Union College-Schenectady Top Questions

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


Before I came to college, I thought I knew what I wanted to study and how I wanted to use that in a future career. I was very close minded on any other options, and disregarded them without ever giving them a chance. After spending almost a year at college, I have come to realize there are so many different choices available to make for my future. I am discovering interests I never knew I had, and trying new areas of study that I now may want to persue. When I was a high school senior, I could have never imagined all the amazing and diverse areas of study and careers I could persue when I got here; so I chose one and promised to stick to it. If I could go back In time, I would tell myself to go into college with an open mind. It is so important to try new things and to keep making new discoveries along the way. College is all about finding yourself and what contributions you can make to the world, and this can only be done if you are open to all the possiblities.


I know this is your last year of high school and you and all your friends are catching serious cases of senioritis but don't let this effect your grades. It may seem too early to you now, but don't procrastinate, start applying for scholarships online and even locally. Look up colleges you are interested in and write down application deadlines to keep yourself notified (take advantage of those free college applications you get in the mail). You are in the top ten percent, you can get into good schools and have a variety to choose from, see how much financial aid you could get from each school and think about mom and dad. I know we never wanted to be buried in student loans but we also don't want mom and dad paying off loans years later because of us. Also, remember it’s not just you anymore; we have a little brother and sister that still have to go to college too. Take advantage of this whole year and please don’t save it for last minute because you will end up getting into a great school but not having enough money to pay for it.


I am I outgoing person who would love to take a second chance at college. I simply wished I took the time out to study more and not go through rough life experiences in order to land where I am today. Although I am happy where I am, I could be in a completely better place and with you guys help. I hopefully plan to be.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would advise myself to read more and participate in a summer program between senior year of high school and freshman year of college. In terms of read more, I mean everything. Read more novels, short stories, different genres, and at a fast rate. When I came to college I was immediately assigned many chapters to read in short amounts of time. I wasn’t only assigned readings from novels but textbooks as well. I was told to read and understand, which seemed like forever for me to do, but eventually I adapted. What I think could have helped me transition quicker and better was if my mind was in an academic mode. I was exercising my brain for years getting it prepped for college and once it was in shape I took a break starting in late April of my senior year and relaxed over the summer. During these four months my brain fell out of shape. My transition to college could’ve been much smoother if I exercised my brain.


I have learened how to use computers and thier programs more efficently. My professors have been very helpful and patient with me the whole time. My class mates are just as helpful also. They have helped me out during and after school hours, so that I could achive a great GPA in all of my classes. SCF also has a wellness program that I will be attending next semester. It is desighned to help students live a healthy life style, and it also awrds students who finish the programs by paying for some of thier classes. The ARC, or academic resource center is great also. It allows students to go in and study in a quiet, positive, and helpful enviorment that is full of great resources. There are computers, tutors, books, and group studies to help students achive the maximum level of achivement possible. All of this is valuable to help me to advance further in life. I want to finish up my two years at the community collge and then a go to another college and get my bachleors degree at a major college. I know with a little hard work anything is possible. Thank you for your time.


During my college experience I had amazing professors that helped me discover my passions. Coming into college I had no idea what I wanted to study, but the flexibility of the curriculum and encouragment of the professors helped me find my interests and choose my major (biochemistry). The opportunities at the school have prepared me to be successful in anything I do. I have learned not only science skills, but I have also become a better writer and public speaker. Union College has many research options for science majors, which prepared me for a career in science and made me marketable to graduate schools. Without the research experience I gained at Union, I would not be able to pursue my passions as easily. I have also become more aware of my surroundings. Union College has an amazing term abroad program, and I went to Sicily for a term. Experiencing a new culture opened my eyes.


