Illinois State University Top Questions

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


If I had the ability to warn my senior self about college life, I would have told myself to stop wishing I could finally escape the routine world I lived in and to cherish every waking moment my world was handed to me free of charge. The high school to college change is much harder than I could have ever imagined. Making new friends and gaining the same trust you had with your elementary school to high school friends is unbearably frustrating and discouraging. I would have told myself to never waste or take any moment for granted in my old house if I knew we were going to move out of it shortly after going to college. I would have trained myself how to see money as a prize instead of a luxury and encouraged myself to never let that optimistic smile that got me through highschool go because perspective changes everything about a place. But if I could only chose to do one thing, I would have shaken my hand and said "Great job kid, keep doing what youre doing" because support and having someone believe in you is one of the most powerful gifts there are.


If I was given the opportunity to go back in time and give myself advice as a high school senior, I wouls tell myself numerous things. First, I would start off with telling myself not to put off taking Spanish. Next, I would tell myself to be a full-time student every semester, and if I can even take over full time. Last, I would tell myself which classes are unneccessary for me to take and which ones to take in place of them.


of anything. College is the time to grow and find yourself. Try not to fall too much into the party scene- I have seen countless number of people get too caught up in the party scene and then get on academic probation, it wastes time and money in the long run. Don't be afraid to ask professors questions about *anything*! Maybe they do research on something that you've never heard of before and what they share with you turns out to be what you desire in your life. Get involved with student organizations! It's a great way to meet people, and to stregthen your skills and abilities. If the school you attend (so this goes out to all starting Freshmen) does not have a student organization you're interested in, don't be afraid to start your own. Specifically for ISU, pay attention at the summer orientation... there's some valuable information there.


When I was a senior in high school, I had no idea what the future looked like. If I could talk to my former 18 year old self, I'd place a hand on my shoulder and say "open your eyes." The world is far more vast than I could have imagined back then. Having a goal in life is great, but having multiple goals is what truly gives someone the opportunity to achieve success. Creating a back-up plan is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it shows your ability to prevail in multiple things. When I was in high school, I wanted so desperetly to become an actress that I never looked in another direction. I was on a one-way street, and the idea of that path ending was non-existant. Maturation has taught me that there's a plethera of ways to feel full-filled in life. At 22, I live the motor "The world is my oyster" and I wish I could have expressed that upon my younger self. Maybe I could have had a head-start on this whole college thing instead of waiting so long to enroll.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself about college life, I would say study more and leave the parties alone. This was my greatest mistake when I attended West Georgia College in 1989 after graduating from high school. Be sure to study at least 2 hours a day per class and just review class material to help with remembering what is going on in class. This will help with the foundation of what will be given to you the next day by the insturctor. Yes, the one thing I would express is to study daily. I will take you along way in class.


I had a blast my senior year of high school playing sports, hanging out with friends, and getting out of school early since I already earned the required credit hours. There are not many things I would change if I could go back, just three certain things. One, focus on finishing with a strong GPA to insure state scholarships that would help take the presure off the tuition payments. Two, I would take high school college credited courses to jump start my college experience and be further ahead incase I needed to drop a course once enrolled in college. Three, and most importantly, I would do the research and take the time to visit more colleges to truly find the best fit for me and my goals. Following the croud and going to the most popular college will somtimes come back to haunt you and spend unnessisary money in the meantime.


If I had the opportunity to go back in time and give my senior-self advice about college, I would start by asking myself what it is I want to accomplish in my life: "You want to be smart? Go review your textbooks instead of giving up on your homework. You want to make your family proud? Work hard instead of worrying about not being good enough." I was very self-conscious in high school; I thought that I was stupid and that I was incapable of reaching my goals. Now that I can look back on those experiences, I can see how greatly my mindset affected the way I behaved-and how it affected my grades. I would explain to my senior-self that I should not give up on studying if the material got difficult. I would admit to myself how I wish I did not quit in fear of failure. I wish that I would have worked hard to earn a full-ride scholarship to a nice school so that my immigrant mom would have less financial stress. Now, as a college sophomore, I still regret earning mediocre grades in high school.


