University of Houston-Downtown Top Questions

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

Dawn

At 31, I look at this question as in indication to measure how much I have grown as a person. There are so many things that I would advise the younger me to do, but I have narrowed it down to the most important two things. The first thing I would advise myself to do in my high school years would be to LOVE myself more. Spend more time developing my character, because at the end of the day, that is how you are judged. So many young girls spend time, money, and energy on becoming someone else that they end up losing themselves. They lose their identity, their passion, and more importantly their purpose. Unfortunately, I was one of those girls. I ran myself ragedy trying to become everyone else, till finally one day in my 20’s I said.. ‘enough is enough, it’s easier being me’. Which lead me to second most magnified self-advice to teenaged me, practice living a healthy lifestyle. Over the years, I have become an Ambassador for providing a plethora of knowledge to kids and teens on how to live healthier lives physically, emotionally and mentally. Your health is your wealth!

Momena

Hello, Momena. I know the future is going to be tough on you. All I want to tell you is to work hard, stay strong, and study hard. Don't live off of what people tell you about college, you are you and you are different from them. They have their own challenges, and strengths and weaknesses, and you have your own. If someone says a test is hard, don't just go off of that, whether you are in college or in high school. Start studying hard for subjects you understand, and study harder for subjects that you don't know. Become close with your teachers in high school, and with your professors in college. I know you're shy, but if you want to succeed with straight As in college, don't ever be shy to ask questions , nomatter how dumb you think they are. Sometimes you will have to choose friends and college, and the smarter thing to do always is to choose college. If your friends are your true friends, they won't pressure you to choose them over your studying. Just remember, know your priorities and live life to the fullest. - Momena14 years later

Taylor

Now that I'm in college, there are definitely a few things I would tell myself as a high school senior. One piece of advice I would give myself is to apply for scholarships as soon as possible. College is really expensive and scholarships are free money that's going to go to somenone, might as well apply. Another piece of advice I'd give myself is to not stress out about going to college. The transition was a lot easier that I thought it would be and college is not that difficult.

KAREM

I would advice myself to continue expanding my education. I would focus more on learning and less time worrying about other things. I would have sermonized on how lucky I was to get to attend a university, how crucial the first few years after high school graduation are, and how valuable education really is. I would also deliberate on the fact that I will not know an answer unless I determine myself to find the answer. I would have better prepared myself for failures, reminding myself how my failures will ultimately become the best learned life lessons. In the end, what is most important is the fact that I was able to face challenges as I encountered them and if I could repeat without advicing myself I would, it has helped me become a better problem solver, a better thinker, and a productive being.

Doris

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to take more advanced placement classes, in order to put me ahead as I start my undergraduate education. I would also tell myself to get more involved in organizations and assume leadership positions. This would have helped me develop better leadership skills which come in handy in colleges where Team Based Learning is being used in the classrooms. Also assuming leadership positions in an organization in college helps you attain effective communication and organization skills that will help you be more succesful at your job in the future. Another piece of advice I would tell myself is to volunteer to help the community more often. Volunteering helps you see things in a different perspective and gives you a sense of fulfillent that you do not get from working. There are always ways to contribute to your community, and being part of something in which you are not expecting anything back not only looks good on you, but is also empowering in its own way.

Jocelyn

If I could go back to my senior year I would tell myself to focus on school above anything. Boys come and go and if it's meant to be then it is but education is the most important and in order to go to college scholarships are an essential thing to have and apply for. Let go of all the petty girl drama because this is the time to become a competitive candidate for the colleges you're looking into and that's more important than petty high school things. Pay close attention to scholarship and college application deadlines and keep up with them. Gather all the paperwork required and turn it on time if not early. Schedule some campus visits and work on your study skills. There will be parties but learn when to prioritize because school comes first. Look into summer jobs and save up for food and other essentials and start figuring out if you'll live on campus or at home. Other than that enjoy your senior year and good luck in college.