It feels great when you don?t know what to expect from the college and you?re anxious to see how your first day of classes will be, how the faculty is, and what kind of friends you?ll make. I do however; have some things that I wish I had known earlier. I wish I was a better reader because reading is the number one tool you need to have to succeed in any college. You need to be able to read chapter of the textbooks like you?ll read your favorite book. You can?t depend highly on the lecture or even on your professor, because you?re textbook will be your number one friend. This is true for not just Union but any prestigious and rigorous college out there. Another thing that I know about college is that this is the place to try new things and take different classes. I was glad that I had the option of taking classes that I never would have taken. If I was able to go back in time and give myself a good advice, it will be to develop good study skills and be willing to try new things.


I would tell myself not to be afraid. I would tell myself not to be afraid that I won't make friends, not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of being self-sufficient. I would tell myself that that college will be the best part of my life. I would tell myself that I don't know what to expect, and that is ok, and that exploration in life is important, and will make all the difference in my future. Most importantly, I would tell myself not to be afraid to succeed, because I am stronger and smarter than I think, and will make a difference in the world.


I would tell myself to look into the college transfer credits more carefully. Going into school, I was mislead to believe that my college would accept my AP/college credits from HS as long as I had a certain grade. I was unaware that they would not accept certain credits because of the course, so I would tell myself to really look into that and make sure I wasn't being fooled. I would also remind myself that I would be living with a roommate, which is something I wasn't used to at home, where I had my own room. But most importantly, I would remind myself to be myself. I don't need to impress anyone. Working towards my own personal goals is much more important.


DO YOUR HOMEWORK...if you can go to one of those weekend trips available for students in highschool to spend time at the school WITHOUT the parents. Take advantage of a free campus tour you will pick up more than history from the school. TALK to people that have been or may have applied to the college you're interested in or ask how and why they picked what they picked...it will help you look for the right kind of school or help you eliminate certain ones before you even get to the application stage. Also, appliying to college can be STRESSFUL, the most stressful time in a student's life...So PLEASE, parents and students, take some time during the process to debrief, relax and even have moments when you choose not to think about it for a while...it helps a lot.


I would visit as many schools as possible when considering the college and/or grad school that you want to go to. When I was in high school, I didn't have the money to go visit the colleges and a lot of times, that really makes a difference. Right now, I am actually unable to visit the grad schools that I have already applied to, but I have asked as many questions about the area as possible with current students. If you are serious about a school, get to know the people in the program! I would take advantage of the opportunity to contact the program department, because you need as much info as you can possibly get. Most students find out within their first few months of college if they like the school or not. It's so much easier to have all of that figured out before you go. It saves time and money.


Spend time getting to know the school's you are looking at. Take a good look at the academics, student body and surrounding area. You want to have the feeling that this place would be a great fit for you. Don't be afraid to ask questions and interact with students that currently go to the school. You should schedule an interview with the admissions office. Take a good look at what you would like to get out of your college experience and see what school best fits that objective.


Make sure you child likes the school themselves. By creating a list of the schools you like, you know their academic records, but make sure you spend some time visiting, sitting in on classes and staying over at the schools you really love to get a feel for the student body. We all go to college to further our education but also to grow as a person.


Visit a lot of places before you choose. When you get excited just by stepping on campus, then that is the right place for you!


Make sure you choose the schools for the right reasons and not only for sports or one specific reason. Make sure you always choose a school because you like every aspect of it.


To students, don't be afraid to follow your dreams. To parents, let your child be a dreamer. When you are excited to go to school and to learn because it will help you reach your dream, finding a school with the right program(s) will be a much less daunting task. Don't let money or distance be a deterrent - where there is a will there's a way. Once you get into the school of your choice, finding a happy medium is key. Don't be too shy and be open-minded - your new friends might change your world. At the same time, don't take on more than you can handle, burn-out is a bad way to start what will probably be the best four years of your life. In the end, be yourself and follow your heart, before college, in college, and after college, because you are the only one that can make you happy.


decide on proper atmosphere, educational opportunities, and friendliness


Students: Visit your schools with and without your parents. If they're going to let you live somewhere for the next four years, they're going to want to at the very least, see that place. Spend an overnight. It will help you to get a better view of what campus life is like and you'll leave having learned things about the school that you never could with your parents in tow. Parents: Trust your kids. You're going to have to pretty soon anyway, so you might as well start doing it now. They'll appreciate it, and be more motivated to prove that they deserve that trust. Don't be afraid to offer advice, but don't overdo it. They might not let you know, but they do recognize your wisdom. Good Luck.


