University of Central Missouri Top Questions

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

Jonathan

I often think back to my college experience and how I could have made college so much simpler, cheaper and more effective had I only known then what I know now. The first advice I would give myself is to pay for dual credit. Dual credit is cheaper than university credit and it saves you time in your degree. Secondly, I would tell myself that picking a degree just because you like the topic is a horrible idea. For example, history or theater may seem like fun, but unless you plan on getting a teaching degree as well, you will not find a job. Thirdly, I would tell myself that summers are not for goofing off. Summers are an excellent opportunity to knock out your more difficult courses. Because you can take only one or two courses in the summer, it is the perfect time to get the more time consuming courses knocked out. Lastly, I would tell my earlier self never to trust the university bookstore. Talk about markup! Buy your books online! The key to college is to know why you are there and get out with a degree. Do your research, keep it cheap, get it done.

Daylin

If I could go back in time and give myself advice about college I would have much to say. First, having a high GPA is powerful. A high GPA can lead to scholarships, honor societies, and to getting accepted into your dream school. Next, I would tell myself to take as many college credits in high school as possible. High school doesn’t fully prepare you for the real world in college, and if taken serious these courses can help you in the long run. Forming an effective studying method, and doing a lot of it in high school, will keep you from being shocked when you get to college. Lastly, I would tell myself that being involved is important. I would advise myself to join clubs that appeal to me, and then devote my time to that club. Doing all of these things while in high school will have you on the path to an incredible and successful college life, believe me.

Miranda

Calm down! I know that you are nervous about making friends, what the academics will be like, and if your roomate will kill you in your sleep, but relax. Everything works out for the best. You and your roomate are going to be great friends. You will meet lots of people, some will be better than others. The academics will not be nearly as hard as you think they will be. Most importantly, cherish your last year in high school. These memories will be with you for a long time to come. Make sure your friends in high school know thaat you care about them, it will be awhile before you see them again. Remember that there is no time in your life to be sad or mad because you are too busy being awesome. Have a wonderful year.

Jackie

If I could go back to my high school self and give me advice, I would tell myself "The real adult world can be scary and loaded with challenges, but there are limitless possibilities of all you can see and do. Continuing your education will help you cultivate your strengths and skills so you can seize many oppurtunities. You don't have to have all of the answers right now, but don't wait because there will never be a day you wake up and know exactly what you want to do with your life. Your vision for yourself will change. Having a higher education will help you explore your dreams to help them become more of a reality . Trust me, you will be far more angry at yourself for not trying new things. You will make attempts and find you were not cut our for it; that is okay. As long as you give it your best, you will be successful and also be able to look back on yourself in those moments with respect and pride, whether it turned out the way you wanted or not."

Leslie

If I could speak to myself as a high school senior, I would encourage myself to have attend college right after high school. I am now a thirty-year-old recent college graduate and I am beginning a master's program to set a good example and to provide a better life for my nine-year-old son. While I love my son dearly and I am very proud of all that I have accomplished, looking back it would have been nice to have a typical college experience - campus life, organizations, living in a dorm, attending a football game, all-night study sessions. I can only hope that my efforts now set a good example for my son and that he will get to experience a typical college experience.

Jachelle

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would encourage myself to practice a lot more. I'm a Music Education major and am required to perform at a high level. I would force myself to learn all that I could learn while I was in high school, with special regards to the piano, and then enter college at a level the professors could only dream of. I would also warn myself about how having a roommate will be and urge myself to seek out a private room or perhaps choose my own roommate. I just feel like comfort is essential to growth and success in college. The easier you can make your freshman year, the happier you'll be and that will leave you with more time to embrace and enjoy other college experiences. My third and final piece of advice for myself would be to apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible. These opportunities grow more scarce as you become an undergraduate. Overall, I believe that by following advice of other people, there really isn't too much I have to tell my younger self.

