Michigan State University Top Questions

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

Levi

When you decide on what you want to go to school for... remember that you are doing this for you. Not any job or career, you are doing this because you want to have knowledge in your field. Look at the statistics that state how many people actually use their degree in their career, not an overwhelming majority. You need to find what you are driven in and study it! And never forget that there are things that one cannot learn in school, always read between the lines and you will have real knowledge and understanding. Give every assignment your undivided attention when you are working on it. And make sure to do a little work each day, "A little work each day makes the job go away."

Devyne

That job you were so excited to get? Don't be so excited. Your going to love it at first, but then your going to get extra mad at your bosses and a few of your coworkers. But hang in there; the money is good. Do not procrastinate; your going to have very little homework, but you need to get it knocked out immediately.

Caitlin

I had an easier transition than most into college, and I would tell my past self that I was doing a great job. I would, however, advise myself to branch out and talk to more people. Friends are one of the greatest things about college, and if I had reached out to more people, I would probably have had a better experience.

Ani

It's easy; college is what you make it. Meet as many people as you can because everyone will add something different to your life. Study hard for your exams, don't procrastinate (too much!), and go to class. It all sounds simple, but on cold winter days when you just don't want to get out of bed and your professor doesn't take attendance, trust me, it will take some extra motivation. Don't turn down any opportunities for a good time; the most important thing about college is having fun and balancing your studies at the same time, but again, it's what you make it. You don't want to be holed up in your room by yourself all the time while your friends are out having a good time - go, and create irreplaceable memories!

Kaitlin

Well, after I slapped myself in the face I would start off by saying, ?you really should listen to what your teacher is telling you. Rather than sleeping, texting, forging your mother?s signature and whatever else you do 98 percent of the time. Also, I urge you to utilize the AP classes for your senior year instead of gym or woodshop. I might suggest that you look into duel enrolling, study for the A.C.T, and don't go out the night before. Practice note taking, organization, writing skills, people skills, and public speaking. Also start reading, it doesn't have to be boring books it can be Harry Potter, but the more you read the easier you comprehend and there is a lot of reading in college. It wouldn't be a bad idea for you to job shadow a wide variety of careers, so you have a better idea of what you might like to pursue before you start college. Visit all the colleges that interest you and ask a lot of questions while doing so. Oh, before I forget, quit arguing with the teachers, they could serve as a reference someday, treat them with respect. "

Molly

I would tell myself to look very carefully on the Advanced Placement courses I enrolled in. Those courses can make a lot of difference financially when it comes to college credits, but there is no point in taking the AP tests if I am not going to do well enough on them to recieve credit. I would also advise myself to take basic science classes in order to prepare myself for college-level science. I think it would be great to tell myself not to take high school so seriously, and to enjoy it more. Do not worry about losing your friends as you transition into college, they will stay around and you will have many more to add to the list! Remember to volunteer and get experience in your career-path, the more the better! Most importantly, don't worry! You will be fine.

Dayna

I would tell myself back then to be more responsible with my money, have better study skills,always work harder then you can, and learn good time management skills.

Natarat

Senior year in high school was a memory that I will never forget. I had both wonderful time and struggle time during senior year. There were so many things that I accomplished very well and so many thing that I did not do so well that still have impact me these days. If I have an opportunity to go back in time, I would give myself a big advice to study SAT and TOEFL harder so I can get in a better college. It is not that I do not like to staying in Michigan State, but I want to prove to myself and my parent that I can do so much better than what I already did. Moreover, I should have said to myself that do not stress out over the rejection letter from my top list college, go do something that I want to do during high school year (ex. party, sports, activities) because I when I get into college I might not have fun time like this anymore.

Kyle

If I could go back I would tell myself to take all the hardest classes I could in high school to prepare me for Michigan State. Also I would tell myself to apply for more scholarships even if I think i am only going to a community college because you might end up somewhere big after all your hard work in that institution pays off

Alexander

Study hard -- the work habits you are developing will be important in college. Besides, if you develop doog academic habits now, it will leave you more time for fun and new friends. Be open to change and don't judge others. You may find a friend or an interest or an important resource in an unexpected place. Don't be afraid to ask for help -- it's all around you, and by using the resources available to you, you can ensure that you have the best senior year -- and get ready for the best college experience -- EVER!

