University of St Thomas-Houston Top Questions

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

Chloe

The Universtiy of St.Thomas has provided me a chance to grow not only as a student but as an active citizen in today's fast moving society. Technical colleges allow students to focus on classes that only apply to their major, but the Universtity of St.Thomas has allowed me to expand my interested by requiring students to take philosophy and other liberal arts classes that give students the chance to learn about things other than the basic math and sciences. My college experience has been so fulfilling for this reason. I enjoy nearly every class I take because I have been taught to think critically and to think about the big picture. I enrolled at the Universtiy of St.Thomas not knowing how wonderful it would be but have come to understand the value of an enriched mind and spirit that has been enhanced through attending this small liberal arts college. The value of my education has increased through attendence here because I am not just a number but I am an important, valued student whose future has been guided by caring and involved adviors at the University of St.Thomas.

Erin

My college experience has been extremely fulfilling. The two years during which I acquired my associate’s degree in music were probably the two most enlightening years of my college career. I learned more about myself, the way I learn, and my goals for the future in those two years than I had ever thought about. It was during that time that I settled on the museum career that I am still working towards even now. Now as I pursue my bachelor’s degree in art history, I have not only learned much more about my goals for the future and my particular range of skills, but I have made valuable connections in the museum community and precious friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Stefan

I never expected to continue my formal education beyond high school. My desire was to operate an organic produce farm. I could not imagine how a college education would help me to achieve my career goal. In my junior year of high school, I became aware of an opportunity for high school students to study agribusiness at Harrisburg Area Community College. I decided that business classes such as marketing, accounting, management and human relations would prepare me to operate a farm. My work on area farms has helped me learn to manage plants and animals, but I have not learned how to operate a business. After completing my bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness at Delaware Valley College, I will be better prepared to operate a farm. The most important skill I am acquiring while in college is to use critical thinking. Knowing how to effectively make decisions will help me in every area of my life. What I have learned while completing my degree will enable me to be a better farmer, businessman, citizen and family man.

Ashley

I was a single mom for many years with only one goal in mind was to make a better life for my child. At UST I found the Environmental Science department by accident where I then declared it as my major. During my time here I have seen the change that one person can make when it comes to our environment and making it a better place for all. I love the thought that I myself can make a difference to so many. In our efforts to make UST a green university, it has helped me to carry this into my everyday life. I have changed the way that my family and I live in efforts to become more environmentally friendly and hope to spread this to my whole community. While with this major I have done things like restore natural habitats, clean up parks, and promote recycling. I feel that it is so important to promote green sustainability and live a life that that reflects that not just for your children but for future generations. If we do not take actions now then what will be left for them considering the way that we live as a nation now.

claudia

What I have 'gotten out of my college experience' can not be easily expressed with words, but rather by the actions and changes that have happened with myself and with my choices in life. I came into the university right out of some troubling personal issues and as latin women I had alot of pressure to succeed to make my parents proud, I learn that the education I took from school and the way I brought it into my life and make impacts and be a leaders for my family was the hardest and most rewarding experience I learned during my college experience. It is without value since it is something I will not only prosper from but all the people I have in my life, the ones I will meet, and during the times of when I accomplish my personal work goals I will make a change in the world one person at a time and bring all the experiences I learned into my reality. In class I learned how to present my arguments and gain others perspectives, at home as I studied I learned and honed all my skills in International Development and Philosophy, lastly interacting with life.

Jennifer

The University of St. Thomas is just about the smallest university I have ever seen. It is even smaller than the community collages in the area. The experience I recieved at St. Thomas is unique because of the size of the school. A small univeristy means there is a very low student population. This taught me to appreciate everyone I know and to always be kind to everyone because you never know how that person might affect you in the future. I have had teaching assistants turn into classmates, and people who I thought I could live without interacting with become good friends and library buddies. St. Thomas helped me see the individual in each person and appreciate them for who they are. St. Thomas is valuable because the experience it provides gives me a great perspective of the world. It taught me that first impressions should be open to change because people change too. I learned to see value in other people which in turn helped me to see the value of myself.

