Southwest Minnesota State University Top Questions

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


I would tell high school me to relax through the college transition. I was really nervous and was always worrying about turning in applications and such for college in on time. Other than that, I was ready for college. I was ready to move on from high school, to meet new people and to focus on continuing my education. I would tell myself how smart it was to wait on deciding my major and focusing on taking my general classes. I was so worried that I was going into college not knowing what I was going to major or minor in, and now I'm glad I didn't force myself to choose. I'm currently getting a lot of my required classes out of the way, and I now have an interest in majoring in Early Childhood Education. I'm thrilled to work hard and be able to teach young kids. I strongly believe that kids develop their drive to want to learn in kindergarten and early elementary school, and I want to inspire children to love learning and inspire them to develop goals of wanting to go to college and completing their goals.


If I could go back, I would have some words of wisdom. First of all, I would remind myself of where I have been as a child. I would remind myself of the opportunities my parents never gave to me as a child. I would remind myself of the teachers that inspired my dreams and those who influenced me as a young girl. I would remind myself of the concept of escaping from a life of poverty. I would remind myself of what survival meant to me as a young girl, everyday was about surviving. That my social skills were taught to me by parents who had a tough time getting along. I would remind myself that everyday, is only an opportunity to move forward in life and to never look back to the times when I was a recipient of my fathers cruelty and violence. I would remind myself that in the future I can change somebody else's life like my teachers changed mine. I would remind myself of the words of famous Beetle John Lennon once said, "A dream you dream alone is just a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."


If I could go back in time while I was a high school senior and tell myself what I needed to do to prepare for college would be go to college being yourself and not pretending to be someone else or be worried about fitting in. No matter what type of person you are or what type of personality you have you will fit in with everyone. Nobody in college cares who you are everyone just wants to be friends. College is a scary thing and before we get there we are told hundreds of times how much it costs, how much we will have to study, and how we have to be responsible for ourselves. Even though all three of those things are true, I think it's the experience that really matters and the fact that we are getting a quality education and helping our future to become a bright and glowing one.


Dear HS Senior Rachel, Wow you're a senior, and you know what's next, college. You've been thinking a lot about what you want to do, but just relax. Pick a school where you can excel just being you, which means a school where you can stand out by making a positive impact on campus. But you won't stand out enough to draw a lot of attention to yourself :) Marshall really is the place you belong, which is extrememly cliche! You just need to let loose a little and have fun, meet new people, and step out of your comfort zone. That's how you will make new friends who will be with you for life! Stay in band because amazing things will happen if you do, and not just playing wise. Music just has a way of creating strong bonds between people. Talk in class, don't be afraid, you are smart and make excellent points! Go to school for graphic design, you will love every class you take for that major. Don't stay locked up in your dorm. Get your head into your school work to not fall behind! Love, College Rachel


Don’t give so much of your heart to those first few friends. I understand college is a shiny, new experience, but know that part of growing up is being able to recognize people with the least interest in relationships- friendships or otherwise- and learn not to invest in individuals like these. Real, life-long, always-in-your-corner friends will be there exactly when you need them. And for the record, they’re worth the wait. Another fun tidbit of advice: you don’t get a rebate for lost time. Sleep is about to become a rare luxury, kind of like how sugar is rationed during wars. Work on assignments while they are still fresh in your mind. This will continually save you from needless all-nighters and allow for more time in other facets of life, such as R.E.M. cycles. P.S. you’ll need at least six of those a night to function in your early morning classes. Oh, yes; say, “Hello,” to early morning classes.


Research more. Check out as many campus's as possible and follow your heart.


I could advise my senior-self on multiple things. I could tell her to start looking at colleges before school started. I could tell her to apply to as many scholarships as possible, to volunteer at many community service events achievable, and to join numerous respectable school organizations (like student council, FCCLA, FBLA, etc.). I could tell her what she should learn how to do by herself (laundry, budgeting) and what will be expected of her (applying for scholarships, keeping track of Financial Aid, registering). There are probably a lot of things that I could tell her. However, I do not wish to. One of the many things I have learned in my first year of college is that life helps us grow from our own mistakes. How could any person ever evolve and become independent as well as a competent individual if he or she cannot learn from his or her own faults? Not being allowed to make mistakes keeps us, as humanity, at a standstill. It keeps us ignorant and naïve to the world around us. We must give ourselves the opportunity to make mistakes in order to gain experience and succeed in life.


