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University of Evansville

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

Parents: Step back. Allow your students to make this decision on their own. If you must, suggest a variety of schools within a reasonable price range. Money is the only determinant you should be concerned with in this process, other than encouraging your students to do this alone. Students: Choose a college that will challenge you and make you feel slightly uncomfortable, whether this means being away from home and familiar people, learning to live with a roommate, or learning to coincide with people of different races and religions. Search deep within yourself to see what your you would be able to handle because you don't want to make yourself so uncomfortable that you hate your decision. Once at college, get involved in something?Greek Life, Religious Life, a volunteer organization, intramurals?anything. Talk to your professors, cooks/servers in the cafeteria, and maintenance men. The people will make or break your experience. Even if the first days or weeks are tough, hang in there. Push through any immediate discomforts and hesitations. Make the most of it. Everything will improve if you maintain a positive attitude. My mother always says, ?Faith it until you make it.?

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When entering a university class many students become intimidated when they learn that their college professor has an actual PhD in their field of study because the students know that their professor is passionate and educated enough to not only teach the course but also back up their claims and assumptions with scholarly documents and facts. Even though some professors believe that they are "all-knowing" because of their advance degree the truth is that college professors are human being like the students they teach. They can also be misinformed or even uninformed on certain topics in their field of study. In many of my classes, including my liberal arts and science courses, the professors would often open a discussion on whatever subject we were studying. Of course in the beginning of each semester only a handful of students would be "bold" enough to speak up, but over time as we grew comfortable with the professors more and more students began to speak until eventually every student in every class would join the discussions. PhD professors do deserve much respect for all their hard work, but they are not gods; learn this and you can be successful.

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Dear High School Anna, I've come from the future to prepare you for college life as a single mom. Prepare yourself for a major transition from high schooler to single college mom. Think about the future you desire for your child and the support needed to achieve your goals. Your parents will be your strongest support financially and emotionally. Being a mom is a huge task in itself, but being a teen college mom is a unique adventure. Begin researching many scholarships, and applying to as many schools as possible that provide online courses for credits toward your nursing degree. Once accepted, meet with the nursing college advisor and write out your college plan. Be realistic about the challenges of being a single mom. Become organized so you will have less stress when your baby comes. Prepare a schedule so you'll have more time to study when the baby naps or when you have a babysitter. Take many notes and study them daily. Communicate with your professors regularly about crucial material for the exams. Stay focused on your goal to graduate and to set a responsible path for your little one to follow. Sincerely yours, College Anna

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When students make the transition from high school to college, their response is often one of shock when realizing the variety of changes to which they must adapt. This often causes students to reflect on their years of high school and consider what advice would have been helpful to them as high school seniors. If I had the opportunity to give advice to myself in high school, I would first explain that in order to succeed in college, one must be entirely self-motivated. Unlike high school, the teachers are not there to hold anyone’s hand throughout the semester. College is what you make it to be. Secondly, I would say that studying at late hours is simply a part of college life. However, there is no need to worry about that because one adapts rather quickly. Lastly, I would say “be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.” In college, there are individuals from hundreds of cultures. By familiarizing yourself with these individuals, you gain experience and knowledge about places which you may have never known existed. The main idea that I would want to impart is to be prepared for changes in college and stay positive.

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I would tell incoming students to first visit the campus. Campus visitation allows the student to get the feel of the college atmosphere and if it feels like a fit. Next, while deciding between the final two or three colleges, make pros and cons lists. Have a good idea about what you want in a school; see if the school has the major or several majors that interest the student, think about what size college appears admirable, and whether the student is interested in a school that is renowned for education or partying. Once arriving on campus, get involved in what interests the new student. Although academics is held high, try not to become someone who only studies. Balance time between studying, meeting people, and having fun. Also, networking is extremely important; do not cling to high school friends. Put yourself out there and make as many new friends as possible! College is considered a student's best years, so make the most of it. Enjoy all the different aspects of college, but don't enjoy them too much to where academics gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Keep in mind, the first priority is school!