Ryan

I've just began school and already I've noticed the amount of diversity and how much fun I can have just being at the school, let alone being in classes. Being at college is so valuable on a personal level especially, largely because of the amount of friends I can/will make and the diversity I get to experience with being on campus. Being a college provides a real world experience for me, something I had trouble experiencing while in high school. College has been great already, so I can only imagine how my life will continue to improve with meeting new and diverse people while also enjoying my learning experience.

Meret

For 10 years I attended the same small, private school in Atlanta. Attending the University of Georgia was quite an adjustment to say the least. At first I was absolutely miserable. I was no longer in that nurturing environment where I knew everyone and got a great deal of personal attention. Being a student at a large university has matured me. I was always self sufficient but I have learned to cope with the fact that people aren't always going to give you a great deal of attention in the real world. I learned to interact with more people than I have ever been around. Being here at UGA has also encouraged me to take the initiative to interact with professors and get the attention and help I need despite being in such large classes. Being placed in such a different environment than I was used to has helped me learn how to be more adaptable.

Claudia

Being the eldest of four siblings and the first in my family to attend college, the importance and value of being able to attain a higher education is immense. Wanting to a great role model for my younger siblings, I strive to achieve the best I can in regards to school as well as anything else I commit to. To be able to do something that thousands of others wish they could, be it because of financial burdens or any other reason, is something I have never taken for granted. From my college experience I have learned several tools that will help me for what is to come in my life. Patience; even when it may seem you will never make it to the finish line. Time-management; knowing the time to focus on accomplishing tasks in order to achieve goals. Lastly, determination, to want something so bad that stopping at even the hardest of obstacles seems foolish.

Gemma

Three years of college is not only a time of deepening my own knowledge in the field of Theology or Biology but also a time for me to grow to the fullest of my being. During those years in college, there are so many valuable experiences in which I have encountered. First of all, my relationship with God was deepen and became more personal. With the peaceful environment, I was able to spend sometime in silence to reflect what I have learned in class and appreciate my professors' effort in helping me learn. The time that I spent with others also helped me grow in both intellectual and social aspects. Second, parents, teachers and friends are the great instruments in my educational life. Their help and support enabled me to overcome difficult trials. I have to admit that with all the supports I have received from them enabled me to continue my education. Without their support, I cannot pursue my dream and be a person that I want to be. Hence, education for me is necessary and yet the support from one another is also extremely important because I cannot be fulfilled and happy when I only live to myself.

Cindy

As a high school senior, I remember feeling ready to leave home, ready to choose my own classes and ultimately, become my own person, defined by my terms. I felt all this before I even submitted applications to various schools. Knowing what I know now as a Junior in college, I would go back to my high school self and say "Get ready for all the paperwork." College is always described as easy to get into, in movies and on tv, which is far from the truth. The amount of papers that had to be signed and turned in was overwhelming and knowing that would easily have prevented stress as a freshman. Also, I would go back and tell myself to ask for all the scholarships available. I was not aware of the total cost of school including books, dorm essentials, even money for emergencies. Even If I could go back in time to prepare myself for college life, no advice can truly prepare anyone. The experience is unique to everyone. I would definitely say this piece of advice though, "Get ready and have faith. You control your future."

Victoria

I would definitely urge myself to take the SATs more than once; although I did fairly well, I could have stood to take a chance at doing better. I would also tell myself to look more into scholarship opportunities because it has been very hard for me to make ends meet as my parents cannot help me with tuition costs. I would tell myself not to be timid or shy when it comes to matters like financial aid and academic advising - the people at my college are trying to help and will do all in their power to make my college education a success. I would also stress the importance of registering extremely EARLY!! There is nothing worse than having to be at school for more than eight hours in a day if it can be avoided by having many courses available to choose from. I would tell myself to become more involved with my college community and not treat school like a job I can't wait to quit; I should take the time to make my duration on campus more enjoyable by finding interesting things with different people.

