Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona Top Questions

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


I would tell my high school senior self to take the academic side of school a lot more serious. There are so many opportunities afforded during both high school and college to those who have a good GPA. Hit the books first and then enjoy yourself second. I would also tell myself to set up a financial plan to save some money during my collegiate career.


I will decide in just one major instead of double majoring in bussiness and Medicine. I will try to get a really high GPA my first semester because it is hard to go down, and once is down is hard to go up. Be a really friendly guy and have a very open minded mind. Have a small group of friend and try to stick with them througout all four years, as in living together, because they will become my friends for life in the future. I would have also told my self or really research about a specific major meanwhile in high school, that way whenever I am in collge i have a perfect idea of what I am pursuing.


Too stay focused and have a plan prior to attending college because without one it is very hard to go down the path that will lead you in the direction of success.


Apply, Apply, Apply. Apply to scholarships, grants, everything. But most importantly apply yourself. It is vital to make the best use of your time while still a senior, because before you know it you will be on campus taking much harder classes. Scholarship applications should be your best friend if they aren't by now, and you can never have too many best friends. Stay vigilant, and seek out any scholarships that you meet the requirments for. College is the first major step in becoming a full out adult, and offers a number of experiences that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Enjoy the time when it comes, but be sure to always remain humble and focused on school work, as failing out of college is a real thing no matter what anyone tells you. Student events will present you with many different decisions, often sacrificing precious studying time, for the famous white out game at Penn State. Time management is the most important skill you need to learn heading into college. With classes being structured much different than high school, there ends up being a lot of free time. Remain focused, because WE ARE!


I would tell myself to take more time to look into scholarships and awards that would help in college. I would also tell myself to procrastinate less and do things right away, rather than waiting. With college soon approacing, it is important that I learn to do things more effeciently, which I sometimes struggled with in high school.


First, go in undecided. Get a feel for the different courses so that you can find the one that fits you best. Second, only be friends with people you really like. Ignore those who try to be your friend but you do not connect with. In other words, only spend time with good people. Third, study more and FOCUS! Fourth, don't drink alcohol. There are better ways to have fun or relax. Alcohol only leads to regrets. Finally, ASK FOR HELP!


You learn so much your first year of college. You learn how to live on your own, how to live with a stranger, and how let things go. If I could give my senior high school self some advice, I would say you are the only person that will be there for you. That might seem confusing, but it is true. As we grew up we could always lean on our parents, siblings, friends, and teachers. In college we learn that we are the only ones that are looking out for ourselves and our future. No one is holding your hand and making sure you are doing all that you can to be successful. It doesn't take long to notice that you are a small fish in a very big pond; this can be scary but also exciting. You finally feel like an adult and feel like you have a purpose in your life, so live it up and enjoy every minute of it. College allows you to focus so much on yourself, so find out who you are and become the person you want to be. This is the avice I would give my high school senior self.


The advice I would give myself is to study harder, to take things more seriously, and to be myself. If i would have studied more in high school, it would have perpared me for college a whole lot more. Also, if i would have took things more seriously, my grades for example, I could have gotten into Penn State Main, by getting better SAT scores. Last but not least, if i would have been myself and not what other people wanted me to be, I would have had a better high school experience. I also believe that if I would have been myself, my grades would have exceeded themselves.


To start a four year college right after high school, in a general program and then take a 2 year technical degree afterwards. I took a 2 year degree and again I am taking one but it is giving me many setbacks at this age. I would have loved if I graduated right after high school would have made my life a lot easier now.


