Illinois State University Top Questions

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

Britnee

Reseacrh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kara

Apply to any and all schools you are interested in. Let no limit hold you back, all temperatures and places should be considered. You would be surprised the outcome you get. Then the hard part comes; choosing. Do not rush this decision, but do not fret; whatever your choice friends will follow. Do not forget to join clubs and talk to people in class and above all be yourself. Being true to yourself means that lasting friendships are inevitable. Then the hard part is telling them you have to study.

Kyle

Take risks, work hard on school work, and follow your dreams.

Erin

It is essential to visit many different colleges and campuses to determine whether the student envisions themselves to finish all four years and graduate. The power of the environment plays an imperative role to catering to the unique traits of every individual. No two people are alike, so the necessity of finding the college to suit the needs of a young adult is key. Many things have changed since parents have attended school, so the students should seek advice from those close to their age. They should ask questions concerning the programs/majors available at schools, campus social life, where the best place to live is and extra curricular activites offered at the school. It is crucial for students to manifest an open mind as going away to school is a huge transition and wil also be the greatest asset in their future. College is a time to discover who you are , who you want to be, and the process and path it takes to get there to find happiness and self-fufillment. College is by far the best decision I have made and attending college is i the best advice I can offer.

Heather

The best advice I could give would be to visit each of the colleges that the student is interested in. The college should also be strong in the sense of learning and education and a college shouldn't be chosen on the wrong reasons like partying. The college student should get involved with whatever interests them and try to meet as many people as possible a long the way. Friends made at college are friends for life. I would also tell the student to always keep up in their studies and to never give up. Education is a way to a better future and a better life.

Britany

Look at first financial situation. Next look at degrees offered and job placement. Then find a campus that you like the campus or extra activities at. I would say to go somewhere not too far from home. You will be syrprised how home sick you can become! Good Luck!!

steve

You must select a college based on how you feel when visiting the school. Don't select a school just because it has high academic standards. If you are not happy at the school, or it does not have activities that you love to participate in, your will never reach those high academic standards. The college has to have a balance of classes and activities that will help you to feel at home and thus, will enhance your ability and your desire to succeed. Wherever you are, you will be able to succeed in life based on your desire, and desire will come from the nurturing and welcoming feeling from selecting the right college for you.

Brittany

go the school that you feel will better you as a person, don't pick a school based on just the social life or just academics. there is much more learning about life outside of the classroom and you have to find the place that is right for you to do that learning!

Jeremy

You should dig deep into what they have to offer for a major to make sure what the school offer best fits your needs.

Alexandra

The advice that I would give parents and/or students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience would actually be advice that my band director gave to me when I was college searching. Make sure you only have one "reach school" and then apply to many schools that you are capable of getting into. The right school has a way of choosing you and even if you think you do not want to go there, give it a chance. I did not want to go to my school, which is in the middle of nowhere, because I wanted to be in the city but I ended up loving my school. Fate has a way of pairing students up with the school they are supposed to go to. So, do not stress if you do not get into your dream school because if you did not get in then that school should not be your dream anyway. Also, do not forget to join everything and get involved right away to make tons of friends and do not be shy. This is the time to try new things and be a whole new person.

Veronica

The best advice I can give anyone preparing for college is to take your time. A lot of time is spent deciding on what school to attend but not enough time is spent deciding what to study. Carefully chose a career field/major to go into and plan your college career around that choice. A lot of time and money can be wasted by chosing and changing majors while attending college. This is especially important for transfer students. If you are planning on transferring from a two year college to a four year college decide where you are going to transfer at the same time you decide where to start. Plan your classes at the two year college around what will transfer into your selected major at the four year college. Work closely with your advisors from both schools to ensure the smoothest transition. Always double check, multiple times and with multiple people, that what you have planned will work out like you want it to. When you get to college work hard and take it seriously. You can achieve anything if you work hard enough. Most importantly, study hard and be friends with your teachers.

