Scripps College Top Questions

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

Reginald

Those who attend college are better prepared for life’s challenges and are able to make a viable contribution to their community and society as a whole. I decided to attend college to be able to interact with other people from different cultures and value systems other than my own. This would give you a broad perspective of how diverse the world really is, but also how much we are alike and what we all have in common, which is a thirst for knowledge.The idea behind going to college is to challenge self first and to put self in a position that would bring the greatest satisfaction, which is self gratification upon completion of a degree. Many people who have gone on to be successful entrepreneurs went to college to realize their full potential. This means that you too would have to become degreed to compete with peers and other generations. If you want to be taken seriously about career endeavors and respected for achieving your own goals and objectives as well as the goals and objectives of a future employer. Attending college is a way for you to utilize your mind and to sharpen your critical thinking skills.

Danya

As a first-year in college I "knew" that I wanted to be pre-medicine and to go on to get an MD. After several years in college I was not satisfied with my pre-med internships. I eventually switched to pre-veterinary medicine, and am much happier in this career choice. Thus I would tell my high school senior self to be open when it comes to academic exploration. Changing your mind about what you want to do is not only okay, it is necessary. Even if you end up back where you started, or with a similar career/life path, investigating other options is always important. I would also advise my high school senior self that my true friends in college will be the ones who do not judge me, even after knowing ALL of me. Although there will always be people who judge you, being open about the fact that I have struggled with serious OCD and anxiety disorders allowed my to distinguish those who were truly loyal to me. I found friends who struggled with similar problems and who helped me through tough times at college.

Elizabeth

As you look to college, recognize that the college experience is as much about learning about yourself as it is about book learning. Enjoy the opportunity to explore diverse topics; don’t limit yourself to your major courses. You will meet different people this way, make friends, hone your ability to talk about a variety of subjects, and develop skills that may play an unexpected role later in life. You will be surprised to learn how much creativity is involved in science, how strategy used in sports plays a part in the boardroom and developing business strategies and tactics. Elective classes may lead you to your passion…perhaps resulting in you developing the next new hot business. Don’t take yourself too seriously, be diligent when necessary, do great work, and enjoy your college life. Believe in yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help, dare to venture outside of your comfort zone in terms of who you say hello to and what interests you pursue, but stay safe. Look out for yourself. Be aware of your surroundings. Meet as many people as you can and learn from them, teachers, students, staff…there is something to be learned from all.

Esmerlin

I didn't have any advice going into college, I was the first to attend a college outside of my home state. I would tell myself to save all of the money I earned from working, because it was unpredictable how much I would be spending while attending college. Also I would tell myself that there is nothing to worry about, the transition is almost effortless. There is as much diversity as there is in high school, so that I could learn even more about other people and their cultures.

Emily

If I could give my high-school self a bit of advice, I would probably say something along these lines: "I know you like to have everything figured out, planned down to minutae, and that the uncertainty of the college application process distresses you. Honestly, though, this stretch of time (like the rest of life) is utterly unpredictable. Be prepared to be flexible. Don't panic when you receive rejection letters; rather, trust that everything is going to work out the way it needs to. Finally, recognize that your plans can and WILL change. You may have your mind all made up now, but be open to the possibility of changing it, of exploring new interests and passions. I guarantee you will not be disappointed by the discovery."

Maria

I am very grateful to be in college, because I have met amazing new people with similar interests of my own, and have gotten the opportunity to further my education in my area of interest. Although sometimes it is quite challenging, I know that in the end all my hard work will pay off.

daniel

College is a lot different than high school. Your freshman experience will definitely make an impression on you. Without doubt, though, the most dramatic freshman year is for those living away from home. What can you expect as you head off into the wonderful world of higher education? The first thing you'll notice is the workload. It will be heavier and more intense than you ever experienced before. The major challenges of college work are the large volume of reading, the short deadlines, and the writing, writing, writing. You'll be away from the comforts and friendships your home provided for you over the previous years. But you'll be making a lot of new friends. Believe it or not, your college friendships will be among the most satisfying and long-term of your life. It's always exciting to discover how wonderfully diverse college relationships can be. You may even start to think about your future. Be on the lookout for role models. Going to college is as much about finding out who you really are as it is about getting that degree.