Demetrius

The advice I would give myself would be to study more. I also would say to learn how to get better sleep and practice on sleeping early. The most important advice I would give is dont be scared of college because once you are in the door it will feel like home.

Amanda

Do what you love. Don't be afraid to change your major. It's growth, not failure. And speaking of theater... No one's ever told you... but you're not a soprano. No amount of practice is going to change that. And really, you want to be an actress for all the wrong reasons. Acting isn't being someone else. It's being yourself. Loudly. Flamboyantly. Ridiculously. Where everyone can see you. Be brave enough to be yourself. Even if you haven't quite figured out who that is yet. It's okay to be impractical. Ask for help. It's okay not to know everything. Pay attention to which classes you enjoy. They're a good way to figure out your major, and a good place to make friends too. Friends are important. They're people you can listen to, talk to, and be silent with. They don't mind how weird you get on your off days. And they don't feel the need to always follow you into the bathroom – the conversation will keep till you get back. Most importantly – keep doing what you love.

Ethan

Use KhanAcademy, develop a love for education and DON'T join the military.

Robert

Place more emphasis on your school work now. The more you place on academics now, the less you will have to worry about it when your 10 years into your career in the military.

Jennifer

Forget about boys! Those men who are flattering you? They don't care about your future. I know 70% of your drive to move in with that guy is to get away from your Dad. Yeah, your dad sucks. Life will suck way worse when you get off track and miss your chance to go to college while it's still easy. What I wouldn't do to go to college straight from high school! When all the scholarship offers were still there, while my high school knowledge was still fresh and my health still at its peak. It's harder when you're older, married, have kids with expensive medical problems and are stuck working full-time. And if you'd have skipped moving in with McCain to go to school, you wouldn't be divorced twice by your 25th birthday for sure, and certainly wouldn't have had to file bankruptcy in 2010! Ditch the zeroes, make YOURSELF the hero, girl. Do it.

Adam

Every freshman should know before they start school is that if you don't want to step out of your comfort zone to meet other people and get involved then college isn't really your scene. College is intended to build academic success and social success. Be yourself and you will meet some wonderful people.

Brittany

Before starting at UCM. Every freshman should try not to be too consumed with partying. Make studying a habit. Make as many friends as you can. Get involved in an organization. Practice being on you own, because your mommy is not here to hold your hand. Know that college is a clean slate for you to start over if you have done wrong in the past.

Heather

You need to know your adviser. Look up their name, meet with them, and make friends with them. They will be critical to you making it to graduation.

Preston

Anyone can say they know how to do something that they may have picked up through some kind of job experience, but those that can show a diploma or degree from an educational institution have the ammo to say they really learned the trade. I am very passionate about health and fitness and want to excel in it one way or another. Therefore, I am will to participate in whatever programs and activities which are needed to complete my goals in this institute. I am very committed to fulfilling my goals and I will be pushing my self to the limit in aspects to succeed and graduate if giving the opportunity that may fulfill my dream.

Morgan

I would warn myself about the time that it really takes to get all of your assignments done and done well. Also the amount of textbook reading that it requires, you have to read for almost every class that you take. I would recommend taking a lighter load your first semester or two to get the hand of college life. Getting involved your freshman year in campus organizations is a must because the longer your in school you get into your habits and you feel like as an older student you can't jump into an organization as well. Also plan to get highly involved to get things on your resume but to keep in mind that your number one priority should be your classes. Getting a job your first year may or may not be a good idea, if you have great time management it could work out just fine. Finances are a big worry to students so make sure that from the start you create a budget for yourself and stick to it throughout the year and make adjustments as needed for the future years, that way you can know what you can spend.

