University of Colorado Boulder Top Questions

What should every freshman at University of Colorado Boulder know before they start?


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.