Go wherever feels right. Its corny but its true, you will just know when you're on the campus that you can see yourself there for four years. Where you get that feeling, go to that school regardless of money or distance. You only get a certain amount of time in college and then you never get it back. Its important for those years to be happy, and truly happy. Not the happiness that can come from being at a school that is merely "ok". Go to a school that you love beyong your four years, because it will be with you forever.


Because most college students change their major, find new interests and friends, and uncover goals and a path for their future that may be completely unprecedented, it is imperative to consider some foundational qualities in your choice of school. Something that is chronically overlooked is an involved, focused, and friendly career center. The career center is a resource of infinite importance that many rising college students do not consider. The resources it offers become the passport for an education. Your education is only as good as your ability to promote it! Therefore, the career center is a must stop for every college visit. Natural resume, interviewing, and networking skills are no longer competitive in today?s work world without training. These skills can vastly change the opportunities available to anyone. Choose a school that prides itself in an extensive alumni network, job-finding resources, and easily accessible and friendly career advisors. Without toned job-finding skills and internships in your field of choice, it is easy to be misled into a career field without passionate or to miss out on opportunities to those that are better experienced, know how to network, and articulate more clearly and effectively their skills.


I would recommend parents and students to go on the tours that the college or university offers. After that, though, take a tour without the tour guides. Along the way, talk to students walking around the campu s about anything you have questions about or just their overall opinion on the school. Speaking with students directly usually leads itself to more honest, heartfelt answers that could be a lot more helpful to the search in the right school. As a variation, after taking your own tour, allow the potential student to go on their own for an hour or two. This will allow them to get a feel for the campus on their own terms, and helps them see if they could be happy there. Along the way, they should ask more questions to current students, as they will give an even more honest response without the potential student's parents listening.


Time management is the best skill that an undergraduate student can learn. Acheiving academic sucess is important, but knowing how to balance that with extra-curriculars that truly interest them and allow them to take a "break" from the stress of work to experience a social life on campus with other students and building relationships with different groups of people is extremel important. Also you should attend a school that not only best fits with the interest of study, in a school size that the student is comfortable in, and with the best financial aid package (based on scholarships and not loans). The most important thing is that the student should not attend a school just because it is "well-known" because it may be the completely wrong fit for them.


Make sure to vist the college and don't just stay on the tour, go to classes, walk around it yourself.


Choose a school that seems to have a lot of diversity and where indivisuals of different diversities spend time together. Also, choose a school that isn't exactly ahead of the crowd in all ways. It is nice to have the opportunity to create change on your campus, which would be hard if that change has already happened. Furthermore, choose a school which offers a variety of majors and minors. Even if you already know what you want to do, it is nice to have lots of options if you change your mind. Also, consider schools with a wide range of different social scenes. It is nice to go to fraternity parties sometimes, but that can certainly get boring. Also, one of the things that I most like about my school is that it offers Theme Houses, where students can choose to live with people who have similar interests to themselves. They offer a wonderful alternative social scene.


Visit and stay over at each college you are looking at. You received the best picture and sample of the college campus when you stay with a host-student that attends the college. This is more of an uncensored view of the college, as compared to the build up of a college tour.


Consider all possible schools of different sizes and types to ensure that you will find a place that you can fit in with the community. Smaller schools guarantee that professors will know your name and that you will be tought by professors and not teacher's assistants. Now that you are not in high school and your extra curricular activities will not affect your college applications, take advantage of the clubs and activities on your college campus that you are truly interested in.


