University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

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


Choose a college that is right for you at this stage in your life. I would not recommend going toward a college that is the elite or the one that you have wanted to go to since you were 4. I would look at what interests you, as an individual, and which place would allow you to explore different options. After high school there is a lot of transformation left to take place. The right college will aide you in that transition period and, maybe, help you decide who you are in the process.


Ask real students who have had a good time and know the realities of college life! Visit the campus and stay with a student who goes there, preferrably someone you know, for at LEAST one day and a night. Look into the professors who are currently teaching the classes you might be in when enrolling in freshman classes!


Students should definitely check out campuses ahead of time! There is no way to describe the real feel of a campus, so make sure it feels right for you! Learn to balance work and play. Homework should always come first, and don't wait until the last 2 days to write a major essay, but you need downtime too or you'll crack. Talk with your teachers, reach out to people in classes, clubs, sports, etc. College is the best place ever to make lifelong friends. Parents, support your kids in the decisions they make away from home, send them little carepackages to ease the stress of feeling alone amidst all those piles of homework, and ask them what they need to be happy. And if you're NOT happy, don't be afraid to go see a free counselor on campus. They are there to keep you happy and healthy, and it's not worth staying miserable. One last word of advice: don't take living in a room with another person too seriously. A roommate war is not worth your time, so talk out compromises and just be friendly and easygoing. Good advice for life in general.


Make sure your school not only has the right major for you, but the right environment and attitude as well. See ifyou can visit the campus during school hours with a friend to see if you like the surrounding attitudes of the people around you. Ask students what they think, see if you know anybody there and ask them about what they think.


Visit your campus and talk to people there. The best way to decide the right college. Don't just choose the academically well known schools.


When faced with the challenge of choosing the correct school, first evaluate your goal(s), then begin researching schools that will provide an opportunity to work around your interest. If possible, visit the campus and take a tour in order catch a glimpse of the environment and college life. Make sure to have a few choices in mind, since your first choice may not be available. Nonetheless, continuing your education provides options. While in school, strive to be well-rounded. Take a variety of different courses, talk to other students, keep an open mind with school events. College is the foundation, you essentially decide how succesful you would like to be.


Students and parents should definitely look for a college with academic programs and clubs that encourage an active engagement with one's studies. Tutoring services, disability services, and extracurricular activites aid in a student's intellectual and social growth. Speak to current students and visit the campus before making your final decision. Once enrolled, it is definitely important to try and establish a professional relationship with a faculty member and pursue an internship in your related field before graduating, as this will help you immensely with searching for a career and/or pursuing graduate studies. Studying abroad is also an amazing opportunity that will change your life forever. Strive for a diverse social network and encourage your university to do more to encourage student and faculty diversity. Meeting people from other cultures, languages, religions, and backgrounds than your own will prepare you more for the "real world" then any course ever could.


To parents: Let your child choose where they want to spend the next four years of their lives. It's a very important time of growth. Students: Follow your gut instinct. Schools and friends and parents and hormones are all going to be telling you to make different choices. What it comes down to is what you feel is right. Visit schools, see how you feel on the campus. When you know, you'll know. And when you get there, even if it isn't what you expected, make the best of it. Knock on doors in your dorm buildings and make friends. Don't feel like you have to be anything but yourself. No one else will know each other either, so don't be afraid of coming across as "different". Also, and lastly, don't forget that you are there to go to school. Friends and a social life will happen regardless of if you're looking for it, but classes will go on even if you don't show up, so don't party so hard that you can't go back after your first year.


Advice that would would tell parents or students would be to really do their reseach on the colleges they plan on going to/ sending their children to. I've had some friends transfer after their first year just becasue they didn't like what the school had to offer or just didn't like the campus. For the students, make sure you like the enviornment and area your potential college is in because you're going to be stuck there for the next four years. You should look at the programs that the schools offer and see if your interested in any of them, if not that might not be the school for you. And for the college experiance you've probably heard that college is a major time for partying but just make sure that you're balance the party life and the school life, after all you are in college to get a education. College will be a time for growth and exploration, dont waste it.


I believe that parents should let their children find the right college. Parents may think that they know what their children will enjoy, but they are often wrong. Students that love the location and the feel of their college campus are more likely to perform well in their classes. I believe that students should research colleges online and then visit the college campus, if possible. Once the student is in college, they should get involved, if they enjoy being involved with campus events. If not, make friends on your floor and spend time with them. You don't have to be involved with campus activities to have fun. My best nights in college were the ones that I spent at home with my roommates and friends.


