University of California-Riverside Top Questions

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

Michael

College is the most important period in a young adults life. The decision of which college to attend should be solely based on the students decision with the aid of their parents. The process should be taken seriously with a professional manner. The decision should be based on which college would give the student the best college experience as well as the best outcome after obtaining their degree. In order for the student to have the best college experience, they should find the college that has the best dorming environment and options, campus and classroom atmosphere, and extra-curricular activities outside of the classrooms. The student should also find a very diverse college which would open the students eyes to different lifestyles and ethics. The decision should also be based on finding the college that would result in the best possible future. The student should research which college offers the best education with the top professors that have the most efficient teaching abilities. These two factors should be the focal points when deciding the right college to attend and making the most of their college experience because this important period in their lives should not be taken as a joke.

Caitlin

I would advise students to do as much research as possible, both before and after you enter a college. Try to make a list of what qualities you want in a school, from the most broad to the most minor of details, and look for those qualities in each college. Think logically of what you want from both your college experience, and from your life after college. Weigh the pros and cons, then don't forget to listen to your gut instinct. Don't expect to get everything you want and need from the college automatically. Once you get there, you must seek out, and ask for the things you desire. Most of all, rely on the people such as your teachers and friends to give you the best experience possible. Find the right people, and you will find everything you need to have fun and succeed at the same time. For parents I would suggest that they make sure the proper research has been done by the child, and that he or she has good reasons behind the decision. Then, respect the decision and help them discover what they need.

Michelle

Definetly set out some time where one can dedicate to research schools that one is interested in. Make extensive research and make a list of the pros and cons of each school. Also, I highly suggest to visit the school and the area around it. Once this is done the student will be able to figure out what school fits their needs. Once in college, don't be afraid in trying new things. Try going into college with an open mind and take everything as a learning experiance. Also, make the best of the resources given and use them to your academic advantage. Above all, remember college is about growing up and discovering who you truly are. This a huge stepping stone that gurantess success in the future.

Vang

This quotation of Helen Killer is for parents and students alike, "College isn't the place to go for ideas." Finding the right college is hard because everyone has their own opinions about each of the different colleges. Not all of these opinions are exactly true, it is crucial to pick the college that will make the most out of the students' majors. Thus, this make the most of college experience will be difficulty for the student. This also require the students to be learning how to network with people, knowing to apply your major skills to certain tasks, and building communication skills to efficiently interact with future employers. So decide on what whatever is right for the student's sake, not just for the parents' sake.

James

The first thing that I would tell a student preparing for college is that it is not always what you expect it to be. Even if you do not attend the school of your dreams, as long as you try to make the best out of what you have, you will end up enjoying the school that you do end up attending. Also, I would tell the student about the many instances I have ran into people at my own school that said that it was not their first choice but would not change that decision even if they could go back because they have learned to love the school they attend now. As for picking the right college, I would advise parents to talk to their children about what their children have planned for their own lives or what they are interested in. This would help narrow down the possibilities since every college has better programs than other colleges depending on a student's major or interests. I would also tell the students to pick a college that is a comfortable distance for them to be away from home since every one gets homesick at one point or another.

Siobhan

Be sure to visit and attempt to interact with the students and administrators of the campus before settling on that particular school. Overall, it seems that Universities always provide excellent scholastic opportunities, one should worry about the social aspect and whether or not the student will assimilate well.

Jose

A school's reputation and prestige should not be the only thing to be considered when selecting a college to attend. Although an important aspect, there are other things to think about. One is the cultural diversity of the school, which can foster a healthy learning environment. Another is the size. Bigger campuses tend to have crowded and large classes, which makes individual attention to the student more difficult than in smaller schools. Another is the surrounding neighborhood. This latter aspect is vital when it comes to choosing housing, since safety and accessibility to shopping centers are issues to be addressed. Overall, a school should match the prospective student's unique personality and lifestyle. Those who are study-focused and quiet would benefit from a medium sized school located in a small city. Those who enjoy extracurricular activities and a busy lifestyle should consider a large school in a metropolis. The student's happiness, not only during class but also outside of the campus, is all that matters and ensures success in college.

Annmarie

Dear furure college students, As a second year college student, their are a few things I would advise to the incoming freshman. Before applying to universities, I would suggest visit and really take the time to research the top three schools you are considering. Find out the school's grad programs, how many graduated students find jobs after graduation, and really discover how well Professor's and TA's are their to assist you with any problems you may encounter. I would suggest to the incoming freshman, make the most of your first year. Dont think just because you are in a university that your success stops their, keep studying hard, and keep looking beyond to the career you want to reach. Study hard and look at each class as a step closer to recieveing your dream job. Classes are hard, but taking the time to enjoy each class, allows you to really learn and achieve outstanding grades. Last but not least I suggest to live on campus your first year, you will find more friends, better study groups and be connected with all the events in your school. I wish you the best possible college years. Sincerly, Annmarie Barrera

OLAWALE

COLLEGE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT.