Carrie

If I was to go back in time to when I was a high school senior, I would not know where to start giving advice for the transition to college. I would say at first, to become employed and work part time on nights and weekends while asking your employer for overtime opportunities during the holiday seasons. Start a special savings account with the money that you earn from your hard work and ask your family if they would be willing to match the amounts you put in. Take out a small percent of your paycheck for your entertainment and put the rest in savings. You must have a nest egg of financial resources for the times of transition will require random expenses that accumulate quickly. Experience a taste of the world but do not get pulled into a life of partying, it is ok to be different and to do your own thing. Get on a sleep schedule that you can stick to and wake up early, no more sleeping in. Work out to get your circulation going and your brain stimulated, take a nutrition class so that you know what your body needs to perform its best.

Ebony

I would remind them that the college life has much to offer and it is very easy to get off track with all of the freedom and activities it has to offer but to rememeber that the school work should always come first. It is nice to have fun and meet new people but to always make sure they rememeber what they came to school for. College can be the best years of your life with many memories, but it is also a large step into paving the way for your future.

Brian

Even though you think you know what you want to do, you will be opened up to a world of new opportunities and ideas through learning.

Arriana

I have gotten a sense of Independence and I've grown as a person. My experiences in college have shaped me and encouraged me to be very goal-oriented, and have also allowed me to be open-minded about other people from different walks of life, ranging from their views, religion preferences and so forth.

Iris

So far, I've gotten experience in being on time and responsible, because I have realized no one really cares but your own self. No one is going to hold my hand through everything, or keep giving me more chances to make up for everything. Its either you do it or you don't. Sometimes we need that wake up call. I love college so far, I love the people, and I love how independent it makes me feel. It's nice to feel like you are doing your own thing, your own way.

Mollie

From my experience at UCM, I have gained some valuable knowledge. Firstly, I have learned a lot about myself. A small school environment is just not right for me, and I plan on soon going to a bigger school. I am extremely concerned with helping others, and the environment here does not exactly foster that. I think this is a good school for students who are not looking for a challenge. I would love the opportunity to challenge myself more, and scholarships would be a great opportunity for me to go to a bigger school and further expand my horizons. There is so much I want to do with my life, and I feel that this is not the best place for me to be. I've learned a lot about my relationships with other people. I really enjoy helping people, and I think it is easy for people to talk to me. I've started considering a degree in counseling. Everything that I want to do with my life really revolves around changing the world for the better, and attending this school has helped my solidify my goals and start taking steps to reach them.

Eric

The thing I got the most out of my college experience was, everything I was taught in my classes could be used not only in the field of teaching but for any job I would want to apply for. This has been valuable to me because I recieved my degree in physical education but got a teaching job in the special education area.

CARLO

HIGHER EDUCATION TEACHES THINK POSITIVE AND SEE THE WAYS AND FUTURES WHICH NOT EVERYONE CAN SEE IT

Terri

Returning back to school has given me confidence in all areas of my life. I have managed to accomplish a 4.0 GPA over the course of the two years I have attended college. Every semester I am closer to my goal of becoming a behavior specialist with foster children. I started out volunteering at a local group foster home, and this was the catalyst that prompted me to go back to school and finish the degree I started years before. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and I have tried new things. Recently I enrolled in a Spanish class, and now I am considering minoring in Spanish along with getting my human services degree. Being bilingual will benefit me once I am in the workforce because the area in which I live has a high concentration of hispanic people. I have enjoyed every minute of school since my return. I am focused, and I feel proud of my accomplishments. I look forward to transfering to a university next year, and really focusing on the classes for my major. It has been a long road, but I am half way there.

Anika

Attending college has opened up doors that I never knew existed. When I graduated from highschool my view of the world was very limited, I didn't know that there are so many professions. I graduated with plans to become a teacher now I would like to become an occupational therapists. Becoming an occupational thereapists will give me the opportunity to help a variety of people, not just children. Another thing I gained from my college experience is confidence, there were a lot of classes that I never thought I could pass but with hard work and dedication I have. In other words in college I learned to keep an open mind and to have faith in myself.

