University of Notre Dame Top Questions

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

Allison

Going back in time, I would tell my high school self to find a number of clubs that highly interest me. This would have immediately exposed me to people who have at least one shared interest, which could easily become the foundation for a friendship. Had I done this earlier in my freshman year, I would have spent less weekends and meals alone. I also would have told my high school self to find some friends in my year in my dorm. This is especially important as one remains in the same small dorm at the University of Notre Dame for all four years. Having a network of friends in the dorm helps to reinforce the sense of commuity in dorm living, providing support for the transition to college life and throughout all four years of school.

Takashi

1. Have an organized planner to schedule out your days. You should be able to wisely allocate your time between clubs, activities, homework, and study time. 2. Find a quiet room to study. Listening to music can actually divert attention away from studying and twoard the lyrics of the song. 3. Don't have access to cell phones or laptops when you study. These distractions are tempting to use when studying. 4. Write down what teachers say in class. Notes are very important for study materials. 5. Read the directions carefully. Understand the problem fully before you complete it. 6. Study with a group and study aloud. Vocal memory and memory formed in groups create stronger connections in the brain. 7. Don't cram during the night before the test because it is an ineffective way to build short-term memory. 8. Highlight key words and concepts to easily form mental connections based on the importance of the material. 9. Print out chapter outlines because they are helpful summaries of the reading material. 10. Read the chapters before class to keep up with the readings and to earn participation points.

Alina

First, I would give myself compliments and encouragement on the achievements I've accomplished. I didn't get a lot of recognition for my hard work and effort but I was fine with that. However if I could go back in time I would give encouragement because it is empowering to hear that someone believes in you. I would then tell myself to not stress out about silly things such as receiving A-'s on report cards. Any college would be happy to have me and I shouldn't doubt myself too much. Afterwards I would probably rave about Notre Dame and how much fun and different it is from high school. This would be to give hope that there is something to look forward to in the future. Then I would get on the subject of friends. I would tell myself to forget about the people who don't take the time to continue being friends and not to dwell too much time on being hurt by those people. I would have had a better summer if I wasn't worried about unnecessary drama. But I would advise myself to treasure and enjoy the moments with my true friends.

Kiely

If I could talk to my high school senior self, I would say to stop thinking about college as another academic institution, and instead think about it as an experience instead. Now that I have finished my first semester at college, I've realized that college is less about the grades and the tests, and more about the people and experiences I have. The friends I've made and the friends I'm going to make in the next three years are going to be the ones I treasure after college has ended. Sure I need the good grades to ensure a career after college, but when I look back on these four years, I'm not going to remember that hard chemistry test or those problematic art history essays. Instead, I'm going to remember all the fun, crazy times with my friends, such as stealing trays from the dining hall to go sledding. If I could talk to my high school self, I would say pick a college that has the type of people you want to be around, because they are the ones who are going to make your college experience memorable.

Anthony

The biggest piece of advice I would give myself as a high school senior is to remember my roots in everything that I do, but to do things I've never done before. I'm blessed with a loving family and parents that have always emphasized strong virtues, the value of family, hard work, humility, and a strong Catholic faith. I would implore my younger self to recognize these characteristics that my parents worked so hard to instill, and to maintain them throughout my college career. At the same time, I would ask my high school self to not be afraid to be uncomfortable, to understand that the world is an enormously rich and diverse place, and to explore it. I think I was too timid my first few semesters; I would urge my younger self to get to know new cultures, to study abroad, to take hard classes, to make friends who don't have the same views as me, and to have more fun, all while remembering my family daily, keeping my faith strong, and staying humble. I'd emphasize that I can keep what my parents tought me, but also be bolder and more adventurous in college.

