North Park University Top Questions

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

Rachel

My mom didn't really like the school I chose for college. She wanted me to consider more and different options, go somewhere bigger, and find greater opportunities. She didn't think I would like the small, Christian school I had picked and was sure I would transfer by the end of my first year. Being the prideful senior I was, I was eager to be independent and determined to prove her wrong. Unfortunately, the first month of college was a lot different than I expected. It was filled with a lot of tears, loneliness, and frustration; it revealed my greatest weaknesses and displayed my many fears. Though extremely emptying, it was a very humbling experience that I've learned a lot from. If I could go back and give myself advice before entering this wonderfully miserable experience, in order to enhance the lessons I've learned, I would simply tell myself this: Be patient and be honest. Love others and love yourself. Most importantly, rid yourself of the need for control and enjoy the unpredictable. Live in and appreciate the "right now", and always choose joy.

Joshua

I would tell myself to believe more in myself and my capabilities. A person's mind is their greatest asset! Given that my parents didn't want to assist my siblings and I with financial aid, I would advise myself to attend college anyway. I probably wouldn't have gotten grants, but there is more aid available to students at that age. As a senior, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I would tell my younger self to pursue an Associates degree in General Studies. And have more faith in myself.

Tracy

Dear Tracy, College is very similar to high school. It’s just a bunch of strangers coming together to learn, to get through it, and, eventually, to get a job. The only difference is that you’re getting higher education that is focused on your major. Of course, there are additional benefits to college, but that’s essentially what it's about. I know you’re stoked to finally spread your wings and fly, but don’t have high expectations about college. Go to school with an open heart to learn what God has in store for you. And while you’re transitioning to this new lifestyle, just remember one main thing: stay true to who you are and stay grounded in your faith. And one more last thought - God’s got your back! Sincerely, College freshmen Tracy P.S. By the way, I should probably warn you... you might get an infectious disease in college if you dorm: being “homesick” (it’s when you miss home). It’s totally normal to get homesick, but don’t get lost in those emotions because you’ll lose track of why you’re there at college.

Kristina

Dear Self, Let me just give you a few tips to consider as you enter college life. It is a time of fun, freedom, finding yourself and most important, the start to a successful future. Enjoy yourself, but pick appropriate times for that, such as the weekends and not weekdays the night before a huge exam or when a paper is due. Manage your time well; start early on projects and studying. You'll remember the material better if you start ahead of time, rather than cramming in an all nighter. Make sure to get good sleep and eat healthy. Your mind will be more open and clear for note taking and absorbing information. Be careful with that credit card you have. Spend only what you can cover from your checking account. Its supposed to help build credit and not be there for use when you run out of cash. Choose roommates wisely. All too often best friends who room together stop talking and the friendship is ruined. Trust me, I know all too well. Join organizations and get involved. Its a great way to make new friends and network. Good luck! Your truly, Kristina

LINA

I would tell myself that it is not just about grades, but being able to learn the material at hand. Whatever is being taught is useful in any aspect in your life. Try to interact with other students and don't be shy to be yourself because other people are also scared. Get involved in extra- curricular activities and get plugged in where you are able to fit in. Remember that these four years will be the most influential, self-discovering times in your life. You find who you truly are as you are seeking a professional career that you always dreamed of. Also, never forget that you have the potential to succeed in all that you set your mind and heart to. Lastly, if God has directed you all this way, He is not stopping now. Every trial or hardship that you have endured in you high school years are blessings in disguise because they will shape who you will become in your future career, as well as help many individuals who are facing the same struggles.

Jennifer

Although my college experience has only been for one semester, I have to admit it has changed me. I grew up in a small suburban town and although I have traveled outside of the country multiple times, I have spent most of my time with a people that are very similar to each other. By moving to Chicago and to a school that has many international students, I have been exposed to different types of people and been given the opportunity to experience activities that aren't available where I grew up. Since I'm living 3 1/2 hours away from home I get to make my own decisions and mature through that decision making process. I love the independence and the ability to grow and become who I want to be on my own. Genetics play a huge role in the type of person I am, but now I get to become who I want to be as an adult and make friendships that I'm sure will last the rest of my life.

