University of Central Arkansas Top Questions

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

Elizabeth

Overall, I loved my high school experience and was fortunate to have a great community and friends. If I were to give myself advice, I would encourage myself to take study and my school work more seriously. Getting to college, I've realized it's much more difficult and you are accountable for your own success. I would work on my studying habits and skills.

morgan

The best advice I could possibly give myself back then as a high school senior would be to fill out scholarships now and to stay on top of what is priority. I've learned that keeping up with files and also being diligent has helped me with my college experience and also being proactive with getting things taken care of in a timely manner. Scholarships are very much a huge part of going to college. It helps lighten an already heavy load that the everyday student bares while dealing with exams, projects and papers. Scholarships make it one less thing to worry about while going through college and which has helped me tremendously while I navigate through college life.

Journey

Never take what you have for granted. Start early applying for grants and scholarships. Don't procrastinate getting your stuff done. Always pay attention, because what you see in high school, for the most part you will see again in college.

Kendra

I would tell myself not to listen to the high school counslor so much. My counselor told me I had to wait until my senior year to apply for scholarships. I later discovered that I could have started applying for scholarships when I was thirteeen. I was also given a monthly one and a half sheets worth of scholarships, most of which I didn't qualify for . They were mostly math, science, for males, or for athletes, of which I am none. I felt stupid for listenng to the counelor, but I had trusted her to lead me down the right path. I had gone to the library to try to find a book with a list of scholarships, but I couldn't seem to find anything but books aboout how to apply. During the summertime however, I did find a book with a list of scholarships, but about half of them read,"Must be in high school." I felt awful. I had just missed qualifying for a lot of scholarships. I would tell myself to start applying earlier, and to go out on my own to find scholarships.

brandi

I would tell myself to cherish every moment spent in highschool. The best thing about high school is getting to see your friends everyday, friday night lights, and all the late nights you spend cramming for that test. In college, you don't have late nights because nights turn into the next morning really fast. You're not living at home with your parents and eating the food they cook. You have to eat what the cafeteria provides and most of the time it is not good. In highschool, you cannot wait to grow up and move out of the house, but when the time finally comes you will wish you had more time. The final thing I would say is to not rush growing up, live in the now, cherish every moment you can!

sean

I would love to go back and talk to myself as a high school student. I would say that grade point really does matter. Tuck away 10% of your earnings in a Roth IRA and pay yourself first. Stop dating and do your homework and remember that school work and knowledge is for your future and worth more than anything you can buy at the store or own. Find a job that is more like a hobby that you get paid for because working a job for 40 years totally sucks! Be kind to everyone and give another 10% of your take home pay away to church or other people that really need it. High school is something you will look back at and remember the fun times you had as a kid and realize how stupid you really were no matter how smart you think you are now. If you think you are fat now, wait a few years, you will always want to get back to your current weight. Hug your mom and dad because they wont live forever and stop and smell the roses because life may be short but the longest thing you will ever do!

Ashlyn

If I could go back in time, I would encourage myself to put me first sometimes. It is important to care about and take care of others, but sometimes you just need to take care of yourself. Learn to say no, be observant of your emotions and what your body is telling you. If you neglect your own needs, you can't do your best in school, your relationships, and helping others. Things can fall apart pretty quickly when you don't remember to take care of your emotional and physical needs. It's okay to go to the counseling center. It's even okay to go to more than one counselor if the first does not meet your needs. A lot of my undergraduate students I mentored could have used the same advice, especially the students who were determined to succeed and to achieve their goals. College can be tough, you might be moving away from family, friends, significant others that you usually rely on for emotional support. With help and support from resources in your college whether it be the resident assistants, counselors, or your roommate you can succeed and have a great experience.

Dinah

I would tell my former high school self to work really hard and take high school seriously. I would tell her not to slack off and do her homework even if she doesn't want to. I would tell her to balance everything out starting now, for example: her work, social and school life. I would tell her to be motiveted about what she is doing and to have a goal in her life. It was once said by Mahatma Gandhi," Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it." I would also tell her to never bring herself down no matter what obstacles come her way and always look towards a brighter future.