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It's important to find the right college for you as an individual. There are many factors to consider: size of college, size of city/ location, distance from home, size of campus, student diversity, academic and social opportunities, academic department (for your specific major), and many more. When first applying for colleges, don't worry about the cost. You never know what kind of scholarships or financial aid you will receive. Once you begin your college career, know that it will most likely be a big adjustment. Most schools have an orientation week. Make the most of that and participate in the activities. It is a good way to meet other students and familiarize yourself with the campus. One of the biggest adjustments for me (especially since I went to a small high school) was becoming a part of a student body where I didn't have a reputation. Nobody knew about me or necesarily cared. It is important to not let this hold you back. If you want to make friends quickly and become a part of the new student body, don't be afraid to introduce yourself. You have to make the effort. :)

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I would encourage parents and students to visit and apply to more than one college. Even if you have your heart set on one college and believe it is what you want, you maysurprise yourself and discover that another college is actually the perfect fit for you. Also, do not stress about money. There are lots of different scholarships available to students who want to go to college. I strongly believe every student can find the money to attend college! For parents, let your child make most of the decisions regarding college. They need to start making their own decisions as well as learn how to apply and set up times to visit college, basically discover how to be an adult. This is a great time to begin the transition from your parents influnece to mkaing adult choices in the real world. My advice to future college students is to make the most out of your college experience by making use of everything your university has to offer. You will be very surprised with what you can find, Finally, please always keep an open mind! College can open your mind up to an enitre world of new things!

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Dear Jay, College is one of many journeys you will have in your life time. However it is one of the most important journeys. A college education is the foundation of the skill set and tools that you will need in order to be successful in your carrier path. So here are a few tips to help you transition and navigate through college. 1.If you need financial aid, learn about your options. There is state and federal aid, scholarships, grants, and college loans. Choose the best one that works for you and apply. 2.Know the rescores your college offers, such as tutorial labs, academic groups, study groups, and workshops; use them they’re there to help you succeed. 3.Get to know your professors, there may come a time when you might need one of them to write you a recommendation letter. 4.College course loads are very demanding and college life outside of the class room can be very tempting. So balance your college experience. Schoolwork should always stay priority one and social time comes after. Have fun but have boundaries. Don’t be that student who over indulges or you may not succeed.

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Since I graduated in 2009, I have learned to “roll with the punches” and I followed the most outlandish dream that I thought I had no chance at achieving in high school. That dream was to graduate from the University of Evansville, the university that I currently attend. In high school, I thought that I would not be able to afford my nursing education at UE, let alone get in. I never applied, never had the chance to get accepted, and I put that dream of earning my diploma from UE on the backburner. I attended a community college soon after receiving my high school diploma and I disliked almost every minute of it. I would tell my 18 year old self to risk rejection, apply to my dream university and worry about the money after receiving word of acceptance. I would also tell myself that no matter what happens, keep working and fighting to achieve that dream. If I would have followed that advice back then I would be graduating this year with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing, instead of graduating with the class of 2015. I haven’t given up and am still fighting for that dream.

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Breathe. My single piece of advice for myself as a high school student about to embark on the incredible journey that is college would be to breathe. Allow myself to breathe everything in, because nothing should be taken for granted and nothing should go unnoticed. That's not to say I should treat everything like the most important thing in my life. No, that would cause too much stress and not enough experiencing. But I would tell myself to take those moments--those little moments throughout the day--to stop worrying and analyzing every detail in my head; and instead look at the world around me. Focus on the present. Take every class and throw myself into it. Give my opinions on politics, human rights, the Romantics without judging it before it comes out of my mouth. Take the pressure off to always be the best, and just take everything in. Listen to my teachers and peers and learn from them as well as my text books. If I could do it over, I would take college for everything it is: a chance to grow as a student, a future professional, an individual and a member of the human race.

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