Nidhish

Everything. When I enrolled in community college I expected absolutely nothing but the smell of cigarettes and wasted potential, but I was completely wrong. My professors were some of the smartest people i had ever talked to. My psychology professor completely changed my outlook on life and people in a way I had never thought possible. My writing teacher pushed me to write in my own personal voice, and not follow what standards high school teachers tried to impose on me. I realized then that higher education was in fact educating me, and high school was only training me for this moment. I want nothing more than to stay in school my whole life and learn as much as I can about everything I can, but unfortunately I can't do that. It would be fantastic if the financial burden of that was lifted even slightly. Back to your original question?I regained a postive outlook on education.

Victoria

I have not yet attended college, but through the admissions process I am learning that I need to make sure that I have everything I need. I am learning that I need to ask questions, lots of them, double check answers, allow plenty of time for things, and make sure that you know what you want to say and how to say it before you start talking to an advisor or calling universities for adivice. I have learned that a good advisor is hard to find and someone that you hold on to. I expect to learn many more important things over the years that I spend in college.

Christy

I have received a tremendous amount of pride. My experience has taught me to be more responsible for others. I realized that I can make the world a better place in helping people with there problems, by helping in this way it has made me feel better inside. Being able to interact with people everyday is the best feeling I could get therefore, a bigger self-esteem. Now I know I can do anything, and I have accomplished more than what I realized I could do. I value all the moments I spend in college because it has givin me the knowledge to succeed in my life. I will always cherish my years in college. Now I have the confidence to go out into the world and make it a better place. With the experience that I have already, has lead me moving forward in continuing my education.

Lauren

I am from a small town, so moving away from home for the first time to a city like Chicago took me way out of my comfort zone. I was miserable. I missed my family and friends and wanted to catch the first bus ride home. As time went on, my outlook improved. The more I put myself out there and tried to enjoy the experience, the more fun I had. I have made friendships that I know will never fade. I have also learned things about myself that I never knew before. At the beginning I was sure that I wasn't ready to leave home, and that Chicago is definately not the place for me. I questioned why I had ever wanted to come to this place, and couldn't figure out what I was thinking. After months of being homesick, things finally got better. I was more confident in myself than ever. I realized that I am perfectly capable of living on my own and adjusting to new situations. I learned that I can handle a lot more than I thought and be strong in tough times. Now I'm ready to go wherever life leads me.

Nicole

Making new friends in college and getting to know who they are and what their interests are. I experienced getting help from my professors when needed. Professors gives students more attention and they are really good with finding jobs after college. It is valuable to attend, because they give out many scholarships and grants to most students who plans to attend North Park University.

Jaimie

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior would tell my self to apply for admissions in the GPPA (Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions). Applying to the program would have given me peace of mind, knowing I was secure in the program and on the path to the career of my choice. Nursing is important to me because I love helping people anyway I can and I love kids. Children are a big part of my life. They make me smile and laugh all the time and I would do anything for them. This is why I want to become a pediatric nurse. I would have told myself to prioritize every step in making becoming a nurse happen. I would have also told myself to think about living in a dorm. I would have told myself this because I want to become more independent and I do not want to rely so much on my parents.

Ashley

Advice that I would give myself is to live in such a way that makes your life worth telling others about. I wish that when I came to school, right off the bat, I would have started a story out of my life. I would have done things in ways that I would have never done them before. The time goes by very quickly, and there are so many experiences that go on. I believe that when those experiences are done the same way as anyone else does them, they are not as memorable. Instead of just going out for coffee with people, do something with that person you never have done. Maybe it's a bike ride, or climbing a tree and talking in the tree. Whatever the situation, do it in a memorable way.

Monica

Dear Self, Making the transition from high school from college is not as difficult as it seems. Don't worry so much about how your going to find your way around or make new friends baecause your fellow classmates are in the same boat as you are. Prior to your first day of class make sure to check what classes you are registered for and purchase your books. I recomend trying to purchase your books online it saves money. Make sure you print out a map of the campous along with your class schedule so you can find your way around. Once classes actually begin make sure you keep up with your reading and note-taking and if you do not understand a concept in a class ask a fellow student or the professor. Make sure to make a few friends in your classes and exchange phone number or emails it helps to have study partners. The biggest rule when it comes to doing well in college is don't procrastinate. A final piece of advice manage your time wisely. College is a great deal of fun when your not stressed so manage your time and don't fall behind.

