University of Maine Top Questions

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

Victoria

College is a big word with big meaning and big possiblities. That does not mean, however, that the little child that lives within you is gone. Don't forget to laugh and live; college is a serious world, but sometimes the only way to survive is to put down the textbook and laugh. Make friends, create a new family and learn things from the wisdom of people and not just the textbooks. College is there to set up the next steps of your life, but life is not only reading textbooks and writing down answers. Life is about the experiences and the people you meet. Pay attention in class, do your homework and study; but most of all, enjoy these years and enjoy the people. College isn't meant to scare you, but let you live the life you've always wanted.

Abigail

My number one piece of advice to you is to be open to talk to everyone, it will help you advance not only socially but academically. Go to your professor’s office hours as soon as possible, most of them are really helpful, but they can’t help if you don’t go to see them or if you wait too long to go see them. Also talk to your advisors, I've found mine to be my best tool. Try not to procrastinate and write your lab reports the night before they are due- well not all the time anyway, procrastinating with friends can actually be a pretty good bonding experience. Academics are the reason your in school, but don’t forget it’s a social experience too. Always take up an opportunity to go out with friends and to enjoy new experiences. Go on hikes and enjoy nature, go to parties, go Greek and enjoy culture and along the way make sure you’re never losing yourself, but always finding something new about yourself. So take a deep breathe and dig in, because this is where our adventure begins.

David

I would tell myself that it is easier to get into school right away and to focus on grades, for better oppurtunities.

Silas

I would tell my younger self to look at how well the classes will transfer from Eastern Maine Community College(EMCC) to the University of Maine(UMO) because they don't all transfer as credits in the civil engineering program. Even though not all of the classes transfer as well as you want them to, it is worth it to go to EMCC before UMO. You will meet some life long friends and learn a lot of good life lessons. One life lesson that you will learn if you don't listen to your family is that when you are in a relationship and there are red flags all over the place, you need to end the relationship. Also, just because you are going to college doesn't mean you are now mature and ready for a girlfriend. There are lots of people in college who are immature. I'd make a guess that 25-50% of college students are immature. Also, God will bring people into your life for you to show kindness to. Make sure you don't miss any of those opportunities.

Brooke

Knowing what I know now I would tell my high school self a few things. Class is completely different when comparing college to high school, the classes are much larger and you really have to pay attention. I would tell myself that you have to block out more time for studying in college than you did in high school so be prepared and I'd also tell myself to be prepared for the high amounts of reading from a textbook. I would tell myself that the homesickness is not really that bad and it goes away after a few weeks so not to worry about that part of college. I would also remind myself that college is where you begin the journey to a career path so take it seriously and try your best because your future self depends on it. I would tell my high school self to not let college seem like such a daunting, big, scary thing because it really isn't and some would probably say it's less scary than high school and that the college experience can be whatever you make it out to be.

cody

"Hey, asshole." (dont look at me like that, i was really dense at the time). "you shouldnt settle for the school you can afford, especially sense you dont even know what you want to do." My younger self looks at me with all the certainty of a teenager and says, "But Cody all my friends are there!" To which I would say "yeah well you have a falling out with them and the were does that leave you? Trust me, go work with the oldman for a two years. By then you will be able to afford your first choice. You will also have figured out what you want out of life."

Kelly

If I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be to stop regretting being so shy. My last few months in High School I kept dewling on the fact that I didnt talk to so many people because I wasnt able to come out of my shell. Now that I look back, i dont think its that big of a deal. I mean yes, i probably missed a lot of relationship that I could have had but im happy with the ones that i do. Also, this regret i feel is why has helped be able to actually go up and talk to people in class that i sit next to even if its just for the 5 minutes before class starts. That is something in high school i would have never been able to do.

Jamie

Some advice I would give myself is, don't get in the habit of procrastinating. You do not want to start college with the bad habits of waiting for the last minute to study or to get your homework done. You need to get your work done early and study ahead of time, don't wait for the last minute. Try reading the book ahead before class, that way coming in to class, you have an idea of what is being lectured about. This will help you understand the material and give you the chance to ask any questions you had about the reading. After school everyday go through your notes and study the material covered in class, this will help you remeber what you learned and make studying easier, once a test comes up. Study with a friend or form study groups with other members in the class. You can quiz each other using your notes, to be sure you actually know the material. Also, start any essays early, don't wait. Getting them done ahead leaves time for peer reviews. Creating great studying and working habits will make the transition to college a lot easier.