The best advice I would tell myself is to not worry about anything and just be friendly. If you keep an open mind about everything and just go with the flow then everything will work out in the end. You need to make sure that you don't procrastinate too much with your homework or studying. You know how sometimes you would wait till the night before the test to start studying, that will not work in college. Always remember that the most important thing is to stay organized. Buy a big calendar and write everything on it. Write down when you have a test, when homework is due, extra credit opportunities, and anmything else you can think of. Even if its just something small and you think you will remember it, write it down anyways. It is so much easier to plan your time when everything is right in front of your face. Make sure you work hard but don't stress too much, afterall it is college and you want to have a little fun. Just make sure you have a good balance between working and having fun.


Hello Self, I wish there was a few things I could have told you a few months ago to make your transition to college easier. First, don't start out in summer classes like I did. This is your first semester into college and you don't know what you've gotten yourself into yet. Summer classes are so face paced, you need to be use to college before you take on the challenge of summer classes. Also, if you decided to fill out the Fasfa application which my school required for admission, make sure you have a professional help you. They usually don't charge. This is because if you do it yourself, and mess up, it is very complicated and frusterating to fix. It will also take longer for your results to come in if you have made mistakes. Have fun in college but make sure your priorties are set straight. Enjoy, Myself.


Although going back in time is not an achieveable source, perhaps in the future this maybe an attainable concept. If I could go back in time and tell myself about the college life and the transitions many face I would tell myself to take all the opportunitites given in life. As a high school senior I always made sure I did well in school but I never challenged myself to the fullest extent. For this reason I would tell myself to not pass up on the opportunitites and challenges that college can hand you. Take every chance to join a club, to volunteer, and to network as best as possible because in every field friends can always be of assistance. I am currently working in the field of fashion and am also in the process of receiving my Bachelor's degree in fashion. With this said, I once had a professor tell me, " It is who you know what will get you in, but what you know that will keep you there." He taught me to be myself, with all people but to always remained focused. All in all, I would tell myself to stay true to who I am.


As a high school senior, I would tell myself that real knowldge doesn't come from a book, but from the people around you. I was once told by a professor that elementary school was a social setting rather than an education setting because the students learn more from each other than they do from the material being taught; This idea still applies in college. I spent a lot of time working on homework instead of enjoying life because I felt I needed to work hard to succeed in college. The truth of the matter is that it's not about what the classes teach you; It's about the people you know. I spent my first two years in college with my head in a book and missed meeting many interesting people who are now doing interesting things. New knowledge comes from people; old knowledge is in books. Althoughg they create a good foundation for later discussion, the focus should be on the people, not the paper. I was lucky enough to meet some of these people during my last too years, but I could have met more had I known what I know now.


I'd say ...Dear Melissa please don't let things stress you so easily, now that you are a senior try to focus as hard as you can on preparation for college. Start new study habits, and along the way give yourself some alone time to relax or just be young! Educations the most important thing and in college there really isn't anyone to hold your hand. So now that you're still in high school, reach out to all your teachers and resources get as much help now as you can, learn to have good study habits, and when you're feeling stressed talk it out with someone because you're not alone in this journey and when you get to college you will realize life moving at a faster pace, so do well in high school, and once you begin college realize that you're smart and can do anything regardless of financial barriers, or no support from others, you WILL get far in life an be a college graduate. Enjoy your young life, but don't forget the things that really matter. Your education, so focus and be strong because you're already smart.


Whatever you want to do in life, go chase that dream. I am now returning to school to chase my dream, something I could have done the first time around if I knew what my options were. I did not have the proper guidance of where to go to get the education that I needed to become a nurse. I also did not have the support from my family or friends to pursue that dream. I would educate more parents in what it means to support your children as they prepare to become educated for what they hope is their dream career. Without the support, many students wander aimlessly through school, obtaining degrees in fields they never intend or end up in. So get some good advice, spend time researching the schools that specialize in your field of interest, and go there!


If I could talk to myself at 18, I would say not to rush it. At the time, I was being pressures by well-intentioned family who did not understand what I wanted in life, and I tried and failed at my first semester in college. I was depressed and chose to take time off and think about what I desired, instead of continuing to rush blindly ahead, with no particular goal in mind. Sampling many different things, it took me several years to decide my major -- Anthropology, which I loved before I even knew what it was called! But I am now in the program and loving every single class. I look forward to going to school each day, and I'm happier than I thought I could be at 18. Slow down and consider your options!