Emily

I would look myself in the eye and say, "You will go broke. People will doubt you for what you believe and you'll hear the 'starving artist' story countless times. You will feel lonely and out of place, especially for being a virgin and a transfer. You will worry, stress out, have multiple all-nighters within a three day span, drink a substantial amount of caffeine, room with the party girl of campus, and cry yourself to sleep some nights." Then I would grab my senior-self's shoulder and whisper, "You'll meet amazing people who love you and your nerdy British scifi obsession. You'll play Risk until 5am and watch at least one movie every weekend in your Snuggie. You'll have Christmas lights in your room year round. You will learn about love, faith, truth, justice, honestly, loyalty, responsiblity, trust, and identity. You'll discover that no one really has it all together and that life is now, not ten years from now when you have a career. You will be broken down for two years and rebuildt for the following two years. College will test you with everything, and it will be worth it."

Adrienne

Hello Miss College Bound. So during this time of hectic schedules and graduation coming up your going to have to find time to pick a suitable college. Well Im here to tell you that the choice your going to make is going to be both hard and the best one you can make. College is a scary place you dont know what to actually expect. You read all the magazines and books but for all you know its a big world and can and will confusing. Only at first though I want to tell you that bieng in college you have to do alot more. I want you to study alot harder your very dedicated so prove that in every essay you write. Prepare yourself for the hard, long nights at the library becuase there coming. Make sure you talk to no men they are a huge distraction and yor not paying them any money to focus on. And mostly dont worry will you fit in just be yourself like always and the rest is nothing. Well im off now and dont forget college is going to be better than you thought have fun little one see you soon.

andrew

If I could go back and tell myself as a high school senoir I would make sure I knew what I was getting into. I Would talk to myself about the responsibility of studying by myself, doing the homework by myself, and knowing that the teachers won't come to me if I am failing, or falling behind. I would also tell myself that college is no joke. I would say " you need to work hard, and not screw around all the time, otherwise you might flunk out and waste all of your parents money." Its a hard time with the economy and to have my parents help pay or tuition I would tell myself it isn't fair to them if I don't do good. I would make sure that I knew I have to stuy hard and work on my own.

Kaleb

Some people think that by senior year, they have to be perfect. After four years, all mistakes have that could have been made have been made, right? But that is a waste of an opportunity. In a matter of months, this entire life will be behind you, and a new one -where decisions cost money and friendships form quick and paths are set - will be upon you. A high school senior has the privledge to make mistakes. That fiesty opinion piece you wrote in the school paper? Joining a new team? A new club? A new class? How about leaving? Applying to that school you mysteriously like, but cannot imagine going to? Talking to that person you never thought was worth a sentence of your time? Making food from scratch instead of the refrigerator? Leaving the country for a week? A month? All summer? Do not regret taking risks this year. They are the easiest, cheapest, most innocent shots at self-discovery you will ever get to make. More importantly, they are invaluable lessons as you navigate the labyrinth set in front of you after graduation.

Cory

If I were to go back and speak words of wisdom to myself in my senior year, I would explain the difficulty of living in an environment in which accountability and motivation levels are significantly lower than in the home setting during high school years. I would tell myself that in order to make a smooth transition into college life, I would have to first establish a list of priorities, and devote time and energy to what means most to me, as to not get lost or discouraged during the transition. For example, finding a supportive friend group, and devoting enough time to my studies both mean a lot to me. In order to make these two things happen, I would first tell myself to make sure to be extroverted during the first few weeks of school, so I can get to know those around me and initiate friendships. Then, to ensure that I had adequate study time, I would plan out a schedule of my daily events, and set aside a time and place, so that I would not fall victim to procrastination in my studies. These are the changes I would make for the transition to college life.

