Western Michigan University Top Questions

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

Janelle

Hey Janelle! Don't be scared, it's just yourself from the future!I know you like to have fun, and have been working really hard to graduate high school. I'll give you a little tip, you will graduate high school but you will not go to college until you're 22. Janelle, you are heading down a very dark path with the lifestyle you are in. You need to work and save up for a car, and begin to go to church with your family. Even if you don't believe, just listen. Even if you sleep, just go. Once you get your means of transportation, begin to go to college. Everything that you have learned in high school will slowly leave your brain each year you do not utilize it, which means college is just going to become harder for you. I know you probably won't listen to me, but at least try to do these things for yourself.

Shanele

Stay in the Valley One dorms because they got the makeover over the summer and it just looks more professional. Also it's not as scary as the movies make it look, freshmen year will be an awkward passage, but you just have to get the ball rolling and gain some confidence. You're strong, independent and your mother has taught you well. Keeping your grades up is important but don't forget that college is not only an educational step in your life but it is also a social experience, so have some fun! Go to the Lock-in, enjoy the international festival and go to the jazz club on Saturdays, you won't regret it, I promise. College is tough, but you'll get the hang of it, just have faith in yourself.

ryan

I would tell myself to focus more on subjects that i enjoyed in high school as a possible major in college. One of the biggest problems students have is that they are unsure of what they want their major to be or how to go about finding the right one without wasting time and money on classes that dont matter in the end. I would also tell myself to search for more scholarships while i had the luxury of time in high school, now that i am a college student time wasted when i was younger equals debt for the future.

Lauren

I would tell myself to be more open minded and confident in myself. College offers views that you have never experienced or thought you would come across, both positive and negative. Take every day one step at a time and don't stress yourself out, every day is a new day to do great things!

Amber

The advice I would give my high school self would be not to give up and know that anything is possible. No matter how bad you think you are doing just know you can always make it better. Just because your grades aren't the greatest that doesn't mean that you are a failure it just means that you need to re-focus your attention and try again. And just remember to NEVER GIVE UP.

Kathryn

If I could go back my advice would be to network more. Networking is the way you get connections and I feel leads to a more successful life. The people you meet will greatly affect your worldview, in both a personal and professional way. The earlier you get comfortable with making and maintaining connections, the better your life will be. My other bit of advice would be that just because you are good at something does not mean that you have to study it. I majored in English, and while I loved it, I am now planning on going back to school in a completely different field. Taking the time to know myself and be comfortable with it back in high school would have led me down a different path.

Hannah

I am only a Freshman student, but you learn so much in your first semester of college. It is a time in your life when everything changes and it changes quick. You must learn to handle all the distractions of not having a time when parents say you should go to bed, friends being around 24/7, and the pressures of going out when your friends ask. In college you have to learn that you have to push yourself to strive and succeed. Your parents aren't there to harp on you to do your homework and go to school as well as professors won't even really know you exist unless you make an effort to reach out to them for help. In college you must grow up quick and most importantly put yourself out there. By putting yourself out there college will be the time of your life.

Jessica

Save your quarters. After that, study a little smarter. Study to understand, not just pass a test. The ability to recall and apply concepts throughout life really is useful. Finally, try to participate in as many extracurricular activities as you can. Not only is it fun, but it is a great way to meet new friends. This is a great habit to stick with after college too.

joseph

I would tell myself to hit the ground running, and put having fun a little to the side. Make sure to use an instate family member address to apply to the school, because out of state tuition is a bitch.

nadia

Right now, I am divorced, but I got married when I was about 19. Its best to wait until you finish school before you get married. I was a honor role student going through school. I met a handome chinese guy. We talked and dated frequently. Actually, I met him at my school Broward College in Florida. He was trying to be a engineer, and I was trying to go to pharmacy school. I went to Florida Atlantic University to finish up my Bachelors degree in Biology. I did finish it with honor role. Now it was time to apply for phramcy school. I applied to Nova Southeastern University. I got accepted. I was in my first year of pharmacy school when I found out that my husband was having an affair. We got divorced and I dropped out of school as a result of it. I took the divorce really hard. It took me 6 years to finally say I want to go back to school. Being that said, I should have waited to date then I would have been a pharmacist now.

