University of North Carolina at Asheville Top Questions

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

Sydney

I was really uptight in high school before graduated early and went to California to live in a tent and volunteer with the American Conservation Experience. The four months I spent away from the people I grew up with was life-changing. I realized that I loved traveling, meeting new people, and helping to clean up the environment which is why I am majoring in International Studies and minoring in Environmental Studies. Going to college was easier for me because I realized I could make it on my own. My high school self was insecure. I would tell myself to relax and "you will find your way." I am still finding my way, but with so much more certainty that whatever life throws my way, I will be able to thrive.

Jennifer

My adcie to my high school self is this: don't give up. I know it was hard when he died, I know that the teachers only wanted the recognition to go to the athletes, I know that your self esteem was so low even the teachers looked at you with pity. Don't say that you couldn't do swim team in tenth grade because your thighs were too thick, don't say that you couldn't take time off when your father died, don't give up in a class because the work you do doesn't even compare to the work of the cheerleaders. Don't let them walk all over you, don't stay at home because you think that no one wants to be with you, and don't miss out on life because of what the people might say. Life is going to keep moving, take the time to notice the scenery.

Austin

Note to self, I love you, but sometimes you need to take a deep breath, sit down and relax. College is nothing to worry about. Just think of it as a large bubble filled with mature adults and not insecure, immature children. I know high school was tough for you. But college, UNCA more specifically, is where you will discover so many new and exciting facets about yourself. College will guide you out of your shell. Trust me, you will no longer be the shy and timid child after you experience life in the academic sphere. I will not lie though, their will be times of emotional turmoil but the lasting results are worth it. College is what you make of it. Its like clay, it can be easily molded into whatever you would like. I know that was cliché, but its true. Just remember to stay true to yourself, strut your stuff and know that it will be all worth it in the end.

Collin

Advice To My High School Self If I were given the opportunity to travel back in time, I would offer myself the following advice as a high school senior. First, I would tell myself to trust and embrace your genuine optimistic outlook on life. It’s a rare quality to have. In a world that is bombarded with negativity, you understand that keeping a positive attitude can make the difference. It can also be extremely contagious. Next, I would remind myself to value the education that comes with every moment of success, missed opportunity, and hard lesson learned throughout life. Understand your expectations and focus on the difference between each outcome. Practice the art of forgiveness and patience daily for yourself and others. You will learn more from your failures then you will your successes. Finally, I would ask myself to solicited feedback from others and truly listen to what each person has to say. There can be a difference between one’s own perception and the actual reality. If you take heed to the above advice, the character of the person you want to be will take shape as you transition into college.

Michael

You was only born once. Think about it. Ask yourself are you gonna repeat the same crap you did last year or are you gonna wise up and rise up? Stop crossing your will. You got a right to live by nature's way not this man way or mankind's way. You do a lot of stuff that is unnatural. Stop crossing your will. You gotta be natural and be yourself by living nature's law and universal law, and everything good will come into your life. Trust me. Keep putting natural food on your plate. You can't love yourself, because you keep crossing your will or watching television. You are not doing what you are suppose to do. Once you realize change is more important than money, then money will come.

melanie

The advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be to study harder than what I did. I also would tell myself that having better grades than what I did would of helped me get more scholarships to pay for college. What I did not realize then was how expensive college is. I think if I would of have realized that when going through high school I would of done things a lot differently. I also would have told myself not to wait as long as I did to start college.

Zoie

The advice I would give to my high school self would be to cherish my friends and spend more time with them. I came to college and only knew three other people on my campus. I have made wonderful new friends in just a few months' time. However, I truly miss my high school friends and wish we had shared more time together before going our separate ways. Also, I would have told myself to be more involved in high school clubs and organizations so I would feel more prepared to join clubs and organizations at college. I am satisfied with my transition to college life, though, and am proud to hold true to my high school self who was in control, did not have to follow the crowd, and gave my absolute best to my school work, my friends and family. If you are comfortable with who you are when you graduate high school, you will transition well into college and be ready to face the challenges college can bring.

Gabrielle

Don't be afraid to dream big, and don't make decisions based on "playing it safe." Don't worry about finding your husband right now, God will bring the right man into your life when the time is right. Please remember to think of your parents in your decisions, but don't be afraid to spend weekends away from home. Set your sights high, and prayerfully consider God's will in everything, don't run ahead of Him.