Cory

The advice I would give to my past high school senior self is to not be afraid or stressed about what will come. The present is what can be taken care of and the future can always change. Always have a way to find food as it is very important after marching band. Remember to make friends and socialize. All these people around you have the same stress you are in. If you socialize more, you can destress and make great memories. Even if you think you have nerdy interests so do other students. This will be your home and you will love it. Remember friends are great and are there for you. Never be scared about what is come. It is okay to make mistakes because they help you learn. Also professors will help you fix your mistakes.

Jake

Find a way to move to Austin and go to college there.

Shalisa

Study hard and work hard. But it's alright to socialize and have fun too. It's great to have balance in school and in life. Keep up the good work.

Kahlon

I would tell myself to start looking for scholarships ASAP and find someone who is looking for the same things in life that I am that is willing to help. I would also tell myself to find a group of people to sociate with that are helpful and are serious about achieving their goals and making their dreams a reality. I would tell my senior self to develop better study habits and even encourage myself to sit on the first row in class so I know I am taking quality notes and that I am understanding what the teacher is teaching us. I would also tell myself not to worry as much because college is not so different as high school and my senior self would eventually see why I told him that.

Sara

Take the concurent classes. Breathe--you'll make it through. It helps you insanely when you are applying for schools and increases your GPA like you won't believe.

Kenya

Don't rush the decision, but don't overthink it either. That's the first thing I would tell my senior self. There are hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. alone, and all of them are excellent institutions in their own ways. Find the one that really stands out to you, the one in which you immediately imagine already walking and living on that campus, knowing you truly belong and that it's meant to be. It's okay to be indecisive about the process, and it's okay to change your mind as soon as you arrive on campus, or even in the middle of your college career. The cool thing about colleges is that you never have to worry about finding a place for yourself. Colleges are so diverse and welcoming these days, that it's always possible to march to the own beat of your drum, and people will understand what you're about. When you go to college, it's like having a miniature version of the world at your disposal, in every fathomable way. Take advantage of this every single moment! I guarantee it will be an experience worth the money.

Twighla

I was such a dummy back then. I didn’t pay close enough attention in class, understand the importantance of a good education, and I didn’t have the desire to finish college. In thinking back as to high school, here are a few words of advice about starting school and finishing. Pay close attention. The basics are what carry you through school. Dig deep down within yourself to find the want and desire to have an education behind you. Your education is the root system of your life; it provides the strength to overcome adversity. You are a true individual when you strive towards your goals and you are no longer just a follower. If I had only realized back then how much my education would have been helpful now, I would have had a much easier time of it now. Being blind to the possibilities that would have been available to me, I am now struggling to complete my goal. I now know if we set our mind to the mission at hand and press forward, we can do anything, and that includes finishing our education at a higher level. Thanks high school self for listening

samantha

If I could tell my highschool self anything it would be, do not worry life and school get better. You will have to work harder, but it will be towards a life for your new baby girl and it will all be worth it. I would also like to say that the social life is better in college, there will be no more eating lunch and roaming around alone. Best of all, all of the stress you feel will all go away after you PASS each assignment.

Leanne

During my freshman year, the typical telephone conversation with my mother progressed in the following format:Me: "Hi, Mom (tears)"Mom: "Have you gotten enough sleep?"According to the National Sleep Foundation, 63% of college students do not receive enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of physical, mental, and emotional health problems including depression, weight gain, irritability, and headaches. Although the amount of sleep needed for every person is different, it has been found that students who sleep 7-8 hours receive higher GPA's, have fewer emotional/mental issues, and have better memory retention.Looking back at the times when I was confronted with a problem and felt anxious or overwhelmed, the best solution was always to go to bed and "sleep on it." The morning always seemed to bring a sense of calm and clarity to the situation, and I was able to rationally evaluate or creatively solve my predicament. If I could give one piece of advice, it is that a good night's rest is priceless.

