Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Top Questions

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

Preston

If I could go back and give advic to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to get more involved and not to be so timid about trying new things or meeting new people. Saint Mary's is a very small school and a very close nit community, so it's important to get out of your dorm room to do things and meet people.

mariam

I would tell myself to make sure I search and apply for every scholarship I see prior to attending school. I was would also tell myself to remember to stay true to your morals and your thoughts instead of falling for peer pressure. You don't have to try hard for people to like you, just be yourself. Always remind yourself why your there and you have a "mission" to accomplish, make school a priority. Also in college you can eat anything you want and all you want but don't get carried away (remember freshman15! ). Stay in touch with your family, sometimes you'll need that comfort even if it's via Skype. Make your expectations realistic. A lot of people come to college expecting “the best time of their lives.” When expectations aren't met, it can be depressing. That's pretty much all the advice I would give.

Angela

The next four years you spend in college will be the most important four years of your life. They determine your future. Be sure to explore all areas you have of interest and do not worry about making mistakes. Mistakes will shape you. They will guide you in the direction you are meant to go. Do not worry about failing. The only failure you can have is regret. Follow that direction of mistakes and never look back with regret. Always be true to yourself and your heart. You must always give it your all. If it's not your all, believe me, you will live in regret. The transition to college will be tough. You will struggle with studies, finances and the balance of heartache and friends. You WILL get through it. Don't let anyone hold you back, or sway your heart from what you know is right for you. Good luck. And remember, I am always here if you should ever need support. I promise you will never be alone.

Mariana

I would tell myself to relax a lot more becuase the college experience is not a scary experience. We are given freedom as well as new responsibilities that help us become better adults. The transition can get hard, but the outcome is worth it. Making friends was easy and it led to a great year filled with fun activites, learning a lot academically along the way. There was always a new club or activty to be a part of as well as volunteering opportunities. The church was a great way to embrace my sprituality and the library was a place to get my homework done. So a great experience at my college will give me great memories and will be beneficial in giving me a better future.

manee

If I could go back in time and give myself some advices now, I would tell myself to work harder and to not procastinate. Procastinating only makes it harder to get things done and it WILL effect your GPA fast! Another advice I would tell myself is to get involved in sports or activities. It's good to have a strong resume and to find out what interests me. My own advice would just be; be yourself. Work hard and reach for your goal. School is your number one priority. Focus and get things done, and don't procastinate until the last minute.

Dana

Dear me, I know the next few months are going to be hard. Don't worry about college right now because you don't want to miss out in the moments of high school. High school was so fun and yet college is going to be even better. When you here, stop being shy; breakout make new friends. Know that it is perfectly fine to find friends that are like Lindsey and Marykate. I promise that Lindsey is your best friend;however you do make really awesome friends. Beside the adivce about friends, collge is one step harder on school work. There will be days when sleeping becomes almost impossible. Please spend lots of time working on homework, but make sure to get a tutor if it gets very difficult. Study! Study! Study!

McKenzie

Be realistic about where you want to start. Community colleges provide the same undergraduate education, and you save so much money. But even more than that, you are not missing out on anything! You are still going to have so mant opportunities, and meet so many new and fabulous people. It does not matter where you start. It only matters how hard you work, and where you end up. Starting at community college and then applying to universities also lets four year schools see that you are in it for the long haul. You want to move on, and that means a lot to the admissions representatives. Your college experience is going to be amazing no matter where you go. Just put your heart and soul into everything you do, and it will come through. Save money early so that you can afford to spend money on higher education later. And who knows? With the opportunities at community college, you may not even have to pay for it. You may get universities to come looking for you.

Yer

If i could back and talk to my self in high school, one main thing that i would say is take more advance college prep classes. Taking these college prep courses can help with transferring credits that was earn in high school to your college. The other main important thing about taking these courses is being able to know how the enviroment in college feels like. The amount of homework that are given and the way the teacher teaches. This advice would have given me the biggest help in the long run.