Lisette

College has been a rewarding experience. It has matured me and allowed me to dream again. I have acquired the ability to set goals for myself and achieve them. College has filled a void in my life that has prevented me from reaching my full potential. Coming back to school from the workforce was a challenge at first, but once I began to develop the discipline and the desire to learn, school became a powerful tool that I needed to succeed in life. I know now that having a college degree can break some of the road blocks that I faced out in the work force. I would like the opportunity to earn a college degree, continue to achieve an advanced degree and eventually start my own eco-friendly business in the future. I want to use my business to promote a healthy lifestyle and create environmental awareness so our children may live in a healthier cleaner world. College will be the key to unlock the doors for my success and help me to realize my dreams in life.

Sophia

Although I am only in the second semester of my freshman year at Scripps College, I can already identify changes in myself. Although I have always been an independent person, living far away from my family has given me confidence in my own abilities. Intellectually, I have become a critical thinker, a stronger writer, and a vocal student in the classroom. The community at Scripps has allowed me to form invaluable friendships that will last a lifetime. The faculty and staff are truly committed to creating a nurturing environment so that I can explore who I am and discover new layers of myself. Through courses that use intensive reading and writing to develop critical thinking skills I approach the world in a new way. The small classes foster tight bonds with fellow classmates and the chance to work closely with professors on papers and projects. Ultimately, Scripps College has given me the opportunity feel confident in my own abilities.

Giselle

I would give my completely shocked self a hug. Then I would proceed to say: "Dear Giselle, you need to understand that though you are escaping a bad situation at home for a better one in college, you are NOT going to have the same college experience as everyone else. You do not come from the same background, financially, emotionally or educationally. You do not have the same support system that they do. But just because you are coming from a harder place does not mean they get to make you feel that you are worth any less, no matter your g.pa.. You've made it this far because you are a brilliant minded person with a lot of character and strength, and you should not let anyone - teacher or student - make you feel any differently. You are going to confront more obstacles than you thought, especially because Scripps College promised to be a home, but will more often manifest itself as a snobby, undiversified student body, anchored by a bureaucracy that wants you to feel appreciative of the pittance they give. Despite the many heartaches, you need to remember: everything will be okay in the end. I promise."

Jasmine

Dear Jasmine, I want to prepare you for your transition into college life and everything that comes after. The most important piece of advice that I can give you is for you to make a set of goals for yourself at the beginning of the year. Knowing what you want out of your college experience and recognizing that some flexibility is necessary will allow your transition to go smoothly. The goals will give you a direction and being flexible will allow you to try new things. There will be many times when you aren't sure about the path you are on, in these times I suggest that you seek advice from friends, family, or someone who you trust has your best interest at heart. This will reduce stress on your part. Remember that you are young, and this is an amazing new journey for you to embark on. Nothing in life goes exactly according to plans and that's alright, as long as you are confident in the decisions you make everything will work itself out!

Roshni

Hey Rosh, I have some extremely important advice to give you. As a current college student, I have five words to say which will completely change your attitude about college: DON'T STRESS ABOUT YOUR COMFORTER! I know that in your mind, your comforter symbolizes so much more than just something to keep you warm at night. You think that the other girls will judge your character based on the color and style of your comforter. You think that if your comforter is so cheesy or boring that nobody will want to be friends with you. Let me stress this one more time, nobody will care! You will make so many friends regardless of your choice. I do not want you to spend hours browsing various bedding sites and obsessing over the shade of pink. I want you to go to ONE website and make your decision based on how you feel in the moment. I do not want you to channel your anxiety about college into your comforter. How can I be so confident? Because I have already experienced this transition and know that you will do so well and transition so smoothly. I am so proud of you.

Natalie

There are no perfect tips or fool proof advice that can be offered about finding the right college. The most important thing to consider and to investigate is whether or not students at the college are happy with their experience. During my college search process, I went by what the college guide books said; I never asked students quetsions and neglected to ask about how they liked their college and the experience that they had there. The best question to ask in helping to choose the right place is " How happy are the students?", " Do students LOVE their school?" With regards to making the most out of the college experience; use the four years to try things you wouldn't otherwise try. Use free time wisely; and most of all, take all your oppotunities to learn!