Mary

When I graduated high school I made the decision to wait to go back to college. After all the strugles I have been through to pay bills, fighting to get a job in an office, and working toward a future if I could give my senior self any advice, it would be to start college the following semester and to not wait. I thought waiting would be a good thing since at the time I had no clue what I wanted to do. Now, I am having to take classes that I would have been exempt from as well having to relearn a few thigns. I would beg myself to not make this mistake. However, dispite wishing I had done this five years ago I am happy that I am finally working toward a better future for myself.

Courtney

If I could talk to my high school self the most important piece of advice I could give her would be to believe in her ability to do anything she wants to do. I would encourage her to to develop a plan and make sure to keep working on that plan until the goal is accomplished, regardless of any failures or pitfalls she experienced along the way. College life is not designed for the faint of heart. I actually believe the curriculum is set up to weed out the weaker links. In order to succeed at anything you must first believe that you can do it. Once you believe in your ability to achieve your dreams, it will strengthen your resolve to fight for what you want in every situation. Self-confidence is key to struggling through the long study hours, grueling final exams, and even difficult courses and professors. Not every subject will be your favorite and a few of them will feel impossible to grasp. However, self-confidence will allow you to believe in yourself enough to exhaust all options in order to master the information presented to you.

Terrance

Assuming I could go back in time and give my own self a pep talk, i would have first told my self to start taking things from senior year on more seriously. I would have explained to my self that applying for scholarships, raising my GPA, maintaining good grades in school, and appyling for colleges early was mega important. I would have explain to my self that the more I worked senior year, the less i would have to do in the summer twoard college. I also would have let my self know about how important focus would have been for the transition to college.

Stephen

I wouldn't change a thing. I dropped out as a senior, but where I am today, I may not have made it this far without making those mistakes. Mistakes make us who we are. Right now, I'm attending Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and am hoping to get accepted to Lee University for the fall semester. Had I continued with my schooling, I made not have made it this far. True, it took me two years to be motivated enough to get my GED, but I owe a lot of that to my girlfriend and her parents. They pushed me to be the man I am today. So, I would tell myself to make those mistakes, but don't give up hope, because things do get better, as long as you can always remember to keep faith, and keep strong.

Jay

Going back in time amd talking as high school senior, i would advice to not rush in making decisions.

Nadia

I would tell myself to take college classes early, so i would not have to waste 2 years of my life taking core classes. I would have waited through the summer before starting college and have a break in between my semesters.

Zuleima

If I could go back in time being a high school senior I would tell myself too study harder, and apply for more scholarships. Now I know the earlier you apply for scholarships the better. As they say “Early Bird, gets the worm.” I would have also told myself to strive to be better, to be the best I could be. Even though I was top 25 percent of my class I would have liked to be top 10. I believe I would have had a better chance at scholarships and grants. I even would have told myself to not let people’s cruel words get to me. As I was told many time that I should go, and now that I should have gone to community college because me and my family would not be able to afford my dream college. I let their vicious words get to me many times. Even though their words hurt and knocked me down many times I strived to continue and pursue my dreams. Even though I am attending my dream college, we are still financially having problems. I really do wish I could go back and tell myself to apply for scholarships.

Willie

If I had a chance to talk to myself when i was a high school senior, I would tell my self to start applying for scholarships, and stay focused on my school work. Keep getting more involved with FBLA, and DECA organizations to help make a difference. Better my self at becoming more organized to prepare for college work and my business. Help more students that seem to struggle and doubt themselves since no one gave me a motivational speech. Get more involved within the CROP(College Reach Out Program) by helping more students with their academic work and on field trips, along with finding ways to help better the program. And find any way I could start a positive movement within my high school, not to be noticed, but to give back to the community.

Sharita

I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO REALLY THINK HARD ABOUT MY MAJOR AND WORK REALLY HARD TO GET DONE WITH SCHOOL IN A TIMELY FASHION. I WOULD ALSO SAY STUDY MORE AND PLAY LESS, BECAUSE THIS IS THE FOUNDATION TO OPEN NEW DOORS TO THE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO!

