The University of Tennessee-Martin Top Questions

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

dominique

If i could go back to when i was a high school senior i would tell myself to slow down and enjoy the times i was having at the moment. High school is a stressful but easy time, unlike college. In college you have to take on the full responsibility of being an adult and you are in charge of making sure everything that needs to be done is done. When i was a high school senior the tests were not as difficult and the need to study was not prominent. In college those are the main two difficult and important things.

Virginia

If I could go back and talk to my high school self I would tell me to take my grades and classes more seriously. I would say that college is hard, and to better prepare you need to make good grades and take the college bound courses. Had I done that in high school not only would I have been better prepared, but I would have been awarded money for college depending on my G.P.A. I would also tell myself to go to college right after graduating high school, because it would have made for an easier transition. Had I done that, it wouldn't have been such a shock to go back to school after being out for over six years. Finally, I would tell myelf not to give up even when mistakes are made. I would say learn from those mistakes, make better choices next time, and keep moving forward towards your goals.

Valerie

If I was able to talk to my high school self, I would say to stay focused, be smarter about student loans, learn to play an instrument, take every chance possible to travel, but above all enjoy life and the appreciate loved ones who surround you.

Richard

Look outside of your small rural surroundings and realize that your grades in high school will matter. Your high school grades have the potential to set you up for a prosperous future or send you down a path of mixed priorities and mediocrity. Do not limit yourself and look at where the Unites States will be in 10 years. What value will you be able to add to that economy? Why will people need your skills and want to pay you? Enjoy life but take it seriously.

Rebecca

I would say that I need to prepare more in advance. I came to college with the idea that I would be able to succeed because I was in the top of my class in highschool. I panicked the first day of class and attempted to withdraw from school. I would tell my high school self that I need to learn how to think for myself and not be so dependent on my mother helping me with decisions. If I was more dependent, I don't think applying to grad schools would be as hard as I am finding it to be. Mostly, I would say that the important thing is to get the degree. A lot of times I have felt that what I am doing is pointless. I would say that college is one of the most important decisions, and that I shouldn't be flippant about it. One of the biggest things that happens during college is how much you change. I would say to embrace the changes and don't be upset. Because the main lesson to learn is that change means growth, and that is always a good thing.

Lester

Assuming I could go back and give myself advice, I would advise mysef to do two things. The first would be to pick a STEM major and the second would be to get constant guidance from a academic counselor. Upon entering my first year of college I had no one to instruct me on what would be a good major nor did I know the right questions to ask. The reason I would have chosen a Science, Technoloy, Engineering, or Math major is because they lead to high paying jobs. Also they lead to jobs that contribute the most to society. When you look at everything that makes our lives easier or healthier we own that to scientists and engineers. Constant guidance would have kept me on track and I would have finished when I was younger. To put it in a nut shell, I would have picked a major that I would be proud to tell people about and get the guidance I needed to get that degree.

Michelle

I would tell myself to apply for many more scholarships much sooner. I would also say to prepare yourself for a lot of times where you think you know what you want in life or where you want to be after you graduate but you don't. Also, stick to one major and refrain from changing it, because your scholarahip will run out before you have finished your education. Be prepared for many hard financial struggles and little help from the university's financial aid department. In addition, remember to study more as an underclassman so as to recieve more scholarship opportunities based on merit. This is something to remember because as an upperclassman, there are hardly any opportunities for scholarships based on anything you qualify for. Therefore, you need to save your money much more effectively and get used to the taste of Ramen noodles, Taco Bell, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Most importantly, enjoy your summer breaks because you will be busy in your next few. Life hits you hard and fast, and there is no way to be fully prepared for it, so relax a little.

Natalie

Take advantage of AP and dual credit courses while you can.

Steven

Stay in school do not wait for life to happen. You need to go out and MAKE life happen to you! Get your education now while you can stay at home and save and better afford it.

Sarah

I would tell my self that you are in for some hard times because you did not prepare your self like you should have. College is very different from high school. You are responsible for making sure you have what you need and if you don't the only person to blame is you. I would tell my self to be aware of my surroundings and always pay attention to what is going on. Applying for as many scholarships and grants as you can its very important because COLLEGE IS NOT CHEAP! It is never too late to get a head start on preparing for the future. While keeping all this in mind I would also tell myself to have fun take advantage of all the opportunities to learn and grow! The transition from high school to college is a little easier if you have a plan. Saving money and spending wisely is the key. You will meet different people who are about different things, keep your goals in mind and choose your friends wisely. Always be on the look out for opportunities to save and receive money to help you with school. Most of all never lose your focus.

