Seattle Pacific University Top Questions

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

Nathan

The right college isn't just an education, it's an experience. Make a list of what you want in a college: price range, specific degree programs, location, etc. Narrow down a short list of potential campuses, then visit those campuses. Academic and financial concerns are important things to consider, but if you don't like a college, even if it otherwise seems perfect for your goals, it will be difficult to make the most of it. If it doesn't "feel right," then it probably isn't. Once you've found the right college, enjoy it! Make an effort to get involved in campus life, meet new people, and make your college experience worth every dollar of tuition. Join a club, volunteer your time, whatever interests you, but make the effort. The college will give you the education; it's up to you to make the experience what you want it to be.

Brooklynn

When choosing a college it should be based on what will best prepare you for your future career. Money, Alumni Relatives, etc should not make or break your decision when choosing a college. Don't just go to a college so you can brag. Go to college to get an education. It doesn't matter if it is a community college or a private university, as long as you are happy. Once you are in that college of your dreams, be sure to get involved. A healthy balance between academics and social life is crucial in making the most out of this once in a lifetime opportunity! Help in the community, join crew, join school clubs just to get a taste at how diverse your school is! Staying cooped up in a dorm room or with your nose in a book won't get you anywhere except burned out. Live your college experience, and get all that you can out of it...it'll be gone sooner than you expect!

Kaitlyn

When I was choosing a college, I worked with my parents to find schools we both felt positive about, but my parents ultimately let the decision be mine. We prayed together about it because God is the source of wisdom and ultimately plans the course of each person?s life. Weighing the options to find what is best for you is one of the hardest parts of deciding. My brother always advises me to ?do what you want to do.? Explore different fields; figure out your passions; make goals. Prioritize which activities and relationships are most important to you, and have the discipline to refuse extras. Learn to be the person you hope to become instead of comparing yourself and trying to model yourself after others. While students will always be encouraged to ?get involved,? carefully guard your time. Balance, in activities and relationships, is vital to college success. There will be enough time to participate in the multitude of opportunities available. Make time for relationships, but realize you cannot be everything to everyone. The pressure during college is to avoid missing out on anything, but realize that you will experience exactly what you are supposed to.

Amy

VISIT THE SCHOOLS AND TALK TO THE CURRENT STUDENTS TO ATTEND THERE! BEST ADVICE!

MaryAnn

The most important thing to focus on while selecting a college is making sure that you will be in a place that you enjoy. If you like nature, find a college that has a lot of emphasis on nature. If you like the city, find a college in an urban environment! If you are not enjoying your school, chances are you won't do well academically or socially. Although some of the more prestigious schools would look better on a resume, if that kind of school does not fit your personality, do not attend it. The experience of college can be so rich and filled with enjoyment. Find a school that fits your personality. Success will come to you much easier if you are comfortable with your environment.

Joshua

As you searchfor a college you will probably be a little stressed. I would tell you not to be but I don't think it would do much good so instead I would say this to hopefully ease your mind: anxiety is normal. Almost everybody feels this way so don't go feeling like you are the only person who doesn't have their future completely figured out. As far as actually picking a college, visits are priceless. I can't tell you how many visits I went on thinking I was surely going to attend a school and then ended up walking away shaking my head. A visit gives you a quick look at the true atmosphere of the campus and goes far beyond any website or brochure. Once you have chosen a college and have settled in, engage! I heard a disturbing saying the other day, "Education seems to be in America the only commodity of which the customer tries to get as little he can for his money." Don't let this happen to you. Don't get bogged down in just your major, but instead explore all of the resources and avenues your university offers. Enjoy.

Nikki

In order to find the best college for the student one needs to sit down and decide what he or she wants to get out of his or her college experiance. Do they want the party atmosphere, a quiet one that is known for their intense majors, or just something for them to get through in order to obtain a decent job. Or if one wants to do sports, music, theature one must pick the school that relates to his or her specific needs. The student also needs to choose if they want a school close or further from home. If he or she is okay with not seeing his or her family for a month or two at a time then they will have no problem being farther away, if the student is a home body then he or she should stay close but stay on campus. Staying on campus whether close or far from home THE BEST way to make freinds, get involved in groups, form study groups and feel less stressed about the college transition. One must stay on campus at least the first year of college.

