University of Central Arkansas Top Questions

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

DeBion

The number one thing is to go to class. Not going to class can cause you to fail the class and lose your scholarship money. You are not only affecting your future, but you also putting more on your parents. You have to remember that you have paid your money for each class that you are taking and the professors do not care or have any sympathy for your irresponsible actions. College is not a game. It is nothing to be played with. You have to stay focused and take classes and grades seriously which is the main goal to succeeding in college. You will be very stressed out at times to point you want to give up but do not. I promise it will get better, and you will be so proud of yourself once you have survived your first semester, even if you do not have the grades you really want. College has made me look at life differently. You have to handle your business or it will handle and control you in college. If you come with your priorities rights and a postive state of mind you will succeed college.

Corey

If I could go back to my senior year, I would tell myself to practice better study habits. I took hard classes in high school but never really had to study very often. Now I am taking extremely hard science classes while working two part time jobs. Therefore, I could definately use better time management skills and study habits. I have also learned to focus on my schoolwork all semester and never get comfortable. I have started off well in several classes, then relaxed to focus on my harder classes and ended up with a B in the easy classes.

Hannah

I would definately relate to my high school self that I need to apply for scholarships and financial aid. Also, I would tell myself to stop being so lazy and go get a job. When I was in high school I was always under the impression that my parents would pay for everything, and they did. They have taken care of my tuition thus far, however, now my younger sister will be going to college, and after her my brother. This means I cannot expect them to fully support me anymore. I am also transferring to UALR next year for my major, so I will be further from home and in a completely different environment. As a result, my transition to adulthood will be difficult. I am now into the spring semester of my sophmore year. I have made bad decisions and good ones concerning college. UCA was not my first pick. However, if I was to converse with my high school self I wouldn't change anything. UCA has made me realize what it takes to succeed. I just have to apply the tools the university has given me so I can support myself, and become fully self-sufficient.

Brandon

The advice I would give myself is to study harder for class and especially for the ACT. I would also teach myself better time management skills .

Brittany

If I could go back into time and talk to myself as a senior I would give an amazing amount of advice to myself. First, I would make sure to tell my Senior self to take college Algebra and Comp I since it is college credit and I could get it out of the way before my freshman year which would save money and time. The second point of advice would to study for the ACT more so that I would make a higher score and have more possibilies for scholarships since I stress financially everyday now as a college student. My third point of advice would be to make sure to take all of the hard AP classes so that is would better prepare me for my college courses and experiences. Oh, how I wish I would have signed up for AP Chemistry and Biology because I could have deffinetly used that knowlegde now. Last but not least, would be to not spend so much money because in the near future I will be scraping for change to just pay for a caffeinated drink to keep me awake while studying. Knowing these points of advice would have helped tremendously.

Jelena

Learn to manage your time.

Brandie

Going back to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say "take advantage of the resources provided". There are many resources that I have found to be so helpful along my two and a half year journey at the University of Central Arkansas. These include the teachers/faculty, Academic services, Career services, Health center and many more. But I did not discover some of these resources until my second year of college. Had I known about these services earlier, I may have been in a better position to be more competitive with my peers. For example, the career services division has given me a lot of help with my resume, job hunting, and internships. All of these things are necessary in becoming a successful adult. Now that I am a junior, I am very glad that I have found these resources and will continue to use them to my advantage to strive for graduation and my career.

Karissa

Take a deep breath. Relax. Remember the nerves and worries about starting high school? What happpened? When you got there, how long did it take? About a week? And then everything was comfortable and safe. It's the same for college. You may be in shock upon arrival, but give college life a week or so and you will feel at home. Until then, remember every other freshman feels just as awkward and confused as you do, so don't be afraid to ask questions (chances are, they're wondering too!). Go ahead and get involved right at the start; it's the best way to make friends. I know everyone tells you this, but that's because it's true. I guess we think if we say it enough someone might listen. Please, believe it. Don't let college scare you, it's just another step, and high school has prepared you to take it.