The only advice I can give is start looking at colleges ASAP!! I didn't want to admit that i was graduating so I avoided thinking about it as much as i could. I regret not looking into all the colleges that could be right for me.


I would tell my high school self to not worry about other peoples opinions because the only one that truely matters, is your own. I wish I could go back in time to teach my past self that the petty drama or issues that occured in high school are not going to matter or even be remembered in a year or two. I would say live life to its fullest and have fun, enjoy being young while you can because life only gets harder and more complicated as you age.


You have your whole life ahead of you. Have fun and enjoy this exciting experience, but make wise decisions. Take every opportunity to learn as much as you can, not just from your studies, but also from the diverse classmates, professors, co-workers, roommates that you will cross paths with on your education journey. Most likely, this will be the only time in your life that you can focus soley on your education. Take advantage of it! Challenge yourself! Make experiences that you will remember forever! Take initiative to go above and beyond in your curriculum! Go for it!


Illinois State has made me a well balanced person and teacher. The education course work completely prepared me for a lifetime of teaching. The practicum and student teacher experiences made me feel comforatble in the classroom before graduation. The professors were knowledgeable and friendly. They always put forth effort to make my experience better. I feel that I was on a campus of a perfect size. It felt like a community rather than a large city. The town is young and lended itself to the campus. There were many opportunities to make friends and meet people from various backgrounds. I was able to be invovled in campus committess and clubs. I enjoyed watching the sporting events of the Redbirds as well. Illinois State was a home away from home. It was the perfect place to spend four wonderful years.


Illinois State is one of the few universities in the United States that has my major: Deaf Education. I went to Illinois State Universtiy and met so many friends that have common personalities and interests with me! I never had that at home. All of the professors that I have had, including General Education course professors, have been very helpful and intuitive. They are always willing to help you when you ask for it. Overall, Illinois State has made me feel like I have a place here and that I have a voice. I am not just a student; I am an Illinois State Redbird and proud of it!


I have learned to be open to anything, try everything once, and don't underestimate the goodness of people. I think that living in a college town is an experience in itself, that you can never grow closer to people who are all experiencing the same things as you. People to share with you the same feelings, events, good times, and bad times with you are what you need in life and I think that is ONE valuable thing I've taken with me in my college experience.


I feel that now that I have adventured off to college , I was given a chance to find out how strong I am as a person on my own. It has been valuable to attend college because it has helped me pin point my weaknesses so I can build on them as well as my strengths.


Out of my college experience I have found a better understanding for the meaning of hard work. I also feel that I will be well prepared and will be able to get a good job after I graduate from Illinois State University. I am also grateful for all of the friends I have made and people I have met throughout my past two years. I have made lots of good connections and have had great learning experiences. I have a new outlook on the world and feel that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.


I picked Illinois State University on a campus visit when I saw a bridge. That was my deciding factor that helped me choose Illinois State University for pursuing a higher education. Through my college experience I have gained motivation and confidence. Everyday I go to class, I am one day closer to achieving my goals. Going to a school like Illinois State University helps inspire me to keep going when I walk through campus and I look around and see the students who are working hard just like me to make something of themselves. At Illinois State University, I was able to see the world, I have some of the best friends for life, and I am really discovering who I am and what I want from my life. Through Illinois State I am learning to achieve my goals the right way, no shortcuts and keeping my integrity. I haven't reconsidered my decision to attend Illinois State University ever, and I am truly happy here. Once I graduate from Illinois State University, I am not afraid of what is going to happen because I know that with everything I learned from attending school here that I will be alright.


I just finished my 1st semester at a community college after being out of school for 15 years and I have met many new people who are looking to change careers just like me. I have also gain confidence and self esteem I finished with a 3.5 GPA my first semester when at times I was so scared I wouldn't make it. I can't wait for spring semester to start I'm eager to learn more and sharpen the skills I already have.


