Merrimack College Top Questions

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

Alyssa

The advice to high school Alyssa, is to get involved on campus. Your happiness and life starts once you get out of your comfort zone. Getting involved teaches you communication, team work, leadership, dedication, and pride. Being involved in something on campus creates a passion for something you love, whether it's a sport, greek life, club, job, or volunteer work. No matter what you get involved in, it will bring you instant satification and self gratification. In college you find the friends who are going to be there for life, you find your best friends and you learn who you are with these people. It is time to stop being shy or comfortable with where you are in life and get involved into something you were always curious about or never thought you'd join! What do you have to lose? Life is so much fun when you are part of something bigger than yourself; you belong to something with a group of people who have that same passion and interests as you. You create bonds with others and the transition of high school to college almost seems effortless. You wil not regret it, I promise.

Jenna

I would have told myself to start looking at colleges sooner. I probably would have taken a few different electives in high school if I had the option so that I could find out what I really liked to give me an idea of what to major in. I love my major, but I didn't know that is was what I wanted to do at first. Also, I would have picked an out-of-state school and lived away so that I could get the independent feeling of living on my own. I definitely would have scoped out the extracurricular activities and clubs that different schools offer. I am very uninvolved in college right now and I really wish I had found a school that had clubs that interested me--maybe a school that is not religious and has a larger gay community. I think I would have felt more comfortable and felt that I fit in a bit better. Maybe graduate school can be my second chance at everything I wish I had done.

Jane

In just one semester at Merrimack College, I gained a tremendous amount of freedom and academic responsibility, which allowed for a lot of personal growth. If I could recommend anything to my high school self based on these changes, it would be to better prepare myself academically so that the intensity of college courses won’t shock me as much. Having taken rigorous courses my senior year and having balanced those classes with extracurriculars and other responsibilities would have eased my transition to college level courses. More importantly, I would advise my high school self to not take the comforts of my home and my parent’s care for granted. What I didn’t realize my senior year of high school was that it was my last year of having the luxuries of home cooked meals and hugs from my parents whenever I needed them, which both became less easily available once I moved onto campus. Finally, I would tell my younger self to not fret over high school drama because petty fights and cliquey crowds thrive from immaturity and, fortunately enough, in college, there is a whole new level of maturity and respect that classmates have for each other.

Jessica

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would advise myself to not declare a major and take liberal arts classes. I was unsure as to where I wanted to go to college and what degree I wanted to persue. I switched from being a business major to a communication major as business did not suit my interests. By being undeclared, I can take classes in every major and determine which interests me most. I can then declare a major versus beginning with a major I am uncertain about. I would also advise myself to look at schools with internships because not only do internships give experience in that industry, but they also can open up a job opportunity for the future. Finally, I would advise myself to visit a variety of different sized schools in different locations. Furthermore, I would adivse myself to sit-in on a class or stay over with a friend at that college. Doing so would give me a better understanding of the school and classes, and what it would be like in be in a large or small school in a rural or urban location.

Marie

When my grandmother fell gravely ill during my first semester in college, I made the decision to take some time off, move to her city, and take care of her. Unfortunately, she passed away, but it took almost two years of a indescribable misery for the horrible degenerative disease to eventually claim her life. I started taking some classes, but her surviving husband became unable to care for himself. Both he and I moved back in with my parents, and I took another two semesters off in order to care for him. Nursing both grandparents taught me a lot about humility, compassion, and understanding, and I would make the same decision a hundred times over. If I could talk to myself as a senior, I would encourage me to take even one class a semester while I was with my grandparents. With each year, it got harder to go back. I know they would be proud I'm in school now, but prouder, I'm sure, if I were finished already. I got married this past October and had every excuse to defer one more semester - but I learned my lesson. I'm in until I'm done!

dominic

The only advice that I would have give myself is to start back to school earlier. Being a nontraditional student is exciting and provides many life experiences to draw from but finishing my degree is taking longer than expected.

Trey

i would tell my self that hard work can pay off and that i need to work harder. don't be afraid of the future. you have the support of your friends and family. nothing can stop you.

Matthew

choose a good college. Do all your homework. Study hard. Be respectful to all your teachers.