Tarajee

Get serious about what you want to do with your life. Study hard and be ready for placement test (SAT,ACT etc.) Take your time to pick a college. Get organized and be ready and open to change as well as to hard work as it will all be worth it!

Timothy

Prepare for college ahead of time. Do your homework on colleges. Get as many scholarships and financial aid as possible. Do your best to avoid after college debt. Find out about work study jobs. They may be your best option for payment. College life, as far as basic academics, is not too much harder than high school. However, classes involving your specified major of study are more difficult. Basic academics you learned all through high school and learning them again is more of a review. Your major of study is completely different material, some you may have never heard of before. Do your homework in depth. Lightly studying your materials is only going to get you low grades. You may even have to retake courses. This is not an option you want to take. Do the extra research that may seem like more of a headache. It improves your essays and courses in the long run. In all, do your best. Don't let peers influence your to make poor decisions that will hurt your grades.

Ashley

Hey, younger self. I know you think university is the end-all-be-all of your small universe, and I know you are a bit nervous about going but still excited. I think you are pretty well-prepared. But having been there, having been "you" and become "me," let me offer this advice: Never compromise, even in the face of Armageddon. This includes your study habits-- you need those to keep your GPA up. This includes your personal time-- you need that to keep your sanity. This includes your heart, my dear younger self, because you wear it on your sleeve and maybe if you didn't--if I didn't-- you wouldn't have the scars on your wrists and the wounds deep in your heart. Keep it safe, and wait for the right time to share it with someone who has earned that privilege. Younger self, you have such confidence and life and joy within you. Don't let anything compromise that. You were born to succeed and if you remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are, the path will be a lot smoother. Good luck.

Fernando

Everyone knows that the transition from high school to college can be a very tough and during your high school years you're always told that in college you must study in order to succeed. I hope that this helps to send a more clear message to students enrolling to a university. "Hey Fernando, I know you this might seem crazy but I am you, only slightly older. Anyway I came back to tell you about what is awaiting you regarding your college academic career. I know you heard countless times that you must study in order to do well in college and it is true. I know there is many things going on in life and it is hard finding the time to do all the things that you want. It will be tough to get used to but with perserverance you can achieve. The worst thing you can do is procrastinate and when your professor recommends reading ahead on your text book, do it. And one last thing, never stop applying for scholarships because you never know; there is someone out there who is willing to help you out."

Ursula

If I was a senior in high school again I wouldn't change a thing, I'am very happy with the decision and way I decided to go after high school graduation. The only part of my college experience I would change, because of the university I decided to go to, is I would've stayed at the commuunity college and received my associates before transferring to the 4 year college. I believe if I had stayed and received my associates that would've made for a way better transfer situation for me, but hey you live and you learn. There's almost more than one way to skin a cat and I'am still reaching my goals but because of the transfer situation it's taking me longer than if I had my associates before transferring.

Andrea

Looking back 6 years ago to where i was, and the things i was thinking at the time, i would say alot to myself. I would remind myself that school comes first, and that your friends will never get you through college or pay for it, or even get your homework done for you. I greatly depended on friends the first few years of college, I had to be everywhere they were. I would also remind myself that being an individual has more value than anything else. that is a big problem with young people these days, they do not know how to identify themselves as individuals and instead follow a crowd. I would also tell myself that times will be hard, and tough, but that i need to have faith in myself and in my family, in the people who matter the most to get me through all of it. The last advice i would give myself would be to open my eyes, that i need to strive to be the best i can in anything that i do, and be a lady about it, because there is so much to learn.