Candice

If I could go back and tell myself about college, I would say really sit down and think about what you want to do in life. I just jumped ito a major that everyone expected me to be in but my passion lied somewhere else. I would have said don't hesitiate to go out on a limb and try something new and dont be afraid to give college everything I have. Now that I know this is strive so hard everyday to make the best experience I can.

Tyler

Almost everything you learn in high school will show up again when you go to college. The transition between high school and college could have been made easier if you had just buckled down an applied yourself when you were a freshmen. Sadly, it is too late for that now. You have done a good job at improving your grades over the past two years, but you need to take your preparations for college more seriously. Your mother isn't going to be there you take you by the hand and guide you through college. Start applying for colleges now, look for scholarships, and stop worrying so much about your social life! I guarantee that even with the extra work involved in applying to colleges and scholarships you will have plenty of time to hang with your friends. It is your job to be the first person in our family to finish college. You are an incredibly bright young man, after all, I should know. You have so much potential, and it would be a shame to see that potential be wasted. I promise it gets easier, but only if you are willing to hustle, and build a better future.

Randal

I would tell myself to always stay true to yourself and who you are. There are morals and standards that I live by and I'm not going to compromise them for anyone, not even for myself. College comes with a new life; you're constantly surrounded by drugs, sex, and alcohol. However, I came to college knowing who I was and what my limits were. I would never touch drugs because I find them to be useless to my life. I've decided to be celibate until marriage because I believe that waiting will ultimately show true love. I don't drink because I actually want to remember my college experiences. I would also tell myself to never forget your friends and family. They were there for you before college and they will stick with you long after. Tallk to them often, so that they know you're okay, and let them know that you're always thinking about them. And, above all, have some fun! College just isn't about books and papers. It's about learning things about yourself, and the world, that you never would've experienced otherwise.

Rebecca

Stay outgoing! I know you think it's going to be easy making new friends in a new state where you don't know anyone, and to a certain degree it is. But you absolutely have to keep in mind that other people are in the same boat as you are, and sometimes you have to play the outgoing type if you want to have friends. The people at school aren't out to get you, and most are actually really nice, so go out there and have a great time! But for as much good times as you have, you're in school for a reason: to graduate! You cannot forget that school is the reason you're in North Carolina, and as such, you have to study and do well (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you refused in high school). College is waaay harder than high school, but it's also more fun, so make it all that it can be!

Manuel

Not onyl have I gain new friends along the way, but I also have learned new stuff that high school didn't taught me well. Being in college has made me more responsible and also it has taught me how to prioritize and manage my time. When I first came in to the college I was very lazy and procrastinated all the time, but now that I know that college is not a joke I take care of my prioroties first.

Matthew

I have learned a lot about the sociological path the United States is headed towards. I do not want to be stuck in a downward social movement. I feel that I need to go to School so I can be sure I will have a succesfull future. I want to move up the social ladder. We need more educated people in the United States to make sure we do not get taken over, and we can protect our freedom. I hate what the things going on in other countries, like Sudan, so if we are all educated we can stop things like this long before they happen. maybe just maybe if more people are educated we can make a difference in the world. Maybe even in places like Sudan. Education, air, food and water are the things we need to survive,

Caitlin

I've realized the importance of real-world experience. More empahsis is put on my work ethic, diversity training, campus-oriented behaviors, and relationships/networking than GPA and ability to write long research papers. I love that I am encouraged to push harder, and do more, but also realized that college is supposed to be fun.

ann

Every time i leave a classroom at UNCA my head is filled with much more knowledge than it had going in. I have learned to become passionate about the topics that i really care about and have had teachers along the way push me into believing that i can acheive anything that i put my mind to. Along with learning so much more about myself, college has given me the oppertunity to meet so many new friends and with these new friends come new ideas. My eyes have been openened to other peoples views and thoughts and I have learned that experiencing what other people believe can give you a whole new prespective on life.

Taylor

Hello my name is Taylor Cramer, I am 22 years old and live in Sebastopol California. I have been attending Santa Rosa Junior College since fall of 2006, and will be transfering to Sonoma State University this fall to earn my B.A. I have found attending college to be a very valuable experience in personel developement. Being exposed to so many different types of people, cultures, ethnicity's and age groups. Having this type of exposure has really helped prepare me to understand and deal with real world situations. For me attending college has been a very valuable experience for one of many reasons, one of those being that I am the first in my family to go to college. Another is that I have emersed myself in every moment of my college experience. And knowing that the time I spend attending college are going to be unlike any other that I will ever experience in my life has driven me to do the best I can, and enjoy every moment of it. No matter what trials face me along the way, I have chosen to have a better life by earning an education.

