Texas Christian University Top Questions

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

Natalie

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself what a financial responsibility college is, especially going to a private university. I did not slack off in high school but if I had of done better academically and done more research I would have had more scholarships available to me. I would not change where I decided to go to college because it is the best decision I have ever made. Not every student finds the college they truly love, and I am exremely lucky to look forward to going to school every day. However, paying for school as an independent frightens me. I wish I had of taken more initiative as a high school student to prepare myself for the amount of money college would empty out of my wallet and I should have wrapped my mind around paying off loans for the next few decades.

Caitlan

I would definitely advise myself to take dual credit classes NOT AP classes. If you take dual credit classes you automatically get college credit if you pass the class. With AP classes you must make a certain score on the AP test in order to get college credit. I took AP classes and came in with hardly any hours already taken care of. I changed majors, and already having credit for some of the core classes coming into college really would have helped me. Since I only had like one English credit coming in, I will be in school a 5th year simply because I had a year's worth of core classes to get out of the way.

Landon

With the knowledge I now possess with a semester of college under my belt, I would advise my former self of the time commitment that college requires, and the work load involved. As a high school senior, school came relatively easy for me. The information that would have been most useful to me as a high school senior would have been a warning that college would require hours in the library and advanced preparation for each and every class. If I could go back to mentor my high school self, I would make myself aware of the time investment ahead. Also, I would tell this naive version of myself about the importance of networking and getting to know many people, from peers to professors to other people in administration. College life puts a significant focus on communicating with others and making connections, relevant both now as well as in the future.

Emily

TCU?s core values are clearly established; my past experiences reflect the same values, from academic achievements to community service. I was committed to organizations that I represent, and I have held many responsible leadership positions in organizations such as community theatre, charity league, and church choir. I have played small roles, such as taking pictures, and large roles like planning community service projects. I have traveled a lot , and I believed I have a broad perspective that would be particularly beneficial. I?m organized and a good problem solver. I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people. I teach a musical theatre and tap class to kids. I learn a lot from them, and I have learned how to communicate better. If the kids cannot understand me, I must figure out a different approach. I?m very patient, and I have become a good listener. I?m there if someone needs to talk, and I try to help them in any way I can. Looking at all of these traits I wish I had applied them earlier in my college career. I would have also got out o my box way sooner.

Micah

A societal issue that is of significant personal importance to me and that you must be sure to avoid is the uncontrollable need to conform to the stereotypical assumptions with which you are identified. Although some conformity is a necessity in order to preserve unity, diversity should abound in order to provide a segue that allows individuals to break free from the stereotypes that they have been subjected to throughout their lives so that they can become successful in society. Society incessantly suggests that individuals should enter into a constant struggle of conforming to the expectations that society imposes on them. This decision to concede to the perception of society is detrimental to an individual?s integrity and demonstrates a nature that is treacherous and self-rejecting. Being the editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper, diversity is important so that the ideas and talents of different individuals can be acknowledged, represented, and expressed. Each member is encouraged to embrace their unique strengths and operate to their full potential, so that the possibilities are not left undiscovered but are utilized to their full extent.

Hannah

Knowing what I know about college, I would tell myself not to panic. When I got to TCU, I drew into myself. I was in a different place, away from all the people and things that I knew, and I didn't know what to do. I would tell myself to not be afraid of speaking to people in classes, of hanging with the people I met at Freshman Camp. I would tel myself to not worry about everything, about doing well in class, making friends, meeting people, being away from home, because everything turned out alright in the end.

Terral

Keep true to yourself. It's probably the most important thing I have learned in college. There are so many pressures to be different, to give into things and people you know you shouldn't. Trust your gut, rely heavily on your morals. The only way to find true happiness is to be yourself, believe what you feel is right, good and cherishable. No one should make you feel less. You will experience things you have never before had to deal with, so prepare yourself. Set your boundaries, set goals for which you hope to obtain in college. Get involved in as much as you can. This is where you find quality people and quality relationships. Become involved in student governement, in social activities, in advertising and public relations groups. Do as much as you can without getting overwhelmed. Study when you have free time, not the day before the exam. But most of all be who you are. You are one of a kind. Why not act like it?

