Mount Holyoke College Top Questions

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


You're going to be okay. I swear on all things good in this world that the sadness in your heart will ebb away. You're going to explore another country, and meet friends who will love all of you. You will learn so much about the world and yourself. Not every moment will be a happy one but all in all you will have the best year of your life and make many beautiful memories. You will learn that what happened to you in high school won't stay with you forever. There are kinder people around you and you will let go of those painful memories. At the end of the year you will feel more ready to start college after your gap year has ended, even though on the night before you leave you will get scared. When you get to where I am now you will feel so much better about yourself and life. My advice? Just keep breathing and moving forward it will all fall into place, I promise. Oh and also, avoid that weird pasta and vegetable dish they serve at your school in Finland, it'll give you two allergic reactions.


My biggest piece of advice for a high school senior is simultaneously simple and impossible to follow: relax. While there is nothing to do that can assuage the fears you're felling about transitioning to college from high school, at the end of the day you need to understand that if you relax and trust things to fall into place they will. Do you need to be proactive about joining new clubs? Yes! Should you keep a close eye on your school work and do your best to plan ahead and keep on top of it? Absolutely! But the details, the things you're trully worried about because they're the things that will make your college experience shine, those things will work themselves out over time. You just have to trust the system and take the time to breathe and experience each day as it happens. If you do things will work out okay for you. I feel so strongly about this I would stake my reputation as a perpetual worrier on it.


I would have to tell myself to spend more time asking questions about the whole process. I feel like I arrived with a general idea of what I was supposed to do there, but no idea on how to go about it. I really feel like I was a "small fish in a big ocean". Thats not to say I wasnt intimidated, because I was. I didnt know where to start to ask the questions I had. My advice would be, ask ANYWHERE! Ask the principal in high school, the teachers or physician (especially me being interested in science/ health). I would tell myself to have visited our local community colleges more and to not have discounted them as viable options for a quality education. I would have told myself to stay closer to home and my support system, which was pretty strong (and is still today). I would have told myself to make best friends with an academic advisor my very first semester. I would have told myself to relax, when things seem overwhelming or like you want to quit, take a break and then get back to business. Lastly, I'd say keep the faith, determination and motivation.


Dear You,I know its tough right now, everything is going downhill. The guy you fell in love with moved 3200 miles away and your friends really dont seem to care that you go to school not caring what day it is. Your grandmother passed away and your grandfather followed a month later. Remember whats important, taking care of Mom, and ignoring the friends that abandon you.But let me tell you something, even though youre going to have to work like a dog for six months just to pay the first two months of your college payments for a single semester, trust me it will be worth it.Youre going to meet women that will care about you, and change you forever, youre going to realize that the depression you had was real, and that its okay. Youre going to be at a place so magical that even when youre up until 5 am writing a ten page paper on who knows what, youll be happier than youve ever been. Youll learn that loving from 3200 miles away is easy. So hang in there, don't fret, work hard, and youll be able to breathe easy soon.Love,You


Classes will be tough, but nothing you can’t handle. Don’t box yourself into one major, give yourself room to explore. Never doubt your ability to excel in a new subject. And don’t give up on the trumpet just yet. Keep practicing and try out for the jazz ensemble. It's really fun! There are many things you are worrying about that don’t deserve your time. Don’t be nervous about your roommate. Just get to know her and let her know you. Also, don’t worry about what you wear or the shower situation. The hardest part is being away from home. College is independence like you’ve never experienced, away from your family and friends. It’s okay to be scared, but don’t isolate yourself. All you need to know is never doubt yourself. College will be more than you ever expect it to be. You will begin to learn things about yourself you never thought applied to you or question things you were once sure about. Campus culture will be inviting and supportive, so be open to the people that surround you and welcome their differences. And don’t forget to have fun!