Cameron

I would tell myself to get involved in the community more. Find something that interests you and stick with it the entire year. Community service teaches you time management, discipline, goal-setting, and the value of helping others. In high school, I have always been very studious in my academics, taking a bunch of honors and AP classes and graduating with an over-4.0 GPA. But I never knew the great importance of being a well-rounded person when it came to showing yourself off to the college admissions committees. I had the mindset that my relatively high grades would get me into my top-choice univeristy. Establishing yourself as a well-rounded person shouldn't just be about getting into a prestigious university, it should be about finding what you love to do. Get involved in community service, clubs, or sports because you want to, not because it looks fantastic on your college application. Your own initiation, not your thinking solely about whether you will impress an admissions officer, will translate into a passionate story that will be sure to make you stand out in the selection process. So do what you love, and have fun doing it.

DwaLisa

Dear Younger me, Your not ready. Listen to the adults around you because you don't know it all. Those who are trying to help you, LET THEM. The friends you think you have are most likely aren't going to be there at the end of your journey. When you start working towards your career they're only going to get in the way. Your so ready to get out the house and be on your own, trust me your only getting your feet wet you still need help getting on your feet before you're able to walk alone. The transition to college is a great experience but dont get caught up in the partylife it will still be there. You think you can handle the night/early mornings when it's time for the a.m. classes you're going to regret it. GO TO CLASS your going to look at those days they give you and your going to hit that limit faster than you think. All that I am saying is that college is the start of a wonderful journey don't mess it up before you even starts. Love, Future You.

Jacob

"Jacob, you are going to absolutely love college when you get there. You are just a senior right now, but be ready for the best times of your life. " If I could talk to my high school senior self, that is what I would say. Then, I would proceed to tell him, "Now, the transition you make from high school to college is about as big as when the first big step was made on the moon. It is going to be more difficult and challenging to make As and Bs in college courses. So, do not set your standards to above and beyond one hundred percent (bonus) cause that is just not happening in college. " "Oh, and another thing about college, it is seriously expensive. You are going to be told on the night of your graduation that you received $40,000 to attend UCA, but in reality, that was just an estimate. You are really going to be only receiving $10,000 to attend UCA, so be warned. Other than that, college life is so amazing! The faculty you will have are great! The residents and friends are wonderful! You'll get used to it! Good luck!

Rhiannon

Dear past self, This year you start college, and with it a new chapter in your life. It is an exciting time, and do not take a single moment of it for granted. I implore you to soak up every morsel of knowledge that a professor or fellow student throws your way, but do not be fooled by fancy degrees or a confident air; people are imperfect. Research what you are learning, and confirm its validity. The effect will be two fold; you will have a greater understanding of the subject and thus be better prepared, and you can know for certainty whether or not the information you are recieving is to be trusted. Information recieved will inevitably been doled out again, and it would be disasterous to lead others astray. Also, participate in more than classes. Get out of your own head, and engage with other students and professors. Many great minds, sensibilities, and personalities saturate UCA's campus. It can only be to your advantage to mingle your own with them. But most of all, do not forget to have fun. Academics is most important, but don't let the rest of the college experience pass you by.

Katelyn

College is hard work. In high school, I just kind of floated by. This is the real world and you have to work hard. The past couple of years have been hard for me because I haven't worked as hard as I can/should. I got slapped in the face recently with the fact that if I don't start stepping it up, my future career will not exist. Don't think college is all fun and games. While you can still have fun, you have to set your priorites straight and stick with them.

Jaime

The best advice I would give myself is to listen to your mentors. The month I graduated from high school, I got a job in a hospital. My emergency department manager encouraged me to get on the waiting list for the nursing program. I was young and nieve and did not want anything to do with nursing, I wanted to become a paramedic. Not listening to her, I continued on and got my paramedic license. I've been a paramedic for 13 years and have not enjoyed one day of it. It was truly not the field for me. I just spent the last five years, going to school part-time trying to get pre-requisites for a nursing program. I completed everything this last spring and went and talked to the academic advisor, only to be disappointed that they changed the program requirements and I was told I would need to complete three more pre-requisites. Frustrated, I gave up. I was tired of the politics and competition trying to get a spot in the nursing program and changed my major. To this day, I wish I would have taken my mangers advice, and tried for nursing in 1994.