Jessica

If I could go back to senior year in high school, the advice I would give myself is how important the SAT's are and how important applying for scholarships are. College is very expensive and I am starting to see that now as the bills are coming out. As you enter college you need to buy books, supplies for school and your dorm room, housing, meal plans, tution and much more. When I took the SAT's in high school, people told me about how important they were but I didn't listen. Now that I am looking at all the bills trying to figure out how to pay them, I realized how important my scores were in order to get a scholarship from the college I am going too. If I had gotten my scores up higher, I would of had a lot more help paying for school. Also another advice I would give myself is to take a lot of time and put a lot of effort into scholarships because once your awarded the money, it is a huge help to lowering your college bills.

Helena

High school is a time to get involved. Put yourself out there and just have fun. Do not be shy, or secluded. If you want to do something do it. Join as many clubs as you can, takes all the classes you want to. Be socially involved, make as many friends as you can. Be nice to everybody and invite people to go out. Go to the cute guys party, have as many outings with friends as you can, study and make the best grades. Make the four years of high school as great as you imagined they could be. Go to every football game and cheer every sport on. Make the most out of everything you do in these four years. Make as many memories as you can and cherish them. Most of all be yourself and don't hide your true self from the world. Stand up for what you believe in. And be the very best form of yourself you can be. Lastly, remember all of these memories you created to tell your future family. Inspire them the way you were inspired, inspiration is a great thing.

Kristina

If I could tell my High School self anything it would be to not be as judgmental. One of the greatest gifts the University of Maine gave me was the ability to see and work with other people that were nothing like me. I believe in High School many students are so focused in actually finding out who they are, we forget to learn from the people directly surrounding us. As a High Schooler, I really wish I took the chance to get to know the people that I spent countless hours ignoring. I believe they could have truly impacted me to be a better leader, student, and person today. I never anticipated that college would open my eyes up to things that I disassociated with in High School. If I could go back, I would be more humble and open to the different opportunities around me, most importantly the different people around me. I feel as though if I missed out on anything in High School it was never the dances, football games, or school events but rather soaking in the wealth of culture that my High School had to offer.

Mandi

I would tell myself to learn how to organize things before starting college.

Emily

Looking back on senior year, I realize that I did not exactly know what I wanted to do. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I think that I would maybe stay home and go to community college until I really knew what I wanted to do. Going into college I just thought that everyone did it and that I should just go and figure it out. That was the difficult part; really figuring out what I wanted to do. After coming back home second semester of my freshman year of college, I realized what I really wanted to do and dove in. I went back to UMO and never turned around. For the choices I made, I had to go through what I went through to get here and I am very satisfied with the outcome. Being a senior in high school was not that easy now that I think about it. If I could tell myself anything now, I would say to just go into college with an open mind and don't take on a Major just yet. Look around and enjoy what you can until you realize what you really want.

Amy

If I had known about what college life was really like when I was a senior in high school, I would have made more lasting friendships, since now my school is very far away from my high school friends and I didn't keep in touch with them. I might have gotten another job because it is very expensive and having more money would make me feel more secure about my future. However, I'm pretty happy about what I've done and where I am now, so I feel like I was plenty prepared.

Jeffrey

"While money is important, respect and happiness can get you to the same state of fulfillment that you would achieve if you completed the impossible by becoming a physician. In the end, money is materialistic, so follow your heart. Follow your dreams and if you ever become comfortable with where you are, change something to keep you busy. Every day is one more day that we have and one less day we will get, so be better, try harder, take that responsibility and try something new every day. In short, live your life, pick paths as they come because aiming for one door may close other doors you never knew existed. Talk to strangers and heed your elders, their life has taught them lessons that may be beneficial for you. Learn to Scuba dive, jump out of a plan or go bungee jumping. These activities remind us that adrenaline is the best high you can have and can give us new perspectives on the same world. Just because being a doctor is respectable doesn’t mean that this is the only path you can take that will make you happy. From past experience, I hear Marine Biology is pretty cool."