Krystal

I have gotten not only great friendships, but my eyes have really been opened. I get to see people who really do not care what goes on around them, or if others look at them. Here, you can be whoever you want to be and not be judged. This is very valuable because it has made me less shocked by people I see that I would consider "abnormal."

Tara

I am barely two years into my college "experience" but I can already see how this has turned into alot more than just a simple excursion. Going to a movie is an "experience" but what I have, here, has been a growing process. When I began, I thought that I was just going to school to get credits, to get my BFA and teaching licensure and then to get into the real world. However being here made me realize the importance of the steps along the way. I began talking to professors and finding out their backgrounds. I questioned, for myself, where I wanted to end up. The day I realized that all of my best professors seemed to know everything about every subject was the day that I decided that I never want to stop learning. I just want to know everything. So whether I end up somewhere down the road teaching Elementary School Art , or whether I become that really old Humanities professor who knows everything, I know that I will be happy in it and do it well because I have chosen to soak up every opportunity that has come my way. This is who I am.

Staci

Don't be afraid. Do not feel pressured into making a decision, such as your college major, that could affect the rest of your life. You're 18, you have plenty of time to make that decision. Keep your focus on learning, and go to school in order to learn, not to fashion what you learn over a preconceived notion of what you want to do with your life. You may surprise yourself in discovering what you actually love isn't quite what you think you are simply good at. College is the time to find yourself and to find those that best fit your personality, have fun with it!

Michelle

Get involved in student activities immediatly to meet people and get involved on campus. It is proven that students who are involved on campus have higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate.

Katherine

If I could go back and speak to myself during my senior year in highschool, I would have asked myself to be honest with what I truly want to study. Many highschool graduates do not take the time to research their true passions. It is better to chose career based on a sincere interest, rather than randomly choosing what looks impressive to their peers and parents.

Khari

I truly enjoy attending college and am grateful to God for the experience. Though I always dreamed of attending college, I never really applied myself in high school, doing just enough to get by with a "D." But now, I pride myself in attaining good grades and love every moment of the college experience. So I would say to myself, "Keep at it."

Dustin

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would just tell myself to not worry about anything and to enjoy my last few months in school. Even though everyone always tells you that high school is the best 4 years of your life they are wrong. College is so much more fun than high school was. Sure winning State and everything was amazing but most of those people that were around you then that called you a friend won't be the same after you graduate. The memories will always be there but the people in them won't always act the same towards you. You will make so many more, closer friends in college that will be there for you through anything. The last thing i would tell myself is to not be shy in college. You're starting over and have nothing to be afraid of. Be yourself and people will like you better than if you tried to act different. People don't judge like they did in high school and if they do they're just jealous of you.

Jacob

As a high school senior, I thought about playing baseball at the division 1 level. Now that I have experienced the college life and playing a sport in college, I believe that it would have been more beneficial for me to go to a school that better fit me as a student and as a person rather than one that was just based on baseball. The experience that I have had here makes me believe that if I were a senior again I would have chosen a larger school. This school is a good academic school, but it would have been smarter to go to a school with all the choices I considered for a major rather than just one or two. If I were a high school senior again I would have made the decision to go to a bigger school for my academics instead of a smaller school for baseball. I have kept my grades up really well, but I believe that if I were to go to school at a more recognized university and focus solely on academics, I would be better off after school. I would say choose a school that reflects more of my character.

Justine

My life was very painful for me until I decided to take it into my own hands, and when I decided to do this I was only 17 years old. Of course, being so young some of the choices I made were not what I would now consider correct, but I am still amazed at how much my life has changed and how far I have come. Because of serious domestic issues I dropped out of highschool at 16, got my GED at 17 as well as my own apartment and two full-time jobs. Soon after, I began community college and completed my Associates Degree at 23 with a 3.95 GPA. I am now 24 and attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville, which has been my dream for 5 years. My dream is coming true and I will be the first person in my family to earn a Bachelor's degree. So what advice would I give myself after all I've been through? "Justine, your strength and passion to succeed will take you beyond what you can imagine, and no matter what happens strive for knowledge because that is the key to happiness and freedom."

