Northern Michigan University Top Questions

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

Ethan

I would have worked harder in high school to get better grades and learn more about the realities of what I'm facing in the financial world. I would have taken the opportunity to take the college classes offered when I was a senior so that I could have been further ahead when I graduated. My parents pushed getting a job when I was in high school but I really didn't try very hard and I wish I would have saved more money so they wouldn't have to help me now with my tuition. All in all I wish I would have been more proactive in all the aspects decribed above!

Jody

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would offer myself an endless amount of encoruagement. Prior to attending college, it seems as if high school seniors cannot wait to graduate and jump into "the college life" and often they greatly underestimate its importance. They are fooled by the stereotypes and see an expansive social life and freedom, and at first, it may seem as so. However, there comes a point where you realize that what you do matters. So my advice would be to focus; focus on the things that matter in the long run rather than the things that seem to matter now. I would advise that you confide in the people around you for support. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can do it all on your own. Ask your parents for help, your friends, coworkers, relatives, professors, advisors. These people are there to for you. Lastly, on those days that you feel you cannot do anymore, you can. You can finish that paper or keep on studying for that test; don't give up because the final result will be worth it.

Eric

move out of state first and take minimum amount of classes, use the spare time fix your self as high school did quite a number on you. don't listen to your parents, your worth more than your father could ever know, and less artisticly gifted than your mother thinks. when you do move back, NMU is probably the best choice as much as people love to badmouth it. sit in the front row in class, yes i know the back is more comfortable and where your friends are sitting, and yes i know the laptop is shinny and has internet access, but you can chat on the internet and socialize with friends after class, its only and hour long, not that hard. also, STOP RUNNING! love isn't what you think it is, its not as dramatic as the movies make it seem. there is nothing wrong with alot of comfort and little sex. also your not the white knight, or the demon in the shadows, stop acting like it as you won't be able to keep it up. finaly its not as important as you think to know yourself just to be comfortable with it now.

Malarie

If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior in high school I would tell myself to "be open to the possibilities". I think as a high school senior I felt as though I needed to know RIGHT AWAY what I was going to do with the rest of my life. There was this pressure to pick a path for my life and travel on it with dedication- and no detours. I learned quickly that, even though I thought I was dedicated to a certain path, life doesn't always allow you to follow it with precision. There are things that happen for a reason- socially, economically, spiritually, emotionally, developmentally, etc. Nobody but YOU can decide what the best path is for yourself, because nobody knows YOU better. I would want myself to understand that there are possibilities for every situation in life, and the paths for those possibilities are endless. Why confine yourself to just one path? I only have one life to live, many paths available for my feet to travel. I would like to leave as many footprints as I can, connect the possibilities of those paths, and be open to the possibilities.

Leslie

Fifty years ago, I was a married teenager, who thought that I could never go to college because my family was poor. That marriage was abusive and ended in divorce. I was not permitted to graduate with my class because I had become pregnant during my senior year. So, I had to wait a year to receive my diploma. I was forced to work because my son's father didn't support him. I remarried five years later and was a homemaker for 21 years. I could have attended college and received my degree, but I didn't feel it would be necessary. I was wrong. When I was 50 years old, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate's Degree as a Legal Assistant. Yet, I had a difficult time finding employment in the Lansing, Michigan, area. I became a certified T.E.S.O.L. instructor and have developed online learning Web pages to help internationals and refugees learn English. Although I am successful at teaching and tutoring I cannot be paid by agencies because I don't have an undergraduate degree. I am a 68 year old college student determined to finish with a baccalaureate degree.!

Matthew

When I began searching for colleges during my senior year I was overwhelmed. There are so many choices it was hard to decide where I wanted to go. My initial decision was to attend Adrian College where I was recruited to play hockey. Upon being recruited I was quick to make that my choice. However when I look back at that decision, it reflected my want to continue playing hockey and not my educational goals. I decided to transfer and found Northern Michigan University. The educational opportunities fit perfectly with my goals and not only would I be able to continue playing hockey but the geography of the area would fuel my passion for the outdoors. Therefore the advise I would have given myself would be to decide based on your educational goals. There are so many schools out there, there is one that can provide you the education you seek and everything else as well. Also take your time. By all means try to find the right school as soon as you can, but there is no shame in transfering or taking a year off. You are not stuck with your first choice.