Selena

For parents, allow your child to make the decision about what college they might want to attend. I myself was not given a choice 10 years ago when I was 17. My mother said you're going to this school or this one. I chose the school an hour away from home instead of the school five hours away. A person should not base such a huge decision as far as what college to attend based on how close it is to their home. I would have loved to go to the University of Illinois or UIC, but instead, I went to Judson where I had a horrible experience and was just extremely unhappy there. I only lasted a year and a half. I will always be unhappy about the way my first college experience was handled. For students starting college, I would just say make sure the school you've chosen is where you really want to be, and once you're there, enjoy your experience because it'll go by fast. I always wonder if I'd made an effort, would things be different? Students, you don't want to have that feeling, trust me.

Nick

Parents and students..... Do your research well in advance. It's best to have your choice colleges picked out by the end of your Junior year. Make sure to apply to a lot of colleges, as you may not be accepted into the college you want to go to due to higher demand. Do not make grades the reason you are not accepted! Do WELL in high school so that grades are not a factor in deciding whether to accept you or not. Take several SAT and/or ACT preparation classes. The higher you score, the better your chances of getting into your dream school. Once in college, remember to have fun, but make sure your school work is done first! The friends you make here will be friends for life if you choose to stay in contact with them.

Amy

I would tell students to choose the school where they feel like they can connect the most; to the professors, the other students, the programs the school offers. I would tell students not to worry about the financial burden because although sometimes great, the final results and overall experience is totally worthwhile. I would advise parents not to pressure their kids too much, and give them some freedom as they make their own choices, and to support them in whatever they decide to do. Even if they are going to make mistakes, they will have to learn from them in the end, and you can be there to help them up when they fall. I would tell students to really take advantage of their time. Get invovled in activities on campus, and be invovled in the community surrounding it as well. Don't be afraid to try new things, rather embrace new experiences. Get out of your comfort zone. Make the most of every opportunity. Definetly apply for an internship and use it to your advantage. Be open to people that are different from you and seek our their friendship. Overall, have fun and soak up the learning.

Dustin

I would definitely recommend that students and parents participate in thorough visitations of their prospective school choices. It is important to guage the schools' facilities, this is easier if students know what field they are going to be studying. Checking out the school's library and computer labs says a LOT about the school, and make sure to check out the dorms and apartments. Visit the school when students are actually living there and attending classes, see how they interact and what the atmosphere is like.

Jennifer

Go with your gut. Take your time and look if you are unsure but make sure you find a place that is good for you. If there is something even small that you don't like about it... keep looking. You want to be at a school where you have chosen and want to be.

Rebecca

First and foremost, I would tell the parents and the students to sit down and find as much information as they can about the schools they are considering. Try and find people who have either gone there or graduated and ask them questions about financial aid, campus activities, professors, on-campus housing and how welcome the school made them feel. If they are christian, I would tell them to pray about it before they make their choice. If they don't rely on God for answers then do process of elimination. Sit down with the parents and see which school upholds the same values as they do. See which school seems like they live up to those values by taking a campus visit, and most importantly, while on the campus visit, try and talk to students that already go there. Talk to every single race if you can to see if everyone is treated fairly, to see how each race likes it, and to get an idea of what the atmosphere of the campus is like.

Emma

Visit the colleges, make sure that the school you are considering doesn't just sound good but, feels right.

Elizabeth

Go with your gut instinct. The first impression is often the most important impression.

Allison

The most important thing to do during the application process is to visit the schools you are most interested in and if possible stay with a current student in their campus housing. This will allow to get a better experience of what it might be like to go to school there. Although it sounds cheesy, what really helped me choose North Park is that I could picture myself here. The people I met on my visits were a lot like my friends at home and the environment is one I felt comfortable in almost immediately. Ask a lot of questions and make sure you get a chance to explore and feel out the campus.

Samantha

No matter what college you are looking, you will always find what you are expecting. If you expect a party, you will find it. If you expect an academic challenge, you will find it. If you are looking for a social life, a spiritual experience, a place to belong or a place to rebel against, no matter what, you will find it, because it is what you are expecting.

Jonathen

Don't come to North Park University, find a school that appreciates their student body, and would like to work with them, instead of being simply interested in their money.

tiffany

Follow your heart and even if you decide to change what you want in life, it's okay just continue on going

Amanda

Chose your school that makes you happy dont listen to what other people want its your education and you life you need to be comfortable in order to succeed.

