The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Top Questions

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

cristina

the most valuable thing that i have attained out of my college experience is the strive for commitment,because commitment unlocks the doors of success. perseverance will always be present if you remain commited toward your life term goal.

Miriam

During my college experience, I learned how to go after my dreams. To raise my hand again after answering wrong last time. And how to learn from my fellow colleages dispite our differences. These things hold great value for my future because, now I will be confident in the decisions I make, such as my career. I will be unhindered by the mistakes I might make, but at the same time learn from them and be willing to keep trying. Last, I will be able to apply my experience with others to cooperate with those I meet in the future. Thank you very much for the opportunity!

Leonardo

I have obtained the responsibilities needed to lead an organized and productive life through my university. I have also learned to value everything my parents have given me, because although this university's tuition is low, college students require books and other supplies which may come costly. Having to earn those posessions and valuing my parents' efforts to put me in college is something else that the college experience has taught me in an indirect manner.

Celeste

My college experience has yet to begin but I'm highly anticipating its arrival! I attended my college's freshman orientation and freshman camp and I couldn't be more excited for college. The orientation made me feel that I was going to experience something life changing, I could feel that this college wanted me to do well my first year. The freshman camp was just something out of this world! Each day was filled with activities to strengthen the spirit of the university and to get to know your fellow freshman. I made memories and friends that will stay with me no matter what comes my way. When people say your high school friends are for now, but your college friends are forever they knew what they said. They knew that college was going to be an unforgettable experience. This is my time for me to be an independent individual college was just the step now I have to grab the rest with my own hands.

Lorena

What I have received from my college experience is a good education and more confidence in myself. Before college I want sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life or where exactly I was going. After I received my high school diploma I ran off with my ex boyfriend to Dallas where I lived for two years. In those two years I did not attend college and myself worth was low because of it. I had been raised to always put education first and in not doing so I knew I was never going to reach my full potential. After two years I finally went back home and attended college. Besides me getting a higher education myself worth began to rise. I knew that going to college and getting my degree should have always been my priority and it wasn’t until I put my education first that I realized how unhappy I was without it. Acollege degree is a requirement for most careers and because I one day hope to open up my own business I know it’s a must. With a college education I will reach my full potential and accomplish all my dreams.

Eric

There are many learned attributes from the college experience that are useful in life and the work environment. Nobody goes to college to be a better person; It is because they want a better job. So I will concentrate on work related skills learned. Working on difficult homework assignments begat networking with students in the same classes in order to solve these problems. Figuring out why simple reactions did not work in the lab was an important problem solving skill used in the chemical industry. Multi-tasking was having multiple classes with lots of homework due usually at the same time. The most important computer skills learned would be word and excel. Every chemist uses these two programs with excel at a masters level. Dedication was a learned trait when spending copious amounts of time on a particular class, not giving up, knowing it will pay off in the end. Paying my way though college by working part time taut me how to save money and be frugal. This is important when working for a company whom the employee has to order materials. Everyone wants to save money, and managers care about the bottom line.

Christian

At first, I was afraid of going to college due to a transition of schools and levels in my academic career. I feared getting lost or arriving late to my classes. Once I started school at the University of Texas Pan American, I felt so comfortable the very first week of classes. It was interesting but many new students didn't fear to walk up to me and make conversations nor did the professors hesitate to ask if I needed help. With that in mind, it definetely made my college experience a much calm and pleasant one. It also has been very valuable to attend to such a university because my advisor literally laid out a course outline of what classes should be best for me to take as to my degree plan. That just made me think that they are doing so much work for me just to see me graduate one day. Each and every day I attend school, I feel very motivated and determined in striving hard to reach my goals. Overall I have had an awesome college experience.

Jazmin

I'm a first generation college student who's always known that the best way to a prosperous and healthy living life is through education. While I've been in college my thoughts have only been affirmed. I've met incredible people and made good connections. In my opinion, any hard work now will be worth it later.