I transferred schools this semester; I spent my first semester of college at a different school. If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, firstly I would tell myself to relax; the stress I'm feeling right now is extreme, but it will end soon, and I will have a great new life in college. I would say, don't let yourself be swayed by the opinions of family, friends, college counselors, or random reviews online; only you can decide what's best for yourself. Go with your gut decision, it'll probably be right because you know yourself and you know what you need. And most important, remember to be completely open to all the new experiences you'll have. Say hi to new people, join random clubs, go to a talk by someone you've never heard of, just do everything you can! Because I know you'll love it. Also, no, you haven't packed enough sweaters, because is it very, very cold in Massachusetts.


You have to focus on your future more seriously.


The advice that I would give to my self would be; that life with an education is more satisfing than a life without an education . I would also tell myself that four years will come and go before I know it , and how important an education is in life.


do it now do not wait for 34 years like i did


If I could travel back in time to talk to myself as a senior at East Granby High School, there is so much I would say. I would tell her that I was proud of her and that she should be proud of herself. Coming into college with a large lack of confidence was not condusive to my education. I would allow tests to make me feel intimidated and I would walk around timid and shy because I didn't realize what I was truly accomplishing. Since entering college I have accomplished so many things that I couldn't have dreamed of walking across that stage at my high school graduation. I would tell myself to have a little bit of faith in the things only deep down I knew I could accomplish. I walked across that stage and as I moved my tassel over from the right to the left a wave of fear spreadthrough my body. Could I handle college, succeeding as often as I did in high school? I would tell myself yes. And the greatest piece of advice that I could have given to myself would have been to believe in myself. I could do it.


Catie, Know that you will not be homesick, but think carefully about where you are from. Listen as much to those who have had everything as to those who, like you, have had to struggle mightily to arrive here. Those who struggled will tell stories that sustain your soul, and those who have not will draw the contours of the world that you are entering. Do not be bitter about the rural town you call home, or the high school that failed to prepare you for the challenges of college. You can and will make it, but it will take everything you have. The best news? This place believes deeply in you, and will expect more of you than you could EVER imagine. There is no other place where encouragement will make you examine yourself so deeply for strength, weakness, privilege and lack - but you will come out victorious, alive and thoroughly grateful. You will know the power of your own voice intimately, and from experience, because your life is changing forever. Embrace your growing pains. Finally, appreciate your family deeply, but let your boyfriend go. There's a beautiful girl who wants to ask you out anyway. Love, Me


Most importantly, take a deep breath. Relax. Transitioning into college might be your most nerve-wracking adjustment to date, but know that you are not alone. Make the most of your remaining high school career. Keep your friends close and do not fall victim to ‘senioritis’; you will need a strong work ethic in order to be successful later on. Be sure to sign up for classes that are meaningful to you, and never be afraid to take a class just because it seems like too much work; if you are passionate about a subject, the learning experience will make it completely worthwhile. Academics aside, you will need to adjust to a new social environment. Orientation is an amazing opportunity to connect with other students. Everyone will be scrambling to make new friends in order to feel welcome; embrace this and be friendly! Invest in a doorstop and make friends in your hall! Keep your door as well as your mind open to the amazing opportunities in front of you. Join clubs, meet new people, and immerse yourself in this new environment. Eventually, it will become your home away from home. Have fun and good luck!


I would tell myself five words, that I am sure a lot of people could also benifit from: get out of your shell. College is often described as the best part of your life, but on top of that the people you meet in college can be some of the best friends and assets of your life. Proffessors, colleagues, and everyone else in college can help you whether it is by teaching you something you are actually interested in, helping you when you are lost, or even years down the road doing you a favor. College is about networking, pure and simple. Open up your college yearbook, and anyone in there might be an asset. You are all alumni from the same institution and that means a lot. This advice and description of college might sound cynical, but I assure whomever is reading this that I mean it in a completely well-meaning way. This is the advice I would give anyone, not just myself, so I fully expect everyone else to view me the same way; as an asset. That doesn't mean we are something to be used, but it is certainly something everyone should keep in mind.


