University of Rochester Top Questions

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


Dear Ling, You’re determined to start anew. This is where you’ll recreate yourself. You can explore any interest and whim you like from the hundreds of classes available. They call you a liberal arts scholar, and you’re in high hopes. And most importantly, your future will simply come to you. You’ll figure it out by the end. So you think. I admire your enthusiasm, but you also need grit and strategy. Know that college is difficult, and you’ll struggle. Know that after college you are expected to jump into job market, and you need to be prepared. You might get away with the first year of indecision, but you must focus on developing desirable, hard skills. I’ll give you some examples: finance, computer science, and statistics. Get internships, real internships, start early on applications and network. No one told you this until it was too late. Even if someone did, maybe you wouldn’t pay much mind. But I’m urging you, because I know you. Good luck.


If I knew then what I know now, I would tell myself to consider all options when choosing a college or university to attend. My main consideration should have been to stay local and attend a community college for 2 years so I could save money and give myself more time to determine the career path I was meant to pursue. For some reason, I was set on attending Penn State so I didn't consider other choices as carefully as I should have. As a result, I was miserable my first semester and ended up transferring to a 4-year college near my hometown. I needed to attend a smaller school that was closer to home. Moreover, I should have done more research on student loans and scholarships. Unfortunately, I'm in a situation where I have 6 figures-worth of student loans and will be adding onto that total once I pursue my Doctorate in January. Hopefully, I will acquire scholarships to help cut down on the amount I need to borrow. Nonetheless, I don't regret any of the experiences I've had because they have been amazing learning opportunities that have helped me grow!


Dear 17 year-old me, A year has gone by…since I was you. I have since grown by making painful mistakes through the daily trials and tribulations of college life. I wish someone told me that college would try its hardest to break me and that my stunningly high AP, SAT, GPA wouldn’t matter much after getting into college. Your college experience can be the best years of your life, if you let them be; never lose sight of the bigger picture. Tips: 1.)Don’t forget your family. 2.)Get out of that comfort zone! Embrace something new every day even at the cost of failure or embarrassment. 3.)Carpe Diem. Seize each day with an open-mind and sheer productivity. 4.)Let your academic pursuits be driven by the genuine passion to learn, your grades will be much better if you stop memorizing every detail blindly. 5.)Don’t compare yourself to other people. 6.)Form strong relationships. 7.)Life is much more than youth and recklessness, that party before an exam can wait… 8.)It’s OKAY to not have all the answers. 9.)Ask questions! 10.)Be understanding of others life situations. Love, You


Don't let people frighten you with tales of how hard college is. They like to exaggerate. There is no reason not to do a music major as well.


As a senior, I was very private about my decisions in regards to the college application process. Because I feared that my peers would judge my intelligence level based on the college I chose, I was hesitant to discuss my acceptances. If I were to speak to my past self, I would not necessarily condemn this mindset altogether – there were some who viewed college acceptances as the be-and-end-all of our senior year. Yet, I would try to make my past self aware that I should not take these opinions into consideration when determining my own self-worth. By making the college application process a measure of my value as a person, I failed to fully consider how my choice would affect my far future and focused too much on how the decision would affect my immediate future. Though I do not regret my ultimate choice for school, I think my list of potential schools would have been better suited to my needs had I taken the time to really analyze what each school had to offer, rather than considering how my college selection would change my image.


I would give myself advice to study a lot more, try for even more scholarships, and also to be much more active in my highschool year.


Be more focused on discovering you interests and passions and take more chances. There is so much that you can only accomplish while in high school and it will lay a foundation that you can easily build upon. Opportunities are infinite but they require iniviative to take advantage of them. If you want something, then go out and get it! you are smart and can really do great things. When you apply for colleges, focus principally on what that school offers for your major. Do not worry about the pomp of the school or how recognizeable its name is. Most importantly, relax! I know that this is a stressful time and it sems that the weight of your future success rest on this year, but it does not. You can be successful wherever you are because you have the determination to do so. And finally, take time to be proud of your accomplishments so far and do not hone in on your failures and rejections. You dont have to beat yourself up for every mistake, just learn from it and grow. I think that you will be just fine and I cannot wait to see what future me does!