Crystal

I have learned to become a more responsible young adult. College has showed me that it takes hard work and dedication to get what I really want in life. My experience so far has taught me that I can be pretty much who ever I want to be as long as I set my mind to it and keep pushing forward. I've learned so much from my professors and am thankful to have an education. Every lecture and presentation I sat through has helped me to expand my mind and way of thinking. Im glad I did all those readings, homework assignments, and late night study sessions because without attending college I wouldn't know as much as I know now and thats what I value most.

Eliel

I have met a lot of different people . I tolerated other points of view of my peers. I have learn a lot.

Diana

At first as a new comer to the university I didn't have hope for much. As I enrolled in the classes and attended lectures I figured that being there was a crucial part ot the rest of my life. I noticed the influence I could make in my younger siblings if only i stuck to it. I focused on how I could be a good example for my siblings and close friends to follow. I also took pride in the fact that not only my siblings would feel proud of me, but most importantly, my parents. I suddenly found myself learning and enjoyed doing it too. I never thereafter wanted to miss any of my lectures fearing i would loose alot of important information crucial to my excellence in my college life.

Travis

What I have gained from my college experience, is that in order to reach new levels, you need to work hard and do the best you can in everything you do. Studying, managing time, keeping yourself busy and allowing others to help you and helping others is what has taught me alot to be a better person in life. My college experience pretty much helped open my eyes to trying to become a more independent individual, as well as making better choices for myself to help me in my future endeavors. It's allowed me to make friends, as well as helping me to find a sense of purpose for myself, as well as helping me to expand my mind and views on alot of the things around me.

Johnny

What I have gotten out of my college experience, by far, is the necessity to work harder and push myselfe in every class because without giving my best I cannot succeed. Attendance is crucial in order to obtain as much information as possible, as well as studdying outside of classes, in order to maximize my chances to obtain a good grade and further my career in the field of my choice.

tanya

When I was in high school I really didn't have people from other ethnicities other than Hispanic students and in UTPA there is a lot of diversity in cultures and I didn't realize there were more people than Mexicans living in the valley. My elementary, jr. high, and high school was only populated by Mexicans and very few white people. I never saw a black person or Asian and I think that UTPA has helped me be more diverse and more open to other cultures and customs. UTPA has also helped me overcome my depression and my mental illnesses. I was a very depressed person in high school and in college people are more open minded.My classmates don't care if I'm big or small, white or brown, and straight or gay. This university has helped me in so many ways. Myforst year I had a rough start but I was able to overcome all the obstacles life has given me and it is all thanks to this university. It has helped me understand and love myself for who I am and not what other people want me to be.

Nadia

If I could go back to my senior year, which was not so long ago, I would tell myself that where you go isn't as important as what you do. I had always aspired to attend an Ivy League, upper tier school, but when given an opportunity at conditional accpetance to Medical School, I had to sacrifice my prestigious dreams for an undergraduate education closer to home. Now that I have experience a year in college, being in a small town and at my school is not so bad. The people are friendly and the somewhat small size gives you a lot of the advantages of going to private school, without the enormous price tag! Also, I'd remind myself to relax once in a while. High school was a time in my life where I felt isolated, and in college you meet so many fun and new and different people, that you should really take advantage of enjoying the new company, while maintaining focus and a great GPA. Also, I would advise myself to become more involved in extra-curricular activites and getting to know what my campus has to offer.

Samantha

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to not worry about the social aspect of school and to focus on education because that is what is most important. I, as well as most of my classmates, are guilty of putting too much emphasis on "fitting in" in high school and would constantly feel the pressure of what other people expected out of us. Being in my last year of college I have realized that while having good friends and being happy is important, nothing is more important than a quality education. Knowing how to balance your social interactions with school work such as including your friends in study groups is crucial for success in the college environment and in life in general.

Gina

If i were to ever go back in time to high school, I would totally let myself know about the independence I'm going to feel when I live in the dorms and developing a relation with my whole dorm floor and we watch out for each other because we 're all away from our families. I would make sure to tell myself not to worry because their are other people there in the dorms that can help me with my homework and develop great communitcation skills with study groups and making new college friends. Most importantly the decision I made of getting a new laptop totally helps, because of all the typing I'm going to do with my english classes and all the school supplies i stocked up with over the summer because I literally help most of my dorm floor from being kicked out of class from not coming prepared. The best part of all with the living experience of being in the dorms is we established a buddy system if we every go out on campus after nine, if we go to the library or computer lab to find or finish homework.