Jessica

College has been the most enriching season of my life. I know that the task of choosing "the right college" can be a daunting endeavor, but it is also exciting. The opportunity to apply to several institutions is a blessing, so don't view it as a burden, but rather embrace it with joy. I applied to eight different colleges and highly recommend this approach. Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of visiting each campus. When comparing and contrasting each school, you will be surprised to find how easy it is to condense your list. I found much security in the knowledge that I had many open doors. In the end, I chose the school which gave the most financial aid along with offering a quality education and a healthy social and spiritual atmosphere. I have learned that immersing yourself in an uplifting environment is equally as important as the academic rigor of a university. These two components work together to make your college experience something you are passionately excited about. I am eager for you to embark on this journey. Whatever you choose, remember to fully invest on an academic, social, and spiritual level, and enjoy the adventure.

Sadie

My advice would be to pray. Ask God what school He has planned for you. Once you arrive at school, be glad you are there! Make the most of it. Don't think right off the bat about regrets or of other schools or stories of friends' experiences. This is your college experience. Nothing else will be quite like it. Do well in school, but don't shy away from being social. It's hard to find a balance but you will. Try new things and explore the area around your campus.

Sarah

Don't stress. Choosing the "right college" is a big decision, but it is not the biggest decision you will ever make. Some of my most intense tears and sleepless nights were spent over my struggle to decide which college to attend. I feared so much that I would pick the wrong school and be miserable for the rest of my life. Looking back, I recognize that college is genuinely what YOU make of it. Often, you won't know what makes a college good until you get there, anyway! Therefore, while specifics are important, I really do not believe there is a "wrong" or "right" answer. Instead of stressing over factors such as location, size, and school mascot, do your best to commit yourself to a college which best exemplifies what you love. Think of college as a home; search for a "home" that will challenge you while enabling you to achieve your dreams. Once there, surround yourself with positive people. Be a friend. Get involved; it doesn't matter what, just try new things. Sooner or later, you will find something that clicks. When that happens, pour yourself into it and invest your heart, mind, and soul.

Laura

Look at the programs that you are interested in, ask yourself what do you want from the college. Do you want a college that is more holistic or community based or faith based? Do you want a competitive college? These are all things to consider.

Chris

Seek out a college that matches your morals and visions in life. Don?t settle and sacrifice what you believe in just because most of the school matches what you want. There are so many colleges out there that one will eventually prove that ?feel? you are looking for. Visit the campuses and see if you can spend a night in a dorm to see what the college life is like and whether or not the people are worth spending the next couple years of your life with. Yes, look at the statistics of academics and graduates, but also look into what the college is doing for the community around them. Your life is too important to waste at a college that doesn?t meet the standards of excellence that one requires, but also be tolerant of the fact that most ideals are hard to come by. However, above all else, try something new and don?t be afraid to leave home. Parents, don?t be too gripping either, but let your child live, enjoy, and learn from what this new experience teaches.

Amy

Get to know people. The friends you will make in college will be with you for life! Don't get so bogged down in classes that you can't take a break to have fun with friends on the weekend. Have a part-time job. It will help you have a break from studying and give extra money for expenses.

Ryan

I would tell students and their parents to visit the top schools that they are interested in. To visit classes and spend a night or two in the dorms. I would tell students to get to know people at their college and to get involved in clubs and attend campus events.

Benjamin

GO VISIT THE SCHOOL. Arrange to stay the night in a resident hall/dorm. Eat on campus. Observe classes. Contact the department chair of programs you are interested in (i.e. nursing, history, music etc...). Ask the chair about their program, ask for a tour of their building, ask about specific scholarships that might be available, ask them to refer you to current students who can answer more questions. THE 'PERFECT' SCHOOL PROBABLY DOESN'T EXIST. If you go for a semester and loath it, you can transfer! It happens all the time! IF YOU ARE REJECTED, APPLY FOR WINTER TERM. Every school loses new students after the first term. They need to fill their beds, your chances of making on the second try are much higher! STUDY IN DIFFERENT CITY THAN YOUR OWN. Mom and dad: don't be helocopters. Call or email once a week, come to family weekend, and get out of the way. Students: you'll learn, grow, and be challenged 150% more if you get out and away from your hometown. STUDY ABROAD. It's worth going into extra dept for it. When else in life will you get to have that experience?

Tiffany

Take a study skill class your first quarter. My class was the most beneficial class I've taken because it helped me make the most of my study time and helped me do more with less stress. Also, buy your books online. There are a number of sites offering cheap books and often times you can buy an older version and have no issues. Older editions are usually very similar and are sometimes more than half off; doing this I've saved hundreds each quarter. Lastly, get to know your professor whenever you can! If they know you they are much more likely to help you and look out for you.