Ashley

If I could go back and talk to myself in high school knowing what I know now, I would tell myself to pay attention more and that high school is only four years of your life that goes by faster than you can imagine. When I look back at my high school career, I wish I could have done more academically. I would tell myself to have fun and enjoy high school but I would also tell myself not to get so caught up with the social aspect. It seems when you are in high school that nothing you are being taught is relevant and therefore, it is easy to just learn what you have to learn to get by. I know now and would tell my old self if I could that it is a good thing to be a “nerd” who reads books and joins academic clubs. If I had known these things, I believe my transition from being a high school student to a college student would have been easier. Finally, I would tell myself to pay more attention in reading and grammar classes, and then I probably would not have to edit this paper ten times.

Matthew

If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to take advantage of the opportunities afforded me and not wait to start college. I would also share the secrets of better time management. I think though that the most important thing I could say to my younger self would be that no matter what happens or how slow you have to take it, never give up. Taking your time and doing your best will always pay off in the end. I would still encourage myself to go into the military but I would push myself toward attending a traditional college right after Army training. Having missed out on the "college experience" I know now I would have been better off living at school rather than trying to keep up with school and a busy life on the side. Stay focused, never quit, and accept help wherever you can get it from; these are the points I would make to ensure an easier future if not also a brighter one for dear old me.

Amanda

The amount of change that you will go through in the next 4 years is unbelievable. For the next 5 years, don't make any life altering decisions. You brain is still growing, and your interests will change constantly. If you want to know how much they will change; in just a couple of years mom and you will be best friends. Remember that your family comes first. With that said, love your sister even when you come to hate her. Remember who she is at heart, beneath the darkness that has happened to her. The best advice I can give you that will help you with everything I just said, is to keep your mouth shut and listen. You talk too much. Don't shut me out when I say, I know how passionate you are about things but being overexcited about those things is going to push people away. If you want them to see your side, listen to their side first. You think you're ready to handle it all? Wait until you are married and have your first child. You'll realize really quick just how much you need others.

jared

I would tell myself to of actually taken the SAT or ACT and applied to a 4 year college. I would of told myself that being popular and having all the friends really didn't matter, because I look around now and where are they. I would of told myself to put my nose in the books and get what really mattered done. I graduated with a 3.42 but it was my freshman and sophmore years that really hurt my GPA. So i wouldn't just go back in time to tell my senior self but every year i attended high school. I'm sitting here watching all my friend graduate and here I am just barely transfering to a 4 year university. Don't get me wrong I had a fun time accomplishing all of this but if I could that the one thing I would change. I found what I did to be very educational and a life experience that I could of not learned anywhere else. I think it prepared me for my transition to the 4 year university that I am preparing for now.

karishma

Life during high school years seemed to be easy and less stressful than what I am having right now. I would certainly advice myself taking more AP and challenging classes in high school itself which I myself didn't take when I was in high school. If I would had done that, things would have been little easier for me right now. The first year of college was more like review from high school classes. I would definetly advice to take all AP classes classes related to major in high school itself and study very hard to earn those AP credits, so that i would not have to take it in college, and move forward.

Sara

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior there is a lot of advice I would give myself. First off my initial thought of college was to go to university where I could stay on campus and live the college life. Now that I look that I am in college and look back I realized that was all I was worried about, was living the college life and being on my own. What I realize now is there was a lot more that I should have been thinking about, such as, what major I was going to be in, how hard the classes were actually going to be, and that I would actually have to study. I would have told myself to stop and really think about what school I want to go to, what I want to be, and how I’m going to approach getting myself there. College isn’t all about being away from home it’s a lot of hard work and studying that goes along with it.

Chad

Chad at 18, find yourself first. Don't follow the dreams others had for you.

Zach

I would tell myself that I should have been more motivated and willing to get things done when I was younger. Being older and having other financial obligations, I would have gotten done with school and gotten a job. But unfortunately, I waited around, took a year and a half off and now I regret that I did that. All of my friends that I graduated with have begun starting families and I feel like I am behind in the game of life. I think that my constant want to finish school has helped me get through it and I know that I will finish. I can do this---

Suzanne

If I could go back in time I would tell myself not to take such easy classes. That I need to focus on school, and actually learn the material that they taught me. Also that I needed to choose better friends and not make the choices that I did.

