University of North Alabama Top Questions

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

Krystal

While attending UNA I have learned not to take things for granted. And by that I mean money for tution, but I have also learned that studying hard and doing the best you can does pay off. I have recieved some scholarships for the past four years for having the grades that I made. (GPA 3.9) Learning how to budget your money is very important and a lesson well learned. I will be going an extra year because I changed my major late. So that means that this coming year, the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012, all of my scholarships will have ended a four year reign. So I am trying to fund my last year at UNA. I am currently in the nursing school at UNA and love it. They are actually one of the best Nursing schools in North Alabama. I know that when I graduate in May of 2012, I will have received the best education possible in my field. I have also learned how important my family is to me by helping me in any way possible. The most important thing learned is that God Blesses, I am very thankful for each one.

brianna

nothing

Tracy

So far, I have attended three semesters of college. I have attended two different colleges during this time. Both have been great experiences. One thing I have gained is improved ability to socialize. As a person diagnosed with high-functioning autism, social activity has never been natural for me. However, due to the kindness and understanding of faculty and student body, I have become more comfortable in this arena. I have also become better at studying. I was never bad at studying, but college has made me more efficient at it. This is mostly simply because studying is so integral to the college experience; even more so than in high school. I have learned things in college that I never considered before. As someone who is endlessly on a quest for knowledge, this has been a wonderful thing. I have discovered new interests which have changed my life. If I had not attended college, I feel I would be missing out on many important things.

Kris

I have gained a good education, obtained a good job but realize i need more education and experience in order to go further in my career plans. While in college, I gained friends, networking opportunities, and a life long learning opportunity.

CANDACE

N/A- NOT ATTENDING COLLEGE, RIGHT NOW!

David

I have not started college yet. I am 36 years old and due to financial reasons I have never had the opportunity to attend.

Jasmine

I have learned that being on your own is hard and enjoyable, as long as you make the right choices. I believe that is what college is all about. Learning who you are, and how you deal with various situations. Its not about the parties or the opposite sex, its just about learning what you can and cannot handle, and shaping your life to make better choices that improve your weaknesses. Hopefull, eduacation and life skill are all part of the college process, after all making good life choices will only get us so far once we run out of money.

Amanda

I was not sure I wanted to attend college until my first day of class. Everything around me was new and exciting; and for the first time I actually looked forward to learning. Electricity filled the air as we all leaned forward in anticipation as the instructor entered the room. As if to know our apprehension, he smiled and welcomed us all on the first day of our grand adventure. Two years into the journey, and I continue to expand my horizons. I have made friends that may last my lifetime and I find the knowledge acquired being used on a daily bases. I am able to communicate effectively in most situations and the community college atmosphere has provided the self-confidence that I would have never been able to achieve elsewhere. I have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. High school students can be very cruel and are quick to point out personal flaws. Most of these flaws seem to have fallen to the wayside. I am now able to walk across the campus without hearing the childish laughter at my disabilities. If I had not gone to college, I may still be just another disabled young adult.

Alessio

What I have gotton out of my college experience is different from most others due to the fact that I am enrolled in an online college. I never thought it would have benefited as much as it has till this point. I've learned that once you have a dream you need to stick to it and not let any obstacles get in your way. Just because you are faced with obstacles does not mean you need to give up and stop following your dreams. You will be faced with many different obstacles as you are in school and you must find ways to overcome each. Each will make you stronger. I have been stuck in a dead end job for 3 years without any promotions. With a college degree I can start my career search.

Janay

I have become more mature. I have learned many things from watching my follow classmates.

Heather

The advice that I would give myself if I were to go back in time would be to not give up just because you think the grass may be greener on the other side. I graduated with an associate's degree and was offered a job, making what I believed was decent money. I became tired with the whole "school" situation and decided that I would not need anything higher than an associate's degree to get a good job. Now it is more than 12 years later and I am re-enrolled in school trying to finish up what I should have finished on the first time around. It was much easier to do the work back when my worries were fewer and I didn't have children to run around and support. I love my life that I have now, but my goal is to finish college before my children finish high school.

