University of Utah Top Questions

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

Karsen

I would tell my self to get ready. College is fun but hard. I would make sure to let myself know that it is much more than high school and homework really matters. Check out the schedule and give myself allocated time to get from class to class while eating and having enough sleep time. Early classes are hard to get to so try to make your schedule later in the day. Evening classes make you tired and might be harder. Rate professors online and check to see if you might like their teaching styles. Dont declare a major untill you are sure thats what you want to do because that is the rest of your life.

David

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice as a high school senior I would remind myself to enjoy the things life has to offer. I would tell myself to take full advantage of all the opportunities that high school has to offer and I would also put myself starting on the track I am on now. That way I could jump right into Political Science and not spend the first part of my college experience wondering what to do. I would also tell myself to continue with the friends I have. They will be more of a support than I will ever know and I will be very greatful for their friendship, especially for the first year or transitioning phase of college. I would tell myself to continue playing football, it will pay off greatly in the end. All in all though I would tell myself to continue to stay focused on school, study hard and keep your standards in all things. Life is great, school is great, and you are very blessed.

Todd

The first thing you should know about college is that it is a challenge. Academically, it is much more difficult than high school and you'll have to dedicate yourself if you want to succeed. It is a competitive place where you're expected to give and be your best. That being said, just make sure to enjoy every moment. You'll discover yourself in college and get to know yourself better than ever. You'll have the opportunity to find what it is you really love to do. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things without fear. The best thing about attending college is that you can find your true passions and also be in an ideal position to cultivate those passions all in one place. This will be a wonderful time of your life, so be sure to not waste one minute - both academically and socially.

Jacim

The advices I'll give myself will be: Focus on your studies, forget about everything and everyone(later on they wont help you with anyhting). Listen to your parents, and your school teachers; they are the ones that are reallly going to help you. Besides they already went trough all you are going trough and they are profecionals already; then know what ther are talking about. Try to set goals on your mind and try to achive them all. Dont let anything or anyone hold you back. Hanging out with your friends is not going to help you on your future; so if you got to study for a test or do a homework and someone ask you to hang out; just tell them you have school stuff to do. Remember that at the of the cave theres a light. You might think this is not worth it or something like that but when you finish with your studies and have your profecional carier and have the stuff you want and you can support your family; then theres when you are going to say; It was woth it all that work!

Britny

The advice that I would give myself is to relax and understand that you can get all the help you need to succeed in any class. This would have helped me as I started my first semester of college that was wasted worrying and fidgeting instead of having fun learning from the lectures.

Jake

I would tell myself to be very studious and to prepare for lectures even before they occur. I would tell myself to never procrastinate till the last minute with homework, quizzes, or with tests. I would tell myself to take school seriously and to look for the fun parts of learning. I would tell myself to listen to and care about what teachers are saying. I would tell myself to participate when I got into the classes that I would be taking. I would tell myself that it is great to ask questions and that it is not a form of weakness. I would tell myself to put in at least three hours of study for each hour that you are in class to have success. I would advise going to bed early, eating healthier, and getting plenty of exercise. I would advise taking notes and using good study techniques such as flashcards, highlighting, and using a study partner to ask me questions. I would advise myself to find out what I wanted to be for the rest of my life and have a strong passion for that career and to learn everything I could about it.

Kimberly

Looking back, some would say to themselves, "raise your GPA" or "go to class" but, not me. Although as a senior I took my share of AP, concurrent and honors cources, I didn't quite think much more of them than the other regular high school classes that I was taking. I had a good GPA and completed my homewoerk assignments in due time and good quality although i never really took the time to study and really understand the material the way that it is required in college in order to succeed and to simply pass an exam. The advice that I would give myself as a high school senior is to prepare and take time apart from school and class to understand and study the material for each subject and class. It is simply not enough to show up to class everyday and write down how many ever pages of notes to pass a class in college. Work should be done outside of class and notes and textsbooks should be studied to have a positive experience in college. The way to make a pleasant experience is by setting goals and being able to reach them.

Diana

Try to find out what you are interested in ahead of time so you can get into your major right off the back. Get involved in what you love not what others want you to do. Be actively involved in the community to find out what you love to do. Learn how to use your time wisely. Talk to your professors and ask for help when you need it. Don't be afraid to ask for help from anyone. Talk to your counselors and know what your getting yourself into, whether it be the major or your future career. Be positive and keep a smile on your face.

