Western Michigan University Top Questions

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


While some high school seniors are fortunate to know their college career plans, I was not one of those when I made the decision to attend Western Michigan University. Not sure which road to take, I took the advice of others stating I would make a great teacher since my passion for kids was always present. Four years later, I graduated from WMU with a Bachelors in Science, a major in Elementary Education, and a proud ego of my accomplishment to do so in four years. Unfortunately, because of rushing through the academic experience, I was not able to radar that elementary education was not for me, even after trying it for three scrutinizing years. Looking forward, as I head back to college for a career change, there is much I wished I would have known about pursuing a career. Perhaps if I could go back in time to deciding my future, I would have looked more into talking to and job shadowing professionals of vast career choices. Most importantly, however, I would tell myself to enjoy the process of learning, to slow down, and to enjoy the every day experiences that lead me to promises of the future.


High school friends you've known forever. Home-cooked meals. Your own bed. Easier classes. Family get-togethers. These are all of the things that college students tend to miss the most when they head off to college on their own for the first time. For me, it wasn't any different. After a few weeks here at Western Michigan University, I began to miss it all. I missed waking up in the morning and hearing my mom making breakfast in the kitchen. I missed my little brothers. I missed real meals for dinner, instead of just Ramman Noodles or Peanut-Butter and Jelly sandwiches all the time. But most of all, I just missed the feeling of being at home. To go back and tell myself to enjoy all of the things I had while I still had them, would be great. But since I can't do that, I tell of my friends that are still in high school to not take these things for granted. They aren't kidding when they say that you don't know what you have until it's taken away from you.


If I could go back in time and give myself advice about college I would tell myself to create good study habits. I never studied in high school because they gave us leadway and let us out easy. Everything we did we could use our notes and cheat sheets and that didn't allow me to create study habits because I took the easy route. In college they don't give us easy routes and I struggled with that my first semester because I didn't know how to study so I had bad grades in the beginning. After a bit of struggling I developed study habits and got my grades up. I would also tell myself that it wouldn't be an easy transition and I have to do this to make myself a better life than the one I had. College is good and I made it.


"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." -Judy Garlan In high school, my schedule consisted of school, philharmonic orchestra, dance class, and homework. I left no time in my day social activities. Even though this is true, I was happy with my decisions as a young adult. It wasn't untill my senior year in high school when I started participating more in extra curricular activities and making new friends. I joined spanish club, key club, and was president of the orchestra board. Through all of this, I was pulled into so many friend groups. I had my best friends, my orchesta friends, the people from my AP classes, friends from dance, and then everyone else. By being exposed to so many types of people with different , I was pressured to fit in with everyone. I never thought of being me, come to think of it, I had no clue who "me" was. Looking back on my high school career, I would have told myself to be a first-rate version of myself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.


If i could go back in time and talk to my self as a high school senior i would have so much advice to give myself. First, i would tell myself that i need to get as many jobs as i can and save as much money as i can because college is beyond expensive and stressing over money is not fun. Second, i would tell myself to spend lots of time with family and friends because not having a car at school makes it very difficult and at first the freedom will feel amazing but before you know it your dieing to see your friends and even your family. Third, i would make sure that i told myself to apply for as many scholarships that i can because every penny helps. Next, i would make sure to tell me self to stick with my beliefs and morals. And to learn that i dont need to give into peer pressure to enjoy college. Fianlly. i would tell myself to relax. College isnt suppose to be all fun but it is suppose to be some of the greatest and most fun times of ones life.


If I were to go back in time and advise myself on college life and the transition from high school, I think my advice would be remarkably short. The best advice my younger self would receive could be summed up by three statements. First, don't get overwhelmed. There's going to be a lot of work and pressure to do well, but panicking will only make things worse. Take things one step at a time and keep a clear head. The second thing I would tell myself is to be ready for long nights and heavy work loads. The third and possibly most important advice I could give my younger self would be to have fun, but don't get distracted from why you're there. Partying and enjoying campus life are important in helping to keep your sanity in college, but keep in mind that the things you learn there will help you for the rest of your life. There are many more things that I could advise my younger self on. However, parts of the college experience are life lessons that no one should miss out on learning first hand.


When looking for the right college to attend, one should consider every single memorable event that happened througout you high school experience, good and bad. One should also consider teachers, sporting events, community services, study areas, social attractions, restaurants, and other things a city might entail because when you select the college you want, it should include all of the above whether your a social bug or a quiet critter. Chances are your going to want a place to study with or without friends, or just to hang out and it would be a real bummer if the college you select doesnt offer the things that you would want. The transition would be very harsh, especially if you wanted to do the things you used to do and you couldnt. Not every student comprehends everything that is taught in the classroom so a good advising and tutoring lab should be well sought after as well. Keeping these things in mind, one should try to select a well balanced school so that when you begin your college life, life wont seem so stressful but rather free flowing and easy going.