Shelby

I would tell myself to take the ACT and/or SAT as SOON as possible and as many times as possible! I would tell myself to do a lot of college visits. I did not know about my college campus until I was a freshman on campus and now I am wanting to transfer and having to do the college visits as a sophomore. I would tell myself to keep my grades at all A's and B's because a good transcript is the key to college and I wish mine would have been better. Last, but not least I would tell myself to do as many scholarships as possible! I was somewhat lazy when it came to getting scholarships and now that I am in college I know how important they are!

Sarah

As a high schooler I don't think I really understood how expensive college was and how my GPA would affect my financial aid. If I could go back and talk to myself as a high schooler, I would seriously tell myself to literally put all my effort into my work; don't procrastinate and settle with a bad grade because getting into a college is much easier with a good GPA. College life is more stressful and a lot more "adult" work but it makes you grow faster in maturity and I think you find your true friends in college. In high school I always thought that teachers were dumb and the work was pointless but thinking about it now, I would tell myself that the work and tests in high school are preparing me for college and I need to do it. The last point I would tell myself is that I'm going to get further and be more financially stable if I have a good career. If I don't try to do all my high school work to the best of my ability, in the long run its going to hurt me and my future.

Krystal

Although making mistakes is part of a learning process, one mistake I would alter would be not giving high school my all. During my senior year, I will admit, I slacked off a bit. It was not to the extent that others do, but when I did reach graduation, although my grades were decent, I wish I would have pushed myself harder. Through out school, I was the quiet girl in the corner of the room that always got As and fret when I saw anything otherwise. I know I am too hard on myself at times, but seeing that I had not aced my senior year really made me disappointed in myself. What bothered me about that C in Trigonometry was the fact that I knew I could have applied myself more. I know it sounds silly, but that actually hurt my self-esteem, and it was preventable. I would tell myself that you only have one shot at high school, so may the most of it and its resources.

Sydnie

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to apply for as many scholarships as possible in order to save myself more money and to prevent getting into debt. I would also tell myself to relax and to stop stressing out because college really is a great opportunity and it is not as scary as one might think. I would let the high school me know that it is important to step out my comfort zone and to put myself out there. College is a fresh start and a chance to meet all kinds of new people. It is as exciting and fun as everyone says it is. The school work may be a little more difficult, but it is not so bad, especially because you get to pick your schedule and teachers. Lastly, I would tell myself to enjoy my senior year and that things only get better from here!

Tara

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to focus, work hard, and explore my career options. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy high school, so when I went to college the first time (in 1990), I was not successful. I would have viewed college differently than high school and I would have focused more on my studies and realized how important it is to make good grades. It took seventeen years, and three children before I realized that I needed to teach art. I certainly wish I had been more focused when I was a teenager, because it is much more difficult to attend college and take care of a family. Lastly, I would tell myself that I am not "dumb," and that I really can do anything I put my mind to! If it is possible to carry 18 hours, drive an 80 mile round trip daily, raise 3 active children and maintain a 4.0 GPA at 37, then I certainly could have done it when I was 18.

Jordan

If I was able to go back and give myself advice while in high school, I would have told myself to learn how to manage my time better. In college I have realized that you have more time for studies and/or socializing rather than in high school. It is important to be able to balance your time and have more than enough time for your studies.

jim

take a year or three off; work, mature a little. 18 year olds usually do not know what they want to do with their lives.

Victoria

Dear younger and na?ve me, Soon you will begin your first semester at college. And I just want to write this letter warning you of the mistakes you are going to make. This semester you will procrastinate and choose to have fun instead of working on your assignments. Your procrastination will lead to many stressful nights and disappointing days. You will also fall into the trap of letting your friends influence you to hang out instead of doing your schoolwork. But, as the semester continues you will learn to say no because it?s for your own good. Just have fun, but always make sure to put school first. Writing this letter has made me realize that no matter how much I warn you, you are still going to make mistakes. And I?m glad, because the mistakes you make this semester will make you into a better person. Your mistakes are going to teach you some important lessons; lessons you would have never learned any other way. And be glad you learned these lessons now instead of later in your life. Just remember to live life fully and learn. Sincerely, older and experienced you!

