University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

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


Finding the right college is part preparation, part luck. By preparation, you must develop a general idea of what kind of college you want to attend and consider the different attributes the desired colleges should have, such as distance from your home and family, prestige, and environment. Also when making that list, you should keep in mind that you should include colleges that you can fall back on just in case. Choose wisely, then apply. The luck part then kicks in when the colleges send you their acceptance letters and you are faced with the decision on which college to spend the next few years of your life on. You just have to let luck take its course when you choose that college because you will have no idea what sort of experience awaits you. However, no matter what college you choose, there will be one leading factor in determining your enjoyment, and that is the friends that you will make. Do not be afraid to meet lot of people because when you form the closest of bonds with a group of friends, they will be with you in both hardship and excitement.


Make sure to ask the people attending the college and not those appointed by the college to inform you about the school as they paint the picture they want and often the majority feel differently.


Go with what your heart tells you. Never quit unless you've gone there for at least a year. It's not the end of the world if you don't get into your first choice. Go to church!


Taking a tour may help a person decide where to attend college, however no one really knows what a school is like until they attend that school. Also, everyone has a different experience, so it is important to listen to others' thoughts about a school, but to also keep the goal in mind, "is this a school that i would be proud to attend"


I'd advise students looking at colleges to try to relax about the process, and trust that whatever school they choose will most like have a community in which they feel comfortable. I've tried lots of new things in college - ballroom dancing, aikido, body-surfing - and so far have rarely been dissapointed by my experiences in the unknown. I imagine it is a rare oppertunity to be able to do these new things affordably through the school. I'd suggest that students make the most of their tuition by taking advantage of any such activities their school offers, including advising, internships, research oppertunities, extra curricular activities, anything that looks interesting.


Many parents take charge of where they want their child to attend college. However, the best thing a parent can do for their child and themself, is to let the child choose, according to his/her personal preference when it comes to class size, campus size, housing, location, majors, extra-curricular activities, special programs, academic advising, and personal needs. Prospective students should do their own research to find out what suits them best. After completing this personal research step, sign up for a tour of that specific college to get a first-hand experience of it. Many people want to attend schools that are well known and prestigious, but in the end, the most important thing is how well you will do at that school. Mainly colleges offer many different fields of study, some have what others dont. Look for a college that offers the major of your field of study and may have special programs that may go along with it. This will help you even better when it comes to what you are pursuing. Dont worry about entering a college as undecided, all colleges have GE's, these help to expose you to potential career ambitions. Goodluck! =)


The most important part in finding the right college for you is to actually visit it. No amount of pictures or words will ever replace the visceral feeling of stepping on a college campus. You can usually get a really good idea of what your experience would be like just by "feeling" the college itself. Don't be afraid to walk up to strangers and ask questions, for that will be a skill you need to have to make friends in the future! No one knows the experience at a particular college better than a student themselves (don't always believe the tour guides). Make sure the setting of the campus, along with the programs they offer, will be one that inspires you to go above and beyond what you previously thought you would do.


Honestly, no matter where you end up going to college, you will have an amazing experience. But I think the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a college is the environment. Every school will have similar classes, but the location and surrounding environment is different at every campus. Choose a campus that you would feel comfortable walking around and living in. And once you get there, once you move in and get to know your neighbors and fellow students, just explore. Don't hold back - this is the prime time in your life to figure out who you are, what you like, who you like, etc. Learn in the classroom, but also learn about yourself.


My advice to parents would greatly differ from the advice I would give to students when considering the right college. To all of you, parents, my advice comes not from personal experience as a mom or dad but rather from that of the child. I recommed that you do not pressure your child into attending any school for personal or academic reasons. I find that when someone is forced into something, they tend to hold resentment and/or hold back from absorbing all the benefits of the experience. My advice to the students who are scouting out the right school is visit the location first. Your surroundings will be around you at all times and can greatly affect your happiness. If you are not happy where you are at, you will most likely not be able to get the most out of your college experience. If you like a school because of its atmosphere more so than its academic programs, remember that you can always further your studies on your own outside of the classroom. So in the end, I recommend to all students that you put your own comfort and happiness at the forfront of your future decisions.


