During my first couple years at university, I was experiencing great feats of personal development while working through my general education science courses. The introductory science classes were extremely competitive while covering difficult material. Theses classes never failed to remind me of how I compared to the other 200+ students in the course. This did not inspire any self acceptance. If I would have known that is was acceptable to ask questions and share my concerns with others around me, whether I wanted to discuss my lack of faith or about thermodynamics, I would have been more successful and involved.
I grew up believing that after stepping into college, l would magically have everything together. I would be an independent adult ready take on the future confidently and with ease. My first week of college the illusion crumbled: getting lost before classes, caught in a rain shower, stepping into puddles, struggling through a heap of laundry, missing home and old friends, while trying to connect to WiFi and decide what to do with my life. After realizing that independence isn't perfection, I wish I'd earlier embraced the adventure of mistake making, laughed more, and took myself less seriously.
One of the most important aspects of college is lifestyle. Being from another state, adaptation to the lifestyle in another state becomes even more difficult. Seattle is an urban environmental-friendly state where the general means of transportation for college students is the bus. Luckily the metro system is advanced to the point where getting from class to class becomes easy. The routes created by the college keeps students close to everything they need. Especially with the weather, I wish was better prepared for getting around campus and have used the metro system more.
There is nothing I wished to have known before coming to this school. One must accomadate oneself to the changes of their surroundings and this university made that extremely easy. From learning to ride the bus as means of transportation, to understanding the social/greek life, to understanding what is necessary to do well academically, every moment has been and still is a learning experience. It is made so because you are surrounded by people who are just as interested in this city and school and who are happy to help you out.
I wish I would have known how different people were going to be, (based on the areas they came from). I prepared myself for people of different backgrounds, but I never would have guessed that there were so many. People from higher/lower class neighborhoods, geniuses, different religions, and ones that are politcally involved. I have met people I disagreed with , some that were accepting. I have met some of the best and worst people on this campus, but I would not change a bit of it because it opened my eyes to the world.
I wish that I had known to stay active on campus and to not take any time for granted at college. During the fall quarter of my freshman year, I got so absorbed in my studies that I had forgotten to make the most of my college experience. It is important to recognize that college is far more than just classes and grades, but also an opportunity to get involved with your school and community. In short, make the most of your new adventure; join a club, go to sports events, and make experiences that will last you a lifetime.
I wish that I had known how much of a toll college life has not only on your body physically, but on your mind as well. There are few things to prepare you for college life - every class and professor is different and I wish I would have known more study and test-taking tips in order to help me adjust from high school academia to college. Knowing how to manage time is a must in college. I wish I would have known that you cannot put studying off and expect to automatically understand concepts just by sitting in lecture.
One thing I wish I would have known before I came to the University of Washington is that you can only take a specific number of credits before they ?kick you out?. I was a Running Start student who graduated high school with my Associate?s Degree, and that meant that I only had one quarter to decide on a major. I decided to switch majors, and therefore needed to extend my credits. If I hadn?t been accepted in my program now, I would?ve had to transfer. This is a huge inconvenience for people who change their major.
I wish I had known about proper time management, how to study effectively and efficiently, which major I wanted, and what topics I was really interested in. I wish I had understood more about the department admissions process and how likely I was to get admitted to a particular program. I also wish I had known proper study, note-taking, and listening skills which are all very important. I wish I was more aware of particular scholarship deadlines. I also wish I was more aware of intramural sports tournaments.
Community college does not compare to the difficulty level of the classes at this school. College level language (through 103 req'd to graduate) is much harder in college than it is in high school, so take your three years in high school to get out of this requirement! AP courses are a waste of time in my opinion, because the courses they substitute for are all low-level 100 courses that are much easier at the college level, however, AP courses look good on a transcript so...