Ursinus College Top Questions

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

Henry

It is best to be open to doing new things. College is a lot different from high school, and some people transition better than others. You need to be able to know when you don't understand something and find someone who can help you, whether it's from a professor or a peer. The most important thing is to get help early, before it affects your grades.

Naomi

Hello younger self! How the time has flown, just yesterday you were playing with Legos. Now your a senior, finally, which means a risk for "senioritis", truth is you will worry. Many things change as you grow up making for challenging times. Remember that a one road view of life; university, job and cool house may not go as planned, you are still very young and have time. Time in which to be used to its full capacity. So you might go to a community college or not get that scholarship, nothing will be accomplished if you do not try. Be prepared to fail and enjoy it, sure it's not what you want but think of the expeirence and wisdom you will gain. A positivite mind will give you the confidence to do anything you set yourself to do in life. There will always be the exciting beginnings, hard working middles and the many mixed emotions of "the end". Nonetheless, you are on your way to your own path and it is time to find who you truly are, relax and find the satisfaction that comes with new expeirences. Oh, and don't forget to love yourself.

Benjamin

If I could turn back the proverbial clock, I would have tried more new things in high school like sushi, acting, and participating more in clubs and activities.

Kimberly

I would tell myself not to be afraid to try new things, even if they seem out of my comfor zone. College is a time to reinvent yourself and discover new interests. I would also tell myself not to worry about my major, it doesn't determine my life and I can take my time before deciding. I would also apply for a single dorm, to avoid all the awkward roomate situations. Finally, I would tell myself to never listen to anyone who is telling me I can't apply somewhere or do something based on their opinions, if I have learned anything at college, it is that I am capable of doing anything, as long as I want it bad enough. High school me, the world is at your fingertips, don't be afraid to grasp it and take advantage of everything there is to offer.

Rebecca

If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to apply to different schools. I did not get into the schools that I really wanted to go to, and although I like my school, I feel that I may be happier somewhere else. I would advise myself not to bring as many clothes as I did, because I do not have enough room for them. I would also advise myself to always work in the library and not underestimate the dofficulty of classes. For me, it is much easier to do work in the library than anywhere else. I also did not realize how hard chemistry would be in college and I wish I could've know that before and gotten a better start on it.

Marquis

My main piece of advice I would give to myself is really letting myself know that I should take the time to sit down and sort out where I'm at as far as what I would like to focus on when I actually get to college. Searching for a major in college is a a little bit of a hassle, not necessarily because of the difficulty of courses, but because there are so many options to choose from. If my senior self were to put a focus towards knowing which path I would choose to take when I actually got to college, then it would make things a little bit easier. Granted, it might not be as easy as just sitting down and thinking about what major I would like to take, but getting a headstart in that direction can raise some of the burden and make things that much easier when it comes time to declare. It's all a fun process, and it's all a wonderful experience, so I would tell myself to not just sit back and enjoy the ride, but control where I go because I'm in the drivers seat.

Katie

Relax, it's not as hard as they make it sound in high school. Also, get to know your professors as humans and not just teachers. Many of them are extrememly awesome people.

Jenna

Be bold. College is the one and only time in your life when you will be surrounded by a large number of peers who share your interests. Be couragous, put yourself out there. Be willing to try new things and dabble in an unexplored interest. You always have room in your schedule to take a new class or try out a new activity. Be as involved as you can be, it makes finding your niche that much easier. STUDY ABROAD; it will open your eyes to a whole new experience and it will be the best semester of your life. Most importantly, cherish every minute of your experience. College will fly by and you can only do it once. Graduate with no regrets.

