Michigan State University Top Questions

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

John

The undergraduate experience is more of an extention of high school as most careers now require that individuals complete a graduate degree to reach any level of proficiency or authority. With this in mind, it is helpful to consider both your undergraduate and graduate school plans and whether you will work in between these degrees or whether you will attempt to complete them in succession. Having decided on an initial plan, use university ratings guides as a point of departure but don't get too hung up on the numbers. Visit each institution you are considering attending and meet with an advisor to discern how flexible and helpful they will be academically and financially. They won't be more flexible once you have paid your tuition. You are the customer! Make a list of all the experiences you want to have at college and rank them. Then, make a chart for each school and their expected rankings for each experience. Highlight each school's chart using green, yellow or red for each experience based on your own internal ranking and scale. The "greenest" chart is your best school choice. Be open to new experiences and enjoy the journey! Have fun!

Dane

If I could go back and give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to get more involved in school activities. I am a rather quiet, shy person, and I never really joined any clubs in high school. As a result, I never really learned how to branch out on my own and make friends quickly and easily. I even sometimes feel uncomfortable when I'm with a large group of people. I'm getting better, due partly to the friendly atmosphere here at Michigan State University. However, I feel that had I been more involved in clubs and organizations in high school, I would have been more willing to get involved sooner here at MSU, thus making my transition to college life much easier.

Tim

I would tell myself to make a greater effort to be envolved with new people. I struggled with depression and a strong feelign of isolation my freshman year that was partially due to my own unwillingness to meet new people. Of the few new people I did meet, one became one of my closest friends for the last several years and others provided me with valuable insight into other cultures, the way women's minds work (something I learned a bit about from a few female friends) and the mistakes we make by judging people based on first impression. I also would tell myself to take school more seriously and to try harder in Spanish classes.

Samantha

If I were to go back to myself as a high school student I would tell myself that what is coming is not easy. It is all about the now. This means I should do things right away and never procrastinate. I would tell myself that if I wanted to succeed I would need to find help. You are not going to be able to skate by on your own anymore. I would advise myself to meet the professors. Classes seem easier when you know where the person teaching them is coming from. The most important thing to remember is to never doubt yourself. The only way you can succeed is if you try and even if you fail try again, but change what you did in preperation. Never stop, power through all the work and you will do wonderfully.

Heather

If I could go back in time for my senior year knowing what I know now, I would first tell myself that everything will be alright. With knowing the college that I am going to attend, I need to work harder on my grades. My major should be Business Management instead Early Childhood Education, this is because I would save myself the bit of trouble of changing majors. I would also tell myself that school does not get any easier so listen to everyone who is encouraging me and giving advice as well as just setting goals and acheiving them. I should not worry about empressing anyone, because in the end I am the only person whose opinion should matter, and with school, I would see that making good grades with hard work is really the reward in iteself. So, just keep calm and let it happen. I know now that I am smart enough to do it, I would tell myself then that people try to tell you different, but do not listen.

Victoria

If I could go back in time I would tell myself to relax and be patient. I spent the beginning months of my first semester of college freaking out that I need to be studying every second of my life. I realized I could study and take time to have fun and enjoy myself. I also assumed when I first came to college that I would immediately make new friends. I was beating myself up thinking I was lame and boring. Fortunately, I learned it takes time for everyone to adjust and to branch out and make new friends.

Camerin

There are two pieces of advice that I would give to my high school self, and although they might seem contradictory, they are nonetheless both very true. First, the serious stuff: apply for more scholarships. College is not cheap, and schools are not as generous with financial aid as they claim to be in brochures. It's going to be hard enough adjusting to college classes (you can do it, don't worry!) and living on your own for the first time- money is the last thing you should be worrying about. It seems like a pain now, but tuition, housing, and that unlimited meal plan aren't going to pay for themselves. Spending a few hours each week filling out scholarship applications is much easier than working at minimum wage in the cafeteria- I've done both. Secondly: enjoy yourself a little more. This is your last year to be a kid (even though I know you think you're an adult already, you have a lot to learn). Don't be so concerned with picking the right major- you're just going to change it anyway. Don't stress out so much, have a little fun.

shane

If I could talk to myslef as a high school senior i would tell myself to enjoy the last year more. As a senior in high school i took all the hardest class my school offered. I found out that i didn't need to do so. I know that taking the harder classes would help my study habits but I missed out on a lot of things. I really do wish to go back and tell myself these things as well as warn myself at the events that would happen to me while away from home.