Kendra

I would tell myself many things if I was to go back, but the two most important things would be this: go to bed early and save more money. I function so much better when I get sleep. I know this now, and I still do not get the necessary sleep at night. I would encourage myself to get to bed early each night, even if there was something on television or something going on. I would save my staying-up-late for the weekends so that I could sleep in. The other thing I would tell myself to do would be to save more money. Everything seems to get more expensive as age increases, so I would tell myself to do everything possible simply save more money. Have fun, but make sure my money is doing more than being spent on that fun. In conclusion, I would tell myself to go to bed early and save money, as long as I was leaving time for fun.

Kayla

Apply for more scholarships to start raking up the money. Going to community college first was the smart idea but stay in contact with the 4 year university from the beginning so there are no suprises later on.

Paige

First piece of advice, go to class, ALWAYS go to class. Second piece of advice, use your resources and stop procrastinating so much. There are a countless amount of people willing to help you succeed in college. Third and final piece of advice, plan your 4 years as soon as possible. You may think you have all the time in the world before you graduate, but before you know it you'll be signing up for your senior year and all those classes you can "take later" you have to take now. Think ahead, plan, and use your resources.

Tonisty

I would have told myself to really look into the colleges I was thinking of attending by looking at, the clubs or extra curricular activities, study abroad opportunities, housing options, jobs near campus, and of course actually going ot visit the college. I would have told myself not to come to the college I am at today and I would have said I seriously needed to do scholarships. That money does not grow on trees and even if the scholarship is onyl for 500 dollars, that is still free money no matter what way you look at it.

Christina

Be prepared balance your time. It can feel liberating being away from your parents and having all the freedom in the world. It is important to put the time into studying and completing assignments early before your deadline so you will have plenty of time to hang out with friends. As much as you try to ignore the looming due date while you try to hang out, it never quite leaves your mind and you cannot really have fun. This will only cause you more stress later. Procrastination may seem like the easiest road to take at the time, but it does not pay off. Get your work done early!

Jacqueline

Going to college is going to be very expensive. You'll be living on your own, which means you'll have to pay for everything by yourself. This also means that you will need to work a lot, as well as studying for class. This can be prevented though, you just need to do some extra work now. You should start looking for scholarships and apply to as many as you can, right away. Also, to improve your chances of receiving these scholarships and to enhance you time spent in high school, you should become more involved with school. Join more clubs, join the school newspaper, try out for more sports, do what you can to give back to your community. Also, start saving your money that you make at your part-time jobs through high school. Stop spending every cent you make, you will really need that money later when your parents won't be able to help. You could also try to take more AP classes or take some community college classes, this will also help save money by reducing the amount of classes you'll take later on. Also, remember to enjoy your time in high schol!

catherine

Choosing a college that's right for you is very important. Make sure you are aware of the campus' surroundings and the kind of education you are looking for is very important in terms of the classes that are available. Choose a school that has every career opportunity that you've been looking into. Also, do your best in highschool, because the choices you make today affect you for a lifetime.

Jacob

I would definitely recommend starting out at a community college. They offer the same courses for a much smaller price and it is like a university except on a smaller scale so the transition was much more fluid for me. Another thing I would tell my high school self would be to prepare yourself for college. By that I mean being ahead of deadlines and making sure to apply for all the colleges and scholarships early. This can be a time consuming task and is so easily overlooked but it is so important because it will save so much stress later in your career. The last thing I would recommend is to explore all your available options. For colleges, some will offer better financial aid while others will have lower tuition, there are many factors to consider when picking a college. There are many paths to prepare you for college that need to be explored also. Taking college credit classes while in high school is a great way to get ahead, and preparing yourself for placement tests can be beneficial to college applications and your future class selections.

samantha

I would tell myself not to stress out. Because of finacial issues I was unable to go to a 4-year university out of high school. After four years in high school I earned a 3.9 GPA with AP credits and was forced to go to a community college. I was heart broken and cried everyday. In the end it probably was one of the best things to happen to me. I was not ready to leave home and need to discover myself. I would also tell myself that all my hardwork would not go to waste but instead get me into a high ranking school. I would tell myself that there is so much more to look forward to in life and things really do happen for a reason.

