Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College Top Questions

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

Joshua

Aside from a few minor tips like pack more food for college and start getting on a good sleep schedule, I would advise my past self to take some more initiative in the college searching process. The fact of the matter is that I ended up settling for a school rather than finding one that I loved and one that is the best fit for me. This is not to say that Penn State Behrend is a bad school, because it's not. The teachers are great and there is a strong sense of community among the students. However, it is not the best fit for me, and I now know of half a dozen other schools that I would love to be at instead. Now that I'm looking to transfer, I realize that this whole process could have been avoided had I made the effort during high school. So, the advice that I think high school Josh would most benefit from would be: take the initiative now so you'll be happier down the road.

Summer

Stop and take it all in. Take in the memories of gym class, the classes with your best friends, school lunches, even though you complain about them now, one day you will miss them. Take in the memories of your last sports game you will ever play, or the last class you'll ever go to in your highschool career. But most importantly take in the memories of how much you have grown not only as a student, but a person. Highschool is a place that you grow, but college is the place where you truly find yourself. Transitioning from highschool to college is a scary time, but such an amazing one. The key thing to remember is this is your time to shine and to become the person you've always wanted to be. Become friends with people you wouldn't have in highschool, study as much as you can, but make mistakes too. And don't worry, you will stumble in your tranition into the new chapter of your life, but its just all apart of the ride, so enjoy it. We don't change, we just live, it's your decision on how its done.

Max

In highschool, I wasn't the most social person. This isn't to say that I didn't have any friends, I had quite alot actually, but very few, maybe only one or two that I knew I could really depend on. College is different. I live with my friends. I eat with them. I spend as much time as I possibly can with them because I realize how unique and special they really are. My highschool self, however, would have been very skeptical because, as I stated earlier, I wasn't the most sociable person and expected to only have a few good friends in college rather than an expansive family. If I were to give advice to myself, I would say,"don't worry about friends, they'll find you. Focus instead on having fun and let what happens happen. You'll be in good hands with those who find you."

Cassandra

If I could talk to my past self from college I would tell her that college is a fun and exciting experience but also extremely scary. I would tell myself to not be afraid and that it is okay to talk to people and make friends. Friends will help you get far in life and you should try to make at least two or three through out your college years. They can help you with everyday life struggles and are good to have when they're in your major and you can all study together and become top students. Also, I would say go out and do more activities! College can be rough so having a good activity to help relieve stress is one of the best things you can do.

Max

The big thing I would tell myself, is that college is demanding, and there is no room for late assignments and excuses. Studying and time management will become the college student's best friend.

Shandna

If I were to go back, I would tell that younger version that you are fine just the way you are and the soon to you feel comfortable in your own skin the better you will be. I would tell her to not hard her heart against anyone because the older version strongly prefers her solitude and is not fond of company. I would tell her that her interest in biomedical will never die but to make your transition easier… pursue your AS in MLT before pursuing your BS. Volunteer early because you will surprised what and who you will give your heart out to. I will tell her that financially it does not get better, but remember to keep fighting and hold on to some of those disenchanted jobs because your time will come.

Samantha

If I could go back I would cherish my time at home with my family. Througout the latter part of my senior year and also the summer I was never home. I spent a lot of time with people that I thought were my friends and they really weren't. I barely spent anytime with my mom and dad. I regret this deeply because now that I am at school I find myself missing them a lot. I try to spend as much time with them now when I go home. But it is not the same because I missed out on a lot with them over that time period.

kristhomas

If I could go back to my senior year, I would tell myself to apply myself a little more and to make the decision to start college sooner than when I finally did start. I would recommend that I transfer from an Army Reservist to that of Active Army status, which would have helped my discipline and realization of how important higher education is to progress in today’s job markets. Lastly, I would tell myself that the best route to take to complete the higher education would be to attend a community college, then transfer to a 4 year institution rather than attempt a 4 year from the start, and that private colleges such as university of phoenix are terribly expensive compared to junior colleges.

Yana

Try to do your replacement test as best as possible. Fill as much scholarship as you can, don’t be lazy. Find your books before classes will start at bookfinder4u.com. Ask for some recommendation letters from your teachers. Make your resume. Find a job in a campus. Find some internship.