Matthew

If I could go back in time and tell my high school self about the college life I would tell myself to pay more attention in high school and to try my hardest and be the best that I can be. In telling myself this I would hope that I would have done better in high school and be a better person, also I would tell myself that I should take all the college classes that my high school offers so I would not have to spend so much money in the long run and would graduate college sooner. I would also persuade myself to do more extracurricular activities and get more involved in my school and my community and help out wherever I could. I would also tell myself to research colleges rather than choosing last minute like I ended up doing and to look into as many careers that interest me earlier and try to get to work in that career to see if I would like it or not and could see myself doing it for the rest of my life. With this knowledge I would have probably would be a lot further than I am today.

Laura

I would tell myself not to worry so much about missing home and making friends. No matter where you go you will find that group of people you want to be with. I chose to go to SMU because my sister went to school here. I loved going to school with my sister and having family on campus, but I always wonder about that other school I wanted to go to and if that was the right school for me. I am happy at SMU, but would I have been happier at Stout? I want my high school self to know that it will be fine, don't be so scared; everything will work out how it is suppose to.

Sara

I would definitely advise myself to finish High School completely as I actually have my GED instead of the actual High School Diploma. I would say this not because of the educational purposes alone, but for the social and networking oppotunities that you receive as a High School student. I would tell myself to start thinking about what I actually enjoy, not only what would be a good paying career, but what would fill me as a person as well. I would say not to worry about who's the most popular girl or how cute the guy in the back row to the left is, but to worry about how I can use what the teacher is saying to form a better future. I would say you can use that knowledge to become a popular successful woman and to have an amazingly gorgeous man that is just as successful. Most importantly I would say enjoy it, enjoy the tears, the hard work, the friends, enjoy every moment and every day. Make the best out of what you learn and apply it to not only your educational life, but your personal as well.

Danielle

I would like to think that I wouldn't want tell myself anything because it could have changed my future. However, on the off chance I could, I would go back and tell my high school senior self many things about college life: the good and the bad. The first thing I would expose is my assumption that I can't screw up in college. I would tell myself don't think you have to be perfect at classes but do the best you can with what you have. The second thing I would say is take career classes as well as classes for fun. College is also about finding yourself and determining what you want to do with your life, or what the next step is. Sometimes an unusual class can help with the findings. Lastly, I would convey the idea to enjoy life and the opportunities given to you throughout college. This is a crucial transitional period but yet you still don’t necessarily have as many responsibilities you will have several years down the road. Therefore, take time for yourself, meet new people, experience things because one day you'll look back on these days and smile.

William

I would tell myself that time-management is key when going to college. It is not only a place to study and take classes but rather like a place to build relationships, establish connections, and learn how to interact and work with people that you met five minutes ago. It is just as much a social exercise as it is a learning experience. There will be times that school feels like summer camp and classes and homework keep getting in the way. The best way to get to know people is just to go up to them and talk to them. Also, learn how to do homework with other people and not get distracted. There will be several times that you will need to work with people on the same assignment and you can get help as you work along with them. Oh, and naps for you are a terrible idea. It's either four hours minimum or nothing.

Dania

Well, for starters, I never really got to my senior year in high school, I graduated during the middle of my sophmore year in high school. But if I could go back to that semester, I would have made sure I was ready to go through the transition to college. It was a difficult change for me. My advice would be to NOT work and study at the same time, to NOT enjoy having a car more then I need to, and FOCUS on school and studying, and don't ever lose hope. I would advise myself to be the best I can, and to study really hard. I would tell myself that college is a challenge, and whether I like it or not, I will go through them. Slacking off will do nothing but hurt me in the long run. And getting into these new classes, I need to know that I CAN finish them, I can take them on, and complete them, I just need to give them time. I cannot underestimate myself, and I cannot underestimate the importance of doing the best I can in all of my classes, and in everything I do.