I'd say, "Have confidence in your character and your intelligence. (And yes, you do have character and intelligence.) Expect others to treat you as a human being, deserving of respect. Don't believe anyone who says you deserve less. Life isn't about being beautiful for others. In fact, those kinds of shallow pursuits will only get in the way of your happiness, so don't force yourself into sickness trying to attain them. Have compassion for yourself, but never think you're a victim. You're as strong as you let yourself be. Your future isn't as bleak as you think, not by a long shot. You don't think so, but you'll learn you want to go to college. It'll be the best thing you ever did. Ever. You'll find a million new interests, you'll find your passion, and you'll find a reason for everything that's happened over the last three years. You're going to be told your goals aren't realistic. Just shrug it off, and push yourself harder than you think you can handle, because you have no idea how much you're truly capable of."


The advice I have always given to high school seniors is: optional homework, is not optional. In high school, I didn't have to try hard to earn A's and B's. It came easily to me, and all of my friends were fellow honors and AP students. When I got to college, I didn't realize that my new cohort was the cream of the crop. 50% of my incoming freshman class was the Valedictorian of their high school, and all of us were from the top high schools in the country. So when my General Chemistry professor told us that the problems in the book were "optional," I didn't think I had to work on them. That is until I took my first college chemistry exam. When we got the results back, one of my good friends sat me down on the floor of his dorm room, cracked open our chemistry book, and said, "we're doing these homework problems together." In exchange, I helped him edit his English essays, since English was his second language. I learned to study hard, ask for help, and work together with my classmates to succeed.


Hi. You probably won't believe me, but I'm you from the future, a couple of years after you graduate from college and I have some tips: -I know you know that you'll get into the University of Rochester, but apply to other places. Go to the UofR though, since you meet the man who becomes your husband there. -You know how arrogant most trumpet players are now? It only gets worse in college; put music aside and focus on other things. -Those friends you make from your hall the first year? Keep in touch with them. -When things seem to start falling apart the first winter break, your friends, boyfriend, and papa -will- be there for you and you -will- survive. -I know this may seem very strange to you, but ask for the campus counselors to test you for Asperger’s Syndrome, and no matter how much it terrifies you, accept help from the disability services. -Take an American Sign Language class—you might be surprised how much you love it—but don’t drop out of Brain and Cognitive Science. You’ll regret it for years to come. Most of all, relax and have fun.


If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would encourage myself to think more seriously about Plan B. I've always known that I wanted to work in health care, and Physician seemed like the logical choice. Unfortunately, I've come out of the application process with nothing more than a single spot on a wait-list. So here I am, a few weeks before graduation, applying to massage therapy school as my Plan B before reapplication to Osteopathic medical school. I'm currently several thousand dollars short of tuition because I can't get loans without a cosigner, and I don't have anyone willing and able to be a cosigner for me. I would tell high school me to consider the "what ifs" long and hard. I would never recommend a different college, because the U of R was wonderful, but I might suggest enrolling in the evening massage therapy program at the Onondaga School in Rochester, or deferring enrollment for a semester to finish the masage program first. It would have looked great on an Osteopathic School applciation, and can you imagine a better college job? Beats working for Dining Services!


I would tell myself to prepare for exams and projects quite thoroughly even if they were easy, because then I would have been ready for the amount of studying I have to do at the University of Rochester. I also would have told myself to the the some classes I slacked off in more seriously, because the lessons from some of those classes could have made my learning experience in the college equivalent of those classes much easier. Other than the above though, I think I prepared myself fairly well for college, and believe that the best thing I did was to not completely take a break my senior year, just because I was graduating.


Sam, You are a bright, intuitive person. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENT! Things with your family are hard, but you know what? You can do everything by yourself! You don’t need to fix other people’s problems. Leave that guy you’re with, he is only holding you back. Remember, a friend is someone who always has your back. Above all remember that there are people out there who will support your decisions, even if they aren’t related to you or if they seem to not even know you. There are people who want to help. DO NOT LET YOURSELF FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ALL ALONE! Another thing, stick with your band and keep in contact with them. You need to be a part of the community you are around or you will start to feel invisible. As far as college goes, think about what you have been doing since you were a little kid. That’s right, that thing you were and still are so passionate about. Save the animals, teach the people how to take care of them and communicate with them. Please remember, you are who you choose to be. Never give up.


Start taking your work seriously. Learn how to master the craft of budgeting and scheduling. If you fail once, dont just say, "I will do better next time". Sit down and analyze why you didnt perform as you wanted to. Don't procrastinate. Understand that things that need to be done will have to get down eventually and there are some tasks that you can't plan for so complete everything as soon as possible to prepare for unexpected tasks. ALWAYS GIVE %100 IN YOUR WORK!