Rachel

Make sure you meet all deadlines and keep up with turning things in to colleges. You want to have to the best opportunity to be accepted and to go to your choice college. Also, don't worry about making new friends. You're going to find two amazing people to hang around with, and they will be your best friends. It doesn't necessarily get easier or less busy, but you do have more freedom.

Ashley

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to prioritize my needs and wants more wisely. When I was in high school, I was sure that college would be nothing but a bigger school with more people. I soon figured out that I was surely wrong. Going to college is usually a "make it" or "break it" for students and if a person is not careful, it is very like to associate with the wrong crowd, forget about studying and eventually flunking out.

Amanda

I guess the biggest thing any freshman at my school should know before they start is that the campus is not as big as it seems at first. If you are like me, and possibly come from a small school in the middle of nowhere, when you first visit UCA the campus can feel daunting...but trust me navigating the UCA campus will become a cakewalk! Also if you go on a tour, or go during the warmer months, you will not do all that walking in a short amount of time on a regular basis. When I visited UCA it was in September, and it was a hot day, when I came back to register during the summer it was also hot. Don't let the heat of your visit fool you, the possibility of you doing that much walking and/or sweating is slim to none. Also other things Freshman will want to know is their living arrangements, and what building their classes are in. Simple stuff like that is very important to know. Just make sure all your financial aid, housing, etc stuff is all worked out before you get there or within Welcome Week.

Jennifer

I would tell myself that college is very different from high school so I should let go and open up more. I was not the most popular kid in high school and I let that hold me back when I got to college, but I've come to realize none of that matters here. I can loosen up. People are a lot less judgmental and you have the freedom to experiment and be yourself. I would tell myself not to pick a major like math or business just because you feel that is what is expected. I can just do what I love (art/theatre) and my friends and professors will support me. I know that now and I wish I had known it freshman year instead of wasting my first year and a half doing something I hated.

Latoya

If I were to back in time, and be able to talk to myself; the advice I would suggest: 1st.--Don't be hesitant in wanting things. Be bold and take charge, accept the skills, and talents you have within yourself in the career you know you have the desire for. 2nd--Contine to be fair and just; give a helping hand here and there to those whom in need, because you never know when its your turn to receive the blessings from another "Pay it Forward". 3rd--Keep truth and honest to yourself, stay away from the bad and runaway from the evil, but stay very close to the good...What an advice I would give myself, if I would be able to travel back in time.....

cindy

I would tell myself to start college as soon as I had finish high school. That way I would have been graduated. I would have had a lot of experience in the world pertaining to work.

Elizabeth

I would give myself the following advice - Show up at 8:00 a.m. at the latest for parking if you have a morning class. Around 12 for an afternoon class. - Keep a copy of your schedule in the car, backpack, and at home along with a campus map. - Unless you've won the lottery, pack a lunch, because school food is expensive. - Coffee is man's best friend, not dogs. - Don't worry if your present friends decide they hate you for going to school. College is a place for new friends. - Stay on birth control pills

Mara

What do you really want in life? What can you see yourself doing as a career choice? This is something that I'm still struggling with today. Sit down and think deeply about what you want to do after college. Once you found that resolution, keep it and never let go. Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't do what you love. Going back in time, I would tell myself these wise words. I would also advise myself to branch out of my comfort zone. Meet more people, go places, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's going to happen regardless of how much you try to be the "perfect student". Making good grades and a good impression on professors is very important, but don't forget to have fun too. Find the balance between the social life and academic success. Learn to communicate with both students and professors, because you can learn a lot from them even outside of the classroom. People struggle with different aspects of college life, but this is advice that I wish I had received in high school.

Alicia

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to not be concerned with what other people think of me. Do not be afraid to show your intelligence. Asking questions is always beneficial and will help you to feel more confident when you make the transition from high school to college. Perseverance is important when you are finishing your last few months of high school. When you feel like giving up imagine the liberty you will eventually have at college, getting to study the subjects you love and pursuing your future career. At fist, it may seem relieving not to attend the same class everyday, buy do not slack off on your studies. There are many ways to gain insight and knowledge; you will be surprised to know all of the exciting new things you will come across when you put all your effort into studying.

