Smith College Top Questions

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


Always visit campuses before applying. Academics are definitely important, however academics is not all there is to life. Friends, social networking, jobs and all the other good stuff make a huge difference. Location, academics, size and financial aid are top three things to look for in a school (in that order). Of course the study factor is why one attends college in the first place, and although most of us know what we'll become when we grow up before we actually start attending college, give yourself room for change. Choose a school that offers a wide range and variety of studies from which to choose; options are key. And most importantly stay in touch with family and friends - they can become lifeline's when school's getting you down.


When I visited my college for the first time, it felt completely right. I knew that I wanted to live there for four years. I wanted the people I met there to be my classmates, friends, and teachers. I wanted it to be my home. I have never regretted that decision, and I think that when choosing a college, you should hold out for that feeling. You'll only be in college for a short time, but you'll do a lot of growing up during that time, and you want it to be in the right environment.


visit the campus if you can.. try to get a feel for what your life would be like if you went there.. choose the place where you imagine yourself having the most friends, takeing the most interesting classes, and just generally being the happiest you could be, and the most motivated to keep learning!


Visit your top picks. Understand your finances, and pick the best college for you. If you are susceptible to influence, avoid the big party schools. If you are shy, pick a mid-sized school. If you thrive in distraction and no personal space, big is for you. You want somewhere where you will not only make friends and have a decently fun time, but will also be challenged and made to grown personally. If you are having trouble, think of some alums from the colleges you are looking at. If one of them were to apply to work for the job you dream of, what would you think? Reputations leave an impression on your prospective employers, so consider wisely. If the school doesn't fit after a year (and you should wait a full year) then transfer. You are never stuck with a bad fit, so don't worry so much.


I suggest visiting the different schools you are interested in. Also, deciding beforehand if you want to go to a big school or small. From there figure out where in the country you really want to be and than start researching those schools. Visiting and going for interviews really gives a face to an application.


The greatest opportunity in America is to pursue higher education. When deciding what school to attend, keep in mind who you are as a person and who you want to be when the experience is over. I offer 3 guiding principles to your decision making process: Dollars, Distance and Destiny. College is an investment, invest wisely. Distance from family and friends can be difficult, choose carefully. Your college experience both inside and outside the classroom can help shape your destiny, embrace your decision and hold on for the ride!


Personal growth is the most significant benefit any student gains from four years in college. A motivated student will thrive academically in any college environment; it is the learning accomplished outside the classroom that determines the success of an undergraduate career. This is perhaps not what many parents would like to hear, but the fact remains the same. In accordance, the single most important aspect in choosing a school is fit. Fit involves factors such as school size, campus environment and location. College is the ideal time to discover new people, places and ideas. This experience is maximized in an environment suited to the student in terms of class size, student-teacher ratio, and peer attitude. It is helpful to speak with students currently enrolled in the college to get an accurate account of the student?s perspective. A visit to the college is invaluable in forming a clear picture of the campus atmosphere. In sum: don?t miss out on an incredible college experience by basing your decision on a school?s academic standing and reputable name. Choose a school that will enable you to achieve your goals, but don?t sacrifice personal growth for an Ivy League diploma.


Start visiting schools early, and visit schools that are as diverse as possible (when it comes to size, geography, urban or rural location) because you might be surprised at what resonates with you. You might think you want a large urban school in California, but find that you really like the green at a small New England College, that's ok! That's what college tours are for. When you are on campus say yes to everything! Go to as many speakers and cultural events as you can. Ask students what a typical weekend and weeknight look like, people often forget weeknights. Find out where students spend their most time, is it the library, or the local bar? Ask students if they had a chance to do it again, would they still pick that school, or would they select another. As for parents, you have to help your child ask the right questions, and then let them make the choice, you'd be surprised at how well they know themselves.


I was always a very good student and naturally wanted to attend the best school I could. However, ranking should not be a determinative factor. I chose my college because it fit my presonality: small, liberal, and academically challenging. Most students end up in a large university and become lost in the classroom. I wanted a school where professors knew my name and I could develop as an academic and feminist. The best advice I can give to a student is to consider college as a four-year investment in her intellectual growth. Regardless of the name of the institution, it is only worth nearly half a decade of one's life if it is an environment one can enjoy for several years. Foremost, students should visit the school and its location. In addition, a student should be realistic about one's capabilities and desires. If the student is likely to become homesick, she shouldn't feel compelled to move to another state to attend a school. At 18 it's hard to anticipate one's needs and career aspirations. Therefore, I advise choosing a school that meets one's immediate expectations and provides ample opportunities to change.


Don't be afraid to try a school that may not seem like the right fit culture-wise. I was dubious of Smith College because of the all-women's atmosphere, but the high ranking of its academics and its small campus eventually lured me in. The environment was definitely shocking at first, but being thrust into a place with little warning made it easier to acclimate. You learn quickly that you cannot judge someone by their race, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. Everyone at college is intelligent in their own ways, and even if you were the smartest person in your high school it is highly likely you won't be in college. You have to go into the experience with an open heart and the expectation that you will be meeting people from all walks of life and you shouldn't be discouraged by hostile encounters. Take it all as a chance to learn and grow from the best. Only in college will you be literally forced to live and learn with people from all over the country and the world. This is an opportunity that you don't come across everyday.