Kaila

Knowing what I know now about college life (as a soon-to-be college junior) and making the transition I would tell my high school senior self: "Continue putting in your best effort, apply for as many scholarships as possible, and to go to college for your dream and not anyone elses. I would also tell the younger Kaila/"Greatness" to stress A LOT less and to focus on future goals. College is only hard if an individual does not apply him/herself, does not study, and/or attempt to learn the material. Health is also very significant to success as well. Excercising can reduce depression and health risks linked to inactivity and bad diet. Try to get eight hours of sleep per night and eat healthy. Every semester with new courses gleans life lessons, some more significant than others but all beneficial to your future so do not skip classes. Continue to only submit exemplary and excellent work but, remember grades do not define your self worth. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally and everything will fall into place."

Matthew

Make sure you fill the boxes you're bringing on move in day all of the way full. The less boxes the better. Be honest on the survey if you're going in blind (roommate). Always make school your first priority, you're paying a lot of money to be here. Make the most of it and learn everything you can. These are going to be the best of years of your life. Have fun but be smart.

Brooke

Going back to my senior year in high school, I would have done many things different that would alter my life choices. I would of gave myself advice to apply to more colleges, research about them, and visit all the ones I was interested in. I had a very hard time adjusting to college because I dont drink and I believe if I would have chose a smaller college or started out with a community college I could of been more comfortable. Westerns nickname is Wastern and that is a big red flag that students should know about before attending. I am most likely going to transfer schools because I am very unhappy at Western and I dont want my unhappiness to affect my education.

Lindsay

Speak up and learn to communicate better at a young age, being shy won't get you anywhere. Join local activities to meet people and become more social. Grades are a big part of school, but meeting people and socializing are also really important. Once you get out in the real world it's going to be more about who you know rather than what you've done in school. Besides opening up, I would tell myself to stay the same person. People change, but the person that I am now is the person that I definitely wanted to grow up to be. I am proud of my ability to stand outside of a crowd rather than following one and I wouldn't want to be any other way.

Beverly

The advice I would give myself is to make the most of time. I would take the time to be able to work my schedule to where I can do homework and hobbies without stressing out. I would spread my schedule where I am able to take the class that advances me instead of classes that are just fillers. I would take advantage of the services that are provided instead of waiting until it is the last minutes and I am running out of options.

Tobias

Although it may sound cheesy, every freshman should attend an orientation session, which are offered year round. Freshman should be aware of dorm room policies and procedures, as well as, student conduct codes, which are the bylaws of the university which describe academic policies, what is expected as far as student conduct. WHAT TO BRING FOR ORIENTATION Orientation registration confirmation and parking pass Your Bronco-Net ID and Password (remember your new password if you changed it) If you have taken the ACT/SAT multiple times, please bring a student copy of these records. Comfortable shoes (you will be walking a lot) Overnight personal items Pillow and blanket A change of comfortable clothes (remember to dress for the weather) An alarm clock - no wake-up service is available A fan - to help you stay cool during the summer nights A few pocket sized snacks - in case you get hungry between meals A lot of energy and Bronco Pride

Coral

During my senior year of high school, I was going to my community college full-time and did not spend nearly enough time researching schools, scholarship opportunities, and the actual program I was looking into. I decided based on a small hobby that I wanted to go into Audio Production. Unfortunately, I did not realize that the school I was looking at made the program more artsy than technical and that there were other schools that would have allowed me to finish that program much sooner. Also, I visited a school that had 48,000 students and automatically assumed I wanted a school with only 3,000. After attending a small Christian school for about a month, I realized I was not happy with the program or school or living in dorms. As a Christian, the experience was definitely worth it and impacted my life greatly, so if I could go back, I would not just tell myself to skip right to Western, but I would advise myself to set aside a lot more time to figure out exactly what I wanted in a college, a specific program, and the living/social arrangements.