For me it was all about where I could see myself sleeping, eating, running, learning, and making friends. For the student, you need to pick a school that is right for you and you feel comfortable. Also if you show interest the school will show interest back because they love to see kids who will love the school. Don't get behind on essays and applications. Keep on top of due dates and get things done early. Visit as many schools as you can and interview where possible. Many schools use the Common application now and waive the application fee if you apply online. Take advantage of that, applications can get expensive and it will just be a few extra dollars saved. Make sure you keep grades up even after you are accpeted, no one wants a slacker. Make and keep contact with alumni, friends, admissions and anyone else you may know at the school, you never know who will walk into admissions and drop your name. Wherever you end up your college experience is what you make of it. This is the best four years of your life. Do what you love to do. Good Luck!


Make sure you look for everything that you want. No matter what make those four years count because you will never have them back!


Finding the right college is all about finding what feels right. Don't just look for the most prestigious college; look for the college where you fit in and feel comfortable. Visiting campuses while students are in session is absolutely necessary. I suggest eating in the dining hall and looking around. If you feel as though you would fit in with the people around you, that is a good start. Of course there is a lot more that should go into your final decision, but fitting in and being happy is the key to a happy and successful college experience. Once you get to college, make sure to try new things. Obviously this sounds very cliche, but it's a great way to meet new people and learn what you truly enjoy.


Finding the right fit of a school is a dauntign task. As a transfer student to Union College, a small and friendly Northeast liberal arts school I learned the hardships of both starting anew in an environment unlike your former school, a large research and career focused University in Philadelphia, PA. The most important part of the process is the visit. Nothing will ever be 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} right with a school - those telling you life is perfect at their college may be on the fast track to delusion land, but that does not mean college cannot be a great and rewarding experience. Never be afraid to go out and meet different people unlike those you may have associated with previously. Try new things. Join the weird clubs. Get active. Volunteer and be original. If there's something you don't like, take the action to change it yourself. Join the student government and get vocal. Have fun. Study. Try to do those at the same time, it may be sometimes hard. Rememeber school comes first and everything will be alright.


First, go and visit! Then, try the food, walk around the dorms, check out off campus housing, see if the climate works, check out the surrounding area to see what it's like, and most importantly, talk and meet faculty, students, and alumni. Ask yourself, "is this a place I see myself living for 4 years?" This is really important because it seems obvious, but honesly evaluate your school and surroundings and see if this truly is a place you can call HOME. When you can call your school home, then you've successfully picked the right school in my opinion. To make the most of your college experience, take advantage of the extracurriculars available as well as athletics, clubs, and greek life. There are so many opportunities on any campus, but getting involved is what will determine how much anyone enjoys their school. Just get involved!


Visit schools and keep an open mind.


The biggest difference between schools is their size. If you are looking at colleges, consider the size of school you want to attend. This will have the greatest effect on your college experience.




Start your search early. If you know what your major will be, do your research. Select competitive schools as well as safety schools. Make sure you visit them all at least once to get a feel for the campus. You would be surprised at how much a campus tour can tell you. If you are someone who doesn't know what your major should be, I would recommend a liberal arts college or large university. Attending schools like these will give you the flexibility not available at more major specific schools. For all students, it is important to know the size and locaiton of the college you plan to attend. If you went to a small, rural high school, for example, you should understand a large university will be a major change and college already is a big culture shock. It will be the first time you live with peers and not parents. Most importantly, money matters. It is a sad fact that how much finacial aid a college gives you factors into whether or not you can attend. At college, set clear goals, utilize campus resources, and try to find a healthy balance between work and play.


Meet teachers, go on overnights, ask to meet people rather than solely your tour and interview. Tak advantage of offers to contact students thorugh facebook but really visit the school, attend a class go to a sporting event etc.


I would say you have to look at their academic interests and whether they have a programs that is interesting to the student.


Students making their college decision should always keep their options, as well as their minds, open. Don't judge a book by its cover. Be willing to learn a lot about the way a campus runs itself, and how students feel about where they're at. Parents should understand that it is their children that are going to college, and they are the ones who will be spending the next four years of their lives there, so it is there feelings that matter most. Joining a sports team is a good idea to easily find a niche, but it is not necessary. It is important to remember that incoming freshman are all in the same place. Everyone is nervous about making friends, and everyone feels awkward at first. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there ! You'll be glad you did. Meet a lot of people, explore the different social scenes, and find out what makes you the happiest. Enjoy yourself and do what makes YOU happy. You'll be glad you did.


