University of Rochester Top Questions

What should every freshman at University of Rochester 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{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} 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.