Victoria

Were I able to give myself advice as a high school senior, I would encourage participation in various clubs or organizations. I would tell myself that joining a sorority would be greatly beneficial to me, as I would learn more respect for tradition, make lifelong friends, and participate in inspiring philanthropies and community service. These things would make me feel like I had made a difference, no matter how small the impact might be. Study, study, study, I would say. Never having to study before coming to TCU, learning to study - and study effectively! - was more difficult than I imagined. Also, I would encourage to be more outgoing! I came to TCU knowing not a soul, but joining the Sigma Kappa sorority and spending a lot of time with my roommate has increased my social side. With this advice, I surely would not have been so hesitant and introverted as the beginning of the year. I am much happier now that I have had this experience!

Caitlin

Don't sweat the small stuff. As cliche as that phrase is, when selecting and preparing for college it rings true. There are thousands of colleges in the US and beyond, and you would probably love and excel in a large number of them, so visit campuses that sound like a good fit. Don't choose a school based on the prestige of a name- choose your school for you. What feels right? Where do you see people you could imagine being friends with? College is a great time in your life so pursue what you're interested in and don't be afraid to major in something that is deemed "unmarketable" as a career- you'll do what you love and it will enable you to find a career you love. Don't be afraid to be unique and to get your voice heard and make sure you are inspired every day by what you do.

My

As a high school senior, I thought the major concern was getting a high score on the SATs and maintaining a high GPA, which are all important but it wasn't really a big advantage coming into college. If I could do it over, I would tell myself to take advantage of the summer courses offered at a community college so that I could transfer additional credits over. I never thought of summer courses as being an advantage and getting an early jump start into the semester, I was just concerned with school events and filling out college and scholarship applications. Because being on a scholarship at a university is not something that should be taken for granted, long study hours and numerous requirements takes a lot of time management and determination to make it through the first semester, all things I didn't practice as a senior in high school. I would tell myself to really consider taking those summer courses, even if it meant that I would be losing my only months of freedom.

Jill

I look back on highschool almost everyday and think about what I would have done differently. I would have started at TCU instead of transferring and not enjoying my first two years of college. I would have stayed closer to home and applied for a lot more scholarships and financial aid than I did--I never thought they were possible to earn in such a large pool of graduating students. I would encourage myself to not push myself too hard, or do things because it's "the college norm." Staying in my comfort zone helps me succeed and I tried to overcome that at such a young age. I would do what was best for me academically because I cannot go back and change my grades or mistakes I might have made,

Nicole

If I had to do it all over again, in high school I would have put a greater emphasize on improving my writing. A lot of courses in college require students to write at least one paper, and my papers never seem to stand out compared to other students in the class. I struggle for hours with my papers. I look up words in the thesaurus, rephrase sentences a multitude of times, and try to carefully organize my ideas, but still my papers receive an average grade. Of course, the English courses in the high school I went to never properly specified how to use a comma. The courses mainly consisted of busy work intended to keep the students occupied for fifty minutes. So who's to say that I'm to blame for needing to put extra time into my writing today.

Amanda

I wish I could tell myself to push myself. I have always settled in my life. If I didn't think I was good enough to recieve a scholarship, I wouldn't apply for one. If I could get away with out ever having to study for a class and still recieve good grades, I wouldn't. I know I can be amazing. Anyone can be. The problem is with how much your willing to try, and fail, and then try again. I wish could tell myself to reach for the stars, for how else would I ever get one? I wish I could have told myself that I deserve to be here, that I deserve to fight for what I want. I wish I could have told myself that time-management is as important as all the brochures say. I wish I could have told myself that it is okay to mess up, just as long as you try.

