University of Mary Washington Top Questions

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

Haley

If I had the chance to go back in time and give my high school self advice about college life I would definitly tell myself to stop panicking and procrastinating and just send in your college applications already. Maybe if you would have sent in your applications sooner you wouldn't have gotten waitlisted from that one college you actually wanted to go to. Also, why are you spending all your money on clothes and Chic Fil A? Don't you realize you need to be saving for the next four years? At least try to act like you are applying to some scholarships. How about instead of sitting on your couch watching old reruns of Scrubs you actually work on that college essay you've been putting off for a month? And let me not even mention those two months you wasted on that good-for-nothing boy from work when you should have been more focused on getting your GPA up. Although, once you finished all of the stressing duties that come with applying to college, feel free to kick back, hang out with friends, devour those waffle fries with confidence, and smile, you made it out alive.

Cynthia

Don't assume that you know what you want to major in after your freshman year. Finish all of your general education requirements, don't jump straight into major or upper level courses. Take advantage of disability resources for students. Don't feel pressured to take as many classes as your classmates, go at your own pace. Apply for scholarships! Keep a good record of your finances. Don't over involve yourself in extra-curricular activities. Go to your professor's office hourse on a regular basis to talk about your classes, not just when you have a problem. Don't worry so much about what will happen after your graduate, live in the present and focus on what you can do right now.

Amanda

I would tell myself to CALM DOWN! As a high school senior I was worried about everything; grades, living on my own, bills, friends, tuition, jobs, the future, my major, roommates, food, gaining weight, losing touch with high school friends, my family, and the list goes on and on! The most important thing I have learned is that things happen for a reason and every struggle and challenge only made me stronger and I really cannot stress over it. I need to live in the moment and know that I am a strong person who just needs to calm down and enjoy life!!

Megan

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I do now, I would tell myself to be more open-minded. At college, you meet so many interesting people and if you do not have an open mind, you might miss the chance to befriend amazing people and learn new things. Also, I would tell myself to step out of my comfort zone. Whether it be signing up for a class that intimidates you or joining a club that you do not know much about, the more you challenge yourself, the more you grow. The final piece of advice that I would give to my high school senior self would be to enjoy and experience as much as you possibly can. If an opportunity arises that you might slightly be interested in, take it. College is a time to learn, grow, and experience as much as possible, so be sure to take advantage of every opportunity that you are given.

Maria-Fe

I would say to study hard in highschool, because though it does not seem very important while you're there, it can make a difference when you transition to a college. When I first transitioned to Germanna, it was a totally different experience than I had had in highschool. Never assume for a moment that if you do well in highschool, you'll have an easy time in college. You'll do better than if you hadn't studied, but college is a totally new level. If you're prepared to expect the worst, you'll be okay. If you expect an easy ride, you're in for a nasty surprise.

Danielle

Focus, darlin, focus. Forget the internet, forget the boys. I repeat, forget the boys. College is nothing like the movies at all. Don't be afraid of not fitting in because everyone here is literally the social pariah of the "real world" for the next four years. You're too old to be pitied and too young to be taken seriously. Have fun! Try new things! I know it's cheesy, but seriously dude, you won't regret it. Do your homework, I know it seems useless now, but trust me, it's definitely gonna help you in the long run. And for the love of God, study. Study hard or go home. Seriously, if you don't they will kick you out. I've seen it happen, and it's not pretty. Oh yeah, meal swipes are probably the greatest invention ever. So use them, cause you'll regret spending all your money on chinese take-out. Don't forget to make your family proud and remember you're doing this so that they can have a better life. Call your high school friends sometimes, and it's okay to cry when you miss home. Stay beautiful, stay smart.

Erika

I would tell myself to enjoy every single day at college. The time goes by so incredibly fast, cherish every moment as you change and grow into a young adult! Make a point to talk with professors outside of class - these relationships are important; your professors can offer so much help and insight into everything: from how to study to how to apply to graduate school. Also, don't be afraid to try something new! Being sure of yourself is the best way to make friends!

