Michigan State University Top Questions

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

Rebecca

Parents and students should be looking at what they can afford for going to college. Financial aid is available at many schools, but starting off after college with over $10,000 can make your financial situation difficult for years. Along with financial aid pay attention to what you think best suits you. If you do not like big cities or big crouds, you may want to find a smaller school even though it is not one of the popular universities in your state. Look around and see which campus you feel most comfortable at. Just because all of your friends are choosing a certain university does not make it the right one for you.

Gina

Selecting the college that is right for you is a challenging process. With so many great schools available all around the country, it's hard as a teenager to choose the institution where you will earn the education that will help shape your future. It's important to research different schools, go online and look at the websites of all schools you may be interested in. Start with a broad search and then pick out certain characteristics that you like the most (size, location, programs offered, sports). From here make a list of the schools that have the qualities that you want. Once you've narrowed it down plan trips to visit your top schools. It is important to take a trip to a school before you enroll, because you are going to be spending lots of time and money there and you should make sure it's what you want. Parents should be involved in this process, it's necessary to take both what the student and parent want and find a school that offers both. The college years are fun and exciting but in order for them to go smoothly it is important to research and plan ahead.

Monique

Choosing the right college is like choosing a second home. The student must feel welcome, and comfortable on campus, or it will be nearly impossible to study, interact with professors, and make friends; all of which are vital to make this stage of life a success. Most importantly, encourage the student to follow their dreams. Then decide what the student is interested in. If a desired major has not been chosen there are ?quizzes? online that formulate possible areas of interest from answers to questions about likes and dislikes. Once the student has examined possible careers research colleges that have accredited programs in those areas. Next, decide what size school the student will be comfortable attending. The final step is to visit the campuses that meet the criteria. If possible attend a class or two, people-watch and talk to professors and advisors. After a few days the student will know if that campus is someplace they can call home. Upon arrival to a new campus it is essential to experience new activites and people, but never abandon any morals. They say, your college days are the best of your life, but remember, life is only what you make it.

Sarah

I think what is most important is that students go to the universities to visit before even applying. My freshman year of college I would have never dreamed of coming to MSU but after visiting the school I fell in love with it. You never know until you try, and I ended up transferring to MSU. The other thing is to really think about what you want. Anything is possible, but it needs to be something you love. If you don't like running into people you know all the time, a small school isn't for you, etc.

Mayra

Many factors are necessary to consider when choosing the right university. For some families, the main limitation is cost of tuition. Many out-of-state and private schools are simply too expensive. For those students who do not have an issue with financing their education, they should consider campus and class size, extra-curricular activities, and student services (tutoring, counseling, writing centers etc.) Comparing different schools for national ranking is also important. Visiting as many campuses as possible and getting a general feel for the varying atmospheres is essential. Many schools are obviously more conservative or liberal than others. It is good to find a campus where you share common interests with the other students. An academically-geared student would have a difficult time living on a campus that is a well known 'party school'. The years spent at college can be the most important and memorable for many students. It is important to make the most of them: join clubs, attend conferences led by special speakers and learn as much about the university community as possible.

Marissa

Make sure it is somewhere that you are comfortable with almost every aspect of it, the size and set up of the campus, the size of the school and the classes, the type of people that attend, etc. Make sure it is somewhere that offers majors and classes that you are interestred in and that are at a level that is right for you. Make sure the location of the school is good for you. Don't be afraid to step out of your shell, try new things, meet new people. You only get one chance to be in college, so make the most of it. Don't go home every weekend but don't forget about home either. Don't let your social life get in the way of your performance in school. There's a time for fun and there's a time to do work and study so make sure you find the right balance. College is a place to make mistakes, learn, and grow.

Jennifer

I would tell parents/students not to have tunnel vision when looking for the right college for them. Make sure that the college is right for the student and you are not just making them go because the parent went there, it is a good location, or because of costs. You may not have the same experience your parents had or the college may be a completely different campus now. If you want to move away or stay close, that is your choice don't let anyone talk you out of it or in to it. There are so many ways you can get assistance to pay for college that it doesn't matter what tuition costs, this is your education and experience you need to succeed. College is the most amazing growing experience of your life. When you look back on your life nobody wants to have regrets. If you want to study abroad, do it. If you want to join a sorority, do it. Most of all when you are picking out a college don't let anyone influence you. Look at the big picture and make the choice that is in your heart.

