University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

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


It depends. I think I would come here but with a different mentality. If I would not come here it will be because of the lack of "funness" and sports system this school has. Other than that, I will return.


You'll be surprised but when you get to school, people will still act like high schoolers but others will definitely show you that college almost always makes a change on those giggling prom queens, snorting nerds, languishing outcasts and chortling jocks. Oh, and dump your girlfriend, you don't need--nor have the ability--to put up with that crap 7 hours away. Go out and meet new people. This means Everyone. Don't drink TOO much, you moron. Your dorm room will be in violation of California Housing Regulations and will appear to be designed by a man who truly hated children. It's going to be cold in Santa Cruz; nothing like LA, so for God's good mercy, bring a jacket. Don't be in a rush to sleep around when you DO drop your girlfriend, you'll regret it more than you think. Talk to your counselor and declare that major early. Don't buy so much crap you don't need, save it for Sophomore year. Meet Alina Bogdanovica, Christopher "Griffin" Hoffman, Katherine Simpson AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Read Neil Straus's "The Game". Oh, and it's okay to highlight your textbooks.


As an individual one of the most arduous task in my life is having uneducated parents. My parents could not attend college in this country because they do not have legal status. As a result they never learned to appreciate the significance of higher education, and thus cannot relate to my desires to excel in school. The harsh conditions that I have faced have encouraged me to fill my desires for a better life. The difficulties have only strengthened my character and increased my desire to excel as an individual. After all, an individual does have control of his own decisions. Therefore if i would go back to high school as a senior I would apply to may scholarships that i knew i qualify but i could not receive them because i did not know the dead lines. I would also take as many college classes as i can so that i may also be ahead of the game. I would Challenege myself more academically by taking more AP courses to obtain a higher GPA. I would also have practiced dreesing different. The most importantant thing that i will tell myself is envision yourself big and you will obtain that.


If time travel were possible I would tell my tell my high school self to be open and accepting of all people, because in college you become immersed in a society that is unlike any you have or will ever experience again. The people you meet come from all walks of life and have invaluable information to share with you, so don?t be so judgmental. The same goes toward taking advantage of all available resources and opportunities that a college campus provides, such as tutoring, internships, and definitely office hours, because after all, academics is why you are here. Don?t be afraid to ask questions no matter how trivial or stupid they appear, and definitely don?t be afraid to challenge your professors or make mistakes. How else will you learn? Most importantly you will come across many situations that make you uncomfortable, but do not compromise yourself in order to fit in because you can only pretend to be someone you?re not for so long before you lose yourself completely. College is about finding yourself, discovering your interests and talents, and pushing yourself to always do better, so never lose sight of why you are here.


Though it can be considered as an added bonus, attending college goes beyond leaving home and your parents. College is the first step into adulthood. Keeping that in mind in there are a few key things to know before taking the leap into college life. Balance your schedule between three crucial aspects of college life: academics (after all that is why you?re going to college in the first place), extra-curricular activities to spark potential interest outside the classroom, and social activities because without them you will go insane at the idea of living at school. Take advantage of so called ?free? tutoring, keep in mind that it?s being paid by your tuition fees and if you don?t use it it?s be like throwing money away plus you could learn something in the process. Relay on friends to keep you mentally grounded because they see the world through your eyes and are in the same position. Enjoy the new found freedom and just try to be the best you imaginable.


Students should take the time to get to know their professors and conselors. They are able to inform students about opportunities for their futures. I recommend getting involved with clubs and/or different activities on campus because it is a great way to meet many people with the same interests. I also highly recomend getting to know your floormates and talk to everyone. It is important to be tolerant and open-minded when meeting new people. This way, you will really get to know amazing friends and learn a lot about yourself as well. The social aspect of college is important of course, but don't forget about the academic portion as well. Keep up with studies and be aware that there are many few programs and study groups that schools provide for students who need just some extra help.




The advice I would like to give to parents is that let your child pick whatever college they want even if it is far away. It is the students that are going to attend the college and not you. You may think you know what is best for your child, but trust them. Many of the colleges that are out there are great and offer help to the students. Have faith in your student and start letting them make their choices. You are not always going to be there when they start facing greater challenges. The advice I would like to give to the students is try no to let financial status stop you from going to the college you want to go to. Get a summer job, apply for scholarships, do whatever possible. Also, research the campus you want to go to and try to visit it before you decide that you want to go there.