I f i was a high school senior and knew about the college life and making the transition i would tell myself to be focused on my work and be mature . College life is different com,pared to high school. In college you dont have someone telling you what to do, when to be in class, or to do your homework. Coming into college you have to be mature because you are on your own and make your own decisions. I would give that advice to anybody transitioning from high school to college!


Honestly I like the decision I made when I attended high school. I had held myself back a year because I knew that I needed it. See, I have a learning disability so many things I do I have to take my time at. Now I am proud to say I have accomplished a lot. Anyway, then I was sure that applying and attending a Community College would give me the step I needed if and when I wanted to attend a University. Well, I never did go to a university I just continued my path at the community college. It seemed easier to graduate with all the credits I had. Advice I would give myself would be never give up hope on the journey to success. It's always worth it. Another would be to tell myself to actually have a better choice for an Associate’s Degree than what I chose. Believe me it was hard to find a job with a degree in Business Technology.


Advice to myself as a highschool senior: Be who you want to be. Study the subjects that are most interesting to you without worrying about what other people think. What matters the most is that you feel proud of your accomplishments. If you are doing things to please other people, you won't feel successful. Once you find the subjects that inspire you, then immerse yourself in the community of that college department; spend time with the students in your classes and get to know the professors. The more you learn about the things you feel passionate about, the more clear the future will loook.


Start searching for scholarships earlier, plain and simple. A lot of the scholarships that I have been finding since I have started searching for them in college require you to be a high school junior or senior. I know that I did not do enough to find scholarships and it is really coming back to haunt me. I would tell myself that it is not fair that my mom has to work 2 jobs in order to pay for my college tuition and even then she has to dip into her savings. I would tell myself to take a deep breath and look for a job, scholarships, grants, etc. anything to make this time easier. A lot my current worries are directly related to money and despite my mom ensuring me that it is okay, I continue to worry. I would also tell myself to not hold back. You never know what your full potential is until you give it all you have got and not doing something out fear is the worst kind of regret. Lastly, I would remind myself that the future is bright and full of possibilities regardless of how dark the clouds may be today.


I would say that I need to kick it into gear with finding a job and filling out every scholarship I possibly can! I now understand why everyone kept pushing me. I filled out many scholarships but there was so much more i could have done. I was late on my FAFSA application and should have gotten it done. Everyone may say that college life and high school life are completely different, and they are different but so much is the same. You have to keep pushing yourself and be accountable to continue what you want and not let anyone in your way!


I would tell myself to study harder, and not to have dropped out of high school. That I need to get a job during the summer and save all the money earned for school, so tuition wouldn't be so difficult to manage.


College is an important step to determining your future. Take classes that do not always seem like they will be relevant to your plans because you never can be sure where you will end up. Become involved in clubs and activities, they will help you make friends as well as provide you with a way to de-stress without feeling bad about not doing your work. Look for jobs in whatever field you are interested in way before you are ready to graduate so you can plan your classes accordingly. Work hard and set up a schedule so you don't always leave everything until the last minute. Apply for internships and scholarships every year. Keep yourself organized. Don't forgo social contact, exercise, or eating, they are important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleep every night.


Thus far, my college experience has been excellent. In the few months that I have spent at Mount Holyoke College, I have gained more knowledge and experience than I could have ever expected. I have not only gained knowledge of a technical nature, in the subjects I've taken, but I have also learned a lot about people, and how different cultures interact, from firsthand experience. In looking thoroughly at cultures and ideas different from ours we can then look carefully at our own beliefs. By contrast, we can then gain greater insight into ourselves, and the culture to which we personally ascribe. Why is this valuable? It is valuable because the acquisition of knowledge is the key to a successful, fulfilling existence in all areas (practical, social, metaphsyical, etc) of a diverse life.


I've gotten more out of college so far than I can even discribe. The friends I have made and the lessons I have learned are vast. It's hard at first, living on your own with new people... but I've grown a lot in the past year and a half because of it. I know people from all over the world, I work in the library on campus and I absolutely love it, I've had teachers that are harsh, but fair; I'm experiencing college the way I want to. It's not all about parties or drinking, in fact I feel no pressure to partake in those experiences. College has helped me find myself through this chaotic world and time and has helped me realize my goals in life and I am certain that my school will help me get to where I want to be.


