University of Washington-Seattle Campus Top Questions

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


Worrying about college as a senior can be tough. You've been working hard for four years to earn a good GPA, participate in plenty of extra-curriculars, and balance your social life with your school life. Now, you're ready to graduate from high school - only to face another series of challenges as you move on to college. Relax. College is different. It's not about taking the same classes from 8 to 3 every day. It's not about doing math homework you'd rather not do. College is about new experiences. You'll get to learn what it's like to live away from your parents. You'll have to take more responsibility in balancing your social and school lives. You will choose classes you care about and do classwork because you want to learn. You will interact with tons of people on levels you never have. You will have more control over who you spend time with and what you spend time doing. You'll have a chance to get a job to pay tuition. You'll learn about making choices between buying a new pair of shoes and paying tuition. And you will love it.


Stay focused and not to let anything discourage me or distract me from my dreams and my passion


If I could give the "high-school-senior me" advice about college, I would tell myselfthat college won't be what you want it to be, it will be what you need it to be. You won't necessarily make as many friends as you want, but you'll make as many friends as you need. You might not get the jobs you want, but you'll get the jobs you need. You might not get all the classes you want, but you'll get what you need to get a degree. You might not get all the scholarships or internships you want, but if you work hard and ask for help when you need it, you will make it through. College is not the answer to all your problems, nor the fulfillment to all your high school dreams. But it is one of the best opportunities to find your passions and try new things, as well as have hard experiences that will make you into a mature, strong person who can thrive in difficult situations. So appreciate and savor even the difficult and miserable times in college, because they will help you survive and thrive in the future.


Time management. That is the number one advice a person should give to another. As a college student, one needs to know how to balance one's own time wisely. Procrastination is never a path anyone should take because all it gives you is an all-nighter and bad grades. Education is not the only the only reason for managing your time. You need to manage your time for your health purposes also. While being on top of studying, you need to keep in check with your health and eating habits. Allow time for a brief walk or exercise, and do not go out to eat a lot. Then, lastly, know how to use your time wisely between studying and "partying" or having fun. Allowing yourself to let loose from studying is a wise decision because it gives you a break from college. Overall, knowing how to balance your time correctly, will result in a success in college.


The advice that I would give myself is to really focus on school and work once I get to college. I think that I am in a great place right now grades wise, but I wish that I had still worked hard in school, but also gotten a part time job right away too. I was so concerned about making friends and the social/grades aspect of college I really let my finances slip away unnoticed. Now I am in a place I don't want to be because I am working incredibly hard, still trying very hard in school and at this point struggling to afford tuition and housing bills that I just don't have the money for. I am going to have to take out loans this year, but I wish I worked some last year so the loans would not have to be so extreme for the next few years of my life, especially because I want to pursue a career in medicine or physical therapy and both of those careers require grad school as well.


Don't wiat on going to school. Start as soon as you get out. It is harder to get to school as you get older. It takes time to get back into the flow of going back to school if you have to much time between high school and college. It is a very smart decision to go for after high school and not wait. It is also harder between certain ages to get the help with tuition money for school if you can't afford it on your own. I have learned that by experience.


I would tell myself that hard work pays off. In high school, at times it can seem like the teachers do not care how hard you work and only give grades based on biases. This may be because they are not only teaching, but having to deal with moody teenagers as well. For this reason I would often slack in classes when I felt like the teacher had branded me as a particular type of student. In college, it is a lot more open. Hard work is generally rewarded with encouragement, praise and good grades. Not knowing this caused me to skip many classes my first year and though I did well on tests and essays, my overall grades were not as good as they should have been. I finally learned that professors, for the most part, recognize a strong work ethic and are responsive to a student that puts forth a quality effort. In this sense, I would also tell my self not to worry because college is better suited to the way in which I like to study and learn than high school. If I had known these things, my first two years would have been much easier.


Don't go straight to college because there's an obligation to, but rather go when you are sure that what you are studying is worthwhile to you.


Don't sweat the small stuff. College seems overwhelming and competitive at first, but keep working hard and you'll do fine. I wish I would've taken more time for myself, to learn new things outside of academic classes (e.g. taking dance, music, karate, whatever - just something besides studying all the time). This is a great time to do those things; even though you feel like you're too busy already, your schedule is actually as flexible as you make it. Things don't slow down once you graduate - take the time now to have fun and expand your mind and skills.