Andreas

As an international student, I have experienced several educational systems. Most of our High School courses, especially the science courses, are considered Advanced placement courses in the United States. But due to the difference in the educational system, they are not recognized. If I had known, I would have taken the A-Level examination in addition to the SAT and SAT II since it is internationally recognized and would have prevented me from repeating certain courses. Make more friends that you can trust, they can be a source of joy during down moments. There is one thing I would never change; living on-campus during high school. Living on campus during high school was exactly the preparation I needed for college. I don't suffer from homesickness as I used to in high school. It also taught me to live independently, form good study habits and use resources wisely. For anyone out there, If you ever have the oppportunity to live away from home during high school, try it. It makes the college transition much easier.

monique

College is a good way to become someone better in your life. Witout collage their is a high possibility that you will be working a minimum wage job. One of the best ways to get through college is to plan ahead. The easiest way to finish college fast and with no inturuptions is by being safe and not having any children while ur in college and if you want to get married make sure its when you graduate from College and when you have a steady paying job that you know can pay for a child and for yourself. Never trust anyone outside of your home with getting you to school on time because you never know when that person is not going to show up or be their on time. The only one you can trust to move you in the right direction is yourself. Please make sure to plan ahead and to not let any little bump get in the way of you and your future.

Adriana

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have a lot of advice to give. Most importantly, I would tell myself to study, study, study. In college, that is a must. I would also tell myself to do your homework. In college, your professors dont check to see if you come to class every day. They dont check to see if you've done your homework every night. You have to be independent. You eithere do it or you dont. There are no make-ups and you cant just get away with turning work in the next day. When it's due, it's due. Also, good advice would be to get to know people on campus. Join as many organizations as you can handle and make new friends. And most importantly, I would advise myself to take advantage of the student resourses on campus. Speak to your advisor, go to the library, computer labs, writing centers, etc. They are there just for the students and they are a huge help. The college transition is a lot easier when you dont have to go into it blinded.

Shannon

If I were to go back in time and talk to my self as a highschool senior, I would stress the importance of dedication. Whether you show dedication at work, in your community or academics, this is necessary for success. I would tell myself never to be discouraged when things appear to not be working in my favor and that success is not easily earned. The importance of hard work, perseverance, patience and commitment will grant you achievement.

Elizabeth

If i could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior in high school, I would tell myself to be prepared to work hard and not "slack" off. I would also tell myself that it is going to be expensive so get a job and start saving as much money as possible. Mainly I would tell myself though to not be scared to start a future for your career. I would make sure I told myself to stay strong in the struggles for money and to find my place in the school itself. Also to make sure to get the much needed sleep you need to survive the harsh finals and mid-terms, as well as just the short tests, which are just as hard as the major tests.

Emory

The largest piece of advice that I would have told myself as a high school senior is to apply for as many scholarships as possible and as early as possible. I kept waiting to apply for scholarships and when I did start applying, I only applied to a few scholarship programs. As tuition prices continue rising throughout the country, scholarships are an important asset to your education! By procrastinating, I lost many opportunities for scholarships, as well as rushed the applications, so that I was not well prepared for it, therefore ending with an unsatisfactory outcome when the awards were given. If I had applied earlier and for a few more scholarships, I may have significant less debt in student loans than I have now, which will be difficult to pay off for several years after I graduate.

Katherine

A person who is finishing highschool is very different from and has a very different view of the world than someone who has been in college for a few years. I have started by going to a community college to complete as many prerequisites as I could before transfer to a four-year college to get my bachelors's. However, the transfer process is a little difficult now since I am not getting into the transfer process earlier. If I could give myself any advise when a was a naive highschooler it would be this: learn about more earlier. Instead of concentrating just on finishing high school I should have looked more into scholarships and possible colleges earlier. It may not have changed my choices much, but it would give me more time and help me realize what I was aiming for earlier on. Getting involved with helpful, comprehensive websites help a lot. A college councelor helps, too.

Ashleigh

Be sure to take advantage of any and every opportunity presented to you. Any experiences that you can have under your belt when you make the transition from high school into college will be valuable in the long run, whether it seems like it will be or not. The actual change of schools is not what should worry you. Most of the learning at college comes outside of the classroom. You will learn about yourself and grow up, but never lose sight of who you are or where you came from, as that will always be important. Enjoy every minute of high school, live in the present but still look forward to the future.