I would choose to attend the school where you feel most at home. It's good to go somewhere where you are comfortable, but still have a chance to learn and grow. If you like sports, go to a school with sports. You'll miss them if your school doesn't offer them. Go to a school that offers programs you are passionate about. You might not always know what you want from life, but if a school has opportunities that interest you go for that one. No matter where you go, it's on you to make the best out of your college experience. You hold all the cards to your succes. Don't rely on others to make your decisions for you. Be proactive and assertive in your education, it will only make you stornger and more confident. Always fight for what you deserve, don't be afraid to challenge those that aren't here to help you. College is a place for you to learn and grow; meet people. Networking will help you in your future. Study hard, but allow time for social activities. Stay away from things that get in the way of fulfilling your dreams.


The biggest advice I can give to incoming students for any college is to embrace new things, and be open to new ideas. You?re going to be surrounded by many people with different backgrounds than your own, and getting to know them and their lifestyle will help you socialize and befriend everyone. Also, get involved with activities on campus; whether it is a club or a fraternity/sorority, you just need to stick yourself in there to become part of the crowd. Lastly, check out the University?s recreational department and extracurricular activities so that you don?t get overstressed with schoolwork. For parents, I have completely opposite advice. You need to believe in your child, they have worked hard to get to college, believe in yourself and your parenting capabilities to know that everything is going to be alright. Your child is going to do fine in college, and if anything goes wrong they are in good hands. Faculty and a good friend basis will get your child through any hardships that they encounter. Also, as much as you love your child you need to give them their space and let them grow up.


Go for it. Choose the college that will make you grow as a person as well as support you, the one with the most to offer in terms of new and exciting experiences. High school is a time when you experience most physical change. But college is really the time when you grow and change as a person. You are away from your parents (and my advice to parents is let your child be as much as you can) for, usually, the first time, and this brings a whole new perspective to life. You will make mistakes, you will do fantastic things, and as long as you have a good community, both socially and academically, you will have a wonderful time, and become a well educated, well rounded person.


UCSC is often called a drug school or party school. In my experience, it is what you make of it. I chose not to be part of the party scene and had a great college experience. The academic reputation far outweighs the party reputation.


Look at as many colleges as possible before choosing one. After high school I didn't travel around at all to colleges and ended up attending one I hated for two years before visiting friends in other cities and realizing there were colleges out there where I truly fit in and loved. I think their really is a college for every type of person, it's just a matter of finding it.


Don't go to Santa Cruz unless you're there to just study. Studying is important but you won't get much done here.


research the colleges your interested in extensively, visit the school, talk to the teachers, talk to students, learn about the available programs for academics as well as recreation


Know exactly what you want to do way before you get to college, probably as a freshman in high school. Finding the right college is all about how much you want to spend and what you are trying to become. Don't waste your time with small colleges and private universities, unless you are getting significant financial aid and got into Harvard or Yale. Attending an Ivy League-caliber school is the only reason to go to a private institution. The best state institutions in about half the states are good enough to pursue an education. Where you go and how much you spend will have little effect on you if you do not know what it is you're trying to become. You will not learn that in college; you will not "find your calling" or "be inspired to study" a particular field. You must already be aware of what your life goals are concerning employment before you enter the university, and then seize them in them most ruthless, cutthroat manner as possible. Go to as many career fairs as possible. Utilize the Career Center as much as possible.


First of all, the decision should be made bythe student. If a parent makes such an important decision (and makes an incorrect one) the student is the one who will suffer. If you are seriously considering a school, it is definitely important to go and check it out. Do you feel comfortable there? Could you see yourself being happy there by your fourth year? Do you think you could easily relate to the students around you? If you answered yes to these questions then you should take some further steps to decide if this college is right for you. In order to get an idea of the academic life, go sit in on a class. Talk to the students and get a first hand idea of what they think of their classes. This would also be a great time to ask them about campus life and extracurricular activities. Once you decide which college you wish to attend, explore the different possibilities it has to offer. Don't be shy--just get out there and ask questions. It is likely that your college will have what you are looking for, it's up to you to find it!


The best college experience can be found with a personalized balance of what is familiar and what is unknown. Feeling relaxed and like you belong is an important foundation for both academics and social life. This can relate to the size of the city the college is in, the political climate, the distance from home, etc. However, these same attributes can be unknowns of a new college experience. The question is, of each potential college's attributes, what comforts are most important to your everyday life, and how much of the new would you like to know?