Mario

Making the transition from high school to a college life is going to be challenging. You may suffer from being homesick, bad study habits, and many other challenges other freshman face when they make the transition from high school to the college. However, if you forget anything else don't forget your number one reason attending college, which is to be successful. Breaking the barriers that was placed on your family, your mom struggling to make ends meet, trying work two jobs, attain a masters degree, and raise two teenage kids while one in college. It was hard to witness your strong, determined, single-parent mother do it all by herself but she did it. Now as you end this chapter of your life and begin another chapter of your life at college you must remain stable and driven. Success is something you must work hard for and it will definitely will not be handed to you. So take advantage of every positive opportunity you have because success may lie within, and if you dont discover and take risk you may never find success. So make your mom proud like she has made you and believe because anything is possible.

Robyn

Given the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a senior in high school, I would tell myself that it is time to open my eyes and face reality. Life does not always go as you plan it. A strong recommendation that I must give myself is to ask questions and learn as much as possible in high school because once you get to college the professors really are not as hands on. It is all up to you on whether you decide to succeed or not. You must be disciplined to achieve what you want in college. Prepare yourself for the college life because once you are there you are on your own. It is a whole different world.

Sara

I would sit my high school senior self down and look her in the eye and say this: "Get your act together. Sure, you can get by with just an hour of studying the night before and doing homework on the bus but in college, it's different. The teachers can tell you aren't turning in your best work. They can tell that you aren't paying attention and class. They want you to make good grades and be successful. But they aren't your babysitter or your parents. They will give you the grades you deserve. Work hard and the grades you get back will reflect the amount of effort you put in. I know what your capable of. Prove me right."

sonny

If i could go back to my senior year of high school . I would have definately told myself to take as many college courses as you could and be more out going. I would also tell myself to just cherish high school and not rush through it cause once you get into college your problems start to happen.

Seham

iI i went back in time I would tell myself to take more college credit classes not only to get ahead, but also to save money. I would have joined more clubs and organizations, to be more involved. I would have pushed myself to have done better in school and to get straight A's, because slacking of then will make me pay for it now. So over all if i went back in time I would say to stay more focus and work hard beacuse in the end it will all pay off.

Carolina

Oh wow, you have nothing to worry about. If anything people are nicer in college than in high school. No clicks, no drama, no immature little kids running around thinking they're all cool! I honestly think high school teachers were just trying to scare you, don't know what they're problem was. Good thing you chose Music as your major. Everyone else is running around not knowing what to "do with their life." You love music and always have, so just stick to what YOU really want, its in your blood. Its going to be tough no doubt about it, but if you really want it, nothing can stop you. So just enjoy the moment, keeping singing, and sooner or later everything will fall into place;)

Vanessa

Vanessa pay attention! This is what I would constantly remind myself if I could go back in time. I would tell myself to sit in the front of the class and ask all and any questions that I could, especially when it came time for Math. I would tell myself, it does not matter what others say or think- do it for yourself, for your future, ensure yourself a prospersous future- both financially and personally. Learn to ask questions now and college will be a breeze. I would remind myself that numbers hold the keys to success. A physical therapist must master many science classes in order to be successful, thus working harder during my high school years will ensure a smooth tenure in college. I would also advice myself that beauty comes from within just as much, if not more, than visual beauty. Other than that, I accomplished much while in high school, both academically and socially. I would remind myself to continue my school and community volunteering because they are not a waste of time because I will turn out to be a mature, responsible, committed, compassionate, well-rounded young lady whom will be environmentaly friendly as well.

Nicole

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would warn my self two things. The first warning would be to not knock down UTPA because it's a school in the Rio Grande Valley. At this school, you will find great opportunities to help benefit your skills in the multimedia field. You will even get to use the fancy Canon XLR cameras as a Freshman! In UT Austin, they wouldn't be able to do something like that until they're a senior! You're going to learn how to use so many amazing editing programs, and as a freshman, you will already be creating things for your portfolio. The second warning is to not be so quick to judge on a persons merit. These people are going to end up surprising you, and you will gain some wonderful friends if you are more patient with people. You will have a great time, but just remember these warnings. It will make the transition a lot simpler and your life a lot happier.