Give yourself plenty of time and apply everywhere. Out of those accepted try to get the one that best supports what you are trying to accomplish. If you cannot decide what you want to accomplish, then weigh how much you are willing to pay versus how much you want/need to get out of the experience. Remember, if you decide what to do with your life after college, trade school/Master's degree can be taken in subjects other then what your major dictated.


I would advise the student to look for a college where they feel comfortable. If they know someone who attends that college, they should try to get a tour from them to get the inside look. They should narrow their search by knowing if they prefer a small college or a large one, and also consider the climate of the area the college is in. If they do not enjoy the weather in that area, they will probably not enjoy their college experience. Also, if there are particular fields of study they want to go in to, they should search for schools that excell in those areas. In addition, I would advise that they not worry too much about the prestige or reputation of the school because getting a college education in an atmosphere you are happy in is the most important objective. Just having a college degree is a step forward and can put you above many job candidates. Lastly, I would recommend that the student just remember that finding the right fit for them is the most important goal and that once they find the right college, everything else will follow.


In making the correct decision of what school to attend one has to look at every single factor, regardless of the distance and the money the parent should never put down a school unless they have done full research and visited it. Its hard to make a decision when your parents are bogging you down with negative factors. For the students i just suggest that they look at what they like if they visit the school and know that they belong there, thats where they mostlike will succeed. its hard to make a decision with just pictures and websites so visiting is a very good thing to do. To make the best of your time in college you have to enjoy eveyrthing, dont overload your self with work and dont over load with fun, its knowing that its okay to have fun as long as you get your work done, participating in activities will remove the whole "home sick feeling" as well so get involved and participate in new activities youve never tried before.


The only advice to parents is to let their children choose the college. With that said its important for the children to choose the right school. There are several important factors when deciding on a school along with some simple exclusionary factors. If a school does not offer the major of interest, has classes that are too large, or is known for a field that is not in the students area of interest then it is probably not worth applying to depending on the interests of the student. Besides these specific exclusionary factors there are other, equaly important factors to consider before choosing a school. From personal experience I know that the culture of the school is of paramount importance. It is imperative that a student fit in with the mentality of the school. There are few things that could make a student more miserable than feeling like they do not fit in. If the student is science minded then they should seriously consider a polytechnic institute or, otherwise, a school that is know for a scientific bias. If a student is more free-spirited then they should strongly consider a liberal arts school for their education.


The big thing I learned when applying to college was that it was better to truly like the campus I was going to attend than to settle for a place and resent that decision. My advice would be for all potential students or parents to really research and get to know what it is they want in their educational experience. Get to know the places you're applying to; spend time on it rather than simply choosing a place that your friends are going to--remember, you're going to be there for four to five years. There's no point wasting such an important decision on an education you won't appreciate later because you got burned out from the environment of your chosen university (socially, academically, etc.). There is nothing better for your education than choosing the right university. Take your time: get to know some of the professors, ask questions, Google search, and read up on all of the universities you're interested in attending, that way you'll be prepared to make the right decision for your future.


Visit the campus and take a tour. Be open to socializing and leave time for studying


Don't over-do it.


Do alot of research and make sure you visit each campus while school is in session so you can get a feel for what the campus feels like on a day-to-day basis. Talk to a lot of people and get as much information as you can.


I think there is no one university that is right for one person. The majority of the time, the college you go to ends up being perfect for you. Always, always, always go in frosh year with an open mind because everyone is in the same boat as you are. You will make friends, you will meet people you don't like, you will ace some tests and fail others, you will get very stressed out, but you will also find yourself thinking that there is no other experience like the college experience. It is easy to get overwhelmed with academic pressures. The absolute best thing to do is work hard every day and when you feel like you need a breather, put down that pen and go do something fun! College is about making mistakes and learning from them. I have learned lots and lots academically, but I have also learned a thing or two about living in the real world and making decisions on my own. The friends you meet these 4 years will likely stay with you through life. Never get caught up in the drama of college and ALWAYS have that mind open to new experiences.


