Oregon State University Top Questions

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

Trevor

As a high school senior I was wide eyed and anticipatory to what lay ahead of me. I saw the road to my future paved with the orange of Oregon State University, but beyond that I could pretty much throw a rock as far as I could predict where my life would end up. One thing I was absolutely sure of however was that I was going to work harder than anyone else to get to where that rock eventually fell. If I had the chance to travel back and talk to an impressionable 17-year-old me I would have only one thing to say; don?t ever stop running. You may hit many walls on your journey, but if you lower your head and work you can always find the crack of light that shows a way out. Nothing about life is easy; nor is it impossible. To believe that you cannot do it is to succumb to mediocrity, and to succumb to that dark fact is to sell yourself short.

Kathryn

The advise I would give to the senior me is not to get discouraged by the cost of the school and just go for it. Have fun, make friends and just forget about high school. College is so vastly different and so are the people. The transition is not hard, you have been waiting for this for years. Do not be like most freshmen. Oh and study more for your first midterm in political science.

Samantha

If I could go back in time and talk to myself my senior year my biggest piece of advice would be to push myself just a little harder. The hardest thing this first year of school was coming in with an already low GPA due to getting some C's in some of my AP and honors classes. Looking back if I would have pushed myself just enough to get say a B in math 251 I would have saved myself 4 credits and a big headache. The same goes with Chemistry, because I didnt push myself I now have to get A's in Organic Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry to prove I understand Chemistry; if not I will have to go back and re-take all my Chemistry. If I would have known this in High School I am sure I would have driven myself that tiny bit extra to save myself the low GPA and stress I am dealing with now.

Christina

College is an exciting place where you're on your own and are an adult without all the rules you had in high school. Take advantage of that fact and have some fun. You are only in college once and so make the most of it. Join clubs and organizations, go on trips, study abroad, and live life to the fullest. Don't forget about the academics though. You are there to get an education and although you may not think so when you start graduate programs may become a goal later and screwing around in classes freshman year can cause you to pay later. Have fun, but don't forget why you are there. I also reccommend doing a service trip one spring break. Taking a week to give back to the community is rewarding. You meet new friends and are exposed to different ways that you can help others. The main point is enjoy this time because it only happens once and goes by quicker than you think, get connected and join an organization that has whatever you are interested in, and don't forget to study becuase you'll be kicking yourself later if you don't.

Farin

If I could go back in time I would tell myself to stay in hawaii for 2 years and get my pre-requisites finished before i come up to Oregon. That way i don't waste a year of my parents money paying for out-of-state tuition. I am now behind a year in school because i wasn't in the correct classes i was supposed to be in for a freshman. I was taking all these lower division courses. If i stayed in Hawaii i could have taken those classes and stayed there for two years and then go to Oregon to get my bachelor's degree. I also would have applied to more scholarships because now with the economy being so bad my parents having 3 kids is hard for them especially when my parents never went to college. I would also tell myself that freshman year of college is different, there is a big change, college its definiately NOT like high school! it's worse!!

Carrie

Hey, I know your excited about finally being out on your own and finding out who you really are, I just want to say be careful. You get to meet new people but even though they may seem like your best friend, you should get to know them real well before you do anything important with them. That kind of goes with the whole roommate situation. Having a roommate has it's ups and downs. You could get lucky and get a chill roomie, or you could get a roommate that is so polar opposite of you that it will make your life miserable. College is all about adjustment, you share a room, not a house a room with somebody else, your classes are nothing like high school has ever set you up for. No more classes with 30 kids, now it's like 300 and it is sometimes dull, but don't get sidetracked or you will fall behind. So start off with your first term making the highest grades possible, that way later on if you do get sidetracked you have a bit of leeway with your gpa. Have fun and get involved, and always use your head.

Tiffany

Hey Tiffany, I know you're all excited about starting a new life at Oregon State University. It's going to be great I promise. You're gonna have some struggles, I'm not gonna lie but in the end its worth it. I could sit here and tell you what your gonna experience and what you should and shouldn't do, but then it wouldn't be the same. You would already know what to expect and wouldn't learn from any of your mistakes. Always remember that everything happens for a reason. Don't beat yourself up over every mistake, look at them as learning experiences. If you do that you're college experience will be more than just an education. The things you learn and the people you will meet are going to make it an amazing adventure. Learn, Live, Grow, and Love who you are. Sincerely a wiser and older you, Tiffany Schmidt

Peter

If I could go back it high school and give myself some advice it would be pretty simple, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! If I could go back and only tell myself on thing it would be to work of my note taking abilities. Everything that you do in college relies on your ability to take good notes and study them well. I would also tell myself to work on studying and my test taking ability. When in college your grade usually depends on just a couple exams. Another thing I would tell myself is to visit more college before deciding where to go. I went in only considering one college; I wish I would have looked at more schools. And the last thing that I would tell myself if to have fun and realize that you only go to high school once (well most of us do!). And take in the whole experience it?s a wonderful thing and have fun well looking at colleges. All colleges have positives and negatives!