This is the best advice that I can give. It goes by very quickly after it is over the hard times seem so much less hard and you will actually look back on them with fond memories and the good times looking back are great times the best times. What you don't realize is that you will have the most fun of your life, if you stay focused and determined. Anything that is good and worth having in this life is hard to get. If something is just handed over to you, you won't care about it, but if you work hard for something and you had to put all the effort and strength that you have into it and then you get it, now that is something worth having. So when you are really struggling or having a hard time just remember to push through it you know you can do it and when its all over you will wish you tried even harder. There is no limit to what you can do, you just have to decide to go for it.


OK, Colleen, listen up. I know you're excited about finishing high school, but I'm here to talk to you about college. Some really awesome things are gonna come out of college: you'll discovere a lot of things about yourself, good and bad. One thing you'll definitely find out is that things are gonna be rough for a while, and that's OK. You'll get the hang of it. You'll get a lot of supoort and you'll have a great time.


Looking back, If I had the chance to speak with the High School Senior version of myself, I'd prepare myself for my first year of college. "While it's scary to move away from your home town, leaving your Mom behind and moving in with 4 girls you don't know, it's going to make you a stronger person. You're going to be shy at first and worry about little things like laundry and bounce a few checks here and there, but you're playing college soccer! All those years of sweat and tears have paid off. You're the first to attend college in your family; they couldn't be more proud of you. So don't be sad those last few weeks at home; You'll be home more often than you think. Oh, by the way, you better start running. That timed three mile run coach said you'll be running often is harder than you think and you won't make the time if you don't get on it, soon! Other than that, you're going to be just fine. Enjoy your last year of high school and time with Mom. -Peggy


The best advice I would give a high school senior would be to focus on your studies and get involved on campus. The ultimate goal as a student is to get the best overall educational experience possible. In order to do this, it takes more than just going to class and completing assignments. By being dedicated to learning, you can gain more information than just what the professor says. Students should go the extra mile and get the best out of their college experience. Campus involvment is also very important. By joining groups and organizations, you learn many professional and life skills that the classroom can not teach you. From these groups, you can develop yourself as an individual, leader, and influence others on campus and in the community. It gives you the chance to gain experience in communication, organization, and team work. Also, by getting involved it helps you meet people and it is then easier to make the transition into a new environment. Many of the people that you meet will be your mentors and life long friends. They will help you with your studies and can help you become the person that you want to be.


I originally did not want to attend classes and wanted to take a year off after graduating high school. As soon as I made the decision to enroll in classes at a local community college, I was suprisingly excited. In high school, I did not work to my full potential. Even though my SAT scores showed a different level of intelligence, my grades were mediocre. I went to Westchester Community College with a desire to learn and grow. Studying and being prepared for all my classes gave me the confidence that I needed to succeed. Instead of sitting in class and dazing off, not knowing what was going on, I was involved in the learning and often got the answers right to every question. I realized that I love learning, especially about topics that I am interested in. I feel great about myself that I have matured and become more responsible. When I walk into class, I think to myself that every good grade I get takes me one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming a great teacher and hopefully my success will aid my financial situation as well.


I have spent a total of six semesters at Palm Beach Atlantic University from the fall of 1998 to the end of 2000. Interaction with others is definately a benefit of college. The very first week aka orientation, students were divided into small groups and we participated in excersises designed both to get to know other students and function as a small team in competition. That week was very valuable in introducing scenarios that would occur frequently in college. As an English major, I spent quite a bit of class discussing various essays and works of fiction. Often during a discussion, either myself or a classmate would be provoked by a reading to relate to past experience and/or individual beliefs that charecterize ourselves. This was quite a benefit to understanding various cultures and backgrounds as well as learning the many different ingredients that produce a society that functions interdepently and still respects the many differences we have as individuals. After leaving college to become a small business owner, I have been able to identify and appreciate how our differences and even our strengths and weaknesses will present infinite situations for personal growth through group interaction.


