Lafayette College Top Questions

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

Dominique

If i had the opportunity to go back in time, I would tell myself to do the research on every school that I applied to. I chose this school because they gave me the most money, but it was not what I was expecting my colelge career to be about. I would tell myself to investigate the hidden costs (books, living expenses, travel, etc..) to make an informed choice about my decision. Another thing that I might tell myself is to not wait to put in scholarship applications. The earlier the better. The last thing that I might tell my high school self is to work harder in both the classroom and on the athletic field. If I worked a little bit harder, i could have gotten a scholarship to play football at school, something that I enjoy doing dearly.

Shehtaz

This is your chance to start afresh -- so embrace it! Who you were in high school, the mistakes that you made and the regrets that you have -- learn from them, but don't let them dictate how the next four years will go. Go for the things you haven't tried out before: if you're an introvert, sign up for the Debate club. If you're into your LCD monitor, go hiking with the Outdoors Society. Take that A- on your first college paper, struggle in your engineering studies class, go to office hours for Calc I and love every second that you struggle because that's how you make it count.

Julia

I know you are tired of high school...senioritis is kicking in and you're itching to move on to the next stage of your life. Don't get too frustrated- all of the hard work definitely pays off! The big research project and presentation that was part of your independent study was fantastic preparation for the more intensive and scholarly research that professors expect from you in college. All of the relationships that you built with teachers throughout high school are more important than you can appreciate now. Although you might not miss high school, you will miss some of your favorite teachers. Don't forget to stay in touch! One of the biggest differences between high school and college life is that you no longer live with mom and dad, but share a dorm room. The most important piece of advice I can give you regarding dorm life is to live and let live. As long as you keep an easygoing attitude, everything will be fine. Make sure to budget your time carefully- don't forget to keep your calendar up to date and check it often. Stay on top of your work, make friends, and enjoy!

Rachel

Dear Rachel, Don't be so nervous! I know you can be kind of shy sometimes, butjust be yourself and making friends will be easy! Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and join a club that you know nothing about. You'll end up loving it! Ask questions about things that you do not understand; there are tons of people willing to help. If you don't get the grade that you were hoping for on a test, don't let it bring you down. Use that as fuel to work harder and improve the next chance you get. Spend tons of time in the library, but find a quiet space by yourself to study. Your friends are great, but their jokes can be distracting when they accompany you to the library! Most of all, make sure you take advantage of every moment. Take the time the time to sit back and enjoy what is going on around you. It may seem scary at first, but once you get the hang of college it will be one of the most amazing times of your life. Take chances, work hard, and be happy. Love, You

Reshaud

The most important thing i would tell my self is to stay focused. No matter how smart you are or gifted it wont amount to anything if you are not responsible and obligated to your studies. I would also tell my self not to watch so many party movies about college lol, they help lead to bad attendance. My biggest problem was i didn't realize the importance of having a solid education, i thought a high school diploma would be enough to make it in life. So i would also stress to my high school self the importance of having a college degree, mainly because it shows employers you have commitment, focus and drive. If i knew in high school what i know now going to parties and having fun would of never been on my radar. Those types of activities will always be around in life but the opportunity to fullfill your dreams thrugh having an education might not always be fesiable. So if i were able to go back and give my high school self any pointers about how to succeed i would let my self read this essay.

Amanda

You can't let the little things get to you. What you are so preoccupied with now will have little to no importance in the long run. You have to take a step back and look at what is in front of you, and you have to put what you are going through in perspective. Don't forget to appreciate what you have, for nothing is guaranteed. Cherish every moment, and don't look back. Embrace life, and don't let anything or anyone hold you back. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to love, for love is what makes it all worthwhile.