Nichole

I graduated with a 4.0 from Charlevoix High School, in Charlevoix, Michigan. I was given the title of Valedictorian, but did not particularly rejoice this title. I was proud of what I had accomplished, but at the end of high school I regretted many of my decisions. I learned that life is far more enjoyed with a balance of things rather than an extreme of one, mine being academics. I focused so much on schooling that I didn?t no allow myself to enjoy much of high school and the experiences that many of my friends had. Now that I have entered college I have tried to find a balance between enjoying moments in my life while taking my education seriously. If I could go back and talk to myself in high school I would tell myself to relax more and take things slower. I would say tell myself to stress less, yet give everything my all.

Kayla

I would tell myself not to stress about leaving my family and friends. I will make some amazing friends my first weekend there and that they stick with me and support me. My friends and I do so much together and keep in touch over holiday breaks. I would tell past me that when I am at my college I am happy and that I feel like I really fit in for the first time. College isn't something to fear, but rather something to look forward to. The time there flys by fast and before I know it I will be wondering where the time went. The staff there is helpful and friendly and they genuinely want to see you make it in life. College is a good place for me to be and I start to call it home after a while. I would also tell myself to study hard and enjoy my down time with my friends. I would also tell myself to try new things, within a safe reason, because I am only there for a short time.

Maria

Firstly, I would advice meeting with your adviser. If I would have meet with an adviser I would have taken my classes in a different order. I could have gotten my requirements finished for the department first, and worried about declaring my major later. I ended up taking a lot of extra credits before I finally made a decision, and that postponed my graduation. Secondly, when making any decision going with your initial instinct is always the best way to go. I always wanted to study Spanish, but I hesitated and didn?t declare my second major until my senior year. Planning early is also a good way to get ahead. I also recommend studying abroad at some point in your college career, but it is best to go when you have liberal art credits free. The only other thing I would change is my financial planning strategy. I was the first person in my family to go to college, and nothing was set aside to pay for my education. I ended up taking a lot of loans out to finance my education. My biggest regret is not applying for more scholarships and grants.

Stephanie

People told me that high school would be the best years of my life, but now that I have experienced college life, I realize that college will be the best years. I have changed a lot since entering college and I have experienced more in the first year being at Northern Michigan University than I did throughout all four years of high school. If given the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself some different advice than the words I listened to back then. I would advise myself to get involved in activities on campus, to join a group, like the Student Psychological Association, and to not be afraid to open up to new people. Upon giving myself this advice, I would also remind myself to study hard and keep up with my schoolwork. When I was in high school, I focused mainly on the advice I received about getting good grades in college. My college experience has been great, but I wish I had gotten more involved with extracurricular activities earlier on in college because I realize now how much they have added to my college experience.

Janelle

If I were to give advice to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to start filling out as many applications for scholarships as possible because the less loans I have to take out the better. I would also tell myself to start applying for jobs on campus because it is very difficult to get a job as a college freshman and I will run out of money very fast. I'll tell myself to look for a second job while in high school so I can pay for whatever costs my financial aid will not cover. I would tell myself to start studying harder and more for each test to get used to the increased amount of studying that I will have to do in college.

emily

go to college and enjoy youself

Trista

I would give myself the advice to persevere. Transitioning and getting used to everything can be hard, but worth it if you persevere and make the best of the situation you're in.

Christie

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior, I would tell myself to be involved as much as I could without it interfering with school work. Experience is one of the main things that assists people in deciding what they want to study, and what careers they want to hold in their futures. Different organizations have different goals, volunteer at different places, and communicate with different businesses and all of thats gives us insite to what different jobs have to offer. Extracurricular activities are also a very important part of high school and college. They help us meet new people who generally have a positive influenece on our lives. Some of my favorite memories have taken place at extracurricular events with people I have met through different organizations.

