Michigan State University Top Questions

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

Bryan

When looking for a college/university, students & parents need to ensure that the institution will cater to their needs. To do this, a student has to really be sure of what he wants from a university, both academically and socially. Research to see how their programs match up to other universities/colleges around the country. Take campus tours and do summer programs at the school of choice. One has to be sure that the institution will have room for the student to grow both academically and socially. Once a student goes off to college, it is up to that student to take advantage of all the resources and opportunites that are available in order to make the most out of an institution. This can be done through research opportunities that get you hands on experience with your future career, student organizations which help to build a network of friends, learn how to share ideas, and work in a group setting, and study abroad which allows one to see the world and learn just how different yet the same we all are. In short, a student has to be sure of what they want out of a university & out of life.

Jessica

Make sure you are able to pick a school based not only on your strengths but on your weaknesses too. You cant just go to a school because people say its the best fit for you, you have to know yourself and where you would be most comfortable.

Rachelle

When choosing a college there would be a couple things I would give advice about. First, I would tell students who have to pay for their own tuition, rent, groceries, and books as I do, to make sure they will be able to afford it in the long run. I am only in my second year and have spent everything I ever saved up for these years. It's hard going to a college where parents pay for absolutely everything for them while I am broke and not able to do as much or buy as much as they do everyday. Second, I would tell students to make sure they choose a school they will love for four years of their life because that is going to be your home and the people you make friends with become your family. Many students who choose to go to a college because of their boyfriend or best friend attending that school, often end up meeting new people and may no longer believe that is the right school for them. So choosing a school that is right for YOU and no one else is often the best thing!

Joshua

Be open minded about trying new things and be outgoing.

David

The most important advice I can give to parents and students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is to find a place that feels like home. Whatever makes that feeling, whether it be the climate or the downtown area, or the classrooms, some part of the campus or the university should feel very comfortable to the student. As long as that qualification is met, everything else should be able to fall in place. Loans can make up for high costs. Plane tickets during the holidays can make up for being far away from the rest of the family. The prestige of the school might have less of an impact on future success than more expensive schools might lead you to believe. The single most important factor in choosing a school should be that it makes you feel comfortably at home.

Samantha

I would advise going and see all of the different campuses that they are thinking about attending. Once you get to the campus and you actually walk around it and look at the dorms that you would be living in, it makes the decision on where to go in the fall easier. I would also tell studends to be outgoing their freshman year because everyone is in the same boat. Make sure that they try to make friends with people in their dorms. Also join everything you ever thought about joining. All clubs and especially leadership postions stand out on resumes and they are so much fun. Having another sense of belonging, besides to the college, makes you feel like you have people behind you, on your side.

Ashley

Be confident in yourself! You can do anything you put your mind to. If you don't have enough money, there is ways to fund your education and it's the most important thing you'll ever do. But always remember to have fun too. Do your work but have fun. College is some of the best years of your life, so enjoy it before your in the real world! And take advantage of a study abroad, you won't regret it!

Tony

Go there and check it out. If you can't enjoy yourself while you are visiting, well how are you supposed to enjoy learning and being in an enviroment that constantly asks you to perform at your best.

Elyse

It is very important to visit several college campuses and do extensive research before deciding on a college. Buying college books from the bookstore and visiting websites are definitely good ways to do such research. No matter how you go about learning about various colleges and universities, just make sure that you have all the information possible before making that final decision. Your college choice should be the perfect one for you; the one institution in the nation that makes you smile simply by thinking of it.

Brittany

My advice to parents and students on finding the right college is to make sure that the school has the major that you want to go into. A lot of students make the mistake of going to these colleges and the next year or semester they have to transfer becuase they didn't offer their major. Also make sure that its in an environment that you wouldn't mind being in. Location is everything. Also with the economy declining make sure that you will be able to afford that coolege or able to obtain financial aid. The best way to make the most out of your college experience is to be open minded, try new things and make many friends. people find life long friends in college and that would make college even more enjoyable. So just make sure that its what you want and can handle anything that comes in your path.

marissa

Honestly I would have to say to follow your heart or go with your greatest instincts.. You will definitely more than likely end up exactly where you had wanted to if you do. Once you end up there, go out, get to know people, reach out in classes to other classmates-chances are they are going through the same thing you are. BE YOURSELF. People like being around someone who is real and can speak their mind and not base their thoughts off of other people's thoughts and opinions. Do what you feel is right at all times and if need be, take a few risks...nothing dangerous but something that you might end up being glad you did...live it up, college only comes once and four years later you can't get it back.