Andy

Work is tough at Lafayette but it is very rewarding once you are done. But I would greatly stress that students come in to Lafayette with the intention of getting involved in some way. I have gotten more and more involved throughout my years and it has been the best decision of my life

Andy

Work is tough at Lafayette but it is very rewarding once you are done. But I would greatly stress that students come in to Lafayette with the intention of getting involved in some way. I have gotten more and more involved throughout my years and it has been the best decision of my life

Alyson

If I knew in high school what I know now about college life, I would advise myself to take advantage of everything. Although I felt that I was pretty involved in my school community being the captain of the Women's Rugby team, a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and obtaining a job with Lafayette's Sports Medicine, after graduation I felt that there were so many other opportunities that I missed out on. For one, until I took a music course in my last semester, I did not realize the number of great performers and musicians that frequented our Arts Center, even some we studied in class. It was amazing to physically see and experience the music styles we read about in textbooks. In addition to the Arts Center, I feel that I missed out on meeting so many great people because I did not do much volunteer work. Lafayette provided ample opportunites to offer services to many diverse populations and causes. I believe that if I would have volunteered more often, I would have left Lafayette with a stronger sense of self-worth and positive outlook on my future. Lastly, have fun. Four years goes fast.

Shannon

College is a time of learning, of growth, of knowledge. In the first few months of my freshman year at Lafayette College, I feel I have already gained so much knowledge and have grown as a person as a result. I look forward to learning and growing even more in the next four years by focusing on what I love - English and music - and learning as much as possible about these subjects as well as learning about life from the people around me. English and music are passions of mine, and I have already gained a significant amount of knowledge in both areas as a result of the work I have put into my classes and the passion and intelligence of the professors. My writing has already improved and I have learned so much about music theory that I did not know. I have also learned a lot about myself. The people I live with are accepting and friendly; as a result, I am finally happy with who I am and what I look like. This, for me, is the most important lesson I have learned - acceptance of oneself is necessary for true happiness.

Eric

I have gotten more than words can describe out of my college experience. Not only have I broadened my horizons as far as education will take me, but I have been granted a much deeper sense of self-worth, responsibility, leadership, companionship, and job security. I mean, sure you can learn all this on your own at one point in life or another, but college has brought it to such a level that only the select few who do decide to attend college will ever be able to enjoy. And I have been incorporating what I have learned, beyond education, in my life style and future plans. All of which has brought my life to a new extreme. I could not be anymore greatful.

Matthew

From traveling abroad to Europe, opening myself up to new experiences, both academically and emotionally, and forcing myself to leave my previous personal boundaries, my university experience has led me on a mental journey encompassing everything from my views on love, limitations, strength, weakness, and what truly enhances one's quality of life. College is meant to provide each and every student with the academic ability to acheive his or her goals; yes, my experience has met this destination- this destination which could be equally provided by an intense educational craving with a side of institutional books. However, it has been the things a professor could never teach or a textbook could never put into words which has defined my college experience. This is the place where I have been able to create a life-long set of goals. This is the place where I learned to respect my mind and heart. This is the place where Matt Russell....became Matt Russell.

Brent

Believe in yourself. It is a difficult process getting into a college and then staying there. At times I often felt out of place or not accepted. The people around you will always seem more confident than they actually are. College is a place to grow and develop a strong moral and intellectual philsophy. Pick a college that you can go back to in 20 years and feel right at home. You may not know what that is, but with any college you can develop that special bond. College will be a great experience if you let yourself relax and be who you are. Remain open minded but guard your core values. It is important to grow and it is important to work hard. You are attending college for academics and learn the skills you will need later on in life. These skills will be accessed by studying hard, socializing, helping others, working in teams, joining clubs, and being yourself!

Julia

I would tell myself to not be as worried. College is a life changing experience and while it is very scary to think about before you have entered into it, once there you realize that everyone is in the same situation. Noone goes to college having a group of friends, everyone has to be open to new people and find the people they fit in with and get along with most. Friends aren't as hard to come by as incoming freshmen tend to believe that they are and many uperclassmen will actually help you out and not torment you like a lot of media suggest. Be yourself and believe in who you are and everything will truely be great. Also, you don't need as many clothes as you think you will. When you're doing your own laundry, there really isn't enough space in your room to let it collect while you wear the rest of your clothes, and once your favorite clothes are clean again, you tend to wear those. Besides that, there is very little storage space for your clothes, so be selective and take only the stuff you KNOW you will wear.

