Reed College Top Questions

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


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior there is so much I would try to impart upon that imressionable teen. I would first and formemost tell her don't be afraid of the unkown, fear will hold you back in every aspect of your life if you allow it to; not just in your transition to college life but in regard to relationships and career paths as well. I would also tell her to be confident, be nice to yourself, no one is perfect and no one expects you to be. Don't be afraid to risk embarrassment and failure to acheive the things you want to acheive. Failure and embarrassment are transitory but the risk you take may change your life in th most amazing ways. Make as many new friends as you can but also continue to cultivate your existing relationships with friends you made in high school or earlier, they know you better than you think and will be great friends for life. Lastly, learn everyhting you can and be compassionate in everything you do.


Live on campus. Don't date your freshman year, or at least not seriously- instead focus on making a lot of friends in different groups. Don't rely on a small handful of friends, and DON'T live with them. It's better to live with a compatible roommate who you never hang out with, or to live alone near friends, than to live WITH friends if your living style isn't similar. Really consider what you want to study so you don't end up bouncing around. Take a gap year to explore different subjects if you need to. Find time to study abroad (another great reason not to date.)


I would tell myself to be prepared for how drastically and sometimes how quickly my priorities can evolve, and to understand that this is usually a benefit if well-conceived. I would also advise myself to appreciate the potential for learning and maturing from the experiences I'm having at the time, rather than expecting these opportunities to be unique to my life later. Perhaps most importantly, I would tell myself to monitor my priorities for how long-term they are--that is to say, to consider whether it will have been more important to have gone out with friends or to have studied. The larger point is not that the individual case will be of great importance, but that the individual case is indicative of important habits.


Be more comfortable with yourself- this place is perfect for you and you should remember that the people here are the best of the best, and you are too.


In this video I tried to find a couple of ways that I think most Reedies save money while on campus.


Finding the perfect college is like trying to choose Barack Obama's dog. There's a lot of hype and research you can find in all media, and almost everyone has an opinion on which one to choose. But ultimately it will be up to one person to do the decision. It?s frankly a very difficult decision to make if you are still unsure which out of the vast list of American colleges and universities to apply. Thankfully if you prepare a couple years ahead there?s plenty of time to carefully delve into the world of higher education. Take the time to research the schools you feel like attending and search for school you might not have heard, you might be surprised. Once you whittled down the vast list of American colleges and university then send in your applications. Applying to 4 or 6 schools is at minimum, 12 or more schools are unnecessary. And from that point, even if your first choice does not accept you, if you did your research then regardless of which school accepts you, you will still be able to get the education and the right college experience you want.


In recent years the process of college selection has industrialized. From publications claiming to be able to rank the "best" schools in the country to the extended process of standardized testing and essay writing expected of each college applicant, significant amounts of money, time, and energy are spent on the production of materials such as study guides and college pamphlets intended to aid in the college selection process. Considering the level and extent of anxiety that this commercialization and commodification of upper education causes students, the best advice I can give is to not worry. It is of course important to consider your goals and aspirations, to understand what a college offers and a little of the campus culture, but it is nearly impossible to determine how these same aspirations and desires might change based on the college experience itself. But it is also important to remember that if a school isn't working out, there are literally thousands more that want you as a student. I doubt that a "right" college exists. Making the most of a college experience means testing the boundaries. This may reinforce your ideas, nuance them, or outright change them. Do not be afraid.


I have applied to over 20 colleges in the last few years and I currently work in the Admission Office at Reed College. Still, the college search process is a relatively baffling one for me. Students face incredible pressure when applying to college, and parents seem to either exacerbate this pressure, or fail to understand it. Make no mistake about it, the college search is not a scientific process, it is an artistic one. Numbers simply cannot grasp the feel of different colleges all across the country. My personal experience has taught me that the best school is that which makes the student happiest. Colleges have infectious personalities to them. Reed makes me want to study harder than I ever have before--a motivation that I would argue is found at few other institutions. So, allow yourself the time to explore a variety of colleges, never be afraid to apply to a school for fear of rejection, and don't be afraid NOT to choose the school that US News and World Report considers the best.