Jennifer

As summer faded away, I woke up every morning feeling increasingly tense. In such a short time, I would be leaving my hometown, my family, my friends, my security, and my comfort zone for a huge, largely unfamiliar campus that I had only visited once. I had vague memories of gigantic brick buildings where I would eat, sleep, study, and live, surrounded by strangers. I was sure my life would shortly be miserable. What I wish I had realized sooner was the vast amount of opportunities before me. Everything I had never had a chance to do (practice French with others, climb rock walls, learn to ballroom dance, work with community members to achieve common goals) was possible, and if I had known, I would have felt nothing but excitement. Now, I wish I could tell my apprehensive teenage self that this was my chance to explore, that this was the real-life adventure I'd always wanted. I also would have benefited greatly from knowing that I would be so far from alone. My classes were small and full of both tentative and courageous freshmen, and many of the strangers who surrounded me would soon be my good friends.

Alexa

To High School Senior Me, The transition from a simple, Sourthern town to a bustling urban Midwestern city will not be an easy one to make. Also, the stress of making friends all over again, the headaches over finding out how to pay college tuition, and the excitement of selecting classes that are atuned to your interests will soon overwhelm you. However, instead of straying away from new relationships, constantly worrying about finances and inundating yourself with all the tough classes straight away, I want you to step back and see why college will be the best four years of your life. I encourage you to take a balanced courseload the first semester, go out on the town and build relationships (even if it means looking "uncool" at times), and have the confidence in yourself and your abilities to know everything will work out for the best if you put in your best effort. Although the new world that awaits you "out there" seems frightening and vague, hold onto the determination and ambition that got you the acceptance letter in the first place! Most of all, have fun, stay motivated, and believe in yourself.

Brandon

If I could go back in time and advise myself on college life when I was a senior in high school my first piece of advice would be for me to begin starting good habits in regards to studying, eating healthy, exercise, and sleeping. Senior year I would strive to sit down for a minimum of two hours a day to study, sleep at least seven hours a night, and try to eat healthy and exercise regulary. I think the biggest problem for students when they first enter college is balancing their time wisely. School is stressful, and can hinder a healthy lifestyle if that student doesn't manage their time wisely. I would also advise myself to really try to understand what are some of the best techniques I use to learn, as these techniques will be very vitale to studying productively in college. I would also try to set specific days or times when I could relax and enjoy doing whatever I want as it is important to balance fun with work in college. I would also stress the importance of cleanliness and maintening a neat living space as this can help reduce sickness. Lastly, always work hard!

Kelsie

I would try to convine myself to apply to many more scholarships. I would let myself know that Anthropology was the major I actually would graduate with, and so then I'd be able to look around at other schools and their programs instead of waisting a year and a half on zoology; not that it's technically a waist to get an education, but I could be farther along in my major than I currently am.

Ashley

If I could go back in time as a high school senior there are many pieces of advice I would give myself. Freshman year of college is a big change. You go from living at home with your parents to living on your own with a campus full of new faces and many new responsibilities. One thing I would do differently would be to apply for scholarships before I enter college because there are so many out there I did not know about and am just starting to see. Also, I would focus on time management. College is a place where time management is key because you have different classes, in different buildings and your classes don't run from 7:15 am to 2:25 pm in the same building anymore. Not only do you need to manage time for your classes, but being involved extra-curricularly is great to get involved on campus and also allows you to practice time management as you adjust to the new atmosphere of "college life." My last piece of advice would be not to get discouraged and keep your chin up because it gets easier to adjust as the months go on.

Vanessa

Study harder, it's a lot tougher than high school.

Erica

Slow down. That?s right. Relax. You?ve been living so many years ahead of yourself that you?re going insane. You?re like a runaway train, hell-bent on crashing into college full-steam and plowing your way to success. Don?t worry: you?ll graduate from high school with flying colors, as salutatorian of a class of 511. Unfortunately, your high-strung, overachiever mentality will bring you dangerously close to burning out. You tried so hard in high school ? National Honor Society, Interact, Hot Topics, Environmental, and Diversity clubs, newspaper, community service, and six Advanced Placement classes worth 29 college credits. By the time you?re easily accepted into college, you?ll find yourself exhausted, lazy ? yes, you, lazy ? and unsure where to concentrate your energy. For the first time in your life, you?ll struggle, and you?ll nearly fail a class before you?ll wake up and realize that, like the Tortoise and the Hare, you ran way too hard in the beginning, took a nap, and (nearly) lost in the end. You need to pace yourself. Relax and have peace. You have the ability to achieve incredible things. Don?t lose control of that ability.