Jesse

10 Things I Wish I Knew as a High School Senior 1. Don't be a victim of senioritis, even though it is extremely contagious 2. Driving is a privilege, not a right 3. Appreciate showers without having to wear shoes 5. Dinner choices in collge cafeteria: take it or leave it 6. College professors don't accept 'notes from home' 7. Take advantage of being able to listen to your music openly in your bedroom..and invest in a decent pair of headphones come September 8. Your family isn't as embarrassing as you once thought 9. Your best friend is not your best choice for a roommate 10. College is awesome, but high school will be over sooner than you think, so cherish it for what its worth

Larissa

Knowing what I know now about myself college life, and making the transition I would tell myself: Make sure I go into Lafaytte with an open mind, read and willing to try new things and be open to branching out and meeting now people because that beats sitting in a dorm room all day by myself. A social life apart from academic life is impotant to keeping my sanity! I would also tell myself that as much goals that I have set for myself, realize that it is not always going to work out the way I planned but eventually everything will fall into place as long as I keep going and rememeber that for every step taken that seems to be a failure is one step closer to finding myself, with another goal accomplished nearing to the future even if it wasn't the same one set in the past. Last but not least I would advise myself to remeber that no matter who I hang out with or what I get into on campus just be myself and do not fall under the influence of anyone or anything. Just be me in everyting I choose to do!

Rachael

As you have heard, going to college means you will more than likely no longer have the restraints placed upon you by your parents. Do not take advantage of it. Do not lose sight of your goals to merely replace them with "freedom." Sleep is not overrated, make sure to stay healthy because if you don't, you will most likely be sick for a month. Take advantages of the different clubs on campus. Keep your mind open to other ways of life, but remain true to yourself. There is nothing that should make you sell yourself short. Think positive. Face time with professors is highly important and extremely helpful. Finally, while there is "no wrong question" that doesn't mean to ask every single question that pops into your head the moment it does. Think of others in addition to yourself.

Katheryn

First of all, college is alot harder than you think. Sure, you only have classes three times a week, and never for a full day like in high school, but the courses cover twice as much material in half the time. Plan your time accordingly. Don't be disappointed when your grades aren't as high as you're used to. More importantly, be sure to balance academics and social life. Don't be so obssessed with grades that you lock yourself in your room all week. Believe me; all that gives you is more stress. If you're having trouble understanding something, don't be afraid to talk to the professor. I know you are stubborn and prefer to figure things out yourself, but it is very difficult to do well in college without extra help. Don't forget; you CAN call your parents when you get homesick. This is the first time you'll be away from your family for more than a few days, and it will be hard at first. But you don't have to break away from them completely, especially in the beginning. Finally, don't be afraid to let loose and be yourself!

Lauren

I would tell my high school senior self to not be afraid to take risks. I came to college very sheltered and was very scared about making friends and being on my own, but it was no problem at all. Just be involved, find out who your real friends are, and take risks. Take a day trip to New York City. Invite a friend from high school to come visit so that you can show off your campus and your new friends. Go to the football games. Make good friends, but be sure to make aquaintances also. Ask your teacher for help if you need it. Don't be ashamed to ask for help. College is hard. Try your hardest not to procrastinate, because people will probably want to hang out at the exact time that you have to write a paper for the next day. Make your room into your home, and clean your room as much as possible. Most of all, try your hardest to have as much fun as you can. It will go much faster than you realize.