Jessica

I am now 30 and have been on both sides of the fence, as far as partying college student and non-partying college student. My number one advice I would give to students going into college is Attend Class. Yes I realize that college means freedom, but what it doesnt mean is you can slack off on going to class. Going to class is a major part in college success. My next advice would be sit in front of the class room. Sitting in front of the classroom leaves less room for talking and texting during class. Next tid bit of advice would be get to know your teachers, and allow your teachers to get to know you. This will go along ways I can promise you from past experience. Participate. Participating in class discussions will help you in the long run. If you discuss the lesson, you are more likey to learn what the teacher is trying to teach you. All in all, you need to remember that you are there to further your education. Your future and your families future will depend upon this education heavily.

Jennifer

If I could return to myself as a High School Senior I would advise myself to be more adept at meeting people, making friends and 'small talk', practice test-taking, familiarize myself with the student organizations and programs available to students through the campus.

Lauren

I would teach myself how to study more effectively for tests, because college tests are harder than high school tests. I was a pretty good test taker in high school, but in college I have to study in a completely dfferent style in order for me to better comprehend the material. If I had know how to study and practiced this technique in high school, then I might not have struggled so much during my first year in college.

Britney

College will be the best years of your life. You'll make new friends, keep your old, and go to a pretty awesome school. Take biology your first year, because it's going to hurt your gpa. You should also take KPED your first year, because it's just annoying. Don't be afraid to be yourself - people are pretty accepting of you here. Learn to talk and socialize. Get involved. Make sure you go to class, too (although that's not a real problem with your future self). Also, don't buy your books before the first day of class. Some classes won't even use the book - they're just required to list one. Save your money - don't buy stupid things that you don't need! Also, don't bring everything you own with you - there's not that much space. Don't be afraid of new roommates either - they tend to be pretty awesome (one of your future ones is married now and in Australia! How cool is that?). Mostly, just study and have fun. Don't stress out - it's not worth it.

Carolyn

Personally I would say "College is a great way to go to further your education and you should strive as a high school student to do your best on your ACT score and your GPA because in college those two things determines a lot in your college life. Also during college study, study, STUDY!! The more you study the more prepared you'll be for your classes and tests. I would also say to go to class each and everyday because attendance is the most importanat aspect to becoming a successful college student.

Lindsay

The hardest thing about the transition from high school to college life was speaking up for myself and getting used to living more frugally. I was involved in a lot of social activities my freshman year, but I had a private suite and shared a living room and bathroom with a suitemate. Her boyfriend was over all day every day, he smelled, and they were messy. I wish I had been more assertive in suggesting that they hang out at his dorm as well. Sharing a space with a stranger that you have nothing in common with is difficult. It is something that every person should experience though, because I appreciate my current roommates I chose more than I would have otherwise. I was also in the Honors Program and freshman year we discussed a lot of philosophies I had never been exposed to. I wish I would not have been afraid to speak my view amongst the students with differing views. Although I had an academic scholarship and a small music scholarship stipened, it was still difficult to manage that stipened money. I had to conciously not blow it all at the beginning of the semester.