Lisa

Fill out lots of scholarship applications even if you dont think you will get any of them. Live on campus for at least one year, it is an experiance you will never forget and you will learn a lot about yourself. Connect with your professors they will help you many times throuhout your life. Make friends, take time to get involved. You will make friends that you will keep forever. Work hard your freshman year things will be much easier your junior and senior year. Take all the basic required classes you can while you are trying to decide what you want to do. Get a part time job on campus realted to your major, you will make connections that will help you tremendously. Get to know upper classmen or graduate students, they can help you with school work and choosing a career or job. They could also be your boss someday! Enjoy college it is a unique time in your life that you will never get again, meet new people, learn as much as you can, and have fun. Everyone is excited to finish but take your time and enjoy it!!

Liya

I am very happy with where I am now, so I would tell myself to do everything exactly the same. Perhaps, I would also tell myself to not worry so much about U of M

Marissa

As a high school senior, I thought that, since my close friends were also going to the same university that I would always have them to lean on. However, I soon found out that we all developed our own identities and lives outside of the small town we went to high school in. If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to not only hold on to my friends from high school, but to branch out and make new friends. If there was one thing I learned at Michigan State that changed my life, and outlook on life, is that you have to be confident in yourself and be willing to put yourself out there to be the best you can be. My main words of advice: Make new friends, and get involved. You will meet some of the most wonderful and interesting people, and make some really great lifelong friends.

Minah

I would advice myself to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Make as many friends as possible and not judge people before getting to know them. Be open and welcoming and don't be afraid to be different. And absolutely do not date someone your freshmen year. Wait. If you make a mistake, don't regret it. Know what you're doing and what you're getting into and make a mature, sensible decision. Be honst with yourself and with others. It is all about being who you are. Explore and accept. Learn. Be outgoing but prioritize your life. Time will teach. Don't be afraid to try new things. Life is about experiments. Get out there and do what you need to do. Survive.

Taylor

I would tell myself to explore more in high school, college allows you to explore, but you are paying more for it. Knowing what you want to be when you are older is not the goal of high school, but having a relative idea would put you into a better path in college. It will take the unecessary classes out of the way, if you already know you do not want to go into a specific field, you will not pay mone to discover you do not like a certain topic.

Levi

Make sure that you take the classes that are required, and remember to be motivated in them. The other classes that you are interested in are important also so you must find ways to attend them as well. Do Not be afraid to exploit the university as they will be exploiting you. Just be yourself, that is the simplest way to being happy and joyous when life gets hard and tedious. Keep up with schoolwork andfund a part time job right away so you can make rent and have extra spending money. But all-in-all make sure that you protect your heart, many people will try to steal it from you.

Brittany

I would say take more Avanced Placement Classes. The ones I did take helped me out a lot. I would also say keep better study habits. In high school, I never had to study because everything came easy. But now, I stay 23 hours a week.

Jennifer

Don't just join everything; join one or two meaningful organizations and really further their causes. Become an officer right away. Make a budget and actually stick to it. Spend time getting to know professors -- letters of recommendation are much more meaningful that way.

Zachary

Get over yourself. I came from a small high school, so it was easy to be smart - I was the proverbial "big fish in the little pond." The transition to MSU was very humbling. Being a music major, especially, hit me pretty hard. I was one of the best trumpet players in the county as a high school-er, but when I started attending studio class at MSU I quickly fell to the bottom of the pack. For the first time in my academic career I had to work hard and actually do my homework. It took me awhile to really discover an effective way to manage my time. I ended up failing a class because I thought it was too easy for me. Now, as I'm starting to see all the financial repercussions of attending college, I wish I could go back and apply myself more, and get a passing grade in that class. I still consider myself an intelligent person, but I have a lot more perspective now. And that's a good thing.

Stephanie

I would tell myself to buckle down my Freshman year so I didn't have to deal with trying to raise my GPA so I could transfer to MSU. I would also tell myself that I wasn't going to enjoy my choice of major the first time around and to not waste my time with the classes. I would really press the photography and tell myself to go with my gut feeling and get into it.

Lia

If I were able to go back in time and give myself advice for college life and making the transition, I would have a lot to say. I would tell myself to remember that I am going to college to become educated and to focus on my studies. Do not let friends and partying become too distracting but don't forget to have fun. Be involved in clubs and activities that interest you and take advantage of the wonderful oppurtunities your school has to offer. Get a job or an internship. Be friendly, outgoing and accepting of others. Be yourself and make friends with good people who contribute wellness and happiness to your life. Become independent, make the right decisions and learn from your mistakes. Explore your campus and think outside the box. New experiences can be very rewarding, but do not forget where you came from. Stay close to your family and your religion. They will always be there for you in the end.