Nancy

Make sure to visit campuses. Do research on the campus outside of the materials presented to you by the college. Don't choose a school based solely on prestige. Look for the amount of flexibility you will be able to have in your academic program and your ability to enhance your academic program in the surrounding area.

Katharine

You should choose a school where you will be happy. Once you get there, get involved in anything and everything! Don't be afraid to try new things or take classes about things you have never heard about. This is a time for you to learn and grow. Take advantage of it!

Cielo

Visit and talk to students. If the school will not pay for your flight to visit if you don't have the resources then don't bother- you don't want to deal with them.

Lynette

I believe that finding the "right" college is really difficult. It's not about academics, it's not about social life, it's not about campus life- it's about all of these. Take time and spend a few days at the school. If possible, do not go through program set up by the school. Rather, stay with a friend; go to a party; sit in on a class; eat a few meals at the dining hall when it's NOT prospective student time; ask students what they wish they knew before starting their education at the institution. Once you have chosen a school, do not be surprised that it's not a dream; every school has it's problems. Make the best of it, though! Get involved with campus organizations (they help you to form lasting friendships), visit professors during office hours (that's how you get research opportunities), get familiar with the area around campus (avoid cabin fever). Most of all, Have fun!

Greer

Let the students make the final decision

Ashley

Don't go just for the name; go for the experience

Cat

These smaller liberal arts schools (the Claremont Colleges) may not have the big name recognition among friends and family, but among employers and grad schools, these schools are very highly regarded. I transfered from a large public big-name school to one of these schools and couldn't be happier with the personal attention I'm getting.

Jillian

The first thing I would advise any prospective student is to think about colleges not just as your potential school, but also as your life for the next four years. It's not a simple decision, and any choice should be make not only on academic merit or finanial viability; it should also be made on social and comfort level factors. One of the best starting points for this is considering what size of school you are looking for and what sort of academic atmosphere you are looking for (i.e. challenging but non-competative, cut-throat). With these cut your list down to no more than ten. More than that is too difficult to really get to know each school. The second piece of advice I have is trust the schools' admissions processes. They know what type of student are looking for and I believe that if a school does not accept you it is usually simply because they don't think it's best for you and you shouldn't stress about it. There is another school out there that is better for you. Lastly, remember you are interviewing the school as much as they are interviewing you.

Stephanie

To find the right college, know what you cannot live without and what you can sacrifice. If you need to be near a big city, then look for that. But don't automatically discount a college that doesn't seem like what you had pictured. There will definitely be changes from where you grew up and that's a good thing which will expose you to so much and help you to grow. Once you're on campus, you cannot be afraid to take risks. If there's anything you've ever wanted to do or try, take that opportunity because you might end up really liking it (or discovering that you definitely hate it).

erica

It is important to visit schools before you apply to them, and when you're there make sure you spend a night and tour the campus. The most important thing to look for when you're there is how happy the students are. You can find social life anywhere; you can find academics anywhere. You cannot find other happy people everywhere.

Amanda

I think finding the "right" college is a little overrated. As long as you know some of the qualities you are looking for there are probably a lot of schools that you would love. But there are going to be things about any school that you don't like as well, so don't put so much pressure on to make the "right" decision. College is going to kick your ass, it's going to be hard, it's going to be so much fun, it's going to be crazy and you're going to learn and grow and mature a lot. Just stick to it and enjoy the ride. It's going to go by fast, so cherish the good and the bad.

Cassandra

Pick a school that you think you will be happy attending - ambition and drive will only get you so far if you're miserable. College is important - but not as important as your happiness. In order to get the most out of your college education pick a school that will motivate you, push you, support you, and make you happy. Think about what's important to you. Do you like your moms home cooking? Then look for a school that has good food. Do you love swimming? Then make sure the schools that you're applying to have a pool. Do you hate the rain? Then maybe you shouldn't be looking at colleges in the Pacific Northwest! Think about the school's location, class size, student body, political views etc. Make sure they offer the majors you're interested in! Look at the clubs, sports teams, and outdoor activities that are offered. Browse the course catalog. Take a tour of the campus so you can get an idea of what it would be like to live there. Most importantly, try not to leave any details out - because transferring is a hassle.