Mandy

I would tell myself about staying school and how important it is. Because of the economy is not the best in this day an age.

Delilah

I would tell myself to go to college the fall after graduation; because waiting to attend college results in not attending college. Also, choose a major that would be constant employment instead of something that would not have high rate of employment.

Karishma

I seem to view my life throughout the years of middle school, high school and college as a rollercoaster for the reason being that it was not always the easiest or the simplest task in the world. One needs to work really hard to achieve success. I have also learnt not to give up in any circumstances because college just prepares one for graduate schools. High shcool is just a stepping stone. The 'real life' begins in college where a student has to work really hard. So I would just like to advice myself to keep on working hard, and to not give up even in toughest circumstances.

Ashley

Looking back to high school I remember feeling so pressured to solidify what I was going to be and what I was going to study in college. I ended up taking time off and went back as an older student. If I could give advice to myself or any younger person in high school I would say, "RELAX!" There is plenty of time to decide what you want to be. Most importantly, if you are not ready to go to school and really apply yourself academically then wait and go back when you are ready. Academics are so important and will follow you around for a long time, so when you make the commitment to go to college honor that commitment to yourself and do the best you can. Also, getting A's are great but as long as you try your absolute best you should be happy about yourself and dont beat yourself up about the small things and if mistakes are made its going to be ok just look to the future, learn from your mistakes, and do your best to create the best future for YOU!

Jesse

Do your research. When you have so many passions you'd like to follow, look into options that can best fulfill each. You may have a head for science and math, but you know deep down that you intend to have a creative career. Find the place that nurtures your curiosity in the classroom as well as outside. Visit campuses. Not only attend tours, but get to know students in the residence halls to get a sense of the campus community. While you're at it, eat at a dining hall. Ask yourself, is this place for me? Heed deadlines. Be more persistent with friendly reminders to Mom about the FAFSA, and you will reap many financial benefits. You need them, as a self-supporting student. Apply to as many scholarships as possible, and you will avoid inordinate amounts of stress. Most importantly, attend a community college while discovering the right campus. This will extend both your time and money, ensuring the most intelligent investment of both scarce resources. Disregard family and friends belittling the Associate of Arts Degree, and earn it like you mean it. And don't forget to enjoy your path.

Kristen

As soon as I graduated high school in 2002 I went to a junior college, wasted two years and then went to a four year college and wasted four years. I wasted 6 years and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life until I went back to school and majored in Nursing. Found my career but it took way too long. My advice to myself as a high school senior would be to prepare more. Know what you want to do or have a list and figure out what you want to do before wasting all your financial resources and time. Do what you love but be smart about it. Pick out several colleges that have what you want to do and weigh your options. And please apply for scholarships before you graduate. Also ACT is important so take it over and over until its a pretty good score. Don't play around too much in high school and figure out what career path you want to take!!! Good look this time!!

Leah

As you near the end of your childhood years and graduate from high school, please think about your future...NOW! It is fine to take the summer and celebrate your entrance into adulthood but do not delay your education. You do not want to be 50 years old and realizing you should have taken the opportunity when it was offered. But, be true to yourself...be certain that you speak your mind and follow YOUR dream. Do not get caught wasting your money and time learning about a career you will hate. But learn a career you must. In this job market, education is paramount but you need to work as an intern or at a summer job so that you have experience. This is an employer's market and they can dictate exactly what they want in a perspective employee. Education is a fantastic opportunity to learn about and visit different worlds and cultures and open yourself to other viewpoints and opinions. The college classroom allows interaction with other students and faculty in a safe environment. Here you can learn from other's mistakes or decide to try it yourself. Always strive to better yourself and you will succeed.

Brock

Study and work hard!

karishma

High school is really different from college life. High school is just a stepping stone towards a career. The real life begins in college. After attending a university, I realized how difficult and different it is from high school. The advice I would like to give to myself is to work really hard, to always focus on the goal, and to never give up during any obstcales that might come in my way. If one gives up during their high school years, then think how difficult the college life i going to be.