Emily

I would tell myself to do everything you can, if that means working more hours, doing more research, or finding good opportunities that make you stand out compared to everyone else do it. College is totally different than highschool, it is alot of work and time. I have always been the type of person to get things done as early as possible, so I would tell myself maybe to manage my time and get things done first that are due earlier. Also stick to your values is a big one, when you get to college morals and values of other students are very different. If you don't like something do not do it. If you feel it's wrong stick to your gut. I would tell myself to meet as many people, those people or clubs you join could really help you out and make you stand out compared to someone else. Most importantly be yourself, and do not give up when life gets hard, college is rough but if you have the right attitude then you can get through anything.

Elizabeth

Dear 17 year old me, Hello. This is your future self from college. There are a few things I wish to tell you and advise you on. I know you had already planned on staying close to home to study for college but ultimately, you will branch out into searching for schools outside of the state once you realize that your dreams and aspirations reside elsewhere. Kudos to you for that because guess what? You will end up on the other side of the country to go to school! And a pretty darn good school at that. But anyway, I digress. I also wanted to let you know that you must take advantage of your time now looking for ways to save for college, because you and I both know no one will be able to help. At least not that much. Look up scholarships online and apply, apply, apply. Save up your money while you work, budget your spending, and be prepared. Know what's important to you and think ahead because unless you want your family to have more faith in your abilities while working toward higher education, then show them just how much you really do care!

Carey

Looking back at my senior year of high school I wish I would have been more prepared for what was to come. College is not easy by any means and I would have wanted to be more prepared for classes and have someone explain to me the work that has to be put into each individual course you take. The whole transition from high school to college is a scary thing. My advice would be to go in prepared, plan everything out starting with your schedule down too how much studying you should do for each of your classes even if you don't have a test in that course. Also getting involved on Campus is the key to success the more involved you are on campus the more you are likely to be successful.

Ryeisha

If I can go back in time and give myself advice, I would tell myself to practice better study habits and read more. College is something that you have to give your all and more. Always go above and beyond in your work because in the end it will pay off.

John

Don't be too hard on yourself. When times get tough, you can ask for help through the tutoring department and they will help you stay on track. Stay focused, keep studying and have fun on the weekends. You will meet alot of nice people and you will really enjoy college. Remember to work as hard as you can and call home once in a while to keep grounded with the family.

Danielle

I wish I would have had family members who had taken part in the college experiance so I would of had some refrence. The number one transition issue for me was study habits so I would have deffintly told myself to try out different study habits and study dedication. High school was a lot different exspecially in the content of exams so I now wish I would have pushed myself much more beyond to be prepared for college material. Making up an exam that I knew would be much harder then the one we would be taking in class would be a very good study method that I would go back and have myself try. The money is of course an issue also I would have a job all throughout high school to save up before starting to college. Scholorships and grants would be a must for me to do, I would advise to start looking into opportunties early into the year so I had time for a back up plan also.

Kylie

Now that I am graduating college and going on to graduate school, I can look back and say, enjoy every second of school and being a college student. Looking back on my college career it was one of the best times of my life. I made many good friends and met people from all over the world. I would tell myself to be open to making as many friends as possible, and go to as many college sponsored activities as I could. You get to experience life while making friends. The transition from high school to college isn't that bad as long as you are open to different types of people, ramen noodles, and studying (something I didn't do in high school). Transitioning is only scary because you think about it, in reality it makes you grow as a person.

Samantha

My college experience has been a whirlwind of activities and life changing lessons. As a sophomore in college, I have learned more about myself personally than I ever thought I would. I have learned how to be a sociable person, a good friend, and most importantly I have learned what my values are. The students and staff are so helpful and friendly that I feel completely comfortable asking any questions that need to be asked and getting any help I may need. To me, it has been a valuable experience to attend college because of the friends I have made, the education I have received, and still put to use, and the lessons I have learned about life. There is no better way to learn about life than to live on campus and have to support yourself and all of your needs on your own. Its such a wonderful experience that I would highly reccommend to anyone thinking about on campus living.

Amanda

If I could go back in time to my senior year and talk to myself, many things come to mind to discuss. But there are two suggestions that stand out. First, I would tell myself to not be afraid of getting involved. Getting connected within the community gave me a chance to meet new people with different views. I have learned about many different cultures from people who grew up in what seems like different worlds. I have turned into a whole new person since high school because of the people I have met. Another piece of advice that I would give myself would be to stay determined. I always used to find myself getting stressed out over the smallest things, but now I know that as a college student you have many opportunities to redeem yourself. As long as you know you are doing your best, thats all a student can do. Through the ups and downs of college it's easy to become discouraged. But if you remain focused on your goals, you will achieve them and more.