Alyssa

The key ingredient to finding the right college and making the most of it is the environment in which the university provides the students. Visit each campus you are interested in for a day, longer if possible. Eat in the cafeteria, sit in on a class, talk to the students on the quad, or common area, spend a night in the university dorm if you can. Universities are never adequately described on paper. Just because a university has a great reputation doesnt mean that its the right fit for you. When I applied for college I had my heart set in on Suffolk University in Boston, but it turned out that I was more comfortable on a traditional campus, rather than a vertical (urban) one. Visiting a college makes you see the school in a different light, and for me, changed the entire path of my education for the better.

Kelsey

just make sure that you like everything about it! once you see the campus and get the feel for it you will know if its right for you or not

Michelle

Make sure it has a wide array of majors to choose from just in case you change your mind. Visit more than once. Stay overnight when you visit at least once. Make sure you pay attention to your gut feeling when choosing; pick a place for the right reasons, and pick a college YOU want to go to, not one your parents might want you to go to. Get involved and try your best to make friends. Go to plays and musical performances. Eat well and get enough sleep. Don't get caught up in the drinking scene; it's not the right vehicle through which good friendships are made and healthy relationships are started. Take at least one day per week to do something for yourself; relax. Stay in touch with friends and family. Keep a positive attitude and make the best of your situation and you will do great!

Kathryn

ISU rocks

Michelle

Go to as many college visits as you can, by looking at a campus on a tour. It really helped me figure out where i wanted to go and i recomend it.

Olivia

Its important to have an idea of wheather you want to me in a city or a small town: that ends up mattering. But otherwise, you can pretty much bank on having the same experience where ever you go. Also, college is really expensive and if you can, save WELL in advance. And try as hard as you can to be done in 4 years.

Daniel

When you to visit a campus ask to look in on classes and talk with some of the students there to see how they really feel about he school they are attending.

Stephanie

Do not look into schools solely for the familiarity of their name (i.e., Ivy Leage schools, or places like University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign). Take a look at what the schools are well known for, as well as what they have to offer outside of classes. It is not absolutely necessary to go to an east coast or west coast school, and there is no need to go to a school hundreds of miles away when there is a school that is just as decent within your state. If you are intimidated by big cities, it would be better to skip schools like DePaul or University of Chicago in Chicago. This also goes for students who like urban/populated areas. Attending a school located somewhere in the middle of miles of cornfields may not be a good choice. When you do find the right college, make sure you join something. There are many clubs, music ensembles and sports to choose from. You will find people who have the same interests as you, and it will give you something to do besides classes and school work, and have something fun to look forward to every day.

Anna

I would say to new students remember to try new things but dont forget who you are and where you came from.

Melissa

Definitely go visit! Students need to go with their gut as to where they want to go, forcing your children to go somewhere they don't want to will end up in both of you being unhappy.

Jenna

I believe parents should encourage thought of careers once their son or daughter reaches high school. Some kids don't feel it is necessary to think about a life career and put it to the back of their mind. I think this is why many more students are taking longer to complete college and therefore are in more debt. Based on their career choice, this will be helpful in narrowing down what college to go to. There are so many colleges out there that are better choices for a specific career. Another thought to have before applying to colleges, is what size would they feel most comfortable and confident in? The size of the college is important for the student, because this could ruin their experience if it wasn't appropriate. If too large, students may fall behind and if too small some students may not flourish as they could in a big university.

Jessica

Find a college with your personal interests in mind. While searching for something that fits, make sure to talk to people who already attend to get their input. It is best to go somewhere you are 100% sure about so you are spending money on something that is going to be worth your while. If you go somewhere you do not really like, your experience will not be satisfying in the long run. Be prepared, also, to work for your degree. It is a long, hard trip, but in the end, it really does matter.