I would have to say the biggest thing for me was visiting schools. You can read info online, compare statistics, and all, but this is the place you will live and grow for four or more years. Take the time to get a feel for the area and the people. I knew Santa Cruz was my top pick the second I came to the campus. Also, look into some of the programs the school offers besides academics. I knew I wanted to study abroad and Santa Cruz had a lot of options. They also have a great EOP (educational opportunity program) group for low-income student support as well as a top-notch tutoring program. Knowing you can get academic support is a plus. The EOP advisors also provided an extra way to make sense of all the information thrown at you your first year. A school that offers a lot in terms of personal and education support systems is one that cares more about it's students than anything else.


No matter where you end up going try to make the best of it and dont stress to hard.


Go somewhere that makes you happy. College is a time where students learn grow and find themselves. Finding a college that you know that you can thrive in is something very important. College is the time to find who you are as a person and really learn many things that you never knew. This is an amazzing experience that should not be taken for granted. Take it very seriously and choose a place very clearly that you know that you can imagine your self. In both the campus schools, the social atmosphere, the downtown, and every other way. Go with your heart and don't be afarid of taking chances. I went to a school that was in a different country as my family, but I knew that the school was the right one for me. Be flexible and open minded. College is the time to learn and grow so don't be scared to really be able to discover yourself and who you want to be in your life.


You should go somewhere where you can see youself being compfortable whether that involve environment, people, views, or major focuses. i would say that students shouldgo with their first instincts when it comes to the school they choose because this is probably where they will be the happiest.


The most effective part of my decision process was going to visit the campuses. Although it was slightly expensive and involved a chunk of time, it was well worth it. I believe being in an environent where you are comfortable and motivated to learn is the most important thing, and you can't figure out which places do that until you have experienced them first hand. Once at the school of your choice make sure to get involved in things, don't forget about homework but college isn't just about learning from your books!


Stay open minded, work hard, and have fun! This is a great chance for new expeirences, new friends and new knowledge, so make the most of it.


Think about exactly what you want out of the next few years and who you want to be, then do whatever it takes to accomplish those things. Do it now, because these years go by faster than you think.


Take advantage of all the opportunities you are given and become an involved member of the campus community.


I believe that in order to fully make the most out of one?s college experience, there has to be a couple of necessary catalysts. Initially, you can never forget how truly lucky you are to be in an institution of higher learning, and not waste the priceless opportunity. Second, even if you don?t know what you want to study, you should always work your hardest, because nothing you learn will ever go to waste, it can only make you a better person. Finally, you should never stop challenging yourself, academically, socially, or athletically, because that is one of the few ways you can ever truly grow as a human. I believe that these steps are the most important things you can do to truly appreciate your own college experience, and I think it is through a deep seated appreciation that you make the most out of college.


The best thing to do is visit a lot of campuses and find what works the best for you. Whether you like the atmosphere, but once you step foot onto the campus you'll know if it is right.


Make an effort to really visit your choices and make sure that you find a connection. Connection to your school and its style is cruical.


Visit the college campus, and if possible, talk with current students and alumnis of possible colleges. Research online about colleges (princeton review is a good site). When students are actually at college, talk to people--just introduce yourself randomly even. Everyone else is new too, so they will be open to it. It's a great way to make friends. Also, form study groups for your classes, and try to get to know your professors. Don't be afraid to ask questions--you're better off than those who don't, and you'll learn quickly. Good Luck!!


I suggest looking for something farther from home. If you cut ties with home, you're more likely to commit to a new environment. Move far away, study abroad, etc.


find someplace that feels comfortable when you are walking around. be open to new things but not afraid to say no for drugs and alcohol. study hard and try to enjoy yourself.


Finding the right college starts with a personal decision making process that will allow you to refine your college search. It is important to decide BEFORE attending college what type of setting you wish to spend the next 2-4 years living in. Do you want to attend a University or Community College? Do you want to live near family or make a drastic move? Do you want to live in an urban area or do you prefer living near the country? Answering questions like these will help narrow your college search. Next, make a list of schools that fit these criteria and begin a second round of questions. The most important of which, do these schools offer the academic programs I feel most interested in? Will this school allow me to follow my passion? As a future college student, you are the one to make this important decision about your future. It's okay to listen to advise from parents and friends, but do not let them make the decision for you. If you can do this, your college experience will be a reflection of the fit you found between college and student.


