University of Colorado Boulder Top Questions

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


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that it is okay to take my time in deciding what I want to do with my life. I would tell myself that it is better to take your time and really think about what you want to do rather than waste time and money in college because you feel pressured to go. I would remind myself that I have my entire life to make money and work, so enjoy the time you have now to change your mind and try different things. I would tell myself to follow whatever inspires me and that I'm not going to get it right the first time, so don't worry about it. I would tell myself that it is more important to enjoy my classes and learning, than to stress about the grade I get in them. Have faith that if you enjoy your college experience, the rest will fall into place.


If I was given the opportunity to go back in time and speak to myself as a highschool senior; I would tell myself to work harder, apply for more scholarships, and read the fine print of everything. The reason for this being that if I were to have worked harder I could have earned a higher highschool GPA. WIth this higher GPA, in addition to applying for more scholarships, I could have been eligable for more scholarship money to help me pay for this outrageous out of state tuition. The reading the fine print statement is because of the insident that occured with my tuition classification. I was told I would be paying in state tuition but then that was retracted and I am now forced to pay three fold what I was expecting.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would definitely tell myself to take AP Chemistry. During my Junior year of high school I took Honors Chemistry and thought it was fairly easy. Because of this I chose to take Physics my senior year because I thought I was prepared enough for Chemistry in college. However, this year I realized that Chemistry was a lot harder than I thought it would have been. If I took AP Chemistry I would've realized that Chemistry is a lot harder at higher levels and I would've become more prepared for Chemistry in college. I also would've learned different ways to study for Chemistry that would help me do better overall in my first semester.


Assuming I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior. Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would offer one main piece of advice. Discover and develop your study skills! In high school I adjusted my study skills based on which classes I had to study for. This made me inconsistent and perplexed in college. After much trial and error, I finally discovered which study skills work best for me during my first semester at college. I tend to study most effectively when I speak out loud, when I am consistent, and when I draw and rewrite. If I discovered this before coming into college I would have saved myself a lot of time and frustration. In the beginning of my college career, I wasted a lot of time making flashcards and studying in ways that did not help me. Going through the trial and error in high school would have improved my grades and made me more productive.


In a matter of only six months you can grow in ways you never expected so don't be stubborn and always keep an open mind because your certainty that San Francisco was where you were supposed to spend the next 4 years has left you feeling like you wasted your first semester of college. You didn't though. Although you view this as a mistake, your ability to sense negative situations and change your environment to guarentee your happiness is the trait I am most proud of. Listen to your heart when making this decision, not other people's opinions and demands. You must live your life for yourself and not other people. Go to USF and watch yourself grow by coming to the realization that although San Francisco is home, you need to see the world and experience new things. Spread your wings and fly to Boulder, Colorado.


The advice I would give to my high school self would be to go for a Linguistics degree first instead of a Graphic Design degree to save yourself the trouble of being in school longer than you had to. To say that a Linguistics degree would be the right career path for you and that you need to learn to be more independent in your life, and not to allow other people to get you down when you know who you really are. Become stronger and more confident with the way you do things and to learn not to sound so strong in statements that are being made so it does not come off worse than how you implied it to be.


If i had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to my high school self, I would start by saying "you will support your undergraduate education successfully on your own so don't stress about that. Instead, remember to enjoy these upcoming years which will be some of the most difficult and memorable years of your life." As a high school student I was always terrified to attend four years because I knew I had to support myself financially. I worked while in school so I could afford housing, books, and my overall education and I would skip certain social functions because I constantly stressed about finances. I never really stopped to experience the social events that college had to offer, but looking back now I realize that supporting myself financially through school is not impossible and I graduate debt free. I would want my high school self to know that it is in those social situations that you learn the most about yourself personally and professionally and those experiences determine the person you will become. College is difficult, but it doesn't have to be so serious all the time. Lighten up and be a kid too!


I would recommend to myself that I not worry as much about socializing, and focus more on studying.


