St Olaf College Top Questions

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?


I wish I had known how accessible the professors were going to be. I learned it fairly quickly, but it would have been nice to know right away.


I wish I'd known how to ask questions. I often like to sit in class and absorb the information that the professor and other students discuss but I've never really been one to participate. I wish I had known the importance of participating and how that can enhance my learning experience. I also wish I knew how helpful it could be to talk to professors in their office hours. Even if it's not about schoolwork, professors want to get to know their students better. Most of them are happy to answer any questions you have!


Although St. Olaf is located in a fairly small city/town, I didn't realize that it would be quite so isolated from the rest of the world. Yes, there are plenty of ways to go to the Twin Cities and other places if one wishes, but social life exists almost exclusively on campus. Still, this isn't a huge deal for me and wouldn't have affected my decision.


The importance of looking at other colleges during my application process. I also wish I know how important it is to take math, science and english classes in my senior year of high school so that this information would have been fresh in my mind in my freshman year at St. Olaf.


There are tons of resources avalible here, you just have to know where and when you need them!!!


That knowing how to write is the most important skill you'll have to have.


Mostly I wish I'd known more about myself, not so much about the school itself. For example, if you need help-- ASK! There's a ton of support available and people are really friendly. Also, time-management is really important at Olaf, especially if you're an ambitious over-achiever, which most Oles are (to some degree at least). St. Olaf is definitely about growing emotionally, socially and spiritually as well as academically. The motto is "Ideals to Action", which I think embodies many students' worldview.


I wish I had known how many things I could do on campus and not let my grades slip. The time management becomes difficult since I am very involved on campus.


I really wish I had known more about how I measured up to others in my field before I came here. In high school, it was a definite case of "big fish in a little pond"; now I realize that real life is a lot more difficult and challenging than the high school bubble leads you to believe, and you really have to stay ahead of the game just to meet, let alone exceed, expectations.


that there is not much racial diversity.


That I would want to live near a larger city and that perhaps 5000 students would be too small for me.