Brianna

I would tell myself to stop stressing! love yourself, you will do wonderful in college. The faculty and staff are currtious and kind. Mrs. Cross will help you with EVERYTHING you need. Brianna, you will succeed and become an English teacher with life-long friends from your sorority Delta-Zeta.

Bianca

If I would go back in time I would love to tell myself to have uttermost confidence in what I am doing and not to overstress the little things. Just keep focusing in what you are doing and make sure to not forget that my friends will always be there to help especially my family.

Magaly

I would tell myself to pay more attention in class so I could have better grades, so I would apply to scholarships. High School is not that hard as compared to college so I would of had a better chance of getting a scholarship. I know I have a lot of potential and I should of applied that in highschool not just goof around. Also I would of stayed in my tennis team and not quit because that leads into more scholarships and a better life.

Lisa

If I could go back in time a year and speak to my senior self I would stress the importance of applying for scholarships. I am now in my second semester of college and at the beginning of both semesters I had to take out an emergency loan which is basically an extesion. I applyed for financial aide but got little to none from the government. So I work nights after school. The lack of money and the ability to pay has been the hardest part of college. I've always been a smart person so I knew that as long as I applied myself I would do just fine. If I could go back and speak to my senior self I would tell myself that any open possibility to financial should be jumped on because struggling to pay for tuition, fees, and books is extremely hard. I wish that a year or a year and a half ago I had listened when people were telling us seniors to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Maybe I would've listened to myself.

Amy

I would tell myself ,"Amy, quit procrastinating on your work. It's tempting to wait until the last minute to finish a project or an essay, but in the end, the stress of doing the project or essay in just a few hours will hurt you both emotionally and physically." I would also tell myself , "I know school is a lot of work. At times it may seem like you have all of your assignments crashing down on you at once with their due dates, but just breathe, and take your work one day at a time. You'll make it through, I promise."

connie

Going to college isn't about partying every weekend and going out all the time to shop. Finacial is a huge responsible and now that we are in a recession, money doesn't grow on trees. Tuition and just going to college is expensive. We as students in high school don't think about that because we just tell ourselves, "well our parents are going to pay for it, so it doesn't matter". It's not like that at all. Partying is the last thing I want to do. All partying does is waste money for you to have fun for one night. There's soo many things to do on campus that doesn't include money or students geting wasted. Money is very important and once you get into college you will realize how much important it is. If you're responsible finacially, college will be hard for you. especially being a single parent at such a youg age, I only use my money if I really need to use it. So when you go to college, think about why you're going and how you can be responsible money wise.

denise

I would advise myself to get started on scholarships since my junior year in high school because at the last minute it is all so overwhelming and there is no where to turn. Also to not be so scared to try and go somewhere new and get informed with all the help that can be given to go there.

Felipe

I'm sure I would tell myself to start getting used to studying and using books. When I was in high school everything was really simple for me, I would understand the lectures by just taking some notes and paying attention to what the professor was teaching us, but now that I'm in college everything has changed. Now I have to read my books because some professors don't go that much into detail with what they are teaching or simply make us read the book and take tests online. I would also tell myself to start going to tutoring because I wasn't used to it, and since classes in college are harder than they were in high school, I have been attending tutoring for some classes up to 4 times a week! Now that a lot of things has changed, I really do wish that I could go back in time and warn myself about how college life was.

Luis

College at first may seem to be what you have on high school, nevertheless always be ready for new things which can turn to be harder, always be ready because they can come from nowhere, it will also depend on the professor but still, be ready and open minded becaues College is a life experience in every part of the world and it is not only on the academic side, but on meeting people, getting into programs, helping at school, anything... Be ready for the experience of your life!