Jessica

Considering I am a high school senior, I do not think that I can go back in time to tell myself about college life, but I do have a friend who has attended the college of my choice who has told me a few things about college. She told me to make sure I fill out every scholarship application as possible because you never know what you will receive. She also told me to live life as a high school senior like it is the last year of your life because in a small sense it is. After high school you are put out in the real world and expected to uphold more responsiblities than in high school. She also told me to be involved in as much extracurricular activities as possible and make sure to strive to make the best grades possible. I think that I have upheld all of these tips handed down to me by a friend who I would claim as a sister. I have been involved in almost every club available at my school as well as basketball and softball. I have also been named Valedictorian of my graduating class.

Mary

If I was able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would warn myself. I would tell myself that college is a whole different world. It is fun and challenging. I would tell myself that I cannot expect to be the best at everything, that would just cause a lot of strife. I would tell myself to double check friendships I had made. I would tell myself to love me for who I am and to not change for anyone or anything. If I could tell myself all of those things before having to learn them the hard way, I believe that I would have a few less "gray" hairs.

DeBora

I would tell myself to stay focus on my academics. Keeping up your grade point average is hard work and it takes dedication. I would tell myself to not go out and party to much. A student needs to balance his or her social life with his or her academics pushing the academics to weigh more than social affairs. I would also tell myself to apply for as many scholarships as I could. College life expenses are very high and can stress a student out. I would also ask myself if I was sure about the college I chose to attend. I would advise myself to go back and check out all possiblities for colleges. To end the advice to myself I would say always strive for your best in everything you do.

Cynthia

I would tell my self to relax and not to stress over classes. I would encourage myself to take time to study but to also take time to rest. Don't get involved with extracurricular actitives that do not suit my personality. I would tell myself to use caution when choosing friends; Not associate with people who pull me out of who I am as a person. I would be more aware of the people I allow to be in my personal space. Only invite those who with help edify me as a person, not raze me. I would keep a closer watch at my bank account and not assume it is not in the negative. Becareful what I let come out of my mouth and who I say things to. I would tell myself to extract from college and people what will only make me stronger. I would tell myself to be anxious for nothing, but in all things give honor to God. To be grateful and appreciative of the education opportunity that I have been freely given. I would tell myself to not be spoiled and to grow up and realize mom won't be here always.

Maci

I took a year off after I graduated from high school to work and earn money so that I could pay for school the next year. In my first year of college I have seen the difference in maturity level between me and the other freshman, I have been out in the world for a year, I waited tables and worked retail for a year and I have seen how important it is to work hard to get an education, to go to class, to do all the homework (even if it is not taken up and ?graded?) I made all A?s and B?s my first semester because of the knowledge I got during that year off. The first thing I would tell myself if I could go back would have been to get myself in gear and apply for scholarships so that I would have less to pay out of pocket for school. I would still probably tell myself to take a year off, enjoy it and work hard. I would also tell myself to have faith in myself, and no matter how scared I am about change that I can do it and I will adapt.

Kimberly

I would definitely tell myself to try not to get sucked up into the party scene. Trying to party all the time will definitely get you behind in your school work. I wish I would have thought about this before I started my freshman year.

Christopher

Going back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior would be an opportunity that would help me tremendously. The first thing I would tell myself is to research colleges better. Make sure that your heart is set on the university you want to attend, and go there. Go there only if it is what you want and will like for the next 4 years. Research the schools, tour the campuses, do anything that will help you make your decision. Another thing I would tell myself is to apply for many more scholarships. College is a very expensive adventure. Any scholarship that you can apply for, apply for it, any bit of financial aid helps. Having this knowledge would help me be in a better situation than what I am now.

Amanda

I would tell myself to try to get more scholarships than I did.

