Michigan State University Top Questions

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

LaShonda

I think that college is most important for finding your own identity. Take the time to figure out who are and where you want to be.

Kelly

Move away from home! College is about life lessons, not just book learning.

Mia

Find something that fits your personality. Don't go far away from home just for the sake of getting away from your parents, if you're uncomfortable in new situations, it's good to have someone to talk to.

Tom

Attend a smaller/cheaper school (where credits will transfer) to take your core classes. Try to find what you really enjoy doing while at that school. Once you know what you want transfer to the school of your choice. You'll save a lot of money and already know what you like to do.

Keven

Don't worry about what you think is best for your child, let you child pick what is best for his/her. It's their life now.

Cameron

Choose the right size; don't get in over your head; beware what a smile can hide

Laurel

Find what school you feel most comfortable with

Krystal

When deciding to go to Michigan State University I was scared to go to a big school. I graduated high school with 60 people in my class, so for me to go to a campus that had 45,000 people was intimidating. All I can say to new college students is never judge a book by its cover. You never know until you try it, and that is what I learned because I love this campus. It truly is small at heart, even though it may looks big.

DeShaun

I would tell both parents and students to pick the colege that fits your interests best. Whether it 's academics, or partying you will decide how the experence is for you. Also look at the award letters that the schools send you so you can best see how your going to be able to pay for your education, because many schools change loan programs at the last minute and wont tell you until its close to the start of the semester.

Hannah

Students need to visit each college they are considering. Even though the asthetics of a university or college is not the most important factor, the type of environment a student will spend the next 4 years of their life is crucial. The college experience is all about thriving: academically and socially. To get the most out of their college years, students must be balanced. It is important to get the most out of your college education but it is also important to grow socially and learn the people skills that are needed in almost any line of work. Students need to find a college or university where they feel comfortable and where they can blossom in all aspects of their lives.

Kaitlin

Make sure you know what school caters to your major, but I think the most important aspect of your decision should be based on fitting in with the culture of the school.

Zaneta

Making the most out of your college experience involves the parents and students. To be an effective student, students must have the support of their families and that includes more than financial support and care packages. Students need to know that their parents understand their trials and are there to assist them if needed, but parents also must give students room to grow into adulthood. Its about finding that perfect balance. College can be a very scary, lonely place without family. For students, come to college with an open mind, heart and spirit. Ask questions and seek answers to every question you've ever wondered. Don't be afraid and never back down. Search deep within yourself and never stray away from your goals. Making the most out of your college experience will depend on your expectations of it. Don't limit yourself! In finding the right college, strive to envision yourself on campus and being enveloped in its social strata. Research its financial aid office and monetary resources. Ask questions to students on campus when you visit. Attend programs of social groups you may be interested in and when you arrive STAY INVOLVED!

Sara

?Stop being afraid of making mistakes.? One of my best friends told me this halfway through my college career, and I really wish I would have taken hold of it earlier. College is full of new experiences that will shape the rest of your life. Some of these will inevitably be negative and brought on by yourself, but if you can remember that life is a learning process you will do well. Never be afraid to make mistakes because if you are bound by fear you may risk not living at all.

David

Wait until you're ready. Don't just jump in anxiously needing to get on with your life. Take things slow and step back to savor your life right now. If you're not sure whether you should go to college, or which college you should attend, then wait and see what happens. If you're really ready, then go ahead, but coming from someone who was still used to the fun lifestyle of high-school after he graduated I'm telling you you're not really ready yet. College takes a serious commitment and ambitious attitude. It's not like the movies where you party every waking second of your life. If you do that then you will fail, and college will mean nothing. Get something out of your life, and take a step back to savor the moment. Waiting wont hurt, and your life isn't going to go by any slower.

Trevor

Do an overnight stay. Each dorm on campus has a very different flavor to it, and can be segregated by ethnicity.

Brett

Most importantly find a place where you feel comftorable, from the first few minutes on campus, trust your gut,. In the end that is what will steer you in the right path... Everyting else will fall into place. Utilize the fantastic recources the universities have to offer, ESPECIALLY the highly educated people called professors, they really want to help you learn & succeed.

Ehrland

For students trying to select a school, I would tell you to go visit the campus first before you make a desicion. This is because campus is where you will spend multiple hours of every day and if you are not happy with the campus, you won't be happy at the school. The second thing I would advise future students to do it go to an early orientation where you can tour facilities and meet some of the professors; just to be sure that they have a teaching style that would fit your needs. Finally, and possibly most importantly, study up on what majors the college has to offer. Read into where their programs rank and how long it takes to get into those programs. Sometimes a school you would never give two looks to has exactly what you need to succeed in college.