Casey

I would have worked a little harder in high school to get my GPA up, so I could have got the Tennessee Hope Scholarship. But I was young and didn't know any better at the time. But the main thing would be to tell myself, ":you better work harder and get that GPA up high."

Rachel

Pick a college that best suits your personality. Make sure that you won't get lost in a big college if you are a person who doesn't like big crowds. Try to go away to college because it makes you grow up and take on responsibilty. It also makes you appreciate everything that your parents have done for you. Give yourself a chance to like your college once you get there. Don't stay for a week and get homesick and give up and go home, stay for the first semester and give yourself time to adjust. Make a wise choice about how much the tuition is going to cost you compared to what you will be making when you get out. Don't pay $40,000 a year for tuition to get a job making $30,000 a year. Don't waist your parents or your money when you get there. Try your best and get the best grades possible. Make sure you do your very best the first semester because you do not want to dig yourself in a hole with your GPA and then try to make it up over the next 3 1/2 years.

Taylor

Dear Taylor, Only 116 more days, right? Then, you get to go to UT Martin. I just want you to know, that you are not as prepared as you think you are. You are moving four hours away, and you only know one person there. I know you are really ready and invested on this, and I don't want you to lose that, but you really have to realized high school is NOT college. It is rough. You will be confused; you will falter. It does suck, but you know what? It is okay! Seriously, I know you don't believe me, and probably think I am crazy, and you might be right. However, this is just a part of life to get used to. You will get knocked down and blindsighted. It won't be easy. Just think of it this way, everytime you get knocked down instead of thinking you have to dust yourself off, think of it as you are being sugar coated, and each time you can make your life sweeter from the experience. Like I said, trust me on this one. There is so much to learn! Love, Taylor P.S.- Pack lightly, too.

Krystal

I would tell myself that I should get out more and be more sociable. There are so many things that could help you along the way. I would also advise myself to expect the unexpected and no matter what happens always keep going until you make it through.

April

I would go back and tell myself to join the clubs I normally am in. I would, also, prepare myself with studying more for my tests. I would tell myself not to let the senioritis kick in and to work hard on all school work until I reach the end of the finish line. Graduating high school is a big step, but mostly I would tell myself to take it all in, because college is definitely nothing like high school. There will be chocies you have to make in college that you do not face in high school. Such as, what courses will benefit you most, what career choice will make you happiest the most, and whether to go to class or skip.

Amanda

Amanda, you stress a lot - way too much. Yes, it is important to do well, and to succeed academically, but it is even more important to remember that life is a journey - not merely a series of destinations. Continue to push yourself and to strive for excellence; you will go far and achieve everything that you had dreamed, but, at the same time, don't forget what this journey is all about. You will meet some of the most amazing people on the planet during your time at UTM, and you will be blessed with so many incredible opportunities. Cherish them all, because, at the end of the day, it's not the "A" on the Biochemistry test that you will remember with such fondness; it's the moments of laughter or even tears with the people that you care about and those that care about you. Maintain that drive to succeed - you will go far, but as you race down the superspeedway that we call life, don't simply let the miles fly by. Take the time to enjoy the scenery and to appreciate your traveling companions along the way. Life is a journey - enjoy the ride.

Tori

I would tell myself to stay focused, calm, and collected, because college isn't something to hassel over.

Karen

To high school Karen: Do scholarship research earlier and independently of the guidance counselor. There are not as many out there that you qualify for as you would expect. Apply for state schools. This will be easier on you financially. Stick to the small colleges, as your small high school has unknowingly set your preference to little classes and personal relationships with your teachers. I know you think they are not as good as the large universities, but you are wrong. Do not let yourself get discouraged easily. Join clubs on campus and speak up in class and the friends will come. Be on good terms with whoever your roommates are. You never know when you may need their support. Do not fear the teachers. They are not all that different from the ones you have now, and they are not nearly as petrifying in person as they seem when they are standing at the lecture podium. Choose a practical major. I know that French literature major sounds wonderful now, but trust me, you will regret it when you are a college graduate who works as a barista. Finally: enjoy it. These will be the best years of your life.

Jacquelyn

I would tell myself to build better study habits. While high school may seem like a breeze academically, college is another ball game. More material is covered in smaller incriments of time and it progresses with each lecture. My advisor said to spend 2 hours studying for each hour in class. While this isn't true for most elective classes, your core classes will require that much attention if not more. Notecards, study groups, and note groups are the best way "your future self" has learned to study. Had I been given this advice prior to school, I more than likely wouldn't have bombed that first Biology 130 test. You're smart but not a know it all so learn to study, even if you think you know the material. Whats wrong with reinforcement anyways?

keira

I would say to myself that I need to become a better studier and test taker, because in college that is what you do the most of and you dont want to be behind in school bceause of that.