If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to really get better at time management. I believe that time management is the most important skill to have in college. There is a lot of free time and you have to learn how to use that time effectively. With out time management skills it will be difficult to succeed in college.


I would tell myself that everything that people tell you about college is a smoke screen. The parties aren't as cracked up as everyone says. It's better to focus on classes and making yourself as successful as possible. I would stress that its important not to measure your standards by anyone else, and if you think you need help in something, seek it. College can help you tremendously in reaching your goals later in life. The most important lesson that I would share is to stay focus and be true to yourself.


Coming to college, I had no idea what to expect. I would tell any high school senior to just be yourself and take your time. The begining of my freshman year I thought and felt as though I had to have the rest of my life planned out. I'm now in the middle of my sophomore year and I still do not know exactly what I want to do. The first two years is when you start to find out what you want to do with your life. I had so much pressure to figure it out before I even moved in my freshman year. I do not want incoming freshman to feel this way. I also had pressure when it came to money issues. I'm in a sorority and am struggling to pay for it. My concern for this resulted in my grades slipping. I wish I could tell myself before and any other student that nothing should come between you and your grades. There is a lot more pressure in college, but there are also many solutions for it, which I wish I knew earlier.


If I could go back to high school and give myself advice as a senior I would encourage myself to believe in myself more. Even though I knew I was a smart individual, there was a voice of fear inside me that would hold me back and keep myself from taking the next step and achieving better results. I was just an average kid with a 3.1 grade point average when I was 17. I never would've believed I would go to college and accumulate a 4.0 grade point average. I never would've dreamed I would set a goal to graduate Summa cum laude. However, now that I've accomplished and set these goals I wish I could go back and say to myself, "Just believe in yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to."


If I had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would definately warn myself to not get too caught up in the "college night life," and to focus on what will shape me as a person for my career. I spent too much time making friends and trying to fit in, and lost track of my classes for a while. Now I'm at a different school, and ready/prepared for what the college dorm life is really like; crazy, intense, and non-stop. I would also want to tell myself to not settle on a major that would be a good career to bring in the big bucks, but to focus on what truly makes me happy and what I excel in. As a freshman, you do not have to be completely sure of your entire life, but it's a good time to start thinking about it and planning a route for making it happen. So, my advice to incoming freshman; Don't get too caught up in the "college night life," rather, focus on your true self and what makes you happy. Just live life!


Always investigate your campus resources before buying things you think you might need, like a printer or an ethernet cable for landline internet. If you have a problem with your roommate, it won't just go away. You need to talk to them about it, no matter how hard that is. Find a place to study that is not your room, because 95{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the time you won't end up studying. Do as much homework as possible with your computer shut and off the internet. No matter how much you say you will use Facebook and do homework at the same time, you won't. If you get stuck on a homework problem, don't spend two hours on it. You'll just waste time in which you could be doing your other homework and reading and end up frustrated at the end. Ask your professor the next day or look for free/cheap tutoring. If you must get a job, try no more than 20 and a max of 25 hours per week. Your courseload will be enough work to keep you busy. Read your textbooks. Twice. Or three times. Until you get it.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior before college started, I would tell myself that I need to get involved with things around campus. It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. It also gives experience in some areas depending on what you get involved in.


Making the transition from high school to college can be very overwhelming. You go from knowing everyone around you and basically what's going to happen tomorrow. With the knowledge I have now, my biggest adivice to myself would be to get out there and make yourself known. The only way to meet people and get the whole college experience is to involve yourself with things and people. Especially if you are going somewhere by yourself, your best bet is to put yourself out there and not be afraid. Fear will only lead you backwards and leave you with regrets. College is the time to start your life on the right track!


When I went back in time I would tell myself to prepare very carefully for my college experience. Before deciding on a major, look at all the available options and further research specifically what careers are available when you graduate with that degree. I would tell myself to learn the ways of wise budgeting. College students are usually not able to maintain a stable income, (too much class and studying for a full time job). Thus, each dollar spent should be well thought out and planned for. Along with that, I would tell myself to avoid frivolous spending as much as possible, (the cafeteria food is not THAT bad, you do not need to order pizza every night!). Finally, I would tell myself to be careful and make the right choices; and have fun---these are the best days of your life! Enjoy them!


