Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Top Questions

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

Ralicia

In my opinion, education is a journey unique to every individual, with no true beginning or end. But once a student arrives at the postsecondary level, the journey turns into an adventure. You learn countless ideas and concepts that you will not only use in your career field of choice, but also principles that will guide you in your everyday life, like balance, responsibility, and citizenship. You learn to be diverse and flexible while maintaining a standard of professional and personal excellence and pride. In college, you are molded into the person you will be for the rest of your life. Once I obtain my degree, I hope to become a certified elementary teacher. I would eventually like to obtain my master's in English as a Second Language and help transition Spanish speaking students into our great nation. I want to be a teacher that motivates and inspires children, sees their true potential and guides them to embracing it, teaching students how to think, instead of what to think. But before I can teach that principle, I must first master it myself. And that lesson alone is why college is simply invaluable.

Elizabeth

I have grown up, become a better person, but over all I have made something of myself. When I look back on my childhood I could never see into the future- I didn't have that- "I know what I'm going to be feeling" thanks to SIUE I know have that feeling about nursing.

Alexandria

As of May 4, 2010, I had just finished my freshman year in college. On that last day, after I had completed my last final exam and made my way to the student parking lot, I looked back at the campus in which an immense amount of my personal and academic growth took place and began to think about all of the things that I went through, all of the things that I had learned in and out of the classroom, and all the interesting people I met. During the course of my freshman year in college, all of the things I experienced and observed have taught me so much about life, being alright with not knowing what I want to do with it just yet, and realizing that an education can be much more than interpreting facts. I have learned so much in my freshman year and I have changed significantly in the process; I believe that going to college and working as hard as I did really opened my eyes and helped me along the road of self discovery, which is why I think attending SIUE was worth the hard work and difficult situations I had to endure.

Jenny

SIUE has given me an amazing college experience. I have met friends, professors, and advisors that I will never forget. The faculty staff really does care about the students. I feel welcome here. Everyone is nice and willing to help. I am glad I picked SIUE to fulfill my career.

Katelyn

My college experience has taught me how to create a beneficial work ethic in everyday activities. I feel confident in my education and I am ready to apply my education to a career. My education is very important to me, I will never give up and try my hardest to accomplish my goals now and in the future. My college experience is very valuable to me, because to even have the opportunity to attend college is a privilege.

John

I have learned above all else patience, to do and be the person I wish one must be patient beyond his years. The friends that I have gained and the memories shared with them will all ways remain with me. There is no reason in this world I'd go back and say no to going to this university.

Christina

In high school I would say that I was a typical rebellious teenager who very much thought I had everything around me figured out, and like most kids that thought changed pretty fast. My sophomore year of high school I was arrested for underage drinking and a good friend died from drinking and driving; although that should have been enough to raise a red flag in my head it didn?t and I continued doing really reckless and harmful things. The rest of high school didn't change much from that, but in my first semester at SIUE I started getting involved with a Christian group on campus and although it started out as me just going there to hang out with a friend it lead to something far greater than I had plans for. I was baptized September 20, 2009 and to this day I?m so grateful for getting shown a different choice than the false attitude that high school and college students have to drink or use drugs to be accepted. My faith has given me the passion for others and that I can hopefully show people the opportunity I was shown of a different choice.

tanna

Personally, I have achieved strength. I am a stronger person because I realized, for the most part, I am on my own and can do what I want. That doesn't mean I should do what I want. I have learned to make important dicisions on my own, and become a more independent person. Academically, I have become more organized and prepared. It is not as easy as high school, and I prepared myself for that. I am always managing my time wisely and I am always ready for any change. This helps me stay on time to appointments, and maintain my studies without stress.

Samantha

i would tell myself you should of saved up more money for college.

Ryan

Growing up on a farm and attending a rural school system by no means prepared me for college. The best advice that I could give myself is to be yourself and remain focused. Although there is an abundance of diversity in college, there are still people who tend to follow the stereotype of college students (i.e. parties and more parties). The "good time" is there, but don't conform to what everyone else seems to be doing. Trust me when I say, "You are not the minority!" Hearing about last night's party might make you think you're missing out, but what you are really doing is losing focus on your end goal - a successful career. The end WILL justify the means. Even I may not completely see it right now, but you will be more prepared for the work place than any of your other classmates. Though don't forget to enjoy the time you have in school! It may seem grueling while you're here, but you've got the rest of your life to commit to a career. Don't forget to thank mom and dad for their hard work either!

