When I first moved into the dorm rooms, everyone was telling me but this/ buy that. After a semester living in the doorm rooms 1/2 of the items people were telling me to buy I did not need. If a student is not going to use somthing at school. Don't bring it. Items take up space in a small room for two people. In addition, students don't need to bring everything they have ever owned. I had neighbors who brought like ten stuffed animals or 30 purses. Bring what you need. You will be home for thanksgiving!
I wish I had known the extent to which I would need to manage my finances before attending ISU. I didn't know that the clubs and activities here would require a substantial amount of my money, nor did I grasp that living in a suit would cost an extra $600. Because I applied late to the school, I did not have much of a say as to where I'd be residing. I was placed in a suite and have to pay an extra $600, which I did not know about until a month into the school year.
I wish I had known that applying myself in high school would lead to life being easier in college. My problem in high school was I never fully applied myself in areas where I should have. I could have earned the grades that would earn me scholarships and lessen the finanicial burden when the time came to attend college but I just waltzed through high school without a care in the world. Now I have to work even harder today to undo my mistakes from yesterday.
Before attending Illinois State University, I wish I had known how much studying obtaining a good GPA would entail. In high school, I was typically able to maintain straight A's with minimal studying. However at ISU, I had to study at least three hours each day in order to earn my 4.0 GPA. Although I am willing to put in the amount of work necessary for my academic success, I wish I had developed the study ethic required for college success in high school.
Before coming to this school, I wish that I would have known how much of a time committment homework and school work in general is once you get to college. In high school you are able to not study for tests, or your homework takes you 15 minutes. In college there are classes where your going to need to study for hours for a test or do homework for hours. I wish I knew htat before coming to school, so I could of prepared myself for what was ahead of me.
I really wish somebody would have emphasized to me that life is a roller coaster and that not everybody settles with a career. I came in to college have a pretty set plan as to what I wanted to do with my life. However, with certain life events, I am now not sure what I even WANT to do. I don't have the money for grad school- which is what I've been working towards for a long time- and I am feeling more confident with just finding a job (not a career).
I visited and researched my university choice before applying and enrolling, so I felt I made an educated choice. However, I wish I was a lot more self-sufficient and independent before I arrived on campus. Being more educated on little things like like knowing how to do my laundry, plan my budget, research my major qualifications, look into job opportunities, how much ATM fees would cut into my budget, etc. would have made my transition much easier.
One thing I wish I would have known before attending Illinois State is when and how to apply for scholarships. Unlike highschool, there was no one to guide my scholarship search and I was very lost. Due to my difficulties I found myself having to pay a lot more out of pocket, via loans, then I would have liked. Even today, I wish I better understood Illinois State's scholarship system.
Before coming to this school, I wish I would have had a mentor. Many stress the importance of doing well in college, especially starting on the right foot in the first semester. If I would have had closer, more personal contact with someone on a daily basis closer to my age, I think I would have done a lot better in my first year, more specifically my first semester.
One thing that I wish I had know before i went to school was how to manage my time better. There is so much free time because unlike high school your classes are spaced out, and sometimes you will only have one class in a day. You will feel the urge to nap or watch tv, or even talk to friends but you need to realize homework and studying is your first priority.