Daniel

As a high school senior, I was undecided as to which of three career paths I would pursue with my college studies. Had I taken a year off from school, perhaps I would have had the opportunity to work or intern in any, or in all three, of my career choices. This work experience would have been advantageous in assisting me to focus on a major field of study, once enrolled in college. As well, perhaps I would have begun as a college freshman, more confident of my chosen, career path.

Karyn

Don't stress. You will make friends and the adjustment period will only take about 3 weeks!

Kathrine

I would tell myself that while college is my first time being on my own, not to get caught up in the freedom. To remember that with freedom does come responsibility, and to make good choices. I would also tell myself not to be afraid to be myself, and let other people know who I am. Don't panic when you get your first bad grade or a failure, it happens, just like in life, consider it a learning experience and grow from it! Sometimes what you think you want more than anything is not what is meant to be; don't waste time wondering what might have turned out with it, look for the next open door.

Venus

Ever since I've attended college, there have always been many things I wish I knew before I was in this position. Of course there are the little things, like taking advantage of the ?advance placement? classes, taking summer classes after my senior year, volunteering, and joining more clubs. These are the things that will save you so much time and money by the time you get to college. But if I can give one advice about college to myself as a high school senior, I wish someone would have encouraged me with a recent quote I?ve learned from Colin Powel, an American statesman. He had said, ?There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.? When you go through college, you will be faced with hardships, failure, and sacrifices but this qoute reminds me that at the end, there will be that success I've have been working for. Once I learn how to endure the hard work, fix my mistakes, learn integrity, and be patient, college will only be the path I've taken to the next chapter of my life.

Pat

If I could go back to tell myself how to transition to college life, it'd be mostly don't worry about anything. Going in it's so worrisome about what others might think of you, how you're going to handle school work, what you have to do to be 'cool', but really, the best thing to do is not to worry at all about any of that stuff and just live life to its fullest without worrying.

Elizabeth

I would tell myself to come into college with an idea of where I want to be when I'm out, but not to get set on having that goal/idea. There are times when partying seems like a better way of spending time, but studying is important too. Don't miss out on doing fun things too though, otherwise upon graduation you will regret the times you missed out on. Never take one second in college for granted. Your friends will become your family, so cherish the times you spend together.

Brent

spend money wisely

Jonathan

If I were to go back in time, the advice I would give myself pertaining to school would be to figure out a definite studying system, schedule each day very carefully, and schedule relaxation time. As for study plans, make sure to include a plan for short study time and long study time. You can even get ahead in your classes if you really focus on a small amount of information for a short period of time. If there is an hour break between classes, find a quiet place near the second class, and study until class. Use every break between activities as if cramming the morning of an exam. Scheduling time efficiently can make or break a semester. From the very beginning of a semester, following a strict daily schedule will allow time for learning all the material, getting all your homework done early (so you don't have to worry about it the day it is due), and also time for relaxation. Relaxation is more important than students let on. When enough work is done during the day there will be adequate time for relaxing at nighttime, allowing students to wake refreshed and ready for the next day.

Corey

Corey, you are going to study harder than high school. You are going to get involved with activities and learn serious time managment. Form study groups with other students and be helpful where help is needed. Make sure you apply for hundreds and hundreds of scholarships and/or have a perfect idea of paying for college. Just take your time their is no need to rush, try to be perfect in all the classes. Visit professors office hours and go over course content to become more familiar with your studies. Sign up for tutoring for every challenging class and attend helpful sessions for specfic classes. Most importantly find yourself but don't lose yourself.

Veronica

I would tell myself to make a jump for it and go to a college in a larger city and to get away from my comforte zone.

Amanda

I would tell myself to find the joy in my classes and relax, their is so much tension related to applying for college and to declare a degree program, that I didnt truly realize what I liked. After starting college you change, and all that planning and worrying seems so unwarranted. Also, do what your love, yes making money is important, so is being happy with your life.