At 8 I thought I comprehended the universe. Four years later I found myself sorting it out again, and then again, and then again until finally I came to the conclusion that no matter how old I grow and no matter how much I learn, I really do not know anything. Even so, I am not foolish enough to wish that I could relive my life. There are moments when I long for the innocence of childhood, the peace and utter trust I had that Daddy made the world go round and Mommy was invinceable. Maturity, however, comes with a price paid in life lessons. No, I do not want to learn them again. Were I to return to high school I might tell myself the same thing I am sure I will have to remember every four years for ther rest of my life: have a little faith in yourself! The next guy probably feels equally insecure, and like you he's not letting on. For we are all human; we all have our fears. More than awards and more than distinguishment, I wish to settle in myself that I am enough, I do enough, and that is enough.


I'd tell myself to relax. It's not worth it to be caught up in the hype and pressure of getting in to a "good school". Applying to college should never be as stressful as it was. There's no reason to suffer the ordeal of applying to eight schools. It's much better to take some time, really think about each school individually and focus on what life would be like there and narrow down the list to three or four. I'd tell myself to rely more on my gut feelings about the schools I visited and less on what other people would think about the school I chose. I'd advise to trust my own judgment more than I did. In the end it's me who will be spending the next four years of my life there, not everyone else, so pick a school that you feel you will be the happiest at. The name doesn't matter. Just because it's a "good school" doesn't necessarily mean it?s a "good school" for you. Choose the school where you fit best. If you are happy and comfortable in your environment success will follow.


If I could go back in time and give my high school self advice about college, I would tell myself to keep an open mind about the college experience. I wasn't particularly looking forward to going, and I believe that this attitude made it harder for me to adjust my first year. I would remind myself, as my band director in high school would say, "Attitude is everything!" I think that with a more optimistic view I could have made friends more quickly and formed connections more easily. I also would say that I need to be patient. Even though the first semester might not be that great, it doesn't mean that the rest of the time will be the same. Eventually I would find something (a class, a friend, whatever) that would change my mind and show me how enjoyable school can be, and in fact, this is exactly what did happen.


I want to advise myeslf to wait a little more with early morning classes and a co-ed enviornment. I will also tell myself not to slack off on working-out.


Please stay connected to your friends, classmates and professors. They are sources for networking and have resources that you might need in the future. Go to your professors' office hour because office hour gives you the individual attention you need. The professors get to know you better! They might help you find you interest and guide you to the right path. Never, never procrastinate! Do your homework the day it is given. Plan your day wisely, but do not forget to give yourself a break-watch a movie, attend a dance! Be friendly and help each other out.


Do not get caught up in the marketing campaign of the college. Yes, the college is a member of a 5 college consortium, but that doesn't tell you how well that consortium actually works. The only way to really know if the college is right for you is to talk to the students, ask them about their experiences with the services provided by the school. As for the academics, make sure that you read the description of the major and the course of study in that major before you choose the college based on the availability of that major. You may not get the diversity or scope of study you were originally looking for. Finally, make sure you assess how challenging it is to have a social life. For a type-A hermit like you, you need to be challenged to get out of the library and into the world. Pick a college that has relatively easy access to other, diverse and fun things to do so you will be encouraged to put down that book once in a while and gain some life experience. College should be more than just academics, it is also gaining life experience.


After my first semester of college, I have realized that being yourself is truly acceptable. College life and the people are accepting and welcoming no matter who you are. For the most part, this has been a struggle for me during my high school years. I have battled with the issue of identity and have tried to understand who i really am. The transition to college was a wake up call to me, as it forced me to mature a little, and it forced me to recognize my goals. The advice that I would give myself if I were able to go back in time would be: to go with the flow. You can't always plan and prepare everything, and one of the things I have learned about college life is that you have to do what you want to do, and you can't let anyone else make decisions for you. And lastly, don't be afraid to let that inner teenager out, enjoy all that is given to you.