The most important aspect about your college transition is to explore new opportunities, no matter how scary or unsure you may be. This is the time to learn about yourself as much as you will learn about your studies. You should not be afraid to take a chance at trying out for a club sports team or learning about research conducted in your department. The numbers of doors that are open in front of you are endless, so don’t be afraid to poke your head through them and see what is on the other side. When you take these chances and succeed, you will find out what you are really capable of and it will surpass any limitation you set for yourself. You are going to be motivated and focused on your studies, which should be your primary objective, but remind yourself to step outside the classroom to learn about the world once in a while. Those chances you take to learn something different will be the best decisions you make.


The advice I would give to my high school self would be to find your true friends first before joining a fraternity, to work hard enough in school to where you aren't worried about failing out, and to save your money for the finer things in life like going up to the mountains for the weekend or for bringing out a beautiful girl on a romantic date. You are going to graduate from college no matter what and you are going to be able to drink with your friends for the rest of your life. Make sure you make the best possible experiences you can while at college because those are the memories that you will cherish forever.


College is a wonderful place, opportunities are endless and everywhere. You can study nearly any topic you can think of and research deeply into said topic. There are clubs that meet for reasons from politics to video games and everything in between. To go to college is not something you will be disappointed with. That is, if you apply yourself, with all these opportunities there are many more distractions. If you come to college to party, you will have a great time but your grades will suffer and so will your involvement with the community.


If I could talk to my high school self before entering college I would tell myself to not worry about finding life long relationships immediately and to focus on school and surrounding yourself with people that encourage you. When first entering college, it is easy to feel lost and lonely among a bunch of people that you don't know and the desire to find connect with people as soon as possible is strong. I have learned in my years at school that friends change, but your dreams and aspirations should't. It is easy to allow the wrong people into your life that will alone distract and discourage you from succeeding in school and the rest of your relationships. If you can be strong, patient, and focus on your education the rest will fall into place.


Take a gap year! There's really no rush to be in college and going to Israel for the year would be a much better experience. I know you just came back from New Zealand less than a year ago, but college in Boulder is not what you think it's going to be. Go on Nativ or another program and experience being an adult while not being in a school system. Next year will be the beginning of your life as an adult so don't waste time being somewhere you don't want to be and doing something you don't want to be doing. Be with the people you love and love you the most. Apply for college in the north east where you really want to be and live for most of your life. Make the best of your senior year and continue being who you are since you were always great at that and don't waste a single moment of your life. Be happy.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would approach myself and say "Look, life isn't easy and neither is college. Learn to let go of your past and move on, more motivated and stronger than you were before genuinely happy that you had the experience. College is not a giant party and it will take hardwork to learn the material to pass your classes. Don't be eager to get anywhere, enjoy how easy high school is, and know when you get to college, life will throw obstacles in your way. The excess time you spend wasting on video games is time you could spend proving to yourself that you are smart and entirely capable of doing great things with your life. All you have to do is wake up and decide you're ready to make that change."


I would tell myself to manage my time better and plan my classes better to set myself up for success.


I would tell my high school self two large pieces of advice. The first would be to stop being a procrastinator. In college, assignments come at you left and right and the due dates sneak up on you so fast. No longer do you get three weeks to write a four page essay, you might get three days. No longer do you have one big assignment a month, you have four big assignments a week. The second piece of advice I would give myself would be to really hone in on time management skills. Even though, four or five classes seem like nothing to a highschooler, they are a lot of work in college. I would want to make sure my highschool self understood classes do not mean go to class and maybe have some homework; they mean going to lecture, taking notes, reading, taking more notes, studying, and taking even more notes. If I had that advice as a high schooler I do not think the transition to college would have been such a shock.


If I could travel back and have a chat with the high school version of myself I would have a few tidbits of advise to give. First off college is going to be an overwhelming but ultimately awesome experience so have a plan of attack going in. Make sure you join clubs and get involved with various organizations that seem important to you, this is a great way to meet people outside of your major who you still have similar interests with. Don't be afraid to go to office hours and get to know your professors and TA's. They are no where near as scary as they seem, they truly want to help and will be extremely appreciative that you care enough about the subject they are teaching to come in and get some extra assistance when you need it. Also make sure you try extremely hard to get good grades in the introductory courses you take in the beginning of your college career so you have a nice GPA buffer when you reach higher-level more challenging courses. Lastly make sure you still enjoy yourself these will be some of the best years of your life.


