The University of Montana Top Questions

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


Follow your heart, even if it leads you all the way to Montana.


Go to class! GPA is everything.


Text books are a huge rip off.


I would tell myself that it is ok to be scared. Being frightened is a good thing but I would say to not worry. Everyone is going through the same thing and odds are they are equally as nervous for this great transition. There are going to be very rough patches and you are going to think that you can never get through them, but they will eventually smooth out. This is a time of exploration and finding out who you truely are and what you care most about. You are going to lose contact with most of your current friends and thats ok. This is a time for you. This is crucial period in your life where you have nothing to tie you down- the world is your canvas and you can paint it with all the colors you'd wish. Go to your classes and pay attention because the stuff they are teaching you will show up time and time again throughout your courses. Get to know your professors and when in class speak up and let your ideas be known. Most importantly get involved and do not just fade into the background.


I would give myself only one peice of advice. Keep pushing on what you want and practice. Practice your French horn and love playing it, because that will get you into school and you will love playing it. Don't give up when times get hard in music because you will push through them and become a fantastic musician. The more you practice the better you'll get, I promise.


I wouldn't change anything !


If I could go back to my high school self I would let myself dress how I wanted, not worry about what click I was in or who I hungout with or even the car I drove. I would be my truest colors and shine bright. Nobody is going to look back and remember those explicit details about you, so why not be who you are and stand up for what you believe in. I would also give myself a pat on the back for gradutating one year in advance and getting through all the obstacles that I was introduced to. High school years are when you go through many different phases and are a little different each year, as you grow older you become more expereinced with your education and intuned with society. You always need to remember you are here to please yourself and nobody should have an effect on it.


Stephanie, it’s your last year of high school and you need to get some things straight. You’re on the right track by looking for schools and possible majors so I commend you for getting a good jump on that, but you forgot about one thing: scholarships. What are you doing? Go apply for scholarships! You don’t want to see the look on Mom’s face when she sees how much money she has to take out with her Parent Loan from FAFSA. It’s not pretty. Keep up your GPA; scholarships love to see a good one. Remember, though, that high school isn’t just a GPA. it’s a social jungle. You are going to be extremely stressed and busy with work, theatre and honors classes and you will lose some friends. Don’t worry about those friends. You’re in a good place in the future at a good university. You will make new friends. College is a new start. Keep working hard and persevering through this last year of high school because they can be difficult. Just remember that college is going to seem so easy compared to this. Don’t worry so much.


If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, the one thing I would tell myself is to not be afraid to explore past my boundries. I would tell myself to enage in every activity that I can participate in and to never say that I cant do something. I would encourage myself not to hold back from making and meeting every person on campus. However, more importantly, I would tell myself to be wary and regulate how much you engage in the night life around campus. Also, even though attendance is not mandatory for class, it is important to go to every class so that you can understand the material and earn a good grade. To sum up all of this, I would tell myself to explore and to have fun in moderation. I need ot know when to get down and work hard on my academics but to reward myself with a good time.


patrick always make sure that you plan your time better, get out of what you are planning on doing, dont do computer science and listen to what you want to do and be a doctor and not and engineer. also get out of your shell and make friends it really makes the world a brighter and more fun place


Younger self, do not be afraid to leave your dorm and explore. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, they may become your best friend. Younger me, studying is important you know, but so is sleep. Don't forget to sleep! Try new things! Sign up for a class you would not normally try. Join a club! Younger self, always remember to take time to smell the roses. Life moves pretty fast when you're not looking. While the fast lane on campus is enjoyable, take time to grab a good book and lay in the sun. Younger me, learn lots but have fun!


Stick out high school. It will benefit you in the long run.


If I were to give advice to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to finish strong. In my senior year I started to get lazy like most seniors do and figured that the strength of the rest of my highschool career would carry me through the college application process and the rest of the year. I stopped putting in the effort, I didn't take the AP tests that I should have and I didn't work nearly as hard as I should have. This is hurting me now because I could be further ahead than I am now, and I wouldn't have to be paying for classes that I basically have already taken. I would also say to get an earlier start on the application process. I missed out on some of the application deadlines and scholarship deadlines in my senior year because I got started way too late in the process. There are many things that I would have told myself but these two are the most important in my view.