Robyn

Dear High School Robyn, I never thought I would say this, but your teachers were wrong. The college professors, that i have encountered so far, are helpful. They work with you as long as you work withthem. Another thing to keep in mind, is the people in college are a lot more welcoming than the ones in high school. You should take AP classes and get those out of the way for college. College homework takes DAYS not hours, so make sure to work on time management. Professors do not tell you when things are due, therefore, stray away from the habbit of teacher dependence. College is filled with a lot of different people, and I know you will like that. I promise that you will love college! Yours Truely, Robyn Craig

Daniel

There is not enough time in the world to do all of the things you want. It is all about time. How you use it, how you manage it, and how much you waste. You could spend all the time in the world loafing off, slacking on homework, and putting back studying, but that's the only reason you fall behind. Once you fall behind, catching up becomes the main issue and we both know that isn't a fun game to play. After making all the mistakes in the world during Freshman year of college, I'm now putting in every strand of effort to make up for lost time. The thing is... if I had known how serious college was, how terrifying it is to fall behind, and how worrying a low GPA could be, I would NEVER HAVE slacked off. Although I'm focused and ready now, Ive been through too much struggle and had to solve too many problems. Make it easier on yourself past me... just stay focused on your goal. If you truly want to achieve your dream with a smooth ride, take the time to manage your time.

Jennifer

May 10 was the day I moved out of Cavanaugh Hall at Notre Dame after finishing my freshman year. It was also the day I realized that life is short and time has a way of absolutely flying. If I could go back and speak to myself as a high school senior, I would tell her several things. Of course, I would stress the importance of AP exams for college credit, and urge her to keep up with activities. But most importantly, I would tell her to enjoy every moment. It didn’t hit me until I was putting on my prom dress two days before graduation that that was really it – the end of high school, and good-bye to life as I had previously known it. I would tell myself that these are the memories to be cherished always, and to fully experience them as they are happening. From receiving my diploma at graduation, to driving away from my house with all my belongings packed into an SUV, to meeting the girl who would become my best friend at Notre Dame – I would encourage myself to cherish every one of these moments on the road to growing up.

Stefan

Organize yourself as well as possible before your freshman year in college. Take your senior year as an opportunity to sharpen your time mangement skills before learning the hard way.

Elizabeth

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to change my attitude and my priorities. First, my attitude, in high school, was that of intolerance and self-centeredness. I expected to do things my way when I started college, and living with a roommate was a burden, and, thus, our freshmen year was a burdenin terms of our living experiences. Second, although my priorities included excelling as a student, I should have taken into consideration that I needed to take care of myself better. This would have included getting enough sleep, undertaking academic challenges I could more easily handle, and saying no to people. Recognizing limitations has been my biggest challenge as an undergraduate student, and, although we often like to blame an entity such as our school, I must admit that it was my fault I had a rough transition those years ago. Once I settled in as a sophomore, I really enjoyed school and appreciated the learning experience.

Leandra

“Make every job a desirable one,” is the lesson that I’d intone to a younger self. When I first arrived on campus, I took one of the few jobs readily available: early morning shifts at Subway, chopping vegetables and prepping meats. Despite the lackluster appearance, I soon discovered perks to the work: not just finishing my shifts before class, but chatting, laughing, and bonding with full-time employees whom most students barely see in passing. By focusing on the desirable aspects of this job, I maintained a cheerful outlook that, combined with reliability and dedication, made the appreciation reciprocal among manager and staff. When the opportunity for better employment presented itself, I moved on from Subway. But recently, as current coworkers boasted about sitting around, skipping shifts, and still having “the best job on campus,“ I found myself biting my tongue and do the work of two employees during peak times. Despite the stress on my already full course-load, enthusiastic feedback from my employer reminded me of why I do it: to be not just an employee, but a desirable one. A desirable job isn’t just found: it's what you make of it.

Notre

http://www.thingsnotredamestudentslike.com/ This site is a hilarious blog about the quirks and stereotypes of Notre Dame students. As a student, I can tell you - it's spot on. If you have been accepted and want to know if you will fit in, check out this site. If two or three of the blogs seem like you - welcome to the family! You can learn funny and interesting insider stuff that the typical freshman won't know...unless they're a legacy. So they will all probably know.

Kalie

One thing I know about college is that there is more work that needs to be done in less time. If I could be a high school senior again I would tell myself to work harder and challenge myself more academically. Although, I challenged myself much through high school, I was very burnt out by my senior year. I still challenged myself, but not as rigorously. In college I feel like I just kept going and going. It was very intense and I was not ready for the intensity. College is fun, but you have to put in time to work in order to keep having fun.