Samantha

Ursinus prides itself on creating students with knowledge across many disciplines; each student must complete a diversity, global, and humanities course before graduating, to create a well rounded graduate. In my own experiences, these courses have taught me about myself and how I am not only alike but also different from my own classmates, as well as other students cross-culturally around the world. My course load is challenging, but I find help in fellow students as well as faculty; I feel there is always someone to turn to with a question. The energy around campus really motivates me to get involved with our community as well as the surrounding areas. When I visited Ursinus as a high school student I instantly felt apart of a family; there is a supportive network around campus and they make an effort to reach out to you. I value the liberal arts education I receive from Ursinus College and how it has not only taught me facts about my major, but has helped me find who I am along the way. It is valuable to attend this school to enter the career world a well rounded, tolerant, and successful individual.

Jue

University of Iowa occupies a strong liberal humanity atmosphere, and that's where attracts me very much. There are lots of libraries that open to public for whole days, and I can find almost all the famous novels, proses, poems,biography in it. Furthermore, there are lots of pianos lying along street for people to play. Once I was reading "Atlas Shrugged" , the most valuable book which laid the foundation of objectivism by Ayn Rand. A fellow came by and said, “Hey, you like Ayn Rand too? Perfect! Long live, rational individual rights.” I was totally shocked by that people here were so free to express their mind toward an idea without facing restrictions of censorship. I originally came from China, where people don't possess too much rights of free speech and political vote, however, I love politics. Therefore, University of Iowa provides me with a optimal platform for exchanging ideas and opinions,for example, there are many reading fairs and human rights seminar. I consider an valuable university is one that realizes students' endeavor into fighting for their dreams, also, defends a pluralistic environment for wide communication and promotion. Hence, in fact, University of Iowa is the one.

Hailey

I have gotten to know who I am. I am now concrete on my ideas about myself, know what I want to do with my life, and have solid opinions on important mattters. When I arrived on campus, I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do with my degree, International Relations, but while being here, I've come to realize I'd like to work overseas in the Middle East. I never really had a path to follow, being at college has allowed me to find/create one for myself.

Hailey

I have gotten to meet many people who have a variety of experiences that are different than mine. The world is slowly becoming a much larger place as I get to know more about, vicariously through others' experiences. College forces you to live on your own, but in a safe setting. Meaning, if you have a problem, you're not totally alone, there are RA's to help, but in the end , you're learning to be independent.

Abigail

If i could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior i wouldnt give myself too much advice other than to continue to be myself. i feel that in college i have been true to who i am and made the transition in a way that i wouldnt do differently, given the opportunity. I have become involved in college life as an office in student government and in my sorority and i think that through both i have taken on responsibilities that are taxing in the best of ways and i am learning a lot from the experiences. i also feel that the transition to college was not very difficult given that i had the opportunity to work at a summer camp for a few summers, so if i could give advice to someone else in high school, i would suggest an away from home experience to learn the responsibility that will be necessary to them in college.

Rodolfo

If I had the ability to go back to my senior year in high school, I will definitely give myself the most important advice, which is to improve time management. Time management seemed to affect every aspect of my education. If I don't know how to manage my time when it comes to entering college then I would not be able to set time aside for extracurricular activities, studying time, and time to socialize. The biggest impact that my misuse of time had on me was that I didnt dedicate enough time to reading, which would definitely have made a difference before entering college.

Christopher

Study in school. Prepare yourself for school and living away from home,start making good choices.Make sure you stand up forself do not listen to anyone else pier pressure.

Jaemi

Learn how to pace yourself with work and STOP procrastinating! Your teachers and parents are there for a reason and make sure you're on top of your game for a reason, everything is work towards the BIG GOAL. People who learn to manage their time effectively early in their education will sail through college, and they will have the most success. Never give up, nothing is impossible, and certainly no workload is impossible. If professors/teachers ever make you feel like they're making you do the impossible, prove them wrong and kick ass!