Andrew

I am a freshman in college, and I just completed my first semester pursuing a degree as a mechanical engineer. If I could go back and talk to myself about college and what to expect, I would say that college is a lot of fun, but don?t have too much fun. I would tell myself that I needed to really buckle down and study for the tests and finals so that they weren?t so hard. Staying on top of everything that is due and not procrastinating till the last minute will really help, because of all the times I stayed up late finishing an assignment. I can remember one assignment in particular that I worked on a week before it was due and I ran out of time and had to throw it together at the last minute. If I hadn?t waited so long on that project I could have really gotten a better score. The friends and hanging out will come in time you just have to focus on school work a little more. Most importantly have fun, these next few years will get you set for life.

Mindy

College is not something to fear. Look at it as a fun challenge that YOU WILL conquer! YOU WILL OWN all that knowledge you work so hard for! The whole college experience is something to be enjoyed and to be taken advantage of. College kids don't become completely independent adults over night. It takes years to learn from mistakes, and to step by step gain independence. Many feel it is necessary to rush into full-on adulthood responsibilities before they are ready, making adjustments much more difficult than they could have been. Why rush if you don't have to?! With time, you will ease into it with your own flair. No need to worry about what every one else thinks. As long as you put forth your best work ethic in school, work, your talents, in getting scholarships, etc... you will have the satisfaction of being able to achieve whatever you desire with honor.

Y.

Based on what I know now as a college student, I would tell myself to save a little more money and apply for scholarships. There are many scholarships available for freshmen, there are not as many available for juniors. I would also tell myself to take the AP classes and tests. They are similar to those in college and therefore, good practice. The AP classes also count for college credit, which decreases the number of credits and classes remaining to earn a Bachelor's degree. I would tell myself that anything is possible if you are determined to do it. The effort you put into your education is directly related to your overall college experience. A small effort will result in average grades, but a little more effort and you can graduate with Honors. Work hard, know your options, and believe in yourself. You can do this. Start now to earn the future that you deserve. Anything is possible, if you really want it.

Cameron

To work a little harder to receive a higher graduating GPA so more scholarships would be available. Also, to participate in more extracurricular activities, and do more volunteer work for the same reason. If I would have known, being so average, that it was going to be this hard to find scholarships, these are the things I would tell myself.

Zach

If I could go back in time as a High School Senior I would have told myself to start applying for scholarships to pay for school because college is pretty expensive. I also would have told my self to start studying more and take more rigirous classes to prepare for college, and to actually take time to study for exams and just study study study. I would have told myself to play sports as many as I could, because playing sports in college would have been way fun and would be a good experience. Some more advise I would have told my high school senior self would be to think long and hard about whether to go to a community college for my first two years and then a university. I think you would benifit better with going to a community college or small college for your first two years and then attend a university.

Dwight

I would advise myself to consider that the University of Utah requires college transcripts regardless of student status if you have been to another college, even as part of high school. As a result I would be more apt to meet the deadline at the beginning of February for scholarships and not have to worry as much as I am now about loans. Lastly I would also tell myself that you are supposed to have fun in this environment as well and to explore the city more while staying cautious of the smog...

Michelle

I would tell myself that it's ok not to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life. Take the time to try a lot of different areas and find out what they are about and what they have to offer. Don't be afraid to look into areas of study that might scare you because their are a lot of unknowns and once you have a better understanding of that field you might find that it's something you are interested in. Keep your options open.

Stephanie

Maybe the most important advice I've been given that I wish I'd known earlier was not to let school get in the way of my education. Going off of a number of semesters and numerous classes with a vast variety of professors, I've learned for myself that our professors aren't infallible oracles who are dogmatically right about whatever they teach. Professors are just as much people as us students are (granted with usually much more expertise), and are going to give us biased information. Even in the more objective disciplines like the sciences will different professors come to different conclusions based off of how they interpret the research they come across. A student always has to be proactive in the learning process and always take in what's being presented with a grain of salt, especially depending on how subjective the . Actively think about what information is being presented, and if it doesn't make sense, take the time to figure out why, and adjust accordingly. Don't use your tuition money to memorize lectures so you can simply make a good grade - make your education make sense for you.

Kim

I would have told myself not to worry so much about school. I would have spent some more time exploring options. I would have taken more classes that interested me along with the required classes so that I could have really expanded my horizon. You truely don't know how much there is to learn in the world until you decide to open up yourself to experience what is out there. I can't imagine not going to school and learning. It has been the most rewarding thing (besides my children) in my life.

Dejan

Don' delay your studying, work hard every second because it will pay off in the long run. It is a long road ahead but you are able to do it and overcome every obstacle.

