South Dakota State University Top Questions

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

Jordan

If I could give any advice to myself as a high school senior, it would definately be open to anything; new people, new places, and new experiences are what college is all about. At first, I wasn't as open to the changes that I was experiencing when I moved into college, and this put me in a position where I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I realized that I was just not accepting these changes in my life, and I vowed to make the change to deal with the changes in my life. Now, I am a much happier person and loving the life I'm living at college.

Affonso

As a High School senior, I was still debating on an exact degree to choose. I was torn between Graphics, Photography and Film. I had already chosen a school that provided all three degree programs, but I would have to attend it three different times; which I could, but not in concession. I was also facing a finacial prouble, seeing as though I wouldn't be able to pay for college on my own and my parents were pressuring me to look for my own finaical assitance. As a senior, I would've told myself that I would lean on graphics more than anything and comfort myself that finaicial assitance is always available. That way, I would've started my scholarship search earlier and visiting my school of choice a little more often to become familar with the campus. As far as mental stability is soncerned, I would've told myself to be a lot more open-minded to new experiences to become seasoned, relax myself in times of stress, and study study study. If I could go back in time to my senior year, I would've helped myself out alot. thanks

Tara

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would of told myself to pick a college that had more major's that I was interested in. Do not just pick the same college as all your high school friends because you are confused on what you want to do with your life. Making the transition from high school to college can be a difficult time for many students. I would of told myself to not worry as much because most new students are feeling the same way. Right away a college student has to be outgoing and introduce themselves to different people. That is how one makes life long friends. I would of told myself that college is not as scary at it seems and to just relax and have fun. College is suppose to be an experiences that you will remember your whole life.

Brienna

If I could go back to a year ago when I was starting my second semester as a high school senior, I would do a plethora of things different. First of all, I would have worked harder in my Advanced Placement classes so I could have saved money by taking that class again. Another thing I would have done different would have been to fill out all of the scholarships I could possibly apply for and have them sent in before their due date. I would have scheduled more hours at work and been willing to stay later and come in earlier or not decide to have random days off to go hang out with my friends. It is hard to think about college when you are trying to think about the upcoming graduation necessities, studying for final semester exams, trying to fill out school applications and scholarships, and also going the extra mile to write essays that sound professional and deserving. The main piece of advice that I would tell myself if I could go back in time was to be sure I was financially prepared, study hard, and just be sure to not procrastinate until the last minute.

Rebecca

I would tell myself to fill out more scholarships. What I thought then about how many i should fill out was wrong. I could never fill out too many scholarships. Knowing how much college cost and the toll it takes on a student is completely different from simply hearing about it. The transition to college life was not as hard as I suspected, so the only thing i would tell myself would be to keep filling out more scholarships.

Dawn

It is important to become engaged in your education right away. Sit up front, ask questions, and be involved. You will get more out of your education. In some ways you are teaching yourself so you need to work well with the professors to know their expectations and how to best learn from them. You will also want to determine how you best learn personally and incorporate that knowledge in your learning. Also be sure to schedule time for studying. Your general education courses may "seem" like a waste, but many of them can be used in basic daily life. It is also important to not put off your education. There will be time to "socialize", but your education has to be your top priority. Even with experience, many jobs will not even look at you as a candidate if you don't have the four year degree - get your education as soon as you can.

Cory

Focus on pharmacy and go to a campus based college instead of tech schools and off campus colleges

Nik

Stay focused on your goals in your college career. Make sure to make lots of friends and don't be shy. College is not scary, just settle in and do your thing your way. Make sure to get to know your college professors because they are there to help you. Don't study all the time but don't party all the time either. There needs to be an equal balance. Do not procrastinate ever. It only will hurt you in the long run.

Katie

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I wouldn't tell myself too many things about the college experience. Although many people told me about their college experience and gave me a heads up on what I should expect; nothing I heard seemed to be true in my life. Honestly all I would say is to be yourself and not let anyone change who you are, but not to be afraid of change. Because changing in college is inevitable. I would tell myself not to sweat over the small stuff and that you need to have fun once in awhile; you cannot study all the time or you will go insane.

Emily

I would tell myself to not worry about having perfect grades, having that perfect 4.0 because it doesn't seem to matter. I would also make myself do many more scholarships than I actually did. I would research different fields of study more too just to make sure I don't change my mind my junior year of college. And last but most importantly, I would tell myself to have fun as a senior in high school, cherish my high school, small town friends, and family because I will miss them.

Katie

I would have told myself to get into better study habits. Also, I would have taken some post-secondary classes to cheapen the tuition bill. Testing out of classes earlier would have been very beneficial.

Amelia

Attend South Dakota State University first! The University of South Dakota is nice but you will gain more friends and experience attending SDSU before USD. Make a study plan so your grades stay high and do not be afraid to say no to a school commitment. Also, take pictures of yourself, friends, and family to school. You will get homesick. Do not be afraid to call home and talk to the parents and call your grandparents on a regular basis. Keep in touch with your brother and sister.

Leah

Don't stress. Enjoy your last few months, don't worry, the transition will be easier than you think. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!

Matt

Dont have a girlfriend and get out there and do activieties in order to make friends.

Nicole

When deciding which college to attend, be sure to talk to someone you know and trust (if possible) and make sure it is someone with similar long-term goals as the student. Avoid talking to an old "party buddy" or someone the student has a crush on. Look at each college/university as a long-term commitment because switching schools can be a huge hassle and waste of money if not all their credits will transfer.

Isaiah

Take a college visit and allow your child to at least spend the weekend their so that they can see the social events and to get the feel of the environment and of the peoplse that they will be spending "the best years" of their lives with.

Chelsea

I would say start with deciding what distance the future college student wants to live from home, if they wish to live close then look locally or within the state or if they wish to live farther away then start by looking at neightboring states and branching from there. Also, if a student wishes to live far from home start by looking at local schools' sister schools for often times those schools are very similar in educational programs and even architecture. Therefore, the student can be miles away though still have some feel of home. In addition, if the student know what type of field intestest them, then research which schools offer the programs of interest. Lastly and most importantly, visit as many schools as possible, for the moment you drive on campus to the "right" school, the student will know that is where they should be spending the next four or maybe five years of their life. It will be love at first sight.

Melissa

Find a nice town with a decent sized school.

Dawn

Learning disabled students are human beings, they have hearts and souls just like everyone else. Choose a school based on what you want to become, not based on who goes there. Be an individual, but parents offer guidance for the student.

Drew

School is very challenging in different ways for different students. Let your student look at the options that are offered. Be supportive, yet offer guidance.

Renae

Save the money for college in advance so you do not have to borrow when the time comes. Look at many colleges and what they have to offer for what they want you to pay, therefore, you can get the most education for your money.

Maggie

Find a college that intrigues you both educationally and socially. I say socially because college is a social place. Although college is about getting the best education possible, you have to make your decision depending on whether you think you will enjoy your time there. To get the most of your college experience you need to GET INVOLVED!! There is nothing more important than getting involved. You will meet new people, have a plethora of things to put on your resume, and have a great time!!

Kent

When you find a college that you think you like attend it at different times of the week and year. Attend it on a Monday in the Spring to see what classes are like when you may have to walk in sub-zero temperatures. Stay for a weekend starting on a Friday so that you can see what type of social life and weekend events are occuring. See if students use the library, or the fitness centers. Don't be afraidto ask students on the campus what they like or dislike about the campus. Ask questions of facuty on how they like the campus and the community. The most important thing is to make sure you can feel comfortable with the college and the community because you will have to live there for the next for the four or more years. Talk to everyone you can and research the school on how they do in your field of study. Be open to colleges that you may not thinkare great because they may provide the bet education and experience that you may ever have. Live for today, Dream for tomorrow.

Melanie

Parents should be supportive of their children. I hear of too many parents with expectations that differ from their child's own wishes, and this doesn't help anyone in the long run. Once children are this age, a parent can still guide and advise, but should do so lovingly and not force a certain school or a four-year university in general upon their child. Students, go TO college don't just go THROUGH college. Make the most of your time there because heaven knows you are probably paying for every second of it. You can make the most of your time by meeting people. There are so many great people surrounding you at college, and everyone is looking for friends, so it's easy to make great friendships. The tricks to doing this include: live in the dorms and keep your door open while you are home, talk to the people sitting around you in class, and finally join clubs with purposes you are passionate about. By doing these things, you are certain to meet people in similar situations and with similar interests to yours, so you can easily become lifelong friends!

Ashley

Visit the campus, if you can see yourself living there (not just studying) then it's the place for you.

Bryce

Find the perfect distance from home for the student. This often affects whether a student stays at the school or transfers elsewhere. Get involved in student organizations. This creates opportunities to meet people, add experience above classroom work, and even travel. Learn to be outgoing and don't just stick with friends from high school. The open nature a student will develop will reflect positively when he/she graduates and begins interviewing.

