Virginia Military Institute Top Questions

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


The mean girls are amateur hour compared to the VMI cadre! Do not waste energy on the caddy comments of silly high school girls. Their words mean nothing. Your future will show you that in your darkest hour you can pick yourself up, fall again and then fall again, but you will never quit. You have goals to be a United States Marine. You will learn to prioritize studying while balancing the rigors of VMI. Believe in yourself! You will achieve at the college level because you are meant to accomplish your goals. You will make lifelong friendships.


If I had the chance to relive my high school days as a senior, I would push myself harder than an I ever could have. College is all about working hard and doing a good job but if you come into college just finally figuring that out, I'm pretty sure things arent gonna look too good. When everyones a senior, including myself, you slack and don't really care about much because your so ready to escape from the high school pasttime. Included with classes, you don't even want to fill out scholarships or applications because your so busy with trying to live a fun life with your friends that you feel it isn't one of your priorities. That was me. I kept up with my grades and all but I honestly could have put in a little extra effort into scholarships and preparing for college like a I'm practically doing now. I would have told myself to get it together and start wanting more for myself and not wasting my life away. After high school it's the real world, now what?


You will learn more from college than what your major specifially entails. Though receiving a quality education is an important criteria when looking into colleges, it is not the only thing. Other aspects that should be considered are diversity of the student population, values the college holds close, average class sizes, extracurricular opportunities, and the surrounding area among many others. It is very important that you take all of these things into consideration. When this is done, your transition into college life is easier. Also keep in mind the reason you are going to college. Is it to get a job? To go to graduate school? All are things to consider. Take VMI... If you are going to college in order make a better living with a good job post graduation, VMI is a great choice. VMI lays a solid foundation for the rest of your life, however there are other schools that do this as well. So in choosing between these schools you need to choose a school that will give you the opportunity to succeed, but also challenge your limits and current ideals. You can do this by looking at diversity, class size, and extracurricular opportunities.


Don't listen to recruiters. They will tell you what ever they can to sell you THEIR school. Go to the school, stay overnight with a student and interact with the students and professors. Find the one that best suits you not by what the brochure says, but by what you have experienced. You are the one that is going to be attending the school for the next 4+ years of your life, not the recruiter!!


Pick a college you love; not for its prestige. Remember you will be there for 4 years of your life, so make sure you really want it. Check out the alumni too; good alumni provide great support for the future. Whether it be during school or finding a job after school.


Challenge yourself.


It's easy to be absorbed into everything in college, and forget about the real college part, getting your degree. Nobody will care about your social life or how much beer you drank, but your degree and level of knowledge are all that matters. You're there to learn cheif, do it.


Look around and look hard for the school that fits your student best. Don't push them to choose anything. I turned down two full ride NCAA scholarships to attend my school because it's what I wanted more than anything else. It was a very rough first two years, but I expected that and am very happy with my decision.


Be sure of your choice and the life that you want to live after college. Going to school is about preparing yourself to survive. It should be painful, challenging, and exhausting.


Be open to colleges that are not in your your top three. Sometimes opportunities arrive in places that you have never thought of. Make sure to visit your colleges of choice and talk to students there about what life is like (preferably someone in your planned major.) Check your reasons for attending each school. Many students chose a school because their parents went there, because their friends went there, or because they just don't know where to apply. Make sure your college choice is where you want to be for the next four years. I was accepted early decision to a normal school, that i only applied to because everyone else was applying there. A couple days later i received a letter for a truly unique opportunity. I had to make a chart of positives and negatives for each school before I finally choose to take a chance on the unfamiliar, break away from everyone else in high school and take my unique opportunity. Parents, let your student decide with minimal interference. This is their first big decision as an adult and like it or not, this is their first life lesson. Everything happens for a reason! Best Wishes.


this school deffinately looks good on a resume


Make sure the school has a balance of everything and is in a good environment.


Remember that you are going to school to get an education so that you can contribute to society and its not just four years of partying.


Traversing all of the ins and outs of the college choosing process is a daunting task. As teens are not experienced in making huge life altering decisions for themselves, parents need to guide their teen through the process and help him/her gain the perspective he/she needs to make the right choice. If one were to choose VMI, there may be no other college experience in America so proud of its product: citizen-soldiers prepared both for civilian and military leadership and service to their nation in times of need. In other words, VMI is not the every day college experience. It is more; more challenge, more physical expectations, more mental and leadership development?more. For these reasons it is up to the parents to help their teen lay out all of the college options available to him/her and to make the standards clear.


Look around


Definitly visit your college before you make your choice. and talk to the current students. There is a lot more that goes on at a school than the flyers tell you there is.


Don't go to VMI


This school is very different from your current lifestyle. Don't believe what the ads or the website tells you (they are mostly BS), make sure you come to the school and speak to the actual students. There is a program where you (or your child) can stay with the cadets overnight in barracks. I HIGHLY recommend this. Be ready for challenge and one of the greatest commitments you will ever take on, and make sure you are going for the right reasons. You have to want to go to this school, and you can't do it without a lot of determination and teamwork with the other members of your class. You will HATE being at this school, but I'm told the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. I hope that is right.


pick the place that feels right the moment you step on campus


You need to figure out what feels like the correct fit. If your child just wants to party then dont send him or her to college, they can get their "jitters" out in a less expensive way. You need to look at the relative class sizes as well as how well known their departments are. Why waste money on a lesser known school and get a meaningless degree when you can get a better degree at a better known school.


Go with what feels best. Go and visit the college before deciding.


Be sure to thoroughly research the school and make sure that it is right for you. There is no worse feeling in the world than attending a college and struggling through it while miserable when you know it is not right for you. Do open house visits, and recruiting visits and be sure to check out extracuriccular activities available through the college. Do not limit yourselfs but do not overdue as well because academics come first. If you do not succeed academically then everything else is not worth it.


Make sure the school is the right fit!!


Not every college and university is created equally. I chose the narrow path that is the Virginia Military Institute. Coming here is not for the weak hearted but in the end I know that all the trials that I will and have gone through will make me a better leader, soldier, and person. Yet that is my college experience and may not be the experience that will fit you, your son, or your daughter.


Visit first


I would advise students to participate fully in the college they pick, and to pick a college that works well with what they want out of college. Also I would advise to study hard.


The best advice I can give are two simple words. Research and travel. All students and parents need to have an accurate idea of exactly what they are looking for in a school. When the number of possibilities is reduced to 7-10, then I recommend a trip to each school for a tour of the campus and a possible interview with admissions. I would also see if the said school has any open house programs and if so, apply. Lastly, talk to students about the school. Talk to as many current students as possible. Have fun and good luck!


The advice that I would tell parents and/or students about finding the right college would be to visit all the colleges that they are planning on applying to and to talk to some of the students there to get a sense of what it's like at those school. I say this because some people want to go somewhere for school but end up not enjoying their time there or end up being disappointed about their decision because it was nothing like they had ever expected. As for making the most of their college experience, I would tell them to find something that the school has to offer, like a club or an activity, that they have never done before and to pursue it. As a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, I became interested in learning the bagpipes since the school offered to teach us how to play one and we can then join the band. This has been a tremendous and awesome experience that I am glad I chose to do. For me, it's these experiences that make college life enjoyable and well worth it.


Let the student make the decision.


Work hard and play hard


When you get to college, put your past accomplishments and successes behind you. Like it or not, you are starting over. Attempt to better yourself everyday and never be satisfied with the things that you have always be done. Always be focussed on what you are doing; not what you have done or what you dream of doing, except as they apply to your current situations. Determine in advance that you are going to work harder than you ever have in the past, because like it or not, you will.