University of Southern Mississippi Top Questions

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

Lakeland

If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior, I would tell myself to treasure the moments with my family and friends. Try to spend every moment you can with them. It is hard leaving home for the first time and moving eight hours from anyone you know, but it is possible and you will meet new people who you will call your best friends, and you will make a little family who loves you as much as your blood family does. I would also tell myself to apply for every scholarship I can. I would tell myself to write "open when" letters to my sisters and my parents that they can read when they miss me. Jobs are important and getting one the summer between graduation and moving day will help you save up some extra cash for when you want to go get Taco Bell at 2:45 in the morning. The most important advice I would give myself though is to follow your dreams. Chase after them with your entire soul, catch them ,and discover everything the future has to offer your beautiful mind.

Megan

My advice to myself would have been to put in that extra effort to get higher grades in order to be able to get on scholarship and be apart of the Honors College on campus. Also I would have told myself to develop stronger study habits because even thought I didn't really need to use them while in high school, in college they are a must and it is very benefical when that habit is already in place.

Dominique

I would say to myself, get the best grades as possible while in high school, take the ACT test and score a great score, and stay in my books and stay focus. I would also, try to take classes at a community college while attending high shool that way I would have at least some credited classes out the way when I started college. Being what I know now I would try to work while in school, save enough money to pay for school that way I wouldn't have so many student loans to take out. Over the course of my years going to college I have changed my major three times. If i was in high school looking towards my future I would have found a major that I truley loved and stuck to it because i have lost a lot of credit classes from changing my major. I can say I have accomplished some of my goals but if I was to go back I would have done all these things to correct my mistakes.

Mason

My big advice would be use your time wisely. That being from sleep, studying, or even extra activities. That is the one thing you can't get back. It's cool to have fun, but you have to get it in your head that you are in the prime time of becoming an adult and every action you take from these day forward are going to be watched. Don't depend on anybody because at the end of the day people are going to go there own opposite way and do their own thing and you won't have nothing to fall back on. Take advantage of every opportunity you get no matter how big or small, because looking back at it, it was a reason it was presented to you

Virginia

Going back to my high school self, there are a few major things I would stress her to do. One being, volunteer more. Volunteering can help you with scholarships as well as help your well-being, but most importantly it gives back to your community. Another peice of advice would be to be kind to everyone and anyone because you never know what is going on in their life and your sincerity could save them more than you know. I would also let myself know that their are going to be times when you want to give up, but there are so many great things ahead that you DO NOT want to miss out on. The final piece of advice would be to be responsible and manage your time. It is better to have your stuff done than to wait until the last minute and pull an all nighter, which thankfully I have not had to do!

Jennifer

The funny thing about this question is that I seem to answer it everyday in my head. I am in my senior year, and I have already decided to start college in the summer so I can get on the list for Nursing school. The first thing that I would tell myself is to stop and think. Is this really what you want to do and will giving up the summer actually benefit you in the long run? The answer would be no. I would tell myself to start college in the fall without a major and that nursing school is what your mom and your aunt want but not you. Do not waste your time and money because in the end you will quit and wait 17 years to return. Now, you know that you love the medical field but think about what you can do that does not require you to do patient care. That is right there are other options that do not require patient care! So former younger self take the summer off, have fun, and think about your alternatives to nursing school. Oh, you found one, Public Health Administrion. It is only 17 years later.

Ellen

Don't be afraid to fail. Blow your nose, wipe your ass and move on with your life.

Tavin

I have learned a lot from the time that I was a high school senior through serendipitous mistakes and hard fought success. If I could go back in time and give advice to myself, it would be an oratorical speech that would challenge great speakers like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. I believe that anyone would deliver a helpful and profound speech to themselves, in hopes of improving their future. Furthermore, I believe that I would advise myself on the same things anyone else would about the future obstacles, laughable mistakes, and personal victories that are made when transitioning into college. After giving my advice, there would be six key statements that i'd want the goofy high school kid to receive: 1) Tough times don’t last but tough people do. 2) Believe in yourself and stay encouraged. 3) Apply for more scholarships (CampusDiscovery.com). 4) Don’t change your major. 5) Volunteering is fun. 6) 09/04/2012 at 12 p.m. duck! (Joke on myself). In conclusion, traveling to the past to give myself advice about college would be very helpful but the inability is also what makes life fun and builds character.