Students need to take a look at which majors are offered at the university or college that they are considering. Even if a student doesn't know what major he or she is interested in, the student will at least have an idea of what the options will be when the time comes to declare a major. Whenever possible, visit the campus. The environment of a school will have an effect on a student. If a student doesn't fit in, it won't work. To enjoy the college experience, a student should get involved. Knowing people who attend the college or within the community that surrounds the college makes a big difference in how one will experience college. Join a club or just say hello to people. Parents have to learn to set rules. These rules can be about money, phone calls (when and how often it is appropriate for parents to call a student). This will create a lot less tension between parents and students if they can agree beforehand what is or isn't acceptable. Also, parents be aware that students will probably change somewhat (or a lot) during college and this needs to be accepted.


Go with your instincts. That's what I did and I am supremely happy.


The most important factor in determing whether a campus is right for you is simply by visiting it. Take a student run tour and get a real feel of the campus. It's the place you will most likely be living for 2 years so ask attending students how they like the professors, the dining hall, activities, and what kind of atmosphere the social life is like. Research class sizes, the weather, transportation avaliblity throughout campus, and study locations; remember, these can affect your ability to learn and study. Determine what you want in a campus and what is unacceptable to your needs. Once in college, don't be afraid to try new activities and meet people that are unlike any friends you've had before. Also take classes that broaden your life not just your GPA. Many different types of classes will be offered that were not offered in high school. Get out of your comfort zone and take a class outside your major and forces you to think differently or take a different perspective! College is the place to determine your goals in life, but remember that the real world doesn't start after college; it starts now.


Students should find a college that they feel right in. Find the mix of Social and Acedemic activites that is most appealing and fits you right. Your gonna be living there, not your parents, so make the decition for yourself. Try to set up a structured schedual for yourself, becasue time management is key to good grades and a happier time at school. I can't stress enough the importants of finding and making friends. One shouldn't worry about making friends, rather they should be aware that they are with lots of thier peers and there is bound to be somone that shares the same interests as you. Having a friend(s) that you can hang out with, and who share a common social as well as academic goals can really help you feel better about school and work harder. Make good choices and stay up to date with your schoolwork


Find a place where you think you will fit in. Don't try to be someone you're not.


VISIT THE COLLEGES YOU ARE CONSIDERING. Too many people wind up at schools they hate because the overall environment is just not for them and they didn't visit before applying/accepting. When you set foot on the right campus, you will FEEL it. When you find the school that's right for you, put yourself out there. Try to figure out your major as early as possible and don't be afraid to talk to people. College life is ten times easier with a few trusted professors/advisors and a small group of close friends with whom you can live, study, and unwind.


Be prepared to adjust to a completely different life from home and high school.


Search for a college that will best suit your needs. Choosing your major before will help you determine which college is good for you. College is tough and must be taken seriously if you are to succeed. Study hard and then take some time to relax.


If you know what field you want to pursue and you're looking at a UC campus, go for it! If you're not too sure about your direction, you might want to take your GEs in a community college first. Don't pressure yourself or your kids to enroll in a UC for the prestiege.


Look at the amoung to distractions at the school and then evaluate the teenager. Sometimes a more basic, less athletic school is better for those who are easily distracted or influenced.


Have a goal and keep it in mind.


Honestly, it's really hard to find the perfect college for you until you experience it first hand. What might have been right for your parents doesn't automatically work for you. And for parents, it's really difficult to go through the college life nowadays. You may have had the same classes or went to the same school, but that, too, might have been quite a while back that things have changed, technology has advanced and student personalities and mentalities are not like they used to. Our worlds are all different and pre-judgement of schools as well as student progress do not help the transition from high school to college any easier. In order to be able to experience the true college lifestyle, one must be free to make his or her decisions, whether right or wrong in you opinion. It's the mistakes that we make that help us know where we really want to go and I think it is important to keep that in mind when making the decisions of life.


I believe the best advice to give anyone looking at colleges would be to be open-minded and find the school that's best for you. It's not about going to the best school you get into, but rather going to a school where you can see yourself doing well. There is a lot of pressure of getting into a good school, but not enough on going to a school that's right for you. Make sure to consider all options, and all aspects of a school: academic programs, location, available facilities, campus involvement and the social atmosphere. As for making the most of your college experience, again, remain open-minded and make sure to get involved on campus! Campus involvement is crucial for graduate school, looks great on a resume and will enhance your social experience. You will meet people you would normally never see who have similar interests to you. Greek organizations, sports, community service and art clubs are fabulous ways to making the most of your time at school. Take a risk and put yourself out there. College is all about finding yourself and developing your talents and interests, make the most of the experience!


