Northern Arizona University Top Questions

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

Kayla

Finding the right college is incredibly important. When chosing a college, look into the programs the college offers, and what the school is strong in. Next, I think it's critical to look at the location of the college. You have to realize that you will be living in that city for four years. If you hate snow, NAU is not a good option for you. If you can't stand the heat, ASU wouldn't be a great choice. I think it's also important to look at the quality and environment of the classroom. What is the ratio between teacher and student? Are the professors flexible? I think it's important to visit the school, to get a feel for the environment of the college. Then you can check out what else it has to offer, including recreational centers, clubs, and study halls. Some students need to go where they can afford. I think you should look into the financial aide office of each school and see what they can offer. Each of these are important in choosing a school, which is one of the biggest decisions in your life.

Veronica

To let them be themselves. Sometimes when kids go off to college they tend to lose who they really are do to prssure of "the college life" Try to find a school that has the best interest in your career.

Brittney

Choosing a college is not necessarily dependant on the college you choose. Instead, when looking for a place to attend school, look for a city you can be content to live in. If you are not quite sure of what you want to study, it is not entirely the college that will guide your decision, it will be your pasttimes in, and out, of the school. It is not always about the best school in a certain field, learning depends on how you let your school, professors, city, and surroundings shape you into a better person. Learning comes from within, it is not the grades, or a degree, that define you as a person.

Marsha

I would highly suggest that students and parents visit the prospective schools to see if they feel right. Also I think that you should ask around and see where the majority of students in your area have decided to go to college. My first year of college I attended a school in a state I did not like. My sophmore year I started at the school I am at now and have discovered that a lot of Alaskans go here. Some of the other schools I have been looking at for graduate school are now also schools that other Alaskans tend to go to. Finding places that similar people have choosen can quide you to the right school.

Victor

That there is no other place like home, but they should be able to make the best choice about where to move in order to accomplish their goals.

Amanda

The most important part of the University/College you choose is the people who make up the campus. The students, resident assistants, counselors, teachers, staff, are the people you see most. If you don't enjoy them, then you can not enjoy yourself. The greatest experiene I had, was freshmen orientation when I met the people I was about the spend the next four years with. These people have become my closest friends, and have shown me things that I would have never seen before if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone. Don't be afraid to jump into something new, you won't regret it and when will you ever have the chance to try new things then when you are in college!? You don't want to be that person walking across the stage wondering if your experince was everything is could of been? Do YOU?

Andrew

Find that college that will let you/your child be yourself/themselve and encourage you/them to challenge yourself/themself to grow. Don't over-look the faculty, make sure you research these people who will be responsible for teaching you/your child because if their views don't agree with yours, you may have a problem. Also talk to current students as much as you can, with out professors around. This may be risky but it will be the only way that students will give you their honest oppinions and they are the ones will be able to you tell you what kind of schooling/teaching you/your child will experience.

Christoffer

There are many things students and parents should do to prepare for college. To find the right college for you, visit every college of interests and look at the positives and negatives of choosing that college. Also, go into college prepared to work because college isn't like high school. There is more work, but if you are prepared for it, you can get it done and still have time for other activites. Something else you should do is get involved. Whether it be attending football games or joining a club, any kind of involvement will help with your college experience. As for parents, you just need to be supportive of your child and there decisions. The more supportive you are, the more your child will enjoy there experience.

Kyle

Look through all of the activities around campus along with class sizes and population in the school is very helpful for finding the right lace for you.

Christina

I would tell them to make sure they find a school that they are looking for. They need to get in mind what kind of atmosphere they want to be around and the types of people they want to meet. I would encourage them to get involved and volunteer to make the best out of their college experience.

Garrett

Go with what your heart says, and if you dont know then go anyways, there are people to help you decide. Life is about making hard decisions and at college you learn to deal with them and make wise choices. It is the best way to transition into real life. And the experiance is worth every penny you spend.

Tarynn

I would incourage students and/or parents to find a school where you would feel the most comfortable with the type of students that go there as well as the surroundings. Most all schools have good education programs, so if the schools one is looking at already has a good education program and professers, then really one of the most important things is for the student to be comfortable in their surroundings. The way the weather is is something that can really be a downer or upper for the student and social life and activities are another thing that can really effect one's college experiance. Also making the most out of college is a must. I would advise to do as many school activites and attend as many events as one can, because you only have this college experiance once in one's life, so definatly do not waste it. A student should really saviour the time they spend and the things they learn while at college.