It is most important to find the right campus size for you. Once you find several schools that are, size wise, in your comfort zone it is easier to make a decision and narrow down which one is right for you. It is important to remember that no college will be the 'perfect fit' for you, it is up to you to make your college experience what you want it to be. Becoming active on your campus and joining some clubs is the best way to meet new people and learn more about your school. At first it will certiantly be intimidating but just remember that if things really don't work out transferring is always an option. The first school you attend may not be the right one for you, don't be afraid to make a change in order to make your life better. It is impossible to know everything a school before you attend it so be prepared for some surprises!


Choose a school that feels right. You will be living there for the next four years. Of course, make sure the school you choose has the major you want. Go for it!


Applying to college and picking the right one is a lot like buying fruit at the grocery store. You're suddenly face-to-face with apples, bananas and peaches. When you're presented with a list of colleges you have much the same selection, big state schools, small liberal arts college and ivy league universities, for example Picking from that selection is the easiest?most people tend to know what they like. Once you've decided you want to buy a peach, however, the process gets difficult. You can weed out the ones that don't look just right, but they all seem pretty similar in the end. That's when you have to dive in and feel it out for yourself. Just like a ripe peach in your hand, the right college may just feel 'right'? but only if you give it a chance. Visiting classes, dorms, dining halls and students is key to getting a feel for the school. After a weekend visit it's pretty clear whether or not a school would be a match. Once you've applied and decided, have no regrets, you're going to college! Live it and love it.


Follow your instincts. Go to the school and walk around the campus, stop and talk to students, faculty and staff, see what they have to say about the school. Don't just listen to their words but watch their eyes and listen to the tone in which they talk about the school. Make sure they're serious and really like it. Figure out if you could fit in there, make friends with these people, make sure you can envision yourself sitting in those classrooms listening to teachers. Stay for an overnight and ask questions. Once you pick a school and go, make the best of it. Get involved, but not over your head. Do what you love, try what you might, enjoy yourself. This is a time period where you can do anything with your life, define who you are and love it.


Visiting is the best way to find the right college. When you are able to see how the students interact it helps in making your decision. Getting the right feel for a school is the best indicator and if you feel comfortable and can see youself at a specific school succeeding then it is a right fit for you. Also to parents, unless there is a financial issue, let the student decide where he or she would like to be. Yes, being a 3rd generation is nice but your child must be happy where he or she is in order to do well and succeed. To student pick a place where you feel you will have fun and fit in. Also participate in as many orientation activities as possible, you will be a ton of new students who are in the saem situation as you are. It makes the first day so much easier.


While touring colleges, it is important that parents allow their children to experience the environment of each school without pressure to choose a certain location. For a student to feel at home on their campus and enjoy their experience, the student needs to choose the school that best fits them. Often, a student will know just from walking around the campus whether or not they can feel at home there. Also, the student needs to understand that they need to find the school that offers the best all-around experience for them: they cannot look just for schools that are inexpensive, have good academics, or offer certain sports or extra-curricular activites. The best choice is a school that has a campus that feels like home while being affordable for the family and offering excellent academic opportunities and a good social life and extra-curricular activities. The college search process can be a scary time, but it can also be exciting; students and their families should make the most of it and enjoy it, while still making an effort to make the right decision.


I would tell them to actually go to the college, and ask students how they feel, rather than listening to faculty. The students will give you the honest answers as to whether the school is right for your son/daughter.


I would tell parents to make sure to visit every school and have their kids do an overnight to see how they really like it. Also, size is something to take into consideration because it effects everyone socially and academically. For example, a small school allows individual attention from professors but the social life gets old. Distance from home and the accessibility of the college town such as pharmacies and stores are important and practical as well. Also, find out what majors certain schools are known for.