Clarissa

I would tell myself to learn time management better. Knowing how to split your time up among the different projects and assignments is very important. If I knew that during my freshman year of college, I think I would have done alot better. I would also tell myself to ignore anything that may seem to get in the way of my ability and don't allow people to try to defer me from my dreams. I would tell myself that college isn't as easy and to make sure you put your all in doing so. I would say keep yourself focused on the end result and forget about the rest; just keep my motivation up.

Samquia

Because of my confusion about my major for a long while, I have experienced many different classes during my study at this university. Thankfully, the university itself encourages diversity in the core curriculum. The experiences I have gained while participating in these variety of classes is priceless to me. Although the courses are different, many of the same problems and concerns are addressed simulataneously. I often found myself recalling lessons from one discipline which I could apply to another discipline. As such, the value of attending college is these diverse experiences which you cannot find anywhere else. And as a result of these experiences, I have discovered that regardless of what major you choose, or if you choose a major at all, college serves to educate and enrich the human population. And this process is a driving force behind innovation and progress.

Janelle

The main thing I have gained at UT Martin has been independence. As typical an answer this is for a college student, it is absolutely true. I have never been great at prioritizing and making plans for myself. I was, quite frankly, a very sheltered child. Living away from home has taught me to rely on myself instead of just expecting things to just happen. Previously I would have just shook my head at some things and said that they would never turn out right. Now I am open to try new things and meet new people. College, most of all, hasn't changed me- it has opened my eyes to another, more mature, free me.

AMANDA

THAT WHILE IN SCHOOL YOU LEARN SO MUCH AND MEET ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE. THE EXPERIENCE I HAVE ATAINED TO HARD WORK ETHICS AND PATIENCE AND ALOT OF RESPECT AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE.

John

I have gotten many things from my experience as an undergrad student. First and foremost is my education i've received there. It has helped prepare me for life after college. Second, A large group of lifelong friends. Being in a greek fraternity, i've come know many people, and have made more friends than i ever would have if i hadn't have gone to college. Thirdly, I've come to gain a sense of self discipline and personal responsibility that will help me succeed later on when i complete my undergraduate program and start life in the career world. This has been valuable to me, not only for the reasons mentioned above, but because this experience has taught me to be productive member of society as well as a how to hopefully one day become a valuable individual in the field of work that i go into.

tyler

MY proffesors create an environment that mimics that of the place of work that you are hoping to one day do. They do not grade based on merit, but customer satisfaction. That environment allows for the student to be better equipted to deal with clients in the futre. Many colleges cant say that they offer the same type of structure. IT is that environment that will allow me as a student become more and more of what I need to be and less of what I shouldnt.

Michael

I've learned how to deal with my issues about being alone.

Kamela

I have gotten a lot out of my college experience . Some of it has been good and some not so good. I have learned how to live with different types of people. I have also learned how to be more independent and self sufficient. I have learned about different cultures and how to respect and understand people that are different from me. In conclusion I learned that education is truly important and it can open your eyes to a whole new world.

Morgan

My college experiance was a bit rocky. I thought that heading off to a university straight out of highschool was the right thing for me, but unfortunatly it wasn't the right time. I attended U of D Mercy. The campus was really nice. There was a diverse mix of people there and most of the people were willing to help me if I needed. Unfortunaly though, pressure from my parents, friends, and society made me rush into a decision that I just wasn't ready for. I wasn't ready to be on a big campus and doing all the university work. I couldn't handle it so I did drop out. But, after taking a few years off, I am now ready to get back into school and start my college career. After being in the work force I've been around many older people that have encouraged me to learn from their mistakes and get back in school. I don't want to work in the mall forever. In this economy having a college career is very important and I am now ready and alot more mature then I was back in 2006.

brad

I pictured college to be so different then what it actually is. I'm pretty shy around people. I can be outgoing when I have to be, but I have hard time just flat out being myself around certain people. It's hard to make alot of "close friends" at college. I'm trying to make the most of it.

Kameron

I have had a blast at UTM this year i have made so many new friends and have gotten the chance to live away from home. I feel that i have become more responsible and harderworking.

Jordon

I believe that my college experience has helped me mature by giving me a valuable education experience. I also think I have been able to to make lasting relationships with both my classmates and professors. I have become much more active in both my college and hometown community.

