Western Illinois University Top Questions

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

Mickey

The adivice I would give to my high school self would be to do what I really enjoy and what makes me happy. Not to do what could later in the future unknown pay the debt, bring in money or what my mother wants me to do. Instead pursue the degree in which i feel most happy about and would allow me to go through school less stressful. Also besides acedemics, get involved in events, clubs and with people as soon as possible.

Andrew

As far as the transition is considered, do not even worry about it. It went quite smoothly, and as you will have family here, it will go even more smoothly than you anticipate. From what I have been through, just try and get to know your teachers, they are quite reasonable if you are reasonable in their capabilities. Also, even if you have your brother or a family member as a roomate, if they do not clean up after themselves, you will inevitably dislike them, so make sure they are kept "in-line". On a further note, there are parties nearly every weekend during the warmer part of the seasons, or rather just summer and early fall, as well as spring and onwards. Try not to drink too much, but do not drink too little either, even if this is obviously illegal, it is an easy way to make connections in this school, and potentially life-long relationships. Sometimes you have to bend the rules to make it in life, this is one of those instances,within reason of course.

Michael

Listen, Michael. You were not meant to have a life in the military. Moving from this smalltown of Flora, you wil move in with your older brother in the Quad Cities. He will be shipped to Iraq and you will be alone. You will develop a strong fear of that. You can make it and nothing is too big for you to handle. You will have many opportunities to develop long lasting friendships on your journey to become the first college graduate in the family. Don't think of fear as threatnening, but rather have the courage to stand up to that fear. Courage is the presence of fear, yet having the will to go on.

Deanns

If I could go back in time and talk to myself while being a high school senior I would tell myself to take school more serious. Settling for C's is not good, I would say B's or A's are good grades because it's good to have your mind set like that when you're young whether than waiting till you get to college. I would also tell myself to get involved in more activities, because it gets you prepared for all the distractions that are going to be thrown your way while in college. And one of the most important things to remember is to never forget the reason why you came to college. Once you get to college remember that parties are always going to be there but getting your education and passing your classes should be your main focus.

Garrett

Try harder in high school, grades are important and also make sure to save money for college. Try hard in every class, your career field makes good grades mandatory and good grades also help pay the bills. Paying for college isn't easy, so do a lot of research before choosing to stay on campus or commute, and makes sure to get dean's list. Try to take as many dual credit courses in high school as you can because college classes are expensive.

Redrick

The most important piece of advice I'd give to myself would be to not worry about the "transition" phase because, it's actually a lot easier than it sounds. The hardest part is moving away from your immediate family but once you get past that, the university is quite welcoming and not anywhere near as intimidating as it seems. Also, I would strongly advise myself to get a whole lot more serious about applying for scholarships because, even the smaller amounts will go a very long way.

Jordan

Origionally I was against going to Western because it was what my mother wanted. I wanted to go out of state and get far far far away from my family. If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to be more open to each school I went to visit, including Western. I would have also told my self to be more serious about filling out scholarship applications. I didn't fill many out because I didn't think I would ever get any money, but now that I understand how much college costs I would have atleast given it a shot. Any money would have helped.

Caitlyn

Knowing what I know now I would tell my high schol senior self to not be afraid. I was so scared going into college, scared of failing, scared I would have a bad roommate, I was scared of people who drank (for personal reasons), I was scared I wouldn't find a good church near campus. I would tell myself that all those things were going to be okay. I didn't fail, I had two really good roommates (again, long story..), I got over my fear of people who drank, and I found an amazing church that I totally fell in love with! I would tell myself to love myself. That I am beautiful and not to doubt otherwise. I struggled a lot with body image when I got to college, so if I could go back in time I would nip that in the bud before the problem arose. I would tell myself the transition would be okay, and you would be okay without mom there! That you got blessed with two really great roommates who looked out for you!!

Nathalia

Graduating High School was probably one of my biggest accomplishments at that time, but entering college made me realize that there are tremendous amount of goals I want to achieve in my life. College is not a game, teachers do not remind you the due dates to assignments and if you forget it only hurts your grade. Some professors will not even announce test dates because it is your duty to keep up with the syllabus that you are given at the beginning of the semester. College classes are no joke when it comes to homework and studying, assignments can not be done in a few hours and studying for tests takes days of preparation. College takes a lot of effort to pass your classes and you work yourself so much harder to get an A in every class, do not leave things for the last minute it only stresses you out and might end up doing the assignment wrong. Last but not least, find study buddies for your hardest classes, it motivates you to do better and studies have shown that when you teach someone you learn more. I cant't tell you its easy, but its worth it.