Emilie

Don't stress out about college decisions because no matter where you go, even if you end up at a school you thought you wouldn't like, there's going to be a group of people who share your beliefs and ideals and want you to do well. Instead of worrying about fitting in, learn who you are as a person. Go to school knowing what you believe and care about, and ready to stand up for yourself. Colleges, professors and students will respect you more for who you already are than for who you're conforming to be. Even though deciding on a major is important, it's ok and even better sometimes to be undecided. Take basic classes, do well in them, keep a high gpa, and get a feel for college life before you decide what you're going to do for the rest of your life. Make a special effort to get to know at least one professor really well each semester. Even professors with large classrooms care about students who really try. At the end of your college journey, you'll be well equipped with at least eight professors willing to stand up for you!

Elizabeth

Going back, I would immediately tell myself that the name of the university I choose is not the most important aspect of why I should choose it. I would tell myself that a college education is what you make of it and that you should look at what resources the school has to offer that best fit you rather than what BIG name the school might have. I would also tell the senior me that once you get to college, being "smart" is not everything. It takes more than intelligence to become successful in college, it takes discipline; discipline is key - to be successful, one must have a strong work ethic, drive, and determination. I would encourage myself to make friends with other students as well as the professors, and to look at a test I might do poorly on as motivation to progress rather than a failure. I would tell myself to enjoy high school because it is one of the last chapters of childhood, and though college can be fun, it will require a higher level of work. Most importantly I would communicate that college can be easy, it just depends on your attitude.

Brandon

It is ok not to know what you want to do. Do not let money hold you back. Be as open minded as possible, and do not be afraid to challenge yourself. No matter how bored you get, or how tiring it gets, or how unmotivated it can get, keep pushing. Becasue one day you will need it. Make sure you surround yourself with people who love you. Build a strong community, and don't let it slip away from you.

Teniola

Look for a school where you feel something is right about it. Don't look that at where your friends are going, look for somewhere which feels like you as a person could belong and blossom as your own individual.

Maria

I believe that one should make sure their college choices are in the areas in which he/she wishes to be. If one loves the college but not its surroundings, then he/she will not fully enjoy college life. Finding a college that fits one's culture and religion is also extremely important. If one is not open and accepting of all religions, then applying to colleges that are religiously specific would not be the best choice. However, if one is very tied to their religion, then applying to colleges that outwardly support that religion is also very important. The same specifications go for one's culture. Also, financing is very important. If the college is too expensive, it is not wise to stretch oneself too thin just to attend it. Attending a college with suffiecient and consistent financial aid will be the least stressful. Most of all, it is important to find a way to balance one's schooling and one's social life. Do not work too hard, but never let schoolwork suffer. In all, it is important to find a college that the parent and student enjoy and to never to settle because college is too important.

Jessie

Students and parents should both tour the universities being considered. If they have the opportunity to sit in a live class to view the interaction, it is highly benefical towards actually learning how the class interaction is at the university. Staying in the dorms with current students is very helpful to see how campus life is. Students and parents need to seriously look at the availability of staff and assistance at each university, many schools no longer offer direct help and instead direct students to the university websites.

hebah

Student, as well as parents, should try finding the college that best fits their future academic plans & needs. Students should definitely not slack off their freshmen year, but make the most of it, so they set a good foundation for the next few years. Students really need to remain intact and hardworking with their school work to obtain a good gpa and graduate successfully. They need to try their best not to get distracted by other social activites that happen during a students college life.

Matthew

Make sure your kids are going to school for the right reasons, because too many people get caught up in parties or being away from home for the first time, and they pay for it, by failing out of college and wasteing their money....

Courtney

I would tell them to choose a school that meets your academic needs. Find out what most interests you and then find out which school offers the best program. Make sure to visit the school during the school year and pay attention to the students walking around. Analyze if these students looks like you or someone you'd want to be friends with. Attend a lecture if possible. Find out if large classes will suit your needs or do you need small classes in order to succeed (small classes take attendance).

jida

It's a like a tailored suit. You have to draw a design before you can make it. You have to know what you want from the university first then you can pick the university. Don't attend a school because your friends are going there. I picked a school that was half way across the world away from my family, because I knew this was a key stepping stone for my future. I am glad I made this decision the environment suited me well and I made the most out of my experience at St. Thomas. Build a relationship with your professors that makes a huge difference.There is a time for work and play. This is definately true with St.Thomas althought I spent most of my time studying I still had time to work and have an active social life. Time management is the key. Attend your classes when you are suppose to, use your breaks wisely like doing some homework, but definately take time away from studying to be active with friends organizations etc. Once you find a balance in your life it's a piece of cake.