Mimi

Now having gone through the transition to college life, I would have told my high school senior self that you're never fully ready for college. I would have told myself that you're never truly prepared for what college throws at you until you get there. College is a roller coaster. The ups of doing well, making new friends, and starting a new life; but also the downs of tremendous stress, studying all day and night for exams, and accepting that you are going to fail at times. As a college student, I've done well in classes, I've had fun, I've had my fair share of failures that include getting bad grades and getting so stressed that I broke down. But I realized that you and only you determine your successes and failures. I would have told myself back then was that you have the ability to do well, to not be so hard on yourself when you fail, and that if you believe in yourself, you really can do anything. The advice I would have given myself would have been that your own willpower makes the difference between the fine line of success and failure.

Connor

If I could go back I would tell myself to stay highly focused on finding work and doing scholarships. I fluffed off way too much my freshman year in college because I didn't understand the severity of working and making sure I stowed away money to pay for school. Now that I do I wish I had been more serious about it. Academics were always something that came to me as far as paying attention and doing assignments, but finding work has been difficult. If past me had been more proactive I don't think I would be in the situation I am in right now.

Chelsea

As you advance academically, the work gets harder, so it's important to develop good work ethic when the work is the easiest. The last thing you want to do is realize halfway through your senior or junior year that you're not going to be able to get into your dream college because you didn't work hard enough. Work hard now, it will pay off when you get to relax later.

Sarah

I think the most important thing that you need to know as a high school senior is that in college you get to start all over again. You need to be as social as possible the first couple of weeks at college because that is when you make all of your friends. If I could go back, I would tell myself to open up and be more confident because that is how you will succeed in college. I would also tell myself that I need to prepare myself for a busy schedule and work on my time management. When kids think of college, they think of all the parties and fun that they will have which is why sometimes people have a rough first semester at school. As long as you can manage your schoolwork with your extracurricular activites you will succeed. You also need to prepare yourself for surviving on your own. I personally didn't have a hard time with that but some people have never done laundry before and are not confident with being by themselves. However, the most important thing I said earlier is to be confident and ready for a big change.

Juvelta

College, is the next step, is a big step and is scary and beautiful at the same time. If I would go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would say first to stay focus and not over-stress. It just gets better. Getting involved with a group outside of your major is very helpful and you meet new people. Ask a lot of question. Be friendly with the other students in your major, because those ahead of you have been through what you are going through, they can give you good advice. Go to class, take notes and set your goals. Be confident.You know more than you think you know. Be wise in choosing an advisor, who will help you. Start a research as early as possible and take choose the classes wisely. Read a lot and spend the first year talking to tons of people.Be more proactive. Every minute in graduate school is precious.Start doing volunteer work on campus.You need to be truly dedicated and motivated to complete a graduate program. Don't be afraid to fail, because setbacks bring you one step closer to success.

Madeline

Be yourself. It sounds cliche but it's true. It is very easy to lose yourself when you change locations and meet new people. You want them to like you, you want them to accept you so you compromise with yourself and change who you are. Don't. Root yourself in something as simple as writing. Or running. Or painting. Anything that is special to you and cannot be tainted by others. Keep part of you tucked away for you, for the moments you need to remember yourself. Also, just get the damn tattoo.

Rachel

If I could go back in time and tell myself what I know now about college life and making the transition I would tell myself to keep my priorities straight, even though you hate working in a call center it pays the bills and makes finishing college in December 2013 worth it. I would tell myself to hold my head high and not sweat the small stuff because it’s not worth your time. I would have to tell about how even though your teachers are not going to stay on top of you and homework only counts for thirty percent of your final grade its still important to do it and study your brains out. In the end I would just have to tell the younger scared me that it will all be okay.

Priscilla

I would focus more on going in knowing what i want to do. Not changing my degree and partying. If i would not have gotten pregnant at 19 and then having my son die i would not have failed a year of school. But i must always remember very day no matter how hard it is find something or someone that inspires you and go after your dream. Do not let your past hold you back weather a few bad grades or a bad teachers keep pushing foward. Apply for more scholarships because school is expensive. Hard work and dedication every single day

Jared

Concentrate. Forget the games, leave the book at home when you go to class. You actually need to study this time around. Do not be too proud to ask for help this time around. It's turning around, but it shouldn't have had to be turned around. Don't get set back like your future self.