Kelsie

Make a list of what is important to you and rank them, then go from there. Know what kind of classroom setting and study environment works for you and go with a school like that, after all you are in school to learn. Get involved with activities that you enjoy as much as you can without having it affect your classwork. Don't be afraid to try new things and open your mind up to new ideas since college is all about new experiences. Talk to strangers sitting next to you in class and make friends whereever you go because it is all about who you know and it may get you somewhere later in life. Most importantly, don't be afraid to be yourself and express yourself. There are so many people that are trying to find themselves in college and everyone has their own style. There are students out there just like you and who will accept you the way you are so never compromise that just to 'fit' in at the party scene.

Danielle

My advice would be to not feel pressured or rushed when picking a college. Take your time and pick the colleges that have the qualities that best fit what you want and make sure to visit them because sometimes they can sound better than they are. Sometimes this process can seem overwhelming but just have fun with it and you'll find the perfect college for you. College is the best time of your life so make sure you find the perfect one and make sure you enjoy it when you're there. Join clubs that best fit your personality and get out and party whenever possible. But always leave time to study and do school work or else your college career will be short, plus this is your future we're talking about! So take your time and find the best college for you, work hard and have fun!

Katie

In order to find the right college, you have to look both at the college environment and the academic programs a college offers--and feel like you would be able to fit right in with both of them--because both are essential to making the most of the college experience. Your academic program should have a lot of opportunities available for growth of knowledge and experience within your chosen field, and the college environment should supplment your academics with a lot of opportunity for growth as a human being. After that, what you choose to participate in shapes how your college experience will be.

Ashleigh

I would tell a parent to allow their student to visit their prospective university in order to get a true feel for how the atmosphere fits them. I would tell the student to be open-minded and expect to learn new things from different people at the campus. I would also tell the student to not be afraid to join extracurricular activities and be able to maintain their social life and balance it with their academic life as well.

Krysten

Make sure its the students decision, they have to be happy where they are atending school don't force them to the school you once attended. Also make sure stay a part of their life.

Nicole

Look through a list of majors for several different colleges, and choose a college with the most majors that you might like to try. Thats what most of school is about, so you want to make sure you're learning about something that you're interested in. You'll make friends wherever you go, so pick a campus that fits you. Look at the size of the school, how close you want to be to home, and especially if the school is somewhere where it gets cold in the winter, make sure there are busses or some transportation to get you to class, work, or wherever you're hanging out with friends. Once you get there, be friendly! Everyone is trying to meet people freshman year, and it'll be more fun and easier if you're open and you chose housing where most freshmen live.

Austin

My advice to parents and/or students trying to find the right college for themselves or their sons and daughters is to do alot of research prior to applying for college applications. This research will help them make the right decisions as to what colleges would be a best fit in terms of the academic oppurtunities that they offer, the location of the college in terms of whether they wnat to be close or farther away from home and the relative costs for each of the colleges they would like to apply for. They might find that perhaps a community college would be the best fit for them prior to attending a major university. It all depends on what would be the best fit for that individual combined with the research that they find. Lastly, it would be wise to apply for finamcial aid early, especially FAFSA, for those students who will need help in covering tuition and housing costs. College is an important phase in a young persons life that will only help to make them stronger and better educated individuals upon graduation. Doing a little research can thus go a long ways in providing a bright future.

Brett

When it comes to finding the right college its all about finding somewhere your comfortable. Reason being is that if you go somewhere and your unhappy its not going to a fun college experience, your not going to be as motivated to learn, and probably wont make as many long last relationship. Personally I know when I decided where I wanted to go I made sure that it was somewhere I felt comfortable and accepted as part of the student body. Also make sure its somewhere your proud of because if its not then you shouldnt be putting money into something you dont want to represent or have represent you when you graduate. So its imperative to find somewhere that feels like a second home because your going spend a lot of time there and eventually it doesnt because a second home for you. Also make sure that the school has programs that you know you'll be interested in because if your not able to do things you enjoy while at school then you will become frustrated and worn out by class work.