I would probably have told myself to audition at more places and give myself more options. I have grown a lot here, and there are many opportunities I have gotten here that I might not have someplace else, but there are times when I think I might have gotten more out of my musical education if I hadn't had to fulfill so many general education requirements of a University program.


To learn more about time management! College you don't have family there helping you through all your life struggles and in college you have to manage you time, your money, and literally your life. School is about constant commitment while still being able to have fun.


The ability to advise one's self in the past is the timeless dream of man. If we could only forewarn ourselves of perhaps better choices, our outcome may be more advantageous. As I write this note to my former self, I find great difficulty in deciding what to say. While there are many things I wish could have been different about my college experience, they all both good and bad, have undeniably had a profound impact on who I am today. I could tell myself to not take professor Schriner's math class, but then I would lose a part of myself that learned to deal with difficult professors. I could also have told myself to attend another school all together with hopes that I could gain a better experience. However, whom would I be today if I were to take that advice? The fact is, we all desire perfection, but it is the imperfections in life that allow us to grow. As I sit here and reflect on my college experience, I wish many things were different about it, but if they somehow were changed, I wouldn't be the self-driven, high-minded man I am today.


Stick with your personality, and don't let others influence you to become someone your're not.


Hey, it's me. Well, it's you, as close as you can get to your future self as you can be. I'm here with some advice. You know that thing you want to do with your life, it's good but remember your options - remember to give yourself the opportunity to have options. Give yourself a break, too; in other words, don't be so hard on yourself when you mess up. I know, I've been there, and I would have liked to not be so difficult on myself - call it subbornness, if you want. Give yourself some time to grow. Remember to grow. A piece of wisdom: whether you procrastinate or act in haste, you have made a decision in doing so. Now, about that thing you really enjoy, that hobby, that freetime filler. That thing that you always seem to have motivation for doing, even after you thought all of your energy was spent, what application can you find for that in your life? Call me crazy, but investigate the possibilities of using those skills and abilities in a career: you enjoy it, and that is an incredibly valueable quality during a career search.


I came into college thinking it would be easy. It is not. I had to try hard and study to do well. If i could go back though, I would not change a thing. The memories I have will last a lifetime. The mistakes I made, made me who I am today; I am proud of who I am.


Prepare yourself! High school is nothing like college and there is a reason for that. College is a different experience altogether. The people you associate with, the places you live, the food you eat, the groups you get involved in, and most importantly, the major and career you choose all make up how much a person changes in college. It's such a learning experience. Be open to new ideas and people. Be accepting of things that you might have otherwise ignored or were close-minded about. College is a time to really grow as a person both mentally and intellectually and as a high school senior, I would want them to be excited about all these new experiences that lay ahead of them in college. I also think that going away to school is very important. A chance to get away from your home and family and all the things you know, help so much in giving yourself the space to figure out who you are as a person., and who you want to be. Go to college no matter what. It's an experience that will change you for the better!


Never dwell on your high school relationships and focus on making new and better ones in college instead. If you aren't social or involved in a place you spend the majority of your year, it will be hard. You need to have fun once in a while and in college, those ties may last forever. Also, go to class even if you think you can get away with not going. You're paying to sit in the classroom and you'll never get that experience from copying someone's notes.


One of the very first things I would tell myself is to take chances. There are many times I can remember when I hesitated trying to make a decision or thinking of what to do. Fortunately, college has taught me to trust my instincts, and just go for it. If anything, whatever I'm deciding to do will be for the better. I would also tell myself to not be afraid to try new things. It's especially hard to think about putting yourself out there when you're in a new environment, but getting involved in student organizations and spending time on campus truly does make the experience that much more enriching. Lastly, do something to make a difference. Even the littlest things with a small time commitment help in the long run. Volunteering is one of the best ways to help others while you help yourself. Not only do you gain satisfaction from the work that you're doing, but you grow as an individual as well. Just remember, college is the time to be yourself, create your identity. So, don't hold back.


Cultivate appropriate and efficient methods of studying, be ready to manage time and money wisely, and be involved in beneficial extra-curricular activites to build a strong and healthy social as well as academic lifestyle.


I would tell myself a lot of things that I didn't know at the time. The first major thing would be to take campus tours. I only took one as a high school senior, and that one ended up being the university that I chose. I feel that if I had taken more tours at the time then maybe I would have ended up at a different college or university. Another piece of advice I would give to myself would be to look into the academic programs that the college or university has to offer. Make sure that it is what you are looking for and will help you a lot with getting a job in your future career. The last piece of advice that I would give would be to ask questions. When I was a high school senior I based my decisions off of other peoples opinions; I never asked questions for myself. I think it is very important to ask questions about what you are curious about when choosing a college or university.