If you know what you want to do, don't waste your time at a community college. Save time and money and dive right into what you want to acheive. I was suckered into attending a community college to save money. I've always known what I wanted to do with my life, but still I decided to go this route. I really wish I would have jumped right into a University. I love everything about it.


I would tell myself that high school is the diving board into college. It may seem scary and frightening but once you take that leap, you'll never regret it. It's the one time in your life where you get to bond with all types of people that you would never dream that you'd be friends with. You're exposed to the best professors in the field and have tons of opportunities to do what you want and how you want to do it. Just remember to keep an open mind and fun and learning will find its' way to you.


It is really important to get involved in clubs or activities right away and to try and develop friends as soon as possible. This helps to develop a support system of friends who you can rely on as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to initiate conversation with people or to invite them to something. Also be really careful in making sure you are ready for a particular class. One example is if the AP test placed you into a certain class, make sure you are actually ready for that class. When the AP Calculus test placed me into Calculus II for my first quarter of college, I really should have started with Calculus I. The college campus will be significantly bigger than high school, but don't worry you'll get used to it with time. By the time one quarter has passed by you be feeling pretty used to things.


I would tell myself to try to find a place to live close to campus. Living at home with my family would be fun, but the commute would take up a lot of time that could be used for studying. Living close to campus has so many advantages like being able to meet up with friends, attending sports events, and taking advantage of the 24-hour library.


I would tell students to take their language classes in high school and take the advanced placement test for the language if possible.


Learn time management skills early on!


Knowing what I know now about the ways in which education can influence your life I would advise my 'former' self to delve deeply into what I find interesting, what I find motivational. I would remind myself of the truth that college is an amazing opportunity while at the same time being not just a continuation of school, but a exponential increase in the depth and breadth of information and the benefits one can enjoy while being informed . I would also encourage myself as a senior to explore things that I find challenging - in ways that truly push me to think critically - and pay particular attention to the associations that are made. I would also remind myself to make the most of being in school and of the education system.


If I was able to go back into time the only advice I would give me is to be more involved. I would participate in many other programs because it would have allowed me to become more socially opened. I should have gotten more involved with the University of Washington during the summer of my senior year.


I would say this to myself upon traveling back in time: "Jamie, you have so much ahead of you. You do not realize now, but time does run quickly. Before you know it, you will studying for college finals. Now, it seems like life is rough, trying to get everything sorted out and organized, but there is so much more awaiting you. It is such an exciting experience. Don't worry! Do not worry about your roomate, whether she'll be nice, or if you will starve because you do not know how to cook too well, or even that you do not know anyone. Just imagine this: waking up one day after all it is done, not starved, surrounded by a well-known group of friends. You have just gotten a dress for graduation and you know now finally, that you made it and your dreams have come true. Put to rest your worries and dream a little, becuase in your dreams you'll find yourself."


I would tell myself to focus more on school. Like many college students I loved the new freedom and didn't focus enough on school as I should have. I would have also told myself of the study habits I learned along the way in college to help myself excel sooner in school. I would also stress how quickly you can fall behind in a class and how important it is to go to class. Most importantly, trust your gut and don't let people push you around and tell you that you can't do things. Focus on your goal and don't let anything get in your way.


Know thyself. Someone said this, right? That's why I'm in school now: to learn the origins of such iconic phrases that have survived history riding on successive waves of popular culture. What can't necessarrily be learned in school is the truth of that phrase. Trying to understand oneself is extremely important to getting the most out of the college experience. I would advise my past self to, "take some time off from school and try to figure yourself out." While it is alright to experiment and discover who you are and what really drives you in college it is important to make good use of the time there and to take advantage of the opportunities that really are unique to the college setting. Here I'm talking about the kinds of academic interactions that are possible and the scholarships and projects that colleges fund. Making use of these opportunities is much more successful when the 'self' is clearer, although never crystal.


