Oregon State University Top Questions

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

Debra

I would tell students that they need to make sure that the environment they are going to be living in is acceptable to them. Such as sunny, windy, rainy, snowy, etc... some of these may determine what types of activities and recreational sports they can participate in and hang out with other students.

Christy

The best advice I can offer prospective college students is to do what feels right to you. Don't make your decisions based on what your parents or your friends want, but what you ultimately feel to be the best decision. A lot of students feel pressured to do what their parents want in terms of choosing a college and a major. It can be difficult, but in the end these decisions are going to impact your life far more than theirs; you need to do what's right for you, even if it's not exactly what your parents had in mind. The college that's best for you might not be the most prestigious one you get accepted to. It might not be your parents' alma mater, or the one all your friends are going to. But the most important thing to consider when you're deciding where to go is YOU. How do you feel about the school? Are you ready to live in a big city, or a small college town? Do you feel like you would fit in at this school? Choose the best fit for you, no matter what you feel pressured to choose.

Christa

The advice I would give parents is to allow their children a little alone time after they get to college. Many times students go through a period of loneliness after they arrive at college. It's ok for students to experience this loneliness! The first few weeks of college is the time when many students break out of their shells and start to learn who they are and the strength they posses. However if a parent hovers too closely, this unique opportunity the student has could be missed due to a parent swooping in and rescuing the child. Barring any serious depression or loneliness, the most helpful role the parent can play is to be an encourager and listener as their child grows and acclimates to this new environment. So, parents: Step back, take a deep breath, and watch your child become the mature and independent adult you knew they could be!

Sarah

Here is what I have found in my time so far at OSU: It is so important to be happy when choosing a college, so go with your gut feeling. If you feel like the school is too big, but your father went there so you need to go there too, you will just end up defeating yourself and not enjoying your time there. Make a decision based on what you want and need. Take time to explore and understand the college and the kind of lifestyle it entails. College is all about finding yourself, and the only way to do that is to do exactly what you want, what makes you happy, and what will help you succeed. While you are in college, make sure you stay true to yourself and surround yourself with people that will make you happy and help you feel good about yourself. College can be a trying time, but if you feel alright and at ease about your surroundings, peers and classes it will be so much easier and enjoyable.

Lindsay

The "college years" have been described as the best time of your life. In order to make the overall experience the best, I would not choose a school based only on the educational options that interest you. I believe that schools that have the best tools, academic support, and available experiences produce not only a well-educated person but an understanding, committed individual. Schools that offer classes studying other cultures provide a student with a greater understanding of all the people they will encounter later in life. When choosing a college I would carefully explore the recreational options. Are there classes and facilities that promote activities you are interested in? Find out if the school offers clubs you would actually participate in. Ask yourself if the school has comfortable and affordable living situations not forgetting the cost of food and laundry. Also what is important is whether or not there is food you would enjoy available on or near campus. The best way to enjoy your college experience is to get involved in the school activities or groups. Find a good balance of studying and having fun and you will enjoy both so much more.

Lori

I would say that a student really needs to research and go visit the colleges that they apply to. It's all about compatibility when choosing a college to attend. One needs to keep in mind that it's going to be the next two to four years of one's life. It's a hard transition to go to college, so it needs to be a careful decision. A student needs to think about all different aspects that will apply to their future college life. Transportation needs, sports, academic levels, and food store needs. It needs to be selected based on your own personal wants and desires. Making the most of your college experience is all about being open to new experiences and seizing all the opportunities that comes your way, without compromising your own values. College is all about discovering who you truely are and what things make you happy. Being open to new experiences gives you a chance to not onlylearn about other people and experiences around you, but most importantly, it gives you an opportunity to learn about youself as an individual. Always keep in mind that both school and social life needs to be inbalance.

Lisa

I would suggest to parents and students to scope out every college you've ever considered going to in order to get a good idea on what kind of campus the student will like. Some students will prefer a college that has access to a bigger nightlife or a large campus and then there's ones that are more small and community based. The students should also spend a day with a college student so they can get a feel for what it would be like there if they went there, to see the quad, cafeteria, classrooms, and dorms. I would also check out the services they provide to students and the ease of accessibility. The most important aspect is to find a school that will fit your budget and give you a satisfactory amount of finanical aid so the student can focus on school and not money problems.

Alex

NA

Madison

Utilize community colleges during high school. The more credits you can take into college the better off you'll be! And you really can't know until you're there, so make sure you stick it out and stay through at least two terms! Get involved.