Katie Rose

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Rachel

As for my choice of college, I'd tell myself to stick with my gut-- that's basically how I chose Notre Dame. It was a hard decision; it was the last campus I visited, and I had great offers from other schools, but something about it just felt right. I took a chance and followed my instincts, and it ended up being the best thing for me. In terms of paying for college, I would tell myself to spend more time looking and applying for scholarships. I have an academic and athletic record that most definitely would have earned me much more money to go to school, but I didn't look for any outside scholarships. That was a mistake; I want to go back to graduate school now, but I'm faced with debt from my undergraduate education, and it's the one thing making my second-guess this decision. Every little bit helps, and if I had looked for more, I am confident that I would have won more scholarships.

Mauricio

My college experience has been very fun and exciting. From the football games to the amazing teachers, there is always something to look forward to every day. I can soundly say that I love Notre Dame. The students have been friendly and the campus has become to feel like home every day. The campus is perfect for helping students learn about their majors and the teachers help steer you in the right direction. I cannot wait to make an impact on other people's lives after I graduate, but when I do I know that I will miss Notre Dame and it will forever be in my heart.

Shauntia

The college experience has been a learning one. I learned not everything is as easy as it seems. You have to put in the time to get the results you want, if you want an A or B you have to study. It is also great at settings you up for the work place , even if you don't like someone sometimes you have to work with them to get the job done. Although it has not been easy I'm glad for the experience, the things I have learned, and the people I have met.

Megan

Although my college experience is just beginning, it is beginning to influence me already. For example, I've become way more independent, although I still have a long way to go. I've learned how to study, and how to learn, especially at a higher level. I have a different understanding of the world than I did before, and I'm ready to continue soaking it all up.

Karla

Through my college experiences I have learned how to be more outgoing and independent. I should explain that I was homeschooled from the fourth grade through high school. Prior to my enrollment in college, I would have described myself as very introverted and timid, especially around those that I did not know. However, after two years at a community college and now my transfer to a four year university I feel as though I am more at ease on campus, and in my community. It is valuable to attend college because of the transformations one can undergo throughout their college experiences. Also, college prepares students for their communites and provides them with the opportunity to become responsible adults. Because, in college, no one will call your mom to see why you did not come to class, instead students are expected to be adults and simply show up on time.

Kelsey

I have gotten so much more than I could have ever expected out of my college experience thus far. I have not only recieved one of the best possible college educations that is available in the world, but I have also met some of the most phenomenal people whose relationships will be invaluable to me throughout my life. The staff is incredibly knowledgable, and truly cares about their students. My fellow peers are some of the smartest, highly motivated, and most well rounded people I have ever encountered. Furthermore, one is able to find themselves in a way that most people never think possible. Notre Dame provides a safe, nuturing, family-like environment to not only every student at the University, but also to their families, alumnus, and visitors of the school as well. Although there are many schools that are equally academically and athletically impressive, it is the overall package that Notre Dame has to offer academically, socially, athletically, and religiously that results in the most unique and ideal experience that is unsurpassable by any other College of University.

Mary

I have made the closest friends of my life, finally been in a place where I am surrounded by people just like me, feel like I fit in 100% for the first time, have gotten the most amazing opportunities for education and work and research experience through my professors which would be rare any place else, and have been part of a tradition that is WAY bigger than myself which is a great feeling. I go to Notre Dame and now I am part of the legacy.

Carmen

People always say that college is the time where one can break out of their shell and discover themselves. I always thought this was such a cliche statement. That was until i actually showed up on campus at the University of Notre Dame. Nervous, scared and a little nauseous I jumped head first into this new life. If anything college has taught me not only how to derive polynomials or deprotonate an acid but also how to adjust to new surroundings. I was forced to start completely over. I had to make new friends and become accustom to this new place 1000 miles from my home. No one ever really prepares you for the adjustments you have to make every time you go to a new place. And it is especially difficult when you show up to a place not knowing a single soul. Somehow I managed to figure it out. Life can take you to many foreign places. Whether it be for a job, my family or simply because I want a change in surroundings I know that I will find myself in many new situations where I will have to adjust. College has prepared me for those opportunities.