Jessica

I have a younger sister who is just about to choose a college, so lately Ive been formulating such advice. I think that the best thing to do is take some time your senior year and really research and think about what you want to do after college. Do a lot of shadowing/ externships/ etc. so that you will truly understand why you want to go to college, and so you can also find the right college for you. I wish that I would have researched my career aspirations in high school. I circled around the healthcare profession, from surgeon to researcher to nurse, finally landing on nurse midwife. A little more research in high school would have saved time and money in the journey that is the college experience.

Alexander

When the student is looking at colleges, he or she will just know which college feels right. It is not about applying to as many as you can just so you feel safe, you need to focus on the ones you really love and put the most energy into them. If you do that , your applications will show more passion and increase your chances of getting into the schools you really want, versus you sending in the same, monotonous essay to every school.

Sarah

Advice that I would give to parents and student in regards to finding the right school is to START LOOKING EARLY!!! I have found that if the college search process is not rushed then it can be more enjoyable and the student is more likely to find a good fit. Consider all options when looking for schools, and look at many different types. It is important to look at the different sizes and styles of schools in order to find the right one and hav a successful college career. Moreover, I think that it is important to go to a school where the students have the same level of motivation and drive and are looking to succeed and thrive. When your surrounding peers have goals and aspirations it is more likely to succeed and push oneself as an individual as well. Also a final word as to how to make it a great college experience, take chances, risks, and any unique opportunities that may present themselves. Get to know as many people as you can because you never know who may have a positive impact on your life! :]

Marc

While the application process is typically daunting, students should still try to enjoy their senior year in high school. Your senior year is your year to most excel in sports and other activities. There is not necessarily a "right" school for anyone. The best you can do is visit schools in which you believe you would fit acedemically. Then, see how you like the campuses which you visit and look at student life and activities on campus. Talk to students on campus to get an understanding of what classes they take and what activities they participate in. Remember, if a school choice does not have an activity in which you would like to be involved, you can always start it yourself.

Meghan

The right college is not just one college. You need to find a few colleges and visit them and see if you like the atmosphere. Look at their websites and make sure they have extra curicullar activities you are interested in. Do the students focus on academics or alcohol? This is an important question. In order to make the best out of a college experience you need to get involved. Play a sport, join a club, volunteer with others at a local animal shelter or retirement home - this is also the easiest way to make friends in the begining. Also, get involved academically - talk to your professors during their office hours, ask them about their research and if they are looking for any research assistants. Talking to your professors can help you get valuable research experience and also excellent letters of recommendation for when you graduate or are applying to a job.

Alyssa

Apply anywhere and everywhere. Visit anywhere you can, but not just for a day tour; do an overnight with a student if possible. Students should try to be open minded. Most students can be happy almost anywhere if they get involved and take advantage of what the school has to offer. DONT STRESS OUT. You'll end up somewhere great - and on the off chance that you dont, you can always transfer; but give the school at least 3 semesters before you do so.

Carissa

I would advise parents and students to be thorough in their research of the college before deciding on a final choice. I would recommend that the student get a feel for the campus by staying over for a night or two - many campuses have these opportunities. There is only so much that a tour guide or website will tell you, but actually being on the campus and interacting with others when current students are in their element will be a stronger indicator of the student's experience if they choose to enroll.

Evan

Find somewhere were you can grow into the person you want to be. Acknowledge all aspects of life that will affect you while there and weigh them accordingly.

Karlyn

Make sure you know what the school is like before enrolling. Academics should be the top priority, but it won't matter if the student is unhappy. Also, for minority students, if you have not attended a school that WASN'T predominantly minority in the past, don't assume it will be all bad; it just requires more effort to adjust.

not

pick a place you think you will happy... and a place you think will help you succeed.

Kasey

Choose the place where you feel you fit best. Where you will get the most out of your choice, and will feel the most comfortable.