Michael

Pick a campus where you can relate to the people, not where you think others want you to go.

Ashley

Get a school that creates great internships and gets people involved with their campus and community. A school is not only an adventure in itself but is supposed to help you with your next adventure. Your career.

Rosario

The best college to attend to is where you know that you have the support from the community. And the program to attend is offered by the school.

Stephanie

I would first tell the student to visit as many colleges as possible and go to the one that really makes you smile when you get there. Go to a place that you feel most comfortable because you will need to surround yourself in an environment that relaxes you when all the school work feels overwhelming. The perfect college is out there, a place the has both your prosepective major as well as a nice atmosphere. To the parents I would say that while it is definately okay to add in your opinion, let you child make the finally decision and support them. It is your child who will spend the next few years of their life there and they need to be somewhere they appreciate and enjoy. Most of all though, your support in such a big decision will only make them appreciate you more and work harder throughout there college experience.

Laura

One of the most important things in my opinion to finding the right college, is making sure that you like the atmosphere of the campus. Try to visit the campus Before you choose it. If it's too far away, check out some pictures or talk to someone who's been there. Living in an area that you don't like can stress you out, and the last thing you need is more stress. Think about the weather, the size and population, and the kind of activities available. Don't focus entirely on the atmosphere. You want to make sure the education is going to be right for you. Keep in mind what you want to study, but that people tend to change their major. How to make the most of college? Get out of your room! Take a walk around campus. Relax. Join a team, club, or check out a fraternity/sorority(they don't all follow the stereotypes that you've heard of; some are service or professional). Be open to the thoughts and opinions of others. Say hi to people you don't know. You're likely to make some new friends that might last a lifetime.

Rachele

Don't rush into this, and also dont procrastinate. It takes a lot of dedication and persistence to find the right college for you. Remember, mistakes will be made, and if the college you chose is not right for you, then transferring to another that fits you better is the way to go.

Jason

When choosing a 4 year university be prepared to work hard and focus on a specific major. Before attending school observe and/or intern in the field that you are interested in before starting a major that leads you down a career choice that doesn't suit your skills.

Holly

I would suggest exploring options with a career couselor and attending a community college first. Then after the student has made a decission about their major then transfer to a university that suits them by location and financially.

Danielle

Finding the right college should really be up to the student. I was accepted into the school of my dreams; the school I had been planning on attending for about 5 years. Yes I knew what college I wanted to go to when I was an 8th grader. The problem was how much the school cost. Even though I was 18 and free to make whatever choice I wanted, my family told me I could only attend an in-state school. I was devestated and often question how my life could be right now, but I try not to dwell on it too much. Save money for your child's education and fill out financial aid forms. You should be proud that your child wants to continue their education and do the best you can to reach a compromise. The key here is planning ahead and getting an idea of what you both want, sooner than later.

Nicole

The advice I would give parents and students when searching for colleges would be to not worry about the name of the college but what the college can do for you. It helps if the colleges of interest are researched for their programs, financial aid, and extra-cirricular activities. I find that it is important to determine if there is a developed program in whatever the student is interested in studying. It is more intellectually stimulating to have professors with different viewpoints in order to make a student think. In financial matters, I was personally given an academic scholarship, which tipped my final college choice towards NAU. Especially in difficult economic times, the availability of financial aid in any form helps to offset the rising costs of tuition. Although parents don't want to send their children somewhere to only compete in extra-cirriculars, but they look good on a job application after college and they also help the student cope with the stress of college classes.

Reis

The advice I would give to parents about finding the right college would have to encirle an open-mindedness curiosity. There are a lot of good colleges out there that offer an abundance of similar activities. The parent should know what there child is looking for and know what they actually want out of college. This knowledge of ones child goes beyond just knowing about them and more along the lines of keeping and open source of communication with their child. Communication between a child and their parent will increase the potential for picking the right college. As for the student, choosing a college is not a very difficult decision once the location is settled it normally comes down to either where your friends are going, what has the best rates, and/or what college fit your academic needs. To make the best of your college experience you have to be open to new things. There are a lot of activities that go on on campus and one must realize this potential is there. College experiences revolve around friends and meeting the right ones will make your college experience flourish with rewarding results.

