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University of Delaware

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

I would give the following advice:Apply to all the schools you think you would attend, or even maybe attend, because who knows what will actually be the right fit for you in a couple of months.Once you are accepted make sure you visit the schools that you would like to attend or are even 'iffy' about, because you never know till you get to the campus.When you go on the campus tours make sure you utilize every second and ask all the questions possible as the university is at your disposal. Once you finally decide and make all the necessary arrangements and get to school, have a VERY open mind. You will meet people and become friends with those you never thought you would. Keep your eyes and ears open for what?s going on around campus as there will always be something to your liking, and if not, MAKE IT HAPPEN, go talk the school, and get funding for what moves you. Basically just utilize your school, academically and sociably; you are paying for it, so make it worth it! College is probably the best four years of you life, so make it count!!

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The first thing I would tell myself was to apply to any and all scholarships available! There's no telling what you may or may not get for financial aide and every little bit you can get your hands on will help. Fill out the ones that are no-essay first to submit them, and then do what you need to do for the other ones. Read the books, write the essays, submit while you can because Seniors in high school have a lot more scholarship opportunity than those who are already enrolled in college, so start now! Then, I would tell them to take classes all year round. It's difficult to go back home in between sessions once you've become more independent, because parents have a hard time adjusting to it. Also, you will accelerate yourself through your courses and you will not lose focus because you will always be in the school mindset. See if there is an option of year-round housing that is supported by financial aide and opt to live there for this reason. You will either graduate early, or be able to even take on another major that interests you!

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Ultimately, when it comes down to making that final college decision, the factor that influenced me most was not the strength of the program, the size of the school, nor the diversity of the student population. It was whether or not I could see myself enjoying my time here for the next four years. Would I still be close enough to home to visit every so often and see my old friends while still being far enough away to feel independent? Could I see myself walking around this campus going to class, to work out, play sports, or just han g out in general? If you can answer yes to these questions about one college in particular, then that should be the one for you. Of course money always plays a role in determining which college to choose, but if it's not too much of a financial burden, and your gut feeling tells you that this is the one, than that is all you really need. Get as much inside information as possible, but try not to look too much into facts and figures as what really matters is whether or not you will enjoy your time there.

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Hello, Past Me, it's Future You. I need to tell you a few things about applying to your colleges. Fight your parents to apply to more than two colleges and don't apply anywhere for Theatre; only apply for academic subjects. You won't get into Syracuse. Tell your parents you don't want to be a Three Language Major, study what you want to study; declare History and Creative Writing. You will enjoy taking Ancient Greek and Latin far more than you enjoyed taking French and Japanese. Then, you will save yourself the headache of changing majors when your parents kick you out of your house and not have to be in school an extra year because you studied what THEY wanted and not what YOU wanted. Two years of your life will be saved, and you will most likely graduate on time with enough money to get an apartment and a job offer. You think your passion is foreign languages, but you only think that because it's what your parents told you; a Three Language Major is ludicrous. Don't do it. Do what you love - that's the only way you can truly be happy.

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My first piece of advice would be to relax! Life definitely changes in college, but not as dramatically as I know I imagined when I was a high school senior. College life greatly depends on the kind of person you are before you enter. Yet, numerous opportunities are made available to grow and gain a variety of new interests. As a college student, you are able to make your own decisions about things which may have seemed insignificant at home, but become extremely important when you are independent. You must remember to do the laundry, figure out where and with whom to eat, what is the best time to study and where, as well as choosing in what you would like to devote your time and energy. Creating schedules is extremely useful not only for classes, but in coordinating what to do in your spare time. The wide range of people you get to meet and befriend makes college life absolutely wonderful and overwhelming, but once you find a good niche you will discover a second home that offers a similar security and comfort as the home you left.

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Parents should sit down and listen to their child about career choices. The biggest help was my mother. I told her I wanted to pursue a career in Hotel, Restaurant Management and perhaps own my own restaurant. She helped me weigh the pros and cons of this field. Parents and their student should look at the cost of tuition, books, meal plans, and housing. If the school you want to attend isn't within your financial reach look for a school that is. College life can be stressful enough without worrying how you are going to pay for everything. If available, students need to visit the campus with their peers and then again with their parents. Parents are accustom to controlling and making most decisions for their child. Parents need to take a step back and let their child ultimately make their own decisions. Students need to embrace their new found freedom with discretion and good judgement. Students should also keep in mind that parents are parents for a reason; they do, on occasion, have great advice, knowledge and experience.

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I came to college to learn. Sure, I learned a great deal in the world of academia, but that is a tiny part of the experiences and life lessons I have had in college. Wherever you go, or whatever major you choose, to take the most out of college you need to remember each day to try something new, go up to that stranger in the dining hall and sit with them, talk to your professors as real people and not just that person standing in the front of the room, join an activitiy you wouldn't have the opportunity to do otherwise, study abroad. College provides you with opportunities you will never have again, so take the risk and go for it while you can. In twenty years you won't remember that test that you could have studied harder for or that class you aced, but you will remember the people you met and the experiences gained from "that one night in the dorm" or the championship football game. Just remember to take it all in and treasure it, because four years fly by faster than anyone could imagine, and I promise they will mean the most.

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The advice that my 17 year old self desperately needed was to "look before you leap." Coming from one of the top schools in my state, it was assumed that I would immediately attend a four-year institution. I was thrust into a furry of SAT scores and application deadlines, without taking the time to decide what I wanted. I didn't know what type of school I was interested in. I'm not one to shy away from hard work, so the application process was not difficult. However, picking a school was. I had no preferences so I ended up making my decision based on money. I attended the least expensive school that I had been accepted to. It turned out to be a horrible experience. The campus life and the education level were not fulfilling my needs at all. Luckily I was eventually able to transfer to a school that was able to do that. I would tell my senior-self to take a deep breath and think before I make any decisions. I would tell myself to ignore the pressure, that it was okay to take a while and decide which school was right for me.

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Get invloved. The first semester of my freshman year I made a lot of mistakes. I didn't socialize very much, I never went out to parties, I didn't join any clubs or students organizations, and as a result, I had only a few freinds, I was very homesick, and I missed all of the activities I used to do in high school. After my first semester I auditioned and was accepted into a co-ed a cappella group which combined two things that I absolutely love: friends and music. I got a part in one of the student run theater productions and made a lot of friends that way. I started to go out more and put myself out there. I am very happy here and it is because I had the opportunity to get involved in so many extracurriculars and meet so many people with the same interests. Pick a school that offers the activities that you love... you'll be miserable with out them. And if there is nothing you are currently interested in, pick a school like the University of Delaware that has TONS of different activities and organizations to get involved in.

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If I could give advice to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to be outgoing and flexible when making the transition to college. College is an entirely new environment, and making friends is important. Get to know the people in your dorm and the people in your classes...someone who's a "stranger" one day could become your new best friend! It's also important to be outoing to take advantage of "professional" opportunities such as TA positions, internships, etc. Opportunities like these are there for the taking, but you have to be bold enough to go after them! It's also important to be flexible; you shouldn't expect your life to be the same as it was when you were in high school. Staying up late, eating at weird hours, and taking random naps all seem to be part of a college student's "schedule," so these are changes that you'll have to adapt to. Lastly, have fun! It's easy to hole up in the library and study all the time, but that's not much fun. It's important to make friends that you'll remember forever.

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