Bre'Anna

Parents please stay active in your child life and education. Nothing is more important than the love and support from ones' parent. In addition, start early when looking for the appropriate schools for your child bfore it is too late. Students education is very important. While searching for schools, try to find the on that suitable for you and your career, not for the parties. You have all the time to hang out. Please stay motivated and focused throughout college, and be a life long learner. It is okay to ask for help, because that is what resources are for. Gain a personal relationship with your professor by going to office hours so you will know the material. Parents and students, try to get as much funding as possible so you wont have to struggle. Last but not least, never give up, you can go beyond the sky!

DeShawn

When considering colleges do not just look for that school academic profile. You should look at the student body, course offerings, activities and organizations that are on campus. When you go off to school you dedicate most of your time to your social life. Its is not healthy to have only work and not play. I do thinks it is still important to study 2 hours for every credit that you will take every week to keep up with your academics.

Molly

Choose the college that you can picture yourself at for four years and enjoying every minute of it. Learn to separate your valuable time into studying, socializing and sleeping.

Heather

If you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your life then go to a college that excels in that program. If youre not that sure then go to a big university. There are plenty of university requirements to cover before even getting to your core courses. As for the experience, make sure you find a group of friends that accept you for you and be yourself and have fun!

Samantha

The advice that I would have to offer to prospective college students and their parents is to visit campuses, talk to students who go there, make a list of what you are looking for in a college. Don't ever let tuition costs or other money issues hold you back, if you work hard you can make it all work out in the end. If there is one thing that I learned while being at college is that it's not where you go, or how much it costs, or what you learn, that matters the most, its the memories you make while you are here. So that's why while I attend MSU I make the most of my experience and I don't let money affect my life. First and foremost always study, but also make memories and take chances, to have the experience of a life time while attending college.

Caitlin

When choosing a college, make sure that it is a good distance from your home in order for you to feel comfortable to grow and learn. Also, take into account what acdemic programs are available there. If you know roughly what you will want to study, for example: science, check that that university has lots of different science based programs. If you do this before applying it will save you lots of money in aplication fees. Also, on the subject of money, make sure the college will work with your budget. Finding out halfway through college that you are in a tight spot for money will stress you and your parents out and stressing out about money while taking classes is not necessary. For making the most while in college, I would have to say that utilizing the free campus activites is a great way to have fun. College can be stressful so also make sure you make time for yourself, maybe read 10 pages of a novel before bed or treat yourself to a new backpack after a huge exam. Try to make time for community service and exercise with friends to give you some relief.

Amanda

I think that it is important for students to find schools that offer the areas that one is interested in. Also, find a school that has the atmosphere of college experience that you desire. For example, do you want a booming athletic program, do you want Greek life, off campus living? It is also important to tour the campus before you choose where to go to find out if you fit in. Also, I am terrible with being in large classes, and Michigan State University offers really small classes; in fact, I have only been in one class that has a few hundred students, the rest have been about twenty students.

Joshua

The decision you have to make for which college or university you will attends is not one made alone. You can go to your parents for guidance, a relative, friends, maybe even your high school counselor, but even the school itself can help you make one of your first major life decisions. This all may sound clich? but it is true, if you know how to do it. My advice to you, the incoming freshman with the world at your fingertips (I like clich?s), is to go to campus visits as much as you can. Go with your parents for a scheduled tour with the university, go with some friends, and go alone. While you at these campuses try your best to envision yourself as a student there, imagine that you are the person in the corner enjoying a coffee while studying, imagine going to classes, going to social events, sporting events, protests, rallies, whatever you can think of. Do this at every visit for every campus you think could be a possibility, but after these visits go home and do the same thing. The school you see at home dreaming is the school that you belong.