Alexander

Take pride in school work by putting the effort in to learn the material thoroughly, and start the homework as soon as possible after it is assigned to allow time for answering any questions that may arise. Also, the sooner you realize the importance in life of becoming a competent and contribution member of society, the easier it will become to assume the competitive lifestyle of a college student.

Angela

I would tell myself that it is much harder work in college and u need to study harder and more often.

Patrick

Be a lot more assertive and confident in the first place.

Lauren

I would tell myself that going to a community college first would have saved me a lot of money, but that in the long run, the choice to go directly to MSU was the correct one. I would also tell myself that no matter how badly I feel about my relationship with someone, to not let it affect me, especially when my mother tells me she is disappointed with me. As long as I am happy with my decision and it leads me towards a better future, I am content and trust that everything will work itself out in time. My high school self will have no idea how hard it will be freshman year, especially when she is paired with difficult roommates. If she can stick it out, however, she will gain two new permanent friends, and the love of her life as well.

Adelyn

To develop solid study skills and apply for more scholarships.

Brittany

I think that I would study harder and become more focused on what I want to do with my life. I think that I would be more committed to the application process for college and not take it so casually. Also I would visit more institutions to see what they had to offer and what I wanted for myself as far as the college experience. I think that I still feel that MSU became a good fit after some time but I do think had I researched further there are other schools that could have offered a good fit the first year instead of having to evolve into a MSU student.

Alisha

Don't underestimate the intesity of the curriculum freshmen year. Also, the earlier you manage your time the better off you will be. It's ok to have fun and blow off some steam by partying, but for the amount of money you are paying for school you want to get the most out of it in terms of education. It can be a hard transition, but it will be the best time of your life.

Jaime

The number one piece of advice I would give myself would be to learn how to manage your time effectively, especially if you plan on working during college. I've held a steady job all through college and at times it got a bit rough trying to make sure I had enough time to commit to my academics, although I pulled through wonderfully so far. Another thing I would tell myself would be to get involved in anything that sparks your interest, even if you just want to try it out. There are so many on-campus activities you can participate in, as long as you have the extra time outside of your academics. But if you plan well, you can contribute that much more to your college experience as a whole. And make time for your friends! It's a great adventure!

Sandra

Dear past self: You did a pretty good job the first time around, but you should always take advantage of second chances. So, here I am, your future-self, with some advice for what's going to happen next year. You won't drink your freshman year, even though there will be pressure from your friends. This is a good choice; Stick to your guns with that one, even though it'll be hard at times. You will get a campus job, and you will make some lasting relationships from the people you work with. It won't pay that great, but you'll get more out of it than that, so don't change it. You're going to struggle in your math class. Take action right away. Don't wait for the last second like I did to barely get a passing grade (the lowest grade I've ever received) - pay attention to the opportunities around you, get tutoring, find out about the services offered by the school to help you in your challenging courses. You'll be glad you did! Not to spoil the surprise, but you're going to love the next four years. Enjoy!

Rachel

Take in every minute of college. Go to your classes and don't be afraid to ask your professors for help. Keep up on the readings and work hard on all assignments. Participate in class and make the best of the education you are receiving. Study abroad for a year and make connections in the country.

Hannah

All you need to know is that there is always opportunities. In order to make the transition easier I would suggest finding these opportunites and putting yourself out there. The last thing you want to do is shut yourself up in your dorm and only worry about and focus on classes. There is a busy world out there and starting to get help, networking and making friends are probably the easiest ways to avoid having a bad start and a hard transition. If I could go back in time I would have done much more as a freshman. It is also important to remember the old cliche to "be yourself". College is meant to teach you but it is also meant for self-discovery. People are much more tolerant than some would believe and when I tell you to put yourself out there I mean for you to put your TRUE self out there. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. College is the starting point for you and as long as you grab it by the reins and take advantage of all it has to offer you can't fail.

David

If I could go back and give myself advice before going to college, the first thing I would tell myself is to stay focused on school and never fall for the girl that everyone says is for you. I would also tell myself to keep my old job and to never skip class, even thought lectures may be boring because they convey all the information necessary to pass the courses.

