University of North Carolina Wilmington Top Questions

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

Grace

Visit the school more than once to get a feel of the atmosphere as well as the town/city it is located in. Make sure that the school you ar choosing has the student's intrest in mind not only the university's. And lastly make sure to keep everything in a healthy balance.

Mason

No matter where one ends up at college, they can always transfer if it doesn't feel like the right place. Although I did not get into my first choice school, I couldn't be happier at UNCW. Just go to class!

Ashley

For parents as well as students, the best way to find the right college is to just see what feels right. I visited many different schools before i came to UNCW, and when i did, it just felt right. Both my mother and i knew that it was right. Whether its a top notch school, or a wonderful local school, if it feels right for the student, and they're excited about it, and they cant get it out of their minds as "the only school i want to go to!!" and "I want to go there SOOO bad!", the parents will know thats where their student will be successful. It is also important to make sure the college has everything the student needs towards their major, as well as socially and environmentally. I feel that attending a successful school will push the students into becoming successful people. Make the most out of the experience by meeting as many people as you can, taking a variety of classes, and getting as involved as you can on campus. The college experience only comes once, so take advantage of everything it has to offer and you will have a great time!

Allison

I think the single-most important aspect about choosing a school and making the most of it is research. When finding the right college or university, visit the website. See what they have to offer in your chosen career field. Talk to upperclassmen with similar interests as you. They will tell you the real truth that admissions officers won?t. Because we all know the cafeteria food is never as good as they say! When you go to orientation, don?t just absorb the information, be actively involved. Ask questions. The more you know before arriving, the easier the transition will be. When it comes to making the most of your college experience, research is again key. Find organizations that interest you and visit all of them. You won?t have time to be a member of each one, so choose the one that fits you best. You?ll get to network with people and discover even more opportunities for your studies and social life. You can never take full advantage of your campus unless you know everything that?s available. So get on the web, pick up the phone and get to know your school! ;]

Chelsea

Get involved. And if you don't like something, change it.

gabriel

Research your choices extensively. In order to find the right fit students and parents alike should sit down and find the right fit for them. It is important in this day and age for parents to feel comfortable with the college they send their children to. This includes financial aid, housing, safety, and getting the best educational value for their money. Students need to realize that they need to take school seriously in order to succeed. This includes going to EVERY class, doing required assignments and limiting partying. Parents should ensure this is occuring, as education is more than dropping your kid off at college and going home. They should check with their kids periodically and give support appropriate for success. If they need help with homework, help them. It is essential that education is a primary goal for global health. It is NEVER to late to get an education. I graduated 150 out of 155 in my high school class and attended college with the G.I. Bill only to be in the top 10% of my college classes. I Practice what I preach so I know it works. My secret: Tenacity, perseverence, and the United States Marine Corps.

Bernadette

The best advice I have about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is to focus but relax! This is a big decision, but at the same time, it is a fun one. I looked at a lot of very different schools before I decided on one. I thought I knew where I wanted to go, but ended up changing my mind completely. I didn't get in to my first choice, and a school I hadn't thought much about at all, ended up becoming my dream school. Visiting schools is the best way to figure out if it's right for you, but don't just visit, meet people. Talking to students is a great way to determine what it's really like at a school. Once you're in college, be passionate! Get involved in something, or everything! There are so many opportunities that may never come again. Being involved will help you make friends, make a difference ,and maybe even find a career. Being dedicated to something also helps you to stay focused on the important things. Live it up, these are the best days of our lives!

John

I would tell people not to pick a college based on its location or who you know that is going there. You should choose your school based on the type and quality of education you are looking for. Choose the type of environment that will make you most happy and will also give you the ability to be or become who you are. It is very important to choose with an open mind where you will go because the university or college you choose will help shape who you are the rest of your life. It is also very important to be very active in your school community to make the most of your college experience. Whether its joining a greek organization, playing intramural sports, joining a club or volunteering, all of these things will help to make your experience all the more valuable. Never in your life again will you have the opportunity to try so many different things all in one place that will help you become you.