Lea

If I could go back and talk to myself-without creating a major paradox-I would tell myself to try harder, that it gets better. Push it to the limit so you/I won't look back with so much regret and say, "I wish I had done that," or "I wish I had made more time for this. It could have been so much better."

Ian

Do ;your best during your high school years, get the best GPA you can and join clubs. What you do during high school does matter!!

Kelsi

You’re going to have to put more effort into studying, so start now – actually, you should’ve started already. When class is over each day, go over what you learned; DON’T wait until the night before. Also, waking up for an 8 o’clock class is so much harder in college than it was in high school so go to bed earlier. Make time to go to the gym as often as you can. Not only will the endorphins make you happier, but you’ll be able to avoid the Freshman Fifteen. Generic brand food all the way -- you cannot afford the stuff that Mom buys. You’re now a poor college student, so appreciate the free meals every club's interest meeting has to offer – attend them all. You might even find one you like which is great because you need to get involved. Make friends with your classmates, it’ll behoove you in the end. They’re only strangers if you let them be. Like everything in life, college is going to be what you make it so enjoy it while it lasts. You can’t get these years back.

Amanda

If I had the chance to give advice to my college self, I would say to get a job. The phrase 'broke college student' is now a reality that I never thought I would experience. Not earning money in high school and not having a job in college has restricted me greatly. I cannot buy my family Christmas gifts, I have to rely on my parents for sorority dues, and I cannot buy my own clothes or groceries. Being on my own for a semester has made me want to do the tasks I previously listed, but I have no money to do so. Even though I want to grow up and start relying less on my parents, I cannotm and I still have the guilt of having them pay for all the activities I do and even my college tuition. If I had gotten a job in high school, I would feel more responsible and more like a college student. Also, I would be able to give a little back to my parent for all they have done for me.

William

The biggest mistake I have made so far in my life is not continuing my education right after high school. I had a good paying "job" and thought, "Who needs to go to college, I can't afford it anyway." Well a year later I was with out a "job" and had no back up plans in place. So on to another "job" I went, this one not so good paying. Seven years and to many "jobs" later I have dicided to further my education. Please listen to your teachers and counelers. Stay on track to get a furthered education, becuase starting this far past high school has been very tough. Just getting back in the swing of homework is hard.

LaToursha

Despite all obstacles that may have happened, never give up. Always help others while on your journey to prosperity.

Pequetta

I would tell the old me to work harder and apply for as many scholarships as possible. This is because the cost to attend universities is extremely expensive and everyone could use extra asistance. I would make myself awre of all the different outcomes of me not doing what I needed to do in classes to remain successful in my studies as well.

Harmony

I would tell myself: do not base your life decisions on what other people think or want you to do. Do not put your happiness on the backburner in order to earn the approval of others. Do not hate yourself because you do not know who you are yet; you're young! You're only seventeen years old and dealing with a lot of things. Don’t listen to the people who tell you that you “have to know yourself.” Pursue what you love, even if it in the future it will not make you a thousand times richer. Do not hate yourself because you make mistakes. Everyone does, even if they try to hide them from others. There is nothing “wrong” with you because you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet. It’s okay to be scared of growing up and going to college. It’s okay to ask for help; please don’t try to hold all of your problems inside of you. Take care of yourself and love yourself the best that you can. You’ll be all right, I promise. Just keep breathing. Keep trying. Keep living.

Hope

If I knew what I know now, I would not have chosen to attend this college. Before choosing this college, I had other scholarships to schools that I could have gone to, but I did not choose one of those. I think I would had been better off going to an alternate college, not just becasue of the money, but I do not fit in at all.