College is a huge change and it is scary. Things are good now so enjoy them. The next year will be the hardest one you have yet but you have to remember that things are not as bad as they seem. There will be times when you feel lonely and angry and sad, but you have to remember that you have the power to change your life. If you do not like something then you have to change it. You cannot take everything so seriously. I haven't even been in college for a year yet, but I can see that you are the only thing that can hold you back. So get out of your comfort zone and just let yourself go! I promise you'll be fine.


Choose carefully about where you want to go. Do more research on each college. Apply for A LOT of scholarships. Accept the fact that all applications are going to take a while, so apply early. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Be happy with what you have at the moment, but never stop striving for better. Get a planner and don't forget to write down homework and important events. Don't buy a book for every class, even though it technically may be required. You may not ever use them, and it is a good way to save up money. Even though you are homesick, staying away from home is sometimes a good thing. It teaches you that you can live on your own.


Dear Naomi, Please start college sooner. A year off is fine, but waiting too long will put you further behind in your eventual career than you'll want to be. The years will fly by before you know it and you will look back and wonder why you waited, and why you still have several years to go untill you get the degree you really want. Achieving your degree at a later age will be that much more difficult when you have a young family and are trying to juggle your personal life, work and school still; especially when going to school becomes full time work. Pick a different school, a different major – nursing rather than liberal arts. Driving a little farther to get the degree you want from a school that offers it will save you many years of unnecessary school and will put you ahead financially in the long run. And finally, enjoy being young. Try dorm life and the "college experience" with your peers. You will spend the rest of your life working, and while work experience is important you can make it working part time while dedicating more time to your college education.


I would go back to my former self when I was just starting my senior year and tell him that I needed to buckle down way more than I did. I would have told myself that I need to focus more on class work instead of goofing off. I have matured greatly while I have been here at the University of Montana so I truly wish i had buckled down more in my year before starting college. I would have laid out what I need to do to have success while I am here studying and learning. It is truly an eye opener when you start your first classes and starting the whole college thing at a running start. I would have told me to become more organized and having a planner for homework and such. It really helps you control your life when you have something like a planner. When I was in my senior year I did not keep track of my homework that well so I would have told myself that a planner is the key to success. I would have just told myself that to not get so stressed about things, just enjoy the experience.


Take your future serious, don't wait for a tragic accident leading to vaporization to realize what you want to do.


Reach out to the world and do not let people tell you that you can not do something. Life is about being confident for whom you and who you're going to be. Study, focus, and work hard this school will socialy accept and love you for yourself. Do what you want but be careful. Make sure you have breaks in between classes and studying, also relax man. Don't sweat the small stuff, literally take one moment at a time. For each one you leave behind, there will not be the same even if you try to repeat that moment. The emotions will not be the same, so live and learn, my friend. Enjoy college.


I would convince myself to take the AP classes offered in high school so that I would save myself money, and time in college.


I would ask myself what could I see myself doing in 10 years? Which road do I want to take? I would tell myself don't get affiliated with the wrong people and strive for success. I would tell myself to be super productive in doing my work and to branch out to others and make connections. I would tell myself to make the best of college, have a purpose for being there. I would tell myself to just let God direct me where I need to go.


I would tell myself to make friends and be more open to people I didn't know. Everyone else is in the same boat: scared, missing home, and definitely missing their friends. Bring pictures of family and friends to your dorm and decorate your room with them so that when you get lonely you can look up and see their bright, smiling faces! Don't be afraid of your roommate! Also, don't be afraid to ask questions about where classes are and buildings are located. There's nothing more embarrassing then being late to a class because you were too proud to ask where it was, when you easily could have asked and been their on time! Leave your dorm room open so people can pop in and say "hello" (it's definitely an easy way to get to know someone!).


Calm down. Enjoy yourself. This is just another stepping stone that you will have launched yourself off of quicker than you anticipated. Your GPA does not hang over your head forever, so do not allow tests, quizzes, or papers to ruin your time, it is still just school, not quite real life.


If I could give myself some advice as a senior I would tell myself to take academic more seriously. I had the potential to have great scholarships but even though I had good grades I didn't think they would be that important later on in life. I also would have liked to take some courses online to get ahead in my college classes, making a minor possible for me. But I did not and reality is that I love the major I have chosen for myself and the school I am attending. I am now taking my academics very seriously; maybe this is because I didn't as much in high school.