Alexandra

To the students: find a college that not only meets your academic needs, but a place in which you beleive you will feel comfortable. While classes and grades should be your main priority, they dont have to be your only one. College is supposed to be a fun and exciting experience; make it happen. To the parents: you obviously want what is best for your son/daughter, but it is important that they decide where to go. Don't decide for them. Rather, give them advice and remind them about the importance of safety, travelling expenses, and of course their focus on academics. Part of going to college is learning to make the right choices, and choosing the right college should be the first.

Jennifer

Choosing a college is one of the most important choices that a student will make. The process can be intimidating. Take a deep breath and think about a few basic questions about each school you are considering to help make up your mind: 1. Does this school offer every major you are considering? While you may think you know what you want to major in, a "just in case" plan is often helpful later on. 2. How do you feel about the school's size and location? Are you comfortable with large classes and a large campus, or do you want the comfort of a smaller school? How far away from home is the school, and is this good or bad? 3. Most importantly, does this school feel right? Go for a visit. Tour classrooms, libraries, dorms, and cafeterias. Spend the night on campus if possible. Follow your heart. While academics should be a priority, college is also very social. During the first few weeks, most schools offer many programs to introduce new students. Attend an involvement carnival if possible to learn about campus organizations and activities. Lastly, know that you are not alone! You can do it!

Kaitlin

I would advise parents and students not to settle on a college until they are 100% sure it is the right one. Take your time, don't rush into a decision. Students, go into college with a completely open mind. If there is something holding you back from an amazing college experience (i.e. a boyfriend/girlfriend at home, shyness, homesickness) do your very best to eliminate or manage these things. Tell yourself that you worked hard to get to college and you absolutely deserve the best experience possible. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to other students. Chances are, they are just as nervous as you are about being surrounded by strangers. Don't put all your energy into finding the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend. You have plenty of time for that. Look instead for true, lifelong friends.

Maggie

Think about what you want to do with your life before applying... visit your schools of choice and don't limit yourself to one thing. Keep an open mind but stay true to who you are.

Laura

Make sure you look at all of your options. Pick an institution that fits you the best, not necessarily with where your friends go. Look at the programs offered and the necessary requirements for the majors offered. Most universities and colleges vary upon the courses and hours required for certain majors, so that can play into your choice. Ask around and visit different places. Campuses vary greatly in appearance and quality; therefore, visiting first is a great way to determine what you can handle and what your preferences are. Also, make sure that the class buildings are not too far apart. Running in between classes is never the best thing to do and it's not good to push your luck in terms of making it to class on time. Furthermore, determine whether or not you want to live close to home or sort of branch out on your own. Distance can play a major role in your education; some people do not do very well when far from home. Basically, an institution with good extra-curricular activities, courses, professors, and job assurances, as well as being based in a good community setting are major things to look for.

Grace

Visiting a school is an absolute necessity before making your final decision. Not only do you need to know about the university's academics and extra-curriculars, but the city it is in as well as the people there (faculty, staff, administration, and students) can make a huge difference. It would also be beneficial to talk to someone in the administration about where they see the school in 5 years. For instance, my school underwent major construction for 3 of the 4 years I was there. It was slightly inconvenient at times, but I ended up with fantastic facilities at my disposal. Another thing you should do is look into many different majors the school offers. I started at my school for marine biology and ended up an accounting major. You never know how your plans will change, so you should make sure that your school is strong in many different areas, not just the major you think you will pursue.

Nate

Find a place that the student would be glad to call home. No matter what the price is, if they work hard enough they can go anywhere and get any job that they want.

Kristen

Make sure that there is plenty of availability of courses related to the students field of interest. Also make sure that the courses will be available at all times of the year. Make sure to request an advisor who specializes in the students focus and will have the pertinent information regarding internships, experience, application deadlines, testing that must be completed before progressing to grad school (and the timetable in which to address these things!). Make sure to tackle all of these things early rather than later: There is nothing worse than spending your senior year scrambling to fill the "holes in your resume," whether that be for the purpose of job hunting or furthering your education. Have fun. Breathe. Study!