Lauren

I went to a high school that prepared me extremely well for college. Acacemically, I had no problem transitioning to the college environment. My parents also prepared me extremely well for college (they did have practice with my two older brothers). There are a lot of freshmen that go wild when they get to college because their parents never let them experience enough at home. Yes, the rush of newfound freedom is great, but I was never one of those kids that went buck wild, so high school senior me is in the clear. I think the one thing I would advise high school senior me is to enjoy being home with your family more before leaving. In high school people would always get caught up on the idea that they're leaving their friends. I think the toughest thing is actually leaving your family. You're going to miss lounging around the house, having mom or dad cook you dinner (one of the best things about going home, I promise you), and just being able to call out "MOM" and have here answer you, even if it is in an annoyed tone for yelling. Enjoy being home, best advice.

Ashley

The first thing I would tell myself is to focus. I would say "Ashley, don't wait to look for scholarships and don't ever just assume that the school will give you everything you need. Be more independent and don't rely on anyone to do things for you." I would remind myself that scholarships don't just come in the mail looking for you. I would tell myself to always remember what I learned in College Summit: all the information that got me farther than 50% of other students. I would tell myself that people are competing with me and in order to make it far you have to work harder and faster and better. I would tell myself that no is going to hold my hand even if I may need it. I would tell myself that alone does not mean lonely and sometimes alone is best for progress. I would caution myself to be careful who I trust because not everyone is out to help. I would tell myself to live a little but work more. I would remind myself that loving myself is better than loving everyone else.

Philip

Be yourself. Work hard . This will benefit you in the future. Get involved. Rely on your insticts!! Good Luck!!

Travis

The best advice I could give to both students and parents about finding the right college would be to first visit as many places as possible. On your visits talk to actual students who aren't going to tell you what you want to hear, but instead tell you what the college is really like. No one knows what it is actually like better than the students. As for making the most out of your college experience I would recommend stepping out of your normal comfort zone. Make the extra effort to talk to people and try new things. Take advantage of the privilege of being at a college or university.

Amanda

In order to find the right college, make sure you visit the college/university you are applying to. Also, pick a college based on the majors offered at the school and not based on sports or clubs. You are at school to learn and provide yourself with the steppingstones for you entire future, not for parties and activities. I have watched friends pick colleges based on sports and then dislike their college academically. Also, when picking a college, make sure it?s a smart one financially for you and your family. Paying for college is difficult and you don't realize until you are attending a college. I made a mistake of going to an expensive school, and I am now paying the price now because I am having trouble paying for it. Just be sure to make smart choices and remember that you are in control of your future and no one else.

Whitney

When finding a college, don't discard a college because it is not an ivy league or a very popular school. Try your best to sort out your interest and goals before searching and see what college offers the best programs. Also be sure to look at how many people from that college go on to graduate schools and what sort of schools they get into. It is also important to find a campus that is diverse (as the real world is that way) and is full of people who may challenge your ideas because part of college is discovering who you are and reassesing your values and beliefs. Also make sure there is cultural events on campus pr nearby if you want them because your social well being is just as important as your academic well being. You learn a lot more by hands on experience than reading about a topic in a book. Finaly, make sure the college offers real life experience in your field because while a job (or the paycheck) may sound interesting on paper, it may turn out to be mundane or require you to do things you are not comfortable with. Look for stimulation.

Emily

The key to deciding on a college is to visit it many times - during the week, overnight, and particularly on the weekends. You'll learn a lot about a college by staying over on a friday night! I believe that the college experience is truly what you make it. Only by getting involved will you find your own niche in the campus. Don't wait like I did. Find as many things as you are interested in, and go for it. It will make your freshman year better than you ever imagined!

Lindsay

When looking at colleges, determine what is important to the whole family, but consider the student's wishes above other's. Make a list of what is important, in ranking order, and determine qualifying colleges based on those criteria. However important these things are, though, it is most important to visit the college, preferably without a tour guide, as they tend to be biased (as a tour guide for my own school, I know that this is true). Wander around the campus and ask random students their favorite and least favorite aspects of the school, why they chose it to begin with and whether they would attend if they could do it again. Never base a decision on one or two people's opinions, as they could be just as biased as tour guides. Find students with interests similar to your own to question further about their experiences and opportunities. As you talk to current students, think about whether you would enjoy being friends with them. After all, your friends are your support system and helpline in college, and if you do not find yourself connecting with people, it is likely--but not absolute-- that you will have trouble succeeding.