Itziar

Look for a school close to home so you can keep and eye on your child. Make sure it is somewhere that your child feels comfortable attending.

Michelle

Students, find a college that you see yourself in. Size should not matter. Fitting in to a univerity means adjusting. You cannot expect to find a college that has your name all over it. College is an opportunity to explore yourself, wants and needs. Do not let others influence you in a wrong way . Do not be afraid to be who you are. College is a place to challenge yourself academically and socially. Become friends with people who are driven and passionate as you are.

Miriam

I would tell all parents that they need to actively save money for their childrens' education because no matter what school that children/those children go to, it will cost a great deal of money. For students and parents: constantly set aside money in a bank account that you cannot withdraw money from while you/your child is in elementary school, jr high, high school, or homeschooled. Look for good interest rates on certiicate deposits, spend your money wisely, and stay out out of credit card debt. Do not be careless and allow your children to take on the financial burden because when he or she is in school, the last thing he or she wants to think about is money problems. It is added stress to the high demands of receiving a good quality education. Listen to your children and let them decide which college they want to attend. If you cannot afford for your children to go to their dream school, compromise with them and do not be afraid to discuss a plan that they can follow that could eventually lead to them going to their dream school. Your children come first, SO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED!

Ann

St. Thomas is a great liberal arts school in the middle of Houston, but with a small town friendliness.

Rubi

Look for what you are most comfortable with. If you have always gone to a small school and like having one on one with teachers, look for smaller universities. Remember, just because the school is small does not mean it is not a Prestigious University. If you like bigger schools and seem to work well in that evironment then go for a big school. It is difficult to adjust to any new school, but being thrown into something completely different than what you are used to is not always a great idea. Speak with counselors, talk to current students as well as teachers, visit the campus! Pay attention to the surrounding areas as well. School is what you make of it, but finding a school you like that provides you with great opportunities is the key to having a successful and pleasurable college experience.

Rosalba

check out the campus before putting so much money into a school!

Sarah

Find a place that will meet your needs both educationally and socially

jennie

I believe the most important thing to consider as a new college student is making sure this is what you want to do. Also making sure that this is the time for you to be attending college. Did you consider taking a break between high school and college or even consider a community college. It is also good to know your own reasonings as to why you are going to college and even the actual college your wanting to attend. Yes you want to make the most of your college years but there is a way that you can be responsible and also end up graduating. I had a rough go my first time at it, and I regret my poor decision making. However, I realized it wasnt my time, and now it is and I am amazed at how much I put into it and the grades that have come from it. Just make sure you are doing it for you and know why you are doing it..

Shenel

Take tours. Talk to students and go visit the campus on your own.

James

Do not be afraid. Students, fear will restrain you from your full potential and your happiness. Parents, fear will withold your students if they constantly think of how sad you might be, they will not concentrate on why they are there, instead they will think about who is not there with them. So far, in my freshman year, I have made many extremely stupid mistakes; I have missed exams because I overslept, locked myself out of my room countless times, even eaten extremely spoiled food on a dare. But, in the course of these, I have truly learned the meaning behind, "the old college try." In learning this, I see that in my college education, both inside and outside the classroom, I have learned that as people, times, and life constantly change, I am also capable of adapting at the same pace: managing somehow to live in the moment, while also planning for my future. This may sound unrealistic, but when you find yourself acting as a true adult, do not be surprised or scared. You will have gone past your fears, and into your future, one that is promising, hopeful and unrestrained; the future is what should be scared.