Michelle

I would have to say that when picking a college for yourself or looking at colleges with your child make sure you visit the school you are considering before you apply then visit again after you have been accepted because sometimes it's the second impression of a school that will help you make the right decision. Also I would have to say, make sure when picking a school you pay attention to its location because you will be living in that place for four years and if you don't like where you are living your college experience may not turn out to be what you had hoped.

Leah

In order to select the school that is right for you, every student should make a list of what is important to them. If being close to family, the city, or the beach is important then students should keep these things in mind when searching for a school. Once you have narrowed it down, go visit. A hands-on experience is a great window into what you will find at the school. Talk to students while you are there and ask their opinion. Go sit in on a lecture to see what academic life is like. Attend a social event on campus and walk around the on-campus housing. Every student should also talk to their advisor as well as the financial aid department. Once you have selected a school, get involved! Be sure to talk to your instructors when you first realize you are struggling. Use the resources on campus to help you. You pay for them so make the most of them! Form study groups as well as a close group of friends. But also, don't be afraid to mingle with others. Enjoy yourself and relax- you will make it!

Justin

The first point of advice I would give potential students would be to try to pinpoint, if possible, what it is you want to go to school for. Once narrowed down, try to find the most reputable school that is known for your desired major. Next, it is a good idea to contact each potential school's student services and ask to get set up with a student to show you around and give you the lowdown on campus life. This will give you a feel for each schools specific culture to see if you would be a good fit and enjoy the next 3-4 years of life on campus. If he or she hasn't decided the best fit yet and finance is an issue it is a good idea to research if the student would be a viable candidate for any possible scholarships that may be school specific. Furthermore, a college or university that is set in the students home state will be considered an "in-state" school and will be substantially less expensive. Conversely, "out of state" schools are more expensive and can be very difficult to be considered for in-state status.

Alexandra

When selecting an appropriate school it is benefitual to research the College's statistics: ethnic diversity, classroom size, and dorm-life. Universities that only accept certain qualified students will neglect an incoming student's cultural/worldy experience. Large classroom sizes are also a negative, since individualized attention will not be given and individual growth will be inhibited, ultimately defeating the purpose of higher education. Smaller classes sizes incourage excelled learning paces and promote learning outside of class. To enhance the college experience allowing the incoming student to live in the dorms their first semester/year is appropriate. The dorm experiene allows the student to understand what it is like to coexist with others and instructs them on life's daily responsbilities. Daily responsbilities including: eating and preparing meals, baths, adequate exercise and techniques to sustain an overall balance (getting enough sleep, nutrition,etc.) are learned within the dorm environment. However, the dorms can also be unsafe and could influence negative behaviors: binge drinking or depression. Researching the dorms environment (cleanliness, amont of living space, RA's attitudes) and the overrall atmosphere including their surrounding environment (proximity of the gym, library,etc) will greatly inform your college living experience.

Jillian

One of the most important steps for parents and students to do when finding the right college is to visit the campuses that the student is interested in attending. They should do a lot of research on the campus life and the surrounding areas to find out if it is what they are looking for. Parents need to support their child?s decision in the school they chose and not encourage them to go elsewhere. In order for students to make the most their college experience, they need to find a balance between their academic studies and their social life. Too much of one or the other can sometimes lead to various stresses. Once a student finds this balance, they will truly be able to enjoy college the way they should be enjoying college. Students should always keep in mind their life long goals and should pursue a career that they will love.

Ashleigh

You should pick a college that has several different academic departments that interest you because no matter how determined you may be about your major when you begin your college career, it is likely that you will change your mind and you want a selection of majors that will allow you to find something else to excel in. Once you get to college, make as many friends as you can, stay in touch, go to extracurricular activities, or join clubs, and go to sporting events. Even getting a job in the town will help build your social life. College is a big place to help build your network of friends and acquaintances and the relationships you make (and keep) will help you throughout life. The last thing is, just live your life. As you go through your career at a university you will learn many life lessons along with your academic studies. College is character-building.