Brittanee

College is a release from counting on your parents as much as you always have, and its exillerating. Even after being in school for 12 years already, you learn how to balance your time better. You realize that life really does cost money, and you have to work for it. It's such an opportunity to get involved and meet new people and learn things from them as well as from your classes. The relationships I've built and continue to build are the part that I'm going to walk away with in the end and that expensive decision to go to college will have been worth it. Homework. Builds. Up. You may have been able to procrastinate in highschool, but proffesors aren't there to hold your hand, so YOU have to be the one to get your work done on time. Go to study groups! The thing I'd want to know the most, is that these are the best days of our lives. Take advantage of them.

Chris

Start applying for scholarships ASAP. Also look into fafsa and student loans. The aid the school offers usually has a higher interest. Also when you are considering what you want to major, interview individuals who you know and already have that degree and are using it. Another major plus to do is start studying your classes as soon as you get the book so that you can be ahead of the class. You can find out what the teacher will be teaching by just calling the department.

Chris

That you need to be able to go with out sleep for days. When you first start college it isn't all about a new life and get to party and live it up. You will have extremly challenging classes that require alot of time and attention. Along with that you need to find a place to study ASAP and join study groups because they will MAJORLY help you excell in the class. It is extremely helpful if you meet with the teacher the first week of class to go over the topics that the class will cover, how the class works ( such as how the teacher grades quizes and papers) and any tips the teacher can give you to excell in the class.

Morgan

Do well in school. You are paying a lot of money to get an education that will help you create a better more fulfilling life for yourself. You will gain the knowledge to put towards a career that will help you succed through life. :) Don't let it go to waste and throw away what will be some of the best years of your life.

Toshi

I would encourage and make myself ready for more and more hard work and sleepless nights. Besides studies, i would have provoked myself to take part in inter-mural competitions and sports or gymnastic activities. I would have enjoy my life even more, cause college life is very hectic. College life is a mixture of social and academic happenings. Don't tip the balance too far in either direction. The faster you learn your way around campus -- and around all the red tape -- the more at ease you'll feel and the better prepared you'll be when issues arise. You will have to earn good grades in college -- and that means setting some goals for yourself and then making sure you work as hard as you can to achieve them.It may have been easy in high school to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still get a good grade, but that kind of stuff will not work for you in college. Give yourself deadlines -- and stick to them.

Heidi

My best advise would be to enjoy the college experience and have fun in school. There is plenty of time to work and make money AFTER you have your degree. The small sacrafices you make financially to get through college in your twenties will put you that much further ahead when you graduate.

Michael

Do more AP Courses

Matthew

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior nine years ago, I would tell myself to do exactly what I did. However, I would highly encourage myself to open a college savings account! I ended up working for nine years straight out of high school. I only wish I had saved more money to pay for furthering my education. I knew I wanted to go to college eventually, but I wanted to make sure I had a secure knowledge of what I wanted to major in. If only I had made a secure financial plan, I wouldn't have to be working two jobs while I'm attending school full-time.

Jasmine

STAY IN SCHOOL! Don't ditch because you think you can pull through in the end. Procrastination is NOT an art, it's a distraction. Your friends will stick around, but don't waste your own future trying to please them. Go to class and absorb every bit of information you can, because later in life all you will want to do is learn. Save your money, manage your time, and make sure you have all your ducks in a row before making any major decisions. Do all those things, and 'we' will be fine in life.

Christopher

Plan!!! Plans always change at least a little bit, but having a plan from the start gives you direction, helps you accomplish your ultimate goals, and helps you know early whether or not you enjoy what you have set out to do. Planning helps you figure out what you like and what you want to do a lot sooner, so it helps you avoid a lot of inconveniences such as transferring schools and having to take extra classes. Besides planning potential majors and career ambitions, decide how long you want to take to graduate and then what it will take to do that. Plan out which classes you will take each semester of college, then jump right into courses you will need for your major. You'll find that a lot of the classes you have to take for prerequisites or your major will also count toward general education. When you are graduating and those around you are still plugging through semesters and trying to figure out what they are passionate about, you will be so glad you took a little time to create a plan. Don't waste your time and money, spend them doing things you enjoy. Plan!

Ruth

Do more research into what the college teaches, SPECIFICALLY. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Look at places that you never thought of, you may miss out on something better. Most importantly: Don't settle for something less than you want- College is expensive and there is no point in doing something other than what you want to do, you'll get more out of it if it is what you want to be doing, and where you want to be doing it. Living out of your parent's house will be the greatest life lesson you will learn-doing it while in college is the perfect time, if you can afford it.