Sandra

As a graduate of South Texas College with an associate degree in Criminal Justice, I have learned that what I was told, as far as getting prepared for college, wasn't sufficiant during my last year in high school. Going back to my senior year, i was told the most important thing to focus on was getting my financial aid application filled out. Little did I know, I would need a whole lot more information than that. Beginning, my first semester at STC it was decided that I wanted to persue a degree in teaching. I therefore began taking the classes needed to persue that degree. At the end of that semester, I realized that wasn't my calling. Throughout the years at STC, I decided that my passion in life was to help people. I decided to persue a degree in criminal justice. Changing my major several times, wasn't exactly what I had planned beginning college. The advice I would give myself, if i could go back, is to have a set career goal in mind so that my time at a college or university is not wasted and I may begin my future as soon as possible.

Ayissa

If I could go back in time as a high school senior I would probably have taken more college classes in high school. I was very diligent and hardworking when it came to both my high school courses and my dual enrollment college classes but, I think I could have handled more. I probably would have been more focused on trying to find scholarships as well, because the cost of universities and books are only getting pricier each year. I would have maybe even tried to get out of high school faster so I could start college at a younger age; I believe I was prepared for the transition earlier than most. If I could go back I would also tell myself not to be scared about going to college because these past few years have been the most exciting and interesting times of my life.

Savannah

Whatever you do don't take the time, classes, and money for granted. Your friends will always be your friends, if they're true to it. I had to retake about 10 classes and at the time I would say, "Well it's my money and I could do what i want with it, money's money" (This is when I had a job). Now a junior and in the second half of my fourth year i regret ever thinking that. I wasted a year on those retakes and I could have been one semester away from graduation. The only thing I didn't want to do was get loans and thats the one thing I did. The money that was made while working those past three years could have been saved to pay for grad school or even a new car...and instead I have loans, school, and books to pay for still. One positive thing that I see in myself today is that now more than ever I am focused on school and know what I have to do to finish.

Sahrai

If I could go back to my high school senior year; I would tell my younger self to do more community service and take as many college courses as I could. I would tell myself to try harder to raise my gpa so that i would qualify for more scholarships and grants. Also to be involved with more student organizations be more informed on what benefited me more to study since i've always wanted to be an International Business Major and minor in French, German, Russian and many more. This advise would've really helped me when I was a High School senior in high school.

Diego

I would first say to hit the gym as fast as i could and not be afraid of it for a couple of months. Also to not be a so worried and stressed. throughout my whole life, i had always been told to fear college because of all the studying and teachers strict tests. After my first semester it was not as scary and difficult as it hought it would be. Yes there is studying and being organized but as long as I put in the work and do not get lazy, i would be alright. i would just tell myself to step back and take it one day at a time and enjoy college. Also, sign up for scholarships as fast as i could so i dont get stuck like i did this year. The money will always catch up to you.

Raul

Given what i know now and what i did back then i would tell myself to have completed more scholarship applications for the college of my choice instead of "enjoying my senior year". Not that you shouldnt enjoy your senior year, but with college there is so much more to enjoy and even though i did not go to the college of my choice i found that this college which i never payed much attention to was probably the best choice i could've made. Must be fate, we all wind up where we were meant to go, in short i believe the best advice i could've given myself is to simply relax, apply for more general scholarships, so that wherever i would decide to go, financial status wouldn't be an issue.

michelle

I would tell myself to designate about twenty minutes to each class to peruse my notes and reflect on everything I learned that day in class. I would have told myself to sacrifice one night out a week and dedicate the time to truly pursuing scholarships. When a became a collegiate athlete I discovered so many different techniques that I could have benefitted from in high school such as the increase in mileage ran per week, completely ballistic drills before interval workouts, and getting the right amount of sleep every night. I would tell myself to put school and athletics as top priority. I wasted an abundance of time with boyfriends and the constant desire to go out every weekend that I failed to see the bigger picture. Completing my first semester of college, I learned that I was capable of a lot more than I expected. All along I simply needed to apply myself a diminutive amount more and follow all the obliging hints my high school teachers gave me. The main tip I would give to myself as a high school senior is to focus on what is most important.

Fabiola

I have heard so many people who say: " Learn from your mistakes" . They say is the best way to grow up as a person. Even though I know it is so true what they say, I still i think there are so many advices that I would like to have had before getting in college. However, the most important advise I would give myself would be do not underestimate my brain. I used to think that people from different races were smarter than me just because sometimes their academic level is higher than here in the United States. I used to struggle a lot with that idea. It took me more than a year to understand that we can go as far as we want only if we have motivation, regardless of our race. If I had understood this before, I think I could have done more than what I did till now.