Lindsay

I think in order to find the right college, an individual needs to research colleges they may be considering, and then visit that institution. I think individuals should spend time on and off the campus during their visit in order to get an idea of what living in that area would be like. I would also suggest that parents and students meet with professors and faculty members to ask any questions they may have in mind. This can guide help students in a direction toward choosing a major if they have not already done so. In reference to making th most out of the college experience, I think students should live on campus for at least their first year in order to establish comfort and friendships. I also think students should get involved in campus activities such as sports, clubs, and volunteering opportunities. Lastly, I think students should take the time to get to know their professors. They are incredibly intelligent people, and they have so much knowledge that they are willing to share. Speaking from personal experience, I have met professors that have impacted my life in ways they will never know, and I will never forget them!

Charles

Since the students are actually living the college experience, I will address this to the students. To find the right college, start searching early. Take advantage of free days to go around your area (or even far away) to look for what you really want in a school: sports? greek life? parties? great academic programs for your intended major? Parents' alma maters may play a role in the choosing of a college as well. This may be a good thing, as the student may already have a huge amount of spirit for that particular school. Once the right school has been found...I cannot emphasize this part enough: GET INVOLVED! College is so much more worthwhile being involved in absolutely anything. Most any college will have more than ample amounts of extracurricular activities to participate in...environmental, athletics, debate clubs, music, etc. Trust me, college is one example of "you get out of it what you put into it." Find something, anything that interests you and get out and try it. You will inevitably make new friends and gain some valuable experiences. After all, these are the best days of your life, why not make them memorable?

Cameron

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Erin

Visit friends, to experience the social aspects. Also, stay in the town for a few days to see how everything works, and runs.

Kristen

FAFSA!! make sure you do your research, talk to students currently enrolled!!

Lee

My advice for anyone trying to find that perfect college would be to start with as many campus tours as you can. You may often find that the college you liked is not as nice as the books and brochures that you get in the mail. Look at the area around the college the city it?s nearest too and ask yourself if you could have a good time for the next four years. Don?t be afraid to ask a few students walking around campus how they like the school, input from a student can be the most helpful thing when deciding. If you are interested in a specific field of study talk to a professor in that field. Professors can give you the best outlook on classes and academics. Don?t be afraid to apply to colleges that you think are out of reach, you may find out that those sports and clubs in high school hold more weight than you think. As for making the best out of a college experience there is only one thing that can be said.. Get Involved!!! Those who are more involved in a school get better grades and have more fun.

Lauren

First, I would tell them to visit the campus. You can't get the feel for a place through packets and pictures. Secondly, I would find out about the housing on campus, if the student is interested. I know that may seem like an odd second thing to look into, but the truth is that most students spend a large amount of time in their rooms (studying, eating, being with friends). Thirdly, I would say that accademically all schools will give you a degree. If they are an accredited university you shouldn't have to worry about what kind of education you will be getting. Focus on how your time will be spent at the school and if you think you will enjoy it. Yes, we all came here to learn but at college the learning doesn't stop when you leave the classroom. Last but not least, I'd tell them to go to UNCW!!

Leanna

Go with your heart and your gut and don't let anyone else influence your decision on where to go and what to study once you get there. Go with an open mind and try to experience as much as you can and meet as many different people as you can. Try things that are maybe a little out of your comfort zone. These are some of the best years of your life and you don't want to miss them! It will be as great or as horrible as YOU make it.

Tory

When trying to find the right college, important issues to take into account are cost and location. If a college accepts you but the price seems far out of your range, check the availability of financial aid that will be rewarded or any other type of loans you are willing to take out before enrolling. Location should be decided moreso on the student's side, rather than the parents. The student should ask themselves how far awar they are willing to go from home, if they can handle a farther distance for a long period of time, and if they are truly willing to give that school a chance. (Parents should realize it is time to let their babies go when necessary.) The most important aspect of creating a healthy college experience would be to simply have a positive attitude. The student should go in believing that they are going to enhance their education, create the beginnings of a career, grow as an adult, make new, life-long friends, meet interesting people, experience new things, and prepare to enjoy themselves. College will be a fun, life-changing experience as long as the student is willing to make it that way.