Tara

Work hard and do well in classes. Don't spend too much money. Enjoy the last few terms because a year later you will miss it. Be proud.

Austin

I would tell myself to stay focused more my freshman year, because it is a vital time for meeting people and developing as a person. I would also tell myself to continue to stay active in sports and other recreational activities. I would tell myself to stay true to my faith through all of the hardships, because in the end that is all that really matters. Finally, I would reasure myself about choosing Oregon State as my choicem becasue it has turned out to be an amazing experience, and many oportunities have been made available to me because I go here.

Heather

When I was in high school I was so excited to get out that I decided not to go to college. I got a crappy full time job making very little money and couldn't really make it, so I decided to go to school because my Dad agreed to help pay for my bills if I went to school. I decided that I needed a more "college like" attmosphere after attending a local community college, so I decided to apply to Oregon State. After my third year here, I am very happy I made that decision. If I could give my high school self some advice about the future, I would suggest going to a University right after graduation and not waiting a year. College life at Oregon State is too much fun to miss out on and if you get started right away, you will be on the same track as your peers from high school and may be able to graduate at the same time as them.

Emily

Work harder in the classes you're taking in high school, don't worry so much about what others think of you. Don't waste so much time worrying about working a minimum wage job, and study like there's no tomorrow.

Dane

Having a social life is a must, but your main drive should be school. Stay ahead of your work and don't let things go till last minute. The sooner you get things done the more relaxed and less stress you will be. Don't be so stubborn and ask for help whenever you need it, you're not expected to understand it right away; it't not high school anymore things wont be as easy to understand. Learn how to study, try every way possible to study then pick what is best for you. Spend your money wisely and find a job ASAP because they are hard to find here, although you may feel overqualified for something a job is a job. If you are ever stressed go to the beach, that is your happy place; its only 45 minutes away and well worth the drive for your stress. But most of all enjoy life not that you dont but time spent being unhappy is time lost being happy.

Jenna

Keep you head up, study hard, READ all the material the Professors give you!

Julianne

Don't get distracted partying your first year. Work hard and make really good friends. Friends come in handy when you need support, fun, and academic help. Know yourself and what you like. Don't pick a major because you think your parents will like it.

Kayla

Visit as many schools as possible before even applying. Who knows, the school that looked good on paper may not seem so great once you arrive on campus. And keep an open mind! Sometimes your last choice school is where you will find yourself the happiest.

Leah

Make sure you research your school and the location it is in thoroughly. Make sure you have a good idea of what kind of people go to the school you're interested and what kind of people live in the town or city in which the school is located.

Nick

Make sure you visit it. You need to understand what the campus life is like. You also need to make sure that you apply for as many scholarships as possible. There's so much money out there and a good deal of it is only avaliable to underclassmen. Also, look into things like ROTC, Greek Life, and major specific clubs. All of the above add structure to your life and help to ease the transition into college life.

Benjamin

Don't choose a college based on where your friends or parents want you to go and especially don't make the decision based on whether or not your current girlfriend is going there, as many times it won't last, and if it does, distance will only bring you closer in the end. Try to find a college that offers a wide variety of majors, but doesn't allow the variety to affect the quality of classes or material; very few students graduate from their original major and you want to have options to experiment with as you change throughout your college years. Also, make sure that you enjoy the environment on campus and take time to check out what student life is like, because classes and campus are only a small, though important, part of college life. You will be miserable throughout your college career, and likely not perform as well, if you're not in a setting where you can relax and enjoy yourself.

Cela

If you are receiving some money for college through scholarships and financial aid I would recommend that you go to a community college first. You get lots of credits for way cheaper. The only thing is that community college is usually somewhat easier than a university.

tyler

Visit each college during the football season! If you like the way the campus is then you should go for it. This is the only time that you can see every tyoe of person on campus and that was on campus. It is truely the most amazing part of any school.