I would tell myself to prepare better in high school and the real world. Entering college is nothing like they tell you in high school, and I would have taken things more serious. Also to tell myself to have as much fun as I could well keeping my grades up because 4 years goes by very fast.


Don't go to college to achieve the goals of your parents or your friends. If you don't know why you are there, perhaps you shouldn't be. It is important to know yourself. Get to know yourself, what your dreams are, where your interests lay, and then, focus on those things. Most of all, believe in yourself, and your ability to do what it takes to be the person you want to be.


From an academic stand-point, if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now I'd tell myself the importance of seeking help at the very beginning. I'd tell myself to reach out to my professors more, and reach out to upperclassmen and people in my classes who may understand things differently from myself. There are people here with information available to me that may help me perform better in my classes. From a personal stand-point, if I could go back in time I would tell myself to be on the lookout for people who do not have your best interest in mind, and trust your instincts because most of the time they are right. My experiences as of yet have taught me to recognize the people who are for my betterment, and the people who are not, but although I'd tell myself to be on the lookout, I'd also let myself know that what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't take back any of my experiences, good or bad, because I know they made me who I am today.


Knowing what I know now, I understand more thoroughly the difference of being in a comfortable setting. In high school, I was set and knew what I had planned every day and the people I would see. It was much harder to make the transition to college and not know anyone. I would definatley give myself the advice of not being so shy from the start. The best way to come out of your comfort shell is to simply talk to people. You've got to get out there and make yourself known. This will also help in the future as well and make you a more well rounded person!


College is an investment.


Take more credits the first semester. Despite what everyone says, 20 isn't actually all that bad, and the classes get a LOT harder and more time consuming as you advance. Also, all the pieces for Winter Concert were modern, which I know I'm not getting in, which gives even more time. Stay away from assholes...learn when to end things.


GET INVOLVED AT COLLEGE!!! It makes meeting people so easy and fun! There are all kinds of activities and extra curricular opportunities for students!! Plan plan plan!!! College is very different from high school! Expect more work than you will probably get in high school! Live in the student residences!! Another great way to meet people and makes for a great experience at college!! All in all, choose a college that feels comfortable for you! When you visit the campus, ask lots of questions, and take the time to really look around and pay attention because this could be the institution where you spend the next four years !!!! College is a great experience and I encourage all seniors to consider it!


Focus on school work and making money to pay for college.


If I had the chance to go back and talk to myself when I was a senior in high school, I would have told myself that I just needed to be confident with my decisions. WMU was not my first choice, but if I had known what I know now I wouldn't have been so nervous about where I was attending college. I would have told myself to relax and realize that at college their are many resources available to assist me with any problem or situation that I run into. I would have reminded myself that although college is a big step, but its a step that I chose to take and I am doing it to benefit myself. Finally I would have told myself that everyone has their own path, they just need to remember that that path has many directions, bumps and hills to climb, and the path will always change. Just remember to have fun along the path.


I would tell myself to develop stronger study skills. I would also tell myself to not worry about fitting in with the people who party all the time because they will not go anywhere and they will either fail or get bad grades in all their classes. I would also tell myself to be more confident and believe in myself.


If I could go back to high school and give myself advice before college, the one main thing I would tell myself would be to study hard. Also, to not take advantage of the help my parents give me. Now, I do not know how to study adequately, I have to struggle and work hard, and my parents are not able to assist with my money in college. I feel lost now, and I think that I should have worked harder in high school to get a job, and to have extra money so that I would not be struggling like I currently am in college.


In high school i was an average student and i knew that when I went to college I would do the best i could. My first semester at WMU I achieved a 3.88 gpa. I did well acedemically, but I wish I would have been more outgoing while living in the dorms. Also, i may have drank a little too much. Besides that, I enjoyed my time so far in college.


As a high school student, I rarely studied. Just being in class was all I needed to get A's in AP and advanced courses. But in college, courses aren't structured to teach you, they are structured to help you teach yourself. If I could go back, I would advise myself to learn how to study. My first semester here was the lowest GPA I have ever recieved. After that, I buckled down and now my grades are much closer to where they need to be. I would tell myself about the amount of partying that occurs here, so I could be prepared. It was difficult to transition to a party school as a non-drinker. I have relaxed and accepted my fellow students, and and even enjoy going to parties now, even though I don't drink. Last, I would advise myself to be more social with the new people I meet.