Chelsee

You can do it. Don't be scared! I know college seems terrifying, but as long as you study (yes, you have to study now!) and work hard, it's going to be simple. Take it one day at a time. There's no more listening in class and acing the tests, you have to read and do stuff outside of class. But it's so much better than high school - there's no cliques, there's no snarky people picking on you. These people are (mostly) mature, and they want you to succeed. There's tutorial centers, there's people everywhere wanting to help you, you can't fail if you really want it. Your friends are going to be so much better, too, because they're going to be in the same field as you. It's not that hard if you apply yourself. Apply for scholarships. Apply for as many colleges as you want! Don't be scared and think college is for other people or think you won't get scholarships or into college because you're not good enough. Believe me, there's idiots that get in! You're one of the good ones. Go.

raequel

o wow i would tell myself to study study study. that the most important thing in college, yes it okay to have a soical life to but remember that im here for an education first. college is wat different from high school no one ill be looking over your shoulder making sure your work is done it is your responsibity time mangment is the key.

Keri

Lynyrd Skynyrd produced a song many years ago called "Simple Man". What does this particular song have to do with anything? "Simple Man" has a line in the first verse that reads, "Oh, take your time... Don't live too fast". I would certainly go back and tell my hardheaded seventeen-year-old self to unquestionably take in those words. We never listen to our elders that tell us that life passes by quickly; I know I never did. I thought they did not know what they were talking about, and time passes by so slow. I wanted to grow up so fast, finish high school, speed through college, and be an adult. Now all I want to do is get those high school years back and enjoy every single day like it was my last. My senior year I wanted to get out of high school as fast as possible because I thought life became easier as approaching adulthood; unfortunately, I was very wrong. Life only happens once, and it does pass by very quickly and only gets harder. I would have no doubt told myself, "Take your time, and do not live too fast."

tareema

If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior the advice I would give myself is that high school are mostly your best years in life. There are times when you want to have fun but as well as times when you have to buckle down and do what you have to do. Make yourself for extracurricular activities and make sure your gpa gets to its highest point. There are very different challenges in college and you need to be ready for it. College is when you realize what life is like on your own but in the other hand you have people who can help you in different ways. Make sure you apply for alot of scholarships belive me college is not cheap at all. It may be hard trying to balance college life , party life , friends and family on a pedestal but it will be all worth it once your on that stage on graduation day with your family in the crowd screaming your name because you did it remember that. Your teachers, family or friends didnt do it but you achieved your goal and ready to move forward with life.

Robin

Do not worry about money, about grades, or about making friends. Once you are in college those things figure themselves out. There will be many ways to work out financial issues and the school work will fall into place. There are tons of people that are going through the same things as you are about to be. Freshman with no friends or family close by are all around you. Friends will come easily if you just relax and be yourself. Most importantly, you are more prepared for college than you think. Up until now teachers told you the worst case senarios to scare you into preparing yourself. Sure, you will miss your parents and old friends, but the new experiences heading your way are worth it. Your new found freedom will be a great experience and help you to grow into a better person. So overall, dont stress about the little things, be yourself, and live it up! College is meant to be the greatest time of your life!

Nitayuna

I would really encourage myself to actually learn the material instead of trying to remember it. It's a big difference. I would also say that in high school you played around but in college you have a lot on your hand and you have to know how to mange it. You might want to party, but dont wake up to go to class, which is not a good thing. Always go to class and do the best you can do. I would also advise myself to make a lot of friends and get into study groups. I would make sure that i would apply for scholarships all year around, cause thats when you need money the most. In college you are going to want to do this and that, but you are not able to because of financial problems. God, family, and Education , nothing else matters. The Hardest job is the Best job. Working hard for what you want and making everybody proud is the best feeling anybody can have. Love yourself and dont try to be nobody else.. Only God can judge you and thats the only one that matter.

Victoria

I would have told myself to try to perfom better academic wise. I would also tell myself to go to school more to learn what they were teaching at the time.