Jessica

Visit the school you are interested in. You will never know if a school is right for you if you don't go and actually feel the college atmosphere that is associated with your schools. I know from experience that the way a school looks in the catalog or the website can be totally different then seeing it for yourself.

Mica

The old adage ?Know Thyself?, once chiseled above the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, applies to the dilemmas of both searching for the ideal college and making the most of your college experience. Students ought to begin the process of searching for potential college choices through introspective thought and discernment of themselves. As deep as this may sound, students should be asking themselves simple questions such as, would I mind living on a small campus or on a large campus, would I mind living in a different climate, and would this university suit my potential undergraduate pursuits? Another factor in deciding which college is ideal for any given student is happiness, and that can only be derived if the student knows, even if at some basic level, what type of environment they will thrive in. The advice of knowing oneself also significantly increases success in the college experience. When you have discerned what type of person you are and can address your strengths and your faults you will better realize what you want for yourself from college. This allows students to productively work towards a promising career for the future while enjoying college in the present.

Kristen

If you have a general idea of your major or field of interest, research all of the schools that provide a degree within that field and narrow your list down to the schools that best fits your needs. After you have created a list of schools, research the activities, clubs, sports, etc., that you are interested in within each school. It is important that you find a school that has a strong college for your specific major, minor, and/or field of interest, but also one that sponsors activities that you are interested in.

Katlyn

Make sure you schedule college visits and look into as many campuses as possible. You have to feel comfortable in your campus environment in order to be successful all 4 years!!

Anna

The advice I would give to future college students is to find a school that works best for all of your needs. Find a school that has the major you want and the financial aid you need to attend the school. Everyone is different in their needs as a student so find the school that can best help you be who you want to be in the future. Choosing the right college is difficult so in order to organize your thoughts, make a checklist of what you think you need from the school or at the school. Then compare the schools you are interested in. Also go and visit the schools, once on campus many people find that they just feel like they belong at that school. To make the most of your college experience, I would advise you to get involved in something that you are passionate about. Also, make friends in college, because those people will be your friends for life.

Benjamin

I would tell prospective students and their parents that going to community college first is a viable alternative to going straight into a 4 year university. If you aren't sure what you would like to get you're degree in, going to a 4 year university can potentially waste a lot of time and money. Also, it helps to speak to a college counseler before you enroll in classes each semester so that you can make sure you are still on track to graduate in four years. Having a job while in college is also beneficial, if you have the time while going to school, having a job teaches you to manage you're time more wisely as well as teach you financial responsibility. Last but not least, look around for grants and scholarships and fill out a FAFSA, there is money out there for students who want to work for it. It can make the cost of college impact you and you're parents a lot less, saving you money in the long run.

Chase

Once you get on the road for college, never let up, the road will be long but it is worth it.

Elizabeth

At least narrow down your school choices by the enviornment you want to learn in, and than go based off from the potiential they can offer you. Money is always an issue sure, but their are a way around that.

Heather

I think it is imperative and students visit a campus before they decide to attend. They should probably stay overnight as well in order to get more of a feel for the campus community and the students in that community. When picking a college its important to pick one where you feel comfortable in your surroundings, you think you might experience something you never had before, and one in which you will be academically challenged. Making the most of your college experience is simple; go into every class with an open mind, you may learn something or meet someone you never thought you would, and develop good time management, that way you will be able to get your work done in an efficient manner and still have a fun social life. Make sure to take in all your campus has to offer you, it will be the experience of a lifetime.

Samantha

Visiting the colleges so you get a feel for the campus and what the students are like. It is important to find the right fit and you will know just by seeing the college in person.

Megan

The advice I would give parents, is to listen to your child when choosing the right school. After all, they are the one's going to school (you can't relive your glory days through them). Give lists of affordable colleges if cost is an issue. And if your child chooses a school that is out of your price range, make a solid effert to look into all financial aid and scholarships to make that school choice a reality. But other than that, let them decide what college they think is best for them. As a student trying to find the right school for you, I recommend touring the college and imagine yourself living there. Does it fit? Do you see yourself living and studying there? I toured over 30 schools and I only felt that way about one school. And that school is where I have spent 3 almost 4 years now! Choose a school that feels like it could be an exciting challenge, but not too far out of your element of comfort. And when you get there, involve yourself with groups or activites that make you feel a part of your chosen campus!