Morgan

The first thing is to go where you feel at home! As soon as I stepped on the OSU campus, I knew it would be the place where I would have the greatest chance for success. Next is to get involved, while also learning to balance all of your duties. Your duty as a student is your academics, meeting great life long friends, and taking advantage of all the awesome things going on around you on campus and in the community. For example, my sorority has helped me stay focused between holding mandatory study sessions, as well as making community service a priority. Meet as many people as you can, especially your professors. It is important to stand out and introduce yourself, as well as getting all the knowledge you can from them. They are there for you and if you are paying to be there, get the most for your money. Basically make your new campus, (and the library) your home away from home. Live everyday to the fullest and remember the hard work now will pay off in your future! You only get to go through college once, so make all the memories you can!

Shanna

Be positive!! Remember that the most important part is finding the college that fits your needs and wants. It's worth paying a little more to get a better education and be happy. Also, don't ever waste your education by being too involved in a social atmosphere. Avoid peer pressure, and study hard so your college experience is worth every penny. Be friends with the teachers. Actively participate always!! You will learn much more and faster if you constantly ask questions and always participate. Many times it helps to talk to the teacher after class to make sure you fully understand the course requirements. Buy books after the first week if you can. You will find that you don't need so many books all the time, and sometimes you may drop the class.

Stephanie

Finding the right college is a matter of knowing what course of study will make you happy and seeking out a school that offers an environment that you feel comfortable with. Attending a school with a good program in your field, classmates with whom you can identify, a location you can enjoy and explore, and a price that is affordable all make the college experience one that allows for personal enrichment and happiness. Making the most of the college experience is simply being active. Actively participate, ask questions, and reach for higher educational standards! Actively seek out new friendships and people whose views don't necessarily align with yours! Actively try new things, go new places, push yourself, have fun, and enjoy college for the classroom experience and -just as important- the world outside of the classroom!

Cha

Make sure the school is accredited, has an extensive program for the student's interest. Also make sure that the school is racially and culturally diverse.

Erica

Find a college that offers the most scholarships so you don't have to work while going to school. When you work while going to school it hinders your ability to meet new people and focus solely on your school work.

Mackenzie

Make sure to visit the campus and you will get a feel of the atmosphere of the campus. I like Oregon State because there was so much diversity adn everyone was smiling and friendly.

Jason

Find a college that you find yourself enjoying and be sure you can see yourself being productive there for four years.

Leslie

My advice is to know whether you want your college to be in a big city, suburban area, or a small town; and whether or not the school offers enough classes and facilities for the major and extracurricular activities that you are interested in. In order to make the most of your college experience, you should join a club or extracurricular activity to make friends outside of classes and to get to know the community and other people around.

Karen

In my experience do your homework in regard to the area, and what the school has to offer your student. If your student applies for FAFSA early, and financial aid is approved all the better. To make the most of your college experience research class options. Here at OSU there are a great quantity of diverse options. There is an abundance of degree choices, with great breadth and depth. Be sure to find out if the college offers a great deal of hands-on, and internship studies. I find this particularily helpful.

Clint

Know what you want to major in and find a school within your price range (and preferrably close) that will fit that. Don't feel you have to apply to a million schools like everyone else does, find the one and go for it.

Brittany

Make sure you visit the school you want to apply for before applying and make sure you like it and it has degrees in the fields you are interested in. Once you start going to school at a univeristy, talk to your professors and ask questions, GET INVOLVED!!!

Julia

Take the time to research the school and think about what areas of study really interest you (the student). Take every opportunity you can and meet new people. Learn from friends and form study groups in classes that are difficult for you. Get that support group early and take advantage of the study rooms in the library. Above all, always get your butt to class. It's easy to loose focus and stress out if you don't go to class--remember you'll be paying for it later so you might as well go! Know where your professors are in case you need to stop by. I would always try to visit my science class professors at least once a week and ask them questions I had written down from the week's lectures. By doing this, the professor gets to know you and you get more out of your class than if you just did the minimum. Always ASK QUESTIONS when given the chance.

Marie

The most important suggestion I could provide to a student is that he/she should become involved with on-campus and off-campus activities/organizations.

Tim

Keep an open mind. Be open to trying new things and meeting new people. Be ready to work hard, school is more than just sitting in lecture and taking notes. Get involved with different groups on campus and/or join a club. And don't give up when the going gets tough, I've seen people do that and it leads to academic probation. Instead, seek help; there are many people willing to help you.

Jacalyn

Do not just focus on the courses that are offered, but look at what the campus offers for activities and things to do around the town.

Brandon

Visit the campus. Oregon State has an amazing campus that conveys the academic spirt of the university.