Erin

I would go back and advise myself about applying for scholarships and grants. This was something that I never really got guidance on. I received help from my school counselor and such, but I was very confused about all of that. I think I would also advise myself to not be afraid to get involved in anything I want to in college. Back when I in high school I was involved, but still very shy and quiet. I think I would encourage myself to really explore what I want to do in the future. I have changed my major many times, and I think with a little push of telling myself what it is that I find interesting, I could focus earlier on this major. Finally I think I would advise myself to enjoy my college years and make the most of every day. What one person does on one day can impact the world in innumerable ways.

Jennie

Don't think you're "grown up" just because you're going to college. Yes, it is a taste of the "real world" but you're still a new fish in a big pond. People will treat you differently because they don't know you. You're still going to be learning life lessons about friends, significant others, and life in general. Don't worry about what other people think about you. You just do what you came to school to do. As long as you're happy then nothing matters. Don't fall into any peer pressure because you may feel like they're having more fun, however you'll be having more fun when you're more successful. Surround yourself with real people. Not those who just think of themselves. Surround yourself with people who want to change the world even if you don't want to. Be different and stand out. You'll get noticed sooner or later.

Shemeka

Spend you time wisely. The more time you focus on your studies the better your grades. Don't be afraid to go out and socialize, but try to keep it to a minimum so it will not affect your studies. Make sure you choose your friends wisely because some friends will drag you down. During finals, make sure you take a break every now and then to keep from losing it. GO TO CLASS! Missing one day of class is liking missing a week of lectures. Never be afraid to ask a professor for help. You will be surprised how many teachers actually care about their students. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Do not feel like you have to be something you are not to make friends. The best advice of all is be a leader instead of a follower. Being a follower can end up with you going in circles trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.

Alexander

Focus, Alex! Focus! The transition is not hard. In fact, it is easy and fun. There will be so many opportunities to go out and experience the joys of being a college student, and it is great to experience them, but do not forget that studies must always come first. The rules haven't changed! It is easy in the short run to goof off with your friends every night, but, around finals, all the stress will be concentrated into a few short days and, chances are, you won't be able to get everything done and study adequately. The consequences of blowing off your schoolwork will be subtle, if not nonexistent, until the end of the semester when it will be too late! Do not let this happen. Focus, study a little every day, and go goof around on campus when you're done. If you do that, college will be both a fun experience and a learning experience all the way through. That's what college is all about anyway, isn't it?

Tammy

Stay committed and be involved in campus life. Talk to your teachers when you are having trouble and most of all believe in yourself

Sarah

Looking back I would have encouraged myself to start looking at schools early as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Especially being a college athlete it is important to visit schools and start looking early and take the recruiting process very seriously. Furthermore, I wish I would have picked a school that had a specific undergraduate program that I needed for my desired graduate major. I recommend going to orientation as a senior and trying to get to know incoming students other than athletes because alot of athletes get wrapped up in only their sport. Likewise, I would encourage high schoolers to take the ACT and SAT tests seriously and retake the test several times to get a desired score. I recommend first year freshmen to live on campus because it is easier to meet people on campus and get involved in campus life, as well as, for freshmen who are not used to being on their own and being self motivated, it encourages students to go to class and easier to make it on time by living close.

Heather

DON'T WAIT, I would without a dought tell myself to not put it off. I am a 27 year old full time mom of two beautiful girls along with being a wife . I would tell myself to finish college straight out of high school and not get distracted by other activities in life. I would stress how important a college education really is ! I would explain to myself how I do need a college education inorder to be not only happy, but to be able to provide for my family . I would explain how important it is to be able to provide my children with what not only they want but with what they need. I would sit down with my much younger self and explainthat if I want to be able to travel and do all the things I dreamed of doing that the only way to do it would be by having my college degree. I would tell myself how hard it is to be a college student , mother , wife, and full time house cleaner . . Go to college and become the person we both know ourself to be. Thank You ...Heather Begley

Amanda

Living on-campus, at least for your first year, is a great way to get to know people and acclimate yourself to the school. Dorm life forces you to get out of your comfort zone (it's hard to be shy when you share a bathroom with 20 other girls) and is probably one of the easiest ways to make friends. Take your schoolwork seriously and learn to prioritize, even if it means ordering Chinese and studying while your friends go out. Get to know your professors and build relationships with them; you will be glad you did when you get your grades back or you need a recommendation letter. Most importantly, be yourself, even if it's not what everyone else on campus is doing. Diversity is a good thing.