Marquetta

College is the most valuable experience that a person can have. Students can go to strive for their dreams or even undergo reality that can soak in and change their career goals. My major is elementary education. I enjoy teaching and working with students. The Education program has allowed me to gain experience. I am learning about techniques on how to improve communication with both students and parents, and techniques on how to maintain a child’s focus in the classroom. College has also provided me with an active social life. My first year in college, I was a member of Students in Financial Enterprise (SIFE) where we created presentations based on segments of the business field to a children’s learning center. Currently, I have joined Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and in the process of joining Future Educators of America (FEA). As a student in college, you must always remember to network. The major key of networking is to join organizations, but do not take on more than you can handle. Do not let your workload become overwhelming whereas you begin slipping on your own coursework. These are some essentials that were beneficial to me in college.

Ashley

During this past year and a half, I have faced many challenges and met new people that have made my relationship with God stronger. I trust that God has brought me here to Merrimack and plans to do great things while I am there for the next two years. So far, I have ultimately enjoyed my experience and can't wait for what God has in store for me. Academically, I feel as though my professors at Merrimack care about students and they care about our futures. Therefore, Merrimack has prepared me to be a better communicator, and will bring me close to my dreams of becoming a broadcaster in the future. I recommend Merrimack College to students who are searching for that small school environment that hope to have professors to remember your name and face and always care about what your grades may be. I have always been used to being in a small school, and it is one of the great factors that Merrimack offers. Lastly, everyone at Merrimack is warm welcoming and will make you feel like you are part of the Merrimack community. An all in all a great college experience for anybody.

Meghan

My college expierence has made me a better person overall. When I left highschool, I had no idea what I even wanted to do with my life and at the end of the summer, I chose to attend Middlesex Community College. That was the best decision of my life, because it opened up my eyes to a new type of education. I took several classes in different majors and finally found my niche in Communications. It took me an extra year to graduate with my associates, but along the way I made a ton of friends and got to participate in several school activities. I was never like that in highschool. I was always the person who hated school, and wasn't involved. I thank Middlesex for allowing me to continue my education and help me appreciate the value of it. I now attend Merrimack College in North Andover, and I am still getting used to it. Its hard going from a city campus to one that is set in the middle of a town, but I make do. I have joined a sorority and I am looking to join the Spanish club. I want to be extraoridinary.

Andrea

I have gained so much independence since I have been attending college. Prior to being in college I lived with my parents and had lots of rules as well as help with almost every aspect in my life. Once I left for college I was able to spread my wings and learn to live on my own. It has been a very powerful as well as emotional experience, however I feel like I am a stronger individual who can indeed make it on her own. I have proved to myself if no one else that I am an adult now and no longer need my parents to hold my hand every step of the way. I am going places on my own and can achieve my dreams without anyone else.. I am my own person.

kimberly

Knowing what I know now I would learn to take more responsibility upon myself. College is all about time management and responsibility; you dont have someone telling you do your homework, studying for your tests. You have to take it upon yourself and learn how to do everything you need to get done in time.

Sandiego

I am from Brazil which has a more laid back people. Knowing what I do now, if I went back in time I would tell myself three things: work harder, party less, and take college preparation courses. The first thing that I would tell my high school self would be to work harder. I did not pay much attention to my high school studies and I missed a lot of what was taught. I did well on tests and got good grades but I didn't internalize the lessons, and now I am struggling to relearn much of what was taught. Secondly I would tell myself not to party as much. I loved to go to dances and festivals and spent too much time socializing when I should have focused more on my future. Lastly I would give the advice to take college preparation courses. I have been struggling a lot to choose a major and to know what I would be good at. By taking the college preparation courses I would have a better understanding of my skills and interests. I would be more focused on achieving an end result rather than wallowing in indecision.

Ahmed

I would tell myself that first of that life is full of suprises and one of those would be do your work. When you go to college, the work is non stop especially if your in writing courses. If you could promise me one thing you would try your best is don't ever do ALL nighter's and i'll tell you now from experience you will want to past out and not gonna wake up to take a mi-term test. Yes that did happen and i did get to make up that test and C+ yeah real nice for an all nighter. Another advice that i would tell myself would be if i make friends, you need to learn that their is an importance to your education because you have already worked your behind to get an oppurtunity to attend a really great school. Friends can wait but homework and projects can't and need to learn to create yourself a scheldule that would first get taken care of work and then set aside some time because their is nothing like the college experience and enjoy it while your in school but also call mom too.

Fernando

i think i would tell my self not to worry about the school work and be open to meet new people. aslo i would tell myself to fill out as many scholarships as possible because the cost for college is outraguos. dont be afraid to go to the professor if you do not total understand the material, they job is to help you. and dont worry about be homesick it s natural make as many friends there as you can to take your mind off home.

Michael

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself the advice that college is not what you would expect it to be. College is serious business and it takes a lot of hard work. I think that many students at the highschool level think that college will be a time of constant fun and excitement which is not always the case. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of great experiences and growth opportunities to be had at college but it is usually nothing like how it is portrayed in the movies. If I were to advise the highschool senior version of myself on the optimal way in which to manage and approach the college experience, I would say to primarily focus on the academic aspect of college and not worry so much about the social aspects as those naturally work out with time. You'll meet people in classes and in your dorms. The proper way to manage college is to foremost, get your work done, so that you may have quality stress free time in which you can relax and enjoy your college experience.

Arianna

I would tell myself that getting involved was the best decision I could have made and that I should have gotten involved once I stepped on campus. Also there are plently of people here who care and want me to succeed.

Sophie

I would tell myself to not be afraid to complain to my highschool principal that for two years we didn't have a math teacher and that I struggle now in college with that.

Brittany

Talking to myself as a high school senior, I would recommend attending a college with small classes. I big school may seem fun to attend, but the focus and attention that is received in small classes is well worth it. It is very easy to get off track, so the easier the help, the better. Keep in mind that going out is not the most important thing, even if it seems that your the only one missing out, trust me your not. Grades are very important because when you go and interview for a job, your GPA shows alot about how you did in college, and how much of the material you know. The best advice I can give is to try and keep an even balance between school and friends, and you should do just fine. Good luck!

Benjamin

My "college experience" has been somewhat jeopardized because of my financial situation. I was convinced that I would be able to afford the school upon commencement, but as a result of the recent financial chaos on Wall Street these funds have virtually disappeared. As a result of this I have been forced to work an almost full time job along with my semester classes. Juggling both of these obligations has left me with virtually zero free time to interact with my friends or family. The best advice I can possibly offer is to do whatever it takes to completely avoid this situation. Either save up enough capital going into the school, keeping it safely in a bank, or give serious thought to whether or not you should take out a loan. Personally I am reluctant to take out any loans, especially because of the risk of not being able to find a job immediately upon graduation. Compounding interest can turn a small loan into something staggering. In short I would advice all to put yourselves into as financially sound position as possible when entering college to avoid any future stresses and possible situations that may ruin your "college experience."

Nicole

Ask your child what they did or did not like about their high school. These aspects can help mold the type of school they are interested in attending for the next four years. Their intended major should also be a focus on deciding which school to attend and research the potential colleges to see what programs they offer for this major. If you plan on living on campus, take a tour of the living situation and the library since that is where you will be spending most of your time. Campus centers are very important at looking at as well, check out what you'll be eating everyday as well as the activities/fitness amenities the school offers. Once you are on a tour, you will know if the school suits your needs or not. When you meet your roomate do not be nervous! This could be a longlasting friendship in the making and they are in the same boat as you. Lastly, save your money and apply for numerous scholarships, it will help you in the long run!

Michelle

Advice I would suggest to prospective parents and students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is....parents, offer your kids advice about what school you like the best but in the end, leave the decision ultimately up to them anad for students, I would definitely tell them to attend the freshman orientation at each school they are accepted to in order to get a more personal feel for each school they are considering. It is really important to attend the freshman orientation because it enables you to make friends before you go to that school in the fall as well as it gives you a "taste" of what life on campus is like.

Chelsea

For the students, I would recommend a school you see yourself at. Whether you like small schools or large schools is very important in this decision. I go to a small school and it's almost too small, it feels like high school all over again. If you enjoy knowing everyone you go to school with I would recommend you go to a small school. If your an outgoing person that likes meeting new people all the time, I would suggest a larger school because you are able to meet more people. Also the environment around the school is important. I go to school in a suburb of Boston, your not distracted by the nose of traffic, also it's nice to go to a school that actually has a campus to enjoy during nice weather. If you like the hustle and bustle of the big city I would definitely recommend you choose a school in the city, but if you like more of a campus I would suggest looking in suburban areas. When you do choose a school, definitely get involved with student activities and attend sporting events it's a great way to meet people and make friends.

Katelin

Make sure you visit all potential schools, if you are considering a school make sure it has the major you want and what the major requires at the specific school. Also make sure it is the right size for you if the school is too small you could feel uncomfortable and if it is to big you might feel lost and that you are not getting the attention you need. It is important if you like a city that your school is located in the city if you like the idea of a campus make sure that is what the school offers. Once you have picked the right school for you make sure you are outgoing and leave yourself open to new things to make as many friends as you can. Don't do anything you don't feel comfortable with but keep an open mind and have fun; don't forget school work should come first because it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important.

Monica

The advice that I would give to students about finding the right college, is to simply find a school where you can imagine yourself. It's important to find a school that matches your academic needs, but it's also important to go to a school where you can grow socially. In order to make the most of the college experience, never think negatively! Always be positive in every situation that is thrown at you, especially while you're in college. Make lots of friends, but don't follow others in order to fit in, or do something without knowing the consequences. Study hard and take your college career seriously, but remember to find time to relax and have fun. Four years will go by very fast, so make the best of those years before entering the real world! The advice I would give to parents about finding the right college for their child, is to let their son/daughter be free to chose where they want to go. It's very important that students make decisions on their own, because they will eventually have to do that as a part of their every day lives.

Doug

I would advice students to make their college decision based upon whatever feels right to them, They must weight all the pros and cons of each school and decide which one fits them best. If it comes down to the point where the school you choose may be too expensive, I would say still go for it becuase the experience you missed is something you may never be able to get. I would say take out as many loans necessary in order for you to attend the school fo your choice. To make the most of your college experience, one must be open to new things and be real outgoing. Meet as many people as possible and have as good a time as possibe, while still spending ample time on your studies to keep your grades up.

Richard

Finding the right college may take some time and lots of researching, but I will tell you one thing don't let finances drive you away from your dreams. As we all know times are tough right now, but putting away a great education and settling for something more affordable is the wrong decision. I chose Merrimack College for it's great reputation and small classroom sizes not for the $40,000 per year it cost to attend this prestigious college. As I am funding my education entirely by myself I have found there are ways to get scholarships and loans to cover expenses, you just need to find them. Working one or two jobs while at school on the weekends or take an internship over the summer. What's great about some schools is they offer 5 year programs to allow for co-ops. I'm currently finishing my co-op with a large engineering firm in my respective field of study. Pay is great and it gives me another year to save. There is so much more to life than money, so please don't let financing turn you away from what makes you happy, your dream!

Jennifer

Just go with your gut feeling. Think about size, location, academics, athletics, etc.

C

To determine if a school is right for someone, one has to categorize factors into what they want academically and socially. For academically, one needs to identify the class size they prefer. Knowing the preferance for class size is helpful in maximizing one's learning. Another academic category to look into is the style of teaching. One should determine the degree one wants the school in their hands-on experience. The more hands-on experience, the more one understands the workings of the system. However, hands-on experience is a self teaching education. One who would like the guidance of a professor would probably profit from learning through lectures. On the social component of determining finding out the right college, one should take a look at the college's location. The more urban a school is located, the more options the students have in interacting with the surroundings. Unfortunately, some students can develop academic problems due to high amount of activities that can be done. Also, the clubs and organizations in a school can be important as it can help connect students with similar interests. If a school can approve both categories, than one has found the right school.

megan

Make sure that the student applies to many schools and narrows the choices down to the school that suits them best. Check out everything including sports, the size of the campus, the different variety of majors, and the dorm situation. Have a good time at school but remember to stay on task and study.

James

Make sure you choose a school who offers an environment that the student will be comfortable learning in. Trying new things is one thing but do not set your self up for failure by choosing a school that will be to big or to small.

Samantha

My advice would be to visit as many schools as possible during junior and senior years in high school. The only way you can truly understand each college experience is by going to that college for a night to experience it hands-on. Also, before researching colleges, make a list of specific things that you want to find in your school. This will help narrow down your search. You need criteria to help minimize your choices. If you already know your major, research schools to find the one that best corresponds with your major. You want a school with good resources, etc. Also, you may want to research internship opportunies and job placement statistics. These things are very important later in your college career. I would also take the time to eat in the cafeteria. You will be here a lot and if you do not enjoy the food, you will be miserable! You may also want to consider how far away each school is home. This is very important because if you are far, you will only be visiting home a few times a year! I would say research is the most imporant part of chosing a college!

Amy

The most important thing to do is to visit all the colleges that make it to your list of potentials. Figure out what the most important features and attributes of a college are to you. Then visit each college and see if they have what you are looking for in a college. Also, picture yourself attending that college and being with the students, and ask yourself if you would like being there. Making most of the college experience is having the right attitude and socializing yourself with the other students. Engage in your work studies, and make time for fun. If you balance the two out you'll have a great experience.

Nicole

I think they should stay at the college with friends if they have a chance. College life is very different from being at home.

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