Jonathan

Work harder

Brandi

My college experience has taught me that hard work is imperitive for success. Moving out of the house, away from my parents, I had complete freedom to do whatever I chose. Luckily, I knew that if I wanted to get a good education, and hopefully a good job in the future, I needed to focus on my education. I have worked extremely hard to stay on top of my classwork, and it paid off when I got a 4.0 last semester. College really teaches you how the real world works - it is all up to you. If you want to put in the work, you will get the results that you want. However, if you decide to take your education lightly and blow off your classes and work, then you will have to face the consequences in the long run. College has trained me to be the type of person who succeeds. I know that my work ethic and determination that I have gained in my first year of college will allow me to become the person that I want to become when I graduate.

Ebonique

College has taught me a couple of things in life. Coming into college has made me become more mature, focused and learned a lot of techniques that I will need in the future college life. College success helped me out a lot. Without that class I would be unorganized, off task, and bad note taker. The class was a good experience and gave me a lot of information about the college. Today I am more independent and focused on school. I’ve achieved a lot of things in life being in college. I feel real good about myself and fired up to go into my 2nd semester of college to learn new things. I am glad that I attended college and I will stay in school until I graduate. In high school we didn’t learn anything about the college life. Schools should have college prep class to prepare you for college, so students would know what to expect and to let them know that it’s not like high school. College is a very important phase in life and never give up on things that you might not think you can succeed in….just believe.

Aaron

College taught me to become the person I was called to be. Friends and professors pushed me to develop my skills, and to become a life-long learner in order to improve the conditions of our world. Now as I am in the working world, I see the drought our country has entered, and that my job is to inspire those around me to pursue their own dreams.

Dawson

Teachers can be stranglers. They can choke the imagination that used to flow through the five year old selves we once were. Teachers never intend to do this; they just find that it is a very difficult process to relay the wisdom of their experience to the unexperienced without the experience itself. But among these there are some with a unique respect. Like their colleagues they respect the theories for their history, but also respect their students for their future. I have found some of these people among the professors at UCA. They are those who have shown me how little I will ever know by admitting how little they know. Those who teach me patience and perseverance by demonstrating the satisfaction brought by creativity and inquisition. Those who don't attempt to create the experience but help me observe the experience unfold as I mature. Life can be done without college, but is hard without teachers. UCA is its teachers. Some know this. They make it a valuable experience.

Anilah

The most important thing that I have learned so far during college is that procratination will get you. College is nothing like high school. You practically have to study everyday you are there. Another thing i have gotten out of college is that it is good to make new friends. You will have more fun and learn alot of new things. Also, do not wait until the last minute to get help from a professor. Get to know your professors early. By doing so you will only make it easier on yourself.

Amber

College has been an experience unlike any other. Although I have only been attending Pensacola Junior College for a little over a year, it has helped me significantly. I have had amazing professors that are willing to work with you, and help you on a one-to-one basis. I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal from them as well.

Wes

It has helped me excel towards my future

Geraldine

I have grown and learned so muchduring my years in college. I feel prepared and eager to go out into the work force and begin my career.

Ashley

College has been a great learning experience for me, and I think the most important thing I have learned, and am still learning, is how to manage my time better. First semester, I ran cross country, so that took a lot of my time. We had practice at 4:45 every morning, then again at 3:00 in the afternoon. On top of that we were required to spend at least six hours every week in the Academic Success Center, or study hall. Add all that time in with going to class and finding time to eat and I had no choice but to find some way to manage my time. I started using a planner this year, and it's crazy how much it really helps. I also had to learn how to study, something I never had to do in high school. That was pretty tough for me, but I got into a routine and figured out how I needed to study to benefit me. Being in college has taught me a little bit about what life will be like on my own, and I think i will be very well prepared when that time finally comes.