Oscar

I would recommend my self to start my homework the same day I receive it and to start studying many weeks before I take the tests. I would recommend my self to do a little research on my professors to make sure I got the best quality of education that matched my way of learning, since not all of us learn the same way and as easy. I would recommend my self to keep my notes a little more organized just in case I need to pull them out spontaneously. I would recommend my self to apply for many scholarships, you never know when you'll need them. I would recommend my self to take the hardest classes at the beginning, that way I can relax a bit more during my junior and senior year. I would recommend my self to never take night classes like I did on my first semester of college, those were the most stressful six months of my life due to the lack of sleep. But the most important advice I would give myself is to never give up, it will not be easy but it will definitely be worth it. Thank you.

Timothy

The advice I would give to myself is to study hard. Life with just a high school education is tuff, you need to have a plan and college is the best plan you could have. Research your schools, have a plan for financial aid and know what you want to do. Attend school while everything you have asorbed from high school is still fresh in your mind . Ask your guidence counselor and your family for advice and to help you with planning your furture.

Jacquelyn

In the next few years it may seem like one thing goes wrong after the other, but that's life. Life will keep trying to pull you down until the end, but in the end will you keep that smile that's held you through the past years. Don't forget who you are, no matter what everyone else says. Everyone else won't matter in 5 years, they'll just be memories that you may end up just forgetting anyways.

Brian

I would honestly go back in time and tell myself to read what the teacher assinged to read and then read it. I have learned in college that you will do a lot more reading than high school and if you don't understand the material because you didn't read it, your on your own. I would also tell myself to apply to more scholarships, even the ones that you might not get, because it never hurts to try.

Dalymar

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have told myself to let go of the reins a little and enjoy the last and only high school senior year. This might not seem as the most "academic" advice with which a student should be bombarded, but it is a true reality check. I spent most of my Fall semester applying for top of the league universities and scholarships, thus, missing out on glorious football games, forever-lasting memories on outtings with friends, etc. The sad part about it is that I was not accepted into any of the applied institutions nor chosen for most of the scholarships I spent time applying. I literally threw my high school senior year experiences away. I would tell myself to not worry about the big top universities, because community college will become my parents wallets' best friend, and a great path unto the university I want to attend. Though I would encourage myself to have fun, I would still cheer me into going for the "A" grade in each class as I was already doing, because good times do not reign over responsibilities and excellent education.

Raynnah

Do not allow people who do not truly care about their education into your life. They are like a virus and you are bound to get sick with it. just completely eliminate them because they will eventually be your downfall.

tawanna

Allocate more study time and better study habits. Learn when to ask for help and don't be ashamed to say you don't know something.

Ariadna

What I would give myself advice wise about college life is being more social and volunteering more so be able to have more of communication skills. Also, just opening up and hanging out with people that are different from yourself: culture and ethnic wise.

Briana

If I could rewind time and be a senior again I would of took the time to fill out for more scholarships. Being in college, I now know that it's expensive and can be a burden on your parents pockets. I'm grateful that the wonderful college I attend is affordable, but if I would have applied for more scholarships I could have got into my dream school, which is Ohio State University.

Tiffany

It is okay to take time to find yourself. Do not spend so much time worrying about having everything figured out at the beginning. You will change your mind and sometimes find you have completely changed, and that's okay. Actually, it's beautiful. Embrace change and let it take you anywhere. Take time to calm down. If you want to do well, you will. If you put in the time and effort, the grades will follow. It's like a well oiled machine, just promise me you won't overwork it! Remember to always be who you are in every sense. You will not agree with every professor and sometimes you will be wrong. Learn from everyone, even the people you don't like, they will be the ones who shape you. Be grateful for the teachers who are hard on you, you will never forget their names or their impact. Most of all, enjoy the ride. College one of the biggest adventures of your life so be open to everything and everyone. Be safe. Don't make wreckless decisions but don't forget to live.

morgan

I would tell myself to never skip class. Even though it may seem cool that some teachers say class is optional, you still need to go to class if you want to get the grade you desire. I would also tell myself studying is very important, and tests are nothing like high school. Studying for five minutes before a test does not cut it in college. Take time and understand the material you learn, rather than memorizing it.

GOURISHANKAR

I THINK COLLEGE IS A PLACE TO LEARN ABOUT THE LIFE AND THE WAY TO BEHAVE IN THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION IS A PART OF IT.

Jessica

I would tell myself to work on study habits. Even though you are smart enough to get the grades you desire without studying now, try to get the study habits up you will need to use in college. Discipline yourself; know when it's time to play and time to be focused. It is ok to miss a couple parties or hours with friends, they'll understand if they are truly your friends. Keep working hard and apply to MANY scholarships ahead of time!