Morgan

Dear Morgan, I know it is your Senior year, and all you can think about is going off to college, but there are a couple of things to need to remember: I know you do well in your high school courses with minimal studying, but you need to develop good study habits now; they are essential to doing well in college. When move-in day finally arrives, it is a blast. After time passes though, you will begin to miss the comforts of home. Be sure to thank mom and dad now for everything that they do for you and let them know how much you appreciate everything they have provided you with, because they will continue to be your comfort and support in college. Sincerely Yourself as a college freshman

Justin

Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, the best advice I could give myself is to get involved but remember why your there. Looking back on my first semester getting involved is what made my freshmen experience so great. You need to get out and meet everyone you can. You will be amazed at how many people you never knew will quickly become some of the most important people in your life. New friends and a refreshing new start as you begin a new chapter in your life makes the college experience all it's cracked up to be. Although getting invovled and meeting new people is vital to your college experience you have to keep in mind why you are there. School always comes first. Everytime you know you need to study or get caught up on homework there is always going to be someone wanting you to do something else, but there is always another time for that. Making an "A" on your next exam only comes around one time. Without a degree, college does not matter on a job application. Keeping your priorites straight is a vital component to the college experience.

Jelisa

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing I would say is that college is nothing like high school. There is no one there to make you do your work and make you go to class. Once you get there you are on your own, and it is up to you to make sure that you keep your grades up in order to stay in school. Try to make new friends and become close with your professors. Letting them know that you are a hard working student could help your grade in the end.

Dorothy

I would tell myself to give it everything you've got. School is suppose to push you and extend your limits so let it! Take the opportunities that are given to you, make sure to get to know your professors and your classmates. As for help when you need it, and if it doesn't work out the first time keep trying. Also don't be afraid to take more math and science classes! If you can't take extra classes do it, and try and expand your mind and comfort zone. c

Andrea

Do whatever you can to get involved. Don't be afraid to meet new people or try new things.

Kenneth

I would tell myself to graduate as earlier than I did and still go into the Army as I did. That gave me the discipline I needed to go back to college.

Brittany

I would say to myself don't get mixed up in the wrong crowd. Keep your head in the books and noout partying and drinking everyday or every weekend. Support the college in any activities such as football and basketball games and etc... Just look int he future and see wat kind of future you want. If you want a good future then you will achieve in college to the best of your ability.

Elizabeth

I would definitely tell myself to learn how to manage my time. Just because you have to study doesn't mean you can't have a social life, so don't choose to go out with friends instead of studying for a French test. Also, don't be afraid to meet new people. Even though you have your group a friends that you generally tend to hang out with, it's always a good idea to know more people because friends from high school change and they're not always going to be your friends.

Lyna

DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! It is a major waste of time, and will definitely make you behind on lectures. Pay attention in class! Especially any sciences classes. Although it may not seem very important at the time, it will help you in your college studies. Be sure to make as many friends as possible, build a network of support and friends, especially ones that are going into the same field as you! They will no doubt help you in transitioning and help you during those days of hard-core studying for an exam! Try to keep yourself on a time schedule; time management is a great ability to have. Other than that, just enjoy your life as it comes; HAVE FUN!

Stephanie

Always visit the campus and talk to some of the students there before hand. I've heard a lot of people say that when they visited the campus of one of their choice colleges, their mind was made up. Plus college wouldn't be so great if you didn't get along with anyone there! Also make sure that they have a good program for the major you're thinking about, cause that's why you came to college, so make sure their academics are right for you. Making the most out of your college experience can be difficult. Make sure to put your studies first! I've seen so many people lose their scholarships their first year of college it's ridiculous. When you get used to your workload then feel free to have some fun on the weekends, and take advantage of the fun school sponsored events. Instead of studying alone, make a study group with friends. Thats another thing: make friends. There are thousands of people going to your school besides you, and one of the best ways to enjoy college is to is to enjoy it hanging out with your friends, so make lots of them!

Allyson

Finding the right college for you is something extremely personal. Don't pick your school based on where your friends are going or where your parents want you to go. If a school seems right for you, trust your instincts. Find out as much as you can about the school you want to go to before making a final decision. Find out what scholarships are available from the school you decide on, but don't think schools are the only ones who give money. Your church, your parents' employers, and many other organizations want to give money to college students. Take advantage of these sources - there is often much less competition.