Stephanie

Calm down. Don't worry about where you're going, what you're going to do there, and what it will be like. The transition isn't like a test; studying won't prepare you for it. You just have to let the adjustment happen, because it's not comparable to any of your other life experiences. You will end up in a place you like, and if that's not the place you choose at first it isn't a big deal because you can transfer. Your academics will work themselves out. The advisors here know what they're doing and you aren't in a rush to choose a major or career path just yet. You will be able to handle the work load. You will make friends. It might not be the easiest experience of your life, but it gets better as time passes. And once again, worrying about the future won't help you succeed. Focus on now, and the future will work out just fine.

Kelsie

I would give myself advice for how to better study, and advise myself on the correct major to get into, and from that, I would look into what school has the better program for that.

Pashay

Dont let people get to you, make sure you study hard and stay focused, actually read and take extra notes, dont get to involved in the social life and just make the best of it, know that there is always someone on campus who can help you, take advantage of every opportunity thats offered to you...

Kyla

I would tell myself to not be afraid to take risks. I would encourage myself to apply to the school that I didn't think I would get into, and not to feel rejected if I didn't get in. I would tell myself to stick it out, even when things got tough. I would tell myself over, and over, and over again to not stress about the little things. I would urge myself to get involved with any and every thing, but to make sure that I don't take on too much at once. Most importantly, I would advise myself to always stay focused and never lose sight of my goals.

Becky

Stop procrastinating.

Courtney

If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior in high school I would first tell myself to enjoy the high school experience as much as possible because college is way different. I would tell myself not to expect college to be like it is depicted in movies,, tv, and books because it isnt the same for everyone. I would make to apply for as many scholarships as possible because the reality of how much a good education costs doesnt really sink in until you get to campus. Finally, I would tell myself to be open about the whole experience because it will continue to get better in time.

Michelle

Don't rush into things. I mean it, I see so many people going into college with their lives already planned out from what their major is going to be to what job they want after college to how many kids they want to have. When you do this you lose the chance to explore, to try out new things. The best thing about college is that you are allowed to try just about anything and who knows maybe what you always wanted to be turns out to be, not quite as wonderful as you thought it was. Otherwise I suggest that you are as friendly as possible to anybody and everybody you meet from fellow dorm mates to professors, because it is the people who determine your college experience. Go into college trying to make new friends don't just stick with your friends from high-school because while they might be wonderful people you are missing out on a whole lot of other wonderful people who might change your life. Basically go into college with an open mind be accepting of people differences and of detours on the path that your life takes. GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!

Kassandra

I would tell myself that it is okay to get frustrated and angry at school at times. That the difficult times aren't so bad, and that you just have to keep your head up. College classes aren't like high school classes where you could slack off a bit. Here you have to study hard and ask for help when it feels like you are falling behind. Asking for help can be intimidating, but trust me its worth it. Most of the professors here are willing to help you whenever. Get involved with the church groups here, they are amazing and you'll meet some of the best friends you'll have there. I would also tell myself not to get involved with the party scene--its not worth it. The biggest piece of advice I would give myself is just believe in yourself. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything, especially here, since the oppurtunies are endless. Also don't give into anything you don't believe in, stand strong in your own values because this will help you in finding your identity here at college.

Samantha

I would tell myself not to get so stressed out the minute details, because in the end it will not matter. Your best is good enough, but remember to always try your best and not just convince yourself that you did. The friends you make in college will become your family, so depend on them to help and be there to help them when they need you too. Professors are there to help you so make use of them, because in the end you are paying them for your education so get your moneys worth.

Cameron

Cheer up. The best days of your life are still ahead.

Jeremy

The biggest advice I could give myself as a high school senior would be to: a) ALWAYS go to class! Even if you don't feel like it. And pay attention in class so you don't have to bug anybody else for the notes you didn't get. b) Time is precious! Spending all day on a project or assignment is nobody's idea of fun. Take small breaks in between the assignment so you can stay focused instead of frustrated. c) Don't screw up! A lot of things can go wrong if you don't do what you're supposed to.

Heather

After graduating high school, I chose to go to Lansing Community College to save money while taking basic education classes that I would transfer to Michigan State University. If I could go back, I would've gone to MSU straight from high school despite the cost. I know that I have missed the part of the college experience that includes living in the dorms and being assigned a roommate and the positives and negatives that it brings. I'm sure that I have missed out on meeting many new friends and building lifelong relationships. Even though I have been in college every year since high school, I feel that I missed a very important part of the college experience. I would have told myself to go all in and enjoy college to the fullest and take part in every aspect that it has to offer.

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