Knowing what I know now about college life I would tell myself to go straight to a four year university. I transferred to University of Washington from Green River Community College. Although I do not regret my decision (it sure saved me money!) I think I would have had a more fulfilling life experience if I would have gone straight to the University of Washington. I think the college experience was invaluable and I would not trade the two wonderful years at UW for anything. However, I feel like if I had had two additional years my life would have been that much more enriched. I would also tell myself to get more involved in the University Community. The best memories I have are from when I was participating in a school sponsored activity. I think joining a sorority would have been a wonderful experience that I may have missed out on. I think If I would have started as a freshman and really used my time to make the most out of, not only my education but out of my life, I would have looked back at my time in college with even more fond memories and life experiences.


If I could go back in time and talk to my high school senior personna, the one piece of advice I would give myself would be to ignore the school counselor, stay in school, and explore colleges on my own. I was essentially on my own at the age of 18 due to family dysfunction and had to drop out of high school to support myself. I now know there were other options for me as despite the dysfunction in my life. Academically my grades were reasonable and I scored quite well on the STAT. Mine is one of those sad stories of the smart kid falling through the cracks. This is why, at 46, I am back in school, working fulltime (and not making more the $40K/year), and maintaining a 3.80+ GPA.


Keep what you are doing right now and you will like it. Good job!


Develop stronger self discipline, as you will be mostly alone to be responsible for your life soon. Make sure you obtain substantial knowledge about how to prevent yourself from overspending at the college.


I would tell myself not to worry about figuring out what I want to major in or what I want to be. It's a slow process, and that is ok! Make a lot of friends because they make the transition so far from home a million times easier. I would also suggest getting a job on campus, so that money isn't such a hassle and stessor. Take classes that you are interested in, not ones that sound incredibly boring. And lastly, I would tell myself to have confidence in myself and to remember to be; don't be afraid to express who I really am.


I waited to go to college until I was a bit older, and more sure of what I wanted to accomplish from school, so there are quite a few things I would tell my senior self. First, I would tell myself to be brave. I believe that transition from late teens into early twenties is complex and frightening. But I would tell myself that those years are some of the most formative years and to meet them head on and without fear. I would tell myself to reach out to people, and not to let lack of self confidence stop me from making some of the most amazing life long friends I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Lastly, I would tell myself that no dream, no matter how far fetch it may seem, is stupid, and to aspire to reach every goal no matter how hard. I would remind myself that life is only what you make of it, and you don't want to get to the end with a bunch of regrets.




I would tell myself to stick to my guns and push through my difficult classes. College is a different life, and it has been kind of hard for me to get used to the 500 student lecture halls and succeeding in that environment, which has also been hard for me since I graduated with a 3.9 gpa. Mainly, I just need to focus and study really hard, and don't give up!!


I'm an international student from India and I've had to sail through some very trying times here in the US. Indian children are too spoilt by their mothers, who slave through the day managing household chores along with demanding careers, but don't burden their children with house work . Also the domestic help back home are little more than serfs, slogging through the day. After living in the US I've decided never to indenture lives, to do my chores myself and not burden anyone to work for me. Now I understand how tiring it is to work and study and cook and clean all by myself. I salute the poor back home who work for a pittance all day. I have learnt true humanity here and I regret taking everyone back home for granted. I've understood now what true equality is and what entails emancipation and I'm sorry to say India is yet a long way behind that even though it is called the biggest democracy in the world.


If I were to give myself advice, I would tell myself to live life without regrets. Everyone knows that in highschool there is the stupid drama. I would tell myself to forget all that and enjoy freedom. I don't mean freedom from my parents I mean financial freedom. Once you move on to college and out of your parents house, you have a lot more things to worry about financially. As far as advice for the transition I would recommend not partying so much my freshmen year. Freshmen and sophmore year really are the years that count, because these grades are the ones that matter most when applying for your major. My major was business, which is extremely competitive. I would have told myself to study more freshmen year so I wouldn't have to work so hard to bring my GPA up my sophmore year. I would motivate myself to do this by explaining that once I get into my major I can let loose a little more because the business major was a lot harder to get into than it was once you got in. I would hope this would motivate me to work smarter not harder.


I would give myself an advice of geting rid of senioritis as quickly as possible. Knowing that you need to be prepared for the fast-pace education along with other smart students, you would have to be prepared. So by getting rid of senioritis will be a big help because you won't be lazy to do homework.