In my junior year of high school, I submitted my high school test scores and GPA to websites designed to rate your college with the "best fit." For one school, it said that it was a good match, but with my numbers, it wasn't likely that I would be accepted. Despite--and perhaps because of --what this website said, I became determined to go to this school. When I visited the campus, I knew that it was the perfect fit, and I knew that I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. Two months later, my application was accepted, and I was enrolled in my dream school. My point? It's not all about numbers. I was perpetually involved in extracurricular activities, and my drive to be accepted itself pushed me into the top of the applicant pool. Don't let something as meaningless as a GPA stand in your way. Apply to your dream school, and settle for nothing less. If you don't try, you will never succeed. But if you do try--as scary as that may be--you will learn so much more. Good luck!


It would be ideal to be able to go to college twice. Once to find out what you believe in and once again to learn how to be what you believe in. Since this isn't an option for most folks, I strongly recommend taking time before college to test yourself and discover what you are all about. Instead of rushing right into college, travel, work, read books, volunteer, think hard and take time to reflect. Think beyond careers, salaries and what the guidance counselors told you. What do you want to learn? What do you want to change? Colleges are expensive, but they provide inumerable resources. How will you use them to thir fullest? When you have some ideas about what you'd like to devote your work and your studies to, find the school that help you be the change you wish to see in the world.


I would recommend talking to the faculty and a wide variety of students, not just the one selected to show you around the campus. Make a list of qualities that are important to you in choosing a college and education, and make sure to ask a wide range of students and faculty about it. Talking to alumni is also very helpful, as they often have a better perspective on how their education helped or hindered their future careers.


The very most important factors in picking a college are the professors and the student body. The professors should love their subjects, so that the students will love them, too. Also, it is really essential to tour a college before apply or enrolling there so that one can evaluate his or her own personal ?fit? with the student body?s social, political, and religious life. Thought wasn?t obvious to me as a freshman, in order to really get the most out of one?s education it is necessary to do more than just take classes and read books and write papers. I feel that class work is made more fulfilling by indulging in activities outside of academics. This is especially true of being involved in student groups, activism, and volunteering. Being close to one's professors is also beneficial, since they know the field already and can offer guidance and support with navigating one?s prospective field. All of these things bring one closer to the greater community and remind us why we?re in college: to learn things that will help us better our communities and change the world after we graduate.


What college you go to will not define who you are. The college search process seems to be a massive struggle to make students second guess themselves, but in reality this choice in your life is not what is most important. What you get out of college is what you put into it. This will be true of your entire life. Don't rely on your school to make your life great, nor your professors to make you appreciate what you learn. You will get more out of college if you spend your time now doing things that seem worth while than you will if spend your time now trying to maximize your opportunities in college. Don't volunteer because it will look good on your application, volunteer because you will learn about people and is something actually worth spending you time on. If you learn how to pursue what is important to you now, you will be that much more prepared to take the oportunities offered to you in college, and more informed in the choices you make for yourself.


Go with your gut.


Go beyond the numbers and know that even more important than getting A's and getting jobs is living at your chosen school for four years. It is a place where you will make a life that cannot be measured in grades and statistics. It is a place where you will hopefully do more growing up than you have in the past 18 years. Pick a place that will allow you to grow and discover and develop your passions. Don't follow others, don't follow guide books. And be ready to make a sacrifice for what you want and what you need.


I would recommend to students trying to find the right college to visit the colleges that interest them, if they can. While a lot can be learned from brochures and websites, sometimes just walking on to a campus can fulfill you with the knowledge that you were meant to be there. When I first visited Reed, I felt so at home, and the more I learned about it, from students, tours, itnerviews with staff and faculty, the more enamored I became. This was by far my first choice, and I feel very honored to be here. Ultimately, the important thing is to find someplace that you can express yourself. A student goes through a lot of changes while at college, and the freedom to find yourself, to feel comfortable with your choices, is very important to doing well academically. That freedom gives you the confidence to pursue your interests, to know what direction you want your life to go in. The community of the school is very important, for when you inevitably have problems, its good to know you have support, friends who are there for you.


Finding the 'right' college is a highly subjective experience. No one really knows which college is right for them, but most end up at a college they really like. The most important part of picking a school is understanding your own priorities. What part of the higher education experience are you most looking forward to? Which aspects of college life do you dislike? Knowing your own priorities and finding a school that shares them is the best you can do to prepare yourself for a good education.