I would tell parents and prospective students that just visiting a campus on a day when students are there will help give you a feeling of whether this could be the right place for you because you can talk to current students or professors. One can make the most of the college experience by balancing a social and academic environment by choosing to hang around other students with the same view or deciding to think this way by themselves.


choose the university which has a nice study environment


Visiting the college gives you the best indication of what the campus is like. Even if the campus is on break, the tour guides give a decent indication of what type of student goes to the school. A school should primarily be chosen based upon what makes the prospective student happiest, though prestige and so on should also be considered. Also, choosing a school with the best program for the student helps! Even if you are college bound, you are still in high school and should use what resources are there! Most high schools have some type of document with recent graduates and where they go to school. Asking recent high school graduates about their current college is another indication of what the school is like from a typical reliable source.


Its best to have the least amount of expectations as possible, and to have an open mind about people and situations that seem "odd" or "different" at first. The best college experiene is one that opens the hearts and minds of students, and choosing a college on its academic reputation alone is a waste of time and money; the best way to make the most out of the college experience is to choose a college that has an appealing academic side as well as an appealing social one, and that these two are balanced.


Most importantly I'd say make sure you visit any schools your seriously considering attending. Second, make sure to talk to students who aren't part of any orientation or welcoming program, particularly ones in the field you hope to study. Take time to investigate all the major facilities, not just the ones they show on the tour and ask people about them. Last but not least, let yourself go for a walk around the campus by yourself and just see how it speaks to you.


have kids use freee community college classes in highschool, and go to college at a distance from where you lived or homelife could interfere with your college expirience


I reccommend visiting the schools you are interested in going to. Tour the campus and spend some time in the surrounding area to get an idea of what life is like for the students, and whether or not it is a good fit for you. If you live in the dorms, keep your door open the first week or so, this is when everyone is getting to know each other and you don't want to miss out. Also get involved in activities around campus, its a great way to meet people and get the most out of your college experience.


remeber how you learn best. UC's are about lectures more, CSU's are about hands on, and private universities are competitive as all heck. So really examine the way you learn, and not just the prestige you'll obtain from the school.


We all know ourselves best more than anyone else. Before arriving at college, take a few minutes of your time to think about yourself. Think about what motivates you, your desires, your way of learning, your needs, your habits, and your ability to manage your time. Truly look at the different colleges you'll consider attending. Look at the class size, majors, programs, financial aid, and distance from home. If you know you need focused attention from teachers, then maybe a public university with an average class size of 150 isn't for you. If you know you'll be home sick, then maybe you want to be closer to your family. See where i'm going with this? Also, don't get discouraged if you don't receive the financial aid that you need to attend college, sometimes due to colleges competing for students, they may reconsider their financial awards packet. Be social, study hard, and have fun! Last piece of advice: it is best to release steam at the end of the quarter after you're done with your classes, then you can rest assure that the hangover won't affect your performance in class. Good luck!


Visit and talk to people who go there.


As some parents probably have already experienced, college is a place to focus on your career goals and also focus on the person you are becoming. This being said, picking the right college for their child is extremely important. Their child will be spending four years out of their lieves here, so making sure the campus is a safe and healthy environment is priority number one. Without safety, the education they would be recieving could not even be possible. Following that, would be the emphasis and amount of time they put into teaching their students on campus. The college needs to be knowledgable on the major their child is intending on pursuing, preparing them for the future to come. And lastly, the college they choose must be friendly and welcoming to all types of people. This is important because not only does their child need to be comfortable being themselves while there, they need to be able to have contact with a variety of people, just like they would in the real world.


Jake Pierce