I wish I had known that in arts-related fields, the focus of the programs are more on continuing education and academic success than on preparing students for a job market. I went to the University of Pittsburgh for four years studying Journalism and Communications, but wasn't offered classes in Internet or computer-based Journalism. Classes were focused solely on the craft of writing and persuasion. Now with my B.A., I consider myself a fabulous writer and communicator, but in a tough job market, employers need practical skills to make one more Internet savvy.
Before coming to college you need to realize that this is neither the end of your studies, nor the first stop on a straight path. Your decisions matter but rather than simply attempting to pigeonhole yourself into a particular job or career you should better yourself. Most people end up in in careers that hadn't anticipated when they entered college so it would be more productive to try and take classes that really interest you. Learning how to think and write like an adult are more important than trying to follow a prearranged plan to the T.
I wish I had been better prepared for the amount of studying that I would need to do in order to do well in my classes. Professors at Pitt hold very high standards for all students, without regard to academic year. Luckily, after one semester I caught on and was able to perform much better academically. The transition from high school to undergrad is always a bit shaky, and I think most students tend to underestimate the amount of work that they will need to do in order to get As. I was not exempt in this way of thinking.
I to Pitt for it's Pharmacy program. I applied for the pre-pharmacy program and my school made it seem like it wouldn't be a problem to get into the pharmacy school. Little did I know that hundreds of students are accepted into "pre-pharmacy" when really its just like being accepted inot the school of arts and sciences. This school was way out of my budget but I thought it would be a good investment. 4 years later I was not one of the less than 100 students admitted into the pharmacy school out of 1000+ applicants.
I wish I had know of the opportunities available for financial assistance. I have found many opportunities for advancement based on extra curricular activities, programs, and research available. However, without a promising way to pay for those services, at times your advancements may seem obsolete. Everything that I have done with the university, holistically, was beneficial. There just needs to be an educational program set up, to inform students of their long term financial commitments to a large university.
My high school was small; we did not have midterms or finals and I did not have to study to receive excellent grades. Everything came pretty naturally. I knew I would have to study in college, but I wish I would have known how to. It was hard to adjust to earning grades based on how much I studied. So, I wish I would have been challenged more in high school so I would have known how to study properly. I wish my study skills when I started college were better than what they were.
I wish I would have known to take a deep breath and not to try to impress others, just be yourself and that is where you'll find your true friends. Make sure that you not only study the night before a test, but every day once you come back from class look over your notes to refresh your memory and hopefully it sinks it a little more than just the lecture did. Lastly, don't play games on your phone or laptop during lectures...learn to actually focus and listen, it helps!
The university has a lot to offer in terms of diversity, cultural exposure, music, the arts, etc. however students must keep in mind they're in a city. The campus is not isolated from businesses, restaurants, medical buildings and sometimes the school sanctioned buildings are far away from the main part of campus. It will take comfort in knowing the public transportation available and comfort getting to know the campus in a busy city setting.
The classes you take are going to be hard. If you got in, it's because you are intelligent, therefore you probably did have to study very much in high school. It is very different here. Even if you study two nights before the test instead of one, you are not going to do well on the test. You really have to dedicate a lot of your time to homework and studying to keep up. College is fun, but you need to keep up with all of your classes.
The transition that I had to make for studying. I understood the atmosphere would be much different but did not realize how much effort was required to do well in classes. I just breezed through high school but could not do that here. Also I wish I had a little more direction when I headed to school. It took me until my junior year to figure out what I wanted to do and luckily it only took me an extra year to accomplish my goal.