Colleen

College is usually seen as a time to party, or a time to study, but it is never really seen as much in between. To me, college has been about experiences. As cheesy as it sounds, I've learned so much more through my experiences in college than I could ever learn in a classroom. Through meeting new people, I've learned to see the world in so many different ways. From seeing new places, like the mountains of West Virginia on a spring break trip, I've learned to appreciate what I have and to remember that other people and places exist outside of my little bubble. College has forced me to see the world around me, not just differently, but to actually realize that it exists. No price tag can be put on the experiences college has given me. They have not just made me into a better person, but forced me, sometimes against my will, to grow.

William

In 1971 college was the ability to run cross country and track and I was not really serious about grades that ended up a 1.3 GPA. I attended NCCC and the last two semesters I spent trying to join the Air Force. Now I am attending Rogue Community College with a theater arts major with a 2.92 GPA. I aced drama in high school but I never really persued theater, and I am glad I did. I have written one play and am on my second screenplay. I want to attend Full Sail University and see my screenplays be produced. I am at the point right now that I have taken all the theater arts classes that RCC offers. I want to go to SOU localy but that 1.3 GPA I have from NCCC I rather have destroyed; SOU are still using it. Now I do not have a sport to go out for and am putting full time into my studies. My college experence has been valuable for in theater arts it is tough to get a audition and be chosen in a part if you do not have the experence.

Jane

College has been a great growing experience for me. Besides learning through my classes, I have also become more independent and confident in my own abilities. College has taught me a lot about management-- how to manage my time, my money, and my choices. It is preparing me academically for my future career, but also for adulthood in general. I am learning how to balance classes, homework, a job, volunteering, and extracurricular activities. The responsibility of decision-making is left entirely up to me.. I learn though experience by making good and bad choices. Despite this independence, college has also made me realize how much I depend on others. Because I am not required to consult my parents for all of my decisions, I have come to value their input much more. Living on campus has also shown me the importance of an interdependent society. Students have many different backgrounds, majors, career goals, and interests. This is necessary for our world to function-- we need doctors as well as teachers, lawyers as well as business managers. Seeing the world in miniature on campus has been very revealing about the larger world outside of college, preparing me for life after school.

Peter

I can see myself sitting there on any given night last year. Sprawled across the desk I see a familiar blue Physics text, a stack of Spanish flashcards, the fourth draft of an application essay sticking out from the pages of a worn AP prep book. Everyone else is asleep, it?s just me and this mountain of responsibilities. Looking at myself plugging away late into the night, if I know anything it?s that this kid doesn?t have time to listen to long speeches. My message is simple, nothing glamorous but nothing more true. Do the work. Don?t let up. Remember what you really want and go for it. Seniors, I know there are those who might laugh at your efforts, scoff at the heavy backpack leaning against the grimy shoulder pads, or the script for the spring musical, or whatever it is you love and sacrifice for in pursuit of excellence. Do the work. Is senior year easy? No. Was getting to my dream school worth it? Yes. There?s only one way to get where you want to be. Do the work. Trust me, I?d tell myself, you?ll be so glad you did.

Marom

There were lots of problems during my high school years. I was learning how to deal with family matters, my self-esteem, and life after high school. My parents were no stranger to violence because they are survivors of the Cambodian genocide. My dad has suffered immensly from his unfortunate war experience and unleashes fury by physically abusing me until my tears bleed. The physical abuse as affected how I thought about myself and how I was to carry on after highschool. This was a very embarrassing part of my life growing up. Fortunately, I found great determination to graduate high school and be the person my dad could never be. Nonetheless, if I could go back and give myself some words of wisdom about high school it would be to believe and have faith in education. School is a path for brighter futures. Think about others because there are many who wish they could live in America compare to their third-world lifestyle. I couldn't choose my parents, but instead I chose to make a difference in perspectives about my chances in life. No matter how life is there is no country compared to the opportunities America gives.

Beverly

Save money and spend it wisely during college. More importantly, refrain from binge drinking. There are other ways to have fun.

Kristin

Don't be worried about it. You will be able to be yourself and have great friends. There might even be a few cute guys here too. But most importantly, the tears that were shed leaving and all the worry were for nothing. You will find your new home quite quickly.