Emily

To my younger self: don't take yourself so seriously. Focus less on what the future should be and enjoy the present for the good things that if offers. They will make you who you want to become.

Lisa

I would tell myself to not overload on credits and to make sure you enjoy every minute you have. I would also reccomend that I shouldn't live with close friends because now I am not friends with them anymore. I would tell myself to study hard and to attend as many study groups as possible.

vella

Yes, you really can teach old dogs new tricks, so don't let anyone discourage you regardless of your age, ! Make a plan, set your goals and jump right in and enjoy the ride of a lifetime. Forget about the cost of going to college; it's not a roadblock. Seach for scholorships, grants, and student loans. Also, if you think you get tired getting up for school now, just wait. In college you find yourself setting the alarm on your watch or phone so that you can wake up for your next class and gettin up from under the big pine tree or lifting your head from the table in the library. Your work load is enourmous and you should plan on having two book back with good sturdy straps to hold all you books, pencils, highlighters, and snacks. I advise two bags so that you can keep your Monday, Wednesday books seperate from you Tuesday, Thursday books so that you will always have the correct books and homeword assignments with you. I know, I know, it sounds like a lot of hard work, but don't dispair because in the end it will be all worth it.

Hilary

If I could go back, I would tell myself to not date in high school and wait until college when both me and everyone else is more mature. In high school, I dated two different boys and I am not proud of what happened with them. We were young and immature, and I wish I could really go back and tell myself, as a high school senior, not to date. I would also tell my senior self to start looking for scholarships and apply for as many as I could as soon as I could. I did apply for scholarships as a senior, but I could have applied for more or spent more time on it. Looking back, even though the chances of winning a scholarship are low, the more I apply for the better my chances, and I should have taken advantage of that fact when I was a senior in high school.

Lesley

If I could talk to me the high school senior, I'd say APPLY FOR MORE SCHOLARSHIPS!!! Lol, seriously though. I would say don't settle for what's easy or comfortable when applying to schools or choosing a major. Push yourself to really explore options and expand possibilities. Now is the time to take some risks and grow your dreams! Research schools online...go on campus visits...join college facebook groups to see what's out there. It may feel like you're wandering around in the dark for awhile, but stay loose--you'll figure out your best fit. Once you choose your school start learning about the traditions, programs, organizations, and opportunities for freshmen. Keep a notebook with school info, there's a lot to remember. If possible, take a few road trips to campus so you can get familiar with the campus and community. Definitely attend the new student enrollment program and get to know your academic advisor. And anytime you get nervous, worried, confused, lonely, or overwhelmed about something, remember that literally EVERYONE around you has been there...and most people are happy to help you figure it out. Breathe. Savor. Soar.

Jessica

I would tell myself to not worry what others think, to be an independent idividual, and, most important of all, have fun with my college career. The first semester of my freshman year, I was a people pleaser; I put everyone else's pleasure and hapiness above my own, stressing myself out beyond belief. If I would have known what a headache it would be, what kind of trouble it would cause, I never would have been such a lame duck; I would have put my foot down more often. I was too dependent on others around me, making me weak and miserable. I had trouble getting out and having my own fun.

Caroline

Knowing what I know now about college would inspire me to tell myself that it's going to be hard, it's going to be challenging, but it's worth it. The long nights of studying, the missed trips home for the holidays, the stress that turns into tears of exhaustion all have enormous payoff. The education and life experiences gained are invaluable. Be patient, be posititve, know that when you get handed that diploma - you will feel so proud and so prepared to embark upon the life you've dreamed of - and nothing can take that away from you. This experience teaches you so much about who you are as a person; your strength, your determination, your abilities to work under pressure. No other concentrated educational atmosphere can teach you what you learn at school - both about who you are academically and who you are personally. You will make life-long friends, you will lose friends, and you will learn so much along the way. You may have regrets, but they make you who you are. College is a wonderfully challenging trial of everything you thought you knew - prove yourself. Conquer the world.