As a high school senior I did not understand the term, "nothing comes easy." My job, school work, relationships, and family life seemed to flow naturally day by day. I thought I took things seriously and worked hard. I wish someone would have told me otherwise. I wish someone would have told me I honestly had not had a tough day ever and I needed to prepare for either disappointment or serious changes. My college career has already greatly strengthened me in the two short years I have been here. My family has had a tough time financially, and due to that and the diverse people I have befriended, I have learned not to take everything for granted. I am proud to say I have a loving family who I can always come home to and who will find a way to get me the best education. In high school I did not realize the dedication it took to be successful and be as lucky as me and my sisters have been. If I had the chance to go back in time I would tell myself, "life is tough, love and family can only get you so far."


Make sure you are ready to begin the work that college is going to be. Don't procrastinate and use your time wisely.


High school is dwindling down and you are entering a period in your life that will be the most fun and exciting time of your life. You are going to meet new friends, have new experiences, and experience another state's lifestyle. It is going to be a big change and you are going to have to take that all in at the same time as doing well in school. You will be tempted to go party and explore the city but don't let that get in the way of school. You will have to go to the library and spend hours on homework and studying. It won't be fun but this university is filled with lots of kids who know exactly what they want to do it and how they want to do it. You have to compete with them while staying social and having a good time. Join a fraternity becasue you will meet great friends and since you are from out of state you will not know many people here. Don't only hang with your fraternity brothers, branch out, meet new exciting people. Lastly, play zombie tag. Don't ask, you'll see.


I would tell myself that you need to really devoted alot of your time to studying sciences and actually pursue something that you love and enjoy. I am so glad now that I switched from pre-med to pre-law. I am actually enjoying classes and engaging in class rather then suffering like I was when I was pre-med. Do not worry about what your parents or friends think, because you are the one going to school and it is your future not theirs. I would tell myself to pursue what you want and go for it as soon as you know!


I would tell myself that college isn't what I'm expecting, that it's different than what I think it is. I would tell myself to have more fun, and to live and grow, and not just focus on school. I would tell myself that the grades and the prestige don't matter: it's the things that I do, the things that I feel, and the things that I learn that do.


If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to really be prepared. College isnt easy and there is a big difference from high school. You have to take responsibility for yourself and work so hard in and out of the classroom to succeed. Also, I would tell myself to value family. Being away now really has made me realize how thankful I am to have such a wonderful family and how much I really do miss spending time with them. Another peice of advice would be to SAVE MONEY! College is expensive and if you get very little financial aid assistance like I do, it is pretty costly. Savings wouldve been very helpful and would relieve a lot of stress later on.


Number 1: Know that professors are going to say all kinds of crazy things sometimes. Don't be intimidated by them- just because they're a professor and really good at something doesn't mean they know everything about everything. Write down a qoute (verbatim) every time a professor says something looney; and after a year, you won't be intimidated, and you'll have some good laughs too. Number 2: Don't give any money (even change) to the guys in the Hub. Do you really think that they all got injured and couldn't work? No. And all that stuff about trying to find a job? Those are lies too, because they come back here every year. THIS is their job, and by giving them twenty bucks (or even pocket change) you keep them in business. DO help people, because there are a lot of homeless people in Seattle, but join a group that knows who's sincerely in need and who's a con. Last: Just because your religion and politics may be in the minority doesn't mean you can't talk about them, but show judgement when and where it's the right place.


I would suggest that I gradually enter college life, especially the rigors of college classes. I was in the top 15 of my graduating class and I was very confident in my academic abilities, but there was an adjustment period, and I wish I would have been less worried about challenging myself from the get-go, and had instead taken classes that I was interested in. There is pleanty of time to worry about completeing the major requirements, and freshman year is a lot about discovery.


Be prepared to be immersed in a world of diversity like you've never experienced before. There are so many people from so many different countries and cultures, many who do not speak English as a primary language. Therefore there are many different opinions about certain matters concerning American culture, American views of society, and global views in general. Keep your eyes and ears open, simply be open-minded. As a valedictorian of the class of '08, you would think that classes here wouldn't be as hard as everyone says. But it all ends up being the case of the-big-fish-in-a-small-pond syndrome. There are people out there that exceed your IQ by twice as much, struggled twice as hard to get to this University, and paid far more than twice the amount you did. It is a place where you literally "find yourself" amongst tens of thousands of students. Your culture is your history, your past, your share of life experiences. No one can change that itself, although they can only add to your history. Be prepared to make your mark on the world amidst the trials and tribulations of a college student.


take ap courses


I would give myself the advice that I need to be aware of what classes i take and to register in my head how those classes will be useful in the future and make sure to try and not take classes with friends and take classes with no friend so i can make new friends and get to know more people and get more help from around campus from people who have actually experienced college life already. Tell the advice of how important choosing classes are.