Miranda

College is very different than high school and can be overwhelming. Get to know your professors and classmates right away so you can set-up a good academic foundation and not stress out about classes. Also, get to know people on your floor and talk to them about their academic plans. You're all in college together so you know that each of you has a lot of things going through your mind about the future. Communication is one of the best ways to learn and get through tough situations. Talking to your peers and teachers gives you a first-hand insight of what to expect as you go through college and what lies ahead after. Use all your resources wisely, including on-campus services such as the Career Center, Learning Centers, Advising Offices, Library, etc. Also, be open to new people and experiences: you'll make friends and memories here that will last a life-time. Don?t let a moment slip away. Go out and explore campus when you?re done with studying and have free time. Be bold in your undertakings, be efficient with your time, be proud of your accomplishments, and be happy with your decisions.

Curtis

Really there is only one thing. "Don't coast throught your senior year, you will still be fine but it will make things much easier to push hard through the end of high school."

Krystina

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I know now about college life, I would make sure to tell myself not to stress about where to go and what to pick as my major. The summer before college, everything just fell into place. I found the major I wanted to pursue and the colleges best fit to get me where I wanted to go. Sure, moving away from home may seem emotionally draining, but it is well worth it for the experience and knowledge of receiving a top grade education for a reasonable price. Especially when you initially dread being able to pay for college, and then find out financial aid has you more than covered.

Joanne

I would study harder because you really have to pay more attention. There is no homework, mostly exams, in college. If you do not read and don't pay attention in class then your grades will slip. If you do bad on one test, it really affects your grade for the whole class.

Ani

I'd start with, "There's no reason to freak out." Yes, it's a big change, but it all shows you what kind of person you are. You get to do things and make choices on your own, good or bad, and learn a lot from them. A big worry of mine was that I was going to lose my friends from high school; it was the exact opposite. You really find out who your true friends are, and I got a lot closer with mine! I would remind myself that I took all those AP courses in high school for a reason - for preparation for college. Those classes really relied more on the student to get themselves prepared and my college classes work the same way, so AP was a good way to go. It also would have been nice to know that the people I was going to meet would be so awesome. All in all, it's about discovery. You get thrown into the college environment and have to fend for yourself without mom and dad telling you what to do; sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's not, but it's a lesson learned.

Ami

I wish I could say that if I went back to talk to the high school version of myself I would say something poetic or enlightening as advice, but really the best advice I could give would be simple? learn to do you. It?s easy to get swept up in the hype that surrounds college, the parties, the tailgates, the constant ability to avoid doing actual school work, it?s easy to forget why your there in the first place. I learned early that you have to do you first and everything else second. Going to class has to trump sleeping in, writing a paper comes before going out, and remembering that your goals and aspirations will take you farther than any party ever will is key. Once you figure out what is important to you everything else will slowly fall into place. Sometimes it may seem like your missing out, but in the long run, missing the ?big event? of the year to study for a final may lead to a big adventure down the road. Learn to do you and everything else will fall into place? figuratively speaking? it is college after all.

Gregory

Hey Greg, I know that the college application process was one of the most stressful times that you have ever been through. You were so confused and unmotivated, and you felt totally alone. Your grades and schoolwork suffered because of all the uncertainty. You felt like you had to make a decision about your future right away before you applied anywhere. Unfortunately, you had no idea that this was not the case at all. Since coming to school and taking some classes, I have a much better idea about what exactly interests me, for a potential career in the future. This newfound assuredness has also helped other areas of my life. I've gained a lot of confidence, both in my schoolwork and in my social life. While my priorities could use a little bit of fine-tuning, I have begun to surround myself with people who will help me become a better individual. My friends share my best-interest, and only want to see me do well. So I guess the most important thing to know is that all the extra stress you put on yourself only leads to more stress. Take it easy, and you'll be fine...

Lea

To find the right college you need to visit the campus on more than one occasion and you should make sure they have your desired major. In order to make the most of your college experience you must step outside of your comfort zone. Open yourself up to people, you create some great bonds.