Holly

Finding the right college requires that you contemplate who you are and what you are looking for in your life. It isn?t enough to consider the attributes of each college and stand back to compare them. Instead you must look at yourself and think about what kind of environment enables you to thrive, what kind of learning experiences you want to have, and in what ways you wish to engage with the world. If you examine yourself first, before looking at colleges you will be able to recognize much more clearly the right fit. If you have not taken the time to really understand what you want out of college, you will waste time examining the numerous possibilities with only arbitrary guidelines such as location, cost and reputation. Looking inward first will enable you not only to identify the college best for you, but you will also be able to hit the ground running once you get there. The key is that you know what you want and why you want it.

Geneva

Looking back, my best advise is to use all your senses when finally selecting a college. Visit the campus and ask yourself how it feels to be there, even before rationalizing its merits. Can you imagine yourself walking around that space with pleasure? What does it smell like, look like, feel like under your touch? Physical comfort, both geographically and mentally speaking, is important to a student's well being. If the campus, feels like a fit, then assess the students. Can you imagine yourself as one of them? Do their image and ambitions offer you growth? Do you see some of your own interests reflected in the activities on campus? After narrowing down potential schools according to their "on paper" assessts, I hope these queries help the prospective student to make their final selection based on their own individualized, and quite personal, desires and hopes for their role in an institution of learning.

Erin

Don't go to the school that's supposed to be best for you -- research the heck out of all of your options. Take location into account in your decision, but I advise against picking a college based on which state or region it is in. Look at the area of the campus and the place you will be living and hanging out around for the next 2-4 years of your life. Also, make sure to pick a place that focuses on your tentative major, because many people cannot get into specific major classes if they are not a main focus of the school. In addition, you really can't tell (in my opinion) whether you will like the college or not until you have visited it. I never knew anything about Scripps College until I went with my parents while touring California, and after a quick interview and walk around the campus I knew I wanted to go here. Once in college, join as many activities as you can. Not because you're interested in the subject, even--do it just to meet a few new people, if nothing else. This ultimately makes college what it should be.

Mariana

For parents: Parents need to realize that it is their child that is going to be living at the school, and not them. They should offer opinions about financial issues and academic goals. However, when it comes to setting and social life, the students should be able to make that decision for themselves. The parents should not make their child feel pressured about choosing a school. For students: Focus on thinking about where you want to live for 4 years and what kind of people you want to meet. College is an amazing opportunity to build friendships and gain extensive amounts of knowledge. Don't focus on social activities. Drinking, and parties will always be there. Focus on what will make you happiest and make for a good educational experience. To make the most of your college experience, you must try to take classes you are interested in and become a well-rounded individual. Try new things, this is your only chance. Find something you love and continue to build on it. Do not feel pressured by the future. Focus on the now and appreciate every day that you spend at school. Good luck!

Romy-Michelle

Just understand that you're choosing an identity, not just a school. When making a decision, consider the types of people you'll be around for the next four years and think about if you want that to rub off on you. Once you're there, be as active as you can. You only get to college once. If you choose a place that's right for you, you'll want to get involved anyways.

Tess

Fit: A word that has recently been tossed around as important when applying to college; an important criterion. How does one know what fits? Both empirical and intuitive forces can help to determine what is right for a certain individual. When both are considered, the holistic viewpoint is worthy of a choice. However, sometimes it is just one that can help you choose. If intuitively a student hates the ?feel? of a campus the moment he/she walks on it, this is of significance and not something to be understated. Fit is about comfort and more than comfort. A student applying to college should listen to what is important to them personally. I want to stress the benefit of visiting colleges before applying. Even if you do not want to get attached somewhere you may not get in, without sacrificing this potential feeling, you will never know what other campuses have to offer that you may not have considered. I will leave you with insight I learned. After ruling out an all women?s college, I visited a friend who went to Scripps and then loved the entire night. Now I am here, and I love my choice.

Sara

There is absolutely nothing that can replace stepping onto the campus for a visit. You get such a good sense of the students, the quality of on-campus life, and the undefinable "feeling" of whether or not this place would be a good fit. When you first start school, try out everything that sounds interesting, even if it isn't something you've ever done: sports, on-campus groups, volunterring, etc. As your first semester progresses, you'll get a good sense of what it is *you* want out of a college experience and campus life based on the things you've done and the things you're missing.

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