Don't be so anxious to leave your hometown. College is new and exciting, but try to stay in the present and live up your last few weeks at home with all of your caring friends and family. Another piece of advice would be to understand and practice the concept of time management. Finish your work before doing all the wonderful activies college life has to offer. Work hard then play hard. Don't overwhelm yourself with a huge courseload. It's important to be taking a number of classes but don't over do it. You'll just end up stressed and not be able to enjoy your college experience. One other very important piece of advice is to be yourself. You are new to a place that is unfamiliar, you don't know a lot of people if anyone at all, so finding people who have things in common with you is important. As long as you are yourself, you will naturally gravitate towards people who you can develop frienships with. Join a club that intrerests you, go exploring, talk to people! Have a good time, but also remember why you are attending college in the fist place.


I would tell my high school self to take part in extracurriculars and community activities as much as possible in order to discover your passions and find what you enjoy doing on a daily basis. Getting involved and gaining hands-on experience is the only way to find what you truly love. Use this knowledge to plan the path you take in college. Forming a solid awareness of your interests ahead of time instead of changing your major in college numerous times will save you time and money. Getting involved will also sharpen your time-management skills which you’ll need more than ever in college, so don’t be afraid to dive into many activities at once; just remember to keep those grades up! Time-management is a skill that comes with time and practice so try to get as much practice as possible before entering college in order to be primed and ready to go come freshman year. So whether it’s volunteering at a hospital, working at a wildlife refuge, or joining the school band, go out there and get involved!


Take as many college prep classes as possible (science, math, writing)!! You will be so far ahead of the game it will make your first year way less stressful! Also, do not take time off. Keep going until you are done. It is a lot harder going back after being out of school for years.


I would advise my high school self to be more conscious of time management. As it seems in my collegian experiences, there is less time spent in the classroom with a tremendous amount of work to do outside the classroom. I would emphasize to myself that setting up a systematic routine for studies and homework. It is absolutely imperative to sustaining a well-balanced and prosperous college life. However, I would also suggest knowing when to take breaks and relieve oneself from his strenuous studies and go outside, get a breath of fresh air, and interact with fellow students. Understanding and familiarizing oneself with his/her surroundings is a vital piece to being successful in a college enviornment. Also, I would tell him to seize opprotunities when they are presented in terms of scholarships, grants, or other extra-curricular activities such as clubs or student counsel meetings. I believe with these core suggestions, my younger self would exceed his own expectations in achieving college success.


Seek real world experience before wasting money failing classes.


College life is all about focusing on the right things. There are so many distractions, from other students to events on campus. I went into my freshman year with a fear of failing. I was highly motivated and wanted to get the 4.0 that everyone dreamed of and was expected in my family. While I did not lose my motivation, I felt overwhelmed at all the distractions, and felt out-of-place of the social life while living in the dormitories. It was merely too much to handle. Starting freshman year over, I feel a balance of school and social life is the most critical factor in obtaining the optimal education and promoting well-being. Enjoy yourself responsibly, while also working hard to achieve the grades you desire. Take the opportunities of hanging out with new friends. Join campus events and social clubs. Learn who you are, but also stay true to yourself. Like Mom always said, "Get your homework done first, then you can go hang out with friends". Stay true to this advice even in college, and you will find that balance between school and social well-being.


If I could talk to my high school self as a senior I would simply say "it's game time." While the excessive partying needs to stop and you should still go out and experience the world and have fun while you’re young. Enroll in a diverse amount of classes because you’ll change your mind about what you want to do many times but in your heart you know what you want to do. You should go and take risks because you have the innate ability to bounce back. This maybe the last year you have of “no responsibilities,” but that doesn't mean you don't have any. You have responsibilities to yourself to become something great. To reach that potential that you know you have. If you want to make an impact on the world there’s no better time to start than now, but you must focus and give it your all or you’ll never accomplish what you’ve dreamt of. If you never try, you’ll always fail. Go out there and try.


I would tell myself, you don't need to decide your career before you get to college. Take some classes to explore various fields before you decide. You're making a big investment in your future and you do not want to invest in something you don't want to do. Make a decision to go after your dream, no matter what the employment prospects are or how much you will make because in the end, what matters most is that you are happy with your work.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to worry less about sports and hanging out with friends and focus more on my grades and what the teachers were teaching me. As a regular teenager, all I was concerned about was hanging out with my boyfriend and friends and playing softball instead of taking the time to focus on my homework. I would tell myself that sports and friends especially boyfriends come into your life and they can leave just as quick, but your education is what is going to get you to where you are going in life and its going to get you a career. I would tell myself not to slack off in class and not just do the bare minimum to get the passing grade or memorize the correct answers for the homework and not remember the material the next time I needed it. I also would tell myself that I have to make time for homework because I might not have time the day before the assignment is due. Education is the key to the places you are going to go in life.