If I could go back to when I was a senior in high school then I would tell myself that first I was going to do a great job. Although school can get tough and there will be times when you feel like giving up, you must keep moving forward because there will be a glorious end. Also I would tell myself to focus on the little things like applying for scholarships and looking for ways on how to save money because I was too confident that I forgot to apply for other financial aid. This would come to hurt you in later time. Also take this year to learn how to manage your time because that will be important in college. All the learning and work is not enforced by the teachers and they could care less whether you pass or fail and that is why you must teach yourself to open the textbook out of freewill and study. You must prepare now for college because soon it will be too late and there will be nothing you can do to fix it.


If I could go back in time, I would tell myself I made the right choice to drop out of school in 10th grade becasue my mother refused to pay rent on our house and we became homeless for the third time during the two short years i attened highschool. if i had attempted to continue to go to highschool i know i would have never been able to graduate. Getting my GED allowed me to go straight to college and everyone says college is harder then highschool but they are wrong ive done better in college then i ever could have done in highschool. After getting my GED i started relying only on myself because at that time i realized i was the only one who could support myself and keep me from being homeless. I would tell myself to keep your head up one day you will be the first in the family to get a degree and prove i can do anything i set my mind to, and not to give up things are tough but they will get better and having an education will make things much easier as i grow and mature even more.


To my high-school self: I would tell myself that i should work a little bit harder. That high school really in't that bad, and no matter how dull it might seem, you're still going to miss it someday. High School only happens once, i should try to make it the best i can. Every opportunity is important, and even though no one tells you, each one has a purpose. Never stop learning.


I would offer myself a two tips of advice. First of all, I would tell myself not to stress out about college. Students often become obsessed with school rankings and reputations. While we all want to attend a top-notch school, one does not have to graduate from an Ivy League university to be successful. There are so many universities and colleges across the country with wonderful professors, vibrant student bodies, and stellar academic studies. Work hard in high school, study, apply yourself and then let the rest fall into place. Take a deep breath. You will be accepted into a school and do well wherever you go. Secondly, I would recommended planning for a career after graduation. When I first started college I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had no real plans for a major or for a profession. When choosing a major I felt very lost and simply picked something that I “liked.” While I am happy to have a BA in Film, I realize now that there isn’t much use for my degree. Take a plethora of classes - in all different subjects - and find what you love.


I would try to apply and visit as many colleges as possible. Also another big thing would be to look at all of the majors offered at each college before you fully commit to a college.


I would choose a smaller school where I would have had a chance to be a big fish in a small pond rather than the large pond of CU Boulder. I felt like I was lost in the crowd and the school did not care what happed to students after graduation.


I would tell myself to stay focused and realize how important getting an education is. I emphasize that failing to work hard now would result in a making my life harder later in life.


Although I have only been in college for one semester, there are plethora of things I would tell myself. The first of which is do not procrastinate. That may have worked out for you in high school but if you get behind in college, you will not catch up. The weekend is not long enough to do a full week’s worth of work. As a perfectionist this is hard to overcome but do not try to make everything perfect. It is okay to get something wrong so stop beating yourself up over the little things. You need a stress reliever to help avoid mental breakdowns. The gym is a good place to start. This last piece of advice was actually given to me on more than one occasion because through all the stress, I tend to forget to enjoy the little things. Rather than always looking to the future, remember that this is one big journey and although it seems like you will be here a long time, it goes by quickly. Stop and reflect once in a while on how blessed you are to be at such a great school.


I would say, they have to set up a goal and follow it.


Campus life is more fun and competitive than high school. So, we should really care about grades and make plans. Time management is most important in college because you are away from home and you have to study hard and be up to date. Give yourself a lot of time to do homework and prepare for finals. Don't forget to hang out with friends on weekend, that's really worth after a hard work of the week. Don't go to parties if you go to party schools. Look for internship in the first summer if you like. Basically, stay focused and don't forget about your dream.