Rachel

As an only child from a small town, coming to UCA was the best decision I ever made. My freshman year I lived in a dorm with girls of all different cultures and backgrounds. It was amazing to learn their about their lives and experiences. I do not believe I would have made it on my own fresh out of high school. My time in the dorms gave me a taste of being on my own while still having a strong support system. It taught me responsibility by easing me into the life of an adult. I have learned so much from my peers and professors. UCA is honestly a community of people devoted to education. Discussions bordering on debates are common in classes and I constantly feel like I am in the midst of some of today's most intelligent minds. My professors have numerous accomplishments and experiences that make me all the more eager to learn from them. They have a level of dedication to their subjects that never ceases to astound me. Somehow, UCA has made me want to learn. I truly want to discover what is out there. That is a priceless quality in any university.

Jordan

College has given me a sense of self that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else. It has put me outside of my comfort zone to thrive not only academically, but also among my peers. In college I have found a motivation that I never had in high school. I know that I am making an investment in my future, and it is an investment that only I am able to make. This fact has pushed me to carefully evaluate what I want for myself, and how to get there. College has not only given me every opportunity I need, it has given me an invaluable reason to succeed. My college experience has also been invaluable outside of my academic career. Given the opportunity to live my life to my own standards, I've seen who and what I want to place emphasis on. I've gained a much stronger sense of family, true friendship, and enduring faith since I've started college, and I know that all of those things will continue to top my priority list for the rest of my life.

Shauna

I would love to go back to 1998, when I was a High School senior, and tell myself to choose that full-paid scholarship over my High School sweetheart. Getting married straight out of High School has cost me dearly. I just wanted to have a "normal" job and raise a family. Well, "normal" job = minimum wage = poverty. Now, at age 30, I've had more than my share of "normal" jobs while raising 2 children. Although my husband holds a license in the Electrical field, his income compared to our family of 4 places us below the poverty level! Being back in school and realizing how these past 10 years could've been so different over one stupid decision makes me sick. I try not to think about it, but I could be celebrating my 6th year as a Pharmacist. Imagine the lifestyle my kids could be enjoying right now! I WILL finish. I WILL succeed. I WILL have the lifestyle my family and I deserve. But, I WILL be 35 instead of 25 when that happens. That makes me want to go back in time and just slap myself!

Stefany

I would tell myself to never be a Theater Major, to be an education major. I would tell myself to be a duck, and let everything negative said to me in band just roll off and not let it sink in like I did. I've learned a lot and I don't regret anything luckily.

Jordan

You should be absolutely sure that you what to declare a major in your first semester. Get involved with Chi Alpha. Pray and fast about college. Make schedules and keep them. Show love to your friends and brother. Don't let your mother do everything for you. Learn to cook better. Learn to communicate, better. Write down your prayers, feelings and dreams.

Matthew

Ive learned alot during my 4+ years studying Biology in college and If I could go back in time and talk to my self as a high school senior, I would simply say "Devote your self now to science, because science is what you are mean't to be apart of. Focus strictly on school, because that is what will create success in your life."

Brittany

If I could go back in time and give myself advice about college, my golden rule would be "GO TO CLASS"! Although I always try my best to make it to class, I would have to let myself know that missing one day of college is the equivalent of missing an entire week of high school. I definately don't want myself to fall behind because it is much more difficult to catch up in a colleg class than in the classes I am used to. I would tell myself that my future professors are not going to let me know what I missed in a previous class, and that, most likely, they won't even know who I am. Unless I have friends in my classes who I can get missed information from, it is near impossible to find out what I need to know; and with my luck it would be the most important lecture of the entire semester. Knowing what I know now about college, I would make sure to tell myself to never miss a class unless it is absolutely necessary.

alexandra

enjoy high school because your life changes dramatically after high school. financial burdens for college put stress on me and my mom so i should start applying for schlorships now. think long and hard what i am interested in for college so my degree will be something i like doing the next 60 years. i should save more money because now i know a whole paycheck would only buy one book for a college class. studying all the time gets old but getting that 4 year degree is a must to help me be successful for life.

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