Bryanna

Bryanna, try hard then try harder! College is a major step in your life and the key of success is in your hands so USE IT! I beleive in you and you can do anything you put your mind to. Times may be hard for you now but when things seem to be impossible take that struggle and turn it into success. You are unstoppable. You are strong. You are capable. Never let anyone tell you that you can't or won't accomplish your goals. Strive for nothing less than you deserve. Be the person you want your future kids to look up to and admire. Be the student that your parents love to brag about. Be the above the negative influence. Remember I am your biggest fan and I have faith in you. Stay positive and continue to walk the strut of the future hair salon owener that you plan to be. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up!

Jazmin

Let me just tell you some advice now before you go on to college, some things that I have learned that you will find useful. First of all develop a good study habit and stick to it because if you do not do your work even if it was not assigned reading the book is so helpful. There is so many distractions and your friends will try and make you not study and do your assignments. Secondly a good thing to do is get a lot of volunteer down under your belt so you can build your resume up. Your resume is very important in college it is how your future employers will see you and the first thing they will see. And most important is to go to a college that you will enjoy because if you do not it does not matter if you are taking easy classes or hard classes you will not do well. College life is very different from high school do not treat it the same.

Alexis

I would remind myself to take more AP classes and assure myself that I should just get through them and do well on the exams for credit. It is not hard to pass the exam and it makes the best use of 4 required years in school. I would have more credits toward my general ed requirements and minimize some of the more tedious classes that I will have to take.

Tracy

First thing I would say is Do Not Quit. My biggest mistake was quiting before I completed college the first time. I would also tell my high school senior self to join as many organizations and societies as possible. I realize now if I had surrounded myself with common minded people I would not have quit in the first place. I would tell my self that when going away to college that is several hours away from home, I should surround myself with a second family. That second family will help me not be so homesick, and would give me the support I needed to complete college.

Alejandra

If I was in High School once again, I would advice my self many things. One of them would be to get A+ in all my classes since my freshman year. If I would've done this I would've become a part of the Top %10 of my class or even a Top 10 student or even better a Valedictorian. A+ grades in all my classes would've gotten me many scholarships and I wouldn't have to worry about the money. I would also adivce myself to be in many extracurricular activities, these would've been very helpful to me and would help me get many shcolarships as well. And last but not least I would advice myself to save money for college because it is very expensive and the more you are prepared you are for it the the more succesful you will be; money plays an important part in college life, not only for tuition and fees but also for food, textbooks and many extra thing that come out every now an then. Conclusion is, good grades, getting involved and being economically safe is the importantest thing so we don't struggle when going to college.

Cynthia

Be more outgoing: talk to your professors and your fellow students more. Ask and answer questions more often and better. Make conversation with strangers and always remember that everyone else feels awkward too. Be yourself and assert your feelings because you never know who will love the weirdo that you are, and if you don't ask for something the answer will always be "no." Don't be too afraid to make mistakes that you don't do anything; you WILL regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did. Speaking of which, study more. A lot more. I know you have motivation problems, but it will pay off in the long run and it's not like you have anything better to do anyways! Also, save even more of your money than you already are, and this applies to Sophomore year too because you'll have some problems with the IRS and your financial aid will get screwed up Junior year and you will need it desperately. Other than that, don't stop being awesome. You're great. I may regret your actions, but I love you. Sincerely, your future self.

Laura

If I had the opportunity to talk with myself as a high school senior I would turn it down. The best part in knowing what I now know about college life was experiencing it for myself. Living in a dorm room followed by an apartment, I was finally able to make my own choices and inevitably mistakes. Life will always hand us great risks, but without risking possible failure we will never succeed, we will never have the opportunity to better ourselves or our world. I have also learned that much of what I value about college is not my final grade or even my paper diploma that now hangs on my bedroom wall, but it is the journey through the college maze. Within it I found friends, professors, and family to lead me through. I also figured out how much I could rely on myself for strength. Even though I might be able to make some of my choices easier by visiting a younger me, I would hate to take away what I learned from the difficult times. And without them I would never appreciate the best times. College made me the best version of my high school self.