Visit the campus and talk to the students and faculty while school is in session. Also, for science majors, try to get an internship and do research with the faculty!


Dont mess around, you can always party later but you can never take that test again.


Finding the right college for your child or for yourself is about finding a school which will fit ALL of their needs. From their academic programs to extra-cirricular activities to a type and size of the social/living/school environment that pushes oneself but doesn't make one so uncomfortable they cannot thrive. A person's education is as much about preparing for career and "real-life" after college as it is figuring out who one wants to be, what they truly like and dislike, what life-style they want to have, how to express themselves and how to find what makes them happiest. Your college experience are foundational years in who a person is and during that time you've just got to put yourself out there, try new things, and don't look back. It'll be over before you know, and hopefully you'll like where you've been.


Parents and students should consider a number of factors when deciding on the right college. Academics are one. If the student knows what they want to study, the academic programs offered are the most important consideration. If the student doesn't know, they may want to choose a larger school with more options so that they can experiment with many different fields of study. Another important factor is the school environment. The location of a school ha a huge impact on the school experience. Students should take into consideration whether they prefer a more rural or urban environment, the availability of transportation and housing, and the general appearance and upkeep of the campus. The cost, the activities offered, and the makeup of the student body are also important factors to consider. With that said, college is really what one makes of it. In order to have the best experience, the student should pursue a course of study that interests them, and take every opportunity to interact with their professors. They may also want to take advantage of recreational opportunities on their campus and in the community, as the college experience is greatly enhanced by a balance of academics and extracurriculars.


Go where your heart tells you will be the most comfortable. The vibes you get from a school are not to be idly dismissed. Remember that it's what you put into your education that determines what you will get out of it. It's not necessarily good to decide colleges based on "popular" reputations because almost always, they are wrong.


Look at endowment per student ratios for financial aid,and at counseling resources per student to assess student happiness.


An undergraduate degree is not as important as people make it out to be today. It is essential to obtain one in order to make the most of what you want to do, but not necessarily worth getting oneself into large debt. The undergraduate degree seems to serve most importantly to show an employer that you are capable of completing assigned tasks, you are able to stick with something important, you are motivated, and able to think. An undergraduate degree does not limit anybody to a specific field, though some degrees will certainly aid one in obtaining work in certain fields, so study what you are passionate about and what really interests you. College should be a time of learning as much about the world and oneself as possible through the acedemic world and the social world. It is a very special universe to be a part of and so much can be learned from it. Never skip an oppotunity to do what you feel is right or will aid in your growth as a person and/or student. Stick it out through the hard times, they are inevitable, but most of all learn and have fun!


Take the time to visit a few schools and try to get a feel for each campus. Research each school, but remember that the first few years of college should be meant for personal exploration. Keep this in mind as you choose a school; you want to pick a college that feels both comfortable and exciting. If you already know what you like to major in, then research the specific department and try to get a feel for how much attention an undergraduate will receive. If you don't know what you want to major in that is OK, use the first year or two to explore the various options. Lastly, take advantage of every resource and opportunity you can. College goes by very quickly.


Definitely go visit the campus and attend orientations because you will actually get face to face interactions with students , faculty, and staff in order to get a better feel of how the school is like.


Choose the college that is right for you at that particular time. Don't feel pressured to choose based on anyone else's opinions or desires. Take a year off if it makes sense for you. If you go to a school that you don't want to go to it only wastes your time--precious years you'll never get back--as well as the time of your professors. I didn't go to my first choice, but the school I went to felt right for me at that point in my life. I wasn't even sure what I wanted to study. Sound familiar? Now that I've graduated, I'm confident of the direction I want my life to take and I'm applying for graduate schools based on scholastics. For your undergrad it's less about getting "the best" education and more about finding out who you are. Choosing the right school isn't about the Ivy Leagues or parties or Greek life. It's about you. Master's degrees are the new Bachelor's these days, so make that choice based on logic and choose your undergrad school based on what will help you grow.


Allow your child to find an environment in which he'she feels comfortable, where he/she can extress his/herself confidently. They're grow up better for it.


Visit schools before going to them and talk to current students!


let your kids drink before they go


Pick what college is going to make you happy. When you move into the dorms, leave your door open for the first whole week. Talk to everybody. Go sit with some new at the dining hall as often as possible. When it is time for classes do the reading. If you read everynight you won't have to cram. Remember that school is really your only responsibility at this time so do your best in it.


Do your best and apply to as many schools as you can afford