Derek

Doing what you love to do is the truly one of the greatest things life has to offer. My suggestion to any college bound student is to simply explore. Get into classes you find to be interesting. Don't necessarily shut yourself off from all the other subjects the school has to offer and only focus on your major, take this time to investigate your interests. When I fist started school , I was set on being a phamacy student, after a year and a half, I found myself to be a sociology major. My interest in sociology has surpassed my interest in pharmacy, this is becasue I allowed myself to search and investigate. Colleges around the world have so much to offer, make sure your're getting the best out of it, cause it only happens once.

Michelle

stay close to home, it saves money

Janine

Find the best that will suite you academically, socially, and locality. Don't pick a school half ways around the world if being close to family is important for you. Find the middle ground, and be proud to go forward with it. Follow your dreams, not your parents'.

Marcus

Find a place that you like, don't be afraid to move far away, or even some place close to home. Having said that, don't hesitate to another campus, if the place you chose doesn't work out. Now is the time to find what you like and what works for you.

Hannah

I would make sure you really research mutiple majors you are interested in at the college, in case the one you initially choose proves too difficult. This way you have a fall back at the same school. I would also really get to know the people that live around you by leaving your door open and just talk to them. They probably know what you are going through, and are willingly to at least have dinner with you once in a while. Parents, allow your student to decide their college, do not force them to you alumni school. Even if it is your money they are spending, it is still their experience and their life and their future, so don't force what you opinions on them. Students, really choose a college that you are comfortable with, where you know where the Target is, (if there is one) and the Winco.

laci

Pick a school that has things of your intrest and in a area that you can enjoy activities that you like. Talk to people from the college to see what they have to say about the school and their experiences.

Gabriel

Spend at least a weekend at your prospective school and attend classes that would be in your major to get a better feel for the school.

Ann

Students should try to get away from home. I know that is scary for parents, but at some point, they will need to learn to fend for themselves. Don't go to college in your hometown - find another college that has the academic program you want and that is still within reach for your parents (for parents' weekends). It's okay to explore in your social life, but never let yourself miss class over it. That's one of the biggest mistakes students make. If you learn to skip class, you are much less likely to graduate. Parents should not be afraid to ask their student about classes and grades if they are helping to pay for college. Students need to realize that parent contribution gives them this right. Above all, go somewhere where you can have fun - everyone needs a release valve.

Jeana

Follow your dreams. College is expensive, but if you work hard, it's possible. It's possible and important.

Laura

I would tell them to visit every college they are interested in and see if they can sit in on a class. Websites and pictures can only tell you so much about campus life. I would also tell students that college can be fun without drinking and partying all the time. Most places there are safe and legal ways to have fun or unwind on the weekends.

Greg

Visit the campus and stay there for a couple days. Oregon State University was at the bottom of my college choices until I visited the campus and decided to go here. I got into all 11 Universities that I applied to and OSU was one of my backup schools, and now I'm here and I love it.

Shawn

Choose that college that fits you best, and has any possible major that you may want to persue, because it is highly likely that you may change majors!

Aileen

To make the most of the college experience, I would recommend that students go out and not be afraid to meet others. There are surprisingly a lot of people that have similar experiences and things in common with one another. I met my best friend in college and I couldn't have done it without going outside of my comfort zone to meet him. Also don't be afraid to try new things. In college, everything is pretty much acceptable. Doing new things makes it much more exciting. As for parents, they should come and see their child once in a while, especially during Parent Weekends. It lets everyone see each other again and creates a new bond.

Brian

Travel to all the schools your interested in and then research the ones you felt most comfortable at. look into financial aid and go to classes that relate to your major.

Nicole

I would say that you should make sure that the college has the major, minor, or whatever you are interested in. If you choose a college and find out they don't offer as much as a different one, then it will be hard. Also, visit the school. Make sure that when you are on campus, it feels right and you could imagine yourself being there whether it's to visit as a parent, or live there. Also, cost. Make sure that the college is a good value for you and would be worth any money you need to pay. When you're in college, try to be outgoing and meet new people. Talk to people in class to get to know them, and sign up for small volunteer opportunities. Also, it's important to manage time! Don't get caught up in all the new freedom that comes with going to college. Make sure that priorities are set and that homework always gets done on time. Enjoy your experience! It's really fun exploring new areas, learning new things, and experiencing new adventures.