Lindsey

realize its alot of money, you can always transfer if it doesn't work out, don't slack off your freshman year

Natalie

In my search for the right college, I was often overwhelmed by the number of choices and the many factors weighing into my decision. Campus visits really allowed me to get a feel for the school in a physical sense, and the attitude of the tour guide helped give me a picture of the kind of people that attended the school. I would encourage students looking at colleges to carefully read over the material provided to make sure the school offers majors that interest them and other opportunities, but also to follow their gut feeling. It is very important to feel comfortable at one's school, and often the feelings evoked by a campus visit are a good indicator of the comfort level. Once in college, I would encourage students to really take their school work seriously. It is still possible to have fun. Also, classes will be much more fulfilling if students take the time to try to get to know their professors. It helps to personally introduce yourself after class, and don't hesitate to stop by during their office hours with questions.

Brett

The best advice I would give is: relax and enjoy the college search. My parents helped me look for colleges in our search. We looked at one of each size college (large -Rutgers University/ Medium-University of Delaware/small-Swarthmore College). I knew I wanted a smaller college experience. After you decide what is right for you, narrow down the school process by taking a second look at the school. I knew when I went to Ursinus, this was the school I wanted to go to. Don't worry if that doesn't happen to you, wherever you go you will fit in. I joined the cross country team and have made many friends. Join a club or sport and see your life change on campus!

Chris

Making most of your college experience is strongly based on one's ability to have open eyes and open ears, to discover new things and reaffirm their decisions on the rest of their life.

John

Follow your heart.

Allison

My best advice on selecting the right college is to visit the school. During the visit, talk with students and professors and take time to explore the campus on your own. If you have the opportunity to stay overnight with a student, make sure to do so. You want to be sure the school offers the curriculum and activities that you are interested in. Basically, take time to get a feel for the school. Then, pick the college where you think you would be most comfortable. Make sure you can picture yourself spending four years there. Once you select a college, take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities available to you. If your school has special research programs, opportunities to work with a professor, internships, or study abroad, make sure to do as much as you can. Four years goes by very quickly and often college is the only time where you have the freedom to do things such as study abroad. Parents, you may have to set some boundaries for your child, but make sure the ultimate selection is his own. Most of all, be supportive of his decision, even if you would have made a different one.

Kristina

I would look at the whole picture: available majors, financial aid, student life and quality of the faculty. Do your research! If you're undecided on a major, pick out your top 5 most interesting from each school. The ultimate goal is to be educated enough in a field to obtain a job. If all the available majors require further schooling, you should consider the cost of the school to decide if the undergraduate loans along with the graduate school loans are tolerable. Talk with your parents about financial aid. Figure out how much you'll have to take out in loans for four years for each school, along with how much the monthly payment will be after graduation. Research what students say about the student life and the quality of the faculty at each of the schools--they're the best resources. Start early, weigh your priorities and know what you want out of a college or university. Good luck!

Courtney

1.) Students--stay overnight and do a "test drive" of the college--try to visit your top few schools at least two times. 2.)-NEGOTIATE and APPEAL financial aid packages! Basically, what these two things can be compared to is this saying: Colleges are like buying a car--you want to make sure that it feels right, fits you well, that you feel safe and a place you are going to enjoy being. You want the features that will make you comfortable--a college that will get you "milage"--but you should never pay the sticker price!!!

Elizabeth

I would advise students to take a personality test and see what their strengths and weaknesses are. I would also advise students to take classes which fulfill requirements set by the college so that students may seek out which classes that interest them. I also would advise students to become as involved as they can because the first semester of freshman year can be rough, being away from home for the first time is hard. Make the most of your college experience and try as many new things as possible!