Kayla

The first thing that I looked for in finding the right college was whether or not they had the major I wanted. From there, I looked at the variety of classes I could take in order to complete my degree. Michigan State University has a very extensive Zoology degree program. They offer different concentrations, and have a lot of internships available. After searching for the major, I would see what types of extra-circular activities are provided by the school. Here at MSU they offer hockey, swimming, soccer, baseball, gymnastics, etc. Finally, check to see if the school has a job center to help you find a part-time job. This helps out since most of the employers will work around your school schedule.

Erin

I would tell students to consider their options carefully, but don't look back or regret once you've made your college decision. Every school has tons of awesome opportunities, and no matter where you end up, college is what you make it. You can be as involved or as uninvolved as you want. Seek career opportunities, internships, interesting courses, and resume-building activities wherever you end up, and you definitely won't regret it. Take your classes seriously, because they're going to cost you a lot of money, but use your spare time to get involved and make friends! Meet with your advisors more than you think you need to; they can help you a lot. Do your homework even when the professor doesn't collect it. Just get as much as possible out of this time in your life, because you might never have so many opportunities and the freedom to take them again.

Katie

Finding the right college is about knowing yourself. For me, it wasn't just about the name of a college. MSU offered awesome courses in the field I was interested in and was close to home. Some of my friends from high school went there as well, but it was so big I knew I would meet new people and get to experience a culturally rich and academically sound college experience. When looking for the right college, you need to look at all the aspects the college has to offer. And don't be ashamed if your first choice is not the right choice, plenty of people change their mind after the first year. I love my college, and I know I made the right choice. Go Green!

Hollyce

I honestly think it is possible to find a home at any college. I would say that if you don't quite know what you want to do with your life yet (have an undecided major), go with a large school with lots of degree options because it makes it WAY easier to switch majors if you decide to do so. As for the college experience, the key is time management. The social part of college is just as important (possibly more important, in my case, as I was very shy in high school but not anymore) as the academic part. Try to participate in as much as you can; go to class, get a job for a few hours a week, join a club, make new friends and spend time with them. The combination of all of this is what made my first year of college the best year of my life.

Deborah

Find a college that fits you for you, not because someone else says that it is great. Visit beforehand , stay in the dorms, eat the food, and go to classes if you can. Talk to the people you see--are they friendly? Would you see yourself becoming friends with anyone? Do they like their school? This is where you will be living for four or more years and these are the kind of people you will meet--make sure that it is the place for you and that you will enjoy yourself! Once you have made your choice and have moved in, get involved--through your dorm, your classes, and extracurricular activities! Leave your door open when you are in your room, this is a great way to meet new people on your floor. Sit with new people in the cafeteria if you do not know anyone. Participate in your classes--take notes, ask questions, meet the people around you and get their email--this is great if you miss class and need notes or the homework. Get involved on campus through clubs and take advantage of the activities set-up by the university. Finally, just be yourself!

Kristen

Visit the campus of the school you are attending more than once so you can really get a sense of what it means to be a student there and if you feel like you would "fit in" there. Also, I would tell freshmen to really make an effort to make friends/ get involved in something. There is a lot of free time at college and if you are not involved in a job, club, etc. you will be bored most of the time.

Paulina

Be open to new opportunities and try different things. You never know what you might like until you actually try it. Make the best of your college experience by taking advantage of opportunies. Be sure to maintain grades by having good time manangement skills.

Kyle

make sure you don't choose your first one. get campus tours and make sure you like it before going there.

Seth

If you know what field you/your child is going to pursue, find a college that places emphasis on that program. If not, try to immerse yourself in the activities of nearby colleges and just try to figure out which one feels most like home; feeling at ease is the most important thing as you try to figure out who you are, and if you don't know what to pursue, it's a necessity to make a well thought out decision.

Allyson

I would first say look at your finanical situation and see what is feesible there. I would then look at what the student is personally looking for in that college. If they are more extroverted then a bigger college, and vice versa. Probably the most important thing about the school you are going to is if they offer the program you are planning on entering, and how well are they known for that program. The reason you go to college is to get a degree so if possible you want to attend the college with the best notoriety for your course of study.

Andrew

Make sure that you are able to focus. Dont go to a school for fun or just because all of your friends are going there.And make sure yoy plan ahead!