“I’m living in Brazil next year.”Those eight, simple syllables uttered from my vocal instructor inspired me; I wanted to experience another country, I wanted to learn about new subjects, I wanted to go places. Now, I did not end up in Brazil, and I do not know if I will ever visit Tokyo or see the Indian Ocean. I am, however, enrolled in college, and college is the potential launching pad to all dreams. I believe of all things college has offered, exposure to opportunities has been my greatest experience. Not only are there professional opportunities, but also the personal learning opportunities are incomparable. I can see the world from a new perspective—a perspective where my aspirations are linked to my determination to succeed.Without college, my dreams had strict limits. I can see now something I could not when my vocal instructor told me about Brazil: similar experiences are possible for me.


Since graduating from high school and starting my college education in August 2010, I soon came to realize how college-life allows you more independence and responsibility. You learn quickly how and when to register for classes, where your classes are held and getting up in time for classes. But I have learned how to manage my time wisely with my studies and enjoying the "college-life" in meeting new friends and participating in organizations. Upon my graduation from ISU I plan to continue my education by applying for medical school. My career goal is becoming a physician and with the expense of college and med school ahead of me, this scholarship will greatly help out.


My college experience has taught me how to take control of my life and to plan for my future. I have learned how to take responsibilty for myself through attending regular classes and working hard to earn a 3.8 GPA. Through the various classes I've taken I found that I would like to major in Journalism. This decision has provided me with goals to work toward through trying to successfully persue this career. I would like to reach out to others by providing insight into new topics and events through this career. Attending college brought me to self awareness and to self assertion through the achievements I have already made being a college student.


Going to college has been a really good experience for me. I have learned independence, I have taken valuable classes, and I have made many new friends.


From my college experience, I have gained confidence and a basic working knowledge of internet technologies. My attendance has been valuable in that I have become able to enter my chosen field in a job that has advancement opportunities, and the ability to make my voice be heard. That it should be heard. The future is no longer one dimensional for my familybecause I chose to attend college and make sure that my children have a college educated parent, thereby reducing the statistical probability for drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or physical abuse.


I have recieved more independence, responsibility, and I have also gotten to know and understand my self better. Every time I step foot on campus I feel like an adult and i have to handle my buisness as an adult. I also feel as though i have options as to what i want to do with my life and education, i dont feel smothered or like a child. college has been very valuable to attend bescause it is what gives you oppertunities in life. Especially with the economy the way it is, you have to have some good education to get a decent job and make enough money to take care of yourself. it is also valuable to me because there is so much you can learn for free (if you attend a community college) so why would you pass that oppertunity up. Attending college can open doors and windows that the world may need you to see or go through to help make a chance and to become a better person.


At my college, there is a strong emphasis on leadership and service. We have Leadership and Service clubs, offices, and dorm floors. I have honestly become better at creating my own service projects and leading them as well. It is very easy to find people who want to be involved and just want to help. Also, many professors strongly believe in service and they place a high value on that in their classrooms. I have learned alot to help me with my future career and learned alot about myself.


Out of my college experience, my main thing that i have learned is basically learning how the real world is and how it is to be on your own. There is no parent there to hold your hand, no one to tell you what to do and when to do it and there are things that you will run into that are apart of everyday adult life. Basically, it has been very valuable to get the feel of being an adult. and laearning responsibility.


Before I attended college I was already a bright young adult. I always passed my test with exceptional grades. My progects were handed in neat and on time and I would never disrupt the classroom as the teacher would teach. I always knew i wanted to attend collegee and make a good life for myself since i was a highschool freshaman. Evreyone would say that college is very hard and that not just anyone can attend. When i got to college it was nothing like what i heard. Its just highschool on level two. I think that its only hard when you dont put your all in the work you do, thats why I make sure I put 110% in everything I do. II feel smart and liberated being in college. I feel that college broadedns my horizons and keeps me well rounded and educated in every aspect of life. Some people say that knowledge is power, and Iam going to be a very powerful woman one day.


I have learned more about the world in college than I think I ever have before. I have learned how to partially live on my own by having to attend classes not all at the same time, keep my room clean, being able to budget money, get homework and projects done on time, and study for tests, while also balancing alone time and time with friends. Before I thought that it was easy to get what you wanted. I have learned that there is a lot of competiton in the world and you do not always get what you want. You have to take what you can out of it, and you have to fight hard for what you want, and go out and get it.