Sarah

Visit colleges! If you don't have the money to do that, message people on facebook and ask them questions directly about their experiences. Be sure to talk to more than just one person. Everyone has different experiences in college! When talking to the university itself, don't be afraid to ask questions! If someone doesn't seem to answer your question, find someone else who will. Making the most out of the college experience can be difficult, but the best thing to do is surround yourself in the life of the university. Get a job on campus if you need one, join a club that you're interested in, go to many of the social events - even if they seem stupid. The point is to meet people and develop relationships which will be beneficial to not only have a supportive environment, but a start on networking as well. You should have fun, but the most important thing is to learn from every one and everything.

Katie

I suggest a visit to a college or university prior to enrollment. This provides one with the necessary knowledge to form an opinion or feeling as the the appropriatness of attending the college or university. If during a visit, a certain place feels right, then one should go there. If one prefers a school in an urban setting, go to a school in an urban setting. To feel the most comfortable at a school, it is important to enjoy the people and one's surroundings.

Ewa

When I decided to seek further education after finishing my Associate Degree in a small Community College, it was important to me to get involved with a University that would have an excellent line of professors. North Park offered me and option of continuing my education in small group classes, which in result it meant I was getting more desired attention from the professors. The faculty in NPU surpassed my expectations. It was true I was overload with homework at times. At the same time, however, I was learning and I was motivated to learn like never before. One other important aspect in my college education was its ethical and spiritual aspect. Two classes in studying religion gave me an educational, fundamental knowledge about all religions. It helped me to open up to others. It also empowered me to seek the best for myself and be best for others.

Jonathon

In order to choose the best university possible first look at the library and other various resources the school has to offer. The size and selection of the university?s library will dictate your next four years of education. The second item to look at is the credentials of the professors in your department. Various questions will help such as; have the professors excelled in his/her field? Have the professors won any outstanding awards? Have the professors written any related books? If yes then buy one and read it. Also with the faculty, ask for a private meeting with one or two of your plausibly new professors. This will show how free and available the staff is. This also shows how dedicated the department is to incoming students, furthering education, and to the student?s personal wellbeing. With these few tips choosing a college that is right for you will be a little easier. Always look for what you want and what you need out of a college experience.

Lynnette

Don't just sit in your room. Go out and meet new people. It is much easier for an extravert to fit into any new situation. For the introverts, join clubs, go outside to do your homework when it's nice, and get to know the people in your class. Also, be careful who you become friends with. There are a lot of kids that go crazy because it's the first time they don't have to answer to their parents. Those are the kids that you want to stay away from. In Chicago, they can get you into trouble, a lot of trouble.

Laura

The greatest piece of advice I can give regarding choosing the right college, is to visit. A college visit is really the only way you can get a true feel of what it would be like to attend a school. It allows you to see what kinds of people go there, how the classes are, what it feels like to walk around campus, things that a viewbook can't always accurately describe. After going on a few college visits, it definitely reduced the number of schools that I applied to, as I had discovered that I didn't really care for the atmosphere I experienced while there. In order to make the most of the college experience, I would advise getting involved and stepping out of your comfort zone. The best way to transition well into college, is to meet new people. Signing up for clubs and groups, getting involved in intramural sports, and trying something that you may not have previously considered doing is the best way to jump right into college, and where I met most of my best friends. Don't travel home every weekend, because it limits your ability to make solid friendships.

Jorden

I think college is such a formational time in ones life and not to mention a very expensive part of ones life. When looking for the right college you have to find the right one that you feel most conected with. There is no reason for you to spend +$20,000 a year to go to a place where you are not happy. So my advice to anyone searching for a school would be visit the school and ask current students what they really really like and what they really really dislike about the university. When you are listening to the answers weigh the importance of the things they are sharing. One last thing I would impart is that if a school really fits you and they have a weaker program in your field maybe you should try the school and wait out at least one semester. Sometimes when you visit and you feel like it is right the major you want to study may not be the major you want to finish in.