Kathryn

As a high school senior I was debating between a couple of art colleges and public colleges, if I could go back in time I would tell myself to stay with my decision to attend Northern Michigan because the living atmosphere is one of the best in the area. Also the art program here is one of the best in the midwest but also includes the other aspects of a public college such as the cultural diversity and the cultural opportunities of different events. My other advice would be to leave the past behind and start with the new beginning that college offers without the worries and old notions that are so important in high school. My college experience has allowed me to be the person I really am, and let true friendships form, which have changed my life forever.

Lauren

work harder, and dont cheat the sysem. it only makes life more difficult in the future. and dont go away to college in a relationship. College is a new chapter in your life, and make the best of it!

Lauren

First off, stop stressing! I know you want to find that one perfect school just for you. The school that will challenge, inspire, and help you grow. However, try as you might, these are all traits that you cannot find simply by looking at university websites and attending campus visits. After a year and a half of college, I've come to realize that what I get out of a university is only equal to what I put in. Attend classes, keep up with your schoolwork, and maintain a balance with friends, and you will feel like these next four years at college are well worth it. As you are deciding which school you want to attend try not to hold your expectations too high, because the most important aspects are going to come from within you. Choose a school in a location that you will enjoy living with the degree programs that interest you most. Everything that comes next - the lasting memories, newfound knowledge, and irreplaceable friendships - these will all follow naturally. Good luck! Everything will work out, don't worry.

Helen

While, of course, a school's academic reputation is extremely important when considering colleges and universities, the local area is, I believe, worth heavy consideration. It is more important to be happy with where you are and the friends you make than worrying about getting into the best school and getting the highest grades.

Geri

Take a deep breath and relax. You are seventeen years old and need to cut yourself a little slack. You have worked hard, and will regret it later if you don?t make time for having fun and being a kid. Stop worrying so much about five years from now, and just concentrate on the given minute. Ultimately, you are going to make it, and you know this now. You won?t give up, and you will always find a way to pursue your goals. Even when it feels like there isn?t enough time in the day to get everything done, don?t stress, there is always tomorrow. Just when you think you have things figured out, a new challenge will be presented to you, embrace it, because from it you will learn how to be a pretty great person. Don?t take a single minute for granted. I know high school is awful, but I promise you will thank yourself for working so hard and making tough decisions. Lastly, remember to play just as hard as you work. You only live once and even though I know now that you won?t, you could bite the bullet tomorrow.

Zachary

Take the time to explore different schools. I didn't look very hard when choosing a college, and just went to NMU because of its location. I was lucky in finding a school that fit my personality and life goals, but if I had actually put effort into finding a college I wouldn't have had to rely on luck. Once you find a college, put yourself out there. Find a campus activity that you enjoy and stick to it. I know plenty of students that fall into the traps of partying because they haven't found anything better to do with their time. Remember that you are paying for this experience, and what you get out of college will determine, to a large extent, what will happen for the rest of your life.

Bruce

Whatever school you choose, do not pick one for the soul reason that it is cheap. Community College's are great, but there is nothing like the University experience. Don't over extend your financial abilities either. Try to pick a school that is a good comprimise between the two. That's why I chose Northern Michigan University. It's inexpensive enough to be practical for my family and is still a relatively large school. All in all, choose a school based on what is comfortable.

Mary

I think Parents should definitely give their child their honest opinion on colleges but should not in any way tell their child what to do or where to go, because it is the students future and decision to make. Students should choose a college based on their needs, not their parents or friends needs. Choose a college that reflects your personality and you are guaranteed to find a school that will make you successful!

Kelsey

My advice is to visit the campuses that you think you are interested in and get a campus tour while you are there. This gives you a real feel about what it is like to be on the campus and what the students and faculty are like. Also make sure you look for a school with classes sizes that you will be comfortable in. If you are easily distracted small class sizes are better and that's not offered at every school. Also try to find a school with extra-ciriculars that you are interested in. Extra-ciricular activites are a great way to get involved and meet new people.