Matthew

If I could go back in time to when I was a high school senior I would tell myself to stay focused and stay on the right path so that I would not end up failing classes or fall behind. I would also tell myself that if you have a chance to get out of your hometown, then do it, because there are endless possibilities and opportunities for you, just open your mind about things. I would also tell myself to go out and meet new people and stop living in the past because if you live your life looking through the rearview you just might crash in the future. Also that you need to break out of your old life so you can figure out who you are, go out and be who you want to be and do not be held back by labels that people place on you because no matter what people say they are not the person living your life. Do not let any more opportunities pass you by, even if it seems like nothing, chase it.

Lanette

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to enjoy the summer before going to college. I did not realize that once I started college, I would be occupied for almost five years. I would have also told myself to stop stressing. College will take care of itself. I did not need to stress about how school would be. I needed to just enjoy life and embrace the newness of college life.

Jalecia

There are many thing I would say if I could go back to high school an advise myself. I would definitely take high school more seriously and apply for many more scholarship than I did. Also I would be more active on different committees such as, Student Government Association and the Year Book Staff. If I would have been on either of those committees I would have skills in that area and I could incorporate them in my college life. However, my most important message would be take advantage of every opportunity, because the credentials that you learn will determine your future.

Brian

Do it right the first time. Finish school the first go-around. Studying, not partying is the true path to success. Don't waste years chasing silly ideas thinking somehow it will be ok. It won't. Retirement comes up fast, and then it is too late. Living on Social Security isn't a happy retirement, it is a poor way to spend the last years of your life.

Leopoldo

Concentrate on your studies. Sports is a long shot and most people do not make a career out of it. Obtain the highest GPA possible and aim for the stars. Everything is possible and the world is open to you.

Ellen

The biggest advice I would give myself is to be more focused on my future and less on people or friends. I think that so many students have too much fun and end up failing, getting behind in classes, or drop out because of choices made. College is to gain independence and have fun. However, there is such a thing as too much fun. When I began to buckle down and focus, I started to excel receiving scholarships, opportunities for jobs, and finishing college with a brighter future. Every student attends college with many different goals, ideas, and opportunities. However, it is what we do with those choices that makes us who we are.

Crystal

Listen high school self, college is harder than you think! Stop focusing so much on high school relationships and popularity. Do not alter your schedule in order to be in classes with your friends. Take the Honors and AP classes instead of settling for a remedial schedule. You need to start applying for scholarships now. Insead of going out and parting so much, study harder so you can pull up your GPA and those ACT scores. Oh yeah, give your english teacher a big hug; paying attention in her class actually pays off!

William

My advice to my high school self would be several things. First, God has a plan for your life and he is in control. Don't try to do everything your way, trust in him and he will guide you. Next, your friends and family will always be there for you, when you are down and life is beating you up turn to them and they can help guide you. Being yourself is the best thing you can be. You care for everyone around you and that is what makes you, you. Anyone that tells you that there is something wrong with that, they are wrong. Many people will try to drag you down with them but your faith, friends, family and love will be your guiding light. Finally, one day you will have a child and you will love that child with all of your heart. Set an example for her now and show her that love and determination will get you everything you will ever need. Money really doesn't buy happiness but true love is the greatest treasure in the world.

Saydi

If I could back in time as a high school senior, I would have firmly agreed to attend University of Southern Mississippi in the Fall of 2007. This is a wonderful school that is full of spirit and caring professors. I would first advise myself to choose a roommate that likes to study at least part of the week. That has been my number 1 pet peive, roommates are crazy. I enjoy attending school and if I could go back in time, I would advise myself of saving money for rainy days. There are numerous shopping centers and restaurants to enjoy in the area. The last thing that I would advise myself of would be to worry about dating after college, it takes up too much of your time needed for homework. Money is a big issue and apartment life is not cheap so you must seek scholarship money like I am still doing in my senior year. Please pick me as your winner because I worked very hard to get where I am and have a bright future due to my college experience here at USM- GO Eagles Thanks Saydi