Moriah

My advice to future parents and/or students would be to choose the college that has the major you are intrested in. If you follow your friends to college, you will be gaurenteed a good social life, but you have to keep in mind why you are going to college. Hopefully it is to get a good degree, so pick your college wisely. As far as making the most of the experience, I would advise to get involved in many groups to meet new people and to be involved in the community. Also, as far as dorm life, make as many friends on your floor as possible. Those will be the ones you become closest with because you see them everyday.

Re'Ven

Finding the right college to attend is so important. If a child is to succeed, they must attend the college they are most interested in. If you do not like the school you attend, the experience may not be as great. You should also find the college that offers the most in your desired major. To make the most of your college experience you should make lots of friends. However, you should learn to separate yourself from those who are not serious about earning a degree; some just simply attend college to hang out. As a freshman, students complain or become discouraged when they do not achieve a certain grade. As a result, parents can be the biggest support and motivation to encourage their chilld to stick with it and not give up. Students should most definitely become aquainted with their professors. If you do not understand, please ask. You can not stay in college forever, so make the best of it.

Kalesha

I would tell parents to definitely let their child make their own decision. Most parents only choose the college that THEY think would be good for their child, instead they need to let their child make their own decisions. I think if your a perspective student you should definitely take the time out to really look good and hard for a good college, you should do all the research you can and chose the best one for you. It is very important to visit the campus, get to know the school and what its all about. It is a big and very important step to make the right choice about choosing a college.

Lauren

find the college that makes you most comfortable once u get on campus! mission statements are key also!

Jennyfer

Don't be scared of money issues. Go with what you want.

Whitney

Pick a school that has great teachers and a great atmosphere. Students will be totally bored and never want to go to class otherwise! Also, once enrolled in classes, be sure to make friends so you can make study groups and exchange notes. This helps tremendously for studying for tests! You can never redo your college experience so be sure to look at every aspect of every school before you decide. Also, look at tuition rates. Sometimes it is not work spending $1200 for just one class!

Alannah

I would keep finances in mind. College isn't cheap or easy and it takes a lot of work and determination to keep grades high and scholarships stable. You want to find a college that will accomodate your goals for the future while allowing you to not go bankrupt. This alone will help make your college experience so much greater because it will take away a lot of the stress associated with financing a college education. Other than that, have fun! Be yourself, reach out to classmates, dorm-mates, teachers, advisors, and take advantage of all your school has to offer. If you do this, and keep your education and goals as your first priority, your college experience will be the time of your life.

Hana

I suggest trying out as many options as you can before deciding on a college. I suggest taking tours of every college that is an option and talking to student orientation staffs and asking them any questions you might have about the college. I would also suggest researching the academic availabilities of the college and make sure they offer the majors that you are interested in. Also, just going for a walk without a guide and spending some time on the campus will really give you a feel for how it will be when you're actually a student there.

Hana

I would tell them to find a college where they feel comfortable being themselves and where they feel they can excel in every aspect of their lives. I would also tell them to get involved in campus activities, especially a campus ministry because it will keep them on the right track and it will allow them to grow, spiritually, and to form a close relationship with God and with other people.

Andrew

Look at what you want to do with you life, balanced with how many resources and the college has to offer in regard to that. As for your experiences, do not allow your inhibitions to hinder you during your first year. Get involved. Meet people. Take risks. I was once told that 80% of students who don't return for their sophomore year probably would have had they developed even 1 meaningful relationship during their first year. Do well in your classes and study hard, but if you spend all of your time in the library and are afraid to throw youself in the mix that college is, you will find yourself a very, very unhappy and unsatisfied person. Even the most hardworking of students needs somebody to get them out of the books once and a while and do something crazy or unexpected. The purpose of college may be to receive a degree, but I guarantee that you will learn just as much from your college experience outside the classroom as you will on the inside.

