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Southern Oregon University

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

Make sure both the parent(s) and student(s) start looking at colleges early. The saying, "the earlier, the better" is true when it comes to college. That goes the same for scholarships since college fees are steady increasing at least two-three grand each year therefore the more money for scholarships, the less both parties will have to go into debt. Extracurriculars are okay but students should take their studies seriously; having their essay writing skills polished and SAT/ACT preparation courses done once they become eligible to apply for scholarships as well as search for what they want to study once they get to college. Scholarships for undeclared majors are slim so have an ideal, research it, and get an internship or at least get some hands-on experience before going to college. Afterwards, both student(s) and parent(s) look, pick, and visit together at least five schools to choose from that will most benefit you pocketwise and maintain a balance in your student(s) studies, social life, and their involvement in student activities as well as look into studying aboard (doing this before college is prefered) for graduate school to make the best college experience great.

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Visiting colleges should be at the top of your priorities list when deciding where to spend the next four years of your life. Touring campuses not only allows you to get a feel for a particular school, but provides the opportunity to learn about and compare services. Before your visit prepare a list of questions you have and a checklist of what you want in a school. These will help you sift through the overwhelming amount of information you are about to receive. Also, though you risk minor embarrassment, it is important to bring a parent or someone else who has been through the college experience with you on your visit. Once you arrive on campus, try to get the fullest experience possible. Take an official tour, sit in on a class, eat in the dining facilities, and explore the surrounding community. Once you are in college, take advantage of free services such as tutoring and get involved immediately. Join a hall council, intra-mural sport, academic or social club. Extra-curricular activities not only open the door to internships and travel opportunities, they help you adjust quicker and make more friends. Live it up. College is an incredible experience.

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I attend college at Vatterott Career College and my experience there has been worthwhile. Im in the medical assistant program and I believe for a $20,000 program every penny being paid will be WORTH it. Im doing something I love and there's nothing like staying interested in any career you choose, especially hands on. I recently started in June and it wasnt easy trying to find the right college. Im a mother of two so I had to find something that fits into college-life and motherhood. Vatterott provided me with an experience like no other and I learn something new everyday. Ive already learned pharmacology, medical office basics, vital signs, and medical terminology in just five months. My program offers more than just the program itself I still have more skills to come like phlebotomy and more. It has been valuable to attend because Im getting more than what I expected including my experience, the exceptional teachers, and learning environment. I wouldnt trade my college experience at Vatterott for anything in the world. I couldnt have chosen another direction to go in. This is my experience and what Ive gotten out of college so far.

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College is not just an institution, its a way of life. From my personal experience, you change dramatically as your go through college, and the person you become at the end of of that journey is who you will be for the rest of your life. When picking a college, it is important to consider how developed a certain program is, so the student can learn the most for their money. It is important to find a place where there are strong student communities, varied choice for extra curricular acitivity, well developed campus facilities and a pleasant envirorment that encourages learning. Some students like being far from home so they can branch out while some prefer picking schools within short driving distances from their parents house. To parents - support your kids through college, help them when you can and hear them out when they decide to pick a certain college. State Universities are cheaper and offer more solid financial aid options and are the safest bet for those who rather not spend excessively for education. Research the place in and out and decide what best suits your personality, adademic needs and financial background. Good luck.

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To help parents and/or students find the right college and make the most of the college experience, I would give them advice about the kind of environment suitable for the individual. In regards to the kind of environment, I mean the location of the college, the types of programs, and the special aspects of individual colleges. The parent and/or student must begin with the area of study or interest, because most colleges have specific programs in which these interests fit. Once the parent and/or student has determined an area of interest, then he or she must focus on the location of the school. The cost of attendence for some colleges increases depending on in or out of state residency, and I would recommend the individual researches all of the costs for their current situation. Once he or she has chosen a college, it is time to make the most of the college experience. I believe college students need to go out of their comfort zone and interact with people from different backgrounds, and get involved with clubs and make as many diverse friends as possible. Like most people say, "These are the best years of your life."