Don't be afraid, Jackie. I know you've had a hard time adjusting as the "new kid" and being accepted by your peers in high school, but the world is much bigger than that, as you will see first in Beijing and then at CU. In Beijing, you will meet people from all over the world that will change you, make you question yourself fundamentally, compel you to accept yourself and your culture, and force you to open your eyes to the harsh reality of things. Brutal, I know, but you will find that you've returned reborn. Words from mean high school girls will no longer define who you are. Though I want to refrain you from romanticizing the "college experience," you will see how diverse people are in this world and how in your own diversity, you do "belong." Understand that all experiences, college included, will only improve if you allow them to. Remember that you are not below anyone. You are *entitled* to a wonderful, powerful experience that will prepare you for the future. Breathe deep, remember to kiss your kid brother goodbye (even if he squirms), and accept all that is to come.


If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a senior, I would prepare myself for the work load that college entails. Senior year wasn't very challenging for me and I picked up bad habits that were hard to break the first couple weeks of college. I would also tell myself to get a job sooner because of the fact that college is so expensive. I worked the whole summer so that I could buy a laptop but if I started sooner, I could of had a lot of money saved. Lastly, I would of told myself to apply for scholarships sooner because I missed so many deadlines. I am completely financially independant being adopted out of foster care and I am reliant on scholarships and grants to pay for my tuition. This is why I am applying for scholarships so early this year, so that I don't miss any deadlines. Other than these three things, I believe I was prepared for college and ready to graduate from high school.


After graduating high school I went directly to China where I attended three years of a bachelor program at Xian Jiaotong University. After hearing about my unorthodox educational career if I mention I’m from Nebraska, people generally laugh, implying I was fleeing the plains. I’ve also found that people who are knowledgeable about China have the same low opinion of Xian that Americans have of Nebraska. True, Nebraska has a smaller population, and true, Xian is relatively polluted. It is easy to notice the faults of a place. But every town has both fault and virtue. I have great pride in the two underdog cities I lived in. The stormy skies in Nebraska are greater than any Hollywood blockbuster could replicate, and the spirit behind the people living in the five thousand year old city of Xian is at once fascinating and endearing. I would not change leaving Nebraska in high school, but I would try to change my attitude about it. Leaving when you understand and appreciate a place is a wonderful thing. I would have liked to have recognized the beauty of Nebraska before I left, rather than only in hindsight.


I would say that high school is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to buckle down in high school and be ready to stay commited 100 percent to your studies and classwork. Make sure you keep your GPA as high as you can, because colleges will be looking at it. Don't fall into the contagiousness of senioritous, because colleges won't care why your grades dropped. The higher you can keep the grades, the more money you can recieve from a college of your choice. Life is about decisions, and staying focus is school may be the most inportant one. Stay working hard and being dedicated!


Don't go to a college that is too small, or too big.


I would say to myself to start studying for exams throughout the semester rather than start studying only a few weeks before a final. I have never been one to procrastinate, but I think this way would be much more efficient and effective. Also, I would tell myself to relax about making friends in college. The first semester of the year, no one knows anyone else. Therefore, everyone is very friendly and willing to make new friends. I think this is a major concern for many incoming freshman. The last bit of advice would be to relax and enjoy the first year of school. It is challenging, but very fun, and goes incredibly fast. There is a reason why people refer to college as the best four years of your life.


I’ve learned one thing,; when it comes to making a decision at the end of the night, it’s not what’s around that matters, because it all comes and goes, but rather what that inside voice is telling you, for what you choose to follow, in the end, will ultimately make or break you. Let intuition guide you.


I would have told myself to keep education in mind and make sure not to let sports be the driving force of your decision. Also keep an eye out for things that seem to good to be true. Some people seem extremely caring and nice but it can be a complete mask that they are putting up in order to encourage a decision.


Work Smarter, Not Harder. In college, I worked harder than most of my classmates. I was taught that working hard was a badge of honor so I took full course loads and tried to earn an ‘A’ in every class. I worked 25-30 hours per week every semester and over 40 hours per week each summer. I attended every social event and sacrificed sleep in order to squeeze the most out of the college experience that I was responsible to pay for. Though my hard work paid off (I graduated with under $20,000 worth of debt), I missed something. After finishing college and processing what happened, I realized that I missed out on a lot by not slowing down and focusing on what I was most passionate about (helping the global poor) because I left no time to pursue it. If I could do it all over, I would go back in time and tell myself to pursue my passion described above fully and enjoy the process rather than work hard for sake of working hard. This time, I will take a wiser approach – focusing more on activities related to my career goal (an approach called “working smarter”).


