Trinity International University-Illinois Top Questions

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

Hannah

Hey there, 17-year-old me! When you came home today, there were two letters waiting for you on the kitchen table. You, being eager and hopeful, opened the larger one before you opened this. I don’t blame you, for that envelope contained the financial information of the college you dreamed of attending. Disappointed, you stared at the figures on the page and realized a new dream would have to take form. I know you’re scared to change your plans, but consider what philosopher Alan Watts once said: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Change is inevitable. Even just in these next two years that I have seen, you will experience an incredible amount of changes. Don’t be scared of change, but look at it as an opportunity to grow and become something you never could have imagined. Love your decisions, but don’t care if other people do. And don’t get too attached to that education major you’re planning on; 19-year-old you isn’t feeling it. Sincerely, Your older, more confident, and much-changed future self

Jordan

When you go to college, go with discipline. Maintain a rigid sleep schedule, and never make tomorrow miserable by enjoying just a couple extra hours with friends. The "Eight-hour Club" is an elite group of students who get the right amount of sleep on a regular basis and are able to fully function every day at school, allowing them to thrive rather than merely survive. This way, you will learn more, get better grades, and get more done in less time and with less frustration of your efforts. Discipline is the key to doing well in college. The paradox is that the more disciplined you are in getting things done right away and in getting the sleep that you need, the more time you end up having for fun.

Beth

I would tell myself not to be afraid about the workload. Syllabus shock is a real thing, and starting as a freshman and looking at everything you need to take to graduate is terrifying, but once you start you realize how manageable it all is. I would also advise myself to make sure that I continue calling and talking to the people that I love, and rely on in times of crisis. Falling out of touch with these people has made it much harder to deal with emotional breakdowns and upheavel during this time. I would also tell myself that I don't need nearly as much stuff as I'd like to pack, and to make a real effort to value my health by making good food choices and working out to avoid gaining any freshman weight.

Blessing

I was only 15 years old when i moved from Nigeria to United States of America. I had an accent and started high school as a junior in SSHS. With a very heavy accent I was scared, i had a lot of insecurities, When I walk through the hall way, I thought that everyone was judging me. By the time I was a senior nothing changed, I was able to make a friend but she died of Sickle Cell Anemia right before our high school greduation. That's when I decided to do something in medical filed in a way to give back and help people that needs my help. If I could go back to high school, to advice my high school self; I would tell myself to work harder. It doesn't matter where you come from, nor what kind of language you speak, nor what you look like. The only thing that matters is at the end, what happened with your life and what you could do to help others. I would advice her to dream louder, explore, discover and never give-up. Education and hard work is the key to success, and education is power.

Chloe

I would tell myself to study hard - if this is what you want to do, stick to it and don't give up. People will support you either way and you should graduate with flying colors. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't able to keep up the dream that you have. There will always be people that try to bring you down, but you have to tell yourself to keep moving on. To quote Albus Dumbledore - "It is our choices, Harry, that show us for what we truly are, far more than our abilities." That is something that you need to tell yourself every day. Don't give up!

Anahita

There are many things I would tell my former self. Do not to get caught up in the glitz and glam of everything and to read the fine print. When I first got to school, I got so caught up by all the big things and living in the city that I forgot about the small things. For example, I forgot about class sizes, I forgot about holding a job, I forgot about saving money, I forgot about the cost tutition, and I forgot to study. Another thing I would tell my high school self is to be realistic with my goals and not try and rush through everything. Sometimes we are so eager to grow up and be done with school, that we actually forget to enjoy it. So take a breather and take classes you enjoy. You have four years of college and before you know it, you enter the real world, so enjoy every second of it. The last peice of advice I would give myself is to not only visit the college you plan on attending, but to email them. Make sure they treat you like a real person and not just a demographic.

Erick

Two words come to mind stay focus. Always put all your effort in anything you do and make the first attempt count. Never shy away from a challeneges and to always offer a lending hand to those in need regardless if you alone are unable to fully solve the situation. Be confident in yourself and trust in your abilities even when friends, family, and adminastartive instituters condemn or disaprove of your strengths because there nothing in this world is impossible only difficult. Last but not least, always stand up to peer pressure and follow your career goal even if you are deem by "so called" friends a nerd, geek, teachers pet, or otherwise.