Llena

I was a high school senior 35 years ago. I would tell that girl I used to be to seek out financial aid based on my grades and ACT score and to explore more options before choosing a school. I would advise her to take some classes before going to nursing school to be sure she could handle college level science courses . I would remind her that grades do not always reflect abilities. I would push her, ever so gently, to think about majoring in special education. I would encourage her to remember that the things we were told in high school (we were the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented and had the most school spirit) were still valid -- whether or not they were ever true -- even when college professors said that we were the dumbest class they had ever seen -- which wasn't true either. At that time I was convinced I had to go away to school. I would tell myself that that is not a bad choice, but to beware of losing contact with my childhood friends. I would tell her that homesickness is normal, and so is growing up and enjoying being on my own.

Asiah

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, the advice I would give myself would be simple. The first thing I would tell myself would be not to graduate early. If I would not have graduated from high school early, I would have completed Calculus my senior year, and I would not have had to take it in college. Next, I would tell myself to stay focused, don't let people influence you wrongly, and don't be easily angered. Lastly, having friends are okay, but you don't need them to survive.

Katrina

First of all, don't freak out. Living on your own is not as bad as everyone thinks and it's a very easy thing to deal with. You will meet so many people in college and they eventually become your life here. One thing to really work on before college is to set up an easy study schedule. In college you are required to study on your own without a study hall and without the teachers really worried about one particular student. They don't really give you extra credit or any extra points so you need to work as hard as possible. Also, college is what determines your future. So skipping class and partying is not a good idea. There are so many people around to help you though, so if you get behind you could ask anyone for help and it won't be a big deal.

Loree

If I could go back to high school and give my senior-self advice, there are many things I could say. I would tell myself not to take life and school so seriously, because at the end of the day, a B on a test isnt going to matter. I would tell myself to be more social and go out of my comfort zone to meet people. In twenty years it's not going to be the tests and quizzes I'm going to remember, it's going to be the time I spend with family, and friends - old and new. I would forwarn my senior-self about procrastination and about how frustrating it can make things if you let it overtake your school work. Lastly, I would tell myself to be thankful for yesterday, live for today, and dream about changing tomorrow, because that is all we can ever do in this marvelous life!

Eileen

I would suggest, to myself, to take things slower and work a little harder at my degree. I also would suggest to myself to figure out what exactly I wanted in life before deciding on my major.

Rhonda

I would tell myself to be honest with the advisors about I really wanted and not to be afraid of looking foolish. I would also tell myself to go for what I really wanted. The hard work and time spent will be well worth it in the end. to do otherwise only means that you will be working hard and long at projects that are not really a part of your heart.

Angela

Stay in school. Take advantage of all of what life has to offer. Make a plan and stay on track. Study abroad, join a sorority, join all the clubs you are interested in and absorb every minute of it and make the most out of it. Be "cool" and study and make honors clubs. In the long run you'll pat yourself on the back and thank yourself that you did just that. By doing so, you become a more well rounded individual with everything to offer the world.

derek

i would explain that to succeed, everybody needs to mentally and physically prepare themselves for a tough 3-4 years. it is not going to be easy to acheive a bachelor's degree, especially in a subject such as pre-medicine. attending all lectures and completing assigned work is essential. finding a time and place to study often and routinely is important as well. it's not like high school any more. we are adults and have to take on this role called responsibility in order to succeed not only in college but in life. it will take lots of work, time, and money of course, but it will prepare us for a rewarding career that we've worked hard for.

Patti

"Here's the deal. You have heard every single college prep talk under the sun. You have been told all of the "secrets of success that most freshmen don't know". I know you are doubting yourself; in high school, you rarely ever reached for your full potential. Your best effort is a muscle that has grown weak from lack of use, and you know it. College is a new slate. You don't have to 'be' anything here. You are not a "B/C student" anymore. You need to stay ahead of the game and aim for the 4.0 Every point you lose in a class is one you can't get back. Don't think of it as 'your first semester with all those hard-sounding classes.' Think of it as a small series of hoops you have to jump through, day by day. And once you get through them, you're done, already moving on to the next ones. It is a privilege to get paid to do what you love. You need to earn it. Work with integrity, honor, and passion. It will set the tone for the person you become. "

Kayla

Many college freshmen might say that collge changes a person. I can not say that I disagree with this statement. When I entered my first year at SIU Edwardsville, life was really put into perspective for me. For the first time, I had to learn to live on my own, make my own dinner, and be responsible enough to go to bed on at a reasonable hour despite the fun that might be happening elsewhere. If I was able to go back in time and give myself advice, there are many subjects I would discuss. First, I would tell myself to relax. As an honor student, I found myself stressed about homework, paper deadlines, and lengthly exams. Although my first semester has been challenging, I feel that I could have allowed myself a little more time for fun in high school. I would also suggest that I save money instead of buying two tops -same style but different colors- at the mall. Since I am paying for my education out of pocket, money seems much more delicate now. Lastly, I would tell myself to start thinking about career plans as I have changed my major 3 times in one semester.