Dear Past Self, I know you are not too worried about paying for college. You should be! Throughout high school the teachers always said, "Plans for your future will change, always have a back up." Let me tell you a little secret, they were right. You should always have a backup plan in case you change your mind or things do not work out. Fill out as many scholarship applocations as you can, even if they are super intimidating. Don't be afraid to ask for help either, use it while you can! Mrs. Razor will be more than happy to assist you with filling out applications. Another word of advice would be to take the ACT. Now, I know your thinking, "Why? I'm not going to a four-year college, I don't need to." Yes you do! Like I said, plans do change, those crazy teachers were right. Please, don't be like me and fly by the seat of your pants, thinking everything will work out right. Have a 'Just in Case' plan. Make sure no matter what happens you are ready for it and able to handle it. With Love, Your Future Self


If I had a time machine and could return to the past in order to speak to my high school senior self I would tell him to gain all the infomation that he can because it will turn out to be a huge asset. I would tell myself to gain all the tips possible, those that refer to studying, to socializing with the right people such as teachers, early in the school year. I would add that he should acquire the right associates in order to form study groups because socializing and making connections are important because people are always able to learn from one another, perspective is vital in human relations so it is always good to view the world and everything in it from another person's angle. Different people have different ways of gaining information, when I was in high school I'm not sure I knew the best way to do that, with study groups and sociliazing it is more likely that I'll find my way. These words to my past self would yield great reults in college and after.


Stop worrying about everything and just go with the flow. Have fun every minute of every day and take in everything you can. Dont be too lazy to study an extra hour for that exam. Get involved in research and internships in your freshman year. Network as much as possible. Everyone is just as afraid to start college as you are, dont be nervous to talk to someone; you're all in the same boat.


You should choose a major you love or everything is going to seem twice as difficult. Make sure you can pay for college and try to find one that will give you a work-study job. Nothing can ruin your time in college quite like worrying about where the money is going to come from or a part time job at McDonald's can. Study hard, but have fun too. Make friends and enjoy life. Be as open to experience as you're comfortable with and then take an extra step or two forward from that. Find yourself and discover who you want to be, rather than what the influence of your parents has made you. Learn for the sake of knowledge, rather than to pass a test.


As a high school senior, stress and worrying were an every day activity. Juggling seven AP classes, leadership in three clubs, and college applications, feeling like I was drowning in it all was not a strange sensation to me. There were even days when I would get home completely overwhelmed with upcoming tests and deadlines, piles of homework, and having to complete essays which all needed to be done in one day. This is the average life style for the college bound senior though; they are expected to greet all their responsibilities with a smile and happily add them to their already overflowing plate. What I did not realize, and most do not, is that stressing out does not produce the best results in a finished product. By becoming overwhelmed and frustrated with all my responsibilities during my senior year, none of my tests, essays, or homework assignments were the best they could have been. If given the opportunity to speak to my high school senior self once more, the best advice I would give myself would be to take one responsibility at a time and breathe. In the end, being calm will produce a higher quality product.


If I were to go back in time, I would tell myself that I have time to figure out what I want to do with my life, not to stress out about the small stuff and to take the classes that interest you as well as the classes that would challenge you. Stressing out about a major or what profession you should go into does not encourage you to become a better person. Instead, it will close off opportunities and hinder your chances of "finding" yourself. Explore the many varieties of classes a college/university has to offer and explore different fields of study. You will become a better person when you understand what inspires you, motivates you and makes you want to be that better person. Challenge yourself to work hard at the hard courses so that you have pride in what you accomplished. It will also help you to understand your limits. Lastly, take your time through college. It isn't a race, rather, look at college as an opportunity to explore yourself and to become a better person.


If I could go back, I would tell myself to prepare for life to hit you when your parnets drop you off in August because that is when your life as an adult begins. You have to be ready to take contol of you life because if you mess up, your parents can not fix it for you, you have to. Stay away from peer pressure becasue no matter how cool of fun something may seem, sometimes you have to ask your self, "what would my parents think?" and if you know they would not allow you to do something like that then it is best not to do it. Life will come fast and you have to know how to handle situations because for the next couple of years, you will shape your life and shape yourself to the woman you want to be. Be ready!


College is nothing like high school. You are on your own. To be prepared, learn to listen! Taking notes and going to class are more important than you think. Do not let the party scene distract you from studying. If you party, you will fail.