Michael

Buckle down. I know that in high school you are not thinking to much about the future and what it will be like, and I know that you don't know what it is like to hold too much responsibility, but start buckling down now. In school study hard and listen to your teachers, believe it or not they actually know what they are talking about. You should also get a job, college is expensive. So listen to this advice and when you get to college don't waist all of your time doing things that don't help you grow for the future.

Nathan

Don't be scared. It may seem like your whole world is changing-and to an extent it is-but change is not necessarily a bad thing. You will grow into a man of God through your time at Trinity and develop deeper relationships than you have ever known before. True, there will be a lot of work in your future at college, but you will be able to take it and thrive with His help. You will face other challenges with relationships and even some heart break along the way, but you will be stronger and better for it, I promise you. Always seek for a balance. Don't go overboard by having too much fun or by studying too much. Don't be too afraid to take risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Be brave. Be confident. Love yourself. God has made you! Take pride in that. Thank him. Believe He has a plan for your being here even if you don't understand it in the middle of the storm. Be strong and courageous and go forward into this new part of your life with boldness, with expectation, with hope!

Noah

If I could go back now as a freshman in college who had just completed his first semester of college and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself several pieces of advice. The first piece of advice would be to not focus on simply earning good grades while in high school, instead, I would tell myself to garner as much knowledge as I can in a particular class rather than attempting to gain the "A" in the class. Therefore, I would have been able to truly focus on getting the most out of my time while in that class. Oftentimes, I would sacrifice taking notes in class and paying attention to the teacher in class in turn for completing homework that I had not completed the previous night. Another piece of advice I would tell myself is to not procrastinate on applying for colleges and scholarships. Being more mature in meeting deadlines for applications and scholarships would have only helped in the long run since I would have saved myself the stress and weariness of typing up college and scholarship applications at the last minute. If only I knew then what I know now.

Syndana

The advice I would give myself is to stay spiritually focused keeping The Word of God first through Jesus Christ our Lord! Through these basic instructions before leaving earth (BIBLE), I am able to gain the wisdom I need to follow God's will in life in which dictates my path academically and my purpose in life. During my academic journery, I advise my self to stay focused and grasp all knowledge & wisdom God is showing me to full-fill my purpose in life "Helping Others". Stay focused on the prize are my final words!

Andrea

I would tell myself to calm down; to not be so freaked out about college and growing up. It's ok to step out and it's ok to be a little scared, but I promise it all gets better. I'd also tell myslef to truely think about the college I was selecting to attend. I know now that the first two colleges I went to weren't for me, so I would tell myself to really consider all of the educational options for me. Lastly I would tell myself to quit trying to salvage the surface friendships from highschool and to stay true to myself. That there are so many people out there who want to be friends with me because they like me. Friendships in college enter a whole new level of closeness and relationships that are going to last a lifetime. College is where I found out who I truely am and I would want my senior self to know how important it is to always be just me!

Tony

"Live because of, in light of, and for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Back when I was a senior in high school, I did not at all understand the ultimate significance of the Christian Gospel, that I am a depraved and condemned sinner in desperate need of grace, and that God fulfilled my desperate need by sending His Son Jesus Christ to take upon Himself the wrath of judgment that was due to me, and being resurrected that I too may live beyond death. I now understand that the Gospel is not just an important part of Christianity, but the very centerpiece of all of existence. I would tell myself that the Gospel is the purest of motivations for any decision or action, the clearest of philosophies for viewing life, and the most fulfilling of pruposes for living. None compares, and none will bring God more glory and bring you more delight in Him. Upon sinning, return to the Gospel, and find hope and repentance. Upon righteous actions, place your faith in the Gospel, for there is nothing a sinner can contribute to his own salvation, but Jesus's sacrifice is sufficient for salvation.

Kylie

When I was in high school, and even a first semester college freshman, I was very quiet and shy. I would say that college is the time and place where you can really discover who you are. Do not let the fear that plagued you in high school hold you back from meeting people from all different types of walks of life. Be bold and be outgoing. You will learn a lot about who you are, how you react in different situations, and what kind of people you want to be associated with when you get to college. Mom and Dad are not there to tell you what to do. It is a time to be independent and strong, but also observant, humble, and willing to learn.

Ashley

I would tell myself not to fall behind. The last term of high school, you really do not feel like doing anything but you just need to pull up your socks and continue on. It will all pay off in the end and soon enough summer will be there. Also, do not worry about what others think about you. So many times, the fact that you think no one likes you can really bring you down. High school relationships really do not matter. There are a few but for the most part people are still really immature at that age. By college they really start to grow up.