Erin

Choosing a college needs to be taken seriously and considered carefuly, but students and parents should also keep in mind that nothing is permanent. While it is ideal to get it right the first try, putting too much pressure on the situation can lead to a lot more stress and anxiety than neccessary. My advice for the best shot at "getting it right the first time" is to be knowledgeable. Really take the time to think about what you want out of the next 2-4 or more years. Then start researching schools. Get to know their programs, opprotunities, and reputation both from students and professionals. I found it helpful to start by making a huge list of all the schools that appealed to me in any aspect (location, cost, degrees, sports, etc.). From there I began to narrow the list down based on more practical matters such as distance, money, and for me, running programs. Once your list is down to a manageable size, my number one suggestion is to visit!! I think the most important component of choosing a school, and ultimately the most helpful, is to see as many campuses as you can first hand. Good luck!

Bryanne

Take the time to go to the college and take a tour of the campus. It is really worht it. Taking the tours of the campuses was the deciding factor for me. Get a feel for the campus. Does the environment feel right to you? Ask yourself if you could see yourself there and actually enjoying yourself? When people ask me why I decided to go to Northern I don't really know how to answer them because for me it just felt right. Now that I'm going into my second year I know I made the right choice. When you make your choice and are finally there get involved. Go to your hall meeting and meet the people you'll be living next to. Join a club that interests you wheather it's something you like already or something you think you might like. College is like eighty percent school and twenty percent other. You need to be doing something with that other. This is the closest you can be to on your own but still have your parents there to help you out, so learn something, try new things and most importantly have fun. Good luck.

Nora

Finding the right college for you can be tough. In my own experience, I was looking for a smaller university, where I could feel like I was part of a community and not some lone student walking around on campus. I also looked for an extremely friendly campus, and I sure found it! A campus that keeps you busy is good, one with a lot of student organizations and ways to get involved in the community provide leadership and volunteer experiences that help towards a resume in the future. Of course, selecting a school mostly comes down to what kind of academic programs they provide, coinciding with what you are interested in studying. I would recommend going to a university over going to a community college for new students. The experience is like no other, and the independence you learn is crucial for your future. You make new friends, experience a whole new world, become an independent individual (away from mom and dad), and you get to take the reigns of your own future. University life was one of the best decisions I personally ever made, and I suggest new students to apply to a university, and have fun!

Dennis

look for a college that you are happy with, as the student will have to live/work in that enviroment, also you are paying to go to that college so if you are not satisfied it is not the college for you. when on campus students should try to get involved as much as they can in various campus related activities, it helps you get to know others as well as making your college experiance more enjoyable. students should pay attention in class and know what is expected of them, this isnt highschool and professors dont nessicarily care if you do your work or not, they get payed either way, your paying them, but if you dont do your work and screw up, you are out that money. you can always take the course again, but youll pay for it, in cash.

Hunter

I do not believe that the college makes the student, more that the student makes the college what it is. Yes, there needs to be a base to go off of, but the college experience is mostly made by the student.

Jacob

When looking for the right college some may think to apply to only Universities that are well known, I believe that is a mistake. One can?t judge a school based on a name. I myself had never heard of Northern Michigan University until a friend mentioned it to me. I took a tour of the school and fell in love. The staff was friendly and the environment felt comfortable to me. It takes more than grades to succeed in this world. It takes motivation, persistence, individuality, and character. To achieve these you must have a good social environment that you feel comfortable with. Grades are important, but so is interaction with others. When choosing a college choose one that suits your personality, then you?re sure to make it.

Anna

Parents, personally contact the financial aid department and see how helpful they are about providing information about student loans and financial aid. It's an important process that a business that is taking so much of your money should be a good resource for for information. Students, get invovled. Don't be afraid to try several different clubs, sports, or activities and then pick one or two to be committed to. It can seem intimidating at first but making life-lasting friends comes with time and there's a lot of other people out there just like you. Be patient and put yourself out there. It'll pay off as time goes on.