Mark

I have gotten that my college experience is different from high school since people in college seems to be more quieter. The people in college do alot or multiple work and seems busy.

jordan

The most that i have gotten out of my college expercience, isnt in school but in life. I learned you have to work hard for what you want and never quit, ive learned to be responsible and stay on top of my work because there is no one to look after me anymore.

Christopher

The college expereince I have gotten has been amazing! I have never meet so many new people and of so many different cultures. I enjoy how all of my professors will help me when I have an issue or need help in the class. If I had never attended college, I would have probably never have gone back to school. I feel that moving away to a university that is over two hours away from my hometown was the best decision of my life. I feel that I have grown as a person and a student over the past year.

Morgan

I have learned how I really need to manage my time. Being in college has taught me priorities, what is more important to get done first. I love how even if I don't get something in a class there are people on campus all over who are here to help. I love how I can expand my knowledge in my areas of interest, that's not something that you can get in high school. In college it goes into detail of everything that you need to know about things. Living on campus has it's major advantages. It gives you a little taste of what it's like to be on your own without actually having to be on your own. So you learn how to balance your school, your work, and also keeping things straight around the dorm. Because on top of school and work, you have to take the trash out, wash dishes, wask your own clothes, and know when you need to go to the store to get more necessities. Coming to college was one of the best decisions that I've ever made. I know it will better my life in the end.

Sierra

I have learned a lot about myself and other people. Being on my own has helped me mature, and grow. I have learned from my mistakes, and worked super hard for my grades unlike I did in high school. School has never really been hard for me, so I have had to learn how to study, and focus harder on my classes. College has always been important to me and it is a good way to improve my life in the future.

Vanessa

Because I was shy in high school, I would tell myself to start getting involved on campus early on. I would let myself know the fun and different opportunities there are so I could get involved right away. Because I am a Resident Advisor, I would want to recommend myself to apply my freshman year. I believe that getting involved early on would eliminate negative freshman experiences and provide better ones. I would let myself know that the determination we have will go far. I would also tell myself to research more into what I want to accomplish in life so that I would be better prepared to choose a major. Then I would tell myself to begin interning as early as possible so I would know that the major is right for me. The last advice I would give myself is to go to bed and wake up early. Although I do really well in school, this advice would be very beneficial because it makes academics so much more easier.

Diana

If I was able to go back in time and give myself advice I would tell my self to relax that I am picking the college that is right for me. The University of Central Missouri is not too big and not too small, and there is a wide variety of students so you are able to make friends with all types of people no matter what their major is. I would also like to tell my high school self that I need to make the best use of my time once I get to college and that working in college is probably not the best fit for me. I found that working during college was stressful and I was up late working on my homework almost every night. I found that not working would be the best thing for me, now I have my homework done early and am no longer stressed out about work. I would also tell my self to put myself outside of my box and open my self to some new and good experiences, and that parties are not a good way to experiment. Always be responsible, compassionate and open minded and have fun!

Nyisha

If I could go back in time I would tell myself about the diverseness that can be found on campus. I attended a majority black ethnic high school. Bringing open-mindedness with you as you attend college is a great idea. You will meet so many people who you may communicate with for the rest of your life. I met some excellent people of many different races, and that allows me to learn things I didn't understand or was unopen to thier cultures and heritages. Another thing I would tell myself, is to gain study skills throughout your high school years. Studying is one of the main ways to help a college student succeed. I would say learn to use the school library and also be sure on what you want to major in and go forth as a career. Looking for scholarships and Interns can also be a great idea. Another great idea would be to learn how to budget money. Money is needed for late night hunge cravings, laundry, or just anytime you want to go out and enjoy some fun time with some friends. College life is an excellent expierence all students should go for it.

Kathleen

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to work as hard as I can to prepare myself for college. To accomplish this goal, I would take the opportunity to take a college level course to acquaint myself with the complexities of how college professors approach teaching as opposed to their high school counterparts. I found that to be the hardest transition, while I was able to work independently in high school, not have the same type of readily available instructor resources to fall back on was a challenge. This forced me to change my approach to learning and studying by making me rely more on my own initiative.