Samantha

I suggest visiting colleges. This is a great way to see if you like the college and how well it will fit yourlifestyle. While visiting a college stop by some of the academic buildings and the residents halls. You will never know if you like something if you do not look at it. I would also suggest looking at many schools, that way you will have a variety to choose from!! Once you get accepted to a college, I suggest you get involved as uch as you can. These experiences you have in college will stick with you for the rest of your life and you can meet people who could be a part of your life even after graduation. I also suggest getting involved in your floor if you live in a Resident Hall. This is a great place to meet people and make new friends. You will make wonderful friends in the Residents Halls. Above all, I suggest that you be yourself!! You will have a great time if you stay true to your self and do things you feel comfortable with. Don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do; just be you!!! : )

Katie

Find a college that suits you, and one with your major. Make sure you feel comfortable, do not hold back and try new things.

Andrea

Make sure that the college is focused more on academics then social life. ISU has great professors but students seem more concerned with trying to get into a fraternity or soriety. Although social life is important and clubs are important it needs to be t more academically oriented. I would suggest going to a smaller school that provides smaller classrooms. Sometimes at larger schools it is harder to get lost in the shuffle and get to know people. College is definiately a great time in someones life and the memories will last forever, so it is important to choose a school that you feel apart of and catters to your needs as a student. Also, it is important to take different classes your first 2 years. I think that there is too much focus on trying to find a major right away but I think it is important to look at all kinds of fields of study. That is what college is about afterall. Trying to find yourself.

Gwendolyn

I would talk to people that go there. Stop random people on the quad and see how friendly they are. Spend a weekend there and try to walk to get groceries and have fun. That is one of the most important things, because living on and off campus you don't always have a car. Try to find parking in a bunch of different places. Take the bus around and see where it can get you, and how long it takes. Eat in the cafeterias all over campus to see where you would like to live. Talk to counselors in a few different departments that you are interested in. Sometimes the counselor almost makes more of a difference than the major. Try riding your bike around to see how easy it is. Really think about your biggest concerns and then try them out. Sit in on a class if you are allowed. Really kick the tires of the school! Don't feel like you are being pushy or nosy; you are going to spend a lot of time and money wherever you choose to go.

Bradley

For the parents, I would say to help your son/daughter pick the college that will meet her needs. This is a time for them to be on their own and figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life. The school needs to be far enough away to get the whole experience, but close enough for them to come home whenever they want. Just be a guide for them and they will thank you for it later. For prospective students, I would say to pick a school that will offer you everything that will make you happy. College is a time to learn more about yourself and to have fun; join a club/organization, make friends, but most of all - do what you want to do. There isn't anyone here to tell you how to live your life. So do everything you can and make sure to take it all in; it will be totally worth it.

Danielle

Expressing the meaning of college in less than two-hundred words is literally impossible. It can hold so many meanings for so many different people. However, it has to be said that regardless of what college you attend, it is what you make of the experience. Not everyone enjoys going to a large university or a small local college. However, it is the time and effort you choose to put into your college that can result in the success of your future. The more your school has to offer and the level of involvement you choose , the better student, friend, volunteer, and person you will become. Getting involved is more than just going to class every day and choosing the right college means choosing one that provides you with the opportunity to find yourself as a young adult. Without this, it is impossible to feel prepared for what the real world has to offer.

Jeffrey

The most important thing to consider while choosing a college is how it makes you feel. Visit all the colleges on your list and get a feel for them. If you feel uncomfortable while visiting chances are you will not like going to school there. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the choice is the students. Pick a school that you want to go too, not somewhere someone else wants you to go. The important thing to remember while in school is that there is a fine line between fun and too much fun. Make time to get your work done while still being social.

Christine

As a student attending their second choice college the best piece of advice I have about choosing a college is keep your mind, and your options, open. Not being able to attend your first choice college can be a blessing. When I entered Illinois State University I was not excited. I viewed the school as second rate and had every intention of transferring to my first choice university when the year was through. As first semester progressed I began to realize that, academically, Illinois State was top notch. Being an average student in high school I wanted to improve in college but figured it would be difficult to break my old habits and develop new ones. That was not the case though! The classes I took and professors I had motivated me to achieve my best. The small classes and availability of professors made it easy to excel. Involving myself in other activities of interest on campus also provided me with a community of friends willing to help by offering support through study groups or movie nights. So please, keep an open mind about your classes, professors, peers, and your university, it will make your college experience enjoyable and memorable.