College is not what you think is it (partying/having fun every night), instead it's staying up every night studying.


I would definitely tell myself not to wrestle because it ended up costing a lot of money for the out-of-state tournaments. I would tell myself to work as much as I could have done without sacrificing too much academic ability, and I would tell myself to save more of my money rather than spend it on food, video games, movies, and other worthless things. I would also tell myself to actually apply for scholarships rather than thinking that I would be able to get private loans or rely on my parents.


Dear Kristen, You know how you often procrastinate and don't study much for tests, but instead cram a lot at the last minute and still do well? Well, that's not going to help you too much here. Especially your upcoming Bio class - STUDY for it! I know you're smart, but that is no excuse not to apply yourself completely. I'm not saying you have to spend your entire life buried in your textbooks - just put more effort into them than you usually do and you should be fine. I know you're on the fence about joining a sorority, also - do it. It's one of the best decisions you've ever made, and you say this to people constantly. The friends you make here have changed your life for the better. It truly is something that will stick with you for your entire life. As a final note, I would really recommend that you find a place to volunteer regularly. Grad school applications will weigh this heavily, and you're a bit behind. Better get started! Really, though - college is going to be one of the best times of your life. Love it! Yours, Kristen


If I were able to advise myself of one thing, it would be to not be afraid of charting my own course, even if it seems difficult or inane. Although I started college with the goal of going to law school, I found that my strengths were in other areas, and that I accelled in writing and language more than in political science and philosophy. In college, I found that it was more important to pay attention to what I wanted, rather than what others wanted or expected, and that lead me to pursue courses and activities that helped build my character. Being the best doesn't necessarily mean finding the highest paying job or getting the best grades, it's about finding out where you fit in, and about challenging yourself to learn in new and different ways.


If I was able to go back in time, I would tell myself many things to help me succeed at this university. I would tell myself that the grading is different than high school and not to expect to be perfect. The campus is huge, and the competition for grades is ever more challenging than ever before. I would tell myself not to get caught up in Greek life because it can ruin your focus and prevent you from being academically successful and I would tell myself to let go a little bit and try and get to know people better. I would set up more study sessions and for sure set my alarm clock for an hour earlier. Classes take a long time to walk to. All of this advice would have been nice to know beforehand so I didn?t have to make the mistakes I did freshman year.


The best advice I would provide to parents and students, is make sure that the student chooses the place that they enjoy being at the most. That means traveling to the different colleges to get a feel for the campus atmosphere andstudent life. I know this helped me a lot when it came down to my last three school choices. I thought i would enjoy a smaller school but after visiting one, it wasn't what I expected and longed for that big college experience. To date, i have never regretted my decision, even when the smaller school was less expensive. You need to be comfortable at your college if you are ever going to succeed. I'm not saying to go find the best party school or the one with most fun stuff to do, but find and school that can meet your needs and push you to aspire for greater things. Also for the student, going to an out-of-state college was a liberating experience for me and I loved the feeling of being independant. I also became a lot more outgoing since I needed to meet all new people and join new groups. Good luck choosing!


Not much


My advice to parents is to let your child pick the right college for them, no pressure. The start to finding the right college for students is to visualize the college you see yourself attending. After you have painted a personal picture of a college, it is time to visit as many institutions as possible. Research and learn more about those that fit your image of college. Apply to those that appealed to you and passed the second round of judgement. From there, letters will arrive and your right school will be somewhere in the category of acceptance. To make the most of the college experience, the advice I have for parents is to let your child gain independence and grow into their own person. For students, a college experience holds many potentials and can be lived in a multitudes of fashions. Personally, in order to make the most of your experience, I would take advantage of any opportunity presented, and to not hold back. Be open to a variety of people because there are prospective friends all around you. Challenge yourself both inside and outside of the classroom in order to inspire growth in others and from within.