Sierra

Take a speed reading class so that boring textbooks won't be so difficult. Read books about your field so that you know more about your possible majors and career goals (you won't have to do such extensive searching at the same time you are studying). Learn how to use the most current computer software; your papers and Power Point presentations will be more creative. Think about undergraduate research; it will give you practice for graduate work and could be fun (don't worry; there are funds and scholarships for the research). Do not be afraid to join a scholastic fraternity or sorority (or academic/community organization); fees can be waivered if you just talk to them about your financial situation. Constantly apply for scholarships; the earlier you apply, the more likely the selection committee will look at your application. Finding friends is the easy part (I found a whole bunch without even trying). Your roommate will be cool, so do not be so upset about living with somebody new. The people who set you up with one know what they are doing. Have a positive attitude about college because it will be a lot of fun.

Ashley

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would provide an immense amount of motivation to myself. College work is challenging, but can also be very rewarding. As a high school student, I feel as though I didn't understand to a full capacity the level of seiousness I needed to put into my studies. Unfortuantely, the focus falls more on socialization and less on how your education will effect your career. It is hard as a high school senior to decide on a path that will lead you to the rest of your life, and the decision is a very intimidating one to make. I would stress to my past self that each and every course, each and every assignment, will pay off in the long run if the focus and determination is there. Many things in life will present a challenge, but if the motivation to suceed is there than anything is possible. I feel as though I limited my own possibilities by allowing myself to give into the fear of the unknown, and if I could go back I would let nothing stand in my way.

Jessica

In high school, I never studied for anything. Not because I was lazy or didn't care, but because I was good at memorizing information. Knowing what I know now I would tell myself not to get used to not having to study for tests, because in college, everything is different, and the amount of information covered on a single test is not something I could easily memorize.

Ryan

Of all the new abstractions you will encounter in college, knowledge is the most valuable. Love is fleeting; freedoms can be lost; friendships are ephemeral; but knowledge will endure. It is in this attribute alone that sets knowledge apart from any of the others. Do not overlook the value of such a quality as endurance as I did. Remember that the purpose of college is knowledge. Do not succumb to the temptations of instant gratification by letting the others distract you from your purpose, for their luster is quick to fade. Instead, re-order your priorities so that pursuit of knowledge is primary and all others are secondary. Do this, and you will experience a more powerful and lasting feeling of gratification.' So my final piece of advice to you, before you embark on your college journey is this: love knowledge. For she is a far better lover than any other you will ever experience. She will never leave you.

Jessica

College is a major transition compared to high school. Throughout high school you live at home with your family and see them every day, but that is not the case in college. While in high school, work and earn money. Do anything that will give you some cash to save up. College expenses add up and may take many years in the future to pay off. A good way to receive money is fill out scholarships. Most scholarships are simple and many require the same information. Have a goal to fill out at least one scholarship per week. Take duel credit courses if offered at your school during high school. The courses are half the cost of what they would be in college, not as difficult, and you usually have more time to work on assignments. If you take enough duel credit courses in high school you have the opportunity to start college as a sophomore and save one year of tuition and dorm fees. Before you select the school you wish to attend, visit the campus and take a tour of it. It will certainly help you out in the long run to know where specific buildings are.

Amanda

The very best advice I would give to myself is "Don't excempt from living in the Freshman dormatories!" Not living in the dorms my first year is my biggest mistake so far, and I feel my GPA hurting for it. Living on campus makes it very easy to get to class, communicate with students who are in the exact same situation as me, and even participate in campus sponsered events. Everything is just a couple blocks away! Even if you don't want to live on campus for the college, live on campus because it's close to the rest of town! Resteraunts, parks, grocery stores, gas stations... you name it! Commuting from out of town means that sometimes I can't make it to those locations because it is too far to walk. So, "live on campus!"

Collin

Wake up and study, study, study! Academics are above all things in school.