I have lived in Marshall my whole life and considered this campus my fallback school. Over time however I have learned that coming here was one of the best choices I have made in my life. Since I have come here I have met many people who not only have similar interests as I do, but also have a plan for their future. I also came into this school with a future in mind in the field of Physical Therapy and all of the faculty members and friends I have met here have attempted to help me in any way possible to achieve a higher education. I have learned thoughout my education so far that it takes more than a little effort to get where you want, but it is also that effort that makes you stand out as a valuable and intellectual person. Here at Southwest Minnesota State University I also achieved valuable skills in communicating with others that have helped me with personal relationships as well as professional relationships. Choosing this campus over others was a wise decision for myself because of these valuable experiences and opportunities.


Out of my college experience, I have gained an added global perspective to my studies. This has been made possible, with the help of my lecturers. They have passed on valuable knowledge to me, that they accumulated over the years through extensive studies and travels. Their assignments have forced me to do extensive research, inculcating a special attribute in me. Constant encouragement from them has taught me to “think outside the box”. Also, through the university I have been able to interact with students from different countries and cultural back grounds. This has been an education in itself. College has been valuable to attend because I have learned things that I would not have otherwise learned had I stayed in my country. For example, before I attended the university I was unable to carry out research on the web. Not because I didn’t know how to use a computer, but because I didn’t know how to go about it. Also, I had not been exposed to the many academic databases that existed. Now that I have been exposed to it, I have learnt to do my research efficiently. In fact, my acquired skill helped me locate this site.


I've really enjoyed my college experience due to all the amazing people I have been able to meet. Teachers, international students, and people who live in the same state as me. I feel this social interaction is what really makes college worthwhile. You share a class with somebody, have to work on a group project outside of class and even when the project is done you have someone to hang out with as a real friend, not just a classmate. This isn't to say that the classes aren't fun, but they're, well, classes. And nobody really likes class right? Well, for the most part I enjoy my classes, the ones I choose, not the ones I have to take as core classes. They all have their ups and downs. I'm more of a hands on learner so sitting in a lecture hall for a few hours really isn't for me. I’m learning which professors are better than others and figuring out what classes are best for me to take so I can make the most out of my college experience.


Living on my own while attending college has taught me a lot about responsiblity and managing my time. Living on my own, I have to be able to plan certain things into my schedule whether it be study time, doing laundry, shopping for toiletries, cleaning my room, or catching up on sleep. I have to take all of those side chores and schedule them around all of the required things such as classes, team and or club meetings. It has also taught me to rely more on myself rather than others for certain things like getting up in the morning or getting places on time. When I do encounter a problem that I am not sure how to handle, the faculty and coaching staff are approachable and willing to help if they can.


Don't overload yourself with work take your time you will graduate. Slow down and enjoy the experiences you'll have as a college student. Keep your eye on the goal and know that it's not overwelming it seems that way just break the work down and you'll be fine!


If I could go back in time and give myself advice in High School about what I know about college life and making the transition, I would probably tell myself that in college, expenses are tight and life is busy so practice your time management (more than you already do) and make sure to keep some time for yourself and family, becuase that gets pretty hard to do when you work so much with school and jobs. Work hard at your schoolwork becuase you are paying for it, REALLY PAYING FOR IT. Have fun, so that you don't regret missing out on anything.


If I could go back in time and give myself advice about the transition from high school to college. I would tell myself to look at colleges that were a little closer to home. It can be hard at times being at college when my home is three hours away. I can't just go home any weekend I want because it is a long drive. Being far away from home has been the hardest part of being at college. So, if I could go back in time that is what I would tell myself.


If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to start working on my time management and to spend less time around friends. The socail life is not what college is all about. I would also tell myself that people are more mature in college and don't care what you wear, what you look like, or what your religion is.


