Montana State University-Billings Top Questions

What should every freshman at Montana State University-Billings know before they start?


If I could go back and give myself advice on transitioning in to college; I would tell myself to evaluate my priorities upon entering college. College is about learning about yourself as well as what you want to do with your life; take the time to figure those things out. Learn to love yourself as a human being, for all your quirks and differences, because that is what you will bring to each class and each situation in life from here on. Those are important; so learn to embrace those. I would also tell myself that it is OK to make a mistake! Making a mistake is an important part of growth; just be able to identify what you learned by that mistake you made, instead of spending your time beating yourself up for it. Lastly I would remind myself I am not perfect, I may study hard for a test and still not do well, as long as I gave it my all that is the best I can do. A grade that you didn't want or hope to achieve doesn't define you as a person; move on from it.


I would not waste much time on the little details about college. Financial aid, orientation, what classes to take, how to write a senior thesis…no... I would be fully confident that he would figure those things out as every college freshman does. My advice to him would be focused on two major things; to have patience and passion. Patience that college life would be boundless and that the lessons from growing up in a household of twelve siblings and living under the shadow of pain that was an alcoholic mother, would, unknowingly to him, give him an appreciation and appetite for life that would make him unstoppable in college. I would tell him that all the pain he feels now about his dying mother is not a curse, but a blessing. I would tell him that he would find his passion on a campus, a passion for helping and inspiring others. I question whether he would believe me, but in that I would walk away with a smile on my face…because I know what is in store for him. I cannot attempt to change what he went through, as it led him MSUB, and his passion in life.


"Slow down." Two simple words uttered with heartfelt sincerity from the mouth of a twenty year old college student to an anxious high school senior. My years in high school were devoid of alcohol, drugs, promiscuitity, and questionable activities. However, I also became a single-minded machine focused on academic goals who casually ignored the passing time. Family and friends became an unnecessary distraction in my pursuit of academic excellence. College was a barely tangible dream tinged with uncertainty as I pursued countless scholarships in a desperate attempt to become the first member of my immediate family to pursue a collegiate career. Worthy dreams clouded every waking moment, but in my pursuit of college I desperately awaited graduation day and ignored the present time. Looking my high school self in the eye, I would grasp 'her' shoulders and tell 'her' that time is a fleeting friend. Lost time can never be regained and graduating from high school means moving away from beloved family. I would plead with myself to set down the books and spend quality time with those I love. Textbooks wait without changing for your return. Loved ones drift away and their time must be cherished.


Dear Me, Don't be so shy when you are going after your dreams. Don't waste time on people who aren't going to be there for you and don't waste time on things that would benefit you. People won't always agree with you, Do things for yourself, QUIT PLEASING PEOPLE. Stay active, becuase when you get to college your anexiety will kick in full blown and working out helps. Jump right into college, Don't wait 6 months becuase it really pushes you back in your future plans. You know what you want to do, just do it. Don't take a ton to the dorms, don't try to help everyone in need of help. Be friendly to people in the dorms, but not everyone is your best friend. Don't be discouraged when someone doesn't want to be your friend either, they are the people who aren't worth it (mentioned above). Most importantly, Don't Lose Yourself. You are a great person. Don't Forget You becuase I currenly miss you. Love you Girl, Me


If I could go back in time I would tell myself to not put things off to the last minute make sure you attend class even when it seemed impossible to get up and go. That the struggles get easier and when its too hard ask for help because there is going to be someone there. Also to make time to study and take time to have mental breaks because those are equally important. I would let myself know to work more with the adviser to make a plan of study and not to do it alone!


To myself I would start to plan for college sooner then I did, the less rush when the move comes the easier. I would apply for as many scholarship as possible in highschool. Working while trying to go to school is time consuming and takes away from study time. Being worried about money issues while studying and taking exams doenst make them easier. I would try and get involved with on campus groups and clubs to meet friends and other students. Friends are a great support system when your away from home. Also meeting other students who are interested in the same things as you will promote good study habits. Last of all if you have a question ask and find answer! There is now such thing as a dumb question!


During my senior year of high school I attempted to take my own life. I would go back and tell myself how diffrent college is than high school. I would tell myself that no matter what struggles you are facing today that they will go away eventually, and giving up now is not an option. I would tell myself about the friends that you make and how easily you make them, because you are all scared when start off and finding friends is the best way to feel more at home. I would also tell myself to get involved with groups and clubs on campus. Lastly, I would tell my self that you can't be afraid to fail, because when you fail and pick yourself back up you only get stronger.


If I could go back in time to talk to my high school self, I would tell her that it's always a good idea to really think your options through before making a decision, because the thing that you want to do now might not be the thing that you want to be doing in five years. I would tell her that instead of making quick decisions about where to apply to college and only applying to one or two schools, she should apply to as many as she can to see where she could get in. I would also say that sometimes even though things seem tough and you don't want to do them, do them anyway because they could lead to experiences that you'll never forget for the rest of your live. Go out and live life to the fullest instead of staying at home or in a dorm room all the time, and go out and make friends, because they'll be your friends for the rest of your life if you open yourself up to people.


Set goals! Reach out for help! Never doubt yourself! You have so much potential to continue on in life and you can become the person you have dreamed about. You will suceed if you take one step at a time. Sometimes you may feel like giving up and tossing your papers in the air and doubt yourself, "Why am I here?" Learning is never easy, you have to work hard, study and even if there is a fork in the road, reach for the stars because you will shine. You CAN do it!


Assuming I was able to advise myself on how to react to college life, I would first off congratulate myself on making it through high school. Secondly, I would be straight forward and say "Hey, college is hard. Don't look at it as a breeze like you are now. You won't make it. You have to study. Getting by without studying like you did in highschool will not work, Sweetie. You should spend more time on the books than you do on your cell phone or laptop. Yes, I know that we all need a little break here and there, but if they are distracting you take them away completely. You don't need them now. Finals week, it's tough, but hey you'll get through it just fine. You need to keep better track of time, go to bed earlier, and remember this makes or breaks you. Keep your head up, and don't stress too much. It only freaks you out in Biology." After saying to myself what exactly I needed to hear, I would be sure to follow my own advice and make it through my first year stress free.