I have enjoyed my college experience so far. I thought classes would difficult and the teachers did not care but i was mistaken. My teachers are very helpful and the school also provides tutoring sessions for various courses as well. I have gained knowledge not only from my teachers but from my peers as well. Mostly everyone is very open and welcoming to anyone. I have made friends with many people and have experiences that will last me a life time. College is a time where you find youself and develop long lasting relationships. I feel that i have done just that! I value my education becasue that is the one thing no one can ever take from me. I will have a succesful career and make my mark in this world because of my higher education and the experiences along with it.


There are so many great things I have gotten out of my college experience its hard to even list them. Obviously there is the degree I plan to earn, but there is so much more. The best and most useful thing that I have gained is the ability to be fully independant. Over the last few years I have gone from living in a dorm with a meal plan and money from my dad, to now renting a house, paying my own expenses and bills on time, paying for my own food, going to work, and doing all my nessesary school work all on my own. The second thing I learned was how to get information for myself. All my life (and probably most other kids) my dad has done everything for me. When I got out on my own I needed to learn how to do things for myself, now I feel like I can tackle anything that life throws at me. When a problem or situation arises, I know how to fix it or can teach myself what to do. And lastly are all the awsome people I met here and all the lasting friendships I will have.


I would say the biggest thing I have gotten out of my college experience thus far is friendship. I have met people from all over the state of Illinois and it's fun to compare how different things are. Even words, such as "soda" and "pop" are different depending on where you live. People are amazed when I tell them I live in Chicago, but I'm just as fascinated when they tell me they've been stuck in traffic behind a tractor! Overall the experience has opened my eyes to all different ways of life, and I feel like I have gained a new appreciation for where I come from by listening to other people's stories.


I have been getting so much attention from teachers and guest speakers from large companies that are interested in us for the future. all my classes have been to the point and down to earth, most the teachers understand that we are taking more than one class and that we have many things on our shoulders. the social life is great, made so many friends to make up for the friends i have lost at home, everyone is very friendly and if you can walk and breathe you will fit in to ISU perfectly without a doubt. the classes are challenging and they make us who we are to become. i have absolutely no regrets in my decision of attending ISU, and i am glad for it to be part of my life.


I have gained confidence and self-awareness by attending my university. Before college, I always second-guessed my academic and social abilities. But when I arrived, I realized that when I put my mind to something, I can achieve whatever it is that I want to achieve. This applies to my academic career because I have straight A's right now, as well as my social status because I have realized that I can make friends with anyone as long as I am myself. Although I have only been at school for two months now, it has been so valuable to me because I have learned more about myself. I am so determined to make these four years the best four years of my life so far. I cannot wait to make my family, friends, and myself proud.


So far at college I learned its important to meet new people and expand your social network since its good to have people you know all over. I also learned that this education is a huge investment. Its valuable to attend because most students that graduate from college make 1 million more dollars in their lifetime then someone that decided to stop after high school. College education will get you further in life and help you lead a smarter, better life.


So far in my college experience I've gained a vast amount of knowledge about the world. Things that have really opened my mind and helped me understand cultures that are different than mine. I've also gained so many friendships that it seems almost surreal that I only met some of these people a short while ago and not years ago. Attending school has been so valuable, because it has opened my mind to a bigger world and it has shown me a diversified world. I no longer see things with rose-tinted glass, nor is my field of vision as myopic as before. College has given me the knowledge--the power--to make my way in the world and be in charge of my own future.


I have learned how much responsibility it takes to be a college student. With freedom comes responsibility. Once at college you control what happens with your future, not your parents or teachers like in younger years.


My college experience has really opened my eyes to reality. Living on campus gave me the freedom of living on my own, and not having rules. At first I thought, "Oh wow, I have no one to answer to, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want." This changed once classes really started setting in, and the assignments started to be layed on heavier. I quickly realized my lifestyle needed to change and it was time to buckle down and work hard. Resposibilties were overpowering pleasure; my friends would ask me to hang out with them, but I would have to much to do for my classes, and I would stay in and study. It was hard at first and I felt like i was missing out on my 'college experience', but when grades came out I came to realize my friends who always wanted to have fun were suddenly on academic probation, and I was doing just fine! The resposibilities of living on my own at college was a reality check for me, I no longer had the luxury of procrastinating because assignments were easy, and I really learned how to work hard for my grades!