Icee

The right college differs for everyone. In order to find a great school, students should consider those with their intended major or a diver selection if they are undecided. There are many factors in deciding on a perfect college. Whether you want to stay close to home, or move out of state, you should always consider the costs of attending. Financial aid is key in paying for college for a lot of students, and should always be taken advantage of. Making the most out of the college experience is one thing that some people forget to do. When in college it is important to study and make good grades, but it is also important to maintain a healty social life. Many students who throw themselves into their schoolwork are somewhat unhappy. To make the most of the college experience, I say, you must take advantage of every opportunity given. Join clubs, meet new people, play a sport, socialize, and just have fun.

Brittney

Make sure you don't just try to rush through college. Go for something you really like and can see yourself doing for the next 40 years. Don't worry if your in school for longer than 4 years, do something you love.

Chris

To the parents I would strongly advise your kids to try and really think about what kind of living condition and setting they would like to live in. With the economy the way it is today, it is really easy to drop 20/30k in just a few years and if your heart wasnt in it from the start, it can have drastic effects. As a parent, i dont think it is wise to push your kids to go to certain schools they may be apprehsive about, in the end it has to be your child's decision, although parental guidance can be very useful in helping your child determine what college is right for them.

Monica

Research. Make a list of qualities you are looking for...how many students, what is the campus like? What sports do I want to play? Does the school have a good program for my field? Join student organizations! Get to know your teachers! Take advantage of school resources! Buy season tickets to sporting events! Apply for scholarships! No, really. I've won two scholarships since I've been in college and only wish I would have applied to more. Don't rule out attending a community college and transferring. Parents, save money for your children's education, get a MET. Tell them that you SUPPORT them. Work out a money plan, but don't make them stress out too much about money.

Mario

The number one, most important aspect in finding the right school is the people. Professors, students, teachers assistants, employees, all of these people are what make up the bulk of your college experience. That being said, it is very important to be outgoing and meet as many people as possible and build relationships with them. College is what you make of it plain and simple. It is important to be positive, friendly, and most of all hard-working. When all is said and done, the student that enjoyed college the most is the one that 20 years down the road is very happy with their life.

Chad

College is all about finding a place where a student can fit in and enjoy themselves. If someone attends a college but never enjoys themselves and has fun outside of class, its almost guarenteed they will not like the school of choice. Before attending a college you need to visit it and get a feel if it is a place that feels right. Of course the school needs to be a place for learning number one because thats the reason we go. Its almost like house shopping. Of course you can see pictures and read all the information about it, but once you see the house you will know if its the right one or not at the moment you see it. To make the most out of college you really need to focus on school first. The grades you are getting in school are going to determine how happy you are outside of school if you care about an education. Other than that just meet people, make friends, hangout, and enjoy time outside of school. College is a once in a life time opportunity so don't let it pass by.

Janis

I would tell parents and students to visit a couple different size colleges to see whether they would like a large or small campus. Apply to a few schools but not a large number as it is probably just a waste of application fees and time since there would be too many choices if accepted to several schools. If a student is hesitant about moving away from home, picking a college that is only an hour or two away can prove to be a good choice as a first step on their own. They would be close enough to come home if they need to but far enough away to be on their own.

Michael

Be your own person. Throughout my whole life I have always asked people what they think of me and what I should do with my career. I never took the time for a little self reflection. I personally knew where I wanted to go to school for my whole life, and that made the decision a lot easier. Knowing what you want to do and where you want to do it is the hardest part. Don't get caught up in the traps set up by your high school and don't try to live your life through others. I realized halfway through my freshman year that I had no idea what I wanted out of life, and took some time to figure it out. It was the best decision of my life. I knew I wanted to be in school, taking the time off made me realize how much I actually do enjoy learning. After figuring out the path I wanted to lead it was very easy to find people with similar interests and hobbies once I started looking. Don't get caught up in what other people want of you, take some time for yourself.