Iris

Two and a half years beyond my high school gradutation, I can very clearly see how little I understood the college decision making process, and wish that I could act as the Ghost of College Future to show myself the error of my ways. I was a great student in high school, and still am in college; learning has always felt natural to me, and schoolwork was generally a cakewalk. Given this history of near perfect grades, a spot in the National Honor Society, and a feeling that I belonged in a nationally recognized school, I assumed that only a small private school, preferably from the book, Colleges that Change Lives, could provide me with an education that matched my abilities. When I stubbornly chose to only apply out of state, and got rejected by four of the six colleges I applied to, my decision quickly turned from one of merit to one of tolerance - of weather that is. After moving to Florida, realizing that warm weather does not fill the void of an unsuitable academic environment, and leaving after one semester, I understood that a for the price of long underwear, I could gain a great public education.

kayla

If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would knock some sense into me! When I was a high school senior, I did not want to go to college and waited to apply at the last minute. I was not aware of the numerous amounts of opportunities that were waiting for me. My mom lost her job and I thought I was going to have to pay for a majority of my tuition. Money was a factor. Luckily, I ended up in a university that fits me perfectly. The advice I would go back and give myself is research scholarship opportunities (there are millions and no need to stress about money), look at schools everywhere (plan trips to the campuses and look at the cities), make sure the schools offer ample social opportunities, academic programs and class room settings to accommodate your needs. Ultimately, choose a college that fits you (do not go somewhere because it popular and your friends are going). A little research can go a long way and it can get you out of class! Explore the world so you can know your options are not limited!

Katie

Expect to be surprised! So many people you'll meet can teach you something if you're open and willing to learn -- especially from those you may not think. Friends, teachers, and classmates have valuable wisdom to share with you, so keep your ears and heart open. Ask lots of questions, look at ideas from different views, and enjoy this time as new and exciting. Understand that you are on a journey, and you don't have to have the answers! Be in discovery, in the question. Go for what you want in your heart, and always stand in your biggest possibility. Remember that you are closer than you think, you are exactly where you should be, and you have everything you need. Learn from everything that happens -- you can get coaching from a rock if you're always looking for the lesson! Be understanding of where others are in their journeys, and be their champion and challenger. Stand for the success of others, believing in all they are capable of, and you will be successful as a natural result. Know that you are more than enough. You are amazing.

Hannah

Do not panic. There is often a lot of reading for classes. You most likely won't have time to finish your reading, so skim. If you have a lot of papers and tests and projects all at the same time, prioritize and just take it one day at a time. You will be okay. If you get behind, feel free to talk to your professors and explain your situation to them. Chances are, they will try to help. If they don't seem to care, just try your best. Don't be ashamed to ask for help from anyone. As for social life, just be you. Don't try to act like someone else just to make friends. Being yourself, however you feel on any particular day, will attract people you will get along with. And always remember to breathe and get plenty of sleep. Take naps because they feel amazing and will keep you refreshed. Balance academics and social life. Finally, know your limit and remember you will be just fine.

Alexandra

Go to the colleges that you are interested in and walk around and ask people how they feel about that college. Make sure you look at the classes offered, and determine whether this college will help you on your personal academic path.

Lia

Make sure you visit the school, along with a variety of other schools so you can see what you like and dislike in comparison. Also, be open to new experiences in school, but be careful not to go too wild in your new environment. Most importantly, go to the school you want the most, and dowhat you most want to do, because it is your life and your college experience, not anyone else's.

Eric

Choose the college that best suits YOU. Not what anyone else believes is the best choice, but the place you feel you will be happiest at. You will have to spend four years of your life there, so the best idea is to choose a place that you will enjoy yourself at.

Nora

spend some time around campus first--talk to students not advisors or tour guides.

Gabe

Small schools are great.

Gillian

Don't rely on the tours to tell you an experience about the college. Parents, let your child visit and stay with a current student at the school to see what it would be like to live there as a student, not as a kid being trailed by his or her parents. Students, being in college is about learning to be independent; why not claim it from the very start? Do your research yourself to find what really feels best to you. Also, talk to upper classmen when deciding what classes to take. The professors can make or break a class, so find out who the beloved professors are and take their classes, even if they don't fall under your major category of interest. Who knows, you could discover that your calling is to be an expert in nanotechnology instead of psychology. Use the teachers as a guide to find out what you want in life.