Dana

Thinking about it now, I would have told myself to wait a couple of years before attempting college. I attended a community college as soon as I graduated from a college-prep high school, and I simply was not ready for college life. My head was not focused on schooling, even though I had been preparing for college during my whole high school career. From the time I was a freshman in high school to my junior year, I maintained a 4.0, participated in many clubs, extracurriculars, and volunteer work. Then I lost my steam sometime during my senior year and got caught up in the freedom of being an "adult." I dropped out of college after one semester and tried to figure out what to do. Joining the army was what I decided to do. Since then, I have returned to school and am determined to graduate as a registered nurse. However, I want to note that I do not regret going to school the first time or stumbling through my first couple years of adulthood. I believe everything happens for a reason, that each life event a stepping stone to a fuller development of self.

Kelli

In the little time that I have been in college, I have learned that I can be my own person. I do not need my parents' approval about everything that I do, and I do not need their opinions on every decision that I make. I have also learned that I can do anything that I put my mind to, with or without my friends' and family's encouragement.

Samantha

I have gotten a lot out of my college experience. I have learned many new things, and made many new friends throughout my two years of college. It has been a valuable experience to me because I was always so shy in high school, and being in college has helped me come out of my shell and allowed me to open up, and it has also challenged my brain to help me learn and experience new things on the educational level.

Regina

I've taken many things so far from my college experience. The one thing that I have valued the most is time management. Before college I was always rushing to get places and get things done. I wasn't making enough time available to actually accomplish things I had set out to accomplish. I've have learned to plan enough time to prepare for future tasks or assignments, which helps me to focus on what I'm trying to do. This has also helped me be more organized in my day to day life and helps relieve some of the stress of being a student, and a working mother. Another thing I've valued from attending college is meeting new people and new personalities. I've learned to understand other people's cultures and life experiences. I then try to learn from them and possibly apply what they've learned to my own life. I'm glad I've been able to learn valuable things so far in my college experience and look forward to learning more.

Hayley

I am grateful for every experience that I have gotten so far at The University of Southern Mississippi. This institution has allowed me to meet people from different backgrounds, other countries and people who have different views and opinions on life. Being from the same hometown where my University is located may not sound exciting but my college experience here is completely different from the experience of growing up in this city. In simply two years I have had countless experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life. From finding the right field of study for me to meeting fellow students who are interested in the same things I am and in other things has been wonderful. I couldn't have asked for more from my school (except maybe studying abroad, which I plan to do in the next two years since our school has amazing study abroad opportunities!)

Heidi

So far, I have received my Associate's Degree in Health Information Management/Medical Billing and Coding. I have learned a lot, but am pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Health Information Systems/Management. I have enjoyed my college classes and am ready to be in the workforce, but believe that I would better serve my community with a Bachelor's Degree instead of just my Associate's Degree. I believe that it is valuable to attend because of the knowledge and help that I can share with my surrounding community. I believe that a well educated person, like myself, could help our small community and everybody would prosper from having a well run County Hospital.

Lesley

If I had to choose one thing important that I received from my college experience that would have to be the knowledge of "myself." College was a time that I focused on who I was and who I wanted to become. This was a time that I answered questions such as: "Do I have the same religous views as my family?" "Am I really conservative or do I just say that I am because growing up in this area everyone was?" College was when I learned to take care of myself without the safety net of my family to help me. My degree was in music and though I may not have a career in music going to college gave me skills that I could have received no where else. I learned to communicate with people and be able to solve differences not through arguements, but through conversation. This was a time of "trial and error" where I was in a safe enough environment that if I failed then it was okay. That is how we discover who we really are; through "trial and error" and going to a school like this one allowed me to do just that.

Jordan

I've learned that there are diferent varieites of people and opinions at college. i've gained a new outlook on people and the world community as a whole. I've learned the importance of team work from working in the clubs and how unified a campus is when people work together. I've learned a great deal about English, Algebra, Humanities and more college classes that will help advance me in my future.