Thuan

As a high school senior, I didn't know much about college nor did I know what major to take. In a case where I can go back in time, I would change many things. First, I would have liked to know what major I really wanted to pursue. Second, I should have been more displicined. In example, having better study habits and an optimism to do good in school(it just hit me my junior year). Third, apply for scholarships so the college tuition can be less and finding a job won't be mandatory, but optional. Fourth, learn to love what you do no matter what others say, but make sure it is within the boundaries of a reasonable job market. Fifth, learn to be independant, such in a way that you won't always depend on friends to make things fun or fall into peer pressure and do things you usually don't do. Sixth, keep a good habit by having enough sleep, excercising, and eating healthy. Finally, just be yourself and make friends, which keeps the other six reasons in cycle. Always keep in mind, happiness everyday brings peace of mind.

Joshua

After careful consideration, I would have to admit to myself that listening to your parents is an integral part of preparing yourself for college life and leaving home. I would tell myself that it is normal to want to slack off as a senior, but to not do that! Keep studying. Keep learning. Keep working as hard as you can, because that first day in college is going to be an eye opener. No one cares if you don't show up for class. No one cares if you get behind. There's not a weight added to your college class. All those things I took for granted, just disappeared the second I stepped into that classroom. I would tell myself to enjoy those home cooked meals because the cafeteria food doesn't even come close to what I was used to eating. I woud remind myself that college comes with a very hefty price tag attached to it so enter every contest, every essay, and every scholarship opportunity that becomes available to you! College is a learning experience, but so is high school. Take advantage of it and appreciate it!

Megan

If I could go back and give myself advice for entering college I most certainly would. The transition from college to high school is overwhelming and I believe that sometimes, students in high school need to hear advice from students who are currently in college rather than adults. I would tell myself that the transition from living at home to living at school is indeed a big change, but it is not nearly as scary as everyone makes it out to be in their head. You learn more about yourself and your capabilities when you are living away from your parents or your traditional home life and it is a necessary change at this chapter of your life. The second thing I would tell myself is to not stress over the minor details. As long as you work hard and stay focused on your ultimate goals, everything will fall into place. I am in no way saying that it will be easy reaching your goals, but as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort to succeed, it will happen. How determined you are reflects your success.

Courtney

I would have told myself to focus more on learning study skills and improving my GPA in high school. I was so worried about having fun my senior year, I think part of me thought I would never have fun again because I was leaving the people I grew up with. I also would have told myself there is a great big world out there and Selinsgrove high school is a small shell in the world. I would show myself all the different cultures and really cool people who are out there, and not to be nervous around them because they are different from me. I would also tell myself that even though I was really envoloved in high school and super busy, I should stay envoloved in college. There are people out there who need help, and rather than enjoy all the free time of sitting on facebook, it's really important to give back. Lastly, I would stress how key it is to learn balance and time management early in your college career. I could not have got through partying 6 days a week, and I know people who didn't. Classes are the most important thing, period.

Jackie

College is attainable. There are so many ways to complete a college education. Do not be afraid to work 'menial' jobs to accomplish a goal. Life is too long to not get started on it now. As time goes on, more and more help is available in the form of scholarships and grants. You just need to keep you eyes and ears open and to apply as often as possible. The most important thing to remember is high school and the cliques and the personalities of the teachers is....this is not the real academic world. Take what you need and leave the rest behind. Do not foster a hatred for the entire educational system based on one small town representation of what the world has to offer. Find a true mentor and work hard.

Lauren

I would tell myself to get into more clubs and take more ap classes. Being well-rounded is very important for college so being in many clubs helps with that. Also, I would tell myself to stay closer to home. Family being one of my most essential values makes it hard to be away from home. I try my best to make my family proud because I know I can be anything if I try. With the transition, to keep myself busy, I took 17.5 credits this semester and was accepted into the most prestigious club on campus, Lion Ambassadors. I feel that I did all I could to prepare for college, I just wish I would have filled out more scholarship applications like my mom said to because I hardly received any financial aid. College is expensive and the price goes up every year. I wish I would have listened to my mom.

Daniel

Making sure I had a better idea of what I wanted to major in. This would have made me dicide better where I wanted to go.

Joseph

I'm discovering that I have an interest and strength in business law. If I could go back to high school I would take more classes that are relevant to this area. I feel like I was well prepared for college as far as math and writing, but I could have used more preparation in accounting, finance, economics. However, for a good portion of my senior year I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist ! Actually, I could have been more focused and prepared if I had thought about my strengths and not followed the advice of teachers who simply tried to push me into a career just to make money!