Emily

I would tell myself to practice better study habits, specifically when it comes to studying for tests. I would also tell myself to not waste money on little, unimportant things because now that I am in college I value money a lot more. I would get a job before I got to school up in the Orono area so that I was not stuck jobless at the beginning of the school year, and that would also help the financial struggle I have acquired. I would tell myself that it is a lot harder to adjust and succeed than everyone in high school made college out to be. It is not easy and requires a lot of hard work, determination, and motivation.

Emily

Dear Emily, You can take a deep breath, college life is just like you imagined it would be. Although, your plans will change dramatically. You will not get the financial support your thought you were going to have so APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS! I'm serious! Just because you're a poor white girl doesn't mean the government is going to throw money at you. You will have to work hard and spend countless hours writing essays and working on projects. Don't get discouraged, you'll find a job on campus, ironically at the financial aid office. You will have to take out loans sadly, but there is no helping that in this economy. Also, start thinking more about what you want to do with your life career wise. Don't listen to those counselors that tell you "you have time to think about it", because you don't. You need to be serious about this so that you can make a good decision when choosing your major. I suggest looking into careers that you have not thought about before, possibly physical therapy or pediatrics, you like babies! Your Future Self, Emily P.s. Do not procrastinate!

Peter

If I could go back and tell myself one thing as a highschool senior, that would be to work and master time management. It always gets the best of me at college. I'm currently a member of Navy ROTC at UMaine and I know balancing that and schoolwork is without a doubt the hardest thing there is. Everything is on a set schedule here for me, because if I screw off and relax for even a minute I get side tracked and forget to get things done that are a priority in the first place. I now have a calendar, planner, and check my email at least 4 times a day. I would tell myself to leave the fun for the weekends when I have more time off and push hard during the week to finish every to the best of my ability. I would tell my senior highschool self, work hard play hard.

Ronnie

Books are expensive, so don't buy the books unless you absolutely have to. Wait until the first week of classes to buy the books. Freshmen year I went ahead and pre-ordered my books from the campus. I didn't even end up using some of them and was then left with a $70 textbook that was totally unnecessary and worthless because the professor had made it. To top it off, the bookstore wouldn't even take it. Another thing is to look for your books online. Try half.com. The bookstore rarely has the best prices. This semester I looked online and found out that I saved over $100 on the same books I would have bought from the bookstore.

Kara-Beth

They should know about the website ratemyprofessor.com. They will learn what classes or teachers they should or shouldn't take. The other thing is Maine day, what it is and what it represents.

Katrina

Spend as much time with your friends and family as possible. You wont even begin to understand how much your going to miss them when they're gone. They are your support, your compassion, and you humor. It's hard to make friends after years of not needing to, so cheerish the ones you have now while you can. Technology makes it easier, but it's not nearly the same. To have you mom to cry to when you have a bad day, or you dad to joke with when you need a pick-me-up, or that best friends that you could tell anything to and would give the best advice, or how amazing it is to be in your boyfriends arms, or even your annoying little sister. You'll miss it all, more then you can imagine, so love it, every minute of every hour you spend with them, because it will be gone before you know it.

Rebecca

Relax. Take a deep breath. As stressful as it may seem right now with all the crazy scholarship packages there are to fill out, take time to enjoy yourself. Get excited! This is the next giat step in your life, and it is approaching more quickly than you make suspect. The time you spend with your family, friends, and boyfriend is so valuable, so charish every moment. Asa heads up, the Bursar's Office doesn't known what they are dpoing, ut don't let that get in your way of achieving greatness! They are doing their best, just remember that you are one of a few tousand students with the exact same concern. Just remember, you are great, and there is nothing that can get in the way of following your life long dream! Go save all the large animals with medicine!!!!