Kristoff

I would tell myself to begin to schedule out my days better so that I will have improved time management. Before my first semester of college I thought I would have all the time in the world since classes are spread out, and while this is true there is so much to do during those times that "free time" is not necessarily free. There is more to the college experience than homework and studying, and I should take account for that. I would also tell myself to start reading ahead and studying the lesson already before we go over it in class. College classes cover more material and at a quicker pace and it is a necessity to study before lectures as professors will go through them faster than my teachers did in high school. Reading ahead ensures that I know some, if not all, of what we are talking about and would have made my first semester easier on me.

Sarah

Be prepared to change in ways you never expected and embrace those changes. Entering college was frightening. The campus world seemed so different from home, so alien. I would tell myself to not fear these differences and embrace the freedom of college. This is a time to explore new things, meet new people, and grow into the person you are meant to become. Make friends with people with different philosophies and ideas. In speaking with them you will explore your own beliefs and develop more fully. By trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone you will enable yourself to see the world in a new perspective. Enjoy this time without growing in frustration or anxiety about the future. Your future will come together better than you planned.

Matt

First arriving at college and transitioning into college social and academic life can be a very overwhelming experience. Perhaps the most stressful part of the process is not knowing exactly what to expect or how things operate. The best solution to overcoming this stress and uncertainty is simply to take a few deep breaths and embrace creating friendships and meaningful relationships with the people in your dorm, with whom you will spend much of your college life. Act naturally, be yourself, and find others with similar interests as you; friendships will naturally form, and you?ll reestablish a social group in no time. A key to transitioning into college life is remaining calm and coming to recognize that all the freshmen you meet are in the same situation as you are. In taking college level courses for the first time, the same rule applies: most others in the class will also be freshmen and also have anxiety. The important realization in taking tests is that they are often curved against others in the class who were given the same time and resources as you and are experiencing the same emotions. Simply prepare to the best of your ability and relax.

Alexandria

Knowing what I do now about college and all the adjustments that are made to both your academic and social life, I would be able to advise my high school self to be better prepared for the transition. Going to college is a huge difference from your high school life. No longer do you have your family and your life-long friends to rely on. In stead you are thrown into a world of chaos where people are frantically trying to make friends and adjust. I would tell myself to relax, take a deep breath and remind myself that things will work out. Trying to find your group of friends is one of the biggest challenges that could take a week, month, semester, or even a year. I didn?t meet some of my closest friends until my second year and since my friends have changed dramatically. Also, I would advise myself to get involved in programs or projects that I find interesting and not be intimidated of the idea of showing up to a meeting with out knowing anyone else. With those two tips I think it would have made my transition exponentially easier.

Ariana

Both of my parents didn't make it to college right out of high school. I didn't have much support or guidance from them other than to work hard. All I knew was that I wanted to get out of my small town. I didn't want to end up on drugs or pregnant. I went to the United States Air Force Academy because I thought that was my only ticket out of there, I didn't even apply to other schools. Now I am at the University of Notre Dame and last semester I got a 3.926. If I could go back I would tell myself that I am capable of so much more than what I was thinking at that time. I would tell myself that I could do anything I set my mind to and that it didn't matter that I went to a terrible public school and grew up in a trailer. I would also tell myself that my hair really doesn't look all that cool. Essentially, I would have told myself to believe in myself, and to never let anyone else make me think I wasn't good enough.

Stephanie

As a high school senior, I knew that I wanted to attend a relatively small, religiously affiliated, highly accredited school. Now that I have completed three semesters at the University of Notre Dame, I have come to realize that I have changed a lot since high school. It's not that I don't enjoy Notre Dame or have pride in my school. The opportunities here for research and job placement are almost unmatched. I have become a different person than I expected though. I have come to discover that I really don't identify with the Catholic faith, and I wish that I went to school that was more arsty and in a larger city. I would advise my high school self to consider lots of different options in schools, not just one type. But knowing that I was able to adjust to my surroundings, I would also tell myself that anywhere I go, hard work will make me successful.