Annie

Pick the college based on what you want, not what anyone else wants or where your friends are going. Research everything about the campus, even things you don't think apply to you, because they might in the future. Go for the best for you, and don't settle for anything less. Try anything available on campus and get involved, otherwise you won't make friends and just be lonely all the time. Stick to your principles but don't be afraid to branch out and have fun.

Caeli

Finding the right college is about the student. Big deciding factors: 1. Distance: how far is the student willing to leave between them and their gardians. 2. Field of study: choose a school that has the upper hand of the field the student wants to study, that way there will be more opportunity when graduation comes around. 3. Enroll in a college with activities the student is interested in, that way there is something there the student can easily relate to and/or feel at home around. 4. Money: college is expensive, however the money the student and guardians are putting into the students education is an investment. This is the only good kind of debt a person will ever be in. To make most of the college experience, look in to dual enrollment program. This can help stretch a students money. This way the student can take their core requirement classes classes at a community college and the important classes at their university of choice. Also before getting into college, begin the search early for scholarships. While the student is at college, get involved in something of intrest, try a few clubs, or a new sport.

Julius

Students look for the college you feel comfrotable with whenyou visit it, Eat there and walk around campus. Then with 2 or three in mind found out facts such as location, size, sports, and money. After you already know the importance of the four major components to choosing a school your chose will become musch easier.

Ariel

Find a school that is the biggest thing in the town

Akhila

Make sure you send your child where you want them to go and where they will be happy. There is true satisfaction in blending the two.

Stanley

Find a college that is diverse in as many ways possible. That way, you'll fit in everywhere you go. Make sure that the college has the major you want. If you're not certain about your major, settle down on a major and have a backup major just in case you won't like it. Make sure that the college has the major you want and the backup major. Find a college that is big so that you will have more chances to meet new people and interact with them. The best part about college is knowing that it's the right college and you're on your way to success.

Kaylyn

Work together! Parents sending their first child off to college is not easy, but working together allows both parents and students to learn the process of applying for admissions to colleges. Students need to research schools to find those that fit their education criteria. College costs alot of money, so finding that dream school is key to making the most out of the college experience. When looking for schools find information on important factors such as location, size, cost, on and off-campus resource availabilty, and major andor minor programs to limit applications to the top schools of choice. After being accepted to college, work together once again in order to prepare yourself for the best college experience. College is a time to meet new people and find the right path into "the real world."

Kelsey

Finding the right college these days presents a challenge. Many characteristics must be determined and weighed. Questions like,"Does this school have a good program to complete my desired major?" and "Does it have the programs and activities that I want?" all must be answered. With the recession in full swing, tuition and living expenses (like room and board and books) also represent a problem. For many students, in-state schools are the only option, and most of the times, these schools are actually excellent choices. Financial aid and scholarships should be started as soon as possible to help remedy this problem. It is also a good idea to visit any possible schools and get guided tours of the campuses and living and dining facilities. A great school on paper might have terrible living and dining centers or a hideous campus. Once at college, it's important to get involved early and take advantage of any and all fun, free events. Make friends early and join a club or other social network. Most importantly, have fun! You are at college and with a little luck and hard work, it will be one of the best experiences of your life!

Jessica

The first and most important is to do your homework about schools you're interested in. Don't just look at them online, go there and check out the campus. Sit in on a class if you can, speak to the professors. Know what you can and can't live with. What kind of weather, atmosphere, teaching style, major, distance from home, and so on. These are all things that need to be taken into consideration. Become familiar with all the services provided and try to uncover what the school will be like if you were to attend it, after all the initial excitement wares off it may be different. Also, does it offer the programs you are interested in studying? Look into offered majors, minors, etc. Plan how you're going to pay for school and if you'll be able to maintain the cost. Be confident and enjoy in your choice! Remember it's what you make of it, so go out there and charge the world like you own. Take all the opportunities available to; you'd be amazed what is out there and always, always try to have fun!

Michelle

There are a lot of things that I can say about finding the right college. I would first advise to go visit the campus; take a tour. There are a lot of times where you might really like what the college has to offer, but when you get there, you don't like the setting and can't stand where it is placed or the people who are there. Another thing is to talk to an adviser. Talking to someone who has a lot of information to answer your questions can help in finding the right college for you. If you are living on campus, try to get a tour of the facilities where you could potentially live. If you don't like where you are living for that year, that could cause a dip in grades/GPA and social life on campus. I would also advise to join a club of your interest. Having friends with the same interest in college really helps you get to like the campus, your classes, and your overall education in college. You have to know when to have fun and when to study for classes. College will be worth it in the end.

Candy

Find the school which will help you achieve not only an education, one that will help you discover who you truly are and who you want to be.