Leah

I would tell myself to really research other schools to have more options. I'm not one hundrad percent happy here so i would really push to look at other schools and make myself apply to other ones so I'd have options open to me. I would also say along with looking at the schools and their classes, to also look at the towns they are in and see what there is to do in town. I'd push super hard to look hard for scholarships. I'm paying college with all loans and I will be school for a while so I need the money. I'm tight with money so I'd say look for a job to get money coming into my pocket for the extra college expenses.

John

The advice I would give is to take full advantage of ones academic opportunity. I know I concentrated on the social aspect more then the academic. If I could go back i would do it all over again, rather than just 'do what I had to" I would make a full effort at every course, like I do today. One can esaliy get sucked into the world of not having parents arounf to guve you a hard time about school work. You feel free like an adult, however it is a world where it is difficult to set correct priorities. Fraternity, and friends came first then the schoolwork. Rather the whole reason you came to college was to earn a higher degree, you can socialize at home, working some nowhere dead end job, and hangout. Do the work achieve high grades, and the doors will open for you. I know they would have, ( I look at what I am doing in my 40's as a student). Instead of choosing something that isn't right because you do not have the grades. I am now back in school, again to be a nurse rather than a restaurant manager.

Carolyn

College has been the instrumental force in pushing me out of my comfort zone and caused me to begin thinking outside of the box I previously, yet unknowingly, was in. As a non-traditional student, the idea of heading back to class (in 2007) with a predominantly fresh-faced group of teenagers was both daunting and intimidating. I chose to attend a local community college on a part-time basis for the first year of my college education. After making the President's List following my first full-time semester, I became addicted. My goal is not to compete with my classmates for the best grade in the class but to achieve that recognition at the end of the semester. I still feel the need to prove to myself that I can do an awesome job and show my chiildren (ages 15 and 10) and my husband of 16 years that they will never be too old to stop learning. (I am only 37 but feel so much older around this younger population.) I am also working to get the education I need to better contribute toward my families income.

Shakira

What I have gotten out of my college experience so far is my ability to make new friends and became a big part of campus life doing things on campus, such as events and games to support our school in a significant way.

Sam

Thus far, I've learned that education is what one makes of it. Everyone will have bad teachers, impossible tests, and awful partners for a group project at some point - but that is part of the college experience. One's collegiate success largely depends on the attitude they take on in a given situation. In addition, I've realized that values such as discipline and focus are rare, and they deserve to be utilized to their fullest potential. Academically, college has proved valuable in narrowing my areas of interest and potential jobs. Now, I can focus on one subject area and build my resume accordingly. I've decided to double-major in Spanish and Economics; this way, I can broaden my career opportunities by engaging in international business. At the present, I have a very modest stock portfolio, since my income is very small. I'd like to invest more money, but it's not practical at the moment. I'm confident that I can change this by getting the best education possible and working to my full potential. Although I plan to transfer from Western Illinois University, I've learned much from my experience academically, socially, and professionally.

Krysta

College has been a valuable experience. I've learned how to better manage my time and be efficient while still being effective. At 17 I gave birth to my son, who is now turning 3. With a child, a full time job and school work life got tough really quickly. But, I've found with alloting myself a certain amount of time per day for tasks such as homework, dishes and laundry I've had to find ways to get these things done quickly and correctly. I've found myself becoming progressing to a state where I can strategically plan out my day and achieve everything I've set out to do . I've become more confident and independant while attending college. I believe college isn't just to educate your mind but to better your self as a human being.

Emily

I have gotten a lot out of both my college experiences. At Western Illinois University, I met people from different parts of the state and country. I was raised in a nice suburb of Chicago, where I only knew what it was like to grow up there. When I went to WIU, I met people of different cultural, economical and ethnic backgrounds. I have learned how to be tolerant of others and had the ability to learn about different cultures. Some of my siblings have not had this opportunity and I wish they had. I am now attending a private college which is giving me another opportunity to learn about smaller class sizes and where your professors know your name and get to know you. I think that college is valuable to attend because not only can it teach you tolerance of others and diversity, but also can teach you to be a responsible young adult. Learning to be responsible by managing money, paying your bills and not having someone to remind you to do something is a valuable part of life. Without attending college away from my parents, I am not sure I would have learned this.