Follow your heart. Don't let others define your personal success and take the time to explore career options. The name of the college and the degree your recieve are meaningless if your heart is not in it. Try to take the time to explore career interests in highschool. Volunteer, job shadow and ask as many questions as possible. There is no "right" job or "wrong" job. Passion is where you will find success.


Throughout the four years that took me to complete my associates degree I had learn to appreciate the value of education. Money is not everything and what you learn nobody else can take it away. I have become knowledgeable on many subjects. I can communicate better, I improved my second language (English), and I made unbreakable relationships with my classmates and professors. I discovered new ways to see the world, and alternatives to be everyday more creative. Every professor contributed to this progress and looking back to my old art work and my actual one; I can see how the act of implementing all the principles learned in school has been shaping the way I create and see art.


Coming into college, I thought I would be bombarded with opportunties to further lessen that gap between my current life and a future, idealistic career. After my first semester, I realized that the opportunities are there, I just have to seek them out. There are many job, interships, and councils that I can be a part of and are offered to me. Being at Rochester is like learning a lesson every day. The people here are so diverse, intelligent, and most importantly, they are themselves. I feel like just talking to my peers constitutes learning in itself. As far as professors go, a lot of professors here are brillant and intelligent, and know what they are talking about when it comes to their areas of expertise. Several of my professors have assigned textbooks are they have written or co-written themselves. College has also taught me to live independently and make choices that are the best for me and for those I care around me. College has also taught me to appreciate certain things, such as family, the one I have back home in Iowa.


During my first semester of freshmen year, I learned that to be able to survive and maintain sanity is to push pass any pet peeves and nuisances I had during high school. If you do not, then life in college is miserable because you are constantly in contact with those things that bothered you the most prior to college. Those nuisances will break your concentration and you will not be able to complete what is necessary for you to succeed in your plans. If it comes to the point that you are unable to cope with it, then you must learn to separate yourself for your own good, even if what is bothering you are people that you considered your closest friends. By learning copoing mechanisms, you are able to thrive and succeed in your future job environment where you are less likely given the options to easily separate yourself from those nuisances.


It has been valuable for me to attend college because I am receiving an education that will benefit me in life, both now and in the future. The classes I take will not only increase the chances I have to be hired for a job, but help me better understand the things happening in our world.


College has allowed me to learn, to focus, to figure out what I want to do with my life. College has allowed me to start down the paths I want to walk. College has given me the opportunity to research, to meet friends, to meet professors. College has given me the opportunity to live the life that will make me proud of myself. College has given me the opportunity to live.


During college, I have learned the value of time management and that second chances don't always exist as an adult as they did when I was a kid. My first year of college was met with a lot of ups and downs, both because of me and deaths in the family, so that my grades didn't turn out as high as I would've like them to be. But, this year, I know what I'm up against and I will be the best student that I know I can be. No matter what life brings me.


When I begin medical school this August, I will be nearly 31-years old. Many of my new classmates will be ten years my junior. Since I graduated the University of Rochester in 2001 my appreciation of my college experience has continued to grow. First it afforded me the opportunity to grow personally. In my courses I was forced to think critically while outside of class I made new and lasting friendships that since 2001 now include milestones such as wedding celebrations and children. My college experience has also offered professional opportunities that would not have been available had I never attended. Yet most significantly my college experience has been valuable because it provded me an education to which nobody else can lay claim. Regardless of my life's direction, I will always possess it. And for that reason my college experience is truly invaluable.


Academically, by attending a research oriented university I have gained problem solving, analyzing, synthesizing, and writing skills. The often challenging course load taught me study, organizational, and time management skills. Emphasis on group work in all departments gave me an advantage when working on collaborative projects in a work environment. Also by attending my university it put me in a caliber of highly motivated and diligent students where we could challenge each other. Active involvement in campus clubs and events provided me with leadership skills and exposure to a diversity of people. The most valuable thing I learned in those four years was that in order to do anything, you have to do it yourself. In other words, be an active person, if there is something you want to achieve then just go do it. Take advantage of EVERY opportunity and network, network, network. If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing as a graduating high school senior it would be "Yes, you can do it, have a little bit more confidence in you, girl! Everything will be ok."