Alyssa

I would tell myself to be self-disciplined. College isn't about your parents forcing you to do homework and go to class anymore. College is about YOUR drive to succeed. If you have parents paying for it, even better! Use that money and experience wisely, and LEARN something! Don't just sit through your classes looking for ways to get out of doing the work and pay the least amount of attention. There are so many amazing things to be learned, even from the "boring" classes. You need to want to learn, so choose classes that interest you. And the ones that don't, like math, just focus on giving it your best and maybe making some friends. Make your college experience about you, now is the time to learn the skills you're going to be using in your future career for the rest of your life.

Taylor

After being in a community college and now looking into numerous scholarships for when I transfer, I know that my chances of not getting the scholarships I'm applying for greatly decreases because I was not active in clubs in high school. If I could go back, I would have told my high school self, even as a senior, to GET INVOLVED!

Stefany

I would say to be more open to meeting new people because transitioning into college can be very difficult especially being very attached to people back home. Also I would tell myself to be diligent in how I am involved in my community outside of school and be aware of the needs of the people in my community. Going to college can be a great experience and it can also give me tools and opportunities to give something back to my community. I would warn myself to not get too caught up in my studies and school life that I forget to take opportunities to serve outside of my school and really be genuine about caring for others in my community. Education can be a great thing but if that’s the only reason to go to college, to just gain head knowledgeand never apply it in a way that it can help others, then it becomes a waste of time. Finally I would challenge myself to doing everything that I do with excellence even when its hard, even when I may not want to; not for my glory but for the glory of He who made me.

Jeremy

I have learned a lot from attending college. I've grown in numerous ways and developed as a person greatly. I am extremely grateful that I am able to attend Trinity International University and I am blessed to have the means to continue to attend. I've learned so much from the fantastic professors I've had in the Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries programs, and they are great people to just get to know as well. The campus life at Trinity has been fantastic. I enjoy living on campus and plan on living there all four years that I attend. There are great times to be had and awesome new friends to make, and these will be the relationships that will last for the rest of my life. With TIU being a private school, it is quite a bit more expensive to attend than a public, state-funded school. I've always found a way to pay and continue at TIU, but I'm running out of options. Money has always been an issue in my family, and now more than ever. This scholarship would help me greatly. Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience.

Storm

I have been able to see a wide variety of people, perspectives, and beliefs while attending Trinity University. I am friends with students from California, Maryland, Brazil, and countless other places who are all obviously different because of the culture they grew up in. I have seen how different people view life in general, and also how people vary, if only slightly, from my own beliefs within the realm of Christianity. I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin, so attending a school where kids from around the world come together had given me a wider persepctive of the world and people in general. It has been truly fascinating to observe and learn from such a wide range of people.

Syerra

As of now, what I'm getting out of my college experience is that one has to work really hard to get what they want out of life. Yes, college is the place to do that but college is also a place to hang with friends, go to parties, and slack off because parents are not there telling what to do all the time. In college I feel is when many people, like myself, will learn the true essence of time management and doing what you have to do first so you can have fun later. Going back to the matter of working hard, college work is not easy. Not because is so complex, even in some cases it can be, but because it is a lot. A lot of reading and papers but, if one stays on top of their work they will come out just fine. Time management is a big part of your college experience so use your time well and be productive about it.

curtis

i have gotten out of my college experience is a new begining in life. After highschool thats when the real world begins like i wanna better my education in become something in life. I wanna succeed in wateva i do in i wanna master everything in college in i also wanna be the first one in my family to go to college so that i can make my family proud of me in thats i can actually say i succeeded n life n mastered my goal of becoming somthing in life. So what im really trying to say is that i really wanna win this schoolarship and i wanna make something of myself

Rebecca

What I have gotten from my time at Trinity International University has benefited me on a wholistic level. I met my husband on an international choir tour that I participated in my last year at Trinity. Without that experience alone I would not have the family or the experiences that I have had afterwards. I live in Germany, and even with the distance my friends and some professors still keep in contact with me. My degree has prepared me to perform my job well. I have the skills and the resources to continue learning on my own, and the confidence to apply for graduate level programs. The professors and staff all took a vested interest in the students, developing them not only in academic persuits but also in personal growth. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with other perfessionals in my field. My time at TIU set me up perfectly for my life after college, without the experiences I gained there, I would not be the person I am now.

samuel

You primarily attend a college for the academics, but what I have gotten out of it has been much more than that. The experiences I have gone through have shaped me as a person inside and outside of the actual university. The background was set, but the interaction with people are the experiences I will take. Coming into college I was a naïve boy ready to save the world, but I believe as I grew in maturity through college, my perspective changed. Not to say that little boy who wanted to change the world is gone, but he is now accompanied by a shrewd young man critical in thinking and passionate in action. It’s really hard to pinpoint and articulate how much I’ve grown over the past four years and what I would be like without that whole experience because of the enormity of my learning. The time has really developed me as a man and I have to emphasize I have not changed drastically as a person, but instead who I was, is who I am now but more grounded. The experience has expanded my perspective and has strengthened who I am as a person.