Brittany

If I was a high school senior I would tell myself not to slack off because it is almost over. I would tell my self to get involved in as many leadership opportunities and commuinity services as possible. I would tell myself to keep my same friends but talk to new people that I have never talked to before. I would tell myself to develop a study schedule so it is not such a shock once I got to College. The final thing I would tell myself is to strive for all A's and to be as nice as possible to my parents because even though I am away from home I still need them for many things.

Abby

Take a deep breath, slow down. Do not rush your future, take all the classes that interest you, before choosing a major. You have plenty of time to go to school no point in rushing it. Have fun, enjoy all the classes that spark some interest. When you are an adult you want your career to be something you love, so make sure you look at all your options. There is no harm in taking things slow and enjoying your education. You want to make sure you make the right decision when you pick your major. School is not all about taking boring classes, its about finding yourself, figuring out who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. Its about beginning your future, you do not want to begin your future not knowing if you are making the right decision. So take your time to figure it all out, have some fun. Do what interest you. Take a deep breath, and slow down. No point in rushing.

Anneka

As a high school senior I felt hopeless and intimidated by the idea of going to college. I felt that even though I thought I'd be able to make it, I would really struggle. If I could give my past self advice I would simply say that even thoughthe fear I felt was real and understandable, I could not let it hold me back from doing things that I knew I wanted to try. If I would always take just one step past that fear I would find the real possibility of success. I would also reassure myself that I didn't have to do college all at once but that I had to only face one day at a time for four years and that I could definitely conqure one day at a time successfully.

Ashley

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself, "College is not as hard as everyone said. All through your senior year, most of your teachers said that college was going to be extremely hard and completely different from high school. They got something right, college life is completely different. But what they deem as hard, will just be another challenge. Do not let the struggle of leaving home and everyone you know deter you from making new friends and a different life for yourself. Don't get me wrong, college is difficult, but do not worry about what you cannot change. Take one day at a time and you will make it, trust me."

Devon

The first thing I would tell myself, is to live in the moment. High School seems like it takes a long time, but really it was gone before I knew it. There are many life lessons to be learned during High School and many people miss out on them, because they are wishing the time away. The best thing to do is to live in the moment and take in all of the experiences. I would also tell myself to keep up the good study habits, because they will help tremendously in college. In High School some seniors start to slack, because they think they are on a downhill run from there, but this is where they are mistaken. The habits developed in High School are greatly important, because they become the foundation of a successfull college education and career. The third thing I would tell myself is to relax, because as long as I work hard, then I will do good and everything will be ok.

Nick

If I could go back in time the advice I would give my self would have to be don't procrastinate on anything, such as filling out the FAFSA and getting taxes done early, signing up for classes, buying/renting books, getting school supplies, being aware of where your classes are located before the first day, and most importantly studying and getting homework/projects done. I say these things because my first year in college I thought to myself that I was on my own I can do what ever I want and when ever I want. With this attitude it gave me a 2.33 GPA my first semester and almost lost my financial aid. I got "ahead of the game" my next semester and I made the dean's list and got my first ever 4.0 GPA. Here I am today transferred to a new school with an Associate's Degree and hopefully soon get a Bachelor's Degree in a couple of years.

Stephanie

If I were to talk to my 17-year-old self, I would tell her to go straight to the University of Central Missouri instead of going to community college first. There were several things I wish I would have done as an undergraduate including being more involved in on-campus activities. However, more pertinent is the relationships I developed with my professors. I wish I could tell my high school self what to major and minor in so I wouldn't have changed them so much. I may have gotten to take more classes with professors that I particularly favor. Also, I would have looked into getting a job on campus so I wouldn't have had to go home every weekend to work. I think I would have enjoyed my undergraduate experience more if I hadn't been so tunnel-visioned on the degree. Of course, the degree is why I went on to UCM but there is so much more to the experience that I missed out on.

Jessica

Get all your general education classes done first then pick out you major.

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH