I didn't get a chance to do all that before I was swept away into more or less the first school I applied to. If I could go back, I'd make sure I didn't put off that important stuff!

Alaphia

If I were able to talk to myself as a senior in high school, I would begin with saying not to be afraid. I would tell her that college is a new chapter in her life and that she should grow, or take her first steps, towards a more confident independent woman. I would tell her that she should go into college with optimism and an open mind, because there will be many types of people she will see for the first time. In terms of education, I would tell her that she needs to do her work a little bit everyday and to remember that she is going to college for her education, not for anyone else's. I would tell her to broaden her horizons. She should take risks that will create a stronger person and set a platform that holds a wider range of experiences. She should not be afraid to ask for help, because the professors at college are there to help her succeed. Above all, she should never be afraid to speak up for what is right and what she believes in; she should hold her ground.

Robyn

I am not the same person I was two years ago. I have learned from my mistakes and grown, and from that I would not change my mistakes from my first two years of college. I would instead reassure myself that by following my gut I made the right decision in attending Goucher College, despite the fact that they lied and decieved me into believing they still had Historic Preservation as a major. Further I would reassure myself that I am a likable person, and will therefore make friends even though that road will be a bumpy one, yet by junior year I will find a great group of friends. Lastly, I would just tell myself to follow my gut, it has never steared me wrong.

Alexandra

When I was a high school senior my life revolved around basketball. My only criteria for college was that I had to be able to play, and I was willing to attend any school that recruited me. In April of my senior year, the head coach at West Chester University contacted me and offered me a scholarship. My family was against the idea because they did not feel that West Chester was the best place for me. I, however, did not care. All I saw was basketball. I told the coach I was going to attend. Upon arriving, I broke my foot and got very sick. I was not able to play basketball for the majority of my freshman year. I was misrable. Basketball was the reason I had attended WCU, and now I could not even play. I was very unhappy and I was stuck at a school that did not suit me at all. If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would force myself to look past athletics. I would encourage me to look for a school that suits me, and one that feels like home.

Gilbert

If I could go back in time during my senior year of high school there are many things I would like to change. During my senior year I started taking school less seriously because I told myself that I?ve been working hard all 4 years of high school and this year was the year I would just have fun. This was a mistake I made, because getting into college, since high school was so easy for me, I thought I could do the same thing and this made me struggle the first year college. I would have focused more through all my years of high school and not just the first 3 years.

Margaret

College is usually a once in a lifetime experience. In addition to simply acquiring more knowledge, students are able to develop into more responsible thoughtful adults. In order for this growth to occur, students should choose a college that suits their personality, as well as their academic needs. However, people also grow the most when they find a way to succeed in a new and difficult situation. Therefore, students should attend a college that is, at least somewhat, out of their comfort zone. This challenge gives students the potential to maximize their mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Once students are in college, I would advise them to learn as much as they can and to get outside their comfort zone. Getting outside one's comfort allows for a hands-on learning process, which is unavailable in the classroom. After all, experience is the best teacher.

Gilbert

Make sure you visit the school many times and make sure that they offer a strong finacial aid package.

Elyse

I would tell the student to ask themselves what they want out a college; what are they looking for, how would they like to feel on campus and what they value in life. I believe that these questions will definitely point a student in the right direction. I believe that people are attracted to what they value in life and they will be attracted to the values of the institution that they will choose. Also I would strongly suggest visiting the school atleast twice and spending a night at the college before making their final decision. The student will definitely get a much more authentic feel of the college if they take some time to get to know it. To the parents, I would say, "Take the time to get to know your child." Discover them while they are discovering themselves. Find out what their values are and what they need out of an educational institution. Also, BE SUPPORTIVE! Your child wants to know your opinion, but they also want to feel that they are the ones making the decision, not you. Support their passions, however trivial or explorative and love them through the process.

Michael

I would recommend to ignore the heavy weight spent on the name of the school. For Undergrad it is rather important to find a campus that suits the students lifestyle. If the student is not happy with the location, food, and teaching style of the University than it is unlikely for them to do well in such a setting. I personally picked Goucher because of its small class sizes and location near DC, as well as its study abroad programs (studying abroad is a requirement to graduate at Goucher), which would give me practical work experience. I orignally did not plan on attending the school I picked, so make sure you visit a great number of schools to keep your student's options open. I just applied to my current school with no original interest, however after visiting each school that I got into I picked it. Always go to the school if it is a strong candidate. There is a lot said for seeing the campus and experiencing the enviornment, food, and students in person. IKf one of these are not enjoyable than the experience can be poor. Good Luck.