I would tell myself: "Stay focused, do not drop classes, seriously reconsider applying for student loans and just keep moving forward!" Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time at the community college I'm currently attending by not focusing on a particular educational goal. I knew that I wanted to transfer to a university, but I didn't take classes seriously. I often dropped classes and just figured I could take the next semester. However, I'm finally transferring to Sacramento State University this fall with four associate degrees, but I feel that it has been a long time coming. I know that by now that I should have already completed my education completely, but my main lesson learned is to not give up. Even though it is taking me longer than anticipated to complete my goal, I am still on a path to achieve it. I have a little brother who is just ending his sophomore year at high school and is looking forward to applying to Sacramento State and even though I can’t go back in time and warn myself I will be able to give him the advice that I wish I had received.


Time and sleep are, perhaps, the most underrated aspects of college. If you don’t take the time to learn, if you spend your time playing or even working, then you will rarely have a solid grasp on the material you need to know. If you treat your homework like a chore, and not utilize it as a means to learn, then you will truly be wasting your time. If you don’t take the time to read the material, then you are at a serious disadvantage. Additionally, your ability to recall information is directly correlated to how much sleep you have logged. After pulling an all-nighter you are lucky to be able to remember your name let alone the mechanism of an aldol condensation reaction. It is very important to keep in mind that the reason you have that restaurant job is because you can take time off to study. While work is important, it pales in comparison to the importance of your education. Finally, study with quality people. Do not be shy or ashamed of what you don’t understand because, although there are times you will need help, there are also times you can provide it.


Being involved in college clubs is a great way to meet people and build relationships. I would have been more involved and lived in the same city that I attended school. Commuting makes the process longer and take more time. Staying physically active is important to doing well in school and feeling good about yourself. It is easy to lose sight of what is ahead with the present circumstances and all that is necessary to accomplish. You have to remember the bigger picture but not get overwhelmed with all that has to be done. Time spent on both academics and having a social life is equally important and must be balanced so that one does not overtake the rest of the other in your life. Remembering the important things and having priorities will allow for a good and successful college career.


Before you navigate the new and numerous challanges of college life, I invite you to consider a subject of great personal importance. You need to realize the essential nature of introspective awareness and the importance of listening to your own inner voice. This doesn’t mean simply blocking out or rejecting everything in the outside world. This doesn't mean sitting and doing nothing. It means drawing first from your own inner strength and gaining the composure to accept and deal with everything in the outside world. There are many influences you will have to pay attention to, and not all of them are constructive. Teachers, parents and friends all have opinions and contributions to make, but these can fall on deaf ears or even be destructive if you are not first prepared to listen. Discover the world through your own lens. Look for art, look for music, look for literature, look for the people that make your life full. But most importantly, look! Don’t merely accept the default world you were thrown into. There is so much more available to those who are willing to challenge the status quo.


Transfering to college is tough. First: Form better study habits. High school was a breeze, and it didn't require any studying for me, but college is very different. Beware classes that don't assign homework. Just because there isn't anything outside of class doesn't mean you can slack off. Those tests will kill you if you don't at least read the textbook. Make sure to discuss your sleeping habits with your roommate as soon as possible, preferably before you move in. It's very annoying when you can't sleep because your roommate is doing something to mess up your routine, and simply talking about it can avoid the mess altogether. Go to bed at a decent time as often as possible, because there will definitely be some late/all-nighters.


College is the best place to start making decisions about the future, and starting off with something you actually enjoy doing (not just what you're good at) will make school so much easier and worth your time and money. I love my major because I have a passion for it. I'm a Communication major, and I like helping people and having meaningful relationships. There are careers out there for everyone (many that I am not even aware of yet), so why spend your life being miserable? Some college students have even invented their own careers such as designing their own websites. School will be miserable if you're only going for a title on a piece of paper, and don't waste four years of your life!


College is the best place to start making decisions about the future, and starting off with something you actually enjoy doing (not just what you're good at) will make school so much easier and worth your time and money. I love my major because I have a passion for it. I'm a Communication major, and I like helping people and having meaningful relationships. There are careers out there for everyone (many that I am not even aware of yet), so why spend your life being miserable? Some college students have even invented their own careers such as designing their own websites. School will be miserable if you're only going for a title on a piece of paper, and don't waste four years of your life!