Rachel

I never thought the day would come where these words would be uttered from my mouth, but if I could go back to my high school self I would have to tell myself to listen to my parents. As hard as I tried to defy their decades of knowledge they, to my surprise, were right about alot of things. Many classes and struggles could have easily been avoided had their advice had been taken to heart 3 years earlier. To save my somewhat bruised ego I took the lessons learned to heart and have since began to listen, though they will never know that. I believe we all must learn from our mistakes and in that there is nothing I regret, I just simply wish I continued to feel as if I knew all the world had to offer. Alas, I am slowly seeing the paperback book that is my own in an Earth sized library of knowledge.

Elizabeth

Take as many Concurrent Enrollment/ Advanced Placement Classes as possible to help ease the amount of time I need to spend in the classroom to accomplish my major. Also, develop excellent study habits rather than have to develop good habits while in classes where it is expected to already be there. Enjoy high school it only happens once.

Briahna

Finding the right college is only half the battle. It's true that you need to look at location, cost, programs, etc. but the important thing when trying to make the most out of your college experience is your effort given and your outlook. If you think that you're going to have a bad time or a rough time than you probably will. If you don't try, you will get nothing back. Putting yourself out there, giving it your all, actively working to get involved, and having an overall good outlook on your college experience is going to be the thing that counts.

Sarah

There are alot of factors that can determine which school is right for you. There are big schools, small schools, where the school is located, what kind of people go there, if it is a commuter school, how much it costs; are all kinds of factors that you need to figure out what you like before you decide on a school. Its hard to decide, it honestly is. But think about it long and hard, because it will change the way you learn and the education you leave with, to help you find a job later on in your life.

John

College is all about finding yourself and learning about the things that interest you. In finding the right college, you should be sure that it fits all your specifications. Once you find that college, the key is to enjoy yourself, and work hard. Get involved on-campus, and make the most of it. Go to sporting events, and check out all the other cool events the college has to offer. This will help you make friends along the way, which is an important aspect of the college experience. Overall, college is one of the greatest experiences ever. You meet a variety of different people, learn interesting information from the professors, and make memories that will last a life time.

Caleb

Keep your eyes open. Go where you want to be.

Jared

Make sure you look into the culture of the school before sending your children their. An enviroment that can help a child grow into a responsible citizen is very important however, more important is that a child can flourish in a educational enviroment and yet still reflect well on their upbringing and familial roots.

Ashley

I would recommend that students go out of state for college if they are able to. It really helped me find out more about myself and find out who I am as an individual. Makre sure that you are happy, it may take a while to find the spot in your college where you fit in, but make sure you always have fun. Don't be pressured into something you are not comfortable with, make sure you attend college for what you want, rather than what someone else wants you to do.

Eric

The main thing about succeeding in college is not only to work hard and be studious, but getting involved is important because, in college, it not only what you know, but who you know.

Kristi

Find colleges that fit your needs, academically, courses, and field study wise. Make that your first priority school, and find other schools to apply for just incase your application is denied. Apply for financial aid, and numerous scholarships through the college, state, online, and different programs. If you find schools that you like take a tour and get to know the campus, visit on campus housing, and academic advisors. Most of all have fun, cause it is a new learning experience for you and your new student.

Matthew

The best advice I can provide to students is to take every opportunity to maximize your education and involvement. Visit the career center often and establish good relationships with them. If an employer comes the them, they will think of you and opportunities will present themselves to you. Also, find clubs and activities to participate in or organize. Immerse yourself in your college endeavors and you will have a much more positive and memorable experience. What you do inside the classroom is only 50% of your education, and the best way to keep ahead of the competition is to maximize the other 50%. The best advice I can offer for the parents is to research the colleges your child is interested in attending and make sure there are plenty of opportunities and resources at their disposal, such as a good career center, opportunities to get involved, and a great faculty who are known as leaders and great achievers in their fields. The job market is tough, and the percentage of adults with college degrees is much higher than it used to be. Be at the top by getting involved and making yourself known!

Rahz

My advice to parents and students would be to think about your own values and what you want to get out of the experience before you even start looking at colleges. You want to be sure about what you want yourself first. If you're a city person, you might want a school like NYU , if not, you might like a smaller college in a smaller town. I would also advise that once they have a few colleges selected, that they should go look at the campus. Environment has such an impact on one's learning experience so you want to make sure the campus is a place that makes you feel at home and you can easily find places that would be conducive to some good study time. It's also important to make sure that there are extra-curricular activities that you like so that you can easily find a place to fit in, where you can make friends and relax whenever you can. I also feel it's important to try and find a college with a good amount of diversity as well, cultural understanding is an important part of becoming a good world citizen!