Kelsey

I would encourage myself and tell myself to continue doing the best job I can. That high school is just a small portion of life, you need to work hard at it but you also need to enjoy it and embrace every moment of it. High is a very important time in your life, it shapes who you are going into college and begins to open your eyes and prepare you for what college has in store. Don't live by the standards of the world, live above them. Be friends with everyone whether they are cool or not. Learn things from those around you about school, studying, life and any other advice they give you. Don't pass up any opportunities because in college if you wait around someone else will get what you were after. Finally, take a deep breathe, everything is going to be okay.

Oliver

To be completely honest, I'd tell myself to get my driver's license. I didn't get it until last summer, and I feel it not only put a hamper in my high school social life, but my college one as well. I feel that I really hurt some of my friendships having to rely on them for rides when we went places. It also is one hell of a responsibility that can improves one's life maturity wise. I've learned a lot by getting my license, from relaxing when things don't go my way, to thinking about things differently, in terms of directions, estimations, and critical thinking. Who knew getting your driver's license could change your life so much...

Catrice

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to take my course load serious. It is important to have a great GPA and ACT score so that you allow yourself the opportunity to get into a school of your choice not just a school that accepted you. I would say get more active in extra curricular activities because that helps you get scholarships. I would also tell myself to apply to all scholarships I qualify for because school isn't cheap.

Samantha

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would say this. You need to start planning for the future because what if what you want to do doesn't work out . You need to come up with a back up plan so if something fails, you have something to fall back on. You also should start thinking about colleges that you want to attend, their requirements, and if they are accreditted. This will be a big change for you and college is very different from high school. So you need to start making an outline for yourself so you won't be stuck about what you want to do. College will also be a great experience. You might want to think about participating in extracirricular activity, whether it be sports, joining a sorority, or academic clubs. You want to put yourself out there and be known while in college. Finally, make sure that you apply yourself while in college. You don't want to be a slacker while in school. You want to show people that I am determined to what I want to do with myself and my life.

Katie

If I were to go back in time to warn and give advice to myself about college, I would have a lot more to say that I didn't know back in high school. I would tell myself to look for a job at school way more in advance than when I was trying to look for a job a month before school started. To work more in order to save up more money to be able to do things that I am not able to do now. I would also tell myself to try harder the first semester than I had because once you have your first semester GPA, it's harder to raise a GPA when it's lower than you wanted than to just keep it at a higher GPA and keep it that way. The last but not least thing I would tell myself is to make more friends in the first couple weeks of school because once people have made friends they stay in their little clicks, and also to just have fun in college because once you're done with college you're in the real world.

Nathan

When I stopped to think about what I would say to myself, I eventually had to ask myself, "Would I even listen?" With that in mind, I would have to tell myself, "Listen," because, especially at eighteen, it is not very common that actually happens. "Listen to your parents", I would tell the younger me, "they will guide you. Listen to your professors, because even the most mundane detail will add to your success. Listen to peoples' horror stories and learn from them so you do not experience the same. Listen to everything, even the noise that is not there, because even that will give you invaluable information. All of this is important to take in; however, the most important thing to listen to? Yourself. Listen to your trained mind when your heart tells you otherwise and when something doesn't seem clear, seek advice from multiple trusted sources and listen! The people who know and love you will rarely point you in the wrong direction." If I ever was afforded this opportunity and could say this to me--I hope I would listen.

Matthew

I would first tell myself to not take anything for granite. Not applying for as many scholarships as humanly possible is not the best decision. Reality really does hit the person when they are handed a bill for their tution. Even getting one scholarship would of helped out a ton. Most high school seniors (like myself) ignore their parents when they are encouraging their kids to try and get the most free money as they can. Now after deciding not to write those couple essays and not filling out those couple surveys, the high school senior or me is stuck paying for all of the college education on his or MY own!

Jaymi

If I had the opportunity to go back to my senior self, I would be in a different place than I am now. The very first thing I would say is to not go home so often! I lost opportunities at more and possibly stronger friendships by spending so much time at home instead of at my university with my fellow peers. The second thing would be to find a smaller school. I admired the close teacher-student relationships that I had in high school. Unfortunately, in classes with 60-100+ students, it is very difficult to get to know my teachers and vice versa. The third and final advice I would give myself is to not let my new environment affect my relationships with friends from back home. Take more effort to keep in touch with them, and do not let the relationship falter. Instead, keep it as strong as when you saw them every day in high school. I believe my first semester of college would have been very different if I knew what I know now.