For finding the right college... Are you conservative? Liberal? Try to match a college to your political beliefs, or be prepared to defend them. What type of weather do you like? Do you mind the cold? Once you decide upon a college and go, do as much as you can when you get to college. Go to tons of clubs, participate in various activities around campus... Just get involved. You can drop down to a few events after you've tried lots of things out.


You may never know what the "right" college is so go with whatever takes you outside of your comfort zone and challenges you to be the most amazing person you can.


Choose carefully and visit the campus before you make your final decision. Smith is an amazing College, but not located in a large urban center. It is academically rigorous and has a very vocal gay/lesbian community. It is very liberal and you might feel out of place at first if you have more conservative/republican leaning , however there is defintiely an active republican contingent at Smith and you will feel welcomed by them as well . All in all, it has a small, friendly albeit competitive atmosphere with amazing women goading, pushing and challenging you to do your very best. Good luck!


1. If you are burned out from high school (after being valedictorian and president of everything) I know I was---TAKE TIME OFF. explore, volunteer, you'll be better equipped to understand and experience college 2. If you are a woman, consider all-women's colleges (especially the 7-Sisters). Cornell, Harvard etc. might sound great but I think it was priceless for me to have four years to myself in a healthy, supportive (still competitive), non-judgemental, progressive, inspiring space to make real true friendships and to become the person I am today . GO TO SMITH COLLEGE! Now that I am in graduate school at University of Pennsylvania, I appreciate that experience so much more, and know that it has shaped me into a better, me.


Don't let others dictate what college you would like, and certainly don't choose a school just for its name. Figure out what type of person you are, and where you feel most comfortable and go for it.


Choose a college that will challenge you to think new ways. If you pick a school that has little diversity of opinion on campus, then constructive conversation about differing points of view is hard to find. If you pick a campus with diversity of people and opinion, then we can move together as a society to help understand one another. Respectful conversation between students is a must. Join the clubs on your campus?at least one! Usually, clubs and societies are an instant network of friends, and also something spectacular to put on your resume once you start looking for jobs upon graduation. If you hold a leadership position in your club, not only will it give you experience in supervision, but also it is an experience from which you can draw during job interviews. Because four-year degrees are more accessible than in our parents? age, it?s crucial that you have an idea of where you want to go after college. Use your university as a tool to make yourself look the best to possible employers by utilizing the programs your campus has to offer. The job market is hard to enter with only your degree?trust me!!


Look at the school before you decide. visiting is the best way to get a feel for how you'll fit in and feel living there.


Make sure you feel right about the place. You'll be there for four (or more) years, and there's nothing worse than being stuck somewhere that you don't want to be. Being comfortable in a place can make your experiences there 100x more worthwhile than being at a world class college that you feel uncomfortable at. When it comes to making this choice, trust your instincts, and don't let anyone talk you out of it, if you feel uncomfortable someplace. Good luck!


Students should look for a school that fits well with their personality and academic aand social interests. Parents should allow their children to explore all options.


Research the range of academic and extracurricular offerings on campus, as well as various aspects of daily life. Talk to as many current students and alums as you can. Above all, be open-minded!


When you visit the colleges, talk to as many students as possible about their experiences. When a student is telling you about the school, evaluate how similar this student is to you before you take everything he/she says to heart. Keep your options open (i.e., consider schools that are not focused on a single area of study unless you are 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} SURE it is what you want (and who can really know that at the beginning of undergrad?).


Although knowing what you would like to do with the rest of your life is not realistic or important at this point, know what you do not want to do and would like to avoid at all costs. For example, if you would like to keep as far away from conservative or money hungry industries as possible, try to stay away from schools with a highly conservative population who mostly go on to business school or into finances. Look at what students do over the summer at your school, that is to say, does the school inspire students to do more with their knowledge and opportunity? If you do not know what you would like to do, but know that you are willing and able to go through with some sort of graduate school, a liberal arts education is undoubtedly for you. Also get involved. This is how you make friends and this is how you grow as a person. Playing a sport is always an excellent idea. You will learn how to make time for your studies in light of practices and games. A sports team translates into automatic friends and scheduled daily exercise! Good luck!


Trust your gut. If you get a good feeling about the school when you visit, you're probably on the right track. If you don't feel at home there, trust that too. College is four years of your life, so don't talk yourself into going someplace because they give you lots of money or you think it would make you look smarter or so you can brag to your friends or anything else. Once you get to college, just enjoy it! Enjoy your friendships, your classes, as well as extracurriculars. Throw yourself into them, because this is a unique time in your life. But don't commit yourself to too many activities. Pick carefully what you want to focus on, because four years will go by faster than you know it, and there's no way you can do everything you want to.


Keep an open mind (all parties involved).


If you do not receive enough financial aid like I do, work over the summer and save. Find a work study job, maybe with a professor to make it worthwhile. Don't be stressed about money because it will come after you graduate.