Sonali

The # 1 advice I can give students about finding the right college and making the most of their college experience is that they sit down and carefully review the things they would like to see in a college. To be more precise, students should research on academics, sports, extracurricular activities, etc. available at the university. Thus, before they attend a college, it is essential that they understand exactly what they want in their college. Once they are in their desired college, students should explore their areas of interest to full extent. Since college is an important milestone in an individual's life, in order to make most of it, students should not hesitate to try out new things that they always thought of but couldn't do. Besides the students, an advice I can give to parents would be that they be supportive of their children and trust them to make good judgement in the courses they want to take. If parents don't force their children with their own dreams, then it becomes easier for students to accomplish their goals and be successful. Hence, college planning is a combined effort that requires the particpiation of parents and children.

Nathaniel

Students should go visit all the schools and talk to students before they make their decision about college.

Michael

When trying to find the right college, one should consider finances, class availability, the availability of majors and the potential to graduate on time. Trying to make the most of a college experience would come from taking part in as many social activities as one can, attending campus sponsored events and school sports. socializing with classmates to make friends as resources to help one's class performance and to brighten their social life.

Wes

Let the students choose their own future in order for them to make the most of their college experience. Students are more prone to seek opportunities if they choose their work area. Make sure the college the student chooses has many different degree opportunities in case they change their major in the future. School work is important, but so is the social and fun life. Make sure the campus has some activities that make the student participate and gain school spirit. This creates an environment that is more student based and would create activities for those who commute as well as live on campus. The facilities also play a role. Students usually don't stay in a library smelling like old books with computers slower than their laptops. Try to find a place with more updated and recent technology, enhancing the environment for a students study time.

Henry

Try not to slack. Things get really tempting because attendance isn't mandatory or enforced. Try to do things on your own and don't rely on others for studying or homework. Do it yourself

Danny

Upon graduation, every high school is plagued by that same common question: What are you going to do now? If one is like many students, he or she will most likely decide to go to college and this is a decision one will not regret. Every student and parent's main concern is trying to decide which college to attend. In choosing a college, there are superficial factors such as costs. However, one should seek a college that caters to your interests and needs. Some students seek well-known colleges, but all that means is bigger classrooms with less one-on-one interactions with professors. To make the most out of college, one should take a variety of electives. Since the point of college is to get an education, one might as well learn. Also, get involved in campus events such as sports, student groups or fraternities and sororities. Soak up the campus atmosphere by eating at local restaurants, go to clubs, and mingle with students. Attend special lectures, plays etc. Most importantly, visit your professor during office hours. There?s no such thing as too many references for your letters of recommendations.

Sana

Make sure you visit the schools you have applied to and the schools that interest you the most by name. You may find a school you thought you would never have wanted to attend to seem pretty nice after visiting. No matter what college you go to, it's what you make out of it. You have to make the most out of it.

Justin

Go to the college, visit the town, meet the people and see if you enjoy being on campus. You're going to be there for quite awhile.

Tiffaney

The advice I would give to parents about their child finding the right college would be to make sure you don't pressure them to go to a school that they don't want to. I would also advise that the parents allow their child to explore all of their options so that they can be happy and comfortable with their decision. Just don't tell them what they should do or where they should go. The advice I would give for students is to choose a college that you can see yourself at for 4 years, and don't just pick one because it close or far away. Upon arrival at the college of choice, I would advise students to balance school work with play time and recreation. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having fun but make sure you balance it with hard work. Also don't over work youself without a break and some fun. This should allow them to be a well rounded and successful college student.

Kelsi

I think the best advice I can give for finding the right college, you really have to visit the campus. Meeting with someone who can give you a tour around and sitting in on classes can give you the best idea of what the whole campus is all about. Going around camputs is really the only way you can tell if you feel at home on the campus and this is most important because the college you choose will be your new home. Getting involved in groups and internships is the best way to get involved and make the most of your college experience. If you really enjoy some extra cirricular activity such as band go and find out how to audition and work it into your schedual. Making time for the extras makes meeting new people and feeling like you belong much easier. It also looks excellent on your applications and resume. Taking time out for yourself and relaxing is just as important as scholastic work, but remember to balance yourself, time management is a major key to success. College is all about becoming your own person, so learn to pursue what makes you happy.