Gina

Don't be fooled - you don't have to be 100% sure of what you want to do with the rest of your life when you decide on the college you want to go to. Because the average student changes their minds 3 or 4 times on their major before they graduate, it's more important to make sure you'll be comfortable , and feel safe and secure that you'll have options if you do end up changing your mind. I transferred schools my second semester sophomore year, and don't regret my time at either school - it's impossible to know what the future entails, but follow your gut. More often than not it's right. And while it's important to make new friends when you leave for college, don't forget those you left behind. They're your best support system, especially during your freshman year. Finally, it's okay to be afraid and homesick and feel like you don't belong: college is new and scary. It takes time to get adjusted! Don't rush the process, the college experience can't be defined the same way for everyone.

Emily

I would recommend that students find the college that they could see as being home, because that is what it becomes once you get on camupus. If high school students are unsure, it is important to visit not only the college campus, but the surrounding area to get a feel for the environment. The college must be what the students want rather than what the parents want for them, since they are the ones that will be spending their time there.

Marissa

Choose a school because you want to go there, not because someone you want to be with will be there or because your family wants you to be there. No matter where you end up, if it's your school of choice or not, go there with an open mind and be optimistic about it. Choose a school that you think you will be happiest and most comfortable at. Choose a school that is the right size and distance from home for you. Choose a school that is good for your intended major. Don't be afraid. Get involved. Make the most of your college experience. Go out, have fun, meet new people, be adventurous, but always make good decisions. Make sure you can balance school life and a social life. College is what you make of it, so make the best of it.

Jaimie

Choose a school that best fits your personality. If you are social, outgoing, and love sports, pick a college that fits those characteristics. If you don't like big classrooms and loud Saturday afternoon football games, chances are you won't like a school such as Michigan State University or University of Michigan. To make the most out of your college experience, you have to love your school! If you love your school and are involved in the activities the school provides to its students, you will make the most out of your college experience!

William

Don't go to a school that your parents, friends, neighbors, or significant other like. Go to the school YOU like. Its your life, they're going to be your classes, your teachers, your friends and your family so it should be your decision. And when you get there, be ready to meet new people and learn new things because you'll learn more in your first year of college than you did throughout your whole life before that

Kevin

You have to go into college with an open mind, but at the same time don't give up the values that make you, you. College is a time of self discovery, but it is important to remeber that discovery isn't starting from scratch. The foundation of who you are has already been layed. Don't throw away your parents beliefs the first chance you get, look back at them and see where they were coming from. Do the same with all the new ideas/viewpoints that are presented to you and you will have a successful college experience. Most importantly don't be afraid to be you.

Nallely

I would advice parents to support the student regardless of where they choose to attend college. By experience, I can advice the student to focus in their education and be very open minded because being in college is a complete learning experience where we learn a lot, not only academically but personally. It is very important to keep your goals set and to have the courage to accomplish them because we experience many situations where dropping out seems as an option. There is a saying in spanish which I heard in a song by Vicente Fernandez, a very well known "ranchera" music singer and a Mexican icon, that says "no hay que llegar primero, si no hay que saber llegar", in english means that it is not important to get there first, but what is important is to know how to get there. In my own words, we need to be patient if we are struggling and we should not give up or even consider it as an option because perseverance will get us there no matter when; it will if we really want to.

Kaitlin

Picking the right college will be one of the most important decisions that you can make in your life. The college that you attend will determine your lifetime friends, your potential career and all of your networking connections. Deciding on what college to attend has to do with the type of person that you are and how big of a school you want. Once you are at school the best advice is to go out and make yourself make friends. It will be harder to make new friends, but it is necesary to maintain happiness and de-stress. Also, reach out to your professors and get to know them so that if need be they can write you a letter of recommendation.

Rina

Almost every college student and/or graduate will tell you "make use of the four years at college because you'll never live it again". Many parents may be worried of their kids going to college afraid of taking advantage of it and not focusing on their career. College is a place for students to live AND learn. It's important to realize for parents that their kid(s) need to fulfill their life with all the experience and hands-on they can get. Before you know it, they are off to a career after college. Finding the "right" college for a student is difficult. However, as long as one is successful at empowering their knowledge to its fullest and creating life-long memories and friends, there really is no denying in what college is "right". The parent and student should make their decision based on what the student feels comfortable with, in terms of campus and learning environment as well. All in all, whatever will make a student over and beyond satisfied with experience and life at a college will benefit for them in their future without a doubt.

Alycia

Make sure to explore all of your options. Look at the colleges in which your child feels most comfortable at, but also look at what you could financially afford.

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