Molly

In finding the right college, students should be aware that it takes time and effort and that it's something that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Therefore, when finding the right college, parents and the students should visit at least three colleges of interest and compare/contrast each one of them. This system usually helps weed out one college that will not be suitable. Also, students should make sure the colleges offer programs in which they are intending on pursuing. Finding out from the start if the college even offers the program can save alot of time and energy. Furthermore, when choosing a college students should keep in mind the social life on campuses. If the student is very interactive and wants to be involved with extracirricular activities, then schools that are greek affiliated should be kept in mind. On the other hand, for those students who are looking to get in and out of college quickly should focus more on the schools that are not so much greek oriented.

Jessica

make a list of what you want, then pros and cons of each school that the child is interested in. also, use free scholarship websites. one is fastweb.com. you dont need to pay for people finding websites. its a scam.

JaMichael

My advice to the student is that they should visit the colleges of their choice. They should get a feel of what campus life and activity is like for that particular school. They should also consider their financial status before making the decision on what college to attend. College can drain you financially and some might not find that comfortable. Most of all the student must include their major/course of study as a part of the decision on choosing a school.

Leah

To choose the right school for you ask yourself are you easily distracted from school work? Do you value your social life over your classwork? Do you know what you want to do with your life? My advice would be if you are very social, but have your priorities in line I would attend a bigger college that you have your heart set on. Do not let your friends talk you into going with them because you will always have them as your friends and will meet new people and have new fun experiences. If you are like me and worried about how you are going to pay for the college of your choice there are a lot of grants, scholarships, and student loans available to help financially. Attending college is a one in a lifetime opportunity to improve your education and experience the world and to grow as an individual. If you have the chance to go to college do not pass you by you will regret it. The experiences you have will make you, who you are today and build a the framework for a wonderful career through the education you obtained at the university you choose.

Sharde

When graduating out of high school and its your senior year, you look for a college that is going to best suit you and your parents. You want to make sure that you're going to have the college experiance but also maintain your grades and meet new friends. In my case University of North Alabama (UNA) was the best choice for me. Its some what of a large college which means few parties and more studying. The teachers and advisors at UNA are there to help you and makse sure that everything you need for college and are trying pursue in college is there for you. UNA would be the best college for anyone that wants to have the college experiance, meet friends that are frinedly, and teachers/advisors that are willing to help you strive for your goal in life when you graduate and are in the real world.

Luke

It is important to know what you want to study before you start. That way you can find the college that offers that program. Then you can choose the school that fits into your price range. Once you find the right college and begin your studies, do your best to make good grades and to stay on top of things. However, make sure that you have room in your life for other things as well. Try to make the most of the experience, and let Jesus be your focus through it all.

Demetra

When you are searching for the right college or university to attend make sure that you can recieve some finanicial assistance. Some other things to consider, college offer on or off campus living, meal plan, and what programs do they offer? You should also look at the community surrounding the college or university.

Ashley

Do not choose a school for social reasons. Choose the school that you will be the most sucessful in, but do consider social factors (just do not make that the sole reason of your choice).

Erika

I wouldn't tell anyone how to live in college but to experience college with an open mind. Time in college will be an experience to learn how one will be able to live in the world with out any holding your hand. I would tell the parents not worry about their sons or daughter because they have to let them make their own mistakes and learned how to solve them by themselves only to have the parents help when its an extremely situation. I would tell a student coming in to college to live their life the fullest while their because this is an experience that will open their minds to difficult situations but they will have to learn how to live with it. Don't make a big situation about finding the correct college to go into just find a college that you will feel comfortable to live in and willing to spend your life their for the next four years. College will help you make who you are before starting your career in life.