Kyle

Choosing the right college for a student can be very difficult. There are may variables that play a role in this decision. Every college has something to offer its students both in education and socially. After completing four years of college and acquiring a bachelors degree in Construction Management i have the following advice for parents and/or students seeking to find the perfect college. In my opinion there are many factors that attibute to a full rounded educational experience. The first thing to look at is the curriculum offered by the college. The college should offer several courses and curriculums that the student has interest in. This will allow the student to change his or her degree if they so choose. I also believe social oppurtunities are an important factor in this decision. Many college towns offer a variety of activities for students. These activities can make or break the college experience. Social activities will allow the student to get away from the books for a short period of time and "recharge the batteries".

Amy

Visit the campuses you are interested in and go with your gut feeling. When you find one that just "feels right" thats the one you should choose.

Laurelle

I would advise students to choose a college that has a variety of options and a great support team. Obviously it is important for the college to have the desired major; however, it would be wise to choose a school that offers a variety of other majors. First of all, students change their minds and staying at the same university makes changes in majors easier. Secondly, students can meet others with diverse interests, and by having many friends, students become more well-rounded. Also, having great professors, advisors, and other on campus support makes the experience a great one! Without a support system, a new student could easily become overwhelmed and be less inclined to return to the same college. Also, as a last piece of advice, choose a school that will fulfill both the parents' and students' desires but that also does not cost an outrageous amount. Loans have to be paid back, and generally the fewer loans a student has, the better off they can be later in life.

Bonnie

Think it through, and don't decide too quickly. But remember: choosing the wrong school isn't the end of the world. And I think most students can adjust to the school they choose. Even if you choose the "wrong" school, it could end up being right. When choosing, focus on the things the school can offer academically. Most schools have similar extra-curiccular activities and student life, but academics can really vary from school to school. And most importantly, if it's not worth praying about; it's not worth worrying about.

Troy

You need to do what your heart tells you, as cheesy as that may be, it is the truth! You only get to experience this opportunity once and it would be a shame to spend your time and money at place you aren't happy with. When I am asked about my college experience, I want a smile to come across my face because I will hopefully get to think back to all the great times I have had here at South Dakota State University. Also, I want to have the best option to excel in life and I believe SDSU gives that to me. So, in order for you to do this. You need to make the right choice of choosing a school that you think will help you get the most out of your educational, and social experience. Enjoy the ride!

Krissa

I would suggest that every student visit all the campuses they are seriously considering. A visit can make a huge difference in your decision. Visiting gives you a sense of what the college is like and the type of environment. I was debating between two universities until i visited both. I felt instantly comfortable and at ease on the campus of SDSU where I currently attend school. The other college i had considered seemed unfriendly and to small when i visited in person.

Jen

My main advice to both parents and students about choosing a college would be to not base your decision off money. I know it's very tempting if you get a scholarship offer and your parents are loving the reduced bill and you're excited to tell your friends you got a scholarship but in the end it may not be worth it. I'm not saying to go to a private college if you don't have the money and take out large student loans but you should remember that loans aren't necessarily a bad thing all the time. Also, my advice would be to put yourself out there and get involved. Although it may be scary, introduce yourself to new people. I took a chance last year and asked a girl in my biology class if she wanted to get lunch together and now she's one of my lifelong best friends. Know who you are as a person and expand on those traits. Try new things but be safe and don't forget who you are. College is your time to find yourself. Make every day count!

Sara

When choosing a school parents should let their children make the decision. Although going to college is about getting an education, the biggest part about surviving college is the environment you are in. When students choose a college they should choose one that they are most comfortable in or can see themselves growing accustomed to. If a person gets a long with people better in smaller groups then perhaps they should choose a smaller school. Most schools, especially universities contain the same level of teaching at each school along with the basic majors. The reason the community and environment is the most important is because if a person doesn't get along with their surroundings, they are less likely to do good on other things and if they end up just focusing on classes without social activity because they disagree with their surrounds, they are less likely to be able to handle the world around them after college. Also, when parents make the decision for their kids they are initially choosing their future for them. Students need to know how to make decisions in order to survive on their own in the future.

Jhaki

I would advise parents to offer assistance, not orders. Believe it or not your children may think differently than you, and may want a different life than you. For students, follow your intuition. Of course that intuition should be preceded by research in several schools. What is important to you? A good football team? Cost? Diversity? Location? Successful graduates? A good ol' fashion list of pros and cons is a very sensible approach. Follow up with a college visit and try to talk to a current student who isn't being paid by the school to show you around.

Carolyn

When looking for the right college, I would consider three major factors: cost, location, and majors offered. If the student knows what they want to study before they go to college that helps narrow down the college search. Cost is a big factor, especially with our economy in the downturn its currently in. If they can get a scholarship at a school but it doesn't have the exact major they want, I would still consider it because they could transfer to another school that has it for the last two years and possibly save money in the long run. I also say location because you never know how homesick you will get until it actually happens. I knew a girl from Las Vegas and she couldn't go home until Thanksgiving and Christmas because of the airfare costs but she ended up transferring out during second semester because she couldn't handle being so far away from home. Having a great college experience is keeping track of your syllabi and assignment deadlines, hanging out with friends and checking out everything campus has to offer for fun, people-meeting activities.