Kate

First off, relax. The college search can be incredibly stressfull, and it may seem like rejections from various colleges are a direct reflection on you as a person. That is not true. Accept whichever colleges you got into, and stay overnight. You can't get a feel for a college until you stay there for a certain length of time. Once you have found the right college for you, don't panick! Going to college for the first time is very scary, but you always have safety nets. The people who you hang out with the first couple months your freshman year will probably not be the people you become fast friends with, so don't get discouraged if your friendships aren't "clicking". Social ease on campus comes with time, and by your second semester you won't feel so anxious. Also, make sure that you try things you've never even heard of before. Join crazy clubs that won't do anything for your professional life but that intrigue you. Most importantly, put yourself out there. Milk every moment for what it's worth, because you will change and grow in ways you never expected. And study abroad!

hilary

My advice is visiting the college. You will know right away whether it is a good fit. Get involved and do what you love-this is the time to explore and when you are truly able to do what you want

Alyssa

Definitely go visit all of the schools you are applying to when school is in session. Attend a class or stay overnight. You really need to get the feel of the college before you make a decision about where you're going to go for college. Students, always be willing to try new things and be open to everything. Go for what you want and try to do as much as possible - without going overboard that it affects your schoolwork - because college is supposed to be the best four years of your life. So take classes that make you happy and find extra activities that you can commit to and also enjoy. Putting yourself out there and keeping an open mind will help you have the best college experience.

Boman

Always be sure that you educate yourself on every topic, including drugs and alcohol. I've seen far too many people believe in theories rather than learning about topics that concern them. Once you educate yourself you can make an informed decision- this applies to all problems.

Mary

Go to the school and spend time with current students. Are these students happy? Are they challenged? Is their field of study applicable to the real world yet classroom and information based as well? Do they know what kind of services are available on campus? Do they know their Resident Assistant (or whatever name they go by)? Do they have contact with the school president and their professors? What shows and/or speakers have they seen on campus? By asking these questions, it is possible to more fully understand what life on that campus is like. The more students know, the more likely it is that those paid to be at the college care for those who pay to be at the college. This is an atmosphere that one wants to learn, grow, and thrive in. And most importantly, ask the students if they are making the most of their college experience. If they are not, why not? If they are, what is it about the place they are studying at that makes that possible? The bottomline is to ask a lot of questions and they follow your heart.

Julia

Make sure you take as much time as you need to find the right school. It's awful transferring all around until you find the right place.

Christine

Find a school that you feel comfortable in, especially if you're living on campus or in the area. Also, make sure the school has the feild of study that you are interested in. During college, remember that you are paying for this education so make the most out of your time there, especially your academics (but also take time to relax). College isn't supposed to be a constant social event. Prioritize and do your best NOT to procrastinate, plan ahead; a day planner is an extremely helpful tool. Make good connections with your professors and advisors, they are there to help you so don't be shy. Always ask if you need help or an extension on an assignment.

Athena

Just think about all of the things you are looking for in a collge. The college books are great.

Jenna

Visit as many colleges as you can and talk to the students to see how they feel about the school. Every school is going to have its downsides so you need to figure out which factors are the most important to you. Good luck!

Aliza

College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.

Ashley

When you choose your college you need to find the place that fits with you. The best way to do this is to go with your instinct. You can know in your heart when you step onto the right college. It feels like it fits, like you are home, even when you have not seen a class or met many people; when you walk around you feel like you are where you need to be. Never ignore that feeling because that is what is right for you. Once you find the right college to make it work you should meet as many people as possible because you never know when a wonderful opportunity will present itself in the form of a close friendship, an amazing class, or a job. Just take opportunities as they come and be grateful for the chance to go to school.

Giovanna

I would tell students that they just need to go with what feels right, where they feel comfortable. Take your time and explore a number of options, colleges in various locations or varying size. It is important to be informed about what is out there. Also, don't solely focus on colleges with the big names because there are a number of hidden gems out there. Relax and enjoy yourself, these are supposed to be the best years of your life. Take your work seriously, but don't forget to have fun!

Zachary

I would tell students to tour the college , and to sit in on classes so they know what they're getting themselves into. I would also advise that a student be sure on the size preference, I've never met anyone more miserable than a student who wanted a big school at a small one, and vice versa. I would additionally reccomend that students look into financial aid and scholorships, because they may realize that the private school they wish to attend isnt as expensive as they thought,.

Debra

Three phrases you should keep in mind: +Size isn't everything: Honest! The size of a school should be an important factor when you choose, but that doesn't necessarily mean it limits your opportunities. Big and small schools both have their advantages and disadvantages; think hard about whether you want more social activity or a closer community, more educational offerings or a closer relationship with your professors. Look for schools that offer the opportunity to cross-register so you can get the best of both worlds. +Location, location, location: Urban, rural, in between? How close to home? These questions are more important than you might think, and it's different for everyone. +DIY (do it yourself): It's what you make of it. Make this choice yourself-- your teachers, parents, or friends aren't going there, you are. Once you're there, take advantage of what college has to offer. The best school in the world will do nothing for you if you just sit in your room. Join a club, try out for a sport, run for student government! The best way to enjoy college is to take responsibility for your own experience-- and love what you do.

Kira

Visit each school, talk to students (one's other than the people leading the tours). Stay overnight, maybe for a weekend so you know what social life is like.