Amanda

If I were able to go back in time, I would probably tell myself that going far away from home is going to be a tough change and to prepare myself. The homesickness faded very quickly, but adjustments were definitley made. I would also tell myself to look at options that may not cost as much since the economy has only gotten worse. I would tell myself that TCU is a well rounded place, it is a small school with everything that a large school has to offer: big school spirit; amazing sports; large greek life, numerous campus organizations, and lots to do! The University also has the small classrooms and individual student teacher relationships, which show the teachers truly care about your well being. Everyone at the school, including students and staff, are so helpful and willing to do almost anything to make one feel welcome here in the horned frog community!

Amanda

Dear high school senior Amanda, Are you ready for college life? Its an exciting transition! Don't think you can just blow off studying and homework. Classes will be harder than you originally anticipated, and you will need to work hard from the start to keep up. Get involved with various organizations. I would recommend some type of business organization, since that will be your major. Sororities are also huge on campus! They will be a lot of fun and they will provide the opportunity to meet lots of new friends. I should warn you that it will be difficult to be away from your family and all the home cooked meals. You will adjust in time. The food cooked at the BLUU on campus isn't bad and you will get used to it. I should also warn you that it will be difficult to get from place to place without a car. So try to make friends with people who do have cars on campus, that way they can drive you places. Ultimately though, live up your college life! It's going to be so much fun and a time you will remember forever! Love, Future Amanda

Jasmine

If I could go back in time with myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to pay more attention to the cost of the college as well as the quality of education. I would give the advice to focus more on attaining scholarships, and research which schools have 100% coverage for low EFC students and which don't. I would tell myself to pay more attention to what those who went to college before me had to say about college life. I would lastly, but not least have told myself the importance of taking the measures of visiting prospective colleges and constantly going to counselors, financial advisors, etc. to prepare me for college responsibility.

Hunter

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to slow down, try not to grow up so fast and enjoy every moment. In high school, especially as a senior, I, along with most of my peers was so eager to move on to bigger and better things. But, now looking back, I would savor every minute since it truly goes by so fast. I would also try and learn a larger sense of responsibility, preparing myself to live 1500 miles away. Not that I was not responsible, but I did take for granted the things my Mom and Dad did/do for me.

Randi

Attending a junior college is a lot like high school, but instead of going five days a week, you only go four. Getting to school on time is very important. By missing the first 10 or 15 minutes you miss reviews, classwork coming up, test dates and times. A junior college also has six week classes, which make the classes very intensive. Being in class everyday is extremely important. By being there, you don't miss anything, and don't have to try to make up a lot of work. Your grades tend to be higher.

Robert

If I could hold a single conversation with myself as a High School senior it would not be peppered with the remnants of past mistakes or steeped in a negative tone; I would beseech myself to think before leaping. I would ensure I became fully aware of the resonance that my educational decisions would have on my future life. I would attempt to map out the possibility and wonder of a well rounded education and the seemingly endless opportunities that could be provided if I was only able to see past the moments that appeared to shape and define my college experience. I would highlight the importance of positive decisions and time management skills, because these traits are threaded and weaved throughout our adult lives; their presence never fades. I would ensure that I understood that my newly found freedom could be both liberating and crippling if not harnessed for the right reasons; reasons that would become clear in time. Most of all I would show myself that education is never a right; it is a privilege that must be treated with respect. We are only afforded one life and seconds chances become less probable as we age.

Annie

If I could go back to high school the thing I would tell myself to do is to study more. When I was in high school I was the student that would always procrastinate and do my homework right before it was due. In college procrastinating isn't an option you either stay on top of your workload or you fail. You cant study 50 pages of notes the night before a test and expect to pass it. My senior year was a piece of cake. I hardly had to study at all to pass my classes. I had a very rude awakening my first semester when I had to study every day just to feel like I had learned the bare minimum. I even had to pass on hanging out with friends to get all of my homework done which was really hard for me to accept. I believe that if I would have studied more in high school, I would have had a much smoother transition into college and studying for four hours straight wouldn't have seemed as awful to complete. The more you study in high school, the better off you'll be in college!