I encourage prospective students to visit the schools they apply to. Spend time on campus, talk to current students, visit as many classes as you can. I also advise you to think about your areas of interest and research the departments/opportunities that each school has to offer in those areas. Make sure you like the city/town that your school is in. You won't always be studying, and it's good to know what's off campus to enjoy. Think about your long term goals, and how being at a particular school will help or hinder the achievement of your goals. To make the most of the college experience, I encourage students to become involved in extracurricular activities. Additionally, get to know your professors, utelize the office hours available to visit with your professors. Make sure you are aware of all the student support resources your school has to offer. And don't forget to have fun, be it at on-campus events, or getting to know the city. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with the choice you make. Make sure you can see yourself spending four years of your life at your school.


It's about the student, what enviroment would bes best for them to spend the next two to 8 years of their life.


The most important thing is to know clearly what you want. If you know what you want, it is very possible to find it, and when you do, you can be very happy at your school. I would recommend doing some serious soul searching about this. Picking a college is frequently less about the college than it is about you. Actually go into classrooms, if you possibly can, and experience for yourself whether what is being taught, and the way that it is being taught, excites you. Even go into at least one school that you think you wouldn't like for some specific reason and see if the flaw you thought you saw actually does, in practice, bother you. In some cases, college experiences can be so very different from high school that you don't know the actual words for what you want. For example, 'theoretical' and 'experimental' can mean completely different things to a college student than a hgih school student, so don't just take our word for anything you don't have to: go see it for yourself.


To students, I would advise you to really research the colleges, what programs, majors, and courses they offer. Look at the extracurriculars and the environment of the college towns. Think about what you're passionate about and how the schools you're looking at can meet your needs. Do some soul searching and think about who you are and where you most likely see yourself. Talk to alumni and/or current students to get a real feel of a school from someone who has experienced it first hand. Get more than one opinion. Don't be intimidated by an academically rigorous school because you're afraid you won't be able to handle it. If you love learning, your passion will drive you to achieve the success you're capable of. To parents, be invested in your children's college search. Your involvement is important to them. But don't try to jam your ideas of what would be good for them down their throats. Don't threaten to take away financial support if they don't want to study what you think they should study. Be encouraging, be supportive, and be inquistive. Trust them to acheive great things!


Don't trust reviews like this.


Visit the schools on your list and attend some classes if possible. If the school allows you to spend a night on campus with a dorm host, I strongly suggest you do this.


First apply, then go and look at the colleges. If you go before you apply and get it they really do look just the same after awhile.


Classes, teachers, and the campus are important. However, the people who you will be spending the most time with, and the people who will shape your education even more than your professors, are your fellow students. A visit to the campus is incredibly important just so you can see what people talk about inside and outside of class. Is it how the football team will do on Saturday? Is it the next job opportunity? Is it gossip about friends? I visited several schools before choosing. I made my final choice almost entirely based on the fact that, during my visit, students talked mostly about intellectual pursuits and what went on in class. It wasn't out of an obligation or a requirement for class, but out of sheer love of the material. I never looked back. It can get a little old talking shop all the time, but I knew that this was what I wanted. I've learned more here, and had a much better time than if I'd attended a school where the philosophy and interests of the student body had contradicted mine. These are the people that GET me, and the people I can learn with.


The most important thing to decide is not where to go, but who you want to be. A lover? A learner? An academic? A party fiend? All of the above? Anything is possible and every type of person can find an institution that suits them. Know yourself first. Then the college search is, if not exactly easy, at least a lot less overwhelming. Good luck.


THe two most important things to deciding colleges would have to be early research, and the college visit. When I first read about my second choice college in the Fiske guide to colleges, I thought 'this is it! This is where I want to spend the next 4 years of my life.' And then I read what would become my first choice's entry, and wait a second...I can't go to two colleges. Recommendations from students or counselors helped, but once I visited the latter, I knew it was the right choice for me. I got along with everybody I met, I had great discussions and made friends I still talk to today. There had been other college trips I had had fun on, and met great people, but this was the first college visit where I felt like a stuednt, like I was an equal with everybody else there. Of course, had I felt the same at the second college, I would have had a whole new problem deciding, but as is, the visit was less compelling, and I choose my college even over a 10000 dollar difference in scholarship/financial aid.