Kelsey

Western Michigan University is nothing special. It does nothing on its own for its students. Western may be on U.S. News & World Report's Top 100 list, but who are they to decide what a good college is, as I am sure they have not personally attended every single college they list. Western has some phenomenal programs, that is for sure. However, that does not mean that other colleges do not have phenomenal programs. Every university has its high and low points. So what makes Western Michigan University so special? Absolutely nothing about the college itself is fantastic. However, the students that attend Western are the ones who make the college what it is. Think about it, a plane is nothing special until it flies; a cardboard box is nothing special until a child plays with it and makes it a castle. Likewise, it is not the college that matters really, but rather how you make the best of it. Western has its negatives that no one can control, but if I never attended Western, I never would have realized that I have the power to make it the best four years of my life.

Douglas

My college experience has been extremely rewarding in the sense that not only is my career on a much more direct path, but my academic integrity is as ever on the rise, and my social life is as healthily maintained as one can get at any university. I understand now that ultimatly I am the only one who can decide what I'm going to do with my life, and how i will modify the human condition with the information and the foundations of responsibility I have aqcuired here. I also acknowledge that I am standing upon the shoulders of my peers, teachers, and parents; they will gladly assist me to achieve any goals that I desire, just the same as I hold them up to the same standard I practice. As long as I study here, and even much longer afterwards, I have made myself a promise to be everything I need to be. This promise I can achieve at my university, I am certain.

Haley

As most would expect I have gained more knowledge and friendships out of my college experience . Something mentioned less often is freedom. I have the freedom to be myself, to make my own decisions, to live on my own, to join organizations and groups that are of a particular interest to me and to mold my life however I want it to be. The freedom colleges provide, allow you to make the rest of your life and a price cant be stuck to it, it is invaluable.

reynald

My college experience has been benificial to me and my family on all fronts. I've gained a tremedous amount on knowledge in subjects that I love as well learned how to appreciate and learn the subjects that I use to not like. Outside of academics I found myself in an endless rate of expansion. My friends ranged from all races, grade levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, and everything in between. This academic and social skills that I have obtained by risk taking and making my own paths in this part of my life have really paid off, and people say it's obvious to tell when I come home to visit. The person I have become is ready for anything life throws at me now, positive or negative.

Jordan

Dear Campusdiscovery.com I have nourished my desire to learn. I will be a major player in the scientific field based on my God given ability to excel in everything I try; from sculpting and iambic verse to graphic design and scientific research in the field of molecular biology. Please consider my application as a serious attempt to recieve funding which will further my education. Thank You for the opportunity. Best Regards, Jordan Zientek

Madeline

I have only been at Western for less than a year, but it has made me appreciate being able to get an education. It made me appreciate being able to attend a smaller community college first, and getting used to the "college life" before coming to bigger university like Western. It is definitely different, but each school has it's own benefits. Since Western has such a well known and prestigious education program, I believe by the time I get my degree here, I will get a lot out of my time at Western.

Jason

Every day I learn something new at WMU. Aside from the facts and book knowledge I am absorbing, I am learning a lot about life. I am learning how to be self-motivated, so I can study, learn, and practice trumpet a lot! As a music education major, I am absorbing a lot of ideas about what makes a great teacher. It takes great motivation, a lot of passion, hard work, and patience. I am making a lot of personal relationships, which is important in the working world. There is nothing in life more important than successful personal relationships, and nothing more satisfying than working with others to accomplish great things. I am also learning about money management. I have a job on campus, and I have to realize how much I can spend and how much I need to save in order for my money to last and so I don't live from paycheck to paycheck. I have also learned through auto trouble that it is important to have a rainy day fund just in case! I think that these skills alone have made my experience here so far very valuable to me. Go Broncos!

Jennifer

As a commuter student, I have probably gotten a different college experience than most. I did not experience living on campus or the activites and events most college students attend during semesters. I did however experience great professors and classes. I have also met many new people from many different areas of Michigan, the United States and in some cases other countries. Having the experience of people from many different backgrounds was a great learning experience in addition to my educational learning.

Jessica

I am a first generation college student and in my past four years, I have learned the value of a good education. I have also learned that there are a lot of other people out there like me with a single parent with a low income. Attending Western has been valuable to me because it gave me the opportunity to achieve my dreams and the chance to change the outcomes of my life. I have met my fiance here as well as some of my closest friends. I made great relationships with many of my professors and I look foreward to attending graduate school here as well.

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