SUNY Polytechnic Institute Top Questions

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

Brenda

As a high school senior I thought I knew everything. I had such zeal and I knew what I wanted to do: pursue a career in broadcasting -- radio to be specific. I enjoy music and have a natural knack for public speaking. I tried college when I was 18 for 2 semesters at a 4 year institution. I started out doing the general education classes. I dubbed them “fluff classes” that I didn’t see the need for. I brought my concerns forth, but was told, "you will change your major at least 10 times." I changed schools, trained within 1 year, and quickly landed a radio job. Fast forward 20 years. After having to leave my job at an advertising agency, I’ve had a difficult time of finding a job within my industry. I figured that my vast work experience could carry me. Nope. My education was deemed worthless, even though I was trained, actively worked and evolved in the workplace. It didn’t matter. It's not a degree. I would tell my younger self to shut up and sit through those “fluff classes.” The degree is all that matters.

Charlie

If I were able to go back in time I would tell myself that college is very hard and intense. I shouldn't take more than two classes at a time while working. I would also tell myself not to let others choose what University to go to. There's alot of things i would love to tell myself about college; but the major thing would be to focus in my senior year and don't let anyone stop me from doing my best. Another thing I would say is Pay attention and do all your work because you will need it when you begin your courses. The last thing I would tell myself don't be afraid to ask for help with your math classes; They have free tutors for you to succeed.

Aaliyah

If I could go back and talk myself as a high school senior advice I would give myself about college is first file out as many scholarships and free money as possible, because thinking that loans will pay for everything it doesn’t work that way another thing I would tell myself is take another year of math even thought you have met the math requirements to graduate because when you get to college it will help a lot especially if you take a class like calculus AP by doing this you can get exempted from test like the EPT and ELM (if attending a CSU). The last thing I would tell myself as a high school senior is that you should always stay focused although it is your senior year and you want to have fun by staying focused it will keep you on track for college and you will be more likely to succeed.

Angel

Firstly, you need to fill out every scholarship possible. Seriously, I'm working myself to the bone here trying to further my education with a job and full-time coursework. College is much more expensive than I anticipated in high school and now I am suffering the consequences. Exploit every opportunity you can to improve your life. You waste too much time playing games, and spend too little time learning new skills, or volunteering. Participate more in clubslike the Solar Car team, make connections that will help you in the long run. Scratch that, find people, and hobbies, you enjoy and go explore them. Soon you will have little-to-no time to do anything because of the financial burden of college. Seriously, you will not only alleviate the burden from yourself, but from your parents. Enjoy yourself, but think more about the future. Also, study more often you half-wit. Seriously, you'll thank me in the long-run. Explore your options more thoroughly, your first choice of college was terrible. Read the fine print more often, it'll be worth it in the end. Branch out, make connections at college. Your friends will help you in life.

Alaine

I would have pushed myself even harder to make even better grades. I also would have told myself that the transition into college would not be as easy as expected. It takes hard work and loads of effort. You have to adjust to not being with your parents as often as you were used to. College is a significant milestone of life, and will pay off in the future with much dedication.

Justin

As a high school senior, I went to Fulton Montgomery Community College for their Early Admission program. I took college courses that also counted as my required high school credits and was able to complete a full year of college in my high school senior year. If I could go back and give myself some advice for college, I'd tell myself to focus more on studying, and less on what is available to you on campus. There are a lot of distractions on a college campus that, if you're not diligent, will take you away from your school work and set you up for problems in the end of the semesters. I'm still learning this now, because I wasn't told ahead of time.

Tatyana

Eucation can change your life.

Trevor

If I could go back and talk to myself about college life and making the transition, their would be many different areas I would focus on. I did what most college students do their first time out of the house; I partied and spent more money than I really wanted to. Although I was meeting a lot of new friends and having fun I realized pretty quick that I needed to grow up because things in life are not handed to you and I needed to find my own future. There are many different opportunities that college offers that I never knew existed, such as resume building, clubs/oganizations related to my degree, internships/job opportunities and the list goes on. The biggest reason I didn't know about these is the fact that I never asked and that is the number one thing I would go back and tell myself to do; ask questions. With the economy the way it is, finding a job will be even harder, which makes it that much more important to go out and find my own ways at being successful in life. I just wish i had started exploring earlier than I have.

Courtney

Going to college will be a very difficult transition, and there will be times when you want to cry and give up. Learning to live with someone you don't know will be a very trying time, and fire drills will never be the same again. However, no matter how many times you cry or feel sad, your mom will always be there to comfort you. Going home for weekends will be a relief, but always be prepared to go back. Take a deep breath, hold your head high, and push through the year. Always remember that you have a right to stand up to your awful roommate, and always remember that you can transfer rooms if things don't work out. Sometimes that is the best option. Don't let school work slip through your fingers, because you will regret it very much .