If I could go back and talk to my 18 year-old self, I would tell myself to never lose sight of who I am and what is important to me. It seems the older I've gotten, the harder its been to remember those two insights. Relationships, school, friends, work, and financial obligations often cloud our hearts and we lose sight of the reasons why we started down a path in the first place. My passion has always been in fine art, but there were several years when I strayed from doing what fills my heart to doing something that pays the bills. At the time, I was feeling pressure to find a secure job and pursue the "American Dream". Thankfully, I had some really great people in my life who encouraged me to follow my dreams and assured me that life would work itself out. Now, I get the chance to work on my Master's of Fine Arts and I've never been happier! My only regret is that I wish I would have known sooner just how important it is to always, no matter what, stay true to yourself.


If I could go back and tell myself anything it would be to stay at home, don’t go live with some guy you think is great. Stay at home and spend time with family and friends. If he’s the one he will be there when high school is over. Though friends move away and you can’t live with your family the rest of your life.


Start looking at colleges early. Take the time to look at them thoroughly. Visit campuses if necessary. Really look at all the places you might want to go and give them all a fair shot. Do not limit your choices and make sure you start looking early enough to give all of them a fair chance. Once you do pick a school, embrace it with fervor. Get involved as much as possible and really take the experience with open arms. Everybody is new to the college thing, so don't be embarrassed and don't let your inhibitions keep you from participating in everything that college has to offer. Enjoy your time because it will be gone sooner than you think!


I would tell myself to decide a range of things that i would possibly major in and look at school that have good programs for those things. Also i would tell myself to expand my college search and not be closed minded about any size or type of school and just to look at all my options. And also to apply for more scholarships.


Keep up the good work! Your grades are excellent. I know you love school but in order to go to college you need to be assertive with the counselors and your parents. Your parents don't know how to navigate the process of applying for college so take the reins and ask for help from outside sources. It has taken me years to work towards my degree. If I had obtained help applying for college during high school, I would have earned my BA and most likely myt Masters by this time in my life. Please, ask for assistance in getting into college. You want it badly and you will be successful, but don't listen to your parents who keep putting you off with your questions about how to do it. I wish I had been maturre enough to realize my parents weren't discouraging me, they just didn't know what to do and were too embarrassed to tell me this. Go pursue your degree now, before you start a is so much easier and will help you and your future family by ensuring a better and longer successful career!


Knowing what I know now, there are a few pieces of information I feel that a younger me should know, both for his sake, and consequently, mine. First off I would inform him that college is a very real step, and with that step you get a metaphorical "foot in the door." This is not the time to dawdle, this is the time to act, because even those first few baby steps can set you on the path that will be the rest of your life. After stressing the importance, I would give him a more personal message, "Do your general education studies locally. It'll pay off, literally." By completing generals locally I saved thousands of dollars that now fund college in Missoula. I hated staying, but sacrifices were made. Compounding on this, I would give him the most important motto I've adapted, "Just Keep Swimming." Through everything he will be through, it's important he keep on doing his own thing, maintaining his sense of self-identity, and never giving up. Life will be miserable and difficult at times, but he should always keep going. I've made it this far once, he can do it again.


Be gentel on yourself. You've worked so hard these last four years and college will be hard for you. Go ahead and give yourself a break before starting this new adventure. You will see and do wonderful amazing things that will take you in a direction that you never thought you'd go in, so go with it and don't fight it. Don't believe anyone who tells you that your not smart enough, good enough or worthy enough. Because you are all those things and more. Your going to have to work harder then you ever thought you could but you'll do just fine. And remember, everything works out fine in the end if you put forth the effort, even if there's a little adversity and heartache in the mean time.


Go to college right after highschool, to get the full college experience rather than be a non-traditional student.