Tien

Don't pick a school that is too far away from your family because most people feel lonely and get depress when going too far away to college from their home. This could affect students to focus and unable to learn and experience good things offer in college. It doesn't matter what school you go to as long as the school is decent and that you get good grade. This to me is very important because without good grade, one can be at the most famous school and can feel like a loser because there are too much pressure and compition at those expensive and well-known school.

shamim

Please visit the campus beforehand and definitely stay overnight and the weekends. Also, speak to current and former students from different majors you may be interested in. After choosing a major, try and meet as much of the faculty as possible. Most importantly, pay a visit to your advisor, the counseling center, the career center and make absolute sure that they can assist you in the most severe cases.

Claudia

Do plenty of research on colleges. Visit as many colleges as possible to see if the student likes the environment. Try to know what you want to focus on and do not procrastinate.

Sandra

If I can go back time, I would love to change a lot of the mistakes that I made, the choices I should have made, and the most memories of college experiences that I had. Now I am too late to go back to the past and change it. If anyone such as parents or students who wants to know about colleges and how to make the best out of it, I would tell them exactly what I feel now and what I could have/ should have done to make it better for me. I believe that any college one choose and attend will be the right college for oneself. One will have the best college experience no matter where they go, as long as they are the ones to make the best out of it. Meeting the right group of friends will affect your college experience. One will change socially, physically, mentally, and intuitively once they attend college. It is a whole new experience because you will be as free as a bird, rather than being stuck at home. Therefore, any college one attends will the right one if they make the most out of it.

sinia

visit the schools, but REALLY visit. pick out a day school's running and check out stuff. its what i did.

Genevieve

Aplly to every school you would like to attend. Study really hard for your ACT's and SAT's. After you get accepted, look at all your financial aid packages very closely. Always try to get invloved your first year because it makes the transition so much easier. Living in the dorms was a great experience but somewhat distracting and very expensive. Try to look for a more affordable place where you can have your own space and study when you want without being disstracted. Good luck!

Brittany

The advice that I would give is to first be sure about what you want to go to college for, meaning what career do you want for your future. Next I would tell them to go and take tours of campuses to find one that is just for you, or your student. There are a lot of colleges that are really great and people would enjoy. Then, once you are at the campus of your choice, try to make friends that are interested in the same field as you, so you can take courses together, and have study groups with the people you already know, and you would not get distracted from what you are trying to accomplish for your future.

Adriana

First, everyone interested in attending a school should take the time to actually visit the campus and get to know the surrounding and the environment in which they will spend the next 4 years of their life. Secondly, one should have a good idea of what major and/or field they want to go into, and plan for a college that has good facilities and accomodations for such an educational pursuit. After making the decision on which college to attend, the most important thing to do once there is to GET INVOLVED! Nothing will make college a more enjoyable and productive experience than to become involved in academic organizations and research oportunities. Finally, college is what you make of it; so have fun, learn, and make friends.

Jennifer

Experiencing independence was extremely important, the reason I chose a school further away from home. Visiting each campus is also crucial to get an idea of the atmosphere and if it is the right school for you.

Vernyta

When students apply to colleges usually it is because it is a good school. But more importantly it should be about which school picks the student. And it's more than just about getting accepted, it's about the professors, the students, the services that are provided. It's about how much a student feels at home and if they feel they can succeed with confidence. First choices are not always the best choices. Feeling accepted and comfortable at a college makes it so much more of a wonderful experience. Striving for good grades and adjusting to a whole new life is stressful enough without the added insecurities of finding friends, coping with roommates, talking to advisors and professors and starting new relationships. The best thing a student can do is be themselves and do the best they can at whatever they want to become. Never be afraid to ask for help on the road to accomplishing your dreams.

Benjamin

Go to the college that you really WANT to go to. Let it be your decision and not anyone elses. If you have a negative attitude about going in to college, you are going to miss out on one of the greatest experiences of your life.

Jason

Let your children choose waht college they would like to attend. Riverside is not a bad campus but inform them that drug use is very common here, and like all other campuses, drinking is very common.

David

Take a guided tour of the campus then explore it on your own before deciding to attend; make sure to find out about the activities you are interested in (snowboarding, research, community service, etc.) and make sure they are available for you, and, if at all possible, try to stay over for a few days with a host student.

Eric

College contains some of the best, if not the best, years of a students life. A student really matures and grows a significant amount in their college careers, so picking the RIGHT college is extremely important. To do this, you must visit and explore the different colleges out there. They are willing to give campus tours to those who seek it, so utilize all the college resources and visit them. I guarantee students will know which college is right for them as soon as they set foot on campus. Once in college, live it up! However, the essence of time management must be known. Join the clubs, participate in intermurals, pull the all-nighters, and just enjoy these few years before entering the real world. College is all about networking and making the grades, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with potential life-long friends. There are many experiences that await you in a college, so experience them all and learn from them, as they will make you a better person.