Maria

I think the best advice I could give is to take yourself out of your comfort zone. Life is all about taking chances and making mistakes. College is the perfect opportunity for that because it?s full of a diverse group of people that come from all sorts of different backgrounds. Some of these people will have similar experiences and will be able to help give guidance and advice. Others will be just like you; looking for the opportunity to try something new and gain a different perspective. My advice is to take chances. This is the time to learn about who you are and where you want to go in life. Challenge yourself to go the extra mile, break barriers, and push limitations. So when looking for a school; look for a place that will combine current interests while allowing you the opportunity to grow into who you want to be.

Kevin

To (nearly) quote the words of my university's president, I would first recommend that the chosen school be no closer than a six hour drive from the student's home. This distance promotes a student's participation in school functions while discouraging unnecessary trips home. I would also strongly advise parents to encourage their sons and daughters to attend smaller universities. The professor to student ratio is, in many cases, similar to that of a high school course and the resulting classroom environment is much more condusive to building relationships with both peers and instructors. Lastly, I would remind the student to not overlook something as basic as climate. Much of what defines a student's overall pleasure/displeasure of a school is determined by the activities done outside of school. Choose an environment that complements what you like to do!

Kelsey

Make a few college visits and make sure you talk to some students and some faculty. The best advice might not be given from someone the school has choosen to speak on their behalf. Ask an actual student that might be walking around, you will get to see how friendly they might be and what the school is really like. Also if you are not sure if you want to get away from your parents and home then you might want to consider going far enough that you aren't gonna want to drive home every weekend, but if you wanted to you could make the drive. If you know how you learn best, in small setting or big classrooms, then you should narrow down your choices that way, then choose places where you will be ok with the weather, and then choose from the schools crudentials and what you want out of a school. The best advice though would be to let the student choose, they are the one who will be there for a couple of years, and they have to make new friends, and learn their own way.

Peter

If your child likes the environment and a relaxed, up north campus pick NMU

Ashley

Follow what YOU want to do, not what your family, friends or teachers pressure you into. What you choose to do in college is going to shape the rest of your life. Just because a friend encourages you to go to the same school, doesnt mean that it will be the right fit for you. Do research, talk to current student, and dont be afraid to travel far distances to places where you may not know anyone. I drove 6 hours to a college where i knew no one but when i attended orientation i made friends with a dozen people i am still close friends with 4 years later. It may be scary now but when you look back on graduation day you will be glad you took the plunge.

Samantha

Don't be afraid to look at out of state options, or schools that aren't big or well-known. Sometimes a smaller school is a better fit for you.

Anne

You have to keep an open-mind and an open-heart about colleges and try not to have too many expectations. Standards and expectations are two different topics that a lot of students tend mix up in the process of going to college. Don't go to the college that you think is "prestigious" or will "look good on a resume," because anyone can do that. Look for a place that you know you will feel comfortable, happy and fulfilled. They really ar ethe best years of your life and it's never healthy to regret what you've done at the peak of your existence. Don't overlook overlook down on any university, community college or vocational school because they are special and unique in their own way. Education is what you make of it, not what name is stamped on the transcript. I urge you to stay positive if you don't get accepted, either...it wasn't meant to be and you will do well wherever you go. College is what you make of it, trust me...I know. Good luck and no one can make you feel any way you won't allow yourself to feel.

William

There are a few simple things to keep in mind when selecting a university. First always make sure that there will be many options for growth educationally and socially. Second be sure to find a university that has a high standard of excellence. Finally visit multiple schools so the student will have many refrences to make a well educated decision. The university does not make you but you make the university. The students past, present, and future are what a college is so do some research to find out where your student will really shine. Life is short and college is shorter so make the most of the best 4 years ever.

Amanda

Ask students other than the tour guide questions you may have and what they like about the school. I have been asked by a touring family if they could see my room. It is sometimes nice to see how the rooms other than the example room they show you on tours looks like. If you know anyone at the school ask them to shadow for the day to get a real look at the classes and the campus.

Brenna

First and foremost, take a tour of different campuses to find the one where you feel most comfortable. For many people, including myself, when I got to NMU's campus I just knew that it was the perfect school for me. Once you have enrolled in your perfect school, you need to find a balance between social life and academic life. If you focus too much on your academic life, you tend to get very stressed out and depressed, but if you spend too much time on your social life, your grades will begin to slip. Once you find a good medium, college becomes the fun expierience that it should be.