As a high school senior I would have wanted to know about how the credit system works and of ways and places to find college text books cheaper. At first I thought the school's credit system seemed confusing and difficult but later I learned how the credits added up, which brought my anxiety of being able to graduate in 4 years at ease. Prices of textbook stressed me out, especially knowing that I am on a tight budget. If I would have known of the option of renting and buying in bundles would give me discounts, I would have saved at least 200 dollars. Thankfully I learned from that experience and saved a whole lot more when I purchased books for my 2nd semester. These advices would have saved me the stress and money in my transition to college life.


Go to a regular public high school and take as many AP courses that you can. Study hard for every test! Get rid of your current boyfriend, he isn't what you need in your life right now. You need to concentrate on yourself and make yourself the best that you can be! Remember that you can do anything you can set your mind on. Your beautiful, inside and out so don't let anyone tell you any different.


Definitely try to get to know your roommate before you get to campus. My first roommate and I were not alike in our lifestyles, but by the time we realized that, it was too late to switch roommates. If you do end up with a roommate that you don't mesh well with, be patient and try to compromise; otherwise, the semester may not be as wonderful as you expected.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing I knowing what I know now about college life, I would tell myself not to lose focus. It is too easy to become distracted by non "school related" activities and to leave homework and studying behind, so it is important to stay focused and remain studious as much as possible.


Assuming I could go back in time and talk to myself, I'd be pretty freaked out. I mean, who wouldn't? Keeping that in mind, if I had to give myself some advice about the future, I would hit myself upside the head and say "Quit worrying and just get things done." Something I've discovered in the last year is that no matter how weird or awful things get, time is just going to keep on moving, whether you're eady or not. So, by telling myself to just relax, it would save me a whole lot of frustration. Not everything can be perfect, obviously. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to write this essay in an attempt to scrounge up enough money to keep myself enrolled in college. In a perfect world, I wouldn't want to go back in time, I wouldn't HAVE to give myself advice! So, just keep on trying, I'll say. Things will get better, then they'll get worse and eventually back to better again. Enjoy things while all you have to worry about is a scholarship essay.


Look around you. Realize what the world has to offer. Realize what you have to offer the world. It is an amazing place and you are an amazing person. Learn to explore, travel, question your perspectives and challenge yourself. Don’t be limited by what you know, understand or feel comfortable with. Don’t shy away from a path or direction that may take some work, or to take responsibility to enhance a life whether is it yours or someone else’s. Take advantage of opportunities, help or advice, but not of people. Tread lightly on this planet, be grateful for what you have, but follow your convictions with strength. I know this is very general advice, but these ideas will help you to navigate not only your college experience, but your life and world experience. Adopt fully and live with courage by the wise words of Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


I started college summer courses at University of Great Falls the day after I graduated from highschool, so the transition was rather abrubt. If I could go back and give myself some advice it'd be, take advantage of the resources offered. Also i'd remind myself that what I was doing then was the right choice and will put me ahead in the long run. Most importantly, I would pressure myself to be more socialable, and that strong communication skills will also be of great importance once I got to campus. If I had the chance I would also relay the message to my highschool self that having fun in college is part of life, and to not load up on credits in hopes of finishing early, enjoy the ride.


I would advise myself to get more envolved with my schools extra curricular ativities. They would help me make many friends who ended up coming to the university with me. It would help me feel like I have a better social life and not such a school based life. I would also adive myself that talking to the school advisor was a firend and not something to be scared of. I wish I had the courage to talk to him about college and scholorships. I would just tell my self that I needed to stop being scared of the future. I needed to grab it by the horns to say. I would advise myself to look for different schools and programs to see what is best for me. I do not regret coming to this university but it would have been nice to have options to choose from. I would also give the best advice which is to study for all my classes and finish school feeling accomplished with the best grades I could.


Rosemary, as your future self, I am begging you to loosen up and let go a little! You can't always plan for every obstacle that will/can possibly come your way. Instead, invest your time in the 'now'. You are a very smart and capable girl, regardless of how unsure of yourself you are now, things won't always be this way. You will one day be comfortable in your own skin, and let yourself be exactly that..YOURSELF. Take charge of your future! Don't stand in the back of the crowd! Push your way to the front, because that is where you deserve to be! Fight for what you want, and don't let others take your dreams from you. Your dreams are attainable no matter how big they are, some just take more work than others. Most importantly, what others think of you is none of your business. Don't worry about fitting in, if you are true to yourself everything will fall into place. College isn't like high school in any way, shape or form. Be excited, bright-eyed and ready to learn! Your degree awaits your open hands! Snatch it!