Kristen

Visit campuses that you are interested in! You may not know if it's a good pick or not until you visit and see if it fits YOU.

kristen

The best advice I can give is to simply apply to any school that you want, regardless of cost. See where you can get in and visit. Leave no stone unturned as this is a decision that places you for four years. Pick somewhere that you think you can stay at, it makes everything easier. Get to know the town where your school is located... This is going to be your town. Don't let your parents tell you not to apply somewhere. An application is not a binding contract, it is simply an inquiry. Make an informed decision. My mom said that to me everyday and it drove me nuts... But I did it and it made everything so much easier. Follow your heart, you have to be happy.

Holly

Do your research! find a school with LOTS of opportunities

Angela

Do your research. Don't accept a college just because it's easiest. You will not be happy if you don't do your research.

Mark

Choosing the right college is not an easy decision; there are many factors that should be considered when finding the right school, and all of them are very important. I believe that the most important factor a prospective student/parent should take into consideration when choosing a school is the overall atmosphere. Because the student will most likely be spending four or more years at the college, he or she must feel comfortable to succeed academically. Far too many students do not get the most out of their college experience because they choose a college based on its academic prestige without considering how comfortable the environment is. It is very difficult for students to work at an academically successful life without also pursuing happiness. To truly prosper, students must attend a college that will allow them to grow socially as well as academically.

Ashley

In looking for a college I belive that students and their parents should definitely visit each one that the student is interesed in. In addition, I also think that, when considering which college to attend, students and parents should also look at extra curricular activites that are available at each school, such as athletics and campus clubs, not just the academics that are offered at each college.

Michael

I would suggest that the student has some idea of what they want to go into and try to go to a school that has that best program. Or a school that has many good programs to pick from.

Christina

First, find a few schools that offer programs you would like to study. Apply as early as you can to all of those schools. Before you decide where to go, make sure you visit the campus. A school might look good on paper, but feel completely different in real life. Once you get to school, try to throw out your expectations for what a college experience "should" be. You will get the most out of your classes and friendships if you are open to new possibilities socially and academically. Make sure you participate in volunteer or internship activities. You will meet interesting people and add valuable experience to your resume. Most importantly, don't forget to HAVE FUN!

A.

When looking into what kind of college/university you wish to attend you first need to consider what you're going to study. You can't attend a school that doesn't have a program to support your choice of studies. Second, you have to think about the environment you want to be in. Do you want to be at a large or small school, does cold or hot weather bother you, what kinds of activities do you enjoy (e.g. if you're an out-doors type you want to be somewhere that permits this, and if you enjoy night life you want to make sure that you're close to a city which provides night entertainment). Thirdly, you have to consider your finances. You have to know exactly how you're going to afford to attend the college you choose. Weather it is through: a college trust fund, your parents, working, scholarships/loans, or any combination of these. Considering these three points, and weighing the pros and cons of each will allow you to pick a college that suits you best.

Lauren

Find your niche, whether it be academically, socially or through extracurricular activities. When looking for schools, be sure to visit any you are considering attending. In doing this, you get a 'feel' for the campus life. Visit the residence halls to see where you could possibly live the next year. If you have the chance to talk to current students, ask them questions. Talk to professors within your major to see how hands-on and engaging class work is. Check out the schools website to see if there are clubs or groups you would be interested in joining. Weigh the pros and cons of each school, like being far away from home or the availability of your major. After you have chosen the school you want to attend, try out everything you might possibly be interested in, like a campus group. You might end up not liking it, but at least you tried. Take the chance to talk to people you don't know in your dorm or cafeteria to meet new people. You never know until you try!

Evamarie

When you choose a college or university, you should look beyond academic reputation and degree programs offered to the overall environment of the school. Campus visits are essential to learning about the atmosphere in the classroom, the "feel" of student life, and even factors outside of the institution, like weather patterns, job availability in the surrounding area, and the size and character of the adjoining city. You should also take into consideration how far the instutition is from your home and how many times you plan to visit home throughout the year. In order to make the most of your college experience, you need to choose a school where you can get involved in activities that interest you, whether it be volunteering, partying, horseback riding, skiing, or philosophy club, and then find a way to incorporate those activities into your daily life at college, without compromising your academic success. In the end, a successful college experience hinges on finding a school that fits your personality and interests, and then negotiating a balance between class work and personal life.