Emily

My advice would be to visit all the colleges yourself of your child is interested in. In your visit look around, talk to students, talk to teachers, and ask plenty of questions. This gives you a feel of the campus. After all you will be spending years there. Don't hesitate to ask questions, because whoever you ask, will have once been in your shoes. The visit is one of the most important aspects in chosing a school. It's like shopping around for a car, you always test drive before you buy, so for college, you browse campuses and test them all out.

Matthew

Make sure to not send your kids to Lincoln College Normal. It is the most terrible eductational institution you will ever see. Choose a place where friends are close, but the friends that are close actually are intellectually stimulating.

Emily

Choosing which college is right for you may be one of the most important decisions of your life. College is the place where you make your lifelong friends; the place where you learn the skills that you will use for a lifetime, whether they are your career or people skills. The actual place or campus that you land on is not the most important part of your experience. Always choose the place where you feel the most comfortable because you will be yourself in that environment and let other people see the real you. College is not about the classes that you couldn?t get into because you had a late registration date; college is about the new friends you made to complain to about not getting into that class. Making true friends is the most important part of college. They are to stay up late with you to prep you for an early exam, go out on the town with, and make the most of a crummy situation. Make the most of every situation and never waste time because you always think that you have much more of it than you really do. Four years really does fly past.

Caitlin

The best advice I can give to students or parents about finding the right college is to experience what your college has to offer in your decided major hands-on. I am an acting major at Illinois State University, and I truly knew that I wanted to attend ISU when I saw one of their main-stage shows that was done absolutely superbly. The show was "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," and the acting was phenomenal, and the costume design and set design looked like something on Broadway. When I saw that ISU could produce such an amazing show, something that I wished I could've been apart of myself, I knew right then and there that I wanted to learn from the faculty at this school, because they were able to produce shows of the caliber that I wanted to be apart of. I had experienced theater at other schools that didn't even compare to what ISU had to offer, but I'm glad I had both experiences so that I could know in the end, that ISU was definitley the perfect choice for me. Therefore, truly experiencing what a school has to offer is the best way.

Michelle

Visit the college you are planning on attending or applying to. I had no desire to attend my college until I walked on campus for the first time on a tour. I fell in love with it and really felt at home. If you aren't going to feel good about the campus you are going to be living on there is no point in going there no matter how good or bad the school is said to be.

Kristina

My advice goes to parents, please be supportive of your students' right to choose. I know you feel you have a say in it because of the financial aspect, however, please let your students make the choice, let them decide and find their niche. And my advice to students is to find somewhere you feel at home, and enjoy your time in college, it's the best time of your life. Good luck!

allie

Go for what you want, listen to your heart. This is the place you will be attending for FOUR YEARS, or more, of your life! You want to enjoy it. Take everything into consideration, but really think about where you fit in and where you think you would flourish.

JaLyssa

The advice I would give parents and or students about finding the right college is to make sure that school fits you as a person. Make sure the school has a reputation for something good rather than being the biggest party school. I also would look to see whats the graduation rate and how likely you are to get a job fresh out of college. Also take a visit of the campus. If the campus is too big that might affect a person in a negative way. I think if you use this advice you are bound to find a good college!!!!

Alex

One piece of advise for students trying to pick the right school to attend is go where you want to go. Do not go somewhere because your boyfriend or girlfriend is going to that school because you never know what could happen. If the student does not do what he or she wants to do then their college experience will not be everything that they want it to be. Going tothe same schools is fun. I myslef did that. Both my freshman and sophomore years of college I have roomed with someone that I have know from my home town. This is not always the best thing simply becasue this does not allow one to get out of their comfort zone and meet new people. If one rooms with someone they know from home it is fun, but I would suggest from experience to go with random roomemate. Sure, sometime it will not work out becuase college is all about growing and meeting new people. Also, pick the school that feels best to you when you go visit not the one that your parents liked the best it is the student that has to live with their choice.