I would tell myself that I am making the right decision. The first few weeks are hard but once you get into a set schedule and start to make more friends, you really adapt better into your environment. It also helps that I spent a year abroad in Germany. This experience was also helpful because once I got to school, it wasn't hard for me to be away from home. Its going to be overwhelming, but let yourself be overwhelmed, its part of the whole experience. Make sure you get to know your dormmates and the other people who live on your floor/house. In the long run alot of them end up being there for you when you need them. Don't be afraid to take classes you know nothing about or don't think you will do well in. You may surprise yourself in how well you do and how many people you can meet because of this action.


If I could go back to high school and tell myself then what I know now, I wouldn?t. I believe that all things happen for a reason. I am who I am today, because of the choices I?ve made and the events that have happened in the years since high school. When the best part of who one is, comes from the experiences in life, there is no reason to change history. Would it be easier to go back and tell myself to go to class and graduate in just four years; Get a job and be what I thought I wanted to be? Absolutely. But not living my life that way, is what has made me who I am today. What I really value most in success, is much different now that I?ve had these experiences. My success is not money or power but is the whole person. Life?s lessons give great value and insight to the knowledge one learns in the classroom. To me; returning to school will not define me but only serve to reward who I?ve become.


Make sure you know the town you're going to. If you're a city kid, don'nt go to a school that's in the middle of nowhere.


Go with your gut feeling. If it feels right, then it probably is right! I find it helpful to just relax and go with the flow. Having fun is important, but it is important to maintain a balance. Studies are very important to succeed. A person will feel the groove as time marches on.


Start early. Find out as much as you can about a school and take every oppurtunity you can to find out what it would be like to live and learn on this campus. To make the most of your experience, get involved. Learning and studying is only part of going to college. I have made so many friends that I will remember for the rest of my life and I wouldn't have met them if I had not gotten involved in an activity on campus. Don't be shy because everyone I have met on my campus have been so friendly and they want you to feel like you belong. One example would be to go to football and basketball games. They are so much fun so don't sit in your dorm or apartment watching tv. Get involved and show some school spirit. College for most of us only comes around once and then its over. Take advantage of it when you can and have as much as fun as possible because when its over I promise your going to miss some aspect of it. Good luck finding the best school for you.


I would tell those students and partents that if the high school that you are at allows to you take some classes while in high school do it. I wish I would have done that. I think I would have learned faster what I wanted to do with my education. I love where I am at now and wish I would have known that back then. The right school is different for everyone. You need to look at what you want out of your education and what are your priorities in your own education. It's never too late to go to school.


choose the one that feels right. Staying close to home isn't a bad thing.


I think that when looking for a college you need to be more interseted in what the university can do for you, in what type of programs they offer. You should also have an idea of what you want to do with your life. When selecting a university you need to rememeber when you live away from your friends and family you will find yourself. You also need to find the campus where you find yourself comfortable; that also makes you happy. Do not make decide on a university just because your friends are attending that school!


Find a school that has a strong graduation rate in the field of your students choice, and to also find a school that has a lower cost then most other schools, and to see if it is small or has a small inclass student count. Stop by and look at the school if there are students outside look at their face, if they seem happy and the campus looks quiet and peaceful then that is a good choice for a college for you student to consider or attend.


Really put yourself out there. Be who you are and don't be afraid of what other people think. You'll make the most amount of friends who you actually enjoy by doing this. Don't be too picky either. If you find a school you think you like and you can make it work, jump in with both feet.


Take a visit to the college.


Research lots of colleges and go on plenty of college visits to find the college that is the perfict fit for the student. Talk with students while visiting the campus not just the students on the tours, talk with random students about how they like the college. Once you find the right college for the student encourage them to have a well balanced experience while in college. A well balanced experience would include academics, studing, socializing, and participating in activities. It is important to have a well balanced experience, because college is not just about the education you receive. It is also about the ecperience you have while atending the college, and the friendships and bonds you create there.


I would tell all students to choose the college that feels like home. I was from a small school in a farming region. Going to school in the cities was never an option because it just wouldn't have felt right. Once you find the right school, get involved. Go to the sporting events. Get involved in your dorm when you live on campus. Join a club in your area of study so that you can learn more and make connections. Ask for help when you need it. Don't be afraid of your professors. They can be a lot of fun. Have a good time! Go out of your comfort zone. Take risks. Don't stress about everything. LIfe will go on. Good luck!!