Jennifer

I would tell myself that no matter what happens in your life, do not give up. What you will achieve and learn through your experiences will be of the highest reward once you get there. Do not expect to accomplish everything on a timeline because life will throw you curves in college. You will stumble on your road to making the transition to college, but do not give up by any means. These struggles will make you a stronger person in the long run. Your graduation day will be the happiest day of your life because of what you learned.

Teresa

As a non-traditional student at this University I am learning much from the students that I attend classes with. Since I am a Social Work major UHD was a practical choice for me. It is close to home, so it is easy to get here anytime. I started my college career many years ago, and I find it fascinating how much teaching has changed over the years. For me, it is very important that I receive the best undergraduate program in my field, which will allow me to obtain my Master's degree from a very good University. My sights are high, but I feel that by attending UHD it has established a very good framework to build upon. I am very grateful to the professors in the social work department in their support from my application to attend the Collegeof Social Work until today. I will always be grateful to them.

Stephanie

Returning to college after 20 years away from school has been challenging, rewarding, and fun all at the same time. I was a little embarassed when I walked through the doors for the first time: would the younger students judge me harshly because of my age? I never thought that I was already judging the younger students too harshly. The students have no preconceived notions about me based on my age, I am the one worrying about my age. I have gained valuable insight into the kinship of the human condition; there are situations and circumstances that create common bonds among students no matter what their ages or backgrounds. I have learned so much about myself while I am attending college. I am learning that I am a strong person who can handle challenges. I am setting an example for my daughter, in more ways than one. I am teaching her that school is important at any stage of life, and that she can persevere no matter how tough school seems. I am teaching her that I am smart, and if I am smart, then she is smart. As my daughter would say: Girl Power Rules!

Kourtnee

I have learned so much from the few years I have attended school and just want to continue reaching my goals. College is a needed resource in my life since I am a mother to be who believes in making something of yourself. While attending school I have moved out of my relatives house a few times to attempt living on my own. I attended school away from home twice, once in another city and also in another state. I have settled back in my home town of Houston, Tx and happen to be living on my own because school has helped me to become an independent productive citizen.

Tashina

College has given me so much; I have gotten pride, respect, a higher education, I became someone to look up to for my younger sibling and especially my own children. I have also gotten so much good feedback from family and it gives me the pride and the courage and strength to continue and finish. Attending college has made my life !00% better and it has made me see a brighter future for my family and me. I also want to show my children that they can also go to college to better their futures. I came from a family where college was never talked about so showing my children that college is fun, exciting and worth the time and that it is extremely important for them to be successful in their college choices

Jose

The most important thing I've gotten out of my fist year in college has to be how I've been able to broaden my learning to different studies that I would have never attempted if I were not in college. Ive been able to free my mind from the stereotypical persona of the tattooed hispanic male.

Francisco

I have gotten a positive impact from attending uhd. The college environment has been a pleasure to experience. The interaction between students has been phenominal. The high level of education has had a great impact for me as a firefighter. It's valuable for me to attend in order to have a successful life and to be able to provisde for my family. Coming from a poor family thats my motivation to move up in my proffesional carreer.

Krystel

From going to the University of Houston, I have learned to be independent. I no longer depend on my single mother to take care of me; therefore I am attending school in order to take care of her and my family. With this in mind and this being my motivation; I have learned developed a thirst to accomplish great things. I have also learnt to use the city’s metro system because I do not have a car. I have learned to take my disadvantages and turn it into an experience I can use later on in life.

Danielle

Every time I start a new semester, I get the feeling of "this is where I belong". I love being a student, and hope to continue learning for the rest of my life. I have been in and out of classes for years, but have managed to stay enrolled full time for the last 2 years, despite having a baby over spring break! I want to set an example for my boys that an education will get you so much further in life than trying to make it in the world without one. The most valuable experience I believe I'll ever have, for myself and my kids, will be the day I walk across the stage and finally get my diploma. I'll be the first of six kids in my family to do so, and hope that not only will my boys see how important it is, but hopefully my siblings will not give up on that dream for theirselves or their children. Attending college has given me the chance for a better life, and I cannot wait to make my family proud!

Mark

I have gained information that I would not have gotten anywhere else on my oun. I can use this information in the future as I go into my career and I can encourage others to better in school and stick it.