Jillian

I would tell myself that you need to be yourself in high school, and you should become friends with people who are in different social groups. I am almost done with my first year of college, and I have become best friends with a girl named Erika who was the head cheerleader at her old high school. Thinking back, I would have never associated myself with those girls in high school. In college, no one cares if you were the homecoming queen, most popular girl in school, or what you've done. They accept you for you are, not for who you were in high school. I think that this is important because I would never talk to the jocks, cheerleaders, or the snobby people at school. It only matters who you are in the inside, not who you present yourself on the outside. You just need to be yourself with everyone, and you don't have to put on a fake act to try to fit in. People will love you no matter what.

jazmarie

College has allowed me to open up my mind to a literary would that otherwise I would have shown no interest in. Not only that but it has also opened the door to many community based activities that I absolutely love being a part of. Whether it is reading to underprivileged youths or volunteering at local senior centers. Thanks to college I have become a very active member of my community.

Regina

Going to college helps me discover who I truly am, for I learn more about myself based on the choices I make at college than I ever could have learned on my own. I learned that I truly love to help people, no matter what. I have been in charge of organizing mission trips over fall and winter break for two years, and this year I became a Resident Assistant. I was inspired to do these things to make a difference in the lives of people around me. I also learned that I want the best for myself. After competing in college running, I realize how important it is to push myself and perform at my best. I am happiest when I give my all. I also take great pride in maintaining my 4.0, because I wouldn't expect less from myself. Without college, I wouldn't have discovered these all-important things about myself. I would have gotten a job, settled into my life, and never been truly successful. Now that I know what my strengths and weaknesses are, I will have a much more successful and fulfilling life, all because of things I have learned at college.

Samantha

I've learned so much about my craft here at Saint Mary's. When I decided I wanted to make theatre my career, I knew I had to make a decision. I could start going to auditions and try to break into it that way, or get and education under my belt to give me an advantage. I chose the education. I wanted to find a place that not only had a great theatre program, but also really fit my needs and would be able to give me opportunities that other places wouldn't. When I found out Saint Mary's theatre students get to perform a show in London their junior year that was it for me. All the classes and shows I've done so far in my college career are preparing me for that semester in London. I'm very happy with what I've been given. I was cast in four plays as a freshman, including student show. That wouldn't have happened if I had gone to the Big Ten school I was considering. Saint Mary's has proved to be an excellent school for me and I couldn't be happier with my choice.

Anne

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation" John F Kennedy. Three years ago I began a new adventure that I though necessary rather than an opportunity. However, today I live by the words of Mr. Kennedy. I now realize that a college education is not a necessity, but instead a gift that many do not receive. Through this knowledge the most important element that I have attained from college is my education. Not to say that the friendships, and lessons learned are not important, but the education that I have gained is key to helping me achieve my goals in the future.

Amy

I have learned that if I am going to truly be successful I should do what I love and Love what I do. Chosing my major has been the most difficult part of the whole process but the faculty and counselors at Citrus college have helped me so much. and pointed me in the right direction. Choosing a majjor is not about what will make you the most money, although that helps, nor is it about doing what you are best at, but rather it is about doing something you enjoy, this way you are sure to stick with it. This is why I am glad that I decided to go back to school and am glad I decided to double major.

Maurissa

I've gotten so much out of my college experience so far. I have met some of the most incredible people, including someone that I hope to spend the rest of my life with, as well as friends that I know will always be close. The education that I have received from Saint Mary's University has allowed me to consider careers that I never thought would be an option for me, especially considering that neither of my parents graduated from high school. I have learned so many social skills that I wouldn't have learned if I hadn't found myself on a college campus. I've had to learn time management, self-control, and most importantly, I've learned to take complete responsibility for my own actions. Being on a college campus turns you into an adult and provides you with the tools, education, and support to allow you to go into the world and become what you've always wanted to be, and I am sincerely grateful that I was given this opportunity.

Amy

It took me a long time to get used to the college life. I come from a small family with only one brother. I have never had to share anything for the most part. Moving to a college dorm room and having to share with another girl was a learning experience for me. I had to learn to communicate my likes and dislikes to her without causing conflicts. That was a challenge at first. Now we have become good friends and confidantes. College has also taught me about organization. I have learned you do not procrastinate when it comes to homework. I am sure these skills will be very valuable when I go out into the real working world.