I would tell myself to change my major. It would save me a lot of extra classes. I would also tell myself to be more open. To get out there and meet different types of people. I would also tell myself to study a little harder and pursue higher goals!


First, I would start off by telling myself that I am capable of going to college, it isn't impossible. However, it does require a lot of time, patience, and determination. Along with that information I would remind myself that although high school may seem like the end of the road; there is better opportunities out there for yourself only if you take the chance of pursuing your dream full force. Most importantly I would tell myself that college despite the harsh but true facts, it is a wonderful and unforgettable experience in your life and to not give up that opportunity to change your life for the better. I would also strongly advise myself to stay focus on your goal because of the benefits that would come from it. A comment I would make would be that you have an awesome and supportive family that want nothing more than for you to succeed with your educational and lifetime goal. Becoming the first person in your family to attend college and plan on receiving a degree were goals you set for yourself from the very beginning so stay with it no matter how long it takes because you deserve it.


I would say prepare yourself! College isn't as easy as it seems. You're going to have a lot of stressful sleepless nights studying for your exams. So learn which method works for you best when studying. Also learn how to manage your time better because leaving projects, essays, and studying for last minute is the worst thing you can ever do in college. You want to get it over with so maybe during the weekend you can go out with your friends. Make sure you get to know your professors well because the more you know then the more willing they will be to help. which leads me to another topic. Dont be afraid to ask questions! please ask the professors questions and ask the tutor for help. They are truly nice people and are always there to help with whatever question you have. The last advice I have for you is to never give up on yourself. It's going to hard for you and you are going to struggle but always believe that you will come out of it because you can do anything you set your heart on.


There are very few things that I would change about my time spent in college. The biggest thing I would change would be my major. I majored in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and I would have told myself to major in Nursing and minor in HDFS. However, if I would have had a different major I might not have met the amazing people that I was able to meet or do the things I was able to do. While in college I was able to be a co-founder of an organization, join various clubs, play intramural sports, and even study abroad in West Africa. If I was a Nursing major, I’m not sure I would have been able to do any of this. Therefore, I would tell my high school self to enjoy college and take advantage of every opportunity that was presented. To maybe study a little harder and save more money, but to have fun and enjoy everything that college life has to offer.


I'm glad that I attended a smaller campus (4,000 students) after high school because I believe that it has prepaired me for the next step which is a larger campus (42, 000 students).


Attending college saved my life. I had struggled with an eating disorder since my sophomore year of high school, and I became extremely isolated and feared doing things on my own. Moving away to college stretched me greatly. I learned to take responsibility for myself, open up and admit my need for help, and develop my own relationship with Jesus Christ. For my whole life, I tried to live life for my parents by excelling in sports and being a good person. I found out that my worth and identity is in Christ. I sought help for my eating disorder, and I was healed through relationships and the power of Jesus. If I did not go away to college, I would still be self-focused and anxious about each new day. Now, I am eager to continue my education to obtain a degree in social work. Each day has purpose.


I have gained so much from attending Penn State. I have gain a great educational experience. I have been enriched with so much pride. I have met so many amzing and different people who have changed me for the better.


I've learned so much, not just from books, but from the variety of people I have met, I've met people from all over the United States, as well as people overseas. I have a new outlook on life, just from the start of my freshman year. I feel as if college lets you evolve into the person you will be for the rest of your life. It molds you and turns you into someone who will be ready to go out into the world with all the new knowledge you have. Meeting new people shows you how different people are from the area you live in. I've learned so much from just talking to a boy from Nigeria, or hanging out with a boy from Israel. I'm now more aware of the cultures that other countries have to offer, and i learned all of that from my first year in college.


I have learned so much out of my college experience in such little time. The professors at Penn State Altoona are all extraordinary, most if not all of them have a special connection with their students. The classes are normal size each and every professor has the chance to have one on one interaction with each and every single one of their students which in my opinion helps a student succeed so much better in class. College has also helped me mature, it has taught me to do things on my own with no one else's help, and it has taught me to look at life in a completely new perspective with the mentality that I will get far in life. Penn State will offer me a degree to a brighter future.