Misty

Attending college has been valuable to me for so many reasons. The first reason for coming back to school was to set an example for my son. As not only being the first college graduate in my family, I am also only the second person to finish high school. The only way for me to teach him how valuable and attainable a college degree can be was for me to teach by example. Next, knowledge is empowering. The more knowledge that I possess, the more doors I can open for both my son and myself. Also being knowledgeable about the world in which we live, will allow me to make more of a positive difference in the world. It will allow me to have the chance to give back to society. Right up there with all the other valuable reasons for me to be attending college is that my life may inspire some other girl from a poor, uneducated family to make the choice to reach for more.

Charles

College has really brought out the best in me. My teachers really want their students to succeed and my school has a long history of raising successful students. I wanted to be a part of tradition so I have put forth my best effort to meet this end. I have learned a great deal at my university and every lecture or lab teaches me new things and skills that are going to be crucial for me when I leave school and enter into the workplace. As a student who lives off-campus, I didn't know how well I could meld with the campus community when I first arrived. The instructors and students really make you feel like you are an important part of the campus community. It is this community that really made me want to strive to do my best. I know that when I leave this school, I will be ready for new challenges and experiences in the workplace and I will have lifelong friends that will follow me along the way.

Carlos

My college experience so far has been a great experience. Living on campus has made me a more responsible and mature individual. I am looking forward to graduating from college in the year 2013. And pursuing a career in Communication/ Graphic designs I will never forget this experience. I have to really thank my mom for all th sacrifices she had to make inorder to put me through college. I also want to thank her for pushing me into doing good in school and always telling me that without a good education it will be hard getting a good job. So thank you Mom!

Ernest

I learned to be independent by taking care of responsibilities. Starting college was intimidating but later helped me build confidence. I acheived success by managing my time, doing my coursework one piece at a time, and following a list of duties I needed to do. I felt that I explored the entire world unlike high school. The more I learned and the harder I worked the sooner it will be for me to reach my goals in life.

Jonathan

My college experience has shown me how to learn, the ability to make good decisions. It has led me to meet many new people and to be open to diversity.

Sarah

The first time I read an article by Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I was aimless when I enrolled in my introductory journalism class, but I was quickly engulfed by a community of students and instructors that wanted to me to succeed and had the skills to guide me through my educational journey. I started writing and reporting for the community college online news publication and had a "real world" experience of what my career will be like on a fast-paced news beat. Working with other students that are my colleagues and in some cases my supervisors; I have learned the importance of meeting deadlines and producing quality work that I am proud to put my name on. Because of my college education, journalism ethics are engrained in my code of ethics as I continue reporting and working towards my journalism degree and career. Through electives like computer design and sociology, my college career has also equipped me with two important things that most employers look for in a successful candidate: technical skills and openness to diversity.

Kayla

I have got the ability to attend college because no one in my family has ever been and most haven't graduated from high school. I have met many people and made a ton of new friends. Its been valuable to be me because I know once I get through my college years I can still do anything I want to do.

Cody

The most I have gotten out of my experience at SUNY IT is that I am in a school with friends that I can learn from. I started learning computer programming and 3D modeling. I would have never been able to get the tools and help before I came to SUNY IT but now that I'm here I have great new friends and new skills.

Jessica

I have gotten so much out of my college experience. Confidence would probably be the most valuable thing. I look back at what I have already accomplished and it gives me the courage to continue. I feel like I can do this because I have been doing it. Every time I finish a class, I look back and think, wow, I did that. Confidence gives people power. Once you feel like you have no limits, you just keep going. Knowledge is like an addition, once you get a taste of it, you want more. There is so much out there to obtain. Education is truly a gift and privilege that can not be taken away once it is obtained. We are laying the foundation for the future and we need educated people to do that, I’m just glad that I live in a place that allows opportunities for a college education. Education is the key to a successful future.

Alex

I wanted desperately to love my family, and my interest in psychology enabled me to do just that. My college education saved me from the darkness that blinded my family as my father’s alcoholism wreaked havoc on our lives. I learned that I was not alone, and I was not crazy for having questions. In fact, having questions meant I was sane, and having something to learn meant there was a way to break my family’s cycle of addiction and broken marriages. Thanks to my education, I found compassion for my dad, even as his recklessness dramatically affected my life. The invaluable information I gained in classes served me greatly when I had to understand what happened the day my father went to prison for Voluntary Manslaughter. Throughout the chaos of the trial that followed his arrest, I clung to my education. Now I realize that my education will enable me to produce and provide the information that saved me. I’m grateful to be afforded the opportunity to one day prevent such heartbreak for other families with my future career in psychology.