Cameron

If i could go back to high school and talk to myself i would tell high school me to focus and read. Reading all assigned reading will make your college experience so much better and make the test some much easier. I would say to not cram during finals time and over major projects. During these normally stressful time you need to breathe and take your time. Also dont wait to the last minute to do thing. If you have a month to do a paper then do it near when its first assigned. Also dont drink your life away you want to remember the experinces you have in college. Along with that dont involve yourself with promiscuous activities or females. And the biggest thing keep school first but have FUN.

Rocky

One piece of advice I would give myself is to apply earlier and get everything done early instead of last minute. Also college is more expensive than I thought so I would suggest saving my money better. The final piece of advice I would give myself is to do study more and get help from professors more often.

Jaimie

The advice that I would give to myself is to try my best, but learn how to balance my social life as well. It's okay if I don't understand everything that is being presented in class. I must attempt to understand it as best as I can. And the most important thing is to reward myself for my effort. I do not want to be stressed out all the time and that is why I need to learn how to have fun as well.

Nicole

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself a few things. First I would tell myself to pay more attention and go to school everyday. I would say to try my best to get straight A's so I have the possibility to perhaps get a scholarship from my school because now I have a lot of loans to repay for my college education when I graduate. I did not have a tough transition from high school to college because I go to college all online. I am a proud mother of two little boys, age 4 and 9 months, so staying home and going to school online really helps me take care of my kids and get an education all at once. I have a 4.0 GPA right now and I love learning now that I am more mature and have reasons to succeed, especially for my kids. The best advice I could have given myself would have been to stay in school, and do my best.

Jordan

If I were to have the opportunity to speak with myself as a high school senior, I would make sure that I knew what would be expected of me once I started college; I would explain the importance of balance and not forgetting what is important. College life has a way of turning you into a workaholic, completely neglecting your family, friends, and social life. When you become engulfed in GPA's, GRE's, and other educational acronyms, you often lose balance and take yourself more seriously than you ought to. I would tell myself what my mother told me once I got to college: "You know, Jordan, you do not have to accomplish everything by the time you are 21." This was a major turning point in my college career and would have been useful had I heard it a few years earlier. Not only this, but I would emphasize the importance of dedication and a strong work ethic while keeping balance and taking time to live a life outside of research and multiple part time jobs. I know if I could go back to my pre-graduation self, I would make sure I embraced both work and myself.

Kayla

I would tell myself to start saving money because there are many small expenses in college and it is difficult to find a flexible job when you are a full-time student. Also i would say to myself to start looking for scholarships as soon as you can because with the economy being low the competition is extremely high. Knowing what I know now I would tell myself to stay positive with the transition and to not become discouraged easily when you can't get into the classes you want or need right away. I would also say to just be yourself and people will love you for who you are. College is a very different but fun experience and to embrace every part of it.

Michelle

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that community college is not a sign of failure. After graduating from high school, I have been to four different colleges. I went straight to a 4-year out-of-state private college. After a year and a half at that college, I moved back home and spent a semester at a community college. I moved out of my parents' home and attended a community colelge for two more semesters. Now that I am back at a 4-year university, I have realized I could have avoided a lot of academic and financial stress if I had started at a 2-year college in the first place.

Marian

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a highschool senior knowing what I know now as a freshmen in college I would advise myself to get ready for a whole new lifestyle. I would first tell myself that I need to stay organized, manage my time well, and turn all assigments in on time because this isn't high school anymore. I would tell myself that you can balance a social life and with a good gpa as long as you stay focused and you pick and choose what event you go to. This means you don't have to be at every party or social event because they aren't all worth it. I would also advise myself to stay true to all my previous beliefs because they show who you are as a person which helps keep your morals stable. And lastly don't worry about boys they will always be around no rush, and keep smiling because everyone loves a happy positive person.

Danielle

The advice I would give myself is to save more money because scholarships are hard to come by. I would tell myself to be more organized and start planning sooner to make sure I am ready for the transition. Also to not wait until the last minute to sign up for classes. And I would tell myself that all the Honors classes that I have taken are to better myself and will help in the end.

Katherine

It's ok to be undecided and explore the possibilities in college, so make sure your final major choice is one you will be able to love. You will make the best friends you will ever know, so don't be shy about meeting new people.