Rose

Finding the right college can be a challenge, but think about what your top three priorities are in your college experience. Is it important to you that the college is close to a mjor city, or near outdoor activities? Does the college need to have a greek system or certain sports? What programs are you interested in? Keep in mind that most freshman's major will change. So don't look into just one program, but see if there are several that you're intersted in. Then look at schools that fulfill those requirements. And then visit, take into account financial aid, apply to the schools and see where your inquiry brings you. When you start college, get involved in activites. This way, you'll make friends quickly and you'll enjoy college more fully. Also, be aware that college courses are harder than the ones you took in high school, so put aside more time for your schoolwork than you'll think you need. If you don't end up needing that much time, you can always adjust later. It is better to do too much at the beginning than too little and have to play catch up.

Leah

Visit the school. Meet the people and look around the location.

Nate

Preview at the schools you are looking to attend and be sure to spend a night on campus to get a feel of what life is like there. Don't underestimate the value of a quality campus community because it really helps to know that a lot of people care about you and are willing to help you with whatever you needs might be. Distance from home and cost of tuition should be secondary concerns when selecting a school to attend. And don't worry if you don't know what you want to study because there is plenty of time to figure that out at school.

Sarah

My advice: like the city or area in which the college is located and to believe in the school's values

Kevin

I would encourage parents and students to participate in the college search together. It is important for the parents and the students to choose a college that they both feel will provide the best learning opportunities for the student. Every person has a unique learning style and it is important to look at all the options available and find out which school will help them to learn the best. But college is about more than just learning. College should be a time for children to begin to turn into adults and learn to live on their own, without their parents complete supervision. It should be a time for children to branch out and make new friends, while staying in touch with their old ones. Although the student may not want it, it is important to get their parents input when choosing a college since many of them have been through the experience and many of them will be helping to pay for the experience. Together they can choose the college that will cater to the students needs and help them to become more productive members of society.

Michelle

A key thing to keep in mind for anyone looking to attend college is to make sure to, at some point, go visit the school in question. Take a moment and contact a professor in the field you may be considering and ask to sit in on a class lecture. Don't decide to go to a school just because friends are going and you want to be with them. If you don't know what you want to do as a career it may be beneficial to attend a community college and acquire your Direct Transfer Associate and transfer to a 4 year college. This allows you time to branch out and see what possibilities await you.

Joshua

Start looking into colleges early in your Junior year. Take campus tours and start looking for financial ad early. Once you find the college that works for you, ENJOY every minute.

Christine

Seven-- the number of schools I applied to. While applying to several different schools is not for everyone, having a range of options is liberating. Large, little; liberal, conservative; near, far -- you name it, I looked at it. Six-- the number of colleges that offered me financial aid. Sticker prices nearly gave my family a heart attack! I highly encourage prospective students to apply even when it seems impossible to make ends meet. I was surprised at how scholarships, grants and loans offered make college affordable. Campus visits also helped deterimine which schools were better fits for me. Five-- the number of times I hesistated. I got cold feet, didn't want to come. Since then, I've definitely changed my mind. Students, be willing to stick it out for awhile. Give the school a fair chance. Four--the number of years most students stay. At first four years seems like forever, but time really flies. Take advantage of opportunities to try new things, go new places and meet new people. In college, the world is literally at your fingertips. Reach out. (And call home often, to keep in touch with family!)

Leann

Finding the right college - don't limit your options, know what you want and go for it. Know that there is a college that is right for you and don't get discouraged. Keep the conversation going, visit schools and talk with students currently attending (but not just one, the more opinions you hear, the better). College is definitely the most memorable time in one's young adult life, and a period of personal growth for all. Transitions are tough but worth it, stick it through. Go to class - it's the easiest way to succeed and the most beneficial to ones learning and understanding. Your professors are incredible resources, talk with them, not only will they appreciate it, but you'll get so much out of it. College is not cheap - you have to make the most of it and don't take it for granted. Time goes by faster each year. Have fun and do things you've never done before.

Tina

Visit as many places as you can! Ask lots of questions--and when you get there, have fun, but don't forget you're getting an education!