Kristie

Finding the right college for yourself is a big step and you are really unsure of what college is the best for you until you experience it for yourself. Advice I would give is while you are still in high school make sure to visit the different college campus you are interested in. At Michigan State I am involved in a Day at State program that allows you to take a high school student around campus and to classes, which I feel is key because without the experience and research you will never know what the campus may offer. If you are unsure of what college you want to attend or even what your major may be, I suggest attending a Community College for a year or half semester to save money, get to know yourself better by maturing, and discovering what your interest are for your major. In order to get the most out of your college experience, I would suggest make friends in your dorm and get involved in anything you can! There are a lot of different activities and clubs advertised throughout the campus; you just have to make the effort to attend them.

Kevin

I would suggest choosing a school that appeals to your acedemic taste as well your personal taste. Find a school that offers programs your interested in and also has a social setting you think you would enjoy. And, once your college career begins you should not be worried about changing your major/s becuase you chose the school based on that becuase part of college is learning what you actually enjoy and are good at and, your first major is simply another stepping stone in moving toward you future. Once school begins dont try so hard to make groups of friends, your true friends will find you if you simply be who you are.

Sarah

Research and visit numerous colleges, both big and small sizes. Talk with advisors when you are determining colleges to ask questions, and try to stay overnight with a random student to get a feel for the student body. Get information about different majors you are interested in, and the different programs offered. Once you decide on your school, get involved in the dorms and in other extra curricular activities, get a part time job, and stay busy. This will enable you to make friends, make the campus smaller and more comfortable, and help you better balance your studies. Have both short term and long term goals to keep you on task, and reward yourself once you have achieved each goal. This will motivate you to continue and be more optimistic in your studies. Be a part of study groups, and do a study abroad program! This will encourage personal and academic growth, so you can get the most out of your college experience.

Brittany

The advice I would offer a student on selecting the right college would be to not narrow down your research and applications to colleges that are only know for whatever it is that you think you want to major in. The norm for students, unfortunately, is that we change our major several times. So you're out of luck if you go to a nursing oriented college and it turns out that you're squimish around large quantities of blood. Go to a school with a variety of options for your plans B, C and D. As for making the most out of the college experience, I suggest you put yourself out there and get to know the different people around you. Take the time to have a social life and get to know your fellow students and faculty members. Making those life long connections that may help you get postitions later on and getting a peep at other individuals perspective of the world we live in is just as important as your academics. I believe that it's really the people you meet that enrich your life that makes the most of the college experience.

Jonah

Go wherever life pulls you. It might make sense to save money at community college, but maybe you need to get out on your own to really start living. Don't get sucked into what other people seem to enjoy or need; remember that you are unique and you can (and should!) think for yourself ? don't become dependent on others for essential information. Don't hesitate to go outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Even though it might seem like repayment of loans is a lifetime away into the future, you should pay close attention to repayment terms and the like, and if you don't understand them seek clarification from other knowledgeable people. It's important to realize that as much as college is about getting to a destination (career etc), it's more like the final stage of the sheltered world in which we grow into people with defined senses of self. In other words, learn facts and processes and realism, but remember that you're more than a vessel for knowledge or a workforce puppet: Never stop learning about yourself and the things that your love the most.

Emily

Stay involved, even though I couldn't participate in very many on campus activities I still met a lot of new people through my off campus job. Also, make sure you have GOALS I didn't at first and it slowed me down a lot...its easier to pick classes and get good grades if you always keep those goals in mind.

Alexandra

For students it would be to go away to school if you get the opportunity. You really get a chance to see what kind of a person you are and grow a lot more than you would think by living away from home. Also, for parents and students go and visit a school, even by taking a day trip you will really be able to see whether or not you will like attending a particular school just by one visit. Don't decide on a school based on where your friends are going either.

Andrew

Have fun, don't binge drink too much, and become a better person.

Chris

Students should pursue studies in a practical field in which they are passionate about while working together with parents in order to fund the education. They should weigh the pros and cons of the college and field of study. Students should seriously consider financial aid throughout college as it provides for a great opportunity to concentrate on being a full-time student and not have to worry about having a job to attend to. If you buckle down on your material and put in effort, college will pay off for you and everything will work out amazingly. Another thing to do in college is put yourself out there. There are many internship opportunities and chances to make connections with potential employers. Attend as many job fairs as possible and do atleast one study abroad during your time in college. The world is your oyster, you just have to go out and shuck it.