Charles

First you need to make certain that you are ready for college. A good High School experience and GPA are not always an indication that you will do well in college. It's much, much harder that high school. A thorough research of available support services prior to making a college or university choice is crutial. Parents, make sure that you stay in contact with your student and ask the hard questions about grades and performance. Don't take the casual answer of "everything is fine" without verification. It's too easy to slip behind and extremely hard to recover once you are down. The overused phrase that it takes a village to raise a child, doesn't just apply to small children. It should also apply to young adults trying to make it on their own for the first time. We are still in need of a guiding hand. College experience can be very rewarding. Some day, looking back at my time at Oregon State, I feel certain that it will have been an overall positive experience.

Brandie

I would reccomend visiting the campus or taking a tour of the campus, as well as talking about the school with not only teachers and other academic personel on campus, but also with students who attend the school. Get a feel for the school before actually applying for it. Also, get a good idea of what you want to study, if you know, and apply for colleges that offer good programs in what you want to study. Apply to several colleges, to keep your options open. Remember to keep in touch with your family and old friends when you get to college and leaving your dorm room door open when you're in your room in the first few weeks will help you make more friends. Be active and involved with the programs happening not ony in your dormitory, but also around campus. Make friends in your classes and talk to your professors. They really aren't as intimidating as it seems. On a last note, just remember to have fun and there will be time for a social life, as long as you budget your time.

Kendra

The most important thing about finding the right college, and therefore having the best college experience is to make sure the college you are interested in fits your needs. Yes, you may be applying yourself to a certain college, but a certain college needs to apply itself to you. Ask youself questions such as: "Does this college have what I need to academically succeed?" "Does this college have clubs are organizations that I find interesting?" "Are there going to be people there that I can make lifetime friendships with?" And after you have chosen the right college for you, make a promise to push yourself, because this is a time in your life where no one but you has control. But more importantly, as hard as you push yourself academically, push yourself to have fun!

Grant-Michael

Any student and parent should experience the school for themselves. The individuals would be suggested to take a tour of the campus and visit as much as possible to get a feel for your surrounding. Students also must be willing to live in the Dorm or off campus on their first year to obtain such an experience. Personally ,this was the best choice I have made to this day!! Living at home would have been cost effective but I won't have met anyone. Going to a college close to home and being around people is also very helpful to have!! Money should not be an issue in any decision! Most of all their must be dedication to being in an active roll at your college!! If you are always out of the loop your college years won't be the best of your life. Good luck and be aware of the Freshman 15!! (It happens to everyone) Thanks for this opportunity! I enjoy teaching people about my college and getting things of my crest about my experience thus far!!

Jessica

Pick a school based on all different factors and make the most of your time to enjoy your college experience..

Karen

As I complete my senior year of college, I feel qualified in offering advice to those families seeking the most appopriate college. College selection must be a commitment that encompasses every aspect of the students life, not academics alone. The student and college of choice must be a good fit for the student and their family. Success in completion of the program revolves around not only the accomplishments of study, but also true happiness from somewhere within.

Alexandra

I would advise parents and their children to start "shopping" for a college or university early on; during their sophmore year in high school would be adequate. It is very important to not only find a colllege in which your major is offered but to also find a campus that you are comfortable with and a city that you can live in comfortably. That means researching the climate, night life, crime rate, population, housing market and job oppurtunities. Once decided on a university, I would highly suggest visiting for a few days to get a feel for the campus and the residents of the school. Upon begining college I would advise students to take classes outside of their comfort zone. Meet new people, explore the surrounding area, go to pep ralleys, football games, and bonfires. See the fall concert put on by the school band and view the play put on by the drama department. Much of who I am today is because of my experiences in college, and I wish that I would have looked beyond studies, frat parties and a part-time job to experience those other things you will never experience in the same way again.

Catherine

Start looking and applying early. Procrastination is the worst. Parents be open to students ideas/needs/wants and studends have fun with it but know when to take it seriously!

Erin

College, believe it or not, isn't soley about academics. Its about finding yourself and your passion that drives you. It is about trying new things, broadening your horizons, and finding your individual motivation. The best advice I could give to any parent(s) or student(s), is that when you prepare to enter college have in place a plan of "attack"...know where your interests lie and where they don't. Thats not to say that you can't always change the path you take, but college is expensive, and it best to have a general idea to avoid from accruing extra expenses.

Kelly

From experience the best advice I can give freshman about finding the right college and making the most of the experience is don't sweat the small stuff. Don't be afraid to take out a loan. I tried to work too much and ended up working myself to death between school and work; I ended up missing out on all the things I was excited for most about college. Stressing out to much ruined my first year. Things happen, just learn to roll with the punches and don't take the little things for granted.

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