Rachel

By the time you've figured out whether you want to attend a liberal arts school or a tech school and whether you're looking for a large or small community, you'll easily find several at which you will be equally happy - so don't stress over minutia. The right school will simply feel good to you, and you can trust yourself on that. Once you are in college, use every resource and opportunity you can. You're there to think, so take advantage of your teachers' availability outside of class and start good, thoughtful discussions whenever you can. You're there to socialize, so be friendly to everyone you meet and strike up conversation with everyone you wish you knew better. You're there to work towards a career, so participate in as many clubs and activities related to your goals as you can. College education is an incredible privilege, and it throws countless opportunities into your path. You cannot take every single one, but if you take as many as you can, you will leave with a well-rounded, impressive and memorable foundation for the rest of your life and learning.

Anne

Don't look for the most prestigious or well known university, it may not be the right fit for you. Instead, try to take in all factors: location, majors, size, mission statement, and go from there. As cliche as it sounds, college really is what you make of it, so try to get out there and meet new people: join clubs, start study groups, network with your floor.

Lauren

When visiting colleges, I would recommend that parents let their child choose what is best for them and not the other way around. Too many young people are being presssured into getting the best grades they can get in high school so that they can get into a respectable university like Harvard. My college, Goucher College, was not very well known to me when I chose to apply to it. My first choice was Notre Dame , but I chose Goucher because I felt it was a better fit for me. My parents wanted me to go to an in state school in Florida, but I fought hard for what I felt was right for myself and I feel good about my choice. My entire family lives in the Baltimore area and in my personal opinion, I feel more comfortable at college knowing that my family is here. My advice,again, would be that parents and their children come to an agreement on where the child wants to attend college, but to ultimately let the child decide, because it is their future and they will have to get used to making life altering decisions such as choosing a college.

Lauren

Don't be fooled by a big important name. Even if a school has a good reputation it doesn't mean that they will make you feel important. Visit the campus and see if the students look happy and friendly.

Elizabeth

When we are young, we buy shoes with "growing room". In college, the same approach is needed. The school needs to have a good fit, snug in certain places like academic course-load and loose in others, like the amount of clubs and activities available on campus. Know what you want out of a college. You wouldn't buy a pair of sneakers for an occassion that asks for formal dress, so why would you pick a large athletically strong campus when what is best for you is a small, intimate campus in the woods?

Lillian

Visit a lot of schools! I wish I had visited more schools.

Breanna

I consider choosing a college to be one of the most important decisions in one?s life. After visiting over 60 schools, I chose one I thought was right. Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that it was not the right place for me. The best advice I could give anyone is to spend a lot of time at the school before committing to it. You can never really know what the environment is like until you see how classes are and what types of students attend the school. When you visit on holidays, you never see the students or classes. In my case, I just do not fit in with the type of people and I would have known this had I spend the night on campus. Also the classes are very small and that is ultimately not what I need for my personality. I do not like to have discussions about theoretical issues; I?d rather be told what I need to know and that?s it. I would also recommend that students do not let their decision be based on what their parents want as the students are the ones who will ultimately have to attend the school.

Erika

Students should always make sure that their decision is best for themselves. Sometimes students get caught up in doing what is right with respect to their significant others, friends, or family. When it comes to college, however, no other person will be as affected by the decision than the student themselves. Do what ever is best for yourself....you only get the opportunity once.

Gillian

The effort you put into finding friends will make a huge difference in the happiness of your social life. while the school is important there will be interesting friends to be made at every school. So you need to join clubs, talk to people in class and in the dorms. Think more about what kind of acidemic environment you want and where the school is located when choosing a school. Don't go to a giant state school if you like small classes and lots of teacher involvement. And if you love concerts and art musumes don't pick a school in the country side. Lastly visit as many schools as you can to get a feel of the differences.

Michael

Make a point to visit the schools you are most interested . Spend a night or two with a current student and do your own investigative work. College guide books and school brochoures can give you plenty of facts but a visit gives you a story. The best "story" will probably be the right school for you.

Stephanie

Be who you are in everything you do, and nothing less. Find the school that lets you be exactly that.

Timothy

Visit, visit, visit. Stay overnight. Listen in on classes. Don't go to a school just because your friends go there. And don't go to a school just because you are expected to.

Daniel

Quality not quantity, dont apply to too many colleges just get started early and visit those you like the best. Better to know a few colleges well than the other way around. While visiting, note everything you can because it will matter later. Note the campus, people, classes and especially the surrounding location. Is there a city nearby or somewhere to go at night or on the weekend? After your acceptance letters arrive, view your options in regards to your major and which school has the best program and or internship opportunities. If you dont know your major, sit down and think about your interests and just get a ballpark idea of a few probable majors and apply those to your options. If you can get your schools down to 2 or 3, take one more visit and follow your gut. Where do you just feel better? Which campus feels right? If you can't visit, refer back to all those notes you took. In the end, however, if the decisions is that tight just remember it doesn't matter. Wherever you go you will make friends, learn, have good times and bad. College is what you make it.

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