College has been a priceless experience for me in numerous ways. It has improved my character and responsibility, and has shown me that it will be a valuable investment of my time and money. Most importantly, college has taught me a huge amount of responsibility. I have learned that there are no second chances, just like in everyday life as an adult. Professors have high expectations of you to be an accountable, independent student and do not treat you like a child. College has made a huge difference in my views of education. I have seen how important it is to understand more parts of the world than just our small, liberal town of Wichita Falls. I have come to realize that there are so many more parts of the planet that we, as Americans, commonly disregard because we get so caught up in our very miniscule world. I am also more aware of the effect a college education has on my future, and the importance of it. I understand now that college is the key, for me, to achieve my life goals, be a successful and productive citizen, and provide a secure lifestyle for my family in the future.


I've learned that leaving home isn't about starting a new life all together. It's about taking your old self and your new self and finding a balance between them; making time to call your family and time to hang out with your new friends. That way you join your past and your future right here in the present.


As a sophomore now in college I have gained so much from my college experience. The biggest thing that sticks out to me that I have gained through my college experience it a sense of independence that I didnt have before entering college. Before college I always needed somebody to be with me and never wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone, especially alone. Now since finishing my freshman year in college I have gained that independence. I no longer need somebody by my side and I dont mind being placed out of my comfort zone because I know that I can only gain from that experience. Not only for me personally, but for most college students, college forces you grow up and become the adult that you are. This included having to take responsibility for my own actions, because there was only me to blame. You need to make choices for yourself and do what you think is best. In college I didn't have my parents in my ear telling me to go to class, to do my homework or to eat right, I just have to do what I thought was right, on my own.


I've gotten a lot out of my college experience. College have help me develop into a more mature person. I came to college with the excitement to party and live with no parent supervision. However, I grew into thinking those things aren't as important as my grades and future. Another interesting thing I've gotten out of my college experience is living with a variety of different people. Everyone are has a different personalities, some has multiple personalities, but living with all these different personalities had influence me in a lot of positive ways. It help a person to become very open minded.


In my short time in college, I have learned the true meaning of dedication. Education can help and unlock doors to the future, and it starts in the classroom. Everytime I set foot on campus I know that I am here to receive an education, be the first person in my family to receive a degree, and make my parents proud. The dedication instilled in from my parents will help guide me to my sucess.


I just recently got accepted as an adult learner to Penn State Altoona. I have not yet begun my college experience, so I will tell you what I hope to acheive by going to college. I have recently become a single-mother of five, two of which are on the autism spectrum. I currently have no vehicle and no way to pay daycare costs .I need to provide for my family. I will not allow my children to suffer for my poor choices in selecting a father for them, or his choices in leaving or not paying support on a regular basis. My academic carreer will allow me to independantly support my five children and all of their needs, and put me in a possition to be a successful, independant, single-mother. Please give me a chance to prove what I am capable of accomplishing. I will not let you, my children or myself be disappointed in my academic acheivements. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Attending college will help me to get through one of the most unqiue experneices in my life. In college, it can help me to get to know all different type of people. So that, can lead me to my later life. By knowing, different people from different parts of the world, will help to know understand and appreiate their culture and backgrounds. Attending to college is the best choice all high school students should make.


My college expierence thus far has not been much since I am a freshman. However, the pressure of new classes, and on campus jobs has changed my attitude towards college in a way that makes me want to work harder. It has been very valuable for me to attend college so far because I have a strong passion and willingness to grow as an educated individual.