If I could go back to High School and prepare myself for my freshman year I would change a lot of things. I?d tell myself to spend less time worrying about school, and more time preparing for it. I?d tell myself to work more hours and find more financial aid. I?d do a lot of things different if I could go back, I?d study harder and apply for more scholarships because I now know that college isn?t cheap and it puts financial strain on more than just me. I?d also take it easy, try to stress a little less about how to make new friends and just take things as they came. I?d start focusing on what I wanted my major to be freshman year instead of focusing on what dorm was closest to the dining hall. There are a lot of things I think every college student would change when it comes to preparing for college, but we can?t. We all have to learn from it and just prepare better for the next year, and for me that starts with financial aid.


When I started on my college search, I had never really considered Western Michigan University. I had always listened to what my peers had said, how it was a "party" school where the "dumb" kids went. I had my sights set on attending Michigan State University, since that's where most of my friends were going. But when my acceptance to State was deffered, I decided that I had better look elsewhere. I took a campus tour of Western and fell in love with it. I saw that the campus was beautiful and learned the programs had so much to offer to students. Automatically I had that feeling that I belonged there, and knew that was where I wanted to attend. In finding the school that is right for you, its not about what others say or where your best friends go, its wherever makes YOU comfortable, and that is why I'm so glad that I chose Western. As for making the most of your college experience; get involved with the campus. Join clubs, make new friends, do things you wouldn't ordinarily do and you'll surprise yourself. You will learn and grow so much from it all!


Only a few words come to mind. For the parents I would tell them that every college teaches the same finance, economics, and chemistry material; meaning paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for college is only for the name of the college. For prospective college students, knowing your true self is very important. Knowing what you believe you can achieve and want to achieve is needed first, then shop around for schools that will fit your needs.


To make sure that you dont work to hard but make sure that you work hard enough


Many students choose a school based on it's party scene, name, or its campus. These may be important to your child, but what your student really needs to look at is the school's programs. Is the school known for what your child wants to do? Many large schools have a program for everything, though only a few are actually known and respected. After you find out about the program's reputation and facilities, find out their job placement. If all of these things are good, then it's fine to look at things like campus life, the look of campus, and how large the school is. The only problem you may find with the school you choose as the parent is the price attached to it. Look to see if they have a price freeze guarantee for while your child is in school. You need to understand school is expensive, and financial aid will not likely fulfill many of your needs. Do your child a favor and take out loans for them. The school is more expensive for a reason. Choosing the right school can guarantee your child's success.


Don't go to a specific college just because your "friends" are going. Search for a college that you, as a student want to go to. You should choose a school that you believe will give you the education and experience you want. Most of all though don't think less of yourself when you're applying to colleges. It doesn't matter what your high school gpa isor what high school experiences you may or may not have had. If you really want to go to a school that other people think you're not good enough for then you should still at least apply. After all you never you if you're rejected till that letter comes in the mail, and obviously that letter won't come in the mail till you apply to the school.


Visit the campus before deciding to go there. Plan out your finances and try not to spend too much.


A word of advice that I would give to parents and students is that one of the best things to do about finding a good college is to make a top five list of choices and visit each and every choice you come up with. That is what helped me. You don't really get a feel for the school or campus until you visit and see the interaction of other students. Other students can also inform you on the pro's and con's of the school because they attend it and that will help also. In order to make the most out of a college experience is to surround oneself around positive and funloving people. School is not only about classroom and books. Get involved at school and participate in the extracurriculum programs that the school has to offer. This is the best way to enjoy college life and be happy wherever you decide to attend.


I would tell them to go where they feel comfortable. For me, Western is a giant community and I love it. Students should find a place they can fit in.


Finding the right college is crucial to making the most of your colllege experience. It's necessary to make a list of values and goals you hope to acheive in attending college. Compare those values and goals with the mission statements and programs that your desired colleges consist of. If your values and goals conflict with the mission statement and programs available at a college you're interested in, then the result of enrolling in that college could be detrimental to your dreams. The best thing you can do is to fully inform yourself of what you want out of college and compare that dream with the colleges that show true potential in helping you to accomplish that dream. When you are certain you have found that college, enroll and continue to apply for scholarhips regardless of how you feel your chances are of actually getting them. Involve yourself with as many activities, clubs, and volunteering experiences as you can. You not only meet life long friends this way, but you become very famliar with the campus and create a large network of fellow students who will share many classes with you. Lastly, promise yourself that you'll have fun!