Smith College Top Questions

What should every freshman at Smith College know before they start?


Don't be afraid to try things and quit. You don't need to be an expert in something to try it for the first time; you don't need to stick with something that you hate out of a misplaced sense of loyalty. Forgive people more. Educate people more. You are going to meet people whom you admire, who intimidate you. Remember that they are people, and don't take so long to seek them out. They're waiting for you to make a move, too. Be firm with yourself and commit to habits that you know will make you a better person and a better student. Take criticism gracefully, and advocate for yourself--but only when it's worth it. Remember that you chose to be here, and that you love it. Be out and joyful and unrepentent.


Advice to My Former Self The best way to prepare for college in particular and for life in general involves finding a cause that is close to my heart at an early age and working to address it through volunteering. Don't wait until the summer before my senior year to work with a local organization whose mission is to help those afflicted with aids. Start early so I can learn at a younger age how incredibly satisfying it is to help make a difference in the lives of others - to know the warmth of giving back to the community. Start early on the path that will lead to a major in college of social justice. Have the work convert my vague appreciation of how lucky I am to the knowledge of the incredible blessings in my life. Use the opportunity to meet those whose life is so different than mine, whose challenges far outweigh mine. Learn early to enjoy those who can teach me so much about the larger world. It is great preparation for college, where the range of people I meet will expand tremendously. Yes, begin early down the path to help myself as much as others.


There's nothing you need for collegiate success that you don't already have. Imagination, cleverness, and determination are in equal measure what will propell you through your studies. Don't allow yourself to be distracted. Don't turn grudges into excuses. Make time for friends and fun, of course, or risk sanity entirely, but remember that the education comes first. School is there for you. All those resources, all those books and specimens, ideas and arguments, lectures and libraries are yours. There's no room for timidity. You know exactly what you want to do, what you want to make of yourself and the world, and you have all the tools you need. You live in a world where women in the sciences are trivialized and where righteous indignation is spun into pettiness by the powers that be, but you're up to it. Every paper, lab, and discussion brings you closer to the scientist--and the person--you know you can be. Don't let a moment pass you by.


I would tell myself not to be so afraid, so affected by the culture shock, so homesick. I would give myself academic advice (Smith has an "open curriculum," which is great, but it makes course selection a bit overwhelming), and I'd remind myself to audition for a play. I would tell myself that time moves quickly, so go to the art museum, the hill of daffodils (before it's removed during construction), the botanical gardens, the archives. Find the secret staircase in Sessions House and move out of Capen House after your first year. Be active in Italian Club (model in their fashion show) and stay one year over January to learn Yiddish. Don't take the LSAT without studying and don't wait until senior year to take math and science. Finally, I'd tell myself to get enough sleep, leave room for a social life and not to worry because it'll all be okay.


I wish I had known how much easier procrastination becomes in college than it was in highschool. I would tell myself to stay more focused and really schedule out each day when the assignments start pouring in, because when I do that it's so much easier to stay on top of things. I would tell myself to pack less--you really don't need all that stuff. I would remind myself that it's okay to be lonely sometimes, and talking to your friends about your experiences (and realizing they're lonely sometimes too) really helps. I didn't figure that out for a while. I wish I could have told myself to breath more. The year is almost over and I survived, but I think I could have done it with less stress if I had planned my academics, taken time to meditate or something, and eaten a little healthier--more salad, fewer tater tots--because you don't need any more stress than college already is.


Just relax, stick it out. Making decisions can be difficult but remember you can always change your mind, nothings set in stone.


I have learned more about myself, my temperment, and my personal and academic interests. I have developed a sense of independence and have found the strength to keep going even when things do work out the way I had originally planned.


I have only been in college for one semester and already I have changed so much. Before college, I procrastinated with every thing, forgot about assignments, I was unorganized, and a bit shy. Now I have learned to budget my time. I turn in all assignments on time if not early. Forgetting assignments is not an option in college. I write everything down and leave reminders for myself everywhere. I am much more responsible and reliable because of this and much more confident. Also, my college experience has given me a strong sense of accomplishment. I am going to a prestigious school filled with intelligent people who challenge me every day. Most of my professors have a Ph. D. I am learning Arabic, which is one of the hardest languages to learn. I am proud of myself. I am doing something no one in my family has done before. I am a first generation college student. I am also going to be the first graduate in my family. I am going to be the first person in my family to have a yearly salary versus hourly. College is molding me into a strong, intelligent, capable woman.


My name is Mayli-Anne Waterbury and I am a robust 66 year old woman looking for scholarship aid so that I can attend Smith College in Massachusetts. A lifelong dream was to finish my college education. My goal isn?t just about me; I am looking for a way out of the self-absorption retirees can slide into-I understand at a deep level that the solution to getting out of ?me? is to become pro-active in the welfare of others. I need to be armed with all the clout I can muster to be taken seriously in a world that needs all the help it can get. I love to write. I have been published several times in self-help books and on the Op-Ed pages of state and local newspapers. I am looking to make my major English/American Studies at Smith. Later, I hope to write books, articles, and continuing with serious volunteering. Presently, I am enrolled as a part time student at the University of Rhode Island and donate my time for transparently-decent candidates seeking political office. I hope you will consider my request for the scholarship.


I am a firm proponent of universal success where every individual has an aptitude for a skill. A collegiate education will enhance and refine whatever ability that may be. But college isn?t all about the formal learning that takes place within the institutions; the experiences that colleges are able to extend to their students have a greater impact on their success than any mathematics course would. Being able to develop an ideal self based off of the experiences one has encountered is the most critical difference between a successful individual and a failure. I attended college for academic purposes like most prospective students do but in my brief time at Valencia Community College, I have gain some invaluable experiences that will mold me into a man ready to illuminate my community. As a product of the Bridges to Success Program, I have been engraved with the determination to lead others in a positive direction. Soon I attained membership of Phi Theta Kappa and Presidency of I.M.A.G.E.S. (Influential Men Applying Gifts and Employing Strategies); our goal is to promote academic achievement and community service. My college experience has gave me power to enlighten my community.