Andrew

If I could go back intime and talk to myself my senior year of high scool the first thing I would say would be "relax college is going to be great. " However never give up it is not always easy, but anything worth having is worth working for. Do not forget what your coming to college for. Grades are top priority, but there will be plenty of help when you need it. Just keep the will power up and everything will come through. There will be plenty of people who have your back. The second, piece of advice would be to get involved. There is still plenty of time to have fun, so take advantage of it and live it up. Being involved will open all kinds of doors and future opportunities. These doors and opportunities will make the hard road of success a little easier, so do not be shy. The third, piece of advice would be to be carefull with your money. Keep a close eye on what your buying. Only buy what is truely needed. The time will come for buying things that are wanted, but for know only buy what is needed and save your money.

Annette

I would tell myself that no matter what has happened or what will happen never give up on your dreams, finish what you start, and by all means do not let anyone tell you "you will never make it", you can do anything that you set your mind to. Always go forward and not back. Always remember you are a survivor and not a victim. You are only a victim if you let yourself be.

Glenda

I would tell myself to not be so picky about trying to get away from home and to pick a college that fits me finacially as well as major wise. To apply to a number of schools instead of just one. Having a number of options makes the stress of finding the right college a little less stressful. To take the advanced placement classes for English and American History so I don't have to retake them and waste credit hours I could use for something else in college. I would tell myself to prepare myself and start looking for colleges early on so I could qualify for the scholarships that each school offers and make the heavy weight of worry about being able to even go to college a little less heavier.

Kristina

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would warn myself about how hard you have to work to keep up your grades. I would also talk about how great it is to live on campus and to be in a sorority where everyone knows each other. The last thing I would say is that I know I can make it in college, but I will have to make every effort to get good grades in order to keep my scholarships and not to oversleep and miss class.

Amanda

Knowing what I know now, I would give myself, as a high school senior, advice about college classes and college life. It is helpful to read the textbooks ahead of time. This allows you to have a general idea of the content of the lecture. Then, you can concentrate on the points the teacher makes. Find your classrooms before class time in order to prevent the awkwardness of walking in late. Write down all due dates in one place as to not overlook anything. Also, recognize your major early. You will know all of the classes needed to graduate and not register for classes that would not count toward your major.Your life in college is about finding yourself. It is important to not feel pressured to do certain things, but make yourself uncomfortable by putting yourself into new situations and try new things. For example, attend a self-defense class or a debate meeting. Accept yourself, both personality and body. Additionally, do not worry about uncontrollable things. No matter how dire the circumstances seem?the sun will rise tomorrow and everything will be fine!

Shawnna

I would tell myself not to procrastinate. To take life seriously, because usually if you put things off, they generally will not get done. Make a life for yourself. Never settle for anything but what is best for you. A college education can mean a whole world of difference when it comes to choosing a career.

Alyssa

If i could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to enjoy every moment, be more prepared, take some advanced placement classes, and to study more. College is nothing to rush into, therefore enjoy every moment until you have to go. Be more prepared, as in being ready to be on your own and becoming a mature, responsible young adult. Not taking advanced placement classes senior year may be the easy way out, but by taking them senior year you will benefit majorly in college from. Studying is a big part of not only senior year, but college. Do not lose your study skills and study more so that you are in the habit of studying and can become a better student and have better study skills for college, so that you can succeed.

Sarah

After completing twenty-eight credit hours with a 3.5 GPA, I have learned the secret to succeeding in college: there is no real secret. As a high school student I dreaded college. People always told me that it is much harder than high school, the homework load is overwhelming, and the professors are not helpful. And they were right. The classes are difficult, there is a lot of homework, and professors expect their students to keep up with assignments without needing too much assistance. Yet, if I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that it is not impossible. I was so anxious then that I would fail, but now I know that I can do well. Although the classes are hard, anyone can receive passing grades if they will attend every class, take every test and complete every assignment. Homework is challenging, but it is possible to finish it all if I set aside study time and do not let myself become distracted. I have learned that professors expect their students to be responsible, but not to know everything. The only secrets to succeeding are focus and hard work.

Mae

If you stop trying to hide from yourself and your life, you'll find it much easier to dedicate yourself to your schoolwork. Work hard at what's coming at you, you'll have a daughter in a few years and you're going to want to be a mother that she can be proud of, and as a college drop-out, you'll never feel like a mother worthy of such an amazing little girl. Try actually dedicating yourself to your studies instead of folding into yourself.