I believe that you can find your niche on truely any campus. However if you're someone who strives to learn, but still desires ways to unwind and people to laugh with, that niche is the entire campus at the University of Rochester. Everyone here is open and friendly. The awkward barrier between upper classmen and freshmen is gone, and everyone is simply a fellow yellow jacket and potential friend. College is the next step in achieving a desire of vast knowledge, and in today's society it has almost become a necessary life experience, one definitely worth the rising costs. Being on this campus has introduced me to new people that I have become closer too in five months than some my high school friends that I had known for five years (or more). It has also introduced me to new things, such as karate and a surprising interest in the Theory of Relativity as well as in Crusade era novels and stories. How many high schools can give you a taste of all of that. Speaking of taste the cafeterias are much better. Bye bye mystery meat, hello ceasar chicken wraps and hand crafted subs.


At the time of orientation week, I was still unsure of how Eastman School of Music was very different from the high school I had attended in Guatemala. This was a big cultural shock for me, and I would have liked to know how the American lifestyle was different from the one I used to have in Guatemala. If I could go back and talk to myself as a highschool senior, I would tell myself that there are going to be many different things at school that I am not used too. Among the biggest changes were the food, dorm life, and academics. I would tell myself to be ready to eat not so healthy food at every possible our of the day, and to try to sleep as much as possible, to not stress over things, and to find time for relaxation. I would also tell myself not to panic about breaking out, that it is a normal thing among college students, but to see a doctor as soon as possible to put an end to it. I would mostly encourage myself to just adapt to this new life style and stop worrying about homework in general.


If I had the chance to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to give every assinment that I was given 150%. After completing my first semester in college I have realized that managing my work load would have been a lot easier if I had just developed a stronger work ethic in high school. The other important thing to remember is to always keep giving your best at any assignment given to you instead of just giving up. I know at times it can be tough and you might be tired but in the end it is truly worth it. If you build this strong work ethic now more opputunities will be presented to you in the future.


I would advise myself to relax. I was so stressed out about getting into college, that I forgot that I was still in High School. I missed out on quite a few social activities becasue I was worried that unless I got perfect grades, no college would accept me. I would also advise myself to apply for more scholorships. I slacked on that for sure. I managed to get one scholorship, but that one was given to me, I did not apply for it. I think this year, and probably the years to come, would be much less stressful if I was not worried about how I'm going to pay tuition this month. I have a hold on my account at the end of every month becasue I have trouble paying the bill. I do have a job, but classes make it hard to work more then 10 hours a week and, at minimum wage, that's not much. Plus my parents are finding it harder and harder to help me out. I would definitly tell myself to apply for more scholorships while I still had a decent amount of free time.


If I were able to go back in time and aware my past self of all the future obstacles I would have to face in college now it would be to apply myself harder on the scholarship search, not to give up. During my senior year in high school I didn't have the confidence in myself to apply to many scholarships and I wish that I did because I most likely wouldn't find myself in a financial difficulty where I am scared that I won't be able to afford the tuition at my school. Also, to keep some of my old books that could of helped me more with some of the college level work.


Focus more on your schoolwork than you do now, and start thinking about possible career paths. I know you think you have plenty of time to worry about that later, but trust me, the time flies and you want to have some sort of direction in your life come graduation time. Orginization and time-management skills are crucial to your success in college; you must learn how to balance school, sports, and social time equally in order to excel in all three. That said, don't get too stressed out over small things, take time to enjoy life and make plenty of friends. Never limit or doubt yourself academically or socially, always keep your mind open, enjoy the next four years of your life and good luck!


Personally, I was very anxious about my transition between high school and college. Looking back, I would tell myself to just be myself and remain calm during the transition. I would remind myself that everyone is making friends and going through this transition at the same time- I am not alone in making this change. Along the way, I will make life-long friends that will help me through the rest of the trials and tribulations of the life of a college student and make my experience at college the most enjoyable one thus far in my life.


Don't be shy, put yourself out there and get to know people. It is a lot easier to make the transition into college life with new friends than alone. Also don't be afraid to test out classes in different areas of study, you never know what you might like. Make sure to schedule some fun into your schedule, like intramurals or clubs or both, college requires a balance between academics and a social life, but that can only happen if you takethe initiative.


Traveling back in time to see myself would be incredibly thought provoking. After the first thing that comes to mind, which is to save the money I made working over the summer to help finance my education, I would have to speculate on some eventuality to the effect of me having a short conversation with myself about some mistakes I've made in college. Not necessarily to avoid them, but to be prepared for them because I wouldn't trade the life experiences I've gained joining a fraternity or traveling to a far off place to attend school for anything that I could imagine within reason. Remembering my experience stepping off that plane in the middle of a "Rochester winter," I would also tell myself to pack warm clothes. College isn't something to take lightly. It deserves some attentiveness that I lacked back then; a sense of urgency to propel and motivate me to accomplish things as far as school work and the basic buerocratic formalities, preparing for school in a serious and extra-timely manner. Don't be too proud to ask for help because I need it and it's in short supply.