Throughout highschool, my first choice college was USC. I wanted to be a film major, and live the fast-paced life that Los Angeles entails. However, after I developed bulimia everything went downhill. My health took priority over school, resulting in lower grades. I didn't beat myself up over it though, because the experience taught me more about myself than I had ever learned. I was in a treatment facility for young women with eating disorders when I got the rejection letter from USC.


Do not look at typical rankings, instead visit the school see if you like the atmosphere, research fascilities, and the specific programs of interest. Talk to as many students and staff as possible, sit in on a class and ask yourself ,if you can see yourself graduating from here? Explore the nearest town! Your success lies in how comfortable/happy you will be at this school. Afterall you are committing a huge investment in both time and money! Truthfully ignore the rankings that tell you to go to Cal or Stanford just because.... you should be going to these places only if it is truly your ideal learning environment that you feel you will benefit from! Message to parents, schools have changed, what you believe was UC Santa Cruz in the 1960's is no longer the case. I really do hope you open up your eyes to find that what matters most is the future of your student and their success! Afterall I can't tell you how many students end up at huge/popular campuses, depressed about the environment and too scared to tell their parents that this wasn't for them. Do as much research as possible!


College is very much a personal choice and it may not necessarily be the correct one, so it is important to figure out what suits the prospective student best before even choosing a college. I think that, while it is important to have ideas in mind as to what kind of career you would like after completing college, it is also just as important to keep an open mind about college, and to seek out and take any opportunities to help you.


Follow your instinct on what school you think is right for you. Visit all of the campuses that interest you and talk with the students, professors and counselors to get an idea of what the school is all about. Look through the course catalog...find the sections that look most intersting and see if the classes offered appear like classes you would want to take, or if they seem boring and unengaging. All schools have different academic atmospheres, so its important to find a school with an offering of classes that seem intersting to you. Lastly, dont consider the "merit" or "rank" of the school in the top determining factors. Whether or not you will be happy at a school doesnt correlate to what everyone else thinks about it's prestige. College is an amazing time where you will make some life long friends and learn life long lessons. If done right, an education in any major or subject should prepare you with enough critical thinking and analytical skills to succeed in any profession. Happy college searching!


I would advise students and their parents to visit the college campus and explore the pros and cons of attending that school. If a student is interested in a specific study area, they should investigate how good the study program for that college is and compare it to other colleges. A student should spend some time with another student attending that college and see how well they can fit into the environment around them. Parents should find a faculty member to talk to and see what the faculty staff member has to say about the campus.


I think the most important aspect of choosing a college is the availability of the students proposed major or, if their major is unknown, classes or subjects the college focuses on that the student finds interesting. I am not saying, however, that a school should be based on this alone. The success of a student depends on the social aspects too. A student is more likely to succeed if they feel comfortable in their new environment. Making friends cannot only benefit the student from being overwhelmed with the changes of moving to college but can also improve grades. Having friends that have interests and in the classes that are the same helps when it comes to school work by forming study groups. This allows for the student to not have to solely rely on the availability of the professors and TAs. However, that should be taken into consideration. This information is best from current students, but can usually be found on web sites and it varies from professor to professor. The best way to know if a college is the best fit is to go visit the campus, talk to students and see if the atmosphere is right for you.


I did not do much research before going to school, infact I did not even go down to see the campus until after I was accepted. I went into college like most people do not knowing what I was going to major in, however I wish I had done something more practical. To make the most out of college experience make sure to take advantage of the resorces in front of you, and make sure to participate in internships.... these will help you for the future and give you more credibility when you graduate. Make sure you enjoy the campus and surrounding area, you will be spending a large amount (years) here! Picking the right college is difficult, read about the programs offered that intrest you, this will be what you will be studying and this is what you really want to focus on. Take advantage of the college experience, there are many opportuinitys offered.


If you enjoy the city life, don't go to Santa Cruz.