Knowing what I know about myself now, I would learn to trust my instincts more. Deep down, you know what kinds of people are true friends. Also, the institution I chose is bucolic and I wishI had planned more outlets for myself to become involved in. The first year, I went to some parties off-campus but realized that wasn't the college experience I wanted. As much as you can anticipate, I think the best thing one can do is go into college with an open-mind. Sometimes you will learn the hard way, but that learning---that process---as hard as it can be sometimes. I had the most difficult semester imaginable this year because of my mother's illness and a loss of a family member but it was the support of my friends and peers at my school that I was able to get through it. Life isn't easy, and as much as college is glamorized as being the best time of your life, for some it is not. I can look back at this past semester and be cynical---or I can look at the new friends I made and my accomplishments and smile.


Don?t panic. Seriously. You?re smarter than you give yourself credit for! Maybe you won?t get straight A?s, but that?s okay. All that means is that there?s more for you to learn about. Need I remind you the point of going to college: to learn! Honestly, do you think you already know it all? That?s right, you don?t, but what to DO know has set you up for success. Be open to new ideas. Maybe most students planning on going into the health field major in Biology or Chemistry, but since when have you been normal? Being ?normal? is boring! Take advantage of what you?re good at, what you?re interested in and fly with it. Yes, you still have to take requriements, but that's not all you have to take! Have fun. If you only take classes you ?should?, never taking anything fun, you?re going to wear yourself out. Being sick and tired of classes before you even begin to apply to graduate school isn?t exactly the best way to make a good impression with admissions! Take at least one fun class a semester. And join a club!


Hey senior-me, it's college-me. I'm going to be relatively brief with you because you're busy selling your soul to IB. Right now, you might be worried that loads of high school work will be nothing compared to college work and you will thus flounder in a sea of papers and projects with little time for enjoyment. However, let me ease your worries. You will be assigned long essays to write frequently and you will have a much shorter time frame to write them, but there will be much less stress. I'm telling you now, you're going to be spoiled. Even when you have studying to do, friends will always be there to support and, if you prefer, study with you. Also, the wondeful thing about MHC is that many teachers don't tell you your exact grade in the class. That might sound a bit scary now, but it takes away a lot of pressure and you can just focus on the class instead of the grade. So don't worry about stress in college: there are people and resources that keep you afloat.


It is very important to balance school work with social activities. While it is important to study hard, it is also important to develop lasting friendships and connect with students. Also, choose a college where you feel like you would fit in the best and that meets your needs.


Do what you want to do. There is no "right" thing to do. You dont have to do what you're parents did. College is a learning experience in many ways. If when you leave college, you are the same person you were when you entered it, then you've wasted four/two years. In terms of finding the right college, find the one that suits you and your family the most. Money is important, yes, but more than that your college has to be your college-literally. It has to suit what you want to do. A word of caution for parents and students both: Do not be fooled by brands. You can make the most of your college experience by taking risks, getting out of your comfort zone. Being out of depth is a good thing.


Most students of a certain calibre believe that they should apply to a college or a university because of that school's reputation amongst elite scholars. I, however, beg to differ. In my opinion, a student should first decide whether they would like to attend a large university or a small college, and continue their search from there. Next, they can decide whether they would enjoy living in or near a city or whether a school located in the country would appeal to them more. From these decisions as well as their high school GPA, a student can put together a portfolio of colleges/universities that fit both their preferences and the schools' requirements. Once a student enters their chosen college/university, I would encourage him/her to try as many different activities as they possibly can without letting their schoolwork suffer. Joining a sport or a club/organization is an excellent way meet people with shared interests. Finally, I strongly recommend getting to know at least three people that he/she would have never even talked to in high school. In these three ways, the student will be able to experience their new college setting fully. Good luck!