Matthew

I have gotten alot out of my college experince so far. I learned that going to class is half the battle, you can not dig yourself into a hole because you will not be able to get out, and this is the most important part of my life. First going to class is half the battle because when you miss one day you will continue to miss more classes. When you miss class you miss out on homework assignments and test dates and teachers do not care if you do not come so they will not remind you of these things. Also if you can go to class everyday you should be able to get a C+ or a low B just by going. The second thing I've learned is you can not dig yourself into a hole I watched my oldest brother do that and after 5 years he is still trying to graduate. The last thing that i have learned so far is that this is the most important part of my life. This is true because what I do now will shape my life and I want to have a bright future.

Shelby

My college experience so far has been absolutely amazing. I have learned the importance of friendships, academics, time management, and independence. Friends are the most important thing you can possibly have in this world, especially friendships with relatives. My relationship with my parents has become a lot more valuable to me, realizing I would not be able to attend Western Illinois University without their help. Academics have been extremely important to me throughout my whole life, and it has been valuable for me to attend to live up to my full potential. If you want something greatly enough, it's important to fight for it. Accept every resource given to you, because it will only help out in the end. Time management and independence are huge lessons that I learned so far at school. To be successful, one must manage time properly and spend time on things that are truly important. Not only studying for tests and writing essays, but taking the time to enjoy life, and spend it with people you care about. I have learned so many things from my college experience. I would say I am extremely lucky to have this experience.

Sheila

I have learned that no matter what obstacles I may face, it is up to me to be responsible for the knowledge I obtain. I will never give up and will become sucessful.

Heather

In the small time that I have spent at college so far I have learen many things. One of the most important life lessons that I have learned is how to be responsible for myself. In highschool, my parents were always there over my sholder making sure I did things the way they wanted them done, but in college, they arn't there anymore. You must learn to wake yourself up and go to class when there is no one pushing you. Another important lesson that makes college vauable to attend is doing good in all of your classes. Those classes is what is standing between you and the masters degree. If you do good in all of your classes, it will definatly pay off in the end.

mike

The most valuable things that i took away from school where first and foremost the degree which has helped me get hired and the interpersonal skills which help me communicate and function with coworkers and other professionals.

Juana

Since I start college my live has change, I'm more confident in my self, I learn that I can do thing that I could never see my self do. I have learn how to manage time, money, and plan my future. When I go to class is a time for me I dont have to think about my kids, husband or if the house is clean, for me it has been a good expirience in all the aspects, I'm a more happy person even if I have to go to bed late, after seeing the grades I have, everything is worgth it , and the respect you gain from the people and your own family, my parent are praud of me I'm the first one to go to college in my family. For all this reasons I'm happy to have taking this step in my life and college has been a good experience.

Kathleen

Attending Western Illinois University has allowed me to leave my home and family and enter into a safe environment to obtain a college education. I have been able to have the benefit of being at a state university located in rural America; allowing me to experience a large college atmosphere without the urban pressures. The opportunities available at WIU are numerous and diverse. The academics thus far have been outstanding. In addition, the on campus life has taught me how to interact with a variety of different personalities on a peer and professor level while maintaining my values and integrity. The responsibility of financing my education as well as being away from my parents and my home has developed and matured me in ways I didn't even realize were necessary!

Kelly

The best thing I got out of my college experience was the chance to grow as an individual. There were alwasy different clubs or activities to try out; to figure out what you really wanted to do. There seemed to be a place for everyone. It was great to be who you wanted. If you were into animals there were other students with the same passion. Music, sports, math, science there jsut seemed to be something for everyone. You did not have to try to fit into a group that you did not fit with just to have friends. You could be part of a group that you felt right with. There was also a clubs and groups committy where you could loby for a new club on campus if you wanted to create a new group for students to be a part of.

Melanie

I've been able to decided my major and excell in the classes I am taking.

Victoria

Thus far in my college experience I have made life long friends, and have learned to communicate better in any situation. I have also learned to prioritize, because school comes first and it always should. These lessons are all valuable to me because I am no longer afraid to communicate with anyone at any time, which allows for me to succeed in the business world, when everthing is about who you know. Also I learned that academics must always be kept first because falling behind on work is only affecting me.

Anna

I am just starting in college August 30th of this year. I 'm sure it will be a rewarding one. Starting a a new life. i am now divored. I have three children and no recent job experience. I have not worked in 22 years. I have not attend college this will be a first for me. Its been thirty year since I have been in school really. It frightens me I am hoping to make a lot of friends in the up incoming school year. I already found a friend in the school advisor. She is truly a Blessing . Thank you have a blessed day.