Nicole

Be sure to get a good look at the surrounding area of the school. Where the campus itself is safe, it is not reccomended to head out at night without a car. There are serious drug problems, prostitution, and all sorts of illegal activity lurking the streets. The campus is in a great location for a student that loves the beach and doesn't mind a drive. There is plenty of activity nearby in LA or San Diego, but this does require access to a car. The dorms are amazing, of course, complete with bad cafeteria food and all. The school is extremely diverse so if this is a problem then don't even bother. Most people are friendly, but the fraternities and sororities monopolize the center of campus and can be very fake and obnoxious. Despite it's flaws, I have loved every second here and wouldn't trade it in for the world! Like anything in life, the school is what you make of it!

Angela

I believe the best way to pick the right college for YOURSELF, is by visiting it beforehand. This really helped me find out which colleges weren't for me, even though they might have been popular colleges or located in cities I wished to be in. As a prospective student, you must ask yourself how important location is, whether it offers your major, and whether you are more comfortable having a diverse student body versus an undiverse body. Also, once you have chosen your school, it's important to get involved and participate in campus and off-campus events. You are going to be in college for the next 4 years or more, so you should get to know the people around you. Also get involved in organizations that concern your major.

Sandy

I always live by the motto, what you put in it is what you will get out of it. Beacuse you can attend an amazing school, but if you do not apply yourself then you will not get all the opportunities that is offered at the school. For instance my finish year i was not that involved with the school because i just wanted to focus in school and that was all, i missed out on all the other opportunities that the university had to offer like Internships, sororities/fraternities, clubs, out reach programs and community services. All of those activities would keep me busy and also help me advance and grow as a person. After my first year i quickly learned that i need to used this opportunities that is offered on campus, now i have made so many connections with the staff on campus and i have really build up my resume. So dont ever sell yourself short.

Tracy

College is probably the only place in the world where you can try so many different things like taking various classes, meet new people, join different clubs and learn from it all. It's a chance for everyone to spread their wings because usually the students are mature enough to start thinking about the future and what effect students can have on others and vice versa.

Janice

I would first suggest attending any orientation or information sessions of the college you are interested in attending. Although that would not give you a complete sense of what the school is like, you will at least get to visit the campus and see what it has to offer. Finding the right college is mainly about what you make of your college experience. There is no guarantee that you will get accepted into your dream school and if you don't, it is not the end of the world because you determine whether or not the college you go to is right for you. You need to be open minded and willing to get out of your shell and meet new people. Dorming is always a good chance to make new friends. Remember there are hundreds of other students that are in the same shoe as you and just as nervous so they are also wanting to meet new friends. Making friends is so important and helps make college life easier, but be responsible and don't neglect your studies. If it's hard to get yourself to study, make study groups with friends. That always helps.

charlie

Do your research on the college, if you like to be in a warm enviroment, obviously don't move to an eastcoast college where the seasons are more pronounced. In order to maintain good study habits, being comfortable in your home and campus enviroment is important. Furthermore, when choosing a college, don't believe the hype in the name, remember there is a future beyond your bachelor degree, even going to a state school will suffice. As long as you maintain the grades and work ethic, going to your dream school becomes less of a dream and more a reality. And if you decide that your future may not involve more schooling, than make the most of the school you will be currently attending. Internships, jobs, and extra cirrucular activities are available resources for you to utilize to best lay the foundation for your future. Lastly, even though you may receive financial aid in attending school, maintaining proper finances should be a top priority so if living at home is your only option, its ok you will still engage in the college social life experience if you want to, being comfortable is better than being broke.

Evelyn

Well just making sure that the student will be able to make a healthy transition. In addition, learning how to manage your money and being able to differentiate from necessities and junk.

Crystal

You don't have to know what you want to do in life right out of high school. The best thing to do is find a school that you will feel comfortable in. If Harvard might seem too stressful, don't go there! I know people who have been accepted to UCLA and Berkeley but decided to go to UCR because the people down here were nicer and a lot more laid back, whereas others at the prestigious schools are more tense and value good grades a little too much. People always seem to forget that it doesnt matter what grades you get in college. If you're socially awkward, you will live a very depressing life. Be comfortable, and try to enjoy what you study.

mike

learn the background of the school before deciding your college.