Courtney

Throughout my college experience, I have learned a lot about the career I would like to obtain in the future and a lot about myself. These past two and a half years at USM has been the best experience of my life because I have been introduced to a whole new lifestyle. I have met some of my best friends here, and I have grown as a person. USM has been valuable to attend because it has helped me decide that I would like a career in the medical field as a nurse practitioner, and the school has been very helpful by guiding me towards achieving my academic goals.

Kimberly

I have obtained a great job and I am on the rise. Without my degree, I would not be where I am today.

Schonda

Reurning to school has given me the opportunity to learn and update my skills as a Graphic Designer all the while making new friendships, learn new technology and working closely with professional teachers. I enjoy the campus life very much as far as the administrative staff goes there is plenty of interaction with them we can meet with our advisors at any time and it is a comfortable atmosphere in each of the classes I have attended. Getting around it easy as our campus is only 5 miles wide and all of the studios and classrooms are located near each one of our classes. Dining on campus is great there is a great selection of foods to choose from , the library and tutorial areas enhance with our studies, the student to student assistance is more comfortable when they ( the tutor) can relate and help. We have an outdoor biology lab with wonderful plants. Overseas studies had to be one of my favorite offerings at this school, the chance to studie aborad and earn credits, I can't wait to go. Mosty I love the opportunity to have an actual art show and work on my senior project excites me.

Lynsey

I value the privelage to attend college because at the beginning of the year I was almost unable to. My dad did everything he could to get me into school and i thank him so much for it. Although i am at a school that does not have my program, I am thankful I am attending. I would really like to save up some money to attend Loyola University in Chicago as it is one of four schools in Illinois that have my program.

Kasey

I have gotten valuble life skills while attending college. It has taught me great time management and how to prioritize. Also, with being in my school's nursing program, I have been able to learn actual skills that i will be using in the future. I have been able to make time for school, while also having time for family and work. I have been able to complete task in a timely matter and have learned how not to procrastinate like I have in highschool. I have also learned how to prioritize my life. I know that school is the most important factor in my life today so majority of my time is spent studying and doing homework. It has really opened my eyes to what i find is important and what i feel can be done later. With all these skills I have learned while attending college, it had made my college experience better and more fun. It has also made me into a more responsible and orginized person.

Jennifer

I have discovered that I have several career path options that I could find fulfilling in life. It has been valuable for me to attend because it has helped me figure out what I want to do with my life. I discovered that I can use my degree in psychology to go to medical school so that I can help others throughout the world. Without this experience, I would probably still be fairly clueless about what career path I want to take. Now, I have a plan for my future that can allow me to improve the lives of others.

Chantelle

Obstacles have stood in the way of my education for three years now, and I'm finally ready to take the plunge. I'm currently enrolled at Waubonsee Community College and taking a photography course. When I graduated high school in 2007, I went straight to Western Illinois University. I didn't realize how important it was to actually go to class every day because I was so caught up in the college lifestyle that I didn't see my mistake happening. Before I knew it, my grades were at a point of no return because of my attendance, and I was failing. I regret daily my decision to drop out because of this mistake, and I'm trying my hardest to fix this mistake. I've already been re-accepted and am working very hard to be able to pay for my education myself. Any financial help, since that's now what is holding me back, would be greatly appreciated. Not only would it help me return to my dream school, at WIU, but it would also help me in succeeding and furthering my education, while helping me start a life in a career that I love.

Shelby

Becoming a part of the college community has opened my eyes to the colorful world around me. Coming from a small town, Hattiesburg is a huge change for me. A change that was much needed if I ever plan to succeed, though. I never realized how completely different everyone really is. I meet someone new and unique every day I spend here. I have met so many wonderful people and have learned more in my first semester than I ever dreamed. I am enjoying the classes and professors to the fullest and am completely content with my decision to attend The University of Southern Mississippi!

Cindy

It has opened the door to endless career opportunities. I graduated at the end of July 2010 and before completing my degree, I had a job waiting on me. My career counselor was awesome. She supervised me through everything.

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