Katelyn

I would also tell myself that the most important thing to take with you is what you believe and your confidence. I would tell myselft to not rush growing up. It will happen in time. Don't waste time trying to be older, because when you get there, you wish you were younger to have less responsibility, worry, and grownup things to deal with. Lastly would tell myself to not to stress out about or be so dead set on going far away or going to "popular" or "big-name" college, because when you get here, you realize that popularity was for ameteaur high schoolers, the "biggest" name here is the lady in the dining hall who every knows and loves, and you realize that you miss your family like crazy. College is just another season in life. Every season has its significance so cherish the season you are in and treasure every moment!

James

The biggest advice i would give to myself as a high school senior would be to just relax and enjoy my last year of high school. As a senior in high school, so much pressure is put on by parents, friends, and even oneself to get into the best school possible, to get into the same school as a friend, or to just get out of the house! No matter what college a student ends up in, he or she will get a great education and will be able to have fun and prepare themselves for the next step in life. Friends come and go, and the friends you make in high school you may have to leave behind. However, there are thousands of new people to meet in college and beyond and it is very easy to have fun and be yourself. There is no real need to feel stressed about the college process, just relax and enjoy it.

Karen

If I could give advice to myself as I high school senior, I would remind myself to be open to new experiences. As a college freshman, I retained many loyalties to my friends at home and my family. Meeting new people made me feel insecure, and so I focused on my old friendships instead of making new ones. I used academics to further shield myself from social life, as I tried to complete all homework before going on social outings. Due to my actions, I isolated myself from many people who could have become good friends, and delayed other friendships which later became amazing relationships. Thus, I would go back in time to tell myself that academics are not everything. I would say that homework can be done any time, but that friends are only available at certain times. I would remind myself that I am an interesting person with whom other people will want to build a relationship and that I should balance my priorities. The balance between social life and academics which I achieved in my later years in college led to a wonderfully satisfying lifestyle and memories I would never want to lose.

Jessica

I would tell my high school self not to waste time and to take responsibility for my own education. I wasted time applying to schools as a senior that I had no desire to attend for any other reason than that I had friends that attended. The schools that I applied to were not as well suited to what my goals turned out to be as they could have been. Do not worry about not making friends, just go where you will get the best education. I would also tell myself not to rely entirely on counselors or advisors. Do not expect them to tell you exactly what to take without doing any work yourself. Faculty are not you and if you are not sure what you want to do with your time in college, you can bet they have no idea. Advisors are there to set you on the right path but you have to have a general idea of where you want to go. Do not be afraid to seek out better in your advisors. In order to appreciate your success in college, take personal responsibility for it and worry about your path, not those of your friends.

Mariana

Set time aside to become used to setting daily, weekly, and monthly calendar. This will help you a lot for keeping track of the many things you have to do; especially if you work and study.

Audrey

The advice I would give myself would be to study more and focus in school. During high school I focused on the activities which were great for my social life but as far as academics I was not the best student that I know I could be. Organization is a huge factor to when you get into college. You must be organized with all your school work in order to complete all assignments on time and effenciently. I would also tell my self to be more responsible. When you are in college you must be responsible for all your actions and have discipline to go to class and eager to learn while in those classes. As far as a social life in college you must be able to balance a healthy social life and be able to focus on your academics for your future.

Jessica

Its okay if you go to a community college first then to a four year college. In the long run it cheaper.

Shannon

I would like to make a positive difference in the world by what I have learned so far through my education and pursuit to become a social worker. Social work is an emotionally taxing occupation, but I would consider it a noble profession. Families, single parents, and abused children benefit greatly from social work organizations. What I see that needs change in this world is our living conditions and how humans treat each other. There is so much domestic violence in families now because of things such as poverty and neglect. All these problems can be evaluated and helped through benefit programs. I want to help fix injustices and abuse. What bothers me the most is not the fact that we have a responsibility to change, but that we refuse to accept this it.