Rachel

My advice to parents would be to keep in touch with your kids while they are in college, but also give them the chance to be independent and live their own lives. Don't call every day, especially at first. I would also suggest that if the campus provides opportunities or events for parents or families to visit, that you take advantage of these events. Many college students are proud to show their parents their campus in detail and acquaint them with their new friends and the experiences they are involved in. For students I would suggest that they choose the college that they have the best feeling about. Make sure that you visit the campus and get a feel for what it would be like if you lived there and if you could be happy living there. I would also strongly suggest to students that they make the most of the college experience by GETTING INVOLVED. College provides so many great opportunities and it is essential that you get involved so that you can get the most from your college experience. Try new things but don't forget what you believe in and who you are.

Dante

College is a way to open out and be independent. Choosing the right school will enhance that experience ten fold. Having a big class conpared to a smaller one will definetly be a diffrent experience. Also the location of the school and the weather patterns that occur is very important in choosing the school. With the right school and the right environment college can be a make or break experience.

Frankie

There are a lot of money out there, in the form of aid and scholarship. So parents and students, applying or currently enrolled, do not need to worry and set that as a reason not to apply to a certain school. Do not underestimate yourself. If you apply to a school where you want to go, your academics as well as social life would be better than going to a school where you ended up cause of money issues. Once on campus, join clubs, greek life, intermaural sports, the gym as well as events/shows.

Inoke

Do your research and make sure you ask alot of questions. Compare each of your choices with each other and list the Pros and cons. Good luck on your decision.

Mai-Hong

Study hard, play hard!

Jamie

Definitely attend a school that offers the major you are seeking! I heard for graduate school, a slight advantage is given to those who have attended that school for undergraduate studies. Also, attend campus visits to schools you are thinking about going to. Don't let money be a factor. Financial aid is always available and there are thousands of scholarships available for everyone. I also suggest living on-campus for the first year of college. Everyone around you is in the same situation and it is an easy way to meet a lot of great people from all over. Another suggestion is to utilize your resources. There are so many opportunities to get help, get advise and get involved. It can be difficult to incorporate school life and social life. Keep a good head on your shoulders and know that there is always time for both. Schoolwork can always be put off but it is really easy to fall behind and it can be difficult to try to catch up. Friends=college life. Find ones you can really connect with and keep them but don't let the others disappear because you might want to hangout with them later.

Michol

First of all I would suggest you visit the campus of any college or university you are interested in. Most students after visiting can just get a feeling that they can picture themselves at the school. I also strongly recommend that most freshman live on-campus in the dorms their first year, you make a lot of your first friends there that you will probably know the whole way through. The dorms are also geared to get students involved on campus and they are usually centralized so it makes the first year figuring things out much easier. Also take your time the first term to explore and get comfortable on campus. I would start looking into clubs your first term but not joining one until at least your second so you can have time to just adjust. Once you get comfortable I would say get involved as much as you can, most schools have more to offer than most people realize, so just look. Finally remember you aren't trapped at any school you start at, you can always transfer if you find you're not in the right place, so relax.

Derek

Think of college as a town where you will learn about your future occupation. The functionality of the school is just as important as their curriculum. Try to find a balance in the social aspect of the school as well as the technical.

Rachael

First of all I would tell parents to support their children in any endeavor they wish to pursue. Even if you cannot support them financially, support them mentally because it can make all the difference. Homemade cookies and help with laundry is often worth more then a tuition hand out. I am the first of my family to go to college, and my family is not rich. Their encouragement has made me want to achieve and because of that, I have found ways to pay for my education. Students, dream big! Set your sights on what you want and go for it. If you work hard, your struggles will work hard for you. You cannot give up! Don't be afraid to ask for help, often angels are disguised as strangers and you will never know unless you ask. The best way to make the most out of a college experience is to take chances and make friends. Friends can be your family away from home. College will be a whole new world and you must explore every corner in it!

Tyler

When choosing a school keep in mind that while finding a qualified program that suits your interests is important, don't be afraid to look outside of that and notice the diversity of the school. I believe understanding and experiencing different cultures will durasticly open one's mind in positive ways. Sometimes taking a step outside one's comfort zone can be highly rewarding as it has for me. One may experience different interests,majors, etc. that have never crossed his/her mind before. Last of all, you are the creator of your own reality, so follow your bliss and trust it. Happiness will follow.