Christopher

Take your time in selecting your college, its a 4 year commitment, make sure its something you want to do for 4 years

Liz

I would like parents to know that where their child goes to school is not their decision. Students should explore all of their options and find a school that fits what they are looking for entirely, but maybe not necessarily stick to their comfort zone. It is good to branch out and learn new things; that is the largest part of college being a new chapter in life. To make the most out of college, realize that worrying gets you nowhere. Don't worry about every little thing and don't try to plan every detail of your life after college because it won't help as much as you expect it to. Make the most of every single day. Be involved, meet new people, and don't let little things get you down because when you look back, half of your drama is just silly. Take your classes seriously though and go to class excited and ready to learn. Energy drinks also help those long lectures and make the worst classes go along better. One last thing, don't let facebook interfere with any part of your life. It is just a website! Love every minute of college though.

Mary

First and foremost, begin the search early. Also, don't enter the search with any bias. I was always a University of Michigan fan and had this grand idea of what my college experience would be like there. During campus tours, I realized I could really only see myself at Michigan State because I felt most at home there. Always ask yourself, "Can I see myself living here?". Also take into account how far away you will be from home and if it is a distance you can handle while adjusting to such a new experience.

Krysta

Try to participate in Day-at-[college name here] programs or any type of mentor programs. It's easy to find a school with good academics. It's important to find a school where you are comfortable and have every ability to "find yourself" and grow up! These four (or more) years will go by so fast, but they are so vital to forming the person you will become for the rest of your life!

Kaitlyn

Make sure you visit the campus and talk to students about what it's like to go there, as well as what they like or do not like about the school. Talk to an academic advisor about what kind of courses are required, and talk to students in the major to find out what it's like. Take a look at the dorms and cafeterias. Basically, get to know everything you can so you're not caught off-guard at all.

Vanessa

Just make sure that you can handle a big university atmosphere. It can be overwhelming at times and feels just like it's own community. It is an amazing university with resources for parents and students to help them with any problem or question that may arise whether they are enrolled or still applying. Do not let the rumors about this being a party school effect your decision to apply here. If you want to be involved with that atmosphere you are sure to find it, just like any other school. However, if you want to find the crowd that studies and stays quiet on weekends, spending their free time in the library, you can definitely find that as well. For me, the resources available and the help offered outways all the parties that happen and the crazy crowds. I am in school for a reason and it is not to drink and party. You can find whatever you are looking for from this university.

Cari

The best advice that I can give to parents and students alike is to visit the school prior to orientation. The best way to find out if you would fit in somewhere is to experience it, talk to other students and also with faculty. And as for how to make the most out of the college experience, I would encourage students to get involved. It is a really easy way to make friends and also it looks good on your resume, and some clubs even give you oportunities to gain experience in your field.

lisa

I would want students to think about how they can serve others while being educated. I would want students to pick a university they felt comfortable volunteering, helping and working in the community while still being humble by still learning themselves. I would want parents not to worry about money and really think about education as an investment for their children's future - not just for financial independence but for character growth and personal development.

Daniel

I would say not to put too much pressure on yourself. Wherever you go, keep an open mind and you WILL make the most out of your experience. Although my college was not my first choice, if i went back, i would choose my school over any in the nation.

Elizabeth

Have an open mind to everything the college has to offer. Research the programs and see which programs get you the most excited and pumped up about learning. For me, since Michigan State University has such a great Veterinary medicine program, it was an ideal choice. It also has an amazing natural resources program (specifically for me, Fisheries and Wildlife) so there was no problem in choosing this college. Despite coming from a very small town and high school, I was not worried at all about the size of this university. It is huge, but according to my personality, I didn't mind and I actually like it this way. I would say that if you are exciting and willing to meet new people, you won't have a problem fitting in. Check out websites that allow current and past students to share their opinions on certain classes, professors, and even apartments. These types of sites were very helpful to me and helps in making decisions on whether or not to take a particular action. Have fun and go with the flow! If you don't like it, be honest with yourself and find something that best suits your interests!

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