Nick

My advice for choosing which college is right for you, is to visit the campuses. Do you feel like that is a university that you can be for the next four years? Is it a place where you feel you could both learn and foster genuine friendships? The feel of campus is a big factor to choosing a school. Another factor should be how accessible the professors are. Are you able to meet with your professors to seek advice both in their field of expertise and also about life in general? Are they professors who will recognize you and know your name both on and off campus? Third would be the extracurriclars that the school and the surrounding areas provide. While education in the most important part of your schooling, it is important to get involved in other activities and to able to get off campus to relax and have a change of scenery

Scott

There are many things you have to think about when choosing a college. It would be unwise to only focus on finances and academics and neglect considering the whole picture. College can be a very transformative time in one's life nad many things can play into this experience. You might consider asking yourself the following questions: How far away from my family do I want to live? Do I want a city or small town? Do I want a big school or small? What kind of cultural activities are there? Think about it and trust your instincts.

Selina

When looking at a college, it is important to look at more than the academic programs that the school has to offer. Look at the environment that the campus creates. College is an incredible time of growth and change and it's important to know you are in a safe place during what you will likely deem "the best years of your life." One very important thing I have learned about college is: it's not all about "college." It's about building friendships, having fun, and simply growing. Work hard, but don't stress too much; it's okay to miss an asignment or two. If I could insert my biased opinion, I would also say, "look at private universities." The high cost can appear to be overwhelming, but sometimes you can get enough aid/scholarships to actually make it cheaper than a state school. Private universities offer smaller class sizes, more available professors, and a close student community.

Angelina

I think that the most important part about finding the right college is looking for a one that will fit you personality and your priorities. Look for a college that has good academic programs as well as campus life. I think it is important to be passionate about your school and education to make the most of the college experience, because then you will be motivated to be engaged in your studies as well as having good time and will be able to balance those out.

kylie

Prospective students should visit the campus/city at least once WITHOUT their parents because if they attend, mama & papi won't be there with them and this will give a more accurate taste test for what their experience will be like. Make sure and ask current students, get a mix of year if you can, what they DON'T like about the school- those are the things that will get under your skin while you're a student there so you might as well make sure they aren't deal breakers.

Baillie

I would have to say that finding the right college is really a trial and error experience. You should really take advantage of online vertual tours, and visitng the schools in person. As far a making the most out of the experience the only thing I can tell you is be involved. Anyone who ever really loved their college experience was involved in some kind of activity. Being invovled is the most important part of enjoying your college experience.

Jon

Find a school where you want to live for the next 4 years

Sarah

Step outside your comfort zone. The best thing I did while researching colleges was to spend the night in the dorms. I was nervous because I was afraid it would be awkward, and I really had to push myself to sign up for an overnight visit. Those visits made my college decision infinitely easier. In college, there is so much to experience outside of the classroom, so see what it's like before you commit! When you are a student, be involved. Try something new. I've never been a singer, but I signed up this year for Gospel Choir, and it is incredible. I'm discovering new talents, and a new community in a place I wouldn't have thought to look. Work. You will have time, and it pays off as you have money for school and socializing. Push yourself. I reluctantly applied for the honors program, and it was the best decision I made since coming to college because I have access to the best professors, I connect with brilliant peers, and I participate in fantastic class discussions. I get the most my money has paid for. Remember, your experience will be what you make of it.

Monica

To parents: save early and as much as you can. With this economic downturn amidst us, loans are harder to aquire. Even if it's possible for you to receive loans, use it as your last resort. Loans are expensive and a major headache. Help your child find alternative sources of financing their eduacation. Fill out the FAFSA early, even if you don't think you qualify for much. Help them in the scholarship process as well. Beyond that, don't let money discourage you from sending your child to the right school. Most importantly, support your children in whatever they pursue. Their decisions may not be what you wanted, but remember that often, we know ourselves better than anyone else, and with this knowledge, we typically choose what is best for us. To students: with so many options for schooling, choosing the right school can be difficult. That's what the internet is for. Know what you want, know your values, research, visit, and compare. You'll find the right school. When you're finally attending the right school, be open-minded, take full advantage of what your school has to offer. After all, you are paying for it.

Trista

always go on a college visit. and ask all the questions you can think of. and always look into how much it will cost and how the schools finacial aid may change from one year to another.

Julie

Finding the right college for a school bound student can be a very difficult decision. I feel that it is best for students and their parents to visit many school's of interest, seek financial need, observe student housing and classrooms as well as friendliness of the staff and students. Although, I feel the most important overall deciding factor should be the student's future career interest. I believe that anyone can have a great college experience if the student is fully committed to and is willing to dedicate time to studying, social interactions, and school related activities. Overall, I suggest complete communication between parents, students and the staff of any given school in order to make the best decision for a student who is ready to be a new chapter in their life!