You have to look for a school that not only is academically awesome, but you also need to find a school that you could see yourself living at. If you wouldn't build a house on your campus or you don't see yourself enjoying the area, then don't go. Academics is important, but so is your happiness.


Since I knew my senior year of high school (and a while before) that I wanted to study classical music, I researched a specific and small list of colleges and conservatories that had strong programs in classical music. One thing that is VERY important is to find a school that has a strong program for the subject that you plan on studying, not necessarily highly regarded in general. Also visiting and getting a grasp for the community the school is in helps a lot too (particularly if you can get a tour from an honest, non-biased, current student). Also, it is never too early to start looking up scholarships and applying for them! College is expensive and they are giving out less and less financial aid so it is important to be proactive about finding alternate sources of funding.


It isn't about one specific statistic, or price, or class size. It is more than that, and it takes a combination of those factors that create what I call the 'home' factor. A place could be perfect on paper but not in real life. Visit the school you want, find out all you can, and TALK to other students. They won't lie most of the time. But enjoy the process, and you'll know when a palce fits right. You may not find it the first semester, or the second or third school even. But you will find it.


Don't place too much emphasis on the tours of colleges; a lot of the guides have been trained to answer questions and may not give their own honest opinion of the school. If the college offers it, definitely try to stay over night with a student. This ensures that you will get an honest opinion and have a chance to form one of your own. As for making the most of your college experience, don't let the academics dominate your life. Colleges offer a lot of entertainment (lectures, movies, performances, etc) right on your campus, and you only have 4 years to take advantage of it. Be active on your campus; it's the best way to actually meet people and make friends.


College is something that most people spend a majority of their adolescent lives preparing for. You take the hardest courses, participate in every possible activity, and spend hours in volunteer and leadership opportunities to become the perfect candidate. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life (no pressure though). The most important thing you as a student can do is visit your colleges of choice. Eat a meal in the cafeteria, check out the library, the student center, and of course a classroom or two. Wander off the beaten path of the tour. Talk to current students, and ask them questions. Try to picture yourself on those grounds. Choose the college that feels right to you. Do not choose a school because all of your friends are going there or because your parents went there. Choose it because it fits who you are, and who you will someday become.


Make sure that picking a college/major is based on the student's talents, preferences, and interests, not the parent's expectations. The best fit is where you find other students with a similar academic mindset, classes gauged to your level of difficulty and personalization, and a living arrangement that is comfortable for you. The best decisions can be made once they are prayed about. As a freshman you will find yourself with an unexpected boldness to make new friends and try new things, which will become less natural as a sophomore and beyond, but you will desire to maintain it. Be careful to learn how to live well as you are more on your own and challenge yourself to move forward and learn new life skills as you master old ones. Take opportunities to find and stay connected with similarly interested people, including your family, new friends, and old friends. Remember that your education is a blessing, so take your academic work seriously, but enjoy it and give yourself room to make helpful mistakes. Trust that God will help you wherever you go and don't be afraid of / resistant to changes that might bring you better things.


The college search can be a confusing and stressful journey, but the rewards for being thorough and honest with yourself are four years of opportunities. Looking for the right information now will help you arrive at a school that gives you the academic, social, and personal chances for growth that you want while avoiding the financial and personal disappointments you don't. Here are three tips that will help you make a better decision. First, there is more than one school out there that meets your needs. You don't NEED to go to an Ivy or to a Top Ten state school with a zillion Division I teams. If you think you do, then consider whether there are specific properties those schools have (that you could find elsewhere!) or whether you are simply caught up in a dream of glittering generalities and wishes. Second, don't rule out private schools as "too expensive." Private schools rarely charge sticker price tuition and may (as in my middle-class family's case) be cheaper than public schools. Finally, come up with a list of academic, geographic, and social/extracurricular criteria. Find out as much as you can about each candidate college!


I would say that more than anything, you should look for a campus that seems friendly, open, and financially affordable. In addition, base your distance on your independence level; if you haven't been too far from home for the past 17 or 18 years, now is not the time to suddenly move 3,000 miles away from your parents. Look at the students in that school; would you be able to fit in with them? Most importantly, don't come away from college tours expecting everything that your guide said to be true. A large portion of their speech is pure exaggeration. No student has perfect college experience. When you begin college, some things will go wrong - these are just opportunities to grow. Just pick a college that is, over-all, a good match for your personality and your financial level. Then, it is up to you to use the tools the college makes available to create the best possible college experience - it's up to you.