Jessica

The advice that I would give myself would be to apply for EVERY scholarship that I could get my hands on and to expand beyond what my high school offered so that the financial aspect of college would not be so daunting. I would also tell myself to take more classes for college credit so that I could gain priority in selecting my classes and where I want to live. I would proabably also consider telling myself to take the ACT until I achieved a much higher score than I did. I did not want to spend my mother's money to take the test over and over again to I settled for what I had. What I didn't know what that if I had achieved a score that was two points higher I would have qualified for another scholarship that would have helped me out significantly. I just needed to focus more on the financial aspect of college and less on what I wanted to do once I got here. I would also tell myself to take music theory classes so that my music classes would not be so difficult.

Jody

If I could go back in time to when I was a high school senior and talk to myself I would tell myself to stay focused, and to work hard . That taking harder classes in high school may require more work, but that they can be truely beneficial to making college classes a little easier. That choosing the wrong college the first time around is not a big deal, to keep presisting forward and eventually you will figure out what is right for you. Seriously nobody knows what they want to be when they grow up, I know everyone says that, but it is true! Finally that enjoy college and being young because it can truely be some of the best times of your life. The friendships you make and the knowledge you learn can make you who you are.

Nikki

My suggestions for students in high school is to be as active as posible in clubs, athletics, and service learning projects. It is important to have independent study skills because you only have yourself to rely on in college to get your assignments complete. Stay close with friends from high school because they are a good support group when you need to talk to someone who knows you best. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Get into study groups and ask for tutors if you are struggling. My motto is study hard, work hard, and play hard. All of these can be accomplished with dedication to your goal.

Jacqueline

Dear Self, College is a place where you will grow in every aspect providing you allow yourself to do so. The fun and games along with the popularity will pass and only be a memory yet the education you recieve will help provide for your future. Study hard, what you don't understand speak up. Don't give up so easily. It does make a difference. There are no stupid questions only the ones that are not asked. Don't be hard on yourself but be hard enough to pull through. Take each class assignment one day at time. Do the assignment s as soon as possible and don't wait till the last minute. Prioritze, your courses, play time, and your life. Allow yourself for enough sleep and have good eating habits. Don't allow yourself to be talked into something that you do want to do. Accept 100% responsibilty. Remember, the more you want out of life the better your resources need to be. Reach higher than you thought you could. Don't procrastinate. A man isn't a man until he masters discipline . Live life on purpose. And be kind to others.

Bailey

Don't be afraid to reach out to people you don't know. Work hard and you'll be successful at anything. Don't give up or give in, and don't let anyone stop you from doing whats going to make you who you are. Make sure you appreciate what you have in front of you, because sometimes it won't seem as wonderful as it actually is. Make sure you study abroad and see the world, and don't let anything stop you from finding yourself. Don't be afraid to be creative and share your ideas. Make sure you get involved with a group, a club, or whatever it may be. Engage with people from another country or culture, you'd be surprised at what you can learn. Enjoy every moment, because it goes by so fast!

Missy

If you don't know what you want to major in, I wouldn't advise you to choose a four year school right away. I am a sophomore, half way through the year and still do not know what I would like to do. I am just choosing something I think I'm interested in. Everyone encouraged four year schools, and I never even thought about going to a 2 year school first for generals and then transfering after. Visit a lot of schools so you know which one will suit you best. I visited only two, and wish I would have taken that time seriously and looked around more to see what is out there. I do not regret my decision I made, but do look at a variety of schools. Also, don't go where your friends from high school are going. You need to move on from high school and make new friends. It's always better going home to high school friends than seeing them every day at college.