If you want to make the most of your college experience, learn to balance your work time, because obviously your classes are the most important thing that you're doing, but you have to also be able to balance your play time too, or else life's no fun. College isnt only a place to recieve an education; Its also a place to find yourself and discover who you are and can be as an adult in the real world. Your parents arent around to take care of you anymore, its all about yourself. Learn to find the right balance between everything in your life and life happily as a person.


Your experience in college is entirely what you make of it. Mine is wildly different from "the typical college experience." Rather than the clusterfuckery of heavy bass I'd imagined 'partying' to be, it turns out that people with interesting thoughts often imerge. Additionally, you can study WHATEVER YOU WANT. I take classes in Linguistics, as well as studying Japanese and apply the skills I learn from them to help me write lyrics for my rock band, Bran (182 at house parties). I consider all of these things to be my studies and that is the point. You are in college to learn about everything you ever wanted to know. Remember that the reason that these scholarships exist is to ease some of what could be a potential lifetime of repayment for your tuition and descision to attend university. Your time, if wasted, could lead to you winding yourself into the system created by the prominence of the supposedly well-educated. But know that if you have anything that you want to do, and are serious about pursuing it, you will be able to at a school that you like the personality of.


Parents: Let your child decide. Let them make their own choices so if they end up hating it then them can't blame you, or if they end up loving it then they can be proud of themselves for picking such a wonderful school. Students: Good luck and enjoy the college life. This is where the fun start but know your limit before the privilege of having fun is taken away from you [a.k.a kick out of school]. Parents & Students: Remember to be there for each other through the whole process. Parents need to learn how to let their little princess go or their little Billy boy go. Students need to learn to appreciate their parents more once they go off to college because your parents are the only one who will be providing you the washer machine and the dryer every weekend you decide to come home to do your laundry...with no charge.


It is easy for students looking at colleges to pick the most presitgious or the most well-known, but I would advise looking at different qualites. When I came to this campus I knew I found the right place because I had an overwhelming feeling that this was the right place. I knew that it wasn't the most prestigious, but I knew that here I would get the education I was looking for. I wouldn't have to exhaust myself to get decent grades, and I wouldn't have to compete with anyone to succeed. Look for a college where you can enjoy your time, where you will still be challanged intellectually, but where you are also comfortable enough in your surroundings to make friends and have fun. When you're in college, I have found that I've learnt the most from professors that I get to know outside of class, and that if I encourage myself to work hard I most often succeed.


Selecting the right college is a tough decision but what some people don't realize is that the area around the school is just as important as the school itself. Not just because of entertainment but because the city itself should offer resources for your area of expertise. That's why its so important to visit the cities where the colleges your looking at are and take a look around. And don't think because the city isn't big that there's no resources, many schools and department programs offer listings organizations there involved with within the city or in a city nearby.


Go with whatever feels right


parents not to worry about their children, they know what they're proud of it. students know what you want in life and grab it, opportunity is everywhere.


Rember where your strength ans weaknesses are. No matter what your goal is in college you have to know how to over come the weaknesses to survive. Also, even if you know what it is you want to major in, you might just change your mind so take general education courses in the beginning and make sure your not missing out on something that your actually truely wanting to do.


Let the student choose their college based upon what their preferences are.Do research on the school.


College is about learning; both about yourself and the rest of the world. It is important to learn about society and what you want to do in it. It is just as important if not more so to learn about yourself. You can't be successful in the professional world, no matter what your career, if you don't understand what makes you happy. College can give you the tools to be successful but without the motivation to succeed the most prestigious degree doesn't mean much. Finding the right college is important but having the right enthusiasm for learning is crucial. Without a positive outlook no college experience will seem right. Those who get the most out of their college experience are the ones that learn from challenges and have fun doing it. Many people say that college was the best four years of their lives. Those are the people that learned the most both inside and outside of the classroom.


For the applying student- don't chose a college based on what your friends are doing or what your family wants for you. Chose a college based on what feels right for you, what sort of community you wish to become a part of and on what deartments and extra curriculars fit your needs and wants. Listen to yourself, not everyone else... you'll know when it's a fit.


College is a time discover yourself. Chose a school that will offer opportunities to define your personal and professional goals. Internships, community service, and studies abroad can be life-changing experiences.