Heidi

If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would tell me to learn to study a lot harder and write better notes. I would also advise myself to plan out a budget and learn how to spend more wisely. The only other thing I would say is to make sure I get a single room and never get a roommate.

Victoria

Keep calm. Everything seems overwhelming at first, and you have to study more than you ever imagined. Everything will pay off when your professors praise you and your GPA is better than you expected. You will have supportive friends all around you, and will be able to stay away from bad influences. Don't worry- you made the right choice in going to TCU. =)

Meg

I would tell myself to work even harder than in high school. Senior year we tend to slack a little bit and not work as hard in school. My first semester in college, it hit me that you really DO need to come home and study every day. You can't procrastinate or study for your exam the morning of. You really DO have to work for your grades, but it's worth it. I have all As now, and it is a lot of work, but satisfying to know I accomplished it.

Courtney

Really seek out how college works and how different it is from high school. My high school did not prepare me for the intensity of college level work. I would tell myself to take college level courses at the college (some were offered at my high school).

Mary

Make plenty of new friends, be prepared to completley change your study habits, never let a social opportunity pass you by, and be open to meeting new people all the time; you never know who may become your friend later on in life

Taylor

Hey kid, You only attend college once. Don't over work yourself because you have the rest of life to get up and go to work. Live, learn, make mistakes, go party, discover who you are. College is an once in a life time oppourntiy. Make the best of it!

Christina

Do the most you can to look at different colleges and not jump into anything too quickly. If your uncertain about your major go to a junior college for awhile to sample classes instead of changing your major a few times. Save yourself time and money.

Brittany

Be prepared to actually study. In highschool you could just look at the test material five minutes before the test and pass. That is not how it works here. School will consume the majority of your life.

Lauren

I would have told myself to stop with the lame senioritis, and pull together to take more AP classes, and make As and Bs in them. Slacking off in high school is stupid. It's a waste of free money! If I had taken 3 more APs in high school, I could have saved about $20,000 and tons of trouble. Core classes are really the most painful things to take, because they're not part of your major and you really don't care to learn about them with the same passion. Knocking out a few of them would have saved numerous headaches, and given me a headstart on taking classes I actually like, not to mention saved my ever-creeping GPA. Most of all, I would have told myself to start figuring out THEN what motivates me. I know now that motivation is the start to any project, and learning that sort of drive years ago would have been fantastic for me!

Travis

Take all the AP classes you dropped and keep studying. Avoid the bluu because the unlimited meal plan will make you fat. Don't be afraid to make lots of friends.

Jennifer

Take and re-take the SAT's and the ACT's, also start saving your money now and applying for every single grant and scholarship you can. Financial assitance is scarce and it makes college life so much more difficult. When you get to college, go to class EVERYDAY, no excuses. All of your classes are going to be based on 2 or 3 test grades so study way to much and limit your social life for the first semester or two until you're acclimated to what your university will expect of you. College is not easy, if it was, everyone would do it!

Jennifer

I would warn myself about construction. Our campus is always improving facilities and building bigger and better facilities, but as a result, there are often a lot of construction workers and vehicles around campus. They work at normal hours so sleep is not disrupted, but it would be nice to have a heads-up on. I would tell myself not to worry about picking a major, that the school is most important and that the major will fall into your lap.

Brittney

There are three things I would tell myself. One, is to continually search for financial aid every year. Even though I may apply for a few scholarships I could never apply enough. Money is hard to come by in these trying financial times and to stay ahead of the game will always put me in a better situation at school and in life. Two, is never to be afraid to be who I am. I wil meet all sorts of people and I should not shy away from them but instead open up to them and be myself. Either they will accept you or they won't and those that don't, don't matter. Third, never second guess myself or give up on my dream. I know what I want to do with my life and my job in college is to pursue it without looking back. I will achieve my dreams.

Caitlin

Make sure to visit the school during the Fall. You have to remember to experience the school when it is most active!