Godwill

College is the future for everybody no matter the age, gender, ethnic, color and attending one is not a bad idea at all because of the benefits it can brings forth. I am an African young man who recently got married, without a job and much money to take me to college, but I took a decision to go back to school no matter the situation. Knowing that in the long run I will be a victor I did not look back. I gained a lot from attending college because my English has improved for the better, my writing, listening and reading skills are better than ever before. I am now aware of what is happening in the world around me because of classes I took such as: history, art and government. The college studies have broadened my thinking capacity and I am able to fit in different situations. College experience is the best and valuable to me because when I finish my studies, I will be able to advance my self by finding a better job. With education that I have acquired, I will be able to take care of my family financially.

Brenda

Wow, this question is hard to answer with just one answer because there are so many valuable things that I have gained in my college experience. If I could only pick one thing, I would have to say finding myself in the process. When I came to college, I thought I knew which direction I wanted to go ,but I was totally wrong. I thought I know who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Only through one's college experience can someone really find what they really want to do with their life. There are so many options that we can try to give us a feel of each major. After experimenting different courses and realizing what I had in mind wasn't really what I wanted to do, I came to find what I really wanted to do. I decided to major in sociology. I really enjoyed the courses and the material. I realized that I want a career where I could help people in some way and this major was a prefect match. I want to continue and pursue a master's degree. This is what I most value about my college experience.

Ashley

What I have gotten out of my college experience from my first day of class, was an overwhelming feeling of completeness. A feeling of, this is where I need to be and, this is what I need. Being a College student has given me motivation beyond words. The College experience makes me honestly feel, that I am doing something lifelong and constructive for my life and for my family. I feel that I am working hard towards, an achievement that is going to make my life prosperous and successful. In life, we all have goals and attributes that we want to achieve, and for me college is my goal. Attending and completing college is a key factor in my life. I know that motivation and hard work will see me throughout my college career. For me, it has been so valuable to attend college because; this is something that I have dreamed about doing since I started grade school. To finish college, and to become a successful person, is my goal and my dream. For my Family, My life and for my children's lives, college is and will continue to be a value of high importance in our lives.

Vanessa

I just finish my first semester in this university it was the best choice i have ever made. I learned lots of new things even new words that io never expected to learn. This university has become part of my life.when i starded to go there i was like i was there before, i felt like i was home with my family. I will never regreat the choice i made when i decided to go there. I want to help and encourage others to come and experience what i have experienced. It has been valuable to attend for me because i am the first in my family to go to a university and also bacause i want to give an example to my young sisters. If there was one word to describe what i felt in my first day of class it would be "confortable" bacause that is what i felt. College every one maigh think boring or too much homework, but it is for our own good.

Deborah

By going back to college, I was able to attain my lifelong goal of becoming a teacher. Teaching is a difficult profession, but it is a rewarding career if you love to work with children. I would not have been able to have achieved this without going back to school. It was not fun to struggle with working lower paying jobs to support myself and my children as a single parent. By me receiving my college education, I was able to make a self-sufficient living, not to mention the self esteem that came with such an achievment. My children watched saw how important getting an education is and it has made them motivated to attend college.

Shaterica

Its giving me the experience of being responsible and accountable for my actions and helping me to make sounds decisions towards becoming an adult and how to relate and get along with others.

Jesus

Since starting college, I've aquired a greater appreciation for the diversity of others. I've had a chance to interact with many people from different backgrounds, and have seen that altough we may not all think exatly alike, we have similar goals, interests, experiences. I've learned that having different opinions doesn't necessarily mean one side is wrong or right. What is important is for people to have others' interests in mind, not just their own. During my time in college, I've also learned to see myself as a more capable person. I've had a chance to push myslef and had hard work pay off by earning a good grades in my classes. I wasn't sure about what I wante to do after graduating from hight school, but after taking a wide range of classes in college I found something that really interested me. Now I have something to strive for, and I'm learning the skills that will help me get a well paying job and give me a sense of purpose. Sometimes people take a job for money, but the ones that at most happy are the ones who trully enjoy their work.