University of Maryland-College Park Top Questions

What should every freshman at University of Maryland-College Park know before they start?


College will be hard to adjust to as this is the first time you are living away from home. You may not get along with everyone you meet; for example, your first roommate. But try not to let this upset you too much because there are plenty more students that you will get along with, so do not be afraid to go out and meet new people. School sponsered clubs and activities are a perfect way to meet people who share the same interest as you. Also, the school work will be hard. After all, that is the main reason for going to college. Do not get discouraged, you will find the best way of studying that works for you and you can make study groups to learn from others. McKeldin library is probably one of the best places to go to get some hard core studying done. Even if you have four exams one day after another, you WILL get through it and I promise you will be able to breathe at the end. Oh, and as for love, it comes and it goes, so do not let it stop you from becoming who you are meant to be.


If I could go back, I would tell my self not to stress so much. I spent nearly my entire senior year worrying about grades, money, social life--essentially everything that had to do with college. My stress, from my senior year to when I moved into the completely new world of college, prevented me from making the healthy and exciting transition that I had hoped for myself. The first weekend, I ended up going home because I was too overwhelmed and felt as though I couldn't make it in college, both academically and socially--or so my perfectionist self thought at the time. All the unneccessary stress leading up to college prevented me from enjoying myself the way an incoming college student should. College should be exciting, and if I could go back, I would tell myself that there is no need for the anxiety. Take a few breaths and enjoy yourself, because college doesn't last forever. I have learned now that I have to take one step at a time instead of taking a hundred at once. If I had known that back then, I perhaps would have had the college transition that every students deserves.


If I could go back I would encourage myelf to visit more colleges and appy for more scholarships. I only visited one college and that was the University of Maryland College Park. I'm proud to be a Terp and I'm so glad I was addmited; but I think it would have been a good idea to explore other options. The most stressful thing about my college experience thus far, has been trying to pay for it. I was not very motivated to apply for scholarships during my senior year and that is something I'd like to go back and change. I'd also tell myself to not worry about leaving home. I remeber being incredibly stressed sbout leaving for college, but I'm so glad I live on campus. I love college life and I'm having so much fun. There are so many wonderful opportunities to make friends and to learn. There are so many clubs and organizations on campus, I would remind my past self that I will have countless opportunities to try new things.


Knowing what I know now about college life I would tell myself two things: be YOU and cherish every moment you have. I believe it is difficult for college students to fully be able to be themselves because of pressures from their peers. Now, being 24 years old, I understand that it is okay to actually do what I want to do instead of doing what the group does. Additionally, I am now able to embrace who I am despite societal pressures, and it is extremely empowering. I wish I had known these things when I first began college, as it would have saved me many worries. My second pieces of advice, "cherish every moment you have", comes from the fact that my four years at UMD were amazing, and I didn't realize how wonderful they were until it was over and I could no longer enjoy all that college had to offer. I would strongly encourage incoming freshman to make the most out of their time, because four years slips by faster than you think. LOVE YOURSELF AND ENJOY LIFE!


Be aware that all the seemingly important things from high school such as the friends you have, who you date, and what you do on the weekends, are actually minute details in a much more important experience. Use high school and the things it offers to set yourself up for success in college. Take hard classes, such as AP classes, and learn good study techniques because if you have the ability to transfer credits into college you'll position yourself to be ahead of others, giving you more time to focus on other classes. And even if you are unable to get credit for these classes you'll bring to college something much more important, good study habits. Knowing how to study will facilitate you in being successful in all you classes because, unlike high school, the majority of your learning will happen outside the designated class time. If I was given the opportunity to speak with my past self before she went off to college I would plead with her to separate herself from the hype of high school in order to successfully prepare for college because by entering college prepared you’re much more likely to find success.


If I could go back in time I would tell myself to pay more attention senior year. Like many other students facing their final year of high school I did not study as much as I usually did, and because of this my last semesters grades dropped, making me inelgible for many scholarships. Once I realized I did not have as competitive of a GPA as I once did, I stopped applying to scholarships because I just figured I wouldn't get them. I realize how much of a mistake this was now because as I apply for student loans I see the thousands of dollars of debt adding up before I have even obtained a job. This is scary because I do not know if these loans will affect my ability to get an apartment or get my life started after college. Scholarships are incredibly important, and I would make sure that my past self knew this. I would sit myself down, and make myself fill out scholarship applications until I fell asleep at my computer just so that I would not have to go through the difficulty that I have now of applying for so many student loans.


Don't beat yourself up. It's a new experience in a new country, and a new environment. There's no shortage of opportunities for multiple things like making friends, being mentored, and finding an activity to be part of. Don't isolate yourself. Be more adventurous then you perceive yourself to be, and just jump in. What's the worst that could happen? Work hard on your studies, but make time for yourself, and remember to stop every now and then and see the entirety of the forest. Don't get so bogged down that you only see the one tree. Relax. The world is not falling down around you. Relax.


Now that I am attending a 4-year University and have transitioned into college life, I have a few words of advice for my high school self. The first piece of advice I would give myself would be to study much harder in high school. High school is not a joke, and everything you do there will affect how you act in college. I feel as if I coasted through high school and didn't put in 110{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c}. My second piece of advice is to not worry about petty high school drama. The chances of you seeing anyone from high school is slim to none and after you graduate, nothing that you ever said or did to a peer will matter. College provides one with a fresh start. My last piece of advice would be to always read your textbook and develop a relationship with your teachers. This is great practice for when you are in college and are struggling with certain material. Your textbook will become your best friend and you also want your teacher to notice that you try hard and ask questions come exam time. Knowing this now, I work much harder than I ever did.


If I could go back to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to work harder and push myself to break bad habits then so I would be accustomed to working hard now. As a senior I breezed by with easy classes because I didn't work to overload myself with difficult classes. Now that I'm in college I realize that those more difficult classes could have prepared me for what I'm experiencing now. I needed to learn how to manage my time, I needed to learn how to write papers and effectively express my thoughts in an essay. More importantly I needed to experience the level of intensity and rigor that a college course has. If I could go back in time I would tell my high school senior self that the "senior-itis" excuse won't help me in a few months. I would tell myself that I should take those essays I need to do serious and fill out those scholarship applications that my mom yells about. Although I did well in my senior year, the simplest things that I could have done then could change my college experience now.


Dear shy and timid girl, Get out there! Don't be afraid to talk to new people and do new things! College students don't bite I promise! Everyone that I have met is so open and friendly. Turst me, they want to make new friends and try new things just as much as you do! The friends you meet here will end up being your family away from home. Plus the more friends you make, the more people you have to "compare answers" with for homework. Don't be afriad of anything! Join clubs, start a conversation with a complete stranger, ask questions in class, and most importantly believe in yourself because when you push yourself you can do anything you want! Love, You