Brittany

The advice I would have given myself is to get involved as soon as possible in campus activities and organizations, because it is a great way to meet people and to really be a part of campus. I would also tell myself to learn how to manage my time as a senior in high school, because it is tough to adjust to college life and to also learn time management skills.

Marc

I would say go for and do not even think about not going to college. The past two years have been the best years of my life, I've met a bunch of new people who are all really close friends of mine now. High school seemed liked a joke compared to college and i am very glad that I came here.

Justin

I would say to try harder freshman year and do a better job of managing my time between work and class

Gwendolyn

I would advice myself to appreciate what I had. I would remind myself about how my parents pay the bills and stock the fridge. I would also reassure myself to be open with new people and just go out there and meet as many people as I can. College is its own unique world and it only happens once, and it goes soaring by. Even while you're in college you know that it's going fast. But there's no way to stop it. I would remind myself that tests and things aren't all that life is about, that life is finding beauty in the small things. And to find these small things we need to experience as many different things as possible. Also that you need to love yourself in order to help others and to succeed. People lose sight of what's important, and I would tell myself, that college is when I need to hold tight to who I am so that way my future involves the person I want to be and not who the world influenced me to become.

Mark

Hello Mark, I would like to tell you about life in college. Life in college is not what you might think it is. It is nothing like the movies show, where people are drinking and partying every day. However, it both relaxing and stressful at times. Work may pile up on you at times but if you do your work ahead of time and get help from the professors at their offices the work load will be much lighter. Furthermore, there are times when there seems to be no work and nothing to do. However, you can always run down to the gym and/or just go for walk down into the gorge behind your dorm. This will not only keep you in shape but it is also a great way to reduce stress. There are also things you can do while still in high school and before you leave for college. For example, take as many advanced placement classes in high school. This will help you adjust to college life by making some classes easier. Another thing you will want to do before you leave is meet with all your high school friends and say your goodbyes. Sincerely, Mark

Michael

Don't freak out about it. You never know what you're going to enjoy and what you aren't so go in with a positive attitude, and be willing to accept a bit of change. Don't forget to get involved! Joining intramural sports teams, fraternities and sororities, clubs, and whatever activites may arise are the best ways to meet people. Network the heck out of eveything you can and I promise you will come away with so much more than anyone who choses not to.

Ashley

I would say make sure you find something that makes you feel comfortable. First impressions of the school should be looked past. When I first toured the college I just graduated from I didn't like it very much. To find out I LOVED my education and experience at the college. I would also look at the housing. Lots of colleges are up-grading their dorms and apartments. Find a place that gives you some privacy. Just because you want to "college experince" doesn't mean you much live in a shoe box with two bed, desks, and dressers. Once again find a place that makes you feel comfortable. Another thing is figure out how you might pay for all the expenses before going. Trying to get a loan last minute is anything but easy. Save up any little bit before you start. Lastly, enjoy college but also focus on the reason your their...to learn and get ahead in life. Going out partying every night will get you no where. Hang out with friends and find ones that will be there through the good and the bad, not just the ones that you can party with.

Lucas

Research all your colleges and verify its accredidation.

Michael

-Emphasize job placement! -Transparency about housing! -Live on campus first year! -Get involved with club, organization, or sport first year! -Get to know your faculty and staff!

Samantha

College is a time where all the possibilities are open to you. You make or break yourself. No one is going to tell you to do anything. You have to make sure you are quite disciplined from the start. Never give up! It is also extremely important to be open - not only to people of different cultures or ethnicity, but also to people in general. Never be narrow-minded. But always stick to your values. Don't ever do drugs or binge drink - they seriously ruin your life and it's a waste of money and time. Choose your friends wisely and don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. No one judges you in college. You are free to be yourself; but remember your values. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Someone will always be ready to listen. Being smart is cool. It's very important to get involved straight away on campus during your freshman year. It helps so much in adjusting and making friends and connections and getting awards. I won so many. And I have so much pride in my college. I've had the best time!

Jenna

The best advice I can give to someone about finding the right college is that you have to trust yourself to know what you want. Don't listen to others or make decisions based on friends and family's opinions. To make the most of your college experience have no regrets. Talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to. Become involved in school activities and make friends in a variety of different groups as to always have the opportunity to be invited and involved in different commitments.