Bryan

If I could go back in time to warn myself about college, I would tell myself not to take my classes for granted, and even more, not to take my art for granted. As a dancer and an actor, I would have told myslef to be more prepared for college auditions'you need to take this seriously if you want to perform as a career. It's not always the best thing to be at a school with the biggest name; sometimes there are small schools with programs that are just as good. But if you don't do your research, you'll never really know what school is the right school for you. And even if you don't get into your top school, don't stop trying. There's not a reason in the world you should settle for anything less than the best. Finally, always take risks for the sake of your art. Don't think you have to conform to what people want to see. If they don't want you for who you are, you shouldn't want them either.

Marcy

Visit and apply to as many schools as you can. Do an overnight visit to your favorite schools to get a real feel for it. Once you get to school jump right in, meet people, and just be yourself. You are bound to meet someone like you, so don't be afraid to be yourself.

Amalia

Finding a college in not all about finding the perfect program that will get you the farthest in life. That is very important, but it needs to be paired with what feels right. If a college does not feel right, you will not be as happy living and learning there. If a student is not happy, then they will not do very well in school. A person needs to find a school with a perfect balance between giving off a good feel about themselves and having good academics. Then they can successful in spirit and the rest of the world.

Brigid

The best advice I could give to students about finding the right college is visit all the colleges you are thinking about going to. Pamphlets are just pamphlets, you need to go there and get a feel of the school because every person is different and needs to find what makes them strive to become the best they can be. Advice for parents: let your son or daughter pick out the school they want to go to, because if you choose the school for them they probably will not want to do well because it was not their decision to go to that school. Advice for making the most out of the college experience would be to figure out what you like to do and find clubs or organizations that interest you and then join them. There a variety of people and things to do, so take advantage of them in college because that makes the college experience a great one.

Phillip

The most important thing would be to find the school that is really right for you. Not everyone fits into a small school, or a rural school versus a big city school. Make sure that you see the entire campus and talk to as many different people as you can, particularly students because they will be the most honest with you. Really talk with the students about how teachers are because you will be seeing them more than anyone so make sure there is a good, strong teaching staff that earnstly cares about your education and future. Also, take a deep breath and don't worry because you can always transfer if the school is worse than you ever could have expected. I really think there is just a feeling you get when you walk around and see the campus that you just know it is the right school. I would heavly recommend choosing a school that is strong in academics not sports or extra curricular activites because you are paying a lot of money every year to get an education that will benefit you for the rest of you life so that should definitely be your primary concern.

Tania

Students - Go somewhere where you feel at home the minute you step on campus and take a tour. See what the school has that you are interested in or that have your hobbies available to you. Just make sure that you aren't going somewhere because you're best buddy is going there, or your girl/boyfriend is going there either. Make it about yourself. College is a time to find your own voice and to find out who you are and who you want to be. Have fun, it's only four years before you hit the real world. It goes by fast, so live it up! Parents - Breath. They will do just fine, they'll call home every so often, they're growing up. Time to let them fly on their own.

Bernadette

I would let tell parents and students to visit each school that they have applied to. Everything looks good on paper, but you aren't going to be sure it is the "right" school unless you go and visit and talk to people there. A lot of schools offer overnight visits and time for the prospective student to spend with current students. Talk to the professors in the field you are thinking of, look at the course catalog and see if there are classes that interest you. Do the same thing with the list of extra-curriculars and student groups. Theres no sense in not getting excited about what you could be spending your time doing in a year or two. One really good piece of advice for parents is to let their students explore the options and get excited. Let the student tell you what groups they think they will join, or what sports they would like to play and what classes and majors look interesting.

Jamison

The best advise I could give a student going into college is: Visit the campus and stay over night with a student, see what the campus is like outside of the tour. Sit in on a class that you might take as a student. If you are going to be an athlete spend time with the team make sure you get along with them and the coach (maybe even practice with them) to make sure you fit in with their style of play. Get involved in as much as possible including sports, clubs and volunteering. It's the best way to keep busy (in a good way) and make friends. If you need help in a class, talk to the professor in person. Emailing them may work but going and talking to them is the best way to get help. Take advantage of the services the offered by the college or university (writing center, disability services etc.). Don't start projects or papers the night before they are due! Procrastination leads to a stressfull semester. And most importantly, have fun! Make the most of your college career!