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You should visit the campus while school is in session. Possibly sit in on a class in the field you're interested in. It would be beneficial to spend a day exploring the surrounding area. Ask all the questions you may think of even if you think they are rude or stupid. Make sure you understand the dorm situation you're about to go live in and be prepared to change roommates a few times. Make sure you have a savings account for emergencies and unexpected expenses. Make a budget or actively discuss money management with your young adult/ parents. Visit an academic advisor after your first term and start working on your graduation plan. Make sure to apply for FAFSA and other local scholarship programs as soon as they become available. Visit a financial aid advisor and discuss your funds and loans. Be really careful taking out private loans, a lot of times having a part time job is a better idea. Work during the summer and winter break! Smile a lot and be open to making friends with new people. Join a club and commit some time to socializing with productive people instead of party people. Stay safe.

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To find the right place, look around until you find the place that clicks, that feels right. When you are on the campus, you should feel like you are home. To make the most of your college experience, I know this had been said 100 times but it remains true: get involved! Find something you love doing, and keep doing it! It will make your experience so much richer and more memorable. This year, with NRHH(National Residence Hall Honrary) I have walked all around Ashland, dressed as a ballerina asking for canned food donations, cooked and served pancakes until 2 AM more than once, spent nine hours cutting out and putting up snowflakes, snowmen and other decorations, and I have loved every minute of it. To help the community of SOU and Ashland, while knowing that someone thought I was one the top 1% of leaders in the Residence Halls, has been y amazing for me. This has led me to pursue more active roles in Residence Hall Leadership. I have just submitted my application to be an RA next year. I feel like I have found my niche. Find something tyou are equally passionate about.

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If I had the chance to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself, rather emphatically, not to worry so much about going to college. I spent many nights awake, wondering what my room would look like, whether I would meet anyone new or make any friends, whether the professors would be nice, how it would feel to be living on my own a thousand miles away from home. That energy could have been better spent, because the transition actually felt easy and natural. College has provided me with the opportunity to branch out, to choose wonderful friends, to become fully responsible for myself, and to find interests that really do interest me rather than just looking good on an application. It's easy not to become involved with partying if you don't want to. It's refreshing to be some distance from home and to see how much I love my family and which friends at home are worth keeping. It's exciting to take classes with fascinating material that sharpens my mind and makes me think, for once! So, college-bound self, don't worry. Everything will work out. It'll be amazing.

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College is not the classes you take in it. College is not economics, but you will learn how the world around you relates to your wallet. College is not about communications, but you will learn to understand and empathize with those you meet. College is not about theater, but you are sure to find love and laughs. College is not about chemistry, but it is about balancing the equation. Your college will not be its class sizes, its tuition costs, its school spirit events, its cafeteria food, or its scantron test sheets. College is learning that when you're hungry, ramen noodles taste as good as anything else; finding that a well-earned four hours of sleep after vanquishing your homework can be more satisfying than sleeping in until noon; realizing that mom and dad were basically always right; and finally, in the eleventh hour, college is the picture coming into focus. It's not about what you want to be when you grow up; it's about the time you have, the person you are and what to do with both. Or, as Mark Twain said, "never let your schooling interfere with your education."

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University classes are much harder than community college classes, even when taken simultaneously with high school. Look into majors before settling with one. Pre- Medicine is extremely involved and difficult. Look into the success rates of students in the medical field. Make sure you truely have a passion for you major before you go to school and choose your courses because they will be more difficult than expected and it will be easier to get through if you love what you are studying. Research other majors, even ones that seem odd or uninteresting. Don't go for what you think will make your parents proud, do what will make you happy. College is really the beginning of coming into your own. Living on your own is slightly difficult at first, but don't be afraid of going up to people and introducing yourself, they will be there for you later. Create a bond with your roommate early, the stress of college is enough without the addition of roommate issues. Get to know the people on your floor, form study groups, get out and enjoy life and what college has to offer you.

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