Diane

The advice I would give students would be to research their schools of choice a little bit more. An important part of finding the right college is to have a goal in mind of what you want to accomplish in the next four years. If the student knows exactly what he/she wants to accomplish then a university/college would be the best choice. However, if the student is indecisive about his/her future goals, then a community college would be best. It is important for parents and students to know that the reputation of a school should not determine where the student ends up. It is important that the student step out of the box and put the extra effort into finding the right college. For the student, it is crucial that he/she become familiar with the academic programs the school has to offer, the type of financial aid that is available to students, student life, housing, and any other resources that may improve the student's academic and career goals. Once the prospective student has decided on his/her school of choice, making the most out of the college experience will come naturally.

Maria

One of the major reasons that I decided to come to this school was because of its seclusion from everything. I wanted to be far away from my parents but close enought where I could drive back home in case I missed them. I wanted to stay away from the party scene and be somewhere were there was limited entertainment. Having this type of atmostphere where I could be on my own, I could really focus on myself, my thoughts and this would also help me concentrate and focus more on my studies without having any family or social distractions. I really chose the best place to go to school. The diversity, faculty, teachers assistants, community is what has helped me get though this challenge of obtaining my education and in trying to earn my degree. Distance could be a good thing for the parents and for the child because it allows a person to grow as an indivdual. This is why I chose the University of California Riverside.

Rachelle

Parents and students need to consider that the student's needs and desires will change. Choosing a school that is flexible will make the college experience an enjoyable one. Make sure that the school has a wide range of majors, so that the student has choices if he or she becomes dissatisfied with his or her major. Investigate the opportunities on campus, as well as the accessibility of the opportunities. For example, do study abroad programs have stringent requirements, or are they open to most enrolled students? During campus visits, speak to current students and professors to discover if the students are happy and to gauge the helpfulness of professors. Are students giving back to the community or self absorbed? Choose the school where you feel you will fit in with your peers. As for professors, it is vital to the college experience to have supportive, caring professors who are not afraid to change and admit it when they are wrong. An understanding professor can make the world of difference during a tough semester or quarter.

Kathleen

Make sure the college is close enough to make visiting simple, but far away enough to give the student space to mature. Make sure the college you choos is appropriate to your desired career and major.

Heidi

Before picking the right college to attend it is critical to first decide what is important to the student. Things like being close to family, whether or not you will be playing a sport, and knowing what you want to study or what you may want to study, are all important in the decision making process of choosing what college to attend. By answering these questions you should be able to narrow your potential choices to a smaller number, in which case you can then decide based on other factors such as the quality of education you will be receiving. Another factor that has the most impact on deciding which school is best for your child is whether his or her desired college is affordable, especially if you will not be receiving any financial assistance. Choosing the right college comes down to a practical and sensible series of questions that anyone is capable of answering in order to obtain the best education and have the college experience you imagined. In order to have a great college experience, it is important to get involved in various student organizations and programs and to make lifelong friends.

An

If money is not an issue, then actuoally take the time to travel around and tour around schools around the nation. If money is an issue, even though a school may seem more appealing, but is more expensive, sometimes a school that may seem less appealing but is cheaper, will actually be a better choice. After spending a few days or weeks at the cheaper school that may seem less appealing, will grow on the student and the student may actually feel that they made the right choice.

Nicholas

The best advice I could give would be to visit the campus while school is in session, on your own and in a guided tour. When visiting the campus when school is in session you can really see what campus is like. By getting a guided tour you can learn what the school has to offer, but you should also do some exploration on your own because the tour guides are of course going to talk up their campus. When exploring the campus you should ask a variety of students what is their honest opinion of the school. Ask the students what is important to you. For example if you like sports ask students on campus what the game atmosphere is like, and what would they rate the school spirit. Talking with random students on campus will give a more honest feel of what the campus is actually like. You can learn all about the academia of a school online, but you can only get a real feel for what the school is like from current students.

JONATHAN

Don't assume anything! Stay organized! Start a folder or file system to collect information on colleges you are interested in. Make sure that your parents and you as a future student understand exactly what is wanted in a school. Take time to try and visit some schools prior to making a choice. Sometimes, speaking with alumni will give you a good idea of what the school is like as well. The college selection process can be very emotional, so everyone involved needs to have their chance to speak their views on what they feel is the "right" school. Also, do not wait until a school is selected to start looking for financial aid. Be proactive, and be prepared to devote time and effort to this, it will pay off greatly! Even during the summer after Senior Year in High School, you will want to "kick back", but you could miss opportunities to get additional money for college. The Internet is a great source of information, but keep your parents involved in everything you find or may want to investigate online. Finally, have fun; you are making an exiting choice that will prepare you for success and independence in life.

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