Samantha

Finding the right college is extremely important. My advice to give to parents and students is to take your time, research and visit as many colleges as possible. Not only does the college he or she chooses need to be great academicly, but it needs to fit the person socially. If a person isn't happy at a certain school, he or she won't try their best or suceed in his or her classes. Also, it is extremely important to make the most of one's college career. College leads to the rest of one's life, and taking away as much as possible of what the school has to offer is extremely important. It will not only strengthen one's mind, but his or her social life, and future. College is an amazing time in life and it sets everyone up to grow into adulthood. Finding the right school and making the most of it can only shape a human being in being the best they can be. If in the right place, only success can be made.

Allison

I would reccomend visiting as many schools as possible . While you are visitng take a tour and try and talk to regular students to get a feeling for the student body and campus. Think up some crucial questions and don't be afraid to voice any questions or concerns. Try and participate in some events on campus while you are there to get a feeling for the campus's social scene. Overall, go with the place you think will be the best fit for you.

Dawn

evaluate career interests and social interests and make sure the school has the classes and extra curricular activities to meet those needs.

Aaron

Find a college that offers the best variety of possible choices for you prospective major if you are not sure of exactly you want to major in. If you know what you want to have your focus on. Go to each university and try to get a good feeling of what the students, teachers and staff are going to be like and find the place that seems the most inspiring for your focus of study and application of its work into the professional world.

Mary

Finding the right colege does involve considering its acedemic reputation but it is not the most important part rather how well the college fits with other aspects of you life that are important to you

Gregory

Take campus tours and explore explore explore.

Tara

Choose the college that feels right. Talk with people on campus and with professors. If they like it and it feels comfortable to you then you've made the right choice.

Amy

Research before you commit

Amanda

Make sure you visit the school before agreeing to attend. Walk around on your own instead of just going on the tour.

Athena

Actually I'd tell them it's not that hard at all. All you have to do is know the type of place where your most comfortable and find a school in that area. A degree is a degree to your potential employer. It dosen't really matter them where you get it if you not going to be a doctor or a lawyer for the most part. So don't stress yourself out trying to get into some place you know you won't be happy. College is a place where you find out who you are. It's your first real chance to be independant and just be yourself. So pick a school where you can just be yourself and take things at your own pace. On step at a time, don't rush through it . Kick back and enjoy your time at college. You will be amazed by what you'll learn about yourself and others in and outside the classroom.

Nathalie-Marie

Dear future students/parents, Choosing a college in todays age is a complex and sometimes scary experience. After all, your college choice will determine and define the next four years of your life so their is just cause for such anxiety. But I find that that anxiety can be allieved when the individual in question (future student) can put aside all the outside pressures/expectations (societal pressures, family pressures, economic pressures, etc) and look into themselves and find out where they wanna be at the end of those four years and then find the college that suits the means to achieving that end goal. If you take into consideration to much those outside pressures, your choice will not be autonomous in nature and then how do you know if its what you wanted. Its your future and it should reflect what you want and dream and will in the end create a positive college experience. As for the parents, showing your support and giving of your time to help your son/daughter in any way is the best way to help them find the right college and enjoy their time there. Overall, the future will be what we make it.

Jordanna

As a culture, we focus far too much on numbers. We worry about the grades we make, and how much money our college degree will get us. These things are abstract and meaningless in the larger view of our lives. What we forget is the incalculable value of the experience itself: how it helps us grow and learn, how much better we are for it as people, and the happiness we find in the midst of the process rather than at the end. The prestige of the college you attend, and the GPA you manage to add up, aren't nearly as important as what you find and create with the time and context you are given.

sulkiro

When choosing a college or university, parents and students might be tempted to pursue the romantic notion of spending four years atop an ivory tower studying history or some such topic and living the glamorous life of the academic. However, given the current trends in modern economies of almost any country, the rather tepid and unstable status of our own economy here in the United States and the rising cost of collegiate education, it would be advisable to make a choice based on the programs available and whether or not those programs will lead to immediate and lucrative jobs/careers post college. If you want to read Socrates go to the public library and do it for free. Otherwise College is just a ridiculously expensive four year summer camp.

Amy

Visit the college first. Visit a class and get a feel for the professors. Spend the night if possible . When you get there, do not stay in your room. Get out and meet people.

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