Joshua

I want parents to remember that your child is going to be the one attending the school so try to support them in their decision. Try to do whatever you can to make the college decision easier because trust me, they will appreciate it. I know it is difficult to see your little girl/boy growing up, but try to undersand and help them attempt to advance their knowledge for the future. For students, do as much research as possible before you decide what school you will attend. Trying to find the right school involves visits, converstations with current students, and online research. I know it seems like an impossible decision but trust me, you will know where to go if you just put in enough time. Try to keep your head up and ur focus on your future. When you get to your school, attempt to meet as many people as possible and try to establish positive social and educational values. I know it will be rough at first but trust me, the experience is priceless. Good Luck parents and future students!

Zachary

Look for a college or university that has a program that best fits your interests. You may just like it! Be sure to talk to the faculty and students that go there to get the truth of what it is really like.

Tiffany

The best piece of advice that I could give to students who are making a college decision right now, is that in order to find the right college, you should make sure you spend plenty of time researching and visiting the college before you choose. I didn't visit any colleges or do any research whatsoever. In the end my decision came down to what was most affordable and closest to home. I don't believe that these are the only factors that should be taken into account when making such an important decision and my advice is simply to make sure you know the school you decide upon before you make your final decision. Make sure that the academic and social environment suits you, talk to current students and see how they feel about the campus, and figure out if you would be able to socialize well withthe people there in your future. Talk to faculty if the opportunity arises to ensure that you will recieve the right amount of attention that you will require once in college. First and foremost, however, take your time in deciding where you want to spend the next four years of your life.

Patrick

Really think about what you want to learn more about in college. If you enjoy your classes, then you will enjoy the college life and be successful more so than someone who someone who hates there classes and does poorly.

Ron

I would say that the best advice for finding the right college would be for the students to look for a college that best fits their personality. A small campus with small class sizes is perfect for the shy person, while a bigger campus might attract a person that is extremely outgoing. And to make the most out of the college experience, a student will have to make new friends, and find the right balance between social life and school work.

Steven

Well, college is an expesive advestment and making the right choice is hard, but is kind of like trying on a pair of shoes before buy them; one trys several pairs before finding one that you are happy with do the same with college. Do not just go to one because it is close to home or is offering a certain thing but find one you are really happy with.

Tim

Research and visit many colleges.

Angelica

Having a younger sister heading into college for the Fall of 2009, I have been helping her and my parents through the college process again. Although this will be my parents third child to be sent off to school, they understand completely the importance of finding the right college. I have been working closesly with my sister and the best advice I have given her was to read up on the colleges she is considering. She has to do some background checks to find out what the schools are really all about. The biggest and one of the most important steps is talking to your high school advisors because they have all the information that any parent or prospective student would need. College visits are also essential because you are naturally attracted to places where you grew up. Every college campus is different and appeal to different students which is why it is crucial to go and visit the college and see the living conditions and dining options.

Mike

Picking a college is a difficult decision. Obviously it's crucial to pick a college that houses a solid, accredited school for your intended major, as well as the flexibility to change your mind. The best piece of advice I have is to go walk around the campus on your own during a normal school day, prior to taking a tour, and make note of the atmosphere and your opinions. Then take a tour and compare what you learned and felt on the tour to your own opinions and observations. Also stop into the offices of the clubs and organizations on campus, especially the programming board. Talk to any members present and ask for information on the acitivities they plan and their contributions to campus. Finding a strong academic program that suits your interests is the easy part of finding the right college. It is crucial to ensure that once you are a student there you will feel comfortable as a member of the community, both academically and socially. The instincts you have while wandering around campus and your interest in the social world of campus will be the basis of how much you get from and enjoy college.

Amanda

I would advise to go to every college and spend a day there looking at everything, even sitting in on a class. Also talk to an advisor and students currently attending. They give a lot of insight to what really goes on there. Do your research before visiting also, so you know what questions you want to ask while you are there. To make the most out of your college experience, know how to balance school work and social life. In the end, it will help in so many ways. Find true friends and don't waste the time on people who are going to ruin your experience. Most of all, always be yourself. The people who truely matter will love you for who you are and the others, don't matter.

David

Find a college that best suits you. Not only does the college have to suit you, but check out the area surronding the college. Make sure there is enough to keep you entertained and that you are able to handle it. Then always check out the off campus housing, just incase you dont make it in the on campus house, its nice to know there is another option and its a good option as well.

Kimberly

If i were to give advice on picking a school i would tell them to keep there mind completely open and not judge a school by what you hear from others. Take the time to look at the schools and go through the tours that they offer because you are very likely to form a better opinion of that school and make a better choice in where your son/ daughter/ or your self will be going. Also i would strongly emphasis that they should look at the degrees the school offers that way it correlates with the programs that your student will need to take.

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