Heather

Parents and students should both play an active role in choosing the right college. The student should visit educational institutions several times and consider the opportunities offered at each school. It is also extremely important to ensure that the campus has a safe and comfortable environment for the student. What feels comfortable and welcoming to one person may not feel the same way to someone else. Once the student has made a decision on the school, time spent at the institution should be focused on getting the best education possible but at the same time, enjoying the company of their peers. Time spent at college should take advantage of resources, clubs, organizations, and academic expertise all easily accessible at the university. Students should try and make a difference on their campus and develop their individuality during the few years they have at their school.

Liz

Definitely take tours, read the literature the campus provides and try to get in contact with a student (not a tour guide!) and ask them their favorite parts about the school. Also, ask them what they don't like about it, so you won't be suprised later. Make a list of what your child wants in a school and make sure the school meets these requirements. You want to make sure that your child is going to have the best experience possible and that the school fits them perfectly.

Nina

Go with your gut! Wherever you feel the most comfortable, and the most at home (away from home) , go there. Go somewhere far enough from home where you are not tempted to go home, but close enough that your parents can come watch you in your school play, or your first soccer game. Make friends, be daring, be bold, and be yourself. College is the most amazing years of your life- go explore, do things out of your comfort zone, join clubs, start campus groups, get a job- go crazy! Have fun and be safe. Do not be scared or hesitant to ever see a counselor or get a tutor- college is about learning. It is an incredible journey.

Maxwell

When selecting the right college, my best advice to parents and students would be to attempt to balance the affordability of the college while taking in the physical aspects of the campus as well as the social and academic environments. There are great resources to find opinions on the social and academic sides of the college through a multitude of websites, while the likability of the actual campus is of course up to the individual. With regards to affordability, mak sure to thouroughly check the financial aid programs the school offers, as well as the kind of debt the student will have to pay post-graduation. In regards to making the most of the college experience, my best advice as much as possible into groups the student knows he/she will like. Personally I enjoy doing service and also want a social life, so I have involved myself in many service opportunities while still joining a fraternity. Try to balance between things you love and also what you know will further your social and academic life on campus and beyond, as this is the best way to succeed.

Julie

Visit lots of schools, talk to lots of people and let your initial instinct of a school guide you.

Elina

Choosing a college can be a very bewildering process. Once you have been accepted and you know what your options are, I think it is imperative to visit the campuses of the schools you are considering. Just a simple visit can tell you a great deal about your prospective home for the next four years. If you are disappointed that no one in the administration or the faculty has time to talk to a high school senior, perhaps you should look at a smaller school where things are done at a more personal level. On the other hand, if you feel overwhelmed by the unvarying homogeneity of the students, it might be better for you to search for a larger and more diverse college. It is imperative to remember that life after college is usually very busy and hectic, so you should take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you as a college student. Whether it is meeting new people, getting discounted or free tickets to cultural events, or going to evening lectures covering a myriad of topics, these are things that you will be able to fondly look back on for the rest of your life.

Victoria

Spend time considering all options, and choose wisely.

Safraz

Find the college that is best suited for your experience/ child's experience and that helps your family with financing the education costs. It's hard to find one that does both, but it is essential to find a school that manages to offer a little bit of both at the least.

Ben

Advice often left out by ?College Search 101:? -Find out how many students go on to grad schools (vs. industry, etc.); this will indicate what opportunities and pressures you?ll experience later. -Ask what resources and opportunities are actually available for undergraduates in your field. -Compare the hours at the library with the hours at the gym. -If the school gives an award for the student who most represents the college ideals, read about winners. -Visit a classroom where you?d likely have class, and sit in a chair. Is it a comfortable place to learn? -Read a student newspaper or community blog. What questions are students asking? How actively are they building their own community? What?s considered normal (or abnormal) for that campus? -Eat in the campus cafeteria and observe student social groups. Is there segregation or integration of people, styles, and ideas? If you enroll: -Meet people who share your interests by joining clubs and looking around in class. -On the flip side, try to find some people different than yourself to sit with at meals. Results can be surprisingly nice! -Write a condensed summary of each week?s notes for the fast track to academic success.