Daniel

I would tell the parents to let their kids be independent as possible. For example, if you are going to pay for their rent, send them a lump sum at the beginning of the semester and make them pay their rent on time.

katrina

When chosing a college you need to be open minded and prepared for the disappointment of not getting into the college of your choice. Just like life, things are not always perfect. You need to decide if you want a small or large school and always have a saftey net. It is also ok to go to the local community college first to obtain credits. Sometimes I wish I had gone to community college for longer than a year as I was not able to obtain monies from scholarships because I was deferred and it was after the submission date for money. You should remember that everyone is different and that your roommates will not be like your firends at home but you might just find that friend. I know that my first semester was very difficult but I am having a better seconfd year and I have made some friends............I even ran my first half marathon with my new friends. Just keep an open mind and be willing to accept change.

Haley

My advice would be to visit many colleges and research the student teacher ratio. The smaller classrooms give a greater advantage at learning and more teacher/student interaction. It is also important to research the requirements for the major you intend to pursue. While in college, work hard because in the long run, it will all pay off. Enjoy the opportunites to meet new friends and travel when possible. And above all, have fun and discover yourself as you become an adult and enter the real world.

Kyle

One piece of advice is make sure you visit the colleges first and figure out what is right for you. Also, make sure you research everything you can about financial aid.

Sean

I feel that one of the most important things you can do for your student is to make sure it is a place you love to be at visually, a key aspect to learning is to make sure that you are happy where you are. Also if you ae fortunate enough to know what you would like to study, make sure that you look thrugh speific courses offered by the school and make sure thay apply to what you want to do, that you are interested in them, and that you are passionate about them.

Jac

Visit it, stay overnight and eat on campus. Check out what is around also because there is many things to do off campus as well.

Samantha

Visit the campus and trust your gut. Ask students (whom you don't know) on campus about their experiences and what their most favorite and least favorite things are. Go with what feels right to you. Try everything once, maybe even twice. Be open-minded and positive and friendly. Appreciate everything; four years goes by faster than you think.

John

When one goes off to college in many cases they leave behind there highschool friends and family. At first this seems like a sad part of life, but with a deeper look it can be a life changing step, a step that allows you to forget about the mistakes you have made and a chance to start over, or put to the test everything you believe. When you leave for college, you take with you what you have learned and the values you hold. No doubt they will be challanged. No doubt many times it is much easier to give in and forget what you believe and adopt that of your professors and/or classmates, but how you respond to this pressure decides what kind of student and what kind of human being you will become. Coal is one of the ugliest rocks on earth but when pressure is added and the coal stands firm it is turned into a priceless diamond. Enjoy the experience pick a college where you can have as much fun or more on and off campus as you would on a long vacation. Study and learn, but remember to hit the beach or the woods.

Lauren

Think about your likes and dislikes. Choose a college that offers the courses that you want to take. Visit a few campuses before making a decision. Plan out payment schedules/financial aid.... college is kind of expensive!! Students, decide what/where you will be happy. Don't be afraid to try something totally different than what you are accustomed to. And be ready to have the time of your life.

Kristen

I would put extra emphasis on the importance of recognizing the economic climate of the state in which you choose to attend university. The economic condition of this country has limited the availability to funds typically available in most states and some states are more economically depressed and have therefore lost funding FIRST. Georgia, for instance has lost many of the big lenders at this time. It is much more difficult to remained focused on your education if you find that it is necessary to work excessively or not be able to meet your basic expenses! Additionally, investigate the credentials of the professors who are employed at the prospective school. College is as important for networking as it is for education. A college which staffs important members in the field you wish to pursue will give you more chance for guidance in the right direction in regard to which classes to take and which internships to secure.

Antione

Make sure that they have majors that you are interested in first. Be ready for your whole to change in a matter of a day. Stay positive and don't give up if you really want to finish college, and spend your time wisely.