Don't come into college thinking it's going to be a breeze, because it's not. You're always busy, you'll struggle with your studies at first. But once you get into the routine of things, it's great. I've never been happier. Also, don't drink a ton to "look cool". You look like an idiot. The cool freshmen are the ones who know how much is too much. But also, freshman year is the time for a lot of people to learn how to handle their liquor. So don't be embarrassed if you do puke... a lot of your friends (and possibly you) will, and a lot. I had a friend puke on my shoes once. But HELP YOUR FRIENDS if they need it. And never let someone walk home alone shit-faced.


I would have started applying for scholarships sooner. No matter what your college is like, you can bet that it's expensive. Start early and work diligently. You'll get to college and you'll love it, but the problem will be staying there. Scholarships are the best way to pay your way in college and keep learning and living for a better future.


If I could go back in time to when I was a senior in high school what would I do. First I would of took my senior year more seriously. I would of tried harder in my classes to bring my GPA. Then I also would of tooken classes the earned me college credits. Reason is so I wouldn't have to crame so many credits in per semester and so I could finish my degree sooner. One last thing that I would do If I could go back in time to when I was a senior in high school would be to apply for more scholarships. Why, Because before I came to college I had no idea how expensive college was until now. If I ever had the chance to go back that is what I would Change.


There are a few things that I have picked up in the short time I have been in college. If I could go back in time to give myself advice, the biggest piece of advice I could give myself is talk to everyone. Everyone knows someone, and if you open yourself up to ask everyone questions, you have a nearly limitless supply of information. Make sure everyone knows your name, all your professors, counselors, TA's etc. Thre more people know you, the further they will be willing to go to help you with whatever problem you may have. Another piece of advice I would like to give to my former self is attend every class you possibly can. Even if your professor does not take attendance, there's a good chance they have a way of knowing if you're in class or not. The more they see you in classes, the more dedicated they feel you are. If they feel you are deeply commited to their class, the professors may feel inclined to offer you extra help. The more effort shown on my part will equal more effort given to help me.


All those times in high school, especially senior year, when I thought I had a lot to do...I didn't. I would tell myself that it is possible to get busier, and I would tell myself not to complain anymore. I would also reassure myself that the transition between college and high school isn't as scary as I thought it was. I would tell myself to keep paying attention in high school, because every piece of information I already know is more time to spend learning things that I don't know. Also, don't bring as much stuff into your dorm room. You are a messy person. More stuff = more mess. And you're lucky that you'll get a chill roommate who is almost okay with it. Also, don't flaunt the fact that you are from Texas. People in Colorado love to make fun of Texans. Yes, most of it is all for good fun, but some people really don't like Texans. Yes. You will be stereotyped and asked about your non-existent accent and horses. Get ready.


The primary thing I wish I had known before I left for college, is that it is harder then I thought, but easier then my junior year English teacher tried to convince me it would be. There are a lot of essays, a ton of notes, and enough reading to make me want to collapse in exhaustion. I would tell myself to prepare for the worst, because if I prepare for the worst classes I'll end up with the best grades in the best classes. There's nothing harder then going to college and realizing that high school didn't prepare me for college one bit. I would go back and tell myself that nothing will be like high school, and everything will be more difficult. The second thing I would tell myself is that I need to be more social. Coming to college making friends was extremely difficult because I'm antisocial. I would let myself know that I need to leave my comfort zone and meet at least one new person every day in hopes of creating at least one life long friend.


I would tell myself to be okay with feeling stupid. That is what college has made me feel time and time again. The feeling was an aquired taste, but now I cannot get enough of it. I would say to pace myself in the dorms. I would say to take freshman year a little more serious, but not too serious. I would tell myself not to feel bad about saying no, and that there would always be another opportunity arriving if I said no to one passing. I would tell myself to apply for all the scholarships and financial aid that I could, because I would be needing it later. I would tell myself not to stress, because it would all be worth it in the end, and everything somehow always ends up getting done, so I shouldn't worry so much. I would tell myself to try and remember every moment that I could because these moments have been the most precious in my life.