Sharhonda

Go to a place for a variety of reasons that suit you best. Do not go only because your friends are going there (you will make new ones anyway and a lot of time you grow out of your old friends anyway) and don't go only because your parents went there. Pick a school that is reasonable for your needs, including financial aid, size of the campus and resources available that interest you. And most of all, do not forget that you are in college to earn a degree, it is possible to get sidetracked by all of the social activities available.

Amy

Don't just look at costs, and academics. Chances are whatever you want to study is available at many universities around the nation. Be sure to look at the area, the housing, the social life, the faculty and the academics. Make your decision based off of where your personality matches the best. Don't be discouraged if you don't have the recommended GPA or ACT/SAT scores. Apply anyway! Take risks, because when you succeed there will be nothing better in the world.

Dani

Talk to people who are already attending the school in y our major and area of interest.

Andrew

The advice that I would give both parents and students about the finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is go to a school that makes you happy and that you enjoy. With finding the right college, go to the university for a visit. When you get there do not just walk around campus, visit the dorms, library and sit in on a class to get a feel for what the university is about. Also, talk to students who go there to get a true feel about the schools' academics and social life. As for making the best of your college experience, that is simple, get involved and have fun. When you get to campus in the fall, do not just sit in your room the whole time, get out and do something. It does not matter what it is, it could be joining a club, fraternity/sorority, or even just going to the football games. This is a great way to meet and make new friends. These are the best years of your life, so have fun. Study hard but keep a good balance between that and your social life.

Kara

Figure out what campus best meets their personality, career choice, and needs. Balance and time management to accomplish everything you woould like to do.

Lauren

You need to find the right college for you and/or your child. There are so many different things that need to be taken into account - size of the campus, class size, opportunities to join clubs or research projects. Go visit the college AND the department you're thinking about joining. Ask every question that comes to mind, even come prepared with some. If possible, shadow a current student throughout the day. If you still love it, you'll love it for 4+ years.

Alescia

In searching for an institution of higher learning, I would stress that parents and/or students search for an institution that best fits the students needs academically, socially, and culturally. As college generally lasts four years, students tend to form communities and interact with their cohort and professors on a daily basis. Information in regards to campus size, average class size, and experiential learning opportunities should be researched.

Courtney

Check out the school before you accept, talk to students, look at the programs that are offered and don't pick a school because you like the colors or sports teams.

Whitney

It's not enough to hear a good word about a college from a family friend or to look through a glossy brochure from the guidance counselor's office. You have to go to campus and the surrounding area and hang out. Visit the town surrounding the campus. Chill out in a local coffee shop and walk the streets downtown. Find out where the students hang out on weekends, where they go to study and where they shop. How do the locals feel about the student population? Visit the campus itself. Get a feel for the school by visiting on a weekday or an off-weekend and observe the most normal aspects of college life. What are students doing when there isn't a football game or some other spectacle going on? After all that, you've got to ask yourself, "Do I see myself here?" If you can picture yourself sitting in that coffee shop, cramming for an exam on a caffeine overload or you long to stroll across campus on a quiet Saturday with a friend from home and take in the sights, it's likely you've found your new home away from home.

Rachel

I think that, first and foremost, students and parents should consider the area of study that the student wants to go into. After finding a school that will provide a good education for a desired field, then finances should be taken into account. A student should exhaust all means of helping fund their education; however, selecting a more affordable (i.e. public or in-state) college may be a wise move. Once at college, study hard, take your education and classes seriously, and don't take your classes/professors for granted. Also, make friends and attend social/college events. College can be the best time in a person's life; so each student should find a balance between academics and socializing. Most of all, enjoy college! I love it.

Kallie

My best advice to future students would be to visit the college you think you want to go to. Talk to people, go to classes and see if you like what you see. You will know whether or not you click with a school pretty fast just by being on the campus. Once you get to college, make sure you look into every oppurtunity that is offered to you. You may not think something is worth your time but it could have a hidden advantage you didn't know about. You can spare five minutes of your time to make sure. Also get involved, there are 100s of clubs and groups. Its much easier to make friends and feel at home at a school once you get involved. Most importantly, study hard, your at school to learn and prepare for your future so make sure your doing that. Find a good place to study and set time aside each day to do that. Its alot harder to catch up than to stay on top of things, and you will be much less stressed out. Last but not least, have fun, college is the time of your life!

Sarah

The advice I would give new college freshman is to take advantage of the activities your campus provides you with. Get involved by either joining a club, volunteering, or working. Not only will you be either making money or helping others, but it is important to meet people as early as possible. College is such an important time to make lifelong friendships and the best time to do this is as soon as you move onto campus. Let yourself go and get out and experience your new campus!

Alexander

College is a defining period of young people's lives. The college you choose can change the direction of your life forever. It is crucial to know what to look for in a university before choosing one. A college's main purpose is the passing on and advancement of knowledge. The most important attribute to look for in a college is its academic strengths. Matching areas of study that you are interested in, to a college's strengths and what draws others to it will narrow your search, leaving the decision up to a few other factors. College is more than curriculum and studying. A major part is the environment and day to day life on campus. The school you choose becomes your home for the next four or more years, therefore it is integral to expose youself to the environment. Scheduling a midwinter tour will give you a more accurate perspective and idea of your future experience, and level off biased opinions of schools who's campuses you have seen in the warmer months. Taking these two factors into consideration will confine your search for what is right for you, and give you the most out of you decision.

Amanda

Figure out what you want to major in and look at schools with programs that you like.

Janiece

The best advice that I can give to parents and/or students about finding the right college is to participate in any and all prospective students events. Some colleges offer the opportunity to take a tour, sit in on a class, or even spend the night in a dorm with other prospective students. Also, visit the camous not only during the week, but also during the weekend so you can see how many people there are on campus during those times. Make an effort to research not only the college, but also the area surrounding it because that can greatly affect your experiences. Research majors and also the extracurricular opportunities available. When researching majors, look for the class requirements, not just what majors they have. Many times, classes have restrictions and/or prerequisites that will make a difference in how fast you can graduate. Make sure that you do as much research as you possibly can so that you will not be caught off guard by hidden requirements after you have already begun to attend the school. Most importantly, make sure students and parents listen to each other when making a decision. It should be a collaborative effort.

Ashley

When searching for a college that best suits you, I recommend taking tours of all schools you are interested in. This will really give you a good idea about what the campus is like on a daily basis. It is also important that the student explores different academic programs offered by the schools of their choice. Then, once the student begins college, I highly encourage getting involved with the campus. If there's one thing I've learned the past year and a half, it's that being involved is just as important as good grades. I would suggest joining a fraternity or sorority to branch out and meet new people. It really helps relationships form, and the friends that I have made and bonded with are life long friends that are irreplaceable. If this isn't something the student is interested in, every college or university has various clubs and sports that are easy to get involved with. Not only are they great resume builders, but they assist in making your college experience something that you will never forget.

elyse

Find a college that makes you excited when you walk around campus, and off campus. If your impressed, jumping up and down and smiling just by being on campuse than it has potential. Things to look for include- walking distance! you want to make sure your within walking distance of classes, restraunts, anything that interests you. Do you feel safe? is it a safe environment. Is there variety? Look for tons of different activities going on, so that you have tons of options. If you want to make the most out of your college experience- make sure you talk to older students. They'll tell you the websites to go to to find cheap books, which teachers to take, which dorm to live in, which clubs to join, and where to get the best food. If you feel stressed about school and feel overwhelmed as soon as you can talk to a counselor for ways to make your schedule easier. AND for the love of God make the jump to join a club that sounds fun- there are are so many- from dodge ball to debate clubs, great way to make friends fast and to meet older students.

Shannon

It is important to do research on your preferred college selections. The importance of college relies fully on whether or not you choose the right one that will give you the best education you need for your desired career choice. Choosing a college is not a casual decision and should not be treated lightly. The college you choose to attend will be the college that readies you for your career and future life to come. My advice is choose wisely, think it through, and rationalize what the best place of education is for you and your desired career. College is an enjoyable experience, but it also has a purpose; to prepare you for your future in the career world and aid you to becoming the best you can be in your desired career choice.

Cari

The best way to find a college that fits you is to visit prior to attending and talk to people. Also know what you want and expect from the college experience, not necesarily what you want to do with the rest of your life, you can figure that out along the way. And mostly step out of your box, now is the time to gain experiences and do things you never thought you would do before.

Chris

Make sure to start looking into things early, and to visit colleges before you apply to them to make sure you will like them. You can get most of the experience for balancing academics and free time.

Cara

I would say to make sure your choice is based on a balance of acedemic and social matches. If a school has a great academic program, but the social life is not for you, your college experience is not going to be a good one. Consider the type of person you are, and choose a school that meshes well with that. Distance from home, the values of other students, and many other factors can play a huge part once you are there.