Giselle

Do not be afraid of the unknown because with the unknown comes great experience and a new knowledge of life. As a current sophomore in college if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would say just that. During my senior year in high school I felt that I was always scared. I always feared that I would never be good enough for myself or others. However, I have proven in my college years that I can accomplish anything as long as I allow myself to be successful. For example, as a Florida Hospital Emergency Department Volunteer I have gained much experience. I have learned that jumping into the fear of the unknown does come with great rewards. I have helped and meet many great people as a volunteer and I would never trade this experience for anything. It is only a matter of having enough confidence in my abilities. With that said if I could go back in time knowing what I know now about life I would tell my “high school senior self” to never be afraid of the unknown because tackling that will lead to many great beginnings.

Jacob

Take Spanish 2 in order to go straight into a well credited Univeristy instead of transfering from a community college.

Amanda

I would tell myself to relax a little bit, or preferably a lot. College can be tough but do not take yourself so seriously that you get burned out. Yes, studying should take up the majority of your time, but don't forget that people can't live without friends. And when you left your textbook and notes 200 miles away at your parents house and you have a quiz tomorrow morning, they will be there to bail you out! And straight As are not as cosmically important as you think they are- grad schools really don't care as long as your GPA is 3.00 or up. More important for getting into grad school is the ability to support yourself by working. And one last thing- take all the trips with the outdoors club that you possibly can!

natalie

If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a senior I would say, don't procrastinate. One of the first things that need to be learned when going to college is that if you don't do the work you will fail. High school and college are different; no one will be there to make sure you did your homework.

RYAN

I have been the first in our home to go to college, and I chose one over 1,650 miles away. I have really had to learn how to do things for myself and do not have the opportunity to just run home on the week-ends. I use most of my extra time studying and just trying to keep up with a full load of work (17 hours and Honors on top of that). Overall, I would recommend that everyone needs to experience being off at college to learn how to survive out in the world. I have learned some really valuable lessons about growing up; but also that the friends you make are some you will have for a lifetime, no matter where we live. Another lesson I have learned has been keep up with your studies and your syllabus. The syllabus is probably one of the most important pieces of paper your teacher/professor will give you, and it is your responsibility to read it and follow directions. Last, but surely not least, love your family while you can, because when you leave home you see how much they really mean to you.

Stephanie

I have been able to grow as an individual because of the diversity I have been exposed to at this school. There is a group or club for everyone as long as you put yourself out there to do it. Also, you can learn a lot from your classes, even if you hate them; the key is effort and an eagerness to learn.

Semi

To be honest with you i never though i would be where i am now. Where i come from, not many people get to graduate high school or go to college. I knew when i came to America about 7 years ago that this would be a new beginning for me and my family and since then i have tried to be the best person i can in everything that i have done. Looking back at my "past" life and seeing the poverty people endured was like looking through a window to another planet. I was ecstatic when i got accepted at Regis College but i admint that i will never forget where i come from and what my parents went through for me to be here. While at college, i have done everything in my power to do good in school and get involved in as many events as i can on campus and i think my professors will vouch on my love for school, learning, and education. I am only a sophomore but i feel like i have grown tremendously in the last year. I now consider myself as that glass-is-half-full kind of guy.

ashley

I have learned alot from others, such as most people are compasionate towards others and their hardships. I made some friends that are the most real people i have ever met. i left school for the semesterwhile my mother was terminally ill,and the college was able to help me with everything including paying back all my finaces for the time i was there. I recived letters from staff and fasculty of the college wishing me well. I have also resived all the informatipon possible to come back in the future. I have decided to go back and i hope to learn more about what the college has to offer me, including sports and extra carricular activitites. . Iduuring thew time i was there,i learned to be a more organized and responsible adult. I feel that in going to college i have the knowledge to surive on my own in this world.

Catherine

My college experience has taught me that learning is fun. The environment your in is very important and is'nt something you should take for granted. The lesson more than from school is find what you love, and do what you love Once you find it take a hold of it, never letting anyone take pleasure is taking it away. If you do what you love getting up and enjoying every minute of ever breath is so much easier. When your making dinner you dont make lamb when you would rather have steak. You are the cook of your life's kitchen. Find a person, a place, a thing that makes you happy and encorporate it into you life. Thats what college has given me. The ability to incorporate the things I love into my life.

Derrick

Thus far, college has exposed me to being in a highly populated area. I come from a small town, so this relatively small university has still been good for me. I am on my own, away from home and part of a large, active community: all things that are preparing me for the real world.