Lindsay

Decide what you want to do or at least have some kind of idea and choose a college based on that! It's hard to transfer after you've already spent time at an institution. Also, look into the academic aspect of the school. Decide if it's going to be challenging and if it's accredited enough to help you get a good job once you have finished college and are job hunting!

Alissa

When picking a school to go to, you have to have some idea of yourself, particularly if you want to go to a smaller school. In order to go to the perfect school for you all you have to do is visit it. Simply stepping on the campus ground could be an experiance that changes you and you just know that you belong there. Going to a class could result in knowing what major you want to be when you attend the school or staying over night could tell you that there is a particular group you want to be a part of. Then when you get to there, do things you enjoy. Have fun but also study hard. Don't waste a moment because college really is the best time of your life and you won't ever get those four years back to re-do. At least, not in the same way. There is no other time in your life when you have this much freedom, so take advantage of it, but be safe while doing it. So have fun and learn.

Nikkia

To make sure that the college is a place that your child will enjoy both academically and socially. Also make sure that the school provides all of resources and courses that compliment your child's academic focus.

Lisa

It doesn't matter what school you choose, once you pick one, try to stick with it. It is always scary to be away from home for the first time, but everyone is in the same boat. The first year will be extremely difficult to figure out who you can trust and form friendships with. Once you find them, you will most likely form life long bonds and you will learn a lot about yourself throughout the process. Also, remember that no one can take your education away from you. Learn as much as you can while at college and take advantage of all of the opportunities your school offers (clubs, study abroad programs, community service, etc.). Even if something seems intimidating or challenging, you will be surprised at how amazing you feel once you've accomplished what you've set out to do. The more you learn and experience in school, the more well rounded and qualified for jobs you will become. You will also have your experiences and knowledge to carry with you after you graduate. To sum it up, have no regrets and live it up!!!

Laura

Don't try to reinvent yourself in the process. Sometimes students will choose a college based on who they think they want to make themselves into, rather than who they are. Trying to push yourself into a preconceived mold will only cause heartache. Choose a college where you know you can be yourself. Don't just talk to the tour guide; instead, ask random people you pass if they would go there again if given the chance. They may look at your strangely, but you'll get the best idea of how the students assimilate there. Lastly, don't think that there's a "perfect" college out there. Finding the right college is like buying a house or finding a significant other--no matter how much you love it at first, there is going to come a time when you are irritated or dissatisfied. That doesn't mean you jump ship and transfer right away. Instead, find reasons that made you fall in love with it in the first place.

Amanda

One of the most important aspects of a college is its physical appeal. This does not mean a lot of money has gone into the architecture and campus creation. Remember, if it looks high end, it will likley have a high end attitude. Surroundings greatly affect the attitudes, moods, and states of minds of students and faculty who spend so much tiem within them. You cannot ever get a true image of the spirit of the college community through asking one or two people- let's face it, at any college, groups form and the spirit of each is distinct. Therefore, I honestly believe it is the aesthetics and physical build of a college that will tell you the most about teh community that is constructed within it. Are the buildings old and lived in? New and Modern? Are you surrounded by greenery or city lights? Bricks, stones, sculptures? What does the physical make up of this college say to you, and how do you think it would affect your spirit, and the spirit of any friends you may make, within the next several years that you may be there?

Katie

My advice to parents is to not be afraid of your child getting older and growing up. They are going to college to discover themselves, it is time to let them let go of your hand and explore what the world has to offer. This college choice should not be your choice, no matter what your financial, racial, religious, or political stance is. For your child to be happy they need to stand behind their own decision and own it. To students: every college/university has something different to offer Don't judge a place by one characteristic. Be open minded and ask yourself if you can see yourself making the place a home, not just a place to learn. This home will be your home possibly for four years--you have to feel comfortable, stable, and satisfied. Also, make the decision for yourself, that is the most important thing. Leave outside voices to the outside and ask yourself, "What do I want out of the next four years?" You will feel it in your gut when you pick the right place, just let it come to you! Good luck, I hope you find what you are looking for!