When selecting the right college, ignore rankings, ignore perceptions of prestige - find the college that's right for you. Look through course catalogs and viewbooks and take note of which makes you feel more excited for the years to come. If you're not sure what major or career path you want to pursue, find a school which offers a wide range of academics and provides opportunities to explore your other interests, be it sports or music or volunteering. Visit campuses if you can. At the end of the day, ignore what everyone else thinks and go with your gut!


Visiting a campus and staying overnight is essential. Every college community is incredibly different and you will truly find the best fit for you by experiencing what it is to live, eat, and sleep in a place. Additionally, and I cannot stress this enough, don't be fooled by a school's name or "rank." The happiest students are those who followed their hearts, not the USA Today lists. I am a sophomore and I still have to learn this lesson over and over again. Competition among schools continues when you're in school, so it's best to simply love the place you're in and work on satisfying your own needs, rather than the expectations of others.


Don't rule anything out! And don't be afraid to change schools if you were wrong about the first one.


Do an overnight! I learned and saw so much about each school by doing an overnight and spending a full day with someone while they did classes on a Friday and then their day Saturday.


Students should know whether they want a small or large school, liberal arts or technical, and how important the surroundings and environment is to them.


Definitely think about actually living at the college that you are considering. Also reconsider why you are going to college. What is it you are looking for? What will make or break your college career? Then make sure that the colleges you are looking for have those components. And remember, you can always transfer and don't hesitate to if it's not a right fit.


Too many students search for colleges by thinking about what will best prepare them for "the real world" - and in doing so, they forget that they are already a part of a world that is rich with possibilities. The most important thing to do when trying to find the right college is to ask yourself not where you would like to go to school, but how you would like to spend the next four years of your life. What type of work do you find interesting? What types of people do you want to be surrounded by? What activities or hobbies couldn't you live without. Choose a school where you can see yourself immersed in a community that shares your vision but which will challenge you to push yourself even further - academically, socially, or politically. Then, make the most of your college experience by actually taking advantage of the services and opportunities that drew you there, as well as ones you hadn't anticipated trying. Find the right balance between enjoying the things you know you love, and taking a risk. You can take classes in subjects you'd never heard of or simply make new friends!


visit the college, stay over night, talk to students, sit in on classes, talk to professors, visit twice, make a pro-con list


College is an important time in all students' lives where they learn to grow and develop new social skills. For students looking to go to college, the best advice that you could get is to go visit the schools, stay there over night, and sit in on classes. These three things are the only way that you can decide if the schools you are looking at are truly right for you. For parents, don't push your kids to go to school. Let them make the decision on their own and aid them in any way you can if they decide they want to go. Help you children with the financial aspect of school in terms of seeing how much financial aid they can receive and what they can do to make up the rest of the aid that isn't included because you have experience in this field that your children have yet to encounter.


The most important thing is to remember that you will be potentially spending the next four years of your life there. Everybody knows how to find out about academics, internships, and study abroad. All of those things are important when making your choice but a school can be perfect on paper and still make you miserable when you get there. You definitely should visit before you enroll to check out the people and the general vibe. It may seem silly to choose a college based on a vibe but it really is important. If you're not happy at your college you won't be able to perform your best academically either. You are not just choosing a school, you are choosing your home for the next four years of your life. That can be a very long time if you are not happy. Get to know what the students and professors are like before you decide. You will be spending more time with them during this time than anyone else in your life. It basically comes down to one question: Can I picture myself here? If the answer is yes, go for it. If it's no, keep looking.


Don't mind the ranking, think about what is really important to you


Visting the campus is extremely important. Base your college on gut reactions rather than pro/con lists or on of research.


It's best to have a feel for what you're interested in. Sometimes a school that is perfect in every way may not end up having the best facilities for the topic that you end up finding yourself sticking with.


Pay attention to extra-curriculars, but don't make them the reason you choose your top school. Pay attention to majors and programs that interest you. Dorm life is extraordinarily important... without a supportive staff in Res Life, you may not be as successful as your full potential.


Don't limit yourself