Kathryn

Looking back, my college experience was literally nothing like what I thought it would be when I moved on campus freshman year. I have learned so much about myself that living at home and going to community college would have never provided me. I have learned that I can really work hard to earn my grades and still balance a healthly social life. I learned a lot about myself socially as well. I learned that it is true that you should never go to college with your best friend. I learned that I need to be assertive and not let people walk all over me. I learned how to know who my true friends are. All of these lessons is why it was so valuable to attend SUNYIT. Without this experience I would have never done all of the cliche college things (all nighters). I also would have never thought I was capable to do well and become a strong independant woman in the business world. I would have never gotten to be apart of a NCAA sport. Finally, it has been valuable to attend because I now know more about who I am.

Harron

I believe that i have gotten many rewarding things out of my college experience, but I would ahve to say that life lessons were probably the most I learned. I learned about the mental toughness and persistent nature that I have inside. There were many occassions in which professors pushed and pushed and things life were also pushing , but through it all I was able to rise above. My college experience helped prepare me for the courage to rise above any and all hardships to get to the next level. It prepared me to be able to communicate more effectively with not only my speech but with my writings as well. College allowed me a chance to explore opportunities and people I would probably never have met living in a suburban/rural area as I do. It also reminded me that you never ever stop learning whether in the classroom or on the job or in the "real world" called life. You are a life time learner forever and ever.

Kevin

As a senior, I wasn't one to listen to anything that anyone else had to say. I was smart. I knew where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it. So here I am, 6 years later with a Masters degree, right? Not Quite. Here I sit with an Associates degree in CIS as I pick away at the courses I need for my Bachelors. What would I tell myself? First, I would drill into my head that college is the most important thing at this stage. Getting that degree will put you in a position to do whatever you want in life. Prepare yourself for the unknown, college is much different from high school. Do things early! Get registered, buy books and look for scholarships and financial aid, it all helps. College is a huge step in life and a lot of things will be new, but keep your head up, look towards the light at the end of the tunnel and keep a positive attitude, those few years will be over before you know it and you'll be ready to take on the world.

Jose

If I could go back and talk to myself I wolud say stay in school. I would let myself know of all the struggles I have to face. My first struggle is I have a wife and two young children to take care of and support. Also I have to work full time in order to make sure my family is well fed and have a home to live in. Plus I'm trying to go to school to make more of myself so my family and I will not have to struggle as much anymore and to make a better life for my children. Finally I dont regret any of my life lessons I just know it would have been a much easier road to take if I had stayed in school.

Jeremy

Make sure you visit every school your interested in because colleges sound good on paper. When visiting the campuses try to sit in on an actual class so you can get a real feel for what your future college days hold. On your spare time apply for more scholarships because when you get in college its harder to win them. Start managing your money and make sure you save some of it. Apply to summer internships/jobs early because the longer you wait the lower your odds of landing a job are. Although college parties are going to be going on, sometimes you have to stay in your dorm and do whats more important; your schoolwork. One big thing is communication. Make sure you talk to your teachers so they know your focused on your education. Find out what it takes to get an A in their class too. Make sure you also ask about extra when you talk to them, so that their are no missed opportunities. It also doesn't hurt to review your notes after class. Last but not least keep in mind that there are no stupid questions, so don't be shy in class.

Stacey

I would tell myself to not move so far away from home at least for the first semester because it is hard moving someplace where you have no one but yourself. I would also try to prepare myself a little more for the amount of homework I was thrown into my first sememster. I would also tell myself that it is ok to break loose and have a good time but not to the point of my grades slipping. I would recommend to myself that I get a job on campus at the begining to save money because being a college student without any source of income just does not work. The final thing I would tell myself would be to see my advisor more than once a semester so that I can stay on track of what I am supposed to be accomplishing. If I knew all of these things before I had to experience them myself, I think I would have succeeded more in my college academic career.

Jhomel

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to visit every school I am interested in attending before making my final decision. Once I have chosen a school based on its facts, I should spend a day at the campus in order to have a certain feel for the environment in which I would be spending most of my time. Making friends in college is very important, so I would have told my self to look into the diversity and the ratio from girls to boys of all the schools I am interested in. Another contributing factor in choosing for college is the distance. I would have told myself to pick a school close enough to visit and far enough that my parents will not ease drop. Sports play a huge role in my life, therefore I would have spoken to the baseball coaches, find out their record and decide if I really want to play for their team. Now that I know what college consists of, my decision would have a been much more wiser.