Pamela

There are several key factors to take into account when looking into colleges. But one in particular-- one is near and dear to my heart,--is this: one should NOT choose a school based on money. Speaking as someone who chose a school because it felt right, not because it was in my price range (and trust me, it wasn't), it would have been a terrible decision had I gone to one of my lesser choices. My first week at MSU I knew I had chosen right. It felt like home. And I always knew it would feel like home. Having a great experience, being in a place that feels as if it were meant for me is worth the bills, worth the part-time job that my financially well-off friends don't have to have (and thius worth learning to balance not only class, homework and friends, but also work), worth the financial aid forms and the scholarship applications. It is so easy to go to the school that offers the most scholarship money or the lowest tuition, but what good is being in the black if you are unhappy at your school? Choose happiness.

Stephanie

The best way to select the right college for you is by immersing yourself in the community. When visiting, try to imagine what it would be like to live and learn in those buildings. Don?t be afraid to ask advisors and professors questions. Ask them why you should select their school and their academic program. There?s also so many resources available to help you select a school and career path. Take advantage of them. From the moment you enter in as a freshmen, keep a long term perspective on your goals and how those can translate to short terms goals. Allow yourself to have fun because that free time will help you perform better in your classes, instead of using all of your time to study. Don?t compare yourself to other people and don?t let your g.p.a. define who you are. Get involved in activities that you want to get involved in, not just because they will look good on a resume or application. Keep in mind that although your academics need to be your main focus, college is also a great opportunity to define who you are and grow as a person.

Rachel

My advise to parents and future students would be to go after schools that have a strong program in what you are interested in studying, but at the same time make sure that those schools also have many other programs. Because it is common for students to change their majors while in school. I would also suggest that while in college to either have a part time job or to get involved in activities that interest you. By doing either of these two things helps you out in many ways. First off, it can help you stay focus on what you have to get done, because by only have school work to work on, you are going to waste a lot of your spare time doing nothing, instead of staying focused on your schedule and what you have to get done. Also by doing these extra activities you make a lot of really awesome friends that you wouldn't have otherwise. You also will get the oppurtunities to try knew things and find new interests that you never knew you had. Enjoy college while you are in it, because for most people you only get to do it once.

Robert

Visit colleges before you choose one. Also, college is a gateway to a job so get the best grades you can and do things that you can put on a resume. What you do in college will have a lot to do with how many opportunities will be available to you after college. Take up opportunities if they present themselves.

Lauren

I feel like you first need to know if your child wants to attend a big university or more on the smaller scale. Once this is figured out, I think campus tours are really affective. Campus tours give the child, along with the parents, a sense of what the school is like, on campus and off. I think the best advice, however, would be to tell the child to just make the most of his/her college experience. While I think it could be helpful to know some friends going into a new environment, I think it is more important to go in blind and meet all new people. When a child does this, it teaches them how to step out of their comfort zone and interact with new people. I did this my freshman year and made a whole new set of best friends that I have been best friends with ever since. College is a great opportunity, so I think the overall best advice is to tell children how great of an experience it will be, and see what they do with it.

Justin

The school has to fit the student not the parent. make sure you take the kids to the school before they go!

Steven

I went to a community college for the first couple years of school, and it was awesome. You can get the same credits for a lot cheaper! Don't be discouraged, save some money.

Vernon

Make sure you go somewhere you feel comfortable. If you don't get along with the people there, you won't do well. Friends and your social life can be as important as the classes you take. Get involved with activities around campus. Pick a club, to join, stay active, you'll make friends for life. Of course studies are important to. Don't slack off all semester, it's not as easy to cram here as it was in high school. The toughest thing to adjust to when you go to college is studying and being on your own. You don't have any parents to tell you to get to work and your friends, while they want you to succeed, aren't going to make you sit down and get to work. Having said that, possibly the most important thing you learn in college is maturity. You can learn skills on the job but this is the best time to learn how to function on your own while you still have a cushion to fall back on. College is a great experience, it can be a little scary but overall it's great!

Kiandra

When looking for colleges, make sure you look at the academic programs that are offered, financial aid(if needed), and what the campus has to offer both socially and academically. The key factor in choosing a college is to visit and compare your top choices if possible visit all the colleges you apply to. Dont second guess which ever college you feel most comfortable with after visiting is the RIGHT college for you. Once you choose the college that you will be attending, go to the school's website and look up information about your classes( i.e, class descriptions, what the professors are like,prerequisites , majors/courses for your majors, clubs/organizations). College websites usually obtains tons of information for ne w students. Also try to see if there are groups on facebook for your school especially your incoming class. All of this will make the transition to college easier. Once you enter college get to know your professors(talk to them , go to their office hours if you need help,etc), come up with a study plan/schedule( try turning material learn in class into question/answers on flashcards), get involved with clubs/organizations.