Katie

There is no absolute right college for you, you just need to find a place where you'll be able to make yourself a niche and be happy.

AJ

The school you choose does not matter as much as the degree to which you committ yourself to the institution. College experiences are defined not just by facilities or professors or living styles, but by the relationships with the students. The way to form strong bonds with people is to join organizations that you are passionate about. By meeting other people that share your beliefs, you experience at college will be sunstantially improved.

Isaias

Do your research and visit the school.

Mary

Chosing the right college is one of the most difficult things I have had to do. When looking up colleges, it is really difficult to find out what that college is really like. For example, while visiting my college, Lafayette College, the tour guides said that the greek system wasn't the main social scene on campus. However, once I got here, I discovered that it pretty much dominated all social life. Which, for me, was disappointing since I was not interested in joining a sorority. The best possible way to find out about a school is to do an overnight or speak to students on campus not hired by the college. They will most likely tell the truth about campus life. All around, I really don't like my school. But I have tried to find ways to make the best of it. For example, I would highly recommend going abroad. I had the best time of my life while studying abroad and all around found it to be a great experience. To deal being at a school I don't like I also have buried myself in academics since I am very intersted in my major.

Rashidah

Stay overnight without telling the college that you will. Then, you can see the school for what it really is. No pretty wrapping or facade.

Ben

Being active in the college search process is the most important aspect when trying to find the right school. In order to find where to attend, hearsay or a report in a magazines is not enough; students and parents need to engage themselves in what the schools provide to get any true idea of what the campus is like. This could come from a tour of the campus, maybe a visit to a sporting event , or better yet an overnight stay in which the potential student can share the full college experience with someone who really understands what it's like to be a part of the college community. Regardless of reputations, the overall feeling a school provides its students should be the major deciding factor in chosing a college or university given the desired area of study is present when considering one's individual strengths and preferences. Once at school, stay active in the community and take advantage all the opportunities that will undoubtedly be provided. College is a time of learning and growing... to miss out on the experience by watching the time pass would be a crime. Best of luck to all prospective parents and students.

Colleen

There is no sure fire way of knowing where you fit. The best advice I could give, I think, is to listen to your gut- there are financial options for those who diligently seek them out- and realize that college is what you make it. You can find friends anywhere if you are genuinely looking for them. If you make the most of your college experience, and experience it on your terms, not those of some media-skewed stereotype or the values of the people you come to befriend, you will have no regrets, no matter what institution?s name is on your degree.

Emma

If you want to succeed, you will no matter where you go. However, there are a few things that can make it easier, depending on how you define your own personal success story. The college search is all about identifying priorities.

Kameisha

don't settle. you will be attending a school for four years, not your parents. this will be your experience and yours alone. don't let people pressure you into going somewhere you feel that you don't want to. have fun. don't break school policies because you WILL get into trouble. contrary to popular belief, college is NOT all about drinking and partying. it's a ginormous learning experience - both inside and outside the classroom. your RAs are your friends. not rent-a-cops. (That's public safety.) have fun! ^_^

Asia

When it comes to finding the right college I would just have to say to look at as many colleges as possible. Though I was lucky to find such a great school for me, I did not look into many options. Looking back on my college search I know I could have done a better job. Don't let anything get in your way of finding the right school for you. College is an important part of your life, and fing the perfect fit or at least a comfortable fit can really make a difference in your college experience. In the end, have fun and know that college is an amazing part of life where you will truly grow as a student, friend, athlete, or whatever hat you decide to wear!!

Kyle

Find a school that is the right size, right location, and academically focused on your interests. If the school is too big or too small you will hate it and transfer. If the location is terrible, you will be miserable and probably transfer as well. I find these are the most commonly over looked aspects of the college search experience. Also, most schools will work with you financially so do not let the sticker price scare you away from applying; it is worth the chance.

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