My college experience helped me to gain leadership, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities. I was President of my National-Honor Fraternity (Phi Sigma Pi). I was the leader of a ~40 student organization to help build a strong, positive reputation on campus. I remained involved with volunteering at a crisis hotline weekly to help anonymous callers who threatened suicide, were homeless, or had experienced domestic/family abuse.I also volunteered weekly to help a 9-year-old leard to read. I have also been part of a Health Services center to increase knowledge about sex, drug, and alcohol use on our campus and trying to stay safe. I have gained so much through my experiences at ISU that I even held two part-time jobs to continue my successes. I worked with adults with disabilities to help them obtain a more independent lifestyle. Through this job, I then graduated and have been working at a school with kindergarteners with disabilities. Without ISU, I wouldn ot have the accomplished resume that I do now.


What I have gotten out of my college experience is more then one single opportunity; it was a whole new row of doors that opened for me. I recieved chances to do things I never would have thought possible before my attendance to college. I worked hard, which insured positive results and good grades bought me a confidence I didn't have before. I stared seeing my cup as half-full rather than half-empty, and before I knew it, I had acquired a spot in the top 3% of my college. I would have never before believed enough in myself to try for the opportunity to study abroad. However, grades have taken me to new heights in school and I realized: grades are everything in school, but can only get you so far. When it comes to life, I feel how you handle lifes situations will make or break you. I would have never before believe enough in myself to try for the opportunity to study abroad. A positive attitude is a key component in success and I think that is why it has been valuable to attend I learned one of the many important factors needed to succeed.


College, no matter where you attend, lets you discover who you are. Having completed one year, I can definitly say I have grown not only intellectually but as a person; I am still growing as a person. College has taught me how to be on my own. Most importantly, college has taught me how to form interpersonal connections with professors and students who will be future leaders in our world.


College has taught me a lot about personal responsibility. Before college I relied on my mom a lot for everything ranging from eating to financial issues. In college, you have to take care of yourself. Being self sufficient is one of the most important qualities a successful person should have. I have learned how to take care of myself successfully and that has become a very beneficial part of my life. In college, I also learned the importance of creating connections with others to help boost the overall oppurtunity of becoming a successful member of society.


My college experience this past school year has been very beneficial to the start of my life. I believe that attending college is very valuable because it allows you to become exposed to a greater variety of different careers. The classes you take help you become a well-rounded individual. The college experience has also shown me how important it is to obtain a degree because most jobs will not hire you if you have anything less than an associate's now. Also, college is helping to lead me to success hopefully in the real world. My college experience has also allowed me to meet many different people aof different backgrounds and religions and interact with others through classes, living on campus, and through clubs. I have been able to do everything on my own&college prepares you mentally and physically for the real world. It shows how mom and dad aren't always going to be around to do everything for you, so you have to take on your own responsibilities and take account of your actions.


I have gotten so much out of attending college. I have been able to see what it is like to live on my own, as well as gain valuable social experiences. I believe that attending college has enabled me to get a better understanding of what my life is going to be like once I graduate and I am completely on my own. As far as socializing goes, you are not going to make it very far in life unless you posses some type of social skills and attending college has allowed me to foster my social growth. It is important, especially as an education major, that I am able to communicate effectively with others and work in teams, which I have been able to do a lot of due to the fact that I am attending school. These important experiences are going to prove to be very valuable in my future.


So far from my college experience I have gotten so much. I have gotten a sense of accomplishment that I have not felt from anything else that I have done. I have become so much more confident in my skills, and I have become to much more mature. I have aquired the skills learned to volunteer and help others. Knowing that I can take care of myself, and be on my own during college is a huge accoplishment. So far I have made so many new friendships and great memories. The greatest benefit is that I was not sure if I could make it to this school and I did. Also I am getting the good grades that I need, and I am really proud of myself. I realized, because of college that there are a lot of things I can accomplish if I want to.

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