Mercyhurst University Top Questions

What should every freshman at Mercyhurst University know before they start?


Going to college is not a bad thing. So you should always try your best, and not slack off in your classes. Because one day you might want to own your own company, and believe me you will need to learn what you can.


Create a detailed career plan for life after college, make sure the degreee you earn will provide the desired oppertunites. In addition, make several alternate or fallback plans that can be activated when roadblocks occur in the primary plan. Make meaningful connections with your professors.


I would tell myself that there is no such thing as too much preparation. Make sure you apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can. Make sure you ask questions to your teachers at the high school and the colleges you are applying for, check out schools you would not think you would be interested in at first. If you have colleges in mind check out the restaurants, job oppurtunities, finanical aid, class sizes, women to men ratio, atheltics, and campus living. Go to college visits, get information on your choice of study. MAke sure your high school grades are high, that you rarely skip school, that you take the ACT along with your SAT and even if you do well on your SAT try again and shoot for a higher score. Work on organization. Have a planner or a calendar. Mark down everything. Study for tests as soon as you know about them, go over notes, and get a good nights sleep. Get involved inyour commnity, be involved in group projects, practice public speaking.


Dear Monique, This is the future version of you. I know you may be confused right now but I am here to give you some really serious advice. I understand how you are feeling right now you just turned 18, you are about to graduate and you feel like an adult. I am going to tell you right now you don't know anything about life. Please Please Please do not party too much. As the future you, I already know all of the horrible things you go through in two years. Go to college and dont waste time on "friends" and partying. In 2 years you can have an associates degree or moving on to a four year college. I didn't have that advantage because I fooled around and wasted time. With that also comes negative forces in your life which I hope you avoid. I regret the things I did because at this time I am still a freshman in college when everyone around me has moved on. So please, take this advice and use it because I know everything that will happen if you don't and its not pretty.


Before coming to college I went to a performing arts school. There everyone was focused on personal success and were in a sense, very slef absorbed. Ballet is very different from any other sport where people have to work together as a team. There is almost no camaraderie in the ballet world, it is a very idividualistic field. Growing up, it became instilled in me that this was the way the rest of the world functioned as well: indiviualistic. I had a very hard time trusting people and opening up to people because of this. I wish I could go back to my transitioning self and say that this is not how everything works. My advice would be to branch outside of my comfort zone, to open up more, and to trust people. To find myself outside of my major because it should not define me. I was eventually able to break away from this mindset that I had built up for myself and learned how to trust people. I now have a group of friends, from many different disciplines, that are like family yo me. I wish this was something I could have known while transitioning into college.


If I were able to go back in time and give high school me some advice, there are many things I would say. I would tell myself, “School is the most important thing right now, and you can’t keep procrastinating and putting things off for your boyfriend. Also, knowing what you want to do with your life is important. Do some research and find something that fits you. If you need to take a year or two to find the right thing for you, then do it! Don’t bite off more than you can chew; think very hard before making any big decisions about changing schools. You do not want to rack up a lot of debt with nothing to show for it. Start studying! This isn’t high school any more, and you’re going to continue learning little to nothing if you don’t study! Then you won’t be able to get a job in your field because you won’t know what you are doing. Above all be confident and focused and work hard to achieve your goals. You can do anything if you set your mind to it.”


College is going to be a lot more difficult than high school. You need to start learning how to study, be organized and manage your time now, even though you don't really have to do that right now. Unfortunately, your high school experience is not going to prepare you for the amount of work it is going to take to ace your college courses. Start making yourself a schedule for each week and set aside time to study for each of your classes throughout the week. Cramming before the night of a test is not going to work anymore when you get to college. You need to study for each class a little bit each day. Start making flash cards of all your class notes and study those a little each day and read your chapters before you have class so you are prepared for the lecture. You also won't have to worry about reading all those pages right before the test. Be prepared for class, study a little each day, make a weekly schedule and stick to it, manage your time wisely and you will succeed in college!


Just be yourself and work hard.


It's not as hard as you think it will be. You just need to work hard. Get a summer job before going to college, you will need it. Don't be afraid to talk to new people. Be friendly and you'll get along with most people. If you don't know what you want to do, that's okay, you will figure it out. There are plenty of resources to do so. Just be yourself and work hard and you should have no problem succeeding. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.


If I had the opportunity to talk to my former high school senior self, I would reiterate the importance of a college education. I would explain that a college diploma, combined with hard work and motivation, is like a passport to a better job leading to better pay and benefits, which in turn leads to a higher disposable income. I would agree with my younger self who would be pleading that money is not everything, but would remind her that in our society a diploma is the currency that buys options. A higher disposable income means that a paycheck covers not just the necessities in life like food and utilities, but also allows for wider options when it comes to housing, travel, charity and more. A college diploma generally allows one the means and ability to explore the world, live life more fully and serve others in need. I would advocate for living the college experience to the fullest—soak up all the knowledge and information available, join in campus activities and clubs, meet as many interesting and diverse people as possible. Overall, I would say to keep smiling and to always, always, always follow your heart.