Kayla

I would tell myself to wake up! The real world is coming fast and it's going to smack you in the face because you aren't ready! I would tell myself to quit spending money for no reason, study more and play less, look for scholarships! I would tell myself to quit wasting time. Do as much as you can to make the best grades you can to qualify for as many scholarships available. Study more for your ACT. Every little thing you do helps or hurts your future in some way. Learn now while you still can how to be independent, disciplined, structured, focused. Learn while you still have the time.

Katie

Do not get "senioritis". This is a term that many seniors use to explain their unwillingness to work. Your senior year is very important and it is important to keep your mind sharp during that time in order to get the last minute preparations that are very neccesarry for college. It is important learn all you can before you get thrown into college life. Organization is also very important. It is close to impossible to remember all your assignments in college so write them down in a planner. High school is a good place to get into the habit of doing so.

Amy

Other than giving myself advice to study a little more, meet as many people as I can, and doing my best at everything I would tell myself to forget about everyone else exepct me. Going to college is not about going to have a social life, its not about proving to other people our better then they are. I would tell myself to go to college for me. To prove just to me that I made it. My parents, family and friends cant do my homework or go to class, I have to. I would tell myself to keep going for me. But that the support of family and friends is important too.

Tyler

One thing that I would definatly try to tell my high school self is to enjoy every moment of my senior year and college. Granted this is not directly related to schoolastic events, I feel that i overlooked many experiances that could have otherwise been very enjoyable. I would have told myself to look into any schoolarship opprotunities and to stay in touch with my family and friends. I would have also stressed that i needed to register for classes as early as possible in order to get the classes that I desired. One other thing that I would tell my high school self is to pay attention to job opprotunities and try a little harder to get a job when I transfered to UTM. And to live life, and stay true to my beliefs.

Dana

My advice to myself would be to get involoved and try my hardest in everything. Affording college is easy... as long as you have an excellent GPA and lots of extra cirricular activities and volunteer work. I did good in school, but its very hard for me to get alot of scholarships (even with my parents' low income), because I didn't participate in a lot of clubs or organizations and i didn't try my 100% best in every thing i did. I wish I could go back now and tell myself to work harder and get involved more. I believe education is something that shouldn't be played with, however I got caught up my senior year of high school and am now feeling the effects of my actions. If I would have put forth 100% effort and participated in school activites, I would have won scholarships, had enough money to go to school, and focus more on my education versus loans and debt,

Brooke

Going back in time, I would tell myself to not waste time on classes that won't count towards my major. I have recently found out i took classes that won't count towards my major hours. I would also tell myself to buckle down and study as hard as I can, since my high school taught me no good study skills. College requires intensive studying and if I would've known that when I first started college I would have made myself study a lot harder than I have been studying.

James

I would tell myself nto to be so nervous and not to get so worked up and anxious.

Mary

Dear Younger, Dumber Mary Beth, You canNOT cook eggs in a cake pan... you will have to evacuate the building along with the other residents when the cake pan on the stove sets off the alarms. I know people make fun of you in high school for being so tall, when you get to college people will think it's cool! :) Don't date Tim. Keep Bryan. Start recycling now- our world really is in trouble. Most of all- be yourself and soak college up... it flies by too fast. :( You will make amazing friends! You will stay up waaaay to late playing guitar hero with crazy people when you have an 8:00 am test the next morning... TOTALLY WORTH IT! Dad will get pancreatic cancer- spend as much time with him as you can while he's healthy. Laugh 'til your mouth hurts. You think you can pay for college yourself? You did :) Even though mom and dad tried to give you money, you did it yourself! Crap happens- flush it. Be yourself- plain ol' Mary Beth from a little town in Tennessee and you'll be ok! :) - Trust Me On This One! - Wiser, Mary Beth

Aleshia

As a high school senior, I was very anxious about college. I knew it would be hard, but I was always curious as to how hard it would be. Would I be able to do it? I feel as if I doubted myself often, so my advice would be to have confidence in yourself, first of all. Also, I did not tour one single campus my whole senior year, which was a mistake. I'm curious if I would have picked another University if I could have seen one; so definitely take campus tours. My first semester of college was brutal. I had no idea how to study or take good notes. The stress was extreme. If I could do it again, I would tell my inner high school senior self to study more, so that I would be prepared for work in college. Lastly, I would tell myself to be more outgoing. I've always been a shy girl, but college allows you to change yourself into whoever you want to be. I've learned from my mistakes, and hope for a positive experience for the rest of my undergraduate career.