Gabriela

As my sophomore year turned into Junior year a new door opened, that door was the Dual Credit Program given by El Paso Community College, It all began my new journey in College, it by far was not a piece of cake either, it was intimidating so many people set in their lives knowing and experiencing life as for I being a young girl walking into the depths of my lifelong dream not knowing what to expect. I however pushed my fear aside and pushed to become a young college student when at the moment I should have been experiencing my last two high school years. It has been a program to which I am very appreciative and supportive to which more young high school students should take into consideration. Education to me now is the most powerful privilege anyone can have; knowledge like they say is power. I believe anyone can accomplish what they want if they just reach out and get it, I have accomplished things, things I never thought I could achieve receiving honors on my graduation being 3rd of my class having a 3.3 G.P.A 23 credit hrs in EPCC.

Katherine

My college experience gave me an introduction into what life as an adult would be like. It was a microcosm of our society which prepared me for what I could be and do in life. My time at Western Illinois University was invaluable as I experienced positive and negative people, jobs, classes, and situations. This allowed me to grow as a person from an immature teenager into a young adult ready to find a job, start a career, and become the person I am today. It prepared me to navigate through this world and to explore the many opportunities that are available. Because of my undergraduate years, I am a successful wife and mother of three, a former teacher, and have discovered that my gifts and abilities I gained during those early years prepared me for a career in criminal justice and law enforcement. Soon I will be starting graduate school and know that my college experience more than adequately trained and prepared me for completing my master's degree.

Lamont

I got the experience of indepence while attending college, also how to commuicate (written/orally) better. They taught me how to be a professional with ethical behavior.

CARRIE

THROUGH ATTENDING COLLEGE, I HAVE LEARNED TO BE MORE OPEN TO DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES AND BACKGROUNDS. THIS HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL TO MY LIFE AS A PROFESSIONAL ADULT. EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND LEARNING TO WORK WITH THEM I WAS ABLE TO DRAW FROM MY EXPERIENCES ON CAMPUS. IT IS OKAY TO NOT GET ALONG WITH EVERYONE, BUT WE DO HAVE TO CO-EXIST IN THE WORKFORCE. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ANY STUDENT WHO ATTENDS COLLEGE TO LIVE IN THE DORMS FOR SOME OF THEIR ENROLLMENT. THE EXPERIENCES FROM LIVING WITH OTHERS WHOM YOU NORMALLY WOULDN'T WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND THE MEMORIES THAT COME ALONG WITH THEM ARE UNBELIEVABLE.

Amanda

Out of my experience here I have learned how to interact with a diverse community and have met plenty of people.

Justin

During my time in college, i believe that i have truely grown as a person because of my college experience. Living away from home, not really knowing anybody, having to survive by myself, and joining a fraternity and having a job all really make you cherish the times when you were young. My college experience has already given me an extraordinary work ethic, a drive for learning and knowledge, and a social life that i never thought could happen. Not only did these things happen here, but i also met my girlfriend of over a year and my family life has improved because i havn't been home as much to annoy them. Bascially my college experience has been the absolute best time of my life in means of fun and of me growing as a person.

joanna

Knowledge, skills, and confidence! I'm a culinary arts major and have learned so much at school-not just about cooking, but about the food service industry and the opportunities it offers. I am no more confident in helping others with a problem, or stepping in to help when it is needed. Even though i will not graduate for 18 months, everything I have learned so far has greatly benefited me.

Abigail

I transferred to Western Illinois for The Ohio State University. When I tell people that, the first thing they usually say is, "WHY?!" I know it seems like a step down to some people, but it was the right choice for me. I found a school that really fits me and what I need. It's smaller size gives it me a chance to meet more people, develop better friendships, and form a closer connection with my professors. I learned a lot about myself at my first university and it led me to be even happier at my second. My college experience has left me with an education that will help me succeed in life and friends that I can share my success with. Without coming to Western Illinois, I wouldn't have found the career path that was right for me, and I wouldn't have found the people I have that I will be great friends with for a long time. I don't think there is a value I can possibly put on either of those.

Jenna

1.I think the most significant accomplishment I have made at Western Illinois University, which I have to contribute to WIU, is changing my life around. I dealt with an experience in high school that caused me to no longer cared nor what to do anything with my life anymore. So I chose WIU, I had heard good things about the school and the fun experiences people had had here. It was also a good school that was really close to home. Western gave me new opportunities and let me start over and meet new people. . WIU also gave me something to look forward to in life, my major, well career I wanted to pursue in the future. Western also kept me out of trouble with the guidelines and rules and regulations, portraying towards drinking and academic expectations. I really do believe Western impacted my life a great deal and helped me change it around to becoming someone who wants to succeed and make something out of my life.

Hannah

I have found the greatest friends at this school and would not trade this experience for anything in the world. Since the school is not huge, I have the same groups of amazing friends in my major courses and I know we will all be around each other for the next three years and that is very conforting.

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