Michael

I would tell myself that the real world is right around the corner. That it is easier to buckle and down and give 110% right away then to slack off and end up putting in more time that you originally intended. I would also say that college and high school are not the same and it takes a lot more personal responsibility to make sure you do things, whether they will be turned in or not. Mainly i would just let myself know that life is about to begin, so make sure you give it your all.

Morgan

If I could go back in time a talk to myself as a high school senior I would advise myself to fully expereince college life and to not stress over the transition. I would want myself to know that even though college classes will require more work and more challenging I still need to maintain a balance between school and a social life. In doing this I would ensure that I do not become too stresses, as I have done in the past. I also would tell myself to expereince college to the fullest by joining activities or organizations. I would want myself to do this because it would help me meet people whom I could from long lasting friendships with. Overall, college is a stressful enviornment that requires one to strive to achieve excellence and prepares us for our future careers. But College should also be fun, a person needs to find and maintain that balance so that they will receive a well rounded education during their time at the college or university of their choice.

Ryan

I would take advantage of every opportunity given to me.

Michael

I would tell myself to study! Study hard, study long, study often! I would tell myself to pay attention to details in school. The grades are everything. They influence the amount of money awarded to you and the attention you recieve from schools. Try to not worry about the social side of school as much and worry about the academic side more. Learn how to use my time and make better study notes. Pay attention to the Teacher they are only trying to prepare you for college.

Matt

SAVE YOUR MONEY! You'll need it to buy and maintain a car and to pay for your credit card bills! Also, practice your trombone over the summers. You'll lose ground.

Elizabeth

If I could go back in time to my senior year of high school I would focus more on my academics and prepare more before each class.

Laura

Don't take things too seriously. Give yourself some time to relax. However, you must learn to manage your time. It is important to find a happy medium. Get involved in as many activities and clubs as possible. Those are the best ways to make new friends. Explore yourself. Go out to parties and have some fun. Get to really know yourself. You are just now becoming your own person. Live on campus. It's a great way to meet people. Be outgoing. Let people get to know the real you. Be active in class. Don't just sit and take notes. Use the campus resources such as the writing lab. If you have already have friends at at your school from home, don't depend on only those friends. You should branch out. Keep in touch with your parents. They love to know what's going on in your life and actually worry about you being away, and it is really hard for them to make the transition as well. Do your best. Have fun, but don't let up on your studies.

Jayne

Do not rush your decision. Make sure you take the time to check out every college you are remotely interested in. You will be there everyday for four years and you want to make sure you college is wear you fit in, feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed. It is your new home. Plan ahead. Save money. There is more money that goes into college besides the tuition, books, and room and board. If you are undecided about your major, dont fret. There is plenty of time to decide, classes to help you, and people who are in your same boat. Try to stay involved. Every organization you join gives you more chances to make friends. Talk to people, but make sure you put your studies first! Most importantly, have fun! These are your last four years to be a "kid"..then comes the real deal. Life.

Katelyn

I would visit all colleges/universities that look appealing and maybe spend a weekend with a current student to get the feel of what is to be expected there. You can find out a lot about a university by spending time with someone who knows the place well and who knows about the on campus socail life. If you have a great experience sitting in on a course, learning more about the college, and getting aquainted with other students, you will have a great experience when you attend. In addition to visiting, I would also strongly suggest meeting with an advisor and disability services (if applicable). An advisor will help you decide your study plan and works best for you and disability services will give you accomodations for studying such as tutors, more time on tests, and help with study skills. Also look into where you will be living, this will give you an idea of what to be expected when the school year comes around as you head off and move to college.

Krista

The most important advice I could give when choosing the right college is to visit the ones you pick. You never know what a college is really like until you talk to the professors, see the campus, sit in a class and/or talk to students. SIUE wasn't my first choice for schools until I visited and loved it. Now I'm very glad I chose SIUE above the rest.

Andrea

FInd a school that meets all of your expectations and don't settle for anything less. Once you get there, don't worry about what others think about you, and just put yourself out there. The less you worry about things, the more fun you'll have. Don't hesitate to ask questions or stand out.

Samantha

When you decide which college to attend, do not base your decision on other people. It may seem like a good idea to pick a college that is close to your boyfriend, but later on down the road you will regret that you did not pick the college you really wanted to go to. Decide what is important to you and also what is realistic given money and location. To make the most of your college experience, live there, get involved, and talk to the people next to you in every class. If you have to commute, stay on campus from early in the morning to the evening. Go to class, if you only do this you should be able to at least pass. You only have four year (hopefully) so make the most of it.