Kathryn

Choosing a college isn't just about who has the best ranked program or where your friends are going. College is about reinventing yourself, finding out who you are and where you fit and making new friends. To do this you need to find a college that fits who you are but allows room for change. The environment of the college, the faculty and students there as well as the specific program you're interested in should all be key to your decision. Many colleges have overnight programs or visiting days for interested seniors. These are great ways to see the campus and meet students and advisors. Once you've found your fit, don't be afraid to try new things. When I arrived at college I immediately immersed myself in new clubs and organizations. I even started taking classes outside pre-med (my original major) and found my passion in stage management, something I would have never discovered if I wasn't willing to leave my comfort zone. And don't forget to develop relationships with your classmates and professors. They'll not only help you study for your classes but they'll become your friends and advisors.

Shian

Go with your gut. Don't choose the cheapest alternative. Choose what you feel good about. Do research on every school you are thinking about attending. See which one you fit in the best at, NOT which one you would LIKE to fit into.

Sonnaly

I work as a College Access Adviser so everyday I try to think of ways to help my students discover the right college for them. So, what I first ask my students is what are they interested in doing and from there the next steps to to start exploring colleges that have similiar programs that will allow for them to pursue their dreams. I have them take into consideration the different aspects such as size, location, cost, and available resources that are provided at the school of their choice. With making the most of the college experience, I ask students what they are looking for most, out of college and what they plan to do to keep active, academically and socially on or off campus. Parents can also be a be involvement with the decision of what college their student wants to attend so I would tell parents to help their student explore their interest and career options and allow for the student to make their own decisions at the same time being by their side to give assistance and support. Your college years are what will be retained in your memory forever so I say, go for it!

Julie

The advice I would give about finding the right university or college is simple. I would recommend doing a lot of research. FInd the college/university that would fit the wants of the individual applying. If they are interested in art, look at schools that cater to that need. To get the most out of your college experience i woul d suggest to get involved in something that interest you. The more involved you get the more you will love the school you are attending. THe more you put in the more you get out

Anh

Don't be afriad to of big colleges or of failing a class. If you worry too much about how big or small your classes are, or if you're going to get a good grade, you might miss out on going to a great school.

Deborah

Choosing a college that is right for you is a very personal affair. The student/ parents should consider the student's academic interests, social needs, and family interests. Additionally, each category should be weighted to fit their respective importance to the student. The financial needs of the student must also be added to the equation. Some important questions to be asked when considering a college should include: "Does this college excell in my areas of interest?", "Does this campus provide opportunities for advancement to graduate or medical schools?", "How will I pay for tuition and living expenses?", "How much debt am I willing to go into?", "Is the campus a safe environment and a good learning environment?", "How about transportation?", "Will I live on campus, or off campus, and in either case where?", and most importantly, "What are the students' opinions of campus?". The process of carefully choosing a school is similar to the process used when making a big purchase. All the pros and cons must be weighed before making the best choice. Making lists of these pros and cons can be a good way to pragmatically sort through the list. And some final advice: enjoy the process!

Suzanne

The best way to start looking for the right college is to do some research on the internet by looking at the schools websites. Then pick a few schools that offer what field you are interested in applying for and contact an advisor from that school. Set up an appointment to meet with the advisor to ask questions you may have. Also if you are able to meet some of the professors or students in the program you want to go into it will give you an idea if the school is right for you. You should ask about the program, transporation in the area, financial aid, and housing. Whille you are there for the interview drive around the area to see what it is like. Look into housing in the area as an alternate option if the campus housing costs too much. Once you have picked the school to go to and made all the arrangments to get there get involved in clubs. Most schools have a club awareness day where you can find out about all the clubs offered. The internet and phone book are great resources to look up clubs and volunteer oppurtunities.

Ann

Visit the campus because it can never hurt. Parents, listen to your kids and don't force them to one place or another. Students, pick based on what is best for you, whether it's location, size, or focus of study. Have an open mind and put yourself out of your comfort zone. Remember, everyone is in the same situation as you are...you aren't alone.

Alina

Take advantage of community/junior colleges if you can. It is one of the best options if you are pressed for money and if you're not swallowed up on academic competition garbage that is present in brand-name universities. You do the same work for much less financially, the professors are there to actually teach. You get more attention as well because of the small class size. Plus you get a degree! Some two year colleges are like two-yr vacations, it's easy and you may be eligible for some very good scholarships once you transfer to a 4-year school. You don't miss out on anything by living at the dorms. Better to live off campus in an apt/house with roommates or at home. If you live at home then get involved with just a few student groups to get to know more people or go to activites, parties, dances, games, etc. Get work experience (this is like gold) too, small jobs on/off campus and/or internships.

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