Pedro

I would give myself the advice to attend tutoring sessions when I could of and to don't feel embarrased to attend tutoring. ITo keep up to date with school and to be more involved with clubs that deal with the major I am going for in order to learn more and gets hands on training for the career I want to pursue.

Ezequiel

As a high school student I was young, careless, and full of life. I always sought for a higher education because I knew I have what it takes to make it not only in school but in life. I know that things are never hand given to you but earned. Life has it's obstacles and it is my job to pull through and get things done. Unfortunately I did not qualify for financial aid and my parents have to pay for my school out of their pocket. My parents are hard working self employed citizens and do not earn a lot of money. The advice I would provide myself with is to work hard, never give up and stay true to myself. I would have done my best to take more college courses while in high school, apply for more scholarships that would help my parents and I pay for my education, and also prepare myself to be ready for any sort of obstacle that I might come across as a student.

Marte

I would tell myself go for your dreams. Don't let fear hold you back from going to that school you really want too. Your parents are going to love you no matter what. Apply to more scholarships, don't rely on what you have now it doesn't last. Seriously, apply for money you will need it. School is not as bad as everybody makes it sound its fun, also be a little more outgoing, just be you.

Frankie

I would apply for more scholarships and tell myself to work hard and study because it does pay off. I would also tell myself to change the major i am considering at the time and try to work on what i am good at and not try anything new just yet.

Rolynda

First, I would tell myself that the transition from high school to college is just as hard as everyone says it is. I would tell myself to take those extra hours after class and before dinner to really go over notes from class. I would tell myself that everything seems harder away from home, but that if I just keep at my task, that I'll luck out and get where I need to be alot faster. Also, I would tell myself that saving money is probably the most important thing to do, even if that meant one less store to hit up at the mall. The main idea is that I would tell myself to be more frugal and also more out going. Much of the free food does come from attending more campus events, which I sadly missed out on alot because of my shyness. I would also tell myself to talk to my hall mates more, as they seemed interesting and nice. I would also tell myself that taking the time to really find out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, despite income, would save loads of time later on.

JUAN

If i was to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to strive at academics as much as possible. In this world you are can never fully suceed unless you have an education. A degree is crucial to not only making the kind of money you want but to be a leader in your society. People tend to respect those with education more than those without. Hit the books as hard as you can. Take advance placement classes, get college credit. Not only do you save money but you save yourself time. Ask questions, get scholarships and grants. Hold off on relationships and getting in trouble. Raise your GPA to have better opportunities. Think about what you want to be in the future. Go for your dreams, there will be obstacles along the way. If you focus while in high school, you'll probably be better off in college. Study as much as you can!!!

ELENA

GOD KNOWS, IF I knew THEN, what I know NOW, I'D DEFINITELY TELL MYSELF, TO STAY IN COLLEGE AND STOP WASTING MY TIME WITH "dead-end jobs" AND/OR "living in a Hollywood-party-world"! I always thought that as a teen-ager, living in the age of my 30s OR 40s were MANY years away--NOT! I always thought that I'd have LOTS OF TIME, to "party my life away", get ANY job for the time being, to pay my bills, and MAYBE SOMEDAY, go back to college when I'm "an old woman". HA, that "old woman" AND the age of my 30s & 40s DID "creep up on me, before I knew it"! Now I'm definitely regretting (BIG-TIME) the fact that, I DIDN'T finish AND/OR stayed in college, when I could've had the chance, in my early 20s, to FINISH! SOMETIMES I still want to quit, because I feel "so old" being back in college with all of these "young children" around me; BUT, I WON'T ALLOW MYSELF TO QUIT--AGAIN. Now, at my latest "old age", my education goal is: FINISH NOW, WHAT I NEVER FINISHED, 20 + YEARS AGO!

amber

Try harder! You should be in more AP classes, and take school more seriously. All of the work you do now will only make your college experience better, and give you more choices for your future! Everything you do now will matter later!

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