You should visit the college and really think about what you are looking for in a school such as academics, extracurricular activities, career placement, and what the area offers for you.


simple: Hardwork


Go with your gut feeling. Do not go where your significant other is going, it never works out if that is not the university/college that you really want to attend. Ask a ton of questions -- they will get answered, but not if they do not get asked. Check out how much their tuition has been going up and compare them to other schools that you are planning to visit. As far as making the most out of it, I would say just get involved. Everybody in college is in a new place and looking for friends and places to fit in. Try new activities, join a group on campus and just get involved. Finally, do not wait to get good grades. Do your work and do it well. Professors notice the little extra effort students put in because it shows up better in the end. Do not wait until the lightbulb goes on when you're a junior and NOW you need a good gpa. It's hard to get up, so don't let it drop. Take college seriously, but still have fun.


pick a place that has your major. then pick out things you would like about the campuses, or activites you plan on doing


Find a school that feels comfortable to you. Look for schools where the instructors are readily available to help and are accessible. Make sure that you keep an open mind; even if the school is far away from home, the distance may help you grow as an individual and learn a lot about yourself as a person. If you're in need of financial aid, make sure you ask a lot of questions and feel 100% comfortable with the answers that you're given. College is a journey, enjoy the ride!


Pick the school that feels right to you


In order to choose the best college, you need to know what type of environment you want to spend the next four years in. Small or large school, east or west coast, academic or athletic. It all depends on your personality. The next four years of your life will change you the most. You will find out who you are as a person and what type of career you will pursue. It's a huge step to take and you really just need to have an open mind. Schoolwork is important, but it is also important to develop as a person. Study hard, meet new people, try new things, and have fun! I studied hard and got good grades, but if i could do it all over again I would have enjoyed myself more. I'm not saying to be a party animal, but you have the rest of your life to work. It is important to grow as a person. The friendships you make will last for life. All in all, just be true to yourself. It's a scary decision to make, but all it starts with one step. Trust your heart and enjoy the ride!


Find a school that is sutiable for you an terms of living arrangements and academics. Look for smaller schools if you want to get to know your collegues and professors. Choose a place that shares your strenghts whoatever they might be. Arts, sports, weather, or edcuation.


Do not go to close to home, or to far away. ultimately, if you feel that a place would be a certain fit you should go. Stay involved with those around you because they may end up being the best people you will ever meet. Parents, you need to just let your kid go, but help them whenever they need you. let them do wha they want because they have all of their life after college to work all day. While at college they need to get out and hang with friends, because if they dont they may start to loose interest in everything including their studies.


I would tell them to look for a strong sense of diversity and culture in students and faculty. Also, pick a college which has what you want to study and you think is right for you.


The college experience is in the hands of each individual experience. The one thing that i learned early on is that if you want to get the most out of your college experience, you have to go out there and take it and not expect it to just happen. Doing this will give you the most for your education.


Make sure you visit each school you are looking at. You should meet with the faculty and some other students to see if you will feel comfortable there. Decide what class size you are comfortable with. The class size have a huge influence on how much you learn. When you visit the right school, you will know it by how comfortable you feel there. It will most likely be one that makes you feel at home.


Finding the right college can be a difficult process but go on a lot of college visits until it just feels right that you are there. Be sure they have a variety of programs you are intrested in case you switch your major so you don't have to switch schools. Also, makes ure they have a variety of activites to get inolved in. Once you find the right school and start attending there be sure to get involved. In the dorms make sure to get to know your neighbors, you will always have somebody to hang out with at night. Get involved in intramurals, goverment, student activites, and religious groups. By staying involved and focusing on getting to know people the transition from home to college is an easier process. Also it helps you enjoy the school much more, the college experience is what you make it.


Make sure you visit the college campus. Talk to students attending the college, and always go with ur gut feeling for a school. It helps a lot, even if you don't know why you want to go to a school do it anyway, it will be your best decision ever.


Professors and university fee.


Well, before you actually decide to attend a college, visit it first.