Jacqueline

College has been an unique experience for me. Most people say the college life is about partying and having fun, well, I have a lot of fun, but not necessarily partying. In my college I got an opportunity to meet people from all over the country. The college I attend provides so much more one on one attention with the professor, and that has helped me learn faster and more thoroughly. I don't think I would have been as successful at a university, if i hadn't enrolled in my community college. The atmostphere is so chill and relaxed, which helps me concentrate, and the staff and faculty are always available for the student. The scenery, the resources that are provided, and the many opportunites have inspired me to try harder in my education and to become a better person. I don't know where I'd be if i hadn't enrolled at my college. All i can say is that I'm glad I am attending Colorado Mountain College.

Rylee

I would not be currently studying abroad in Bulgaria right now if I were not in school. I would not have the friends or the wisdom I have now had I not applied and attended the University of Maine.

Brandon

One of the most valuable things that someone can take from a college experience is what to do with their lives. College has given me a solid first hand look of what it takes to become and engineer. The beauty of college is that you find yourself in it. You find who you are; what you like; who you want to be; and what you want to do for the rest of your life. College is a valuable experience because it is also trial and error. In the process of finding yourself and finding what most interests you, you can always change your minds and point yourself in the right direction. In my opinion there is not a more valuable experience then college. Everyone should be given a chance to find themselves and what they do best. College is the best thing that has happened to me. I not only understand myself on a deeper level; but i also understand the world around me on a deeper level. This is something that can never be taken away from me.

Kathryn

My college experience has given me a new found confidence that I previously lacked. I walk taller and stand prouder because I know that I can achieve great things. College has showed me that I can live on my own and take care of myself and others around me. I can be a resource for fellow students, a support system for peers or a reliable call for help. College has made me mature more and help me realize the importance of real life goals. After just a short time as a student I know what I want to do with the rest of my life and I am actually on my way there. College has also enriched me culturally and educationally which i value. I have gained knowledge about specific subjects from various sources both inside and outside of the classroom. The search for knowledge is never ending and I finally understand that no matter where you are, there is always an opportunity to learn something. In college I am learning, not memorizing information to pass a test like I did in high school. The information I take in is retained and will help in my professional and personal life.

Alison

It has been valuable to attend the University of Maine because I have memories from attending classes and hanging out with friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have discovered that translation from one language to another is fun and that being a teacher is hard work, but hopefully one day I will be a decent one. Dating is not much easier in college than in high school, but one day when I get married I want my college friends to stand alongside me as I walk down the aisle. Financial aid is a pain but it is well worth it to keep going to that office and make your face known. Finding the groups and professors that will help you without trouble is a process of elimination that takes time but it will continue to help you well past graduation day. I remember sometimes feeling alone in high school, but in college you are never alone. A new friend or advisor is just around the corner.

Kaylee

I have gotten quite a bit out of my first year of college. Joining a sorority may have been my best choice to date because it has taught me so much about myself and others. It has taught me to be able to open up to others. It has given me many opportunities to volunteer, and it has also continued my leadership experience from high school. As far as my classes go, I have been encouraged to broaden my horizons and think more on my own.

Brenna

Coming to school I have learned to be open about what I'm thinking and be open to try new things, and meet new people. Living in the dorms help you make new friends easier, and become a little more easy going, if you weren't to begin with. I have also realized that taking a variety of different classes, can help you expand your horizons. If you come to school thinking you want to become a specific career. You will soon realize your first decision in what you want to do with your life, doesn't have to be your last one. I have changed my career goal to one I didn't realize I even wanted to pursue, and now I am much happier in this decision than the one I originally chose.

Erika

I have loved every second of my experience here at UMaine. I have met many great people and learned a lot! There is a lot of variety here and a lot of activities which makes it a vibrant and active campus. I love it!

Andrew

The opportunity to learn about and prepare for a proffesion in my passion, psychology, is obviously of tremendous value, and the chance to learn under fascinating and deeply involved proffesors has been an exceptionally good experience as well. Aside from this, the friendships that I have forged at college are among the best I have made in my entire life. Furthermore, the entire college experience is one of great opportunity. The chance to meet people of vastly different backgrounds than mine or to learn about subjects from a vastly different perspective has been enjoyable, interesting, and, in some cases, quite profound.

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