Scott

It can be difficult to gauge how a given school fits a student's interests, so the best thing you could do is to read reviews from students past and present. At school you'll need to organize your time so that your social life doesn't keep you from completing schoolwork - a task that is wuite difficult given the amount of extracurricular activities available.

Jessica

For students, picking the right college may be a difficult task. First off you need to think about what are your top priorities. The different parts that go into finding the right colllege for you are; location, size, price, and surrounding area. Location is a big part of the decision. Whether you want to move far away from your family or if you want to still be close enough to go home on some weekends. The size of a campus should influence your decision because you want to be comfortable at the school. The price shouldn't be as much of a factor because there is always financial aid, but for most people it is a huge factor because most people dont want to end up with debt after finishing college. The surrounding area is a factor because if you don't like anything around the campus then you better make sure there is enough to do on campus. For parents,helping your son/daughter find the right college is a little easier. They should it show the differences wbetween colleges to the students. It is helpful if the parents are involved in the process of finding the right school.

Eric

I would advise the parents to prepare and plan how they would pay for college tuition. To make sure that they meet deadlines for scholarships, grants and federal aid. I would advise students to work deligently in their studies because it will get tuff but time will go by so fast. Enjoy new friends and people who will strengthen you in times of struggle. Be active in your community and in the class room, you learn so much from others. Ultimately live and learn everyday of your life and adjust to changes that will affect you for good.

Sean

With exception to those students who had excellent academic achievements and attained scholarships to a certain university, there is little benefit in attending a public university for the first two years. Amidst the 40,000 or more students, the educational advancement of a particular student bares no significance to the university system. Rather, it is more prudent to attend a community college. Community colleges offer the same classes for half the tuition with class sizes that rarely exceed 35. The instructors are more concerned about the advancement of students than they are the advancement of their career. For the most part, a student who enters a public university as a Freshman is on their own. Academic advisors, professors, and the university system are not going to invest their time in helping that student. Student success is determined by personal motivation, which at age 18, is the desire to socialize and have fun. At the community college level, instructors assess their students and talk to them individually. At a university, the first two years are classes of 200 to 400 students, and the professors simply don?t have time to analyze each scantron test for academic success.

Brian

I believe that college is a time for growth, the time to experience life outside of "home-life" and learn to take care of yourself individually. Having a community of friends is important to the college experience, but ofcourse slacking off with these friends, partying, hanging out, idleing, could all be bad if it is done too much. The right amount of fun and a focused mind to also concentrate in school is crucial to college. Graduating on time seems to be a hard thing to do for most college students these days because they value "partying" far too much than studying and keeping a high standard academically. If you feel like you don't want to move too far from you parents, which was my case, i decided to go to a state college that was far enough from home for me to learn how to live on my own and be my own individual, and at the same time close enough that i can visit whenever i missed my family. Any college can be good, it's only good as how you want to make it to be.

Meredith

The advice I would give to both parents and students that are trying to choose the right college would be to visit all of the schools that you believe you are interested in. You may think that you really want to go to a certain school just based on its credentials, the sports teams they have, or the look of the campus, but you will never truly know unless you go and experience it for yourself. It will make a huge difference in the selection process. To make the most of your college experience I do not believe that you must join a fraternity or sorority, although they may promise life long friends, and amazing social events. I think what is most important in making your college experience the best it can be is to live on campus your freshman year, meet as many people in your dorms as you can, go to school sporting events, talk to people in your classes, join clubs, and participate in school sponsored activities. If you do even just a few of these things I just listed your college experience will be more than you could have ever imagined!

Kyler

Parents and students should visit each school before applying. Some campuses don't look as advertised in the pictures on their web sites. Make sure to visit on a week day so you get the feel of an average day as a student. If possbile, sit in on a couple of classes and take a guided tour to get the historical background of the campus. It is common not to know which major to choose directly out of high school. If it takes two years at a community college before you can decide on a university, so be it. Although it may take longer to graduate, it will be money well spent because you are able to try and experience a variety of subjects before you find your niche. Get a degree in something you are passionate about. Make no mistake, college is a place of learning, however the experience extends beyond academics. This is a place to think for yourself and diversify. College is a a journey and every opportunity should be taken to support your sports teams, hear live music, join a club, watch a play, make new friends, network, and discover new things about yourself.

Garrett

In finding the right college you need to find a place that you can see yourself living in pretty much full time in for the next four years. This place needs to be somewhere where you can have fun when it is needed but also where you can get work done most of the time. Another thing you should look for in a school is somewhere that isn't to far away from home because you will get homesick a few times over the years, and there are always things that pop up and it is nice to be able to go home if you need to.

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