Derius

I would say to parents/students that in order for you to achieve your goal in life the foundation has to be solid. The college that you choose is your foundation so be sure that whatever college you choose, it offers you the opportunity to achieve your goals. By this, I mean you should be sure that the major that you choose is pointing you down the path to your ultimate goal which is your lifetime career after college. Parents should be positive throughout the student's college life. Be there to guide your student. Students should take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime . You can be whatever you want to be. The sky is the limit but you must work hard .

Matthew

Be sure to take advantage of the tours and events prior to choosing the college to make sure the student will fit in with the lifestyle available. Also be sure to check on accreditation of programs of interest before choosing the university to make sure the student won't be wasting their time going to a college that doesn't offer certified programs in their area of interest. most importantly just make sure the college or university feels right and is somewhere they will be intersted in staying for the next four years.

Kimberly

Before you even choose the right college, make a list (not too big though) limited to about 20 maximum choices. For many, it won't come near that number. Then categorize those choices into three categories: Favorites (no matter the cost), OK Choices (the ones that are worth considering), and the Fall-Backs (the ones that you know you will be accepted to and you would be willing to attend if needed). Consider the pros and cons of these choices, taking into account the cost, scholarship opportunities, distance from home, transportation, fields of study, possible future opportunities, and competitiveness of the acceptance policy. If possible, tour the schools that you narrow your choices down to. This will help you get a feel for it. If the school has no application fee, go ahead and apply even if you're not sure just so you will know where you stand in terms of getting in the schools that you really want. Apply to all of the scholarships you can for your top schools to see if you could afford to go to that school. Apply for scholarships through your high school. Relax. Whichever college you choose, you will enjoy yourself.

Jordan

If you are undecided about a major, look for a school that is strong in the areas that you excell in. Also look for an environment that is appealing. Look for schools with activities that are engaging to you. You must have some outlet for recreation and exercise to do your best acdemically and avoid burnout.

Andrew

Research your school! Ask current students about the professors! Ask about the scholorship retention rates! Ask about construction plans! Ask about university presidents scholorship oppurtunities! Ask about graduation rates! Ask about crimeand campus security! Ask about on campus housing and availability after your 1st year! Have a class schedule plan! Talk to current students and ask how they like /dislike their schedules and how to better schedule your classes. Make an effort to develop a relationship with all your professors so you will know how they really want the work to be done! Do all of these and you will be miles ahead of the other students!

Richard

The search for the perfect college should be more about the program of study the student is looking for than for one closest to home or cheapest. Different colleges offer different courses; for instance, it may be more advantageous to attend a technical school for electronics training than to attend a liberal arts college looking for something to interest you. Beyond that note, money should not be a factor to rule out a school. There are all different kinds of funding available, from scholarships to grants to loans, there is always a way to pay for college. To make the most of your college experience, get out there. Join a club, play a sport. I did none of these and sat in my room doing homework and surfing the web because I didn't want to get active. It helps curve the freshman-15 (15 pound average gain during freshman year) and will introduce you to new people which will, in turn, even enrich your own life. Spend enough time studying to be sure that you are ready for class, but beyond that get out and have fun. You're still a kid at this point, enjoy it!

Jennifer

Make sure that you'll be able to afford the school, either through a scholarship, or work. Loans are great but only when you're getting the money! It takes forever to pay them off! If you are a very close family, i would pick a college that is close to home, at least in the same state or just a few hours away even. Believe me you'll want to go home after a while without your loved ones. Be careful who you room with, just because someone is your best friend doesn't mean you are fit to be roomates! I've seen some bad friend break-ups, its not pretty. Don't rely strictly on the cafateria for food, you will need something besides pure carbs eventually, not to mention it causes weight gain, make use of the gym girls! And of course make sure the college you pick has the fields of your intrests! And even though you think you know what you are majoring, take your second and third choices, and make sure the college has them too, just in case! Other than that just have fun and don't be afraid of new experiences!

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