Inga

During these past 2 years of college, I have done a lot of evaluations on life. In my first year, I dreaded living in the prison-like freshmen dorms where I had no exposure to diversity. I spent most of my time in solitude, reading and asking myself questions pertaining to life. This year, I understood the purpose of the loneliness I had experienced: a spiritual revolution. Many conflicts suddenly emerged in my social and family lives and surprisingly, I responded to them with a wisdom I never knew I possessed. In that solitude of freshmen year, I tapped into a new found strength and source of intelligence that had been dormant for so long. In many ways, a seemingly depressive year turned out to be a series of blessings. It also allowed me to greatly appreciate the friendships I made in the international living themed dorm I now live in. The many things I lacked of during my first year have an enormous amount of significance now. This isolation, that I had never experienced before, inspired a deep philosophical transformation in me that shapes the way I view life and the events that unfold in it today.

Melanie

I have learned a lot, met some great friends and have had awesome professors who love to teach.

Kellan

I have gained a broader since of what being outgoing means. Its hard in college to be the 'quiet one' and expect to get out of college what you want to. Breaking out of my shell really helped me to meet a lot of cool people and learn a lot from the people that I came across that I would have not otherwise have been able to experiance becuase of being shy. College has really helped in getting me out of that comfort zone to live my life and not be afriad of what other people may think of me.

Christine

College has really broaded and opened my mind to a lot of social, enviromental and human rights issues. Taking this time out of my life to devote to studying and learning is really important because I am able to be educated on the issues the past has contributed to and that our generation is going to be apart of fixing.

Katie

I traveled 3,000 miles across the country to attend my college and I could not have asked for a better experience. I did not know anyone but I was embraced by the campus community and have made lifelong friends. At my school I am surrounded by genuine people who know what they want out of life and who work hard to get there. These people have set an example for me and how I live my life. I have learned what it means to make mistakes in the classroom and with friends, but with the support of those around me I have learned from those experiences. I have a growing sense of responsibility and a better idea of what I want out of life. For me, college has been a place of growth. Nothing could have prepared me for the people and experiences I would face.

Miranda

Miranda, As a college student I have come to realize one huge mistake. Do not take for granted that which was given to you. In high school you worked so hard! In college it is so easy to become distracted from your main goal-to become a succesful person in life. Even if you do not find the same type of great friends in high school, don't loose faith. Get more involved with campus activities. Don't party too much either, it leads no where. There is a difference between fun and too much. I can only say this, you are more intellegent than the grades you will receive, and you worked to hard to get the money to go to school to loose all of it. So put your chin up and remember the potential you have and what you have to offer this world. Don't let any circumstance deter you from finding out who you really are and moving forward to becoming a great and succesful adult. Love yourself and always remember to put your well being first. Love always, Miranda

Robert

TIME MANAGEMENT! It is alot of fun. But becareful. The work will pile up and you will be left wondering where all the time went.

Robin

I would definitely tell my high school self that even though you probably know the material being discussed in class, you should still study. And read. Professors can be rather picky in what they want, but they are willing to help a student who comes with questions and is concerned about doing well in the class. So office hours are your friend. School is not about partying, it's about doing well and securing a degree that will help you get a good job. Remember how much being a cashier sucks, and let that remind you, even if your roommate keeps trying to persuade you to go out and party with her. She'll stop eventually, as long as you don't cave. So stay true to you and work hard to make those dreams come true.

Charnele

I would encourage myself to take more college credit courses because I could use them as transfer credits. This would also help me adjust to the college course load, and help save money.