Tim

Figure out who you are before you figure out what college is right for you. You cannot go into a college or university setting not knowing what type of person you are or want to be. Also, it is not worth attending a school unless it is the one you want to be at. Going for family ties or cheap tuition is a quick way to figure out you're at the wrong school.

kyle

Research, research, research. And college visits. No matter how perfectly you think a college fits you, if the college campus and campus life doesn't excite you, you aren't going to enjoy yourself.

Rebecca

I would tell them to look at as many schools as possible so that they can find the right one for them.

Katie

Go where you want to go regardless. Live your life to the fullest of its potential. Find a school that would change you into a better person to help the world. Don't allow anything to stop you from your dreams. Seek after the dreams and go change the world. The college you pick should help you do this.

Brian

The most important advice for students searching for their future college is that the best way to know if a college is right for you is to visit. When you walk on any college campus you will immediately begin to notice aspects of the campus that impress you and others that don't impress. Take careful note of the qualities of, and the programs on each campus that you both like and dislike. College visits begin to run together in your head and it will be difficult to remember each campus accurately if you don't take notes. Parents, allow your students to make their choice based on the aspects of the campus that are important to them. Although you have an important part in this decision as well you will probably paying for some or most of the experience, it is important that the student make the decision. Counsel your student to make the best decision they can based on all the information gathered in the college visits. Ultimately, it is the student who will have to deal with the consequences of the college decision so it is important that they choose the right school for them.

Jeremy

The best advice I can give is to really research a school before you plan to attend that school. I f you are planning on majoring in Science, go check out the science labs. I fyou plan on majoring in art go check out the art studio. Plan a visit to the campus where you can stay for a few days to really get a feel for what campus life is really like. Also go to a school that is a comfortable distance away. I am from California and go to school in Chicago, airplane tickets are expensive, so this distance was a little inconvienent. The best advice though is to be involved, if your not involved then you don't meet people and if you don't meet people then you don't make friends. One of the main reasons college is sooooo expensive is because you are not only paying for an education but also for the job connections you will make during this time.

Ian

Finding the right college takes a variety of parts to really make the appropriate choice. I at first was only focused on the academic side of my choice, and that is indeed essential. College is also a time when many people make the moves and decisions that will be for the rest of their lives. I think therefore it is just as essential to chose a place that is the right climate to habituate us into the things or virtues that we would need for the rest of their lives. For example, you may want to go to school for philosophy, and you could go to a school with a excellent reputation is philosophy; or you could choose a school as well provides the right conditions in which the learning of the subject into something that becomes something so much fuller. Also as a personal recommendation, choose a school where not only are there quality teachers but those that have enough time. My most impactful times of learning have not been in the classroom with the teacher, but outside of it, when you can not only be taught, but mentored. That is really the essence of learning.

Christopher

I would tell parents to help there childern do ther homework on the school they are thinking about going to and if posble visit the schools to get a better I idea of what goes on at that school. I would allso tell studtes to do there homework and find out as mouch as thay can about the school before applaying. I would allso advice students not to just applay to one school in hopes that they will get it but, rather apply to two or three that way if a school says no , then there are still some posable doors oppen.

Darius

Dig real deep into the different choices so that you make sure that you find the right school that fits you.

Sarah

Encourage your child with pursuing a college that best meets their needs. Anticipate that their major will change, probably a few times, and that they're not going to know what they want to do with their life. Find a school that best prepares them for life; one that makes them a well-rounded individual that is talented in many areas. Push them to choose a school outside of their comfort zones, but one that you can see your child flourishing in. Most importantly, tell them you're proud of them and that you support them with whatever their decision is, and be HONEST in saying that and let your actions reflect that, too. Although they're moving away, they still need you.

Gina

In finding the right college for your son, daughter, or yourself think about what is most comfortable for you. Ask yourself the questions: Would you be comfortable living closer to home? Would you rather live on a large campus or smaller campus? Do you like to drink alcohol and party? Do you want to go to a private or public college or university? Do you feel like you are in a safe environment? Also think about ways you can ease your comfort level at school. Join a club or extra curricular activity. Doing research on schools will benefit you in many ways. One thing that will really give you a better idea of what you want in a college is to do an overnight visit with a student on campus. I know many campuses have students that offer overnight stays in their room, so take advantage of that! Visit as many schools as you can and imagine yourself being there!

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