University of Colorado Boulder Top Questions

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


Talking to myself as a high school senior would be a challenge to say the least. While I used to think that I knew everything and was prepared for whatever college would throw at me, the truth was that there was no way that I could have predicted what I would soon be experiencing. However, if I had the opportunity I would likely try to warn myself of the change that I would soon encounter. I would tell myself to prepare for a feeling of independence and vulnerability that I had never experienced in my life up till this point. I would explain that while keeping close friendships would remain vital, establishing myself in my new setting and discovering the person I wanted to become here would be most essential to my sense of happiness in this new life. Most of all, I would tell myself to embrace my last few months as a high school senior, to bathe in the love of the people and support system I had built throughout the years and to never lose sign of the aspects of my life that bring me raw happiness even during the times of struggle and despair.


Here is my advice: There are normal things that a normal woman ought to do, as she sleeps or wakes or walks. One of them is to dance, full of life to a funky rhythmic beat. Another is to sing to a playful melody with a common tune as she likes. Another is to hike all over the majestic mountains to see nature at its untouched beauty, while another is to run with one’s one power of will and emotion. Another is to drive, taking control of the wheel that designates the course that you will go; another is to work, unhindered by distractions, moving forward towards your dream. Another is to speak, clearly without hesitance, knowing what you say will create a change. Another is to realize that being a woman is being strong, fulfilling a destiny that only she can finish. You must learn to be a finisher. You can not be a mere starter of things but you must always be willing and pushing yourself to be a finisher. There are things in life that everyone can do and try with the end result of knowing that whatever you have started is now finished.


If I were to go back in time to tell myself what to do in order to better to prepare myself for college is work harder. While I was a freshman and sophomore I went to school to hang out with my friends and I did not give my full potential and I really regret that now. So if I had the chance to go back I would tell myself to kick it in gear and work harder because I have the ability to go well in school but I was too lazy to try.


STUDY, STUDY, STUDY! I remember being incredibly distracted in high school, and didn't realize the implications that a poor grade or non-participation would have on getting into college, finding a scholarship and applying for jobs. When you are in high school, there are so many pressures and distractions from peers and home that you often forget that you are really setting yourself up for a specific path in life and that taking your education seriously may be more important than you could ever imagine. Many people's lives are enhanced by being accepted to and attending college. Often, the limitations of attending a respectable university are strictly financial and in order to make it feasible you have to get good grades or be eligile for grants and scholarships. Had I known this, I would have been more serious and focused on getting good grades and been more proactive about seeking tutoring or help when I needed it.


While connections are of great importance, don't focus solely on that. Your school priorities should take presedence over all other factors in your life. Also, take a few classes or read a few financial books over the summer to better prepare your self for the world of finance. As you want to be able to hit the ground running without any hesitations as to what is being covered in class (financial classes can be mundane, because the professors do not teach it with enthusiasm. It is because of this that focusing on what is being presented is difficult and therefore loose focus on the classes).


Don't be afraid to try new things. Be slow in judging others, and quick in making friends. Don't lose sight of why you're in college - to learn - but let yourself live a little, too. Appreciate every moment of the next four - or maybe five - years. You'll miss it when you've graduated, and it won't be the same when you start grad school. Pay close attention to your core requirements and listen to your academic advisor, because finding out you've done an extra science class for nothing is not a fun experience. Take the fun classes, but make sure you line yourself up so you'll have the right prerequisites done for the classes you'll be taking in junior and senior year. Don't eat the wasabi mashed potatoes in the dining hall, but do eat the beer battered cod (and don't take that dining hall job, because it really won't be worth it). Be sure to check out all there is to do around town, because Boulder is amazing. Go to the opera - you might be surprised to learn that you love it. Above all, make memories.


There is a lot of advice I would give myself if I was to see myself as a senior in highschool. The first thing I would tell me is to not be so nervous. College is a different experience but it is a good one. Another thing I would say is to take the first semster seriously. When I first went to college, I was overwhelmed with the new surroundings and didn't focus on my studies as well as I should have. The first semester is important because it starts off your career as a student and if you mess up, it doesn't go away and constantly pulls down your GPA. I would also suggest to take easier classes the first semester. Taking upper level classes isn't the same as highschool. The classes are much harder than anything in highschool. Lastly, I would say to make as many friends in the dorms because those are the ones that will stick with you forever.


When looking for a college, it's important to consider what exactly it is you want to get out of your college experience. When I was a high school senior facing this decision, I was influenced primarily by what others expected me to do: my parents, my teachers, the school counselor, my friends - but not by my own desires and exprectations. While I know how important these people can be, I wish that I had stepped back and looked at schools based on things that I valued rather than on the appearances afforded by attending certain universities. Taking a look at what you're really interested in will help you find some of the smaller, lesser known schools that might better match your own personal goals and lead you to a successful and meaningful college experience (this is where websites like Campus Discovery come in - they help you get the info you need about these schools). Keep in mind that there are plenty of schools that offer a great education and resources for students, including more generous financial aid than some of the larger, more "prestigious" schools. Pay attention to what you want, not just what others want for you.


what i have gotten out of my college experience was a new world of learning and experiences. coming from high school i had a totally different view on the world and now that i go to the University of Colorado at Boulder i see people and cultures for who they're supposed to be not what people have made them. i have also made some really great friends as i expected i would but these friends are different from my friends at home. they understand what the world needs and what the world is about.


I think the greatest thing that I have gotten out of this experience at the university is the knowledge from my classmates, professors and activities I have gotten involved in. I have been able to seek opportunities that fit with me and work towards who I want to be as an individual now and in the future. I have met wonderful people from around the world and i have been able to stay close to my family, which is the most importantly thing. I care for my little brother who is 17, and when I was accepted to CU and schools in California, I was excited to stay here so he would not have to move during highschool. I think that one of the most valuable experiences I have had here it working with an on-campus non profit that goes on medical trips to Ecuador called the Timmy Foundation. This expericence has given me the opportunity to work with nurses and doctors alike from Ecuador and all over the states, in addition to gaining experience with running non-profits and expanding my knowledge about health here and abroad.