Ali

Choose the college that you feel the most comfortable at. Don't be afraid to ask orientation leaders or other current students about what REALLY goes on at the college, because obviously the University tends to sugarcoat what it's really like. If you say directly to a student, "Please don't sugarcoat it, just tell me what ________ is like here..." they'll probably tell you the truth. Make meetings with professors and have at least a vague idea of a major prior to choosing a college, because if you decide after you're in college and the school you're at doesn't have that major, you're screwed for a while. It's okay if you change your mind while you're at school, because most people do. Just get into intro classes that you're interested in RIGHT away. HAVE FUN! These are going to be the best years of your life, so if you don't like a college after a year or two, TRANSFER. It's not worth missing out a good college experience because you're scared to admit you made the wrong choice!

Gabrielle

Parents should allow their children to visit as many colleges as they please, because this is the place where they will be spending some of the most important years of their lives. When a student steps onto the right campus, they will know it; they will feel instantly at home. Each student has different criteria for a suitable college, but I think that many people would agree that the perfect school reminds a student of home with more freedom and opportunities to get to know others and experience the world. A good school offers many internship and job training opportunities, and have excellent academic advisors that do their best to help the students figure out what major and career choice will suit their traits the best. Whether a student wants to take part in Greek life, music or theater, sports, or just focus on academics, there is a college that will fit all of their needs. Small or large, near or far, all college options should be explored. The saddest thing is when parents force their child to go to a college that the student is not completely in love with, because they probably won't ever truly enjoy it.

Jason

You should know what kind of campus and community surrounding the campus you attend before you attend the school. make sure you have a good understanding of what is expected of you and if you have free time take advantage of it , not just with your friends, but also in the library. When it comes to homework do it right after class it will help you retain the information better and also give you and your friends more free time at night to enjoy eachothers company. Best of luck and make good decisions this is a time in your life that passes by fast so experience what you can so you can tell your family and future colleagues what is was like.

Katie

I would tell them to explore all of their options and to not settle. Do not worry about financial matters because that can all be resolved. Put your everything into school and become comfortable with uncomfortable situations.

Jody

Advice that I would give to parents and students when trying to find the right college is to start by actually visiting the schools that they feel would be right for the student. In order to decide what school would be right the student should question whether they want to be a number or a person in a school. Do they prefer large lecture classes or smaller classes? Do they want to live in the city, or rural area? Once they do that go with the students gut instinct on what they are going to like the best and what school is going to help them succeed to the best of their abilities. Once they move into their dorm for the first time and start school, I would advice joining clubs, leave your door open and say hi to people that you don't know. If you want to play sports join a sport or go to sporting events and support friends you make that are in sports. The last thing is to remember to be yourself and stay true to yourself in making friends at school and choosing the right school for you.

Amy

Advice I would give to parents and students about finding the right college and making use of your time there would be this: College is a place where one transitions from youth to adulthood. You need to pick a place where you feel comfortable, yet feel enough pressure to drive you do excel. You need to keep in mind the relationships that mean the most to you, like having family and friends close by. You need to remember that while it is only four years, it is four years of constant growth and self-discovery. The place where you choose to go to school should have the major you want to pursue, and also offer things you're interested in and a community that you will find support in. Making the most out of your experience is up to you. The best thing that I ever did was become active within my community, making it mine and feeling like I was contributing. Joining a community is how you should look at finding a great school for a college education.

adjovi

always do what is best for you

Doug

You need to know what you want when looking at colleges because there are so many different ways to go. Choosing the right school is so essential because you need be able to do everything there including studying, learning, being able to express yourself fully, eating, of couse having fun, socializing, sleeping and living in this environment. College life is completely different from home life and for the better or not comes from choosing the right school. Always stay focused on your goals and do everything you can to keep them in your grasp. It is always a good idea to get to know your professors because they will be able to help you with what you what to do. Always be yourself and have fun.

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