Megan

Tour every school you even remotely think about. I toured everywhere I could, I wasn't sure I wanted to be so close to home, or have half of my graduating class at the same school I went to. But every place I toured didn't have that great of a program, or it was too big, or too small, or too far from home, it wasn't friendly enough or it was spooky due to lack of privacy. After every tour South Dakota State looked better and better, and I'm so happy I came here. In the spring the snow melts and flowers bloom and birds come back. In the summer it's warm and sunny with great rainy days. In the fall everything changes colors and becomes a new world. Finally, winter snow blankets everything for six months and you feel you truly know what a winter wonderland is. South Dakota is small and quaint, but it's up and coming. Ethonal is a big income for the state and research continues at our university alone. Not to mention its a land grant university, which is rare, the only one in South Dakota. Its worth coming here.

Anita

I would advise them to choose what suits them most and to follow their dreams. You truly can go anywhere from any college you attend. You only have to believe that you can. Also, save as much money as you can before school. You'll need it.

Jeffery

Find a good balance between having fun and learning. You can't make the most of your college experience if you study all the time, but you won't have a college experience if you just go out and party every night.

Brittnay

Find a college that you like and not one that your friends or others pressure you into going. Don't just go to a college just because all of your friends are going to.

April

Visit each college you are considering and go with your gut instinct. Most likely that will be the place you will be most comfortable and happy. Spend a weekend there and see the social life as well. You wouldn't want to be bored and hate your life every weekend. Choose a college that is the size you are looking for.

Meagan

I think that i would tell parents and students that it is great to look for a college that you like all around. Look for a college that has a great atmosphere but yet has a good reputation about how people are taught there.

Jennessy

I would have to say before you are going to attend college, have an idea of what you really want to do as a career when you are older. It will help you figure out which type of school you will want to attend and help you look for the schools that have that program. Then you can figure out which school has the best outlook for your intrested field and can find means of getting the money to attend. The more you get to know the school the more easier it will be to adjust and know how to get the best experience.

Kieara

Don't go home on the weekends for the first month or month and a half of school. As a 'retired' R.A. (Resident Assistants) the students that refrain from going home get the most of out their college career. Students who tend to go home the first month do not meet as many close friends and tend to continue to go home weekend after weekend. Although there might not be much to do on some campuses on the weekend, you can find things to do and each experience that you have with your new friends is something that will stick with you for forever.

Andrew

Take the time to find the right school for yourself is ann easy one, all you have to do is make the choice of finding a major that would best fit your life, and then would you like a tough school to go to like a college or a tech school. So depending on what the needs to life style is that is how finding a school would be found. For the college experience find some buddies in your dorm and hang out, study, workout, and just get to know them as much as you can for that they will be the best friends for the rest of your lives!

Eric

Dont just believe the magazines and catalogs about different schools. Schedule appointments and go look at your top choices. Ask plenty of questions especially of current students.

Dominique

Many people believe that your high school days are the best days of your life. I truly believe that your college days are the finest days you will experience because you are finally independent, build friendships from scratch, and discover who you truly are. This is why you must find the right fit for you. The right fit is not where all your friends are going or where your parents have wanted you to go since birth. It is a place that you will feel "home" away from home at. A place that will allow you to succeed and in return you will hold a special spot in your heart for it for years to come. A place that will give you room to grow as an individual and make your OWN mark in this world. A place that will suit your needs as far as weather and social activity, and lastly a place that you like and can see youself being successful at.

celine

I would tell other students to not rely on advisors because most of the time they waist your time; the best way to go about knowing the classes that you need and what is best is to talk to people whith the same major and same work field.Work less in order to get more financial aid money while in school.

Nathan

In my opinion you should find a college that you fit into and feel conforatable with.

Michelle

I encourage parents and students to tour the top 3 or 4 colleges the student is interested in. Talk to upperclassmen and see what activities are available on campus. Once you get to college, become involved in an organization or two you believe in or that are related to your field of study. Getting to know other students will help you in the long-run. Another piece of advice is to live in the dorms your first couple years. I know it may save money to live at home, but it's much harder to make friends if you live off-campus those first years. The friends I have made in the dorms are life-long friends. Don't get too caught up in studying. Make time to hang out with friends. Remember, these college years are truly the best years of your life!

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