Kali

To families who are shopping for a college, it's important to remember to try on the options! Visit the colleges that the student is most interested in and attend the scheduled events most colleges offer for prospective students (such as preview days). But after the info sessions, class visits, and caffeteria meals, one of the best things to do is to slow down. Pull up a chair in the middle of the Student Union building or other central flow of traffic, and simply observe. Watch the students around you: how many of them are there? What are they doing - homework or socializing? How do they interact with each other? Eavesdrop a little and find out what's on the mind of these students (after all, this could be you!). The key to making the most of the college experience is engaging in what the school offers (academics and campus life), so find out what there is. Is the talk of the campus sports? The school play? The outrageous art exhibit? Are they organizing study groups or hosting an icecream social, or both? Don't be afraid to speak with the students either; they've all been in your shoes!

Elyse

Don't judge too quickly, ask students that you see around what they think of the campus, students that haven't been hand picked by the administration.

Olivia

As a high school senior I sacrificed myself to the craze of college-hunting. I was stressed-out and scared like I was walking the gang-plank, blindfolded and vulnerable before an unknown future. I was certain that the sharks would eat me alive, but they didn?t. I survived and want to share some unconventional college advice to help clear the fog and calm palpitating hearts. Finding the right college is about aligning your values with a community that will help you live fully and deeply. It is not about money, prestige, or gaining a piece of paper at the end. College is about immersing yourself in a world of new experiences, challenging your mind, finding your calling, and preparing yourself to give back to society in some small way. When you are looking at colleges, don?t just look at the dollar sign. Examine the ways the community will call you out to engage and change the world. Once you are admitted, and wave goodbye to your parents- go outside and bloom. Don?t sit on the sidelines. Eat up all the experiences: volunteer, talk with professors, stay up late, read books for fun, and contemplate the stars.

Sarah

research

Brittany

I would not be too worried about how close or far away the campus is from home. I live a half an hour away from home and it feels like I live a world away since I never go home. You control whether your home or not. The most important thing to consider is the type of people that attend the university or college. Each place has their own setereotype; listen to what those are since they are usually true. The size of classrooms is also important. If you are an individual that needs more help or attention academically then you should probably look into a smaller school. The wide range of majors is important because if you ever change your major you want to constantly have options. Campus life is key; do they have a community feel? Also, what is their job placement like?

Jontal

The college you are interested in should have resources for you to find out if you will fit in well there. Talk your guidence counselor's ear off! See if you can go to a preview week or a similar event! Talk with actual students who goes to that college and ask their opinions. If MySpace and Facebook are good for one thing it may be this. Do a search for an alumni group at the school you are interested in and ask students who are members of this group their opinions. Remember, everyone working for the school will probably be a bit friendlier than usual, but that considered, they are a fairly honest reflection of what to expect. While at school take advantage of every resource you can find. For example: Go to the writing center and have them review your papers! It will boost your grade and it's free! Also, take advantage of the opportunity to be friendly towards everyone. You never know who may become a friend for life. Get involed in atleast one club (especially if you live off campus). It will be essential for graduate school applications and will stretch you as a person.

Cindy

Choose the college that fits you personally, regardless of financial circumstances.

Sara

Make sure that your child is giong to be able to succeed academically at the school. If they aren't, that is going to cause a whole host of problems, even outside of the academic arena. Be prepared to accept the sort of values and beliefs that the school propogates as well, if you are attending a Christian university, recognize that you are going to have that influence throughout your education. As well, find some way to get involved on campus once you are there. It's the best way to form new friendships especially ones that revolve around similar interests.

Danae

Parents: Let your kids decide where they believe they would feel the most comfortable and welcome (even if it is across the country). Moving away for the first time is hard enough without the strains of worrying about new friends and lifestyle choices. Yes, you will miss your children, but they are most definitely missing you, no matter what they say. Students: You can get a degree from anywhere, but the importance of your decision to go to a certain school is what makes the difference. College is an amazing experience that should take place where you most desire. It is what you make it. You will succeed if you try, and you will have an amazing time knowing you have accomplished your dreams making life-long friends on the way.

Rosie

The advice I would give would be to find a school that fits your personality. Visit different colleges and be able to sit in on a class. When you know that you've found the school, you just will know. Making the most of the college experience, I would just be yourself. Find a group of friends, and learn.