Aryn

Make sure you can deal with he snow and the altitude. The campus is small compared to the othe state schools but it is interactive and really diverse. You won't have a problem finding a niche to identify with. The professors are nice, kind, and caring as long as you make sure they know who you are; so get to know them. The cost is worth the beauty of both the campus, and the education. The people are generally nice, and the RA's are genuinely interested in creating community.

Lynsey

Visting the campus of a perspective school is always a good idea, but there is only so much that you can learn from a school-run orientation program. I would recommend getting together with someone who actually goes to the school (not an orientation leader who has been instructed about what to say and what to show you). A regular student can give you a better idea about the ambiance of the campus. You really don't want to start at a college and realize that you don't fit in there. I got really lucky with the school that I attend, because it happened to reflect a lot of my personal views. But some people aren't so fortunate. Get a REAL feel for the schools that you're considering, and when you find the right one, you'll be much happier there.

Jordan

The biggest advice that I could give about picking the right college would be to pick the one you're happiest with. College can be the best time of your life but if you hate your campus, you'll never love it. Some people choose based on financial reasons, but really, you can always take out loans and pay them back after you get a job. Ultimate happiness during the years when you're growing the most should be important overall. The easiest way to make the most of college once you've picked one is to be outgoing. Don't be afraid to talk to other people, incoming freshman are in the same boat you are, in a strange place and unsure what to expect. It's a great time to bond.

Kandyce

When choosing a college or university to attend, I think it important to first choose a school in an area that you would feel the most comfortable in. For example if you hate thte heat, you propbably should not choose a school in Phoenix, Arizona. Then you would have to decide what areas of study you are interested in. You do not have to choose a major right away but you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to study. Making the most of your experience in college is to stay involved and not be afraid to try anything new. College is a new experience in itself and in order to make the best of it, you should always get involved and participate in school spirit activities. With this, you would meet all types of people while enhancing your diverse look on the world. You cannot lose focus on why you are in college so ofcourse school work should come before any other extra-curricular activities. If you follo those basic guidelines, your college experience should be very interesting and rewarding.

Robert

I would suggest considering every possibility and inquiring your child about what they are thinking about majoring in. This will be able to help narrow down the choices. In addition, money is always a factor and if there is a good in state college then that should be looked at. There's an innumerable amount of scholarships that are not given out each year because not enough students apply for them. I suggest spending much time looking for any possible scholarships (academic and non-academic). Safety can be an issue, but more than likely not. If you're considering living in a dorm then you may want to get a safe or a trunk with a lock for your valuables. Most importantly, too many students underestimate the importance of daily attendance for classes. I strongly advise any freshmen to be punctual at least for there first semester and then decide whether or not it is important. Social experience is huge, so I consider getting involved in as much extra-curricular activities as you can. Clubs are huge and greek life is always a possibility. Have fun, but not too much fun!

Tonya

Choosing the right college and enjoying the four, five, or six years it takes to get a degree pose one of the biggest challenges to students and their families. It is essential when applying to schools to visit the campus and see what it feels like, how well the student fits and whether or not he or she can see themselves there. Once school starts, it is important that the student gets involved and learns as much as they can about their institution, connecting up with Residence Life, Student Life, advising centers, etc. Parents have to learn how to let go a little but still maintain a supportive attitude; hovering parents can be one of the most difficult challenges a student has to overcome. Parents who know what kind of services are available on campus and can direct their student as needed are also a vital asset to a student's success. Open communication and respect between the student and parents facilitate a great transition to and experience in the university or college environment.

Annie

Parents, you want your child to grow and to learn. When choosing a college with your child, keep in mind that there is so much more learned in school than academics. Make sure your child looks for a school that matches their interests, but also look for a school that blends with your child's distinct personality. You want to still know who your child is when holidays and weekends home arrive. To be sure, you will have a different child on your hands at the end of the first year of college, so keep interested even when this wonderful human bursting with a new adventure is far away. College is the time when suddenly all those lessons you tried to teach are suddenly learned. They forget to thank the ones who originally told them those things, but you can be their support and guide so that the lessons are fully learned and so that they can learn that all the advice you tried to give them in their high school years was sincere. Finally, they will see you as the viable part of their life that you have been all along.

Carrie

Some advice for finding the correct college is to see how the enviorment is as well as the class size .