Taylor

I think the most helpful thing, after researching yourself online or with interviews, is to actually speak to people attending this university. Visiting is very important to get a feel and talk to students about the courses, professors, and advisors.

Madison

Overall, you attend school to get an education. Make the most of your 4+ years by learning everything you can for the future. Sure, a social life is important but don't let it get in the way of your grades. As a non-drinking student, I also believe parties do not have to rule your life.

Janae

I suggest looking not only at the school and its overall reputation, but at the department, college, or school of your major. Look into it's rating and see how it compares to other institutions. However do not become too caught up in a school's prestiege or "fame." While degrees from certain schools may carry more weight than others, make sure that you are getting the education that you want and are comfortable with. It is important to find a school that will further your education by providing you with the proper tools to explore and succeed your area of interest. Remember that the dollar amount doesn't always indicate the quality or value of one's education.

Renee

Go visit the schools that you are applying to. If the school doesn't feel right, chances are you won't do as well. Once you are in college, get involved in something. Make friends and be active in activities on your campus.

Betsy

As a college bound student is looking into colleges with his or her parents, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the college and especially to visit the college. Once they visit, it is important to see the dorms and inquiry with residents what it is to live in the dorms because the majority of the time is spent in a dorm room. To make the most of the college experience it is necessary to become involved in organizations to balance between classes and a job if students choose to have one. Being part of an organization or many gives student a sense of belonging and competence. Overall, it is important for the students to question themselves if they could see themselves live and be happy and successful in that one college that they are looking into.

Everette

I would tell the parents to sit down with their child and figure out what their child wants out of college, besides a education. For example, if they want the experience of living away from home, then a university would be a great choice. If they would rather not leave home, then they should choose a community college. If they want to make lots of friends, then a large university would be the way to go, if they are nervous about being around large groups of people then they should aim for a smaller university. It all comes down to what exactly the potential student is looking to get out of their college experience.

Karl

Finding the right college is a lot like an interview. You are interviewing the college to see if it accomodates to your particular interests on campus, and if the college will deliver the knowledge you wish to receive when you graduate. Visit a couple of campuses and ask any question that comes to mind to a couple of students. Tour guides are there to spruce things up, students will tell the truth. For example, If you are interested in the sports program, ask a sports athlete that goes to the university. The best recommendation about making the most out of your college experience is to be yourself. There is no popularity contest in college, and making friends is much easier to do. I guarantee there are students that share the same interests as yourself, and being yourself is the best way for them to find you.

Kia

When you choose a college, do not allow distance or money keep you from doing what you dream of doing. If you want to attend the school, that you like, just get good grades, and get a job on campus. If you do not go to the school that you want to go to, you will most likely end up regretting it. I know that I somewhat do, because I was supposed to go to school on a scholarship for athletics, but I didn't. But the best advice to give to future college students is, to go into school on a positive note. Do not goof around, it is much easier to get situated first. I know it's exciting, and you may think that you need to join everything, but enjoy school for a semester, and if you think that you are ready to take on the many endeavors that college life throw at you, well then good luck! Enjoy college.

Katie

Choose a school that has a credible program for the field you want - not just where your friends are or for the social scene. College can be and IS a lot of fun, but its also a lot of hard work. Remember why youre there, and what you want to acheive. Its easy to get sucked in to the social life and freedom college allows, but don't lose sight of your goals and what getting a degree really means to you.

Chris

It is always hard when trying to look for the right college for you. You need to keep an open mind of all the colleges that you may visit. Make sure that you also go to a college where you may now some people, it is always hard to start off the year not knowing where to have fun or meet people. If you have those friends that have been there for a year, it is always safe to know that that could be an optional school. When you are visiting, don?t be afraid to ask questions. When I first came to this school, I knew no one. But I went and talked to people on my floor and we hung out, and luckily one of the people that I met was a sophomore and he knew where parties were and he was a fun person to hang around. So if you are nervous about talking to people, you need to break the barrier while you are in college. When you meet new people in college, they can turn out to be your friends for life.

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