Northern Illinois University Top Questions

What should every freshman at Northern Illinois University know before they start?


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would definitely tell myself to focus, study more, learn to take better notes and take school more seriously. College life is a lot tougher then high school, in high school there was always a teacher on your back and genuinely interested in helping you succeed. In college you have to do everything yourself, even though there are tutors half of the time they are students who know little about the subject. The teachers are there for help but half of the time they don't know you on an individual level and they aren't very patient. I really took high school for granted and now I realize how nice it was to have someone who actually knew you, support you through academics as well.


Don't worry about college so much. It's just another hoop the world makes you jump through to get where you want to go. Just go with whatever comes your way.


If I could go back to myself as a high school senior, I would let myself know that going to a community college to get basic classes out of the way before transfering to Northern was a very good choice. I would also tell myself that it is not as scarry as I thought and that while I did spend a lot of time doing homework and studying, I would meet many different people, some good, some bad, and some that would become lifelong friends. While I would tell myself to loosen up a little but, I would also advise myself to really take the time to apply myself since I didn't do that much in high school. To not be happy with an "average" GPA and to expect the best of myself instead of getting down and backing away when things got rough. To just be myself and not be scared of what others will think of me.


The first thing I would tell myself to get more work experience during the high school years. I did not work as a high school student, so it was very rough for me to learn time management skills in balancing a job and school at the same time. I also feel this would have built my confidence level in the work place. I was very unsure of myself when I first came into college and really feel that having a job during high school would have helped ease me into the amount of reponsibility I was thrown into during college. I would also tell myself to get more involved and take advantage of all of the networking options that colleges provide. I was not very involved in extracurricular activities during high school. I felt I needed to devote my time to getting As in all of my classes that I did not take the time to pursue my personal interests and passions. I went into college with the same mindset and really wish I had taken the time to join clubs, play sports, etc., to network with people and boost my social confidence. I would tell myself to enjoy life!


Meranda you are going to make some unfortunate decisions personally but they will lead you to now and now is a really great place. However, save money! Dad is going to become very ill and will lose his job and will not be able to help financially. So if there is one thing I would advise it would be to open a savings account and don't touch it.


You need to be more focused and a lot less hateful to those who wanted to help you. You might think foster kids get nothing in life but little do you know you got a whole more than those with a good home. And when you say " I am never going to do this" or I am not going to college" little do you know you happier than you have been in years. And stay away from the negative things ypur doing it just holds you back. And you will clean and sober after high school and again happy. Monica Jeanine and Vernon are the people you need to trust and trust yourself more never 2nd guess yourself when you know something is write and wrong. And STOP BEING SOO LAZY AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! It for you not them. And you find out you are allergic to brussel spouts in college so do not eat them.


If I were able to speak with the 18 year-old me there would be many topics of discussion I would be eager to bring up to make the transition into college and in turn out of college much easier. But most importantly, I would elaborate on the importance of asserting oneself to formulate a quality education plan. This goes beyond registering for classes and studying. I would encourage myself to sit down and really ponder what I hoped to achieve as an end result of my education. Once I completed that task I would be sure to establish goals based on this information. With the goals in mind I would begin to seek advice and options of professionals, professors, and other worthy individuals on how they would best accomplish these goals. I would remind my 18 year-old self she does not know everything and the opinions of experienced individuals would serve as a useful tools in achieving these goals. With the newfound advice I would direct myself to put a plan in place on how to best achieve the wonderful dreams she has for herself and remind her continually self-assess to ensure each step is completed.


I would say listen to the advice your High School Counselors give you about college. Take your time going through the brochures and touring campus to make sure you pick the right college for you. Make sure you feel comfortable in the atmosphere at the school and most importantly, you need to see yourself attending that specific college you choose. Shanna, pick a major that you can see yourself succeeding at and make sure it is one that you will enjoy. The major you choose to study should be something you are passionate about; you will be willing to succeed if you are passionate and really like what your studying. The most important advice I can give you as a high school senoir is to be yourself in everything that you do in college. If you are yourself, then you are sure to succeed in whatever you choose to do.


I am currently twenty one years old now and have gone through many experiences. I know I am very different than I was four years ago and honestly; I like myself a lot more now. If I could somehow go back and talk to my previous self around high school time, I would have a lot to say. Such as: Everything you are going through now is going to make you a much better and stronger person, do not be afraid to make mistakes because they are the moments that most define you, and to take more pride in yourself. I have learned that through hardships, new experiences, new friends, and that challenging yourself pushes you to limits you did not even know you had. I have also learned that every choice in life has a consequence and that you live with your choices. But it is about accepting your faults that truly make and define you as an individual. My most important words to myself would: be to be true to myself first and foremost because things change, it is inevitable. People come and go, rules change; but if you remain true, everything will be fine.


I would let my high school self know that college is not as scary as you think and if you just applied yourself, even a little bit, you could do well. The transition is much easier when you are young and attending school with your peers and just do it and get it over with before life gets in the way. It is much easier to pay for school if your parents are helping you out, if you don't have a home, kids, and husband to care for. Have fun with school and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to you, but remember the bigger picture...there is a whole lifetime ahead of you and this moment is fleeting. Study hard when needed because the payoff in the end will be worth it!