Karan

Make sure you know what you want before you apply to college.

Allison

My advice to parents and students searching for the right college would be to focus on academics. You can find friends anywhere. Every campus has a diverse array of students with similar interests and personalities to you. Focus instead on which colleges are known for outstanding education in the field of your interest. That's what's going to matter when you finally receive your diploma.

Alexandra

If I gave advice to parents and/or students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience, I would tell them to visit campuses, because as crazy and irrational as it sounds, success in college and post-college is not all about the education. WHAT!? This is so true. It is also about being comfortable in your surroundings including : weather, social environment, traffic, transportation, housing, safety and virtually everything else that impacts how we live our lives from day to day. Some college environments just don't feel like home and that is not a feeling you want to have when you are going to be there for awhile. If you are comfortable in your environment you will know how to react to, and succeed in it. The student possesses what is necessary to be successful, and the school they attend is only a tool to help and guide them. The quality of a college education and the success that follows is up to the student, but do not be miserable for the years you are there by making sure you know how you will react to your surroundings.

Danielle

Research the insitution you're considering. Check out every aspect of it from finanicial aid , to housing, to size, to awards. Make sure its the right place for the student based on career interests. Visit the school before excepting and tour, including the dorms and classrooms.

Kristin

Make sure the college suits the individual needs of the student and his/her major. Also make sure to enjoy the most out of college as you possibly can, socially, and educationally, because after college our adult life officially begins.

Ryan

Go to a college that won't overwhelm you. You don't want to go to a school where you can get lost in the mix because of there being so many people. Stay in state because it makes tuition much more affordable. The rising tuition rates each year are making college very expensive. Parents, help your child out financially as best you can because it is very hard to fund our way through school. Students, you need to make sure that you balance your work and class load accordingly. Your in college to earn a degree not fail out because your job is too demanding. Lastly, parents need to be involved in the process of applying. Your child needs some help and encouragement. College can be scarey and there are many peer pressures to give into. Staying involved will prevent anything bad from happening.

Megan

First, choose a college that offers the major you are interested in. I would also tell students to visit the campuses that they are interested in and take a tour. Lastly, I would tell students to look for attributes that they are interested in and to not go to a college just because all of your friends are. College is about meeting new people and you need go somewhere that will be best for you, not your friends! As far as making the most out of your college experience, I would tell students to just try to be as outgoing as possible and try new things whenever offered the opportunity. When it comes to parents, my advice would be to not put too much pressure on your child to attend a certain school. When parents put a lot of pressure on their child to attend a certain school, the child sometimes ends up going somewhere they have no interest in being at, which overall is not going to make the parent or child happy. In summary, do what is going to make you happy and remember that you only have 4 years of college, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Joanna

Make sure that the college you choose isn't only known for one or two programs. Most students decide to change their major during their first two years of college, as did I. Often the change of major is very different, too. Also make sure to get involved in social clubs and programs. Even if you think you're too busy with school to join a club, you're not. It teaches you how to better manage your time and you tend to make sure you get things done before your meetings or such. It also allows you to meet tons of new people and make friends that will last a lifetime. Choose carefully and don't forget to have fun!

Kristin

I believe, that the most important thing for a prospective college student to decide first is if he/she want to be part of a large campus or one with a smaller population. A large campus would mean having a core group of friends and meet people randomly but may never see them again, and a smaller sized campus would be one where relationships are more personal, and having many friends in the same class wouldnt be unusual. This one question will narrow your search down a whole lot by "throwing out" big ten universities, or smaller private schools depending on which one you choose. The second piece of advice I'd give is to make sure students and families visit the campus' the student is thinking about applying to. A campus that feels comfortable and easily adaptable is most likely a better fit for a student than a campus they visit that "feels strange" or is too different to adapt to.

Jian

the right college is usually not the college with the most expensive tuition or the best program in the world. the best college is usually the ones that the students will fit right in and feel most comfortable with. and friendly environment is a good learning environment, if the student felt left out, doesn't matter what college he/she is in, they are not going to make the most of their college experience, and the experience will be horrible, a happy student is going be successful both in college and later on the job.

Liberty

From the time your child is born involve them in everything to feel out what they like the best keep them involved in academics and good sportmenship if they have group activities, school activities, they are less likely to get- involved in distuctive habiats.

Kyle

Relax and enjoy your time you will never have it happen again and once you choose that college enjoy your time there you only are the once.

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