Jasmine

Finding the right college takes finding a balance between gut feeling and practical concerns. Visit potential colleges before you apply, judging by that instinctive reaction you feel toward students met, classes seen, and buildings toured. Make sure the school offers the majors and programs you want; all the nice students in the world will not help you get a chemistry degree at a college of arts. Know yourself well enough to know whether you want to spend all your time with other students who like to study, enjoy interacting in small groups, or love to party. Once you arrive for freshman orientation and begin classes, making the most of the experience is up to you. Talk to the other freshmen. They are just as friendless and scared as you. People always respond to friendliness; if you approach with a smile, you will probably recieve one in return. Attend events, no matter how lame they sound on paper. Even if you don't love the speaker or performer, you might sit next to your new best friend. Armed with a smile and your unique personality, you will find friends quickly and together you can explore what your school has to offer.

Adam

Experience the campus

Leonard

When choosing a college, it is important that you choose a college that will best accomodate your major. Thus, your major should help you to determine what kind of colleges you will be looking at. For example, I initially enrolled at a liberal arts institution as a business major. However, it is clear to me now that attending a liberal arts school was not the best choice as a business major. Another error that can easily be made is equating the cost of a school with its quality. Instead, visiting schools and staying overnight is really the only way you can truly learn what it would be like to attend that school. It is also the only way you can learn the opinions of students that actually go there. It is important to hear both positive and negative things about a school; the literarture you read from that school will never list the cons nor will it publish negative opinions harbored by current students.

Nick

You have to decide which college or university is best for you. You should not choose a college that you think someone might like to see you go. You need to go where you feel the most comfortable because there is no such thing as a perfect college environment. You have to go where you feel the benefits of that school outweigh the problems or issues that make the school less appealing.

Julia

No matter what anyone says, college is definitely the best (and most important) time in your life. You need to choose a school that either has courses directly related to your interests or has enough variety to allow you to find your own interests while you're there. Working hard is always worth it, even when there's a great party going on that you don't want to miss. It's not the parties you'll look back on when you're making a career; it's the things you learned along the way that will change your life.

Brian

To the parents of students going into college within the next year or so, please do not forget to keep your child's or children's interest in mind. If the school seems right for your child, please encourage them to go to that school. Do not let money become an issue, for your child being in the right school for them will mean more than money ever will. Also, do not be worried what your child wants to major in or get a job in, what's important is the fun and interest in their future jobs and careers, not the money. The money will come with the interest and the fun that comes with the love for their chosen fields of study. To the students who will be going into college within the next year or so, do not let college life dictate your actions or your thoughts. Let college education and other college students supplement your overall knowledge of life but never be dictated by them. Always remember to keep an open mind, an independent mind, and focus on your goals. Use college as an environment in which to grow smart, and most of all, understanding.

Craig

Travel to as many schools as possible. Always schedule an interview with your desired schools. Do not be afraid to make new friends at school. Do not keep an existing relationship with your girlfriend/boyfried from high school.

Weston

Do not base it on finances alone. Go with the right fit for your child. I went with a money choice and I regret it. I do not regret the friends or decisions I made while at my school, but I feel I could have made a more informed choice if I took the money issue out the decision. These are the years that have the strongest impact on your child's life. Dont let that be squandered by money. Debt happens to all of us, but a life experience is something imeasurable.

Laura

Research your schools and then spend a day (or a night if you can) on campus before choosing a school so that you can get the feel of the on-campus atmosphere. You should sit in on classes and make sure the school offers what you need. Check out the extra-curriculars, meal plans, and living situations on-campus. Also, go with what feels right for you; some campus' just feel like you're in the right place and some don't

Michael

Find a school that you feel at home at and that will challenge you to reach your goals while providing you enough support to do so. Always put yourself out there and take advantage of a variety of the opportunities your school offers.

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