Brooks

Visit the college before making a decision. Go to some local college hang outs and local attractions. Consider the distance and the costs.

Lucas

Find your interests and see which college has the best program for you to explore those interests. Also look for a place that you really enjoy the scenery and surroundings. When you're in college go to class. That's the most important piece of advice I can ever give because if you don't go and you miss just one lesson chances are you're not going to get caught back up on that specific subject because you missed the professors explanation.

Katie

During my college search, I made the mistake of compromising my major for advertising, when really I wanted to do TV Production (a fact that strongly affects the right school for my interest). At the last minute I talked it out with my parents and with their blessing, abruptly chose UNCW - though I'd secrectly held it at #1 - over my other four options. My advice, is to never find yourself in that situation; make sure you and your parents are looking for the same characteristics in a college from the beginning. Conquer disagreements on your major, school competitiveness, and typical aspects that go into choosing a college BEFORE starting the process. Take everything head on! The same can be said for the college experience. I'm telling you now that you're going to feel awkward and uncomfortable. The thing you have to keep in mind, is that so is everyone else. It's once you realize your peers are in the same boat, that you embrace this newfound environment and change those feelings into acceptance and excitement. Don't wait for the college experience to come to you; walk up to the college experience and shake its hand.

Maigen

visit the school and talk to poeple that go there

Heather

Finding the right college for both the parent and student is a challenging and difficult decision. Most parents do not want their child to go far from home and are concerned about the education the college has to offer. Most students, on the other hand tend to choose colleges based on the distance from home and the extracurricular activities that are held both on- and off-campus. In my opinion a college needs to have a good education program and a good location. I chose my school because of its reputation and atmosphere. I fell in love with the city and campus when I visited the college; therefore, I strongly encourage students and parents to take a tour of any college in question. I toured several colleges which helped tremendously narrow my decision in the end and come to a conclusion. The decision should be mutual between the parent and student since it affects both of them. The student has to feel comfortable with the college and atmosphere in order to make the most of his/her college experience. Students should get involved and enjoy college because for most it is a once in a lifetime experience.

Christopher

When applying to college, the most important aspects to me were the SAT and GPAs of the applicants attending that college. Three years later, I see how one-dimensional my outlook was. I've discovered that the difficulty of getting into a college isn?t as important as the skills you receive while there. My advice is to attend the college that will best suit the individual?s personality. The way to make this decision is through research from published sources, visiting the college, talking to actual students, and self-reflection. Making the most out of college requires realization that college is not just about acquiring knowledge. Developing skills is what will open the most doors in the future and provide fond memories. For students to develop skills, they need an educational environment that they will thrive in. An educational environment includes involvement outside the classroom. Therefore, to make the most out of a college experience a student should get involved with on-campus organizations, internships, research projects, and any other opportunity that may interest the student and challenge them. This is how I developed the skills to make me marketable as well as a satisfied customer at my university.

Sarah

One of the most important things is to visit the school before making your final decission. Also look at the academic programs and how they compare to the academic areas you are interested in. A student's college expierence is much more than the time they spend in a class room, so it is important to find a place where you feel comfortable. These factors can be in the size of the surrounding city, if the campus is self-sufficient, what school spirt is like, and what the student life is both during the week and on weekends.

Janie

Check out many college websites! Dont be afraid to visit many college campuses multiple times! Go to campus tours and orientations! Get all the information about the college and area! Know of the majors and the majority of what careers students pursue there! Find out if the college has lots of INVOLVEMENT becuase that is great for new students. Campus life and activities is a big deal at my college so I am never bored! Learn about partying and alcohol/drug usage college students can do! Students and Parents BE INVOLVED. Never turn down an opportunity to make a difference, experience something new, and learn lots of different things. Study Abroad! Many colleges offer so many study abroad programs with financial help! Be willing to make new friends and do be scared to leave your parents. It will be hard definitely and you will miss them but always know you can make a whole new family at college! You have closed your high school chapter but college brings on a brand new chapter full of great new memories and friendships to treasure for a lifetime! Good Luck to the students and parents who are letting go!

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