I attended some college when I first graduated high school. Due to family situations, I did not complete college. I am returning in fall 2010 to hopefully Liberty University to receive a b achelor's degree in business and fulfill my lifelong dream of receiving a diploma. It will be valuable for me to attend college as I will finally get that confidence that I need to further my career goals in life. I am excited to also be the first person in my family to obtain a degree, even though I am 38 years old. I have worked hard all my life to get to where I am today... to actually have a degree to back it up would be one of the highlights of my life. I have always been embarassed that I don't have a degree, and want to proudly say that I have one know. I want to get out of the college experience confidence, knowledge that will enhance my career goals, an educational experience that I have never had before, and the ability to finally be proud. Thanks for the consideration of the scholarship as it would help me tremendously.


I have been attending my local community college for the past two years and it has been extremely valuable because it has given me time to figure out what I want to do. College has been very hard for me and my family financially because my brother is also a sophomore in college so going to community college for my associates before transferring has been necessary. I have learned a lot in my school by taking many different classes which has helped me explore my options. I've also had the opportunity to experience many great clubs such as The Future Educators Club and Reading Ravens. Another great opportunity I have had was to be part of Phi Theta Kappa which is my community college's honor society. This experience was very valuable and has prepared me for my future as I will be transferring to Ramapo College of New Jersey in the fall.


College learning is more than what occurs in the classroom. College has taught me to think for myself and that I am the one in control of my life. Prior to attending college, I would "go with the flow" in matters involving my peers. After high school, I realized that those people are not always going to be there to help me make decisions that will affect the rest of my life. I decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education because I love working with children and believe that teaching is my purpose in life. College has been valuable for me to attend because it has taught me the value of hard work and what it really means to be passionate about what you do. I have come to love learning and I hope that I inspire that same love in my future students. By attending college I have learned to become more independent, find a career that I love, and that no matter what career field you are in it will be difficult at times so you might as well do what you love.


Personally, the most valuable thing I got out of college is the feeling of giving back to someone in need. Their are so many volunteer opportunities on campus helping out many different causes. Getting involved with them made me feel great and I also met many wonderful friends for life at the events. College has also taught me many responsibilities financially, and personally. I now can closely manage my money and make short term and long term budget plans. Personally, I keep up after my laundry, improved my cooking skills, and learned a lot about time management. I can fit in classes, a part time job, activities, and studying while maintaining a good grade point average


Three years ago I couldn't really understand the real meaning of continuing my education after high school. I thought to my self why go to college when you can get a job which will pay and get some sort of experince. Finally last year 2009 I graduated from Garfield high school, and I realized that getting a degree give me better positions and opportunities. I just wished I had thought of this before. I could have saved myself some time and earned my self some money. Its different when you're atually in class learning about the subject you really want to persue for your future career, than when your a high school student. You take things more seriously and actually learn to appreciate them more. Thats what I would have told myself. words of guidance.


I have realized that hard work always pays off. If something seems tough, break it down and take a crack at it. Once you do, you will feel so accomplished. I learned that hard work always pays off in the end. Also, I learned not to question myself. Everyone is a unique individual with their own thoughts and ideas. Do not change who you are because of your friends. I learned that if they are real friends, they will stick by you no matter what. I feel that since I have been attending college, I have grown up a lot more. I realized that life is not all fun and games. Sometimes the road gets tough, but you just have to perservere.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to get more involved and to challenge myself more. I would also tell myself to value the teacher's and counsuler's advantages of opportunities, and to take the time to actually retain some of the information I learned.


I would tell myself to be prepared for many distractions and to always know your goal. Because in college even the smallest thing can distract you and cause a huge affect. I know now that if I have a goal and have my mind set on it, then it will be impossible to stop me from getting there. I wish I would have been more prepared and aware of the distractions around me so that I could succeed to the highest.


I would advise myself as a high school senior to become more involved upon arrival at the campus. Becoming more involved in social activities releaves the home sickness we all experience. I would also advise keeping an open mind to various possible majors by taking classes I normally wouldn't take. I would advise putting myself out there more. I would say don't be afraid to ask questions of teachers, other students, advisors, and campus employees. I have found most people more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge and helpful hints with me.