Colin

Don't look at cost first. It will only make your true desire about a school more clouded. Also, don't just ask the tour guides questions, because they often feel obligated to give the most desirable answer. Ask a passing student, but ask more than one person the same question to get a better idea. Also, it may be smarter to take one less class than the norm for the first semester, even if it means you have to take an extra one later. Making the most of that first semester makes all the difference later! Stay in touch with home and be honest about how things are going, because your family knows you better than anyone else, and better than you may like to admit!

Jordan

Consider all aspects, do not go on one attribute alone, such as academic or social, when deciding on a university/college to attend. Ease yourself in first semester, do not try to hit the ground running.

Kendall

Go where your heart tells you, as cheesey as it sounds. When I went to visit TCU for the last time, and snuck onto the baseball field to catch the end of a game, something just told me that I needed to become a horned frog! If you go somewhere you really want to be, I feel like you will be more motivated to work hard to stay there.

Donnell

I would just make sure you go there and enjoy your self it will be the best time of your life, just make sure you pick a school that you love and can afford.

Carolyn

Definitely visit the school(s) on your list of possibilities, if possible. It makes a huge difference when you can be on campus to feel what it's really like there. Otherwise, you might now know what you're getting yourself into.

Paige

I think that it is important for parents and students to take into consideration everything about a college including the size of the student body, location, and financial aid. Most high school seniors don't know what they are truly looking for in a college until they start visiting. Begin visiting schools early and go to as many as you can. When you are at a college that fits all of your standards, you will know because it will be the one that you compare every other school to. For instance, when I visited TCU, although it wasn't my first choice school, I knew that it was perfect for me. The atmosphere on campus, the people, the surrounding areas all set the bar high, and I continued to compare every school I visited or considered afterwards to TCU. The right school should fit, don't settle for anything less!

Whitney

The one piece of advice I would give to parents and students is to be sure and research the school thoroughly but when you go to visit, listen to your heart and pay attention to whether or not it feels right. I remember attending freshman orientation and just being in awe of how perfect TCU seemed for me and how lucky I was to have been accepted. I had my heart set on it for four years and looking back, I would do it all over again. I know I made the right choice for me. Also remember that getting a degree or a college education is not the same thing as having a college life. It was very important to me and my parents that I not attend a commuter type school or one where there were many married or working students. I wanted to embrace college life and that included living in an old ugly dorm, having a room mate that I had never met before, attending lots of sporting events, pledging a sorority and living in the sorority house just to name a few. I

Caity

You get out of it what you put into it.

Alex

When looking for college, make sure you look at the whole package. Understand the living environment you will be getting into. Talk to professors and students, learn about what they go through in class. Find out the involvment of faculty to the students and how intersted they are in the student. Get invovled in the university. Find something that you love to do and really pursue it. Invest some time to the school and finding new people, trying new things. Make sure your student feels at home there. They should know, deep down, that they made the right choice. Ask them about it after they have started. School should feel like you belong there, like a second home. That should be what you strive for in selection of university. Somewhere you feel you belong, with amazing, intersted stellar faculty, outstanding campus life, students who are involved and ready to succed, and where you really feel at home. Get to know the places you are looking at, and dig deep to find that place you really feel you belong. These are simply my experiences and guidelines that helped me find that perfect home in TCU.

Taylor

I would say first, always visit your school and if you know people who go there, go visit them. It is good to go and visit the school on a tour to get a feel, but actually going with someone to their classes and seeing what they do out of school really help decides what fit would be good. Rushing a sorority or fraternity at a lot of schools really helps create a solid group of friends and I would recommend that to anyone. Unless you are 120% sure what your major is going to be, make sure that you have a few ideas in mind, because most likely you will change your mind and it would be best if the school you go to offers at least 3 choices for you. If you're moving out of state, like I said earlier, make sure and go visit to make sure you like the town that your school is in. If there is nothing to do and you aren't one of those people to just sit around, then you want to make sure you love the town!