Rebekah

Now halfway through my third year of college, I look back on all I've learned and the people I've encountered and I am truly blessed. I have learned a great deal academically as well as relationally. The people I have encountered and who have entered my life have gotten me through a great deal of hardship in the last six months. I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have been dealing with a lot of pain and complications. The school has been very accomodating to help me get through this time but more than anything, my friends and family have been my rock. I will continue school so that one day I can heal like my therapists have helped me.

Kimber

Make sure you do not let senioritis get to you. You need to keep up with your study skills for when you get to college you dive right in sometimes on the first day of class. Also start learning how to live on your own by doing your own laudary and starting to make some of your own meals.

Garrett

I would tell myself to work harder in my studies. High school was very easy for me so i didn't have to study very hard or put a lot of hours into my schoolwork. A's came easy to me throughout high school. College however is much more difficult than high school. It requires hours of studying a day, and hours of practicing (as a music student) a day. It requires discipline that should be instilled within a student well before they enter college. So basically i would tell myself to work for a better academic work ethic.

Laurel

Don't worry so much about where you're going or what specifically you're doing. Hard work pays off and you'll figure things out as they come. Good plans are a good start, but be willing to try new paths. Being alone isn't as bad as you think it is. Having the confidence to be alone is more important than having friends, and friends will come once you have that confidence. Failure is a part of life, and you learn more from failure than you do from sucess. Don't fear it - embrace it! Life isn't as black and white as you think it is. Hold fast to what is really important, but realize that there are two sides to every issue and be willing to see other people's viewpoints. It is alright that you were wrong in the past, but if you have the opportunity to learn the right and reject it, then you have truely failed. It is better to admit that you were wrong and embrace the right then to never be wrong at all.

Alyssa

The major piece of advice I would give myself would have been to apply myself to academics and my musical pursuits even more so than I did. I also would have told myself to start applying to school earlier so I could get a larger number of possibilites. The biggest thing academically I would tell my former self would have been to take some AP classes or try to CLEP out of some classes to cut down on the cost of college and the amount of time spent in school, or so I could pursue a minor of my choice without adding too much stress. Musically, I would have applied myself and increased in dedication to practicing in order to be at college level. I regret not pursuing a degree in music because I wasn't at a high enough level of proficiency to keep up with the curriculum.

Maureen

Do not think of college as a requirement. Go to college because you want to learn not because you think you have to go. Take a year off if necessary and see what it is like making minimum wage for a living. Realize that learning is something you should want to do everyday for the rest of your life.

Melissa

In the past two years of my college experience, I have realized that college is much more than receiving a degree and academic knowledge. A large portion of college is figuring out who you are, what your personal convictions and beliefs are, how to prioritize and how you respond to life circumstances. Going into college, the student should realize that many foundations will be shaken in their life, but it is okay! Parents need to learn the balance of letting their child mature and make mistakes but also of being supportive and providing guidance. College is a strange and awkward transition in life. Students should balance their work load and social time. After all, college is more than just school. In selecting a college, ask good and hard questions to the staff. Look for the availiability in the area of interest that you desire to pursue at the school. There are many things to consider, but in the end, I think it is important and valuable to visit the campus, interact with students and professors, get a general feel for the campus and try out the food service!

Kimber

When making a decision about what college is right for the student it must be the students decision because s/he is the one who has to attend the school each day. However, the parent should feel that their child will be safe on the campus they so chose. Once the final decision is made the student needs to make a the most of the entire college experience and part of the experience is living on campus. I strongly recommend this action; I for one did not live on campus right away but quickly decided that I was missing out and decided to move in. This is a decision that I do not regret and would not change it for anything because it helps with building friendships and community. The last piece of advice that I would like to give is to stay focused. Students must remember that college costs a lot of money and is building a future for them and even though it may feel like forever it can be over in 3-5 years and the harder they work the quicker they will be done with school. So do not mess around and get your work done.

