North Park University Top Questions

What should every freshman at North Park University know before they start?


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.