The advice I would give parents about helping their child find the right college and making the most of their experience is to not be bias and allow the student to make their own decision. Financially discuss with the student how much can be spent toward their education. Encourage the student to be active around campus joining clubs, sports teams, student government, and even getting a job. Remind students that,"the purpose of the university is to make students safe for ideas-not ideas safe for students" (Clark Kerr). I would advise students to choose a school that they feel most comfortable with when visiting and that offers everything they are are looking for in a college. This will be a place where they will be spending most of their time for four years so never settle for something less than what they want. A list of pros and cons often helps. Once in college a student should get involved around campus and make an effort to learn new things. I had a great time in the clubs I joined and met alot of great people so it is definetely worth your time. Not only study hard, but have fun!


I believe it's important to research a school before and apply to schools that offer a variety of options for new students who may or may not what they are interested in studying. It is also very important to visit a school in order to see if it's a good fit for you.


Make sure to think about your needs three years or so from now, and not just what you're looking for freshman year (this is easiest to keep in mind) and your career plans (these will most likely change). How will you grow and change, and how will this affect what you'll be looking for while still an undergrad, but in a few years? The steps to declaring a major or finding internships, leadership opportunities available, and living in upperclass housing are just as important as what orientation is like and how the college fits into your planned career path. One thing that I never read about in advice books, but that I have found to be important, is access to necessities: at each school, how easy is it to find and purchase YOUR PREFERRED BRAND of shampoo, cold medicine, etc.? This seems like a minor detail but really affects day-to-day life. In terms of success in college, it's important to learn about your own learning style. Do you do better taking notes in class, or recording what's said? Rereading notes, explaining them verbally, or writing study guides? Try different methods and see what works.


Make the students own their decisions about where they are going to school, both financially and academically.


I'd advise doing thorough research on potential schools and visititing schools. During your visit, interact with current students and possibly professors, and bring a list of questions with you. Find out as much as you can about student life on campus, academic cirriculum, and extracirricular activities. Then weigh the school's advantages and disadvantages based on what's important to you. A strong personal essay can be very advantageous at many schools, so put a lot of effort into it and make sure it reflects who you are and your pursuits. Also, apply to schools "safety schools", several schools that seem like a "good fit" (sufficiently academically challening), and then a few "reach" schools. Most importantly, don't not apply to a school you want to go to just because you're afraid of getting rejected or someone says you can't. My guidance counselor in high school said that I would never get into my best fit school because "people from here don't go to places like that." I not only got accepted but received several scholarships from the university. Know what you're capable and but don't ever let anyone cause you to doubt yourself.


Take the time to find the right school for you. I was so ready to go to college, I accepted one that I wasn't that interested in after I got rejected from my top choice. I wasn't very happy my freshman year and ended up transfering. I love the school I'm at now. It's the perfect size, atmosphere etc. for me. But I should have been here my whole four years. I should have taken a year or a semester to travel or work and find a place where I would really fit in. College can be a big change for some people, and there's no reason to rush it for someplace that's less than perfect for you. Take you time at school visits, go back a second time if you need to. Don't just settle for a school to get out of home and into college. Make sure you set yourself up for four years at your perfects school.


A lot of time and energy goes into choosing the "right college." How big is it? Where is it located? Is it a party school? Does it provide adequate financial aid? What are its rankings? These are some of the questions that parents and students consider, tossing and turning, wanting so much to make the right choice. Ultimately, a student's college experience is what he or she makes of it. Students succeed best when they are happy. My school was not my first choice. In fact, I was miserable most of my freshman year. I thought about transferring, but after talking to my advisor I realized that going to a different school was not going to make me any happier. What I needed was to find my place and to find my passion. I am now going into the second semester of my senior year, and I couldn't be more satisfied with where I ended up.


Research and preperation are the most important parts of finding the appropriate schools for a students needs. Start looking into schools about a year before starting college applications. In the months before applying the schools you have chosen should be looked at more thoroughly and probably reduced according to your personal interests. Starting applications early also helps to reduce stress and to keep your head clear. To make the most of your college experience keep focused on what you're studying and keep a close group friends.


Talk to kids at the school who dont work for admissions. And meet upperclassmen.


You need to visit the college in person, and already have an idea of what you want to major in (or something realistic for undecided), in order to pick the school right for you.

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