Laura

Putting aside the many miniscule details I could recount, I would likely inform my younger self of basic principles upon which one should ground the transition to, and experience within, college life. I would begin with the exhortation to open the heart to facilitate the development of successful and deep friendships, for they will be bedrocks of loyalty and trust if pursued correctly. From there I would admonish myself to cultivate my mind in a way that allows me to approach texts, ideas, and other perspectives with a searching, fair, and critical eye. Rather than suggesting simply to bury myself in books, I would laud the benefits and the enjoyment of learning in other areas as well, whether by going to cultural events on campus or by engaging in thoughtful discussion with friends and professors. When one happens upon some topic that sparks a flame within oneself, then by all means one ought to pursue it fervently and thoroughly. When it came time for me to leave my younger self, I would close with a call to moderation and balance in all things and to a proper ordering of interests: God, family and friends, and life-long learning.

Courtney

Where you attend college is vital, not only because of the opportunities available, or the degree you earn, but because it helps define what kind of person you become. You grow so much in college, and your school plays a huge role in determining in how you grow. Without neglecting your parents' advice, pick a school that fits you, even if it's not the most prestigious school. Take time in choosing: pray for God to show you what He wants for you. This advice is also fitting with choosing your major. Career practicality should be considered, but more importantly, you should enjoy what you do. If you enjoy your studies, you will perform better, and it will seem less like work, even if it will not result in the most prosperous career. Remember, you are young and can change your mind, and if you let Him, God will show you what He wants you to do with your life. As far as study habits go, build them now, it will make your transition much easier. To be concise, take your time making decisions for your future. Contemplate all angles. The decisions you make now do affect your future.

Erik

Start strong

James

Use this time to establish really good study habits. Know what works for you and keep refining it so that you have a really good system in place for when you go to college. This will really help with getting through classes. Also remember that time management is all on you when you are away at school. There isn't anyone to remind you to do assignments or turn in papers or even attend class. If you don't get yourself well organized and know how long it takes you to accomplish a task you will find yourself behind too often. If you do these things you will have a less stressful and more enjoyable experience in college.

Thomas

I would first advise myself to step back and figure out what I really enjoy to do. Many people jump into college and make rash decisions when deciding what major to pursue. Most people will pursue a degree in an area that they will make the most money in or will be the most successful, yet many find themselves unhappy with this choice. So the most important piece of advice I would give myself would be to take a major I truly enjoy and will ultimately make me the happiest. Another thing that I would tell myself would be to learn how to manage my time before I even take my first class. The hardest part of college is time management. There are only so many hours in a day that a student is awake and most do not use them wisely. It is so important to keep a list of the things you need to complete and to stay on top of your work. Most people fail at college because of poor time management, and with discipline in time management a student will surely succeed.

Tiffany

If I could go back in time and talk to myself about this new college experience, I would tell myself that the universal term "fitting in" is nonexistent. Graduating from a small, private, Catholic school, I had a strong sense of individualism, of loving community service, playing the flute, teaching children the piano, altar serving, and exceling in academic areas. I had completely morphed myself into the strong, independent, free-spirited and moralistic person I knew I always wanted to be. Though this confidence supported my being, however, once the acceptance letter arrived, I knew I wanted to automatically "fit in" with the freshman class at Notre Dame. Unknown to me at the time, "fitting in" was something entirely different. After witnessing one semester of college life, I have realized that we should never subordinate ourselves into becoming part of faceless, meaningless mass which entails "fitting in" because, in essence, there is no "mass." In dissolution, the mass is comprised of many different groups, some with better and more wholesome characteristics and others with slightly less moral attributes. Thus, in the process of finding my own friends, I have ironically redefined the term - "fitting in" perfectly in my own niche.

Maxx

Walking into my dorm room at the University of Notre Dame, I could not comprehend that I would finally be living away from home. For months beforehand, my parents and I had been gathering essential items in preparation for my move to college. However, only at this moment did I realize that I would be leaving a home and a family that I had known for my whole life. I would be leaving the family dinners, the Saturday afternoon trips to church, and many other events that had always been constants in my life. Truth be told, I underestimated how difficult the transition would be from high school to college. The first months of college were the most trying of times for me. Therefore, I would advise many high school seniors to spend some time away from their homes and families in order to develop comfort for this situation. While college requires students to spend more time focusing on their academics, a student can rely on the same academic resources that his/her high school offered to make this adjustment. On the other hand, time and patience can only help a student adjust to college unless he/she has practiced.