Clare

As I reflect on my senior year of high school, I realize that one of my biggest fears about attending college was branching out, leaving home, and taking on bigger and better things. I based my decision of going to the University of Mary Washington based on the fact that it was close and comforting. The best advice that I can give students making the transition from high school to college, is to not be afraid, but to be excited. College is an opportunity to grow as a person and develop interests that will carry you throughout the rest of your life. If you are like I was, and are hesitant to take the next step to adulthood, do not base your college decision on relativity to home and comfort, but instead choose a school that intrigues you, inspires you, and challenges you. If your University encompasses all of these aspects, it is time to take advantage of your opportunities and use each day to learn something new.

Angela

When I was in high school, I knew that I loved numbers. My mom and guidance counselor encouraged me to go for accounting. Once I got to college and into the upper-level accounting courses, I realized that I didn't like it at all. It was then that I realized that I should have not been so dead-set on one major. Rather, I should have explored other options. The reason is that I've come to realize that if you're going to be working for 30+ years, then you need to like or better yet, love what you're doing! Also, I would have told myself to finish preferably before having children. I now know how hard it is to work full-time, go to school half-time, and take care of a 5 year old boy! It will be worth it in the end, and I don't regret anything, but it would have been much easier on myself to finish school. I am going for Computer Science and Mathematics now, which was similar to what I was good at in high school and will guarantee me a successful career and life!

G.

As a college junior, if I could go back in time to my high school years, I would not worry so much about living in a dorm because that's where I've met so many of my really good friends. I would take more classes outside of my comfort zone, like computer science, and read more for fun. I would be more open to a more diverse student body, and I would have tried to learn more rather than just get good grades. College for me has been all that I had hoped plus more.

Phyllis

I would tell myself to study harder in my AP classes so I could get those extra credits and be able to register early for classes. I would tell myself to stay organized because I definitely need to get that back. I would tell myself to apply for colleges and scholarships at the beginning of the year so i would not worry about where my funding is coming from and if I have any at all. I would tell myself to have all the fun I can because in college for me, it's study,study,study. I would have also told myself to take summer classes so i can graduate early.

Christian

Simply to finish off High School as strongly as possible, and prepare to enter college life confidently, with a strong work ethic, an open mind and a warm heart.

Briana

Start keeping a good schedule. Good time management is the best way not to fall behind in your work and studies at college. In high school the teachers remind when assignments are due, however in college, if they even say anything, the professors won?t tell you until maybe the day before. Another bit of advice is to find people in your class to study with. More often than not, they have thoughts and notes on the class that you might have over looked. Be sure when you move onto campus to keep an open mind. College is a lot bigger than high school and has a greater diversity. If you try not to be overly judgmental of different backgrounds and personalities, you stand a better chance of broadening your perspectives and not fighting with your roommate.

Rediet

Learn what enviroment goes well with you and don't get caught up with parties because it will always be there unlike that class you fail. Another thing I would advise myself to do is to pick classes late in the day rather than early in the morning.

Amanda

If I could talk to myself at that point in my life, I would tell myself to be open to new people and friends. But, more importantly do not overload yourself as you are making the adjustment from a small town high school to a collegiate atmosphere. The workload and expectations are very different, and room to to adjust is necessary.

Emmanuel

Although I am happy about my life now, I would be more happier if I could go back as a high school senior. I would stay home and put much effort towards the following: doing my assignments on time, reading frequently, and study enormously to enable me get full scholarship to attend one of most prestigious schools in the United States. I would not waste my time anymore to follow my friends to places that would not benefit me . I realized later in my life that whatever a man sows he would reap it later in the course of his life. The time spent on girl friends and numerious parties could have been spent towards my studies. I did abuse all the privilleges that my parents were offering to me and now I am paying more than double in terms of money, effort, time and to mention a few to do the same things I did abuse in some years ago. If were to be a high school senioer again, I would tell myself that the beautiful ones are not yet born and the real ones could be seen after college. Working and studying is a hard thing to do.

Jeffrey

Trust your instincts, you know yourself the best and make good decisions.