Allyson

To find the right college, consider the one(s) that fit your likely intended field of study. That is not always something we know until later in life, but do not consider colleges that you know do not have the right field of study for you. I did not know where I wanted to attend, but Michigan State University felt right, and I believe I made the right choice. Once you are in college, put an effort into making friends; for me, that is one of the best parts of college. Living in the dorms has been very helpful in socializing, networking, getting to know my campus, and becoming independent. If you can (and the choice is reasonable), I suggest living in the dorms. I did not want to, and I love it. You are in college for education; so study! Finding the right study habits is almost harder than studying itself. Make sure education is your priority. You have to learn self-motivation, and make sure you do what it takes to be motivated. Stay on task, study, and have fun!

Laura

Let your student ultimately choose the school they want to go to, but steer them toward one that is very interactive. Your student will want to stay inside their dorm or apartment, but they need to be drawn out of their comfort zone in an environment that inspires and challenges them in a positive way. It is best to come into college with some sort of plan- even if a mojor hasn't been chosen. That plan should outline time management specifically, and long and short term goals. Look at all the different ways to accomplish those goals in fun, enlightening ways. The best grades are achieved when a student has ample forecasting of what is to come, and a semester is defined by slow deliberative learning, not overwhelmed, last minute cramming.

Melissa

I would advise parents/students to find a collge that suits them. A college experience is where one is to find their purpose in life and discover their career. It is also imporant for parents to agree too. My parents helped me choose to attend Michigan State, but it wasn't soley their decision. I knew that Michigan State was a place that suited me. I found a place that would challege me academiccally and also socially shaping me into the best woman I can be. Find a college or school that one fits into, where one can see themselves growing into a mature adult, a place that feels safe and challeging. That college will stick out, you will know when a college or school is perfect for you, you will feel it in your heart.

Tiffany

go where you feel you will excel the most.

Ce

I would advise parents and students to take a tour of some of their colleges of interest. I would also suggest talking to students who already attend the college in order to get a view of the educational and social aspect of student life. Parents should look into the statistics of the college of interest to see how the campus is balanced in all areas. Students can make the most of their college experience by staying over night before they attend. I did not do this and I wish I would have had an older student show me their college experience so that I can better adjust to what my experience would be like. Joining positive group activites can help a student stay on the right track as apposed to drinking every night and skipping class. The people you meet here can greatly affect your life, just make sure it is a positive effect and not a negative one.

Kathryn

As choosing a college to attend after high school is a difficult process for anyone, now that I have experienced it for myself, there are a few things I would do differently if I could go back in time. First of all, I would travel to several different colleges and tour them thoroughly. I never onced toured a college while I was in high school, being that I always just "knew" that I wanted to go to Michigan State University. Although I am very happy with my choice and wouldn't have it any other way, it would have been nice to at least see what other colleges had to offer so that while I struggled within the first few months of my freshman year, I wouldn't have had any doubts that I was exactly where I was meant to be. Another thing that I would do differently is apply for any and all scholarships that I possibly could, before entering college. I wish I would have gone to my counselor and expressed my concern for my financial ability so that he could have possibly given me more information. Unfortunately, now the concern for my financial status has skyrocketed.

Christina

I would say to find a school that has the students interests best at heart, but also keeps a good academic standing and a strong foot in the job market. Financial issues are a concern so be prepared for raises in tuition as well as extracirricular costs, such as study abroad, internships, and an unexpected economic climate. For the students, there are many temptations, but giving in too often spoils what you are there for, a great educational experience.

Brittany

I would say its never to early to start planing for college. The sooner the better.

Abigail

A college experience is what you make it to be. It can be just as lazy or just as active as you want. It doesn't wait for you, call you to wake you up for class and doesn't make you friends. You make your life, your choices and your decisions. Be smart. Be wise and enjoy it. You're only young once. Best Wishes!!!