Wanda

Pay more attention to class work. Take more math classes. Plan on getting at least your Masters degree right away, don't wait so long in getting pursuring your dreams.

Justin

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to become active in the community during the summer prior to entering college. Throughout college I have realized that an easy way to get ahead in life is by giving back to the community. I have not done too much community service or been active in my community and feel like I have missed many opportunities to improve my resume.

Dmitry

Money will be a problem in college life. Take as much courses as you can in high school to be credited in college. It will help you deeply. Always be on top of things. Don't procrastinate. Do good in school to get a good job in the future. Your success in school will determine your overall success in the real world.

Chris

make sure the college fits you!

Nicole

Its all about where both the parent and student is most comfortable. ( LIKE HOME) A place where they both can relate, and can discuss easily about their options. Although the choice should be determined by the student, if the parent is providing funds, the choice should be only influenced by the parents minimum. If the student does not feel comfortatble within their major selection as well as their surroundings, usually the outcome does not end well.

Edward

Find out the demographics of the school. The ratio of men to women can make a difference.

Alec

Parents and students should really think hard about what school they wish to enroll in. Every school is different so taking the time to visit and get to know the faculty before making your decision is a very important part of the school selection process. Students should set their sights on a school that has what they are looking for in all areas of campus life: housing, meal plans, classes, class size, extracurricular activities, and other students. Parents should look for schools that would give their children a good degree and that fit within the familys budget. When both parents and students settle on a school that works for both of them, chances are that would be the best choice for the student.

Mathew

To find the right college you need to visit the college, talk to students there, and actually go see the dorms and eat the college food. From a college student, the food that they will give you on an orientation day or on a special day is not the same as an ordinary day at college. To make the most out opf a college experince, look outside the box. .my Friends and i every Sunday go on a hike in the woods. We dont follow any paths just walk the creek and take a few hours off campus to just enjoy life. We do alot of stupid things out in the woods but we always have fun and Record alot of it. College is supposed to be Fun yet you still need to Focus on Learning. Make sure the Campus has a Good Tutor program and has a great staff willing to help you when you have problems and are there when you need them for afterschool work. Working during college for a job is hard to do, so try to work jharder all summer so you can relax during College and not worry about financial needs.

Johanna

Finding the right college was my main goal throughout my senior year. I am the first in my family to attend college and therefore had no idea what I was looking for. My only focus was being able to afford the tuition and soon realized that living at home would be the cheapest, so I needed a school close to home. For the past three years I have worked full time and have attended college full time in order to remain debt free and to make the most of my college experience and have unfortunately missed out on the typical college experience. If I could give any advice to students it would be to focus on your dreams and goals. Look for a college that can help you reach your fullest potential. You want a school where you can feel safe to pursue your dreams and to expand your knowledge and ideals. College is a great chance to expand your horizons, meet new people, make new friends, experience different cultures, and to learn a lot about yourself. Make sure you spend as muc time needed to make sure you and your parents find the right school for you.

Wayde

I would tell a student to choose a school based on location first. No matter where a student may go, if he or she becomes homesick or doesn't want to be too close, that student will be miserable while on campus. A student also has to think about diversity. If the student keeps meeting the same type of people, when he or she reaches the workforce, the student will experience a culture shock.

Shannon

Talk to you guidance counselor in high school to fiind out what you want to do. Then search for colleges that meet your academic and athletic expectations. When you narrow down some choices, go visit the college. It is okay if you have more than a few choices because this is your future. You need ot ba able to make an informed decision. Ask students who go to the school and meet faculty when you visit. When you find the college you like, embrace the experience. Engage yourself in all activities of interest and hit the ground running academically. Enjoy your college experience and make the most out of it. Get to know your felow students and professors. You will be seeing them alot and they become almost like a second family.

Michael

In the past four years I have attended several different colleges. For many reasons I could not decide on a degree that I wanted to partake in. Jefferson to me was a good choice because it was a community college offered at a third of what most state colleges cost. They offer the same education as any other college would especially since your first two years at most college, is going to be Liberal Arts courses anyways. But the main thing is that even though the college is cheap; do not under estimate the coursework. In most cases we all tend to pick schools that our friends go to. I found that if you?re going to pick a college find one you like and that you re going to feel comfortable with for two to four years. On top of that make sure that you use every bit of help offered to you. In help, I mean tours, websites, and people at the college in general. Hopefully they will help in everyway possible to pick the right college. Just remember that even though college may be tough at first, things always work out in the end.

Joseph

Make sure you visit many different schools to make sure you chose the best possible one for YOU.

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