Stacey

Don't worry about transferring. If you really don't know what you want to major in, just go to a community college or state school and pay less while you take your gen eds to figure out what you like. Then later you can switch to a school that specializes in your field. There's nothing wrong with taking your time.

Jeffrey

Go to the school! Visit the school and talk with some of the professors and staff members. Many students are still deciding what degree they want and most students change their major at some point in the four year experience, so find a faculty that encourages the individual student to pursue what's best for her or him. Its important for students to feel free to try different disciplines in the search for their major. My biggest advice: Find a faculty that wants to struggle through the often long and arduous process of choosing the right degree.

Carly

I would say that if you really aren't sure what you want to do when you enter college, its best to stick with a bigger school because you have a better chance of transferring and you have more options. Also, be sure to actually visit the school, you really have to get a feel for the campus to see if it is a place you could see yourself living for an extended time. Do not be afraid to play a sport in college at least at a smaller school. It does take up a lot of time, but its definitely managable and you will make friends that will probably be very close to you. Also, get involved in some kind of activity, it does not even have to be on campus, just somewhere.

Bethany

Visit the campus. Think of the area surrounding the campus.

Joshua

The first thing you need to consider is, what are you going to college for? Is it just for the cultural right of passage, or to find a good job? Is it just a required step in order to do what you really want to do? Is a blending of many different things? Once you figure out what you are going for it will be much easier to figure out what school best meets your needs and the other major criteria for picking a school, location and price.

jayme

Go for multiple visits to one school, and stay for a few extra hours to just take in the atmosphere and meet people. Most schools try to over emphasize their good points to make the school appear better. For example, they might say "we have huge diversity and a great meal program" and take you to a multicultural meeting and the dining hall. In reality, the students at the meeting might represent a small fraction of the campus and the dining hall, compared to other schools, is mediocre. Take time to look past the speeches and find for yourself.

Susan

I'm not sure there is a single "right" college for every individual; however, it is imperative to find one in which a person can experience learning, growth, and increasing maturity. My advice would be to visit mutiple schools, each one differering in size, environment, etc. so that preferences can be developed. Sometimes a decision on a major has not been decided, therefore the choice of which college to attend has to be made from other aspects such as community, area, and student involvement. Once a college has been chosen, the most important thing to remember is to keep an open mind once on campus. Being a completely new chapter in life, the experience will no doubt be full of changes and challenges--but having the right attitude and taking the time to really find oneself can make the college life one of the best times to look back on in memories and grow from in new passions and goals.

Heather

Do not be afraid to get involved with campus activities. Its a great way to meet people and in certain ways to give back to your campus. Also read up on loans and scholarships to both students and parents. Just because finanial aid may tell you that cannot do anything more does not mean that that is it. Money may be desciding factor with schools a lot of the time but if you really want that certain school do not be afraid to go after it. If you have hope and work really hard anything can happen

John

I would say find one that has a caring faculty because it really helps when the teachers actually know your name and really care about your education.

Mark

Although the school may be on the small side compared to others, there is still plenty of opportunity here for those who are willing to invest the effort. The smaller community and class sizes allow students to form close relationships with each other as well as the staff and faculty. As a student athlete, I believe this school does well to help students pursue excellence both in the classroom as well as on the sports field while maintaining a proper balance between the two. Furthermore, the school is constantly improving. Even in the few years while I was a student, I saw many changes for better. The campus, the food, academic and athletic departments were all better or in the process of getting better when I left than when I came in. It wasn't that any of these aspects were struggling or mediocre when I started attending, it's just that this school doesn't settle for "good enough." There is simply a strong comittment to excellence and a drive to be the best it can be.

Chelsie

None at this time

Berner

I can't say much about finding the right college. When I started school searching I did not have a car and my family usually worked so I would ask them to take me to visit a college and it would be difficult. On top of that my aunt had brain surgery and I would be invested in that and just decided to go to Trinity because they gave me financial aid. I would say as far as making the most of the college experience is making friends and invest yourself in those relationships. My friends are the ones who helped me get through college with the most fun as possible. College isn't about having a great time, but those friends made my college experience memorable. What is important is having a schedule. If you make an 8-hour schedule (like a real job) working on school material you'll have more time to hang out and have more than enough time to get your homework, projects, and studying done. And there won't be a need to cram before exams. Be focused and place your studies first before anything else.

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