Breon

I would advise my high school counterpart to never give up. What I mean by that is, when I was in high school, I barely applied for scholarships because I never thought that I would get them. I didn't have the confidence that I was good enough for anyone to award me any scholarships. At the senior awards night, the same people kept getting the scholarships because they were the only ones to apply for them. I could have have been one of those people had I continued applying for scholarships until I started recieving some. I would have also advised myself to start getting in the mindset of a college student. In high school, I would wait until the last minute to do a homework assignment, though ontime, and for some classes, I did not feel the need to study because I was good at that subject. I also never used a planner or agenda. All of these bad habits can lead to ones downfall in college. It is easy to forget the deadline of a paper or your work can build up quickly if you wait to the last minute to do your assignments.

Piniel

Parents do not choose the school for your son/daughter. Students do not go to the college beuase your parent said so, also try to have an overnight visit at the school you are considering.

Brianna

DON'T WORRY. Frankly, undecided is the best major choice available. Who truly knows at such a young age what he/she should be doing "for the rest of their life?" Schools that provide encouragement not to dive into a major prematurely are more common than we generally think. Take advantage of it! Research those schools. Research bargain schools. You know what they say now? Undergraduate degrees are to now as a high school dipoma was to 25 years ago! Apply to more state schools than not. Stay positive - everything happens for a reason! If a school doesn't want you, you shouldn't want the school!

Marijka

When looking for a college, choose a school with a strong program in the major you want if you have an idea of a major interest. If a future major is unknown, look for a college that has a number of majors available and a good general education program. This will allow you to dabble in a number of majors without committing right away. Also, think about the relationship you would like to have with your teachers and what is important during a college experience. Do not pick a big name school simply because it is known; pick a school that will make you comfortable and that you will enjoy, even if it is smaller. Know the different activities that you would be interested in partaking in and find a school that offers those activities. When you get to school, sign up for as many clubs that interest you as possible. Starting cutting down when you figure out which activities you really enjoy and are willing to spend the time putting effort into since those will be the ones you enjoy most. Do not be afraid to try new activities and introduce yourself to everyone around.

Jill

Don't settle for your fifth choice.

Justin

I recommend students seeking the right college should first visit their in-state public universities to get a feel for what they desire in a school. Public universities can provide an excellent education, with a variety of campus types, while still being affordable to most people. After visiting several campuses and talking to students at each, you can develop a sense of whether you want a larger or smaller school, an urban environment or smaller town, and what type of general atmospere is best suited for you. With colleges narrowed down, it is simple to research which school has the best academics within your potential range and apply for it, making sure you apply to others as back-ups. The best advice I can give to future students is to never skip a class without a very good reason (after all, you are paying to be there) and to get a professor to know you really well every semester. Professors can find you internships, write recommendation letters, and help you get that first job after graduating, so make sure you impress at least a few of them. Work hard, but don't forget to have some fun too.

Jennifer

Finding the right college is about finding what you're looking for. Just because a school looks great on paper doesn't mean you (or your child) will be happy there. Visit schools before you make a decision. Sometimes you'll walk onto a campus and realize it's just not for you. Especially conside the size of the classes you want to attend. Bigger schools have more money to spend on facilities, but your professor probably won't know you. Smaller schools boast more individualized learning, but some resources might not be as available. Once you're there, college is what you make of it. You can choose to make it a great experience, and you can choose to be miserable. No one is going to come looking for you in your dorm room to be their friend, but if you get out there and get involved, you will find the people with whom you will be friends for life. The ultimate goal: be able to look back in 20 years and know that you spent your college years making yourself the best person you could be.

Ashley

Don't be nervous about taking risks. Life is full of opportunities; take chances when you can!

Alexandra

My advise to parents and students searching for the right school would be to dig deep, look around the campus and make sure you visit the actual campus and talk to students and professors or advisors. A student should feel welcomed at the school even if they have not decided where they wish to go, they should also feel like they will be in a wonderful learning enviorment, and a safe, friendly enviorment. To get the most out of the college experience, you must become involoved. Volunteer off campus, join clubs, go to sponsored events, and attend student held lectures or events. Finding the right college for you is sometimes difficult but makes all the difference in the world.

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