When I chose to go to Saint Vincent College, I made my decision based on volleyball and the education program. Saint Vincent led me to believe that I would be able to graduate in five years with an Elementary Education certification and a Masters degree in Special Education. I later found out that I would have to go through the Elementary program, graduate, and then reapply in a graduate program to get my masters. I also did not like many of the teachers at Saint Vincent. They were not helpful and did not seem to care about there students. When I was in high school, I was only concerned with the campus being pretty and the volleyball program. After experiencing classes, I chose to transfer. At Penn State Altoona, I will graduate in four years with an Elementary Education certification and a minor in Special Education. I still play volleyball, but I have realized that it is not the most important factor in my life. The best advice I would give my high school self is that graduating with a good education and forming strong relationships with students and teachers is the most important aspect of college.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to read, read, and read some more. In college courses there is a lot of reading so I would advice myself to prepare for it. I would also tell myself that college professors are allowed to set their own grading scales therefore you may have to push yourself harder to get an A. I would also tell myself that college professor do not hold your hand through their class or check in on you to make sure you understand everything. As a college student it is your responsibility to keep up with the work and to seek help if needed. I would tell myself that college professors assign homework but usually does not collect it and that it counts for nothing when grades are calculated but still to do it because it will reflect on exams. I would also tell myself to prepare mentally and set goals for myself. It is easy to get distracted in college because of the freedom that you have. By setting goal you can force yourself to do what needs to be done.


If I could give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to work as hard as I possibly could. Though friends may seem more important at the time, in the long run it is worth it to spend the extra time studying. If you put forth your best effort, you can accomplish anything. However, remember to start right away! Never wait to until you struggle in a class to ask for help from faculty; do it right away. Over all, enjoy the experience! You will look back on this time and forget about the struggles, only remembering the good times you had. Before making decisions, always remember to ask yourself, "is this how I want my story to look?" You can do it! I believe in you!


Back in high school there would be so many talks about the perfect life as a college student. There would mainly be talks about the parties; this was something that I would constantly hear about. The topic of discussion the rarely came about was funding for the college education. This would definelty be something that I would've advised myself on during my sophmore year in high school rather than as a senior. I would usually go shopping 24/7 and was never concerned about the amount of money that I was being wasted when that same money could've been saved for my future. Funding for college is something that I never took quite serious and unto this day, the more I mature, I realize that college isn't as easy as it's sought out to be.


Dear Megan, I know it has been about two years since we have last talked, so I wanted to catch up. I hope your senior year is going well and that you are enjoying the time you have with your friends. You won't believe how much things have changed since I have been here at college. The job I got at the mall is awful, so please enjoy the one you have at the restaurant, even though you come home smelling like cigarrettes. Always remember that Mom and Dad try to do everything they can to help you and that you won't always get what you want. Work hard and don't slack off just because you got accepted into college; you want to finsh as strong as possible. Most importantly, don't let stress get to you. You have it easy in high school and you won't fully appreciate your life until you get here. Take care and stay optimistic. You are doing this for a better future. Love always, Me


If I could go back to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would look at all of my options with each college that I was interested in and compare and contrast what I really wanted out of the school that I would attend and how I would be perceived as a student to that institution. The most important things to consider would be class size, housing options, who teaches in the classroom (accredited professors or grad students), and how involved a student (especially freshman) can be in the college community. All of these aspects play a very important role in the everyday life of a college student and can drastically affect how involved you become with your school in both the acedemic and social fields. One wants to choose an institution that will positively affect them and get themselves involved with other people and expanding their outlook on today's society and the endless possibilities that one can gain through simply going to college. I would pick a place that would challenge me to work hard, learn valuable life lessons, and grow as a person. Also, don't attend a "name brand" college just to say so.


If I could flashback to the past, I would tell myself to declare my major before I started college. I would have been applicable to receive a scholarship for $4500 a semester for all four years of college. Both of my friends received this award because they were declared in the major from the starting semester. Having this award would have helped me from becoming really far in debt once I completed college.