Lauren

Going into college, my primary concerns were making friends and earning a GPA of 4.0. Since the first part is a natural gift humans were blessed to receive in varying levels, I would tell my former self not to be concerned with that issue, for it is often easier to make friends with a person who complements your personality when you are not actively seeking to befriend someone. Attempting to make friends can force a friendly relationship between two people who have little in common or whose personalities clash. Secondly, I would address the GPA issue. I would tell myself that a 4.0 is not the most important thing in life; as a biology major, no more than one person per graduation class can boast of a perfect GPA. Why? The workload is heavy and challenging, and pursuing a 4.0 for all but one person every year requires complete devotion to the coursework and lack of a social life. Rather than allowing my former self to worry about not receiving all A's in class, I would tell myself to work my hardest but not to work so hard that my college years pass without happiness.

Lauren

I would tell myself to have a better idea about what I would like to major in, and that college will not always be perfect and you have to give yourself a break sometimes.

Michael

My first piece of advice to my younger self would be to keep an open mind and be as outgoing as possible. Our freshman orientation program is very well done, so take advantage of it. Meet as many people as you can to try to get a feel for the type of people you want to surround yourself with. Always be willing to go to dinner with a group of people if they invite you to come along. Additionally, don't try to impress anybody. Just be yourself and stay true to your beliefs. My second piece of advice dips into the academic aspect of college. It is okay if it takes a few weeks to get used to living on your own, but don't make it an excuse to let your grades slip. Hold yourself to the same standards you had in high school and strive to achieve A's in classes. With a solid freshman year transcript, opportunities for scholarships or even internships open up. And don't worry, you'll still have plenty of time to play Super Smash Bros. with the guys down the hall--just get into a rhythm and use your time well.

Molly

I would advise myself to focus on academics and always stay on top of my work. I would also advise myself to keep a positive attitude, and ask for help when I need it. I think it is important to pick a school that is perfect for you, rather than picking a school based on its reputation.

Allison

I would tell myself to not be afraid to learn new things and meet many new and different people. I would also tell myself to continue working hard and never lose focus of where I want to go in life. I would tell myself to try every opportunity that is presented to me and always remember where I have come from. In additon I would encourage myself to continue to stay faithful and remember to stay involved in commuity service.

Kevin

I would tell myself to work as hard as possible to prepare for how hard college will be. It is important to attain a good work ethic early on so that it will be an easier transition to college. Also, social status doesn't mean anything in the scheme of things, so I would imform me to not try so hard to fit in and to be myself.

Geoffrey

You must visit the schools you are thinking of applying to. Sometimes the cold, dark, freezing winter nights are enough to deter you from applying to a school. Also take into consideration not just the prestige of a school, but also the various departments or colleges, specifically the ones you might be interested in. Students, do not allow you parents to make you go to a school, things have changed. Parents, do not allow you kids to go to a school you wouldn't want them to go to, college is still very much the same. There is a school out there for everyone. Once you are attending you school, plunge in totally and completely. Be honest about who you are, and acknowledge you want to grow. Remember that the friends you make now will be in your wedding, maybe even the person you marry. These years shouldn't be the best of your life, college just lets you have them afterwards.

Maura

The most important advice that I would give parents and students about finding the right college is to make a campus visit. Lots of schools look great on paper, but it is when you are on campus and can get a feel for the school that you know if it is right for you. I looked at some schools that seemed perfect for me, until I went to the campus and something just didn't click or it didn't seem like I could see myself living and learning there. I will be entering my junior year at the University of Notre Dame, a school that I didn't think I would like at all, until I went on my campus tour and fell in love with the place. If I had never visited Notre Dame, I know I would not have ended up there and I can say definitively that I would not be as happy or have grown as much as a person if I wasn't at Notre Dame. The campus visit made all the difference. As for making the most of your college experience, take chances and enjoy every minute, because it goes by too fast.

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