Meghan

Let your child make their own decisions and try to be as selfless as possible. They will make the right decision. Just trust them.

Robin

If the student knows what they are going to study, try to find a school that has a strong program of their choice. If they don't know what they want to study then find a school that has a lot of options and a general home-like feel for the student.

Merideth

To students and parents browsing perspective colleges, I would recommend spending time on the campuses you are most interested. in I don't mean going on planned tours and walking through model dorms and getting one free lunch. I mean physically going there on your own and talking to faculty, staff, and students, eating lunch on your own in the cafeteria and walking around campus. When you go on tours and read brochures, you are being sold a product. Go and try out the product for yourself and learn how strong the program you're interested in really is, and how friendly students really are to you, and how well campus is maintained. Talk to everyone you can who goes there. Only by seeing as much as you can for yourself and interacting with people can you truly understand what a college has to offer you and whether or not it offers the right path for you to take. Then map out the pros and cons of your potential choices and rate how important different aspects of the product are to you, so that when you make your final choice you know what it is you're hoping for.

Nicole

I would say, save your money, and make sure your kids have the study skills to advance in college. This college is surrounded by the out doors. If you don't like snow, and out doors activity's than this school is not for you. Make sure you know what the community is like before you enroll in an university.

Kayla

Find a school that you would feel comfortable attending. Don't go to a college just because someone else (or a lot of someone elses) told you it was the best thing in the world, the best thing that could ever happen to you. Nobody's opinion is as important as yours. If you really feel sure about what you want to do with the rest of your life, than pick a college with that in mind. But if you are, like a great many other beginning college students, undecided, then find a school that has a wide assortment of choices for you that won't try to hurry you to much in your decision making, and in an environment you feel comfortable in. If you hate big cities, stay away from them. If you hate snow, stay out of the north. Academics are important, but if you don't feel comfortable, how will that affect your schoolwork? Making the most of the college experience isn't just schoolwork and it isn't just partying all night long. It's finding a place where you belong, and it's being willing to enjoy everything, even classes.

galan

When looking for a college you really need to take into consideration what your interests and priorities are. If you are an athlete then you need to find a school that supports that and is going to be beneficial to those needs. If money is an issue which it usually is with most families and students then you should do everything in your power to save as much money as you can. Spending $40,000 on a bachelor's degree in art might not be the best idea. You need to find a job after college and if you have to spend your life savings on a degree that isn't promising in the career world you might want to reconsider. As far as the "college experience" I think no matter what school/university you are attending you can have a great experience and learn a lot from any of the schools you are going to pick. They are all different but still offer a lot of life lessons that are important. I would suggest a school with cultural diversity because you can gain a lot from learning about other cultures.

Matt

Find a college that you can picture living at for 4 or more years

Brad

go into everything with an open mind and don't wrap your head around anything to much because you are young and things change overnight

Sara

VISIT SEVERAL university's before making your decision. Get a feel for the people on campus before you decide to enroll. Think about what you really want to do and pick a school that caters to your particular field of choice. Don't go to a school that is known to be very liberal and art/music oriented when you want to major in business or biology. Look for a school with plenty of opportunities nearby for internships and other 'real world' experiences. Small towns are often not the best for those kinds of things. Also, talk to people in town who are living off campus if you intend to; make sure that the apartments and houses around campus are livable, and that you won't be renting from a 'slum lord'. Talk to people in financial aid so you will have a good understanding of what scholarships, grants, and federal loans you'll be eligible for - don't let them sweet talk you and tell you that 60% of students on campus recieve some sort of financial aid when if you dig deeper you find that over 70% of scholarship monies and grants go to atheletes on campus.

Dana

Pick a school that puts you in an environment you enjoy. If you can't stand living in a big city, then dont attend a school in a big city. You will not enjoy it, and will not do well in school if you are not happy. Pick a place that offers many of your favorite recreational activities whether on campus or off. There are going to plenty of times when school drives you absolutely crazy and you need to be able to just get out and do something that makes you happy in order to reenergize yourself.

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