Tajha

Do a lot of research and make sure that the school fits both your personal and educational needs.

Joe

One do not rush into making a decision on which college to attend right away. Two go to the college and talk to as many students as possible. Three visit as many class rooms as possible. Fourth try and talk to alumni if at all possible.

Whitney

Go where you want to go to college. You will only be happy if you are where you're meant to be. Don't neglect the importance of studies to go where the social scene you want is at. Be involved in your student government or other clubs to get to know students and faculty. You will do a lot better in classes if you know your professor by showing up for class and going to their office with any questions. I think it is important to meet and hang out with people from your classes. This way, you can make study groups and have fun while working! The key to being successful in college is balance between fun and academic, studying and relaxing, working and playing.

Amber

Go where you feel you could see yourself comfortably at this time next year when you're in college. If you could see yourself there, then that's where you belong.

Kathryn

Parents should allow their childern to make the utimate decision. It's your child who has to attend the university , not you. If you truly want them to be happy, the choice needs to be theirs.

Adreanne'

Do your research and take plenty of campus tours and go to as many on campus events before you actually enroll as is possible. To make the most of your college experience you absolutely have to be involved on campus even if it's only in one or two things you'll really enjoy yourself more because you'll be apart of a group and you won't be bored as much.

Kenny

The best way to finding the right college is try to attent the college before you go there, as in if you know somebody there go stay with them for a couple of days, check out the campus activities, the classes, and whatever else your interested in. Almost like a preview but your getting a little more. Money is the biggest concern so as long as your willing to sacrifice what you like for cost then go for it.

Jessica

New high school graduates often base their college choices upon where their friends are going. This is not a good thing, because this is the time when the student should be learning how to live on their own and develop their own sense of self. Depending on the individual, I would definitely make sure that the school has a safe environment with lots of lighting, great financial aid and a knowledgeable and friendly staff (you will be spending lots of time in the admissions/financial aid office). My experience is that you should encourage them to join lots of extra-curricular activities as long as they do not let it affect their studies of course! I was a Majorette in the band at UNA and I made the best friends I will ever have! Teachers also recognize those that are involved in extra-curricular activities and they like that you are trying to make a difference on-campus as well as off! Don't worry about what everyone is doing on the weekends, make sure you have your schoolwork done first!!!

Emily

Start looking at colleges at least by you Jr. year in high school. Look at a variety of different schools. Some that you are interested in to some that just look like fun. Do all the research you can about each school that you are considering to go to. Call the school and make an appoinment to go vist the school and take a tour. Attend any preview days that the schools have to offer. Ask as many questions that you can think of and pick up any information that you can find while you are touring the campus of the college. Ask students that are attending the college what is their favorite thing about the college and something that they would like to change or do different. then compare what each college has to offer you (highly ranked in you major, a scholarship that you would qualify for, etc.) Look at the size of college that would be best for you. Know how far from home you want to go off to school or if you want to go off at all. See if that college offers the major that you are going to persue.

Kirsten

Finding the right college is not easy. The first ones to consider should be in your line of taste whether it's conservative or liberal, Christian or athiest, etc. Making the most of college is easy if you put studies ahead of social life and try your hardest on all your projects and homework.

Christine

Visit as many colleges as you can. Pick the one that makes you feel most at home and hold the best program for you major.

abigail

I would advise those choosing a college to make a list of what they want out of college in regards to education, campus, and staff. Then take that list and go on a road trip to those who closely match your ideal college. Remember why you are at college and don't get caught up in stress or parties. Stay true to your future and remember the campus is there for you. The staff is being paid by you. You are giving money in exchange for their knowledge and experience, so make the most of your money.

sourstraw2

I think that i would tell people to make sure you take a tour of the school you are attending even if you take more than one tour. You should think about what you are looking for in a school. For instance, do you like a large campus or a smaller campus, do you like large classes or smaller, does the school have a major you might be interested in, and how far away from home do you want to be.

Anne

Go where you want to go not what ever is closest to home. You can only have this experience once, and you dont want to wish you had done things differently.

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