Lauren

First things first: STUDENT, don't listen to your parents! Okay... listen to them on most things, but if they are pushing you to attend a University because that's their Alma Mater, or other reasons, tell them to back off. (In a nice way of course!) I chose to go to TCU because I visited MULTIPLE schools on my own and made the decision based on the people that I met, the location how much FUN I had each time I visited, and believe it or not, the colors of the school! Basically, make your own choice based on how you truly feel, not how someone is TELLING you to feel. This will lead into the best experience you can ever imgagine...College. Second: Don't hold back! If you have a chance to make a new friend or go on a random date, say YES! Granted, it might be a total bust, but you can laugh about it later, and then again, you may find your best friend or the love -of-your-life. The last thing: don't cut your parents out of your life just because your in college! They love you and can bring food!

Erin

From the moment you step on a campus, you should feel three main things: The first feelings you should have are feelings of safety and comfort. You should be able to trust in all aspects of the institution, from crime rates to housing options to meal plans. Choose a campus based on safety and comfort just like you would your permanent home, as you will spend four important years of your life in those surroundings. The second feeling you should get is trust in your ability to succeed at the specific campus. You should be able to picture yourself being able to fully adapt to the college's policies, principles and procedures so that you will become an expert in your field of study and succeed later in life. You should be compatible with the class size, the professors' teaching patterns, class choices, and the availability of career help. The third feeling is almost indescribable. When you step your foot on a campus you are going to attend, it should just "feel right." Everything should click; from comfort in those surroundings to excitement about your adventure, when your feet are on the right campus for you, you will "just know."

Paige

Prospective students should visit campus when school is in session. They should definitely spend some time checking out the school in ways other than an officialy campus tour. Some good ideas are people watching, sitting in on a class, checking out the various buildings such as the library, cafeteria, student union, recreation center and a dorm. They should take the time to ask students who are NOT employed by the university how they feel about it and what they wish they would have known when they made their decision. (Tour guides are paid by the university, of course they are going to hype it up and make it look like the best place on earth.)

Kimberly

Most parents would love having their child go to a college or university close to their house, but sometimes that is not possible. Choosing a right college is very important. The academics should be great and low student to teacher ratios are a bonus, but most of all, the atmosphere should be focused on learning as well as having fun. Great colleges offer students opportunities to excel in their academics, as well as ways for students to be involved, such as helping out the community or being part of an honors society or a subject club. College is not only a place to study but also a place where the student lives. The campus should feel like a community so that the students feel accepted and become involved.

Margaret

I would recommend that students definitely visit the campus and meet as many students as possible. Get various and non-bias opinions. Yes, listen to your parents concerns and opinions but always follow your heart. Don't be afraid to go to a distant school for fear of a new surrounding; if you feel the school suits you then you should attend it. Don't ever think that a school is too good for you... if you have interest then you should apply. Also when you attend college, I?ve found the most important thing, when it specifically comes to succeeding in your classes, is having good guidance, in other words, getting a good advisor. If you?re unsure of your major, classes, and even social activities? get a good counselor/advisor that will and can help you. So often it's hard to find a good counselor but they're out there:)Also in general with all aspects of college, whether it's educational or social, go with your gut instinct, be smart, and don't give up. If someone can achieve all three of those they will succeed!:)

Genevieve

Parents and students should be sure to not only visit prospective colleges, but talk to those students who are not college ambassadors. Consider several schools and if possible visit on more than one occasion to get a greater overall sense of what the college really has to offer versus what it says it can offer. Make sure the school is afforable for you and your family. I've had several friends who have had to leave school because the expense became too much. College is about learning what you like, but more importantly what you don't like and what you do and do not want for yourself and your future. I encourage parents to let their children figure this out for themselves and try to let the student make an independent decision about which school is right for them. Going to college has been an incredible experience, I recommend that parents encourage their children to be active in their school of choice and to consider study abroad options as well. As Pat Green, a favorite musician of TCU students, says in one of his songs, "there is a time and place for just about everything, it's called college."