Rebecca

Live on-campus your first year in a Freshman hall. It is so important for meeting people and feeling connected with your campus. If you work, try working on campus, they are usually much more understanding with student workloads and the time needed to study, not to mention it will connect you with the school more. If you are close to your family, go to school at least a few hours away, but not much further than that. STUDY ABROAD. Seriously important and life-changing. Even if you have to take out an extra loan, DO IT. Join intermural sports teams. Don't be afraid to live with people you don't know. Its one of the best ways to expand your cirlce of friends. If you meet someone who gushes about their school, consider going there, but make sure to ask what they love so much about it and what they are involved in. School is what you make it. You put in the effort to be a part of the community and enjoy, you will. If you sit by yourself in your dorm, you will hate it. Learn how to balance school, your social life and work.

Justin

The first piece of advice that I would give to prospective college students is to truly think about what kind of person they really are. This will allow students to think about the strengths and weaknesses of each school given their real personality, and not the kind of personality that they would like to have, which is how most people judge the kind of person that they are. The next piece of advice that I would give to students is to allow yourself to leave your comfort zone as soon as possible once you get to school, especially if you are living on campus. Meeting as many as people as you can at the beginning of your college career will make it much more enjoyable. The third piece of advice would be to go to all of your classes. It is much easier to study and succeed academically when you go to class. Going to class will also let you get as much as possible from your classes and you will retain a lot more information than if you simply study everything the night before a test.

Kandyce

It is important to select a college that you know you would be able balance your studies and social life. I think that many people choose colleges based on just fun or just academics but that shouldn't be that case all the time. Taking a visit to your ideal college would be a really good idea because it would give you the opportunity to see exactly what your'e getting yourself into. Also look for a college that offeres your interests. If you like cold weather, you probably wouldn;t choose a college that is in Arizona. Your choices would be limited to places up north because that would work with your interest. A good idea is thinking of a few possible majors, and choosing an accredited school that fits your choices. In order to make the best of your college experience you should stay positive and remember not to let the "little things" get to you.

Kimberly

My only advice is that when choosing a school, make sure it is where you belong. Don't make it a place that you are only going to because its prestigous, or because your friends are attending the same school. Make it a place that you can see yourself for the next four years. Make it a place where you feel instantly at home. If you don't love the college that you are attending, you are less likely to succeed. College is such a precious time, and the time you have in it, is limited. Don't waste an era of your life in a place that you don't find fitting.

Lucas

Finding a college that is perfect for you is quite difficult. You need to understand what makes a modern college campus. Ask about the faculty, professors and students. What is the social life is like? If the student can't make good friends that share the interests they enjoy. Ask about the classes and colleges. You really need to go into college knowing what you want your major to do. Declaring a major before college is extremely essential to picking the right college. Cause certain universities are known for being better with certain disciplines.

Matthew

Finding the right college might be different from person to person, but it is in these differences that futures are formed and lives created. One merely needs to look into themselves and ask what they want most out of the next four years of their lives and then concentrate on making that a reality. By the time you know this, you'll be able to pick a school related to your goals and ambitions. It is only through knowing yourself that you'll be able to know what you want out of life, and once that difficult question is deciphered, choosing a school becomes a piece of cake. Enjoying college life includes this time of self-searching, because it is here you are able to do what you fully appreciate without restriction. It is here you are able to fully experiment and understand what you want most out of life, so I encourage all to get out there, meet new people, and try new activities. Shed your high school shell and open up to the world around you, in order to fully embrace this new lifestyle, because once four years are up, you'll be wishing you had them back.

Patric

i would have to say you really need to find out what you want to do after college first. after that is done that you can really take a look at what college have what you want dagree wise along with the surrounding at the school that most fit your needs.

Dayne

College is what you make it. It's not about what school you get into or what you end up majoring in; it's what you learn about LIFE that's important. Parents: Don't make decisions for your children. Let them choose their schools. And once your children are away at college, let them be the ones to call you. Don't pester them. If they call you with complaints and problems, don't coddle them or solve the problems yourself. Encourage your child to be an adult and solve the problems on his or her own, and help them along the way. Students: There is no right college, and there is no right major. Visit all the schools that appeal to you, and go wherever feels "right" (after you get accepted, of course). Explore. Take classes that sound interesting, talk to people, and get involved. If there's something you want to do that your campus doesn't offer, do it anyway. Find other students who share your interests and start a club together. If you're unhappy with something, change it. College is what you make it, so make it what you want it to be.

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