Jerry

Go to the campus and hear what students who have gone there have to say. This will help the student see if that environment will fit what they are looking for. Keep and open mind and try to have the most fun you can.

peter

Finding the right college starts with getting the necessary grades to gain acceptance to the particular college(s) of your choice. One should do research on the colleges, whether it is by visiting or asking around to see if they would mesh with the types of people at that particular institution. They should also speak to a counselour, whether it is their high school counselor or some other counselor to see if the college has the available programs and classes that he/she would like to take. The financial situation is another important part of applying to a university. Research should be done on financial aid, scholarships, and other ways to receive college funding if it is needed or neccesary. Overall the choice should be upto the student because the institution that he/she goes to plays a heavy factor on the course of the rest of their lives. College matures and shapes a teenager to a young adult and helps to form who they will be for the rest of their life; choosing your college is a huge decision, so choose wisely.

Courteney

Stay focused on your class work, but also go out on the weekends and get to know more people to have a good time. I feel if you balance the both of those you will get the most out of your experience.

Richard

Do not pressure your kids to go directly from high school to a university. Sometimes a student might need time to grow up, mature and research a variety of oppurtunities they have in life. Although higher education is very important and in high demand with all the emergent technologies, some teens may chose a different course with their life i.e. military. Immature teens might not have all the adult coping mechanisms to deal with the taboo that surrounds college life. Instead of going to class they might sit in the dorm and play videos games or go to parties instead of studying. While it is important to have a social life it is not smart to spend valuable study doing so. Make sure they are mature enough to attend an university, maybe community college is a better choice. It is also a good idea to make sure the students' school choice fits their personality, and is not just because their best friend goes there. Some students perform better in small classroom settings with 30 students per class where others prefere the larger 500 person lectures also consider whether they prefere a rural or urban campus setting.

Kari

The most important aspect of a college search is figuring out what you want from your college experience and finding the school that best fits those desires. If academic success is your greatest concern, look for schools that focus first and foremost on research and scholarly activities. If you're interested in athletics and social life, look for schools that promote these aspects of campus life. The best idea, though, is to search for a campus that integrates each of your interests into one lifestyle. Many schools offer fantastic academic opportunities while also giving you the chance to experience arts, culture, athletics, and new social activities. These are outstanding because they allow students to really make the most of their college career by helping them to prepare for their future and become a more diverse and culturally aware person. The bottom line in a college search is to make sure you find what's right for you. Don't let anyone else decide for you. It's a big decision - your choice will certainly change your life forever.

Jayesh

Make sure studnets make their decision based on what they think about the college. They(the studnet) will be the ones spending the next four years of their life at that college. They should also visit the campus to make sure its the right fit for them. They should also try to talk to someone who currenlty goes to that college and say what there expierences are like and what they think about the faculty and students that attend that school. They should also research all the different programs and extra curricular activities that the school has to offer. Lastly the student should make their choice on what college they feel best fits their needs and that will give them the best education to be ready for the real world after graduation.

Tony

When selecting a college, don't just take into account the size of the University, or how the social life is. Focus more on what program one would want to go into, how it fits in with the social setting of the campus, and also how the whole campus is layed out in general. It is more important that a student is comfortable with their entire college situation than going to a school where the face value positives are the only visible advantages.

Bijan

Choose a college that will best fit the student needs and wants. Its not the parent life, its the student life. Make sure there is a strong student-staff/administration bond also. Administration and faculty should care about students as if they were their own children. There should be alot of resources to help the students get through their college years. There shouldnt be any secrets or hidden facts thats not kot known about the school either.

Brooke

Go with your heart. I was accepted to three schools and Michigan State stole my heart. Don't hold back, make new friends, and become involved with on-campus activities. Parents, stay involved. Your child will need a lot of support as they begin this new journey, and as much as they will hate to admit it, they will need you. Ask questions and encourage them to stay involved.

Jessica

My advice for students who are searching for their perfect college is pretty simple... Make sure you go visit the campus! That was truly the deciding factor for me when I visited my university during my senior year of high school. I stepped foot on the campus and immediately felt at home. So, go with your gut instinct when you visit campuses... If the people are friendly and you are impressed by all the opportunities and programs available, then why not attend college there? Once you make the decision to attend the college of your choice, don't be afraid to ask questions and step out of your comfort zone. Your four years at college are the best time to grow up, experience new things, and explore what you really want out in the "real world." There is no better time or place to stretch out your wings and figure out where you want to fly. Best of luck to all you prospective college students out there. If you truly belong on a college campus, you'll know it when you visit and have that liberating, satisfying feeling that you have found your new home!

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