Wheaton College-Wheaton Top Questions

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

Scott

If I could go back to my senior year of high school I would have three pieces of advice to give myself. The first peice of advice would be to work hard at academics from the very beginning. Each class at a liberal arts school like Wheaton is very valuable and I wish I wouldn't have taken some classes for granted. The second piece of advice would be to get involved in different aspects of campus that would normally make me feel uncomfortable. This could include various music, art, or cultural groups. The final piece of advice i would give myself would be to realize how unique each person is and the amazing impact each person can have on our society. Never view yourself as someone that can't do great things because each person has so much that they can bring to our planet. It is very easy to get stuck in the mindset that we are average, but that is not true. Anyone can accomplish something amazing, and I am going to be one of those people.

Nicholas

If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, there are a few things I would tell me. First of all, I would tell myself to stop complaining about work and enjoy the amount of free time I have, because college is another level! I felt that the transition to college was a huge shock to my system, especially in terms of work load. So I would tell my high school senior self to take AP classes. I feel that AP classes would have given me a better idea of the amount of work that college requires, and would have also given me a head start with my college credits so that I could have taken more of the classes that I wanted to. I would have also told him that spending quality time on scholarship applications was essential as scholarships are often applied to by hundreds of people and that it requires a lot of work to actually get accepted for one (also getting scholarship money is a whole lot better than working part time in during school to try and get raise funds).

Sarah

Well, to start, don't panic. College is a challenge, but it's also do-able. The best way to do well is to organize your time. This way you aren't overwhelmed when the projects start rolling in at once. Along with this new sense of calm, meet new people and try to make friends right away. It's always good to have a support system at home, but it's nice to have someone at hand to talk to if need be. Another thing, STUDY. Don't go into this thinking that it's just a high school you live at. It's not. Teahcers really do expect you to have the assignments entirely done and on time. Crazy right? Well believe it, kid. Oh, and one more thing, have fun. It's true when people say that some of your best memories will be made in college.

Nick

I felt like some kind of plotting evil genius not only during my senior year in high school, but honestly, thought my high school career. I was Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. I had the vivid imagination, ultimately spent too much time on that vision and little to no time on putting it into action through ideas. I subsequently breezed through high school. Now, finishing up community college nearly two years later, soon to be enrolling in a four year college next spring, I finally came to the realization of the concept of time. Your world speeds up at an alarming rate after high school, arguably the slowest period of your life, where I had dreamed of eventually being able to move away and live the college life. Now, two years later it's about to become reality. I've progressed very little in two years in terms of creating a gameplan for the long term. I do have some serious ideas, but I would have told myself two years ago that you need to stop being a dreamer and being more of somebody creating ideas, because time will keep moving. Also, I don't want to rule the world.

laurissia

I would tell myself to prepare for the future while I am young by learning good habits. Procastination has to be the reason I struggle with school so I would fix the problem early rather than late. Becoming more active in all the activities at school would make school more exciting rather than making it a chore. Waking up early to eat a balanced breakfast every day will help me learn better and become more healthy. I would then tell myself to be a social butterfly and not be so afraid to talk to people because they are just like me. Engaging in classroom discussions and going above and beyond on every assignment would be a habit. Staying after school to particiapate in the spanish clubs is something I wish I could have taken advantage of. I believe learning about different ethnic backgrounds makes a person more diverse and open minded. Taking advantage of the opprotunity to travel with the school to different countries would have been ideal. Ultimately high school was a short part of my life where I learned a lot about myself. College is where I overcame my fears and bad habits and became a better student.

Phoebe

Dear senior Phoebe, Congratulations, you are almost done with high school! As your high school life begins to end and college looms in the distance, I know that you must be getting nervous. Don't worry--that is totally normal! However, to make it a little easier, I'll give you a few tips to remember as you begin your college experience next year. First of all, before you enter college, think about who you will want to be. You'll be in a new place with new people and new opportunities, which means you can erase all your past mistakes and preconceptions and start with a blank canvas. Who do you want to be? You have the power to reshape your identity. Take advantage of that. Forge ahead with courage. Meet as many people as possible. Join a group simply because it sounds interesting to you. If you make mistakes, pick yourself back up and try again. These tips will get you started on the right path as you enter college, but the rest you will have to figure out on your own. I know you can do it. Good luck! Sincerely, College Phoebe

Victoria

Looking back on my senior year I see my teachers pushing me just enough to finish strong to the end. While I didn’t catch “senioritis”, I continued to foster the mindset of “I'm done with school”. So much of what I did in high school was for the sake of getting into college. “Oh this will look good on my transcript” predominated my thinking for many of the activities I was involved with. I hardly ever took the time to enjoy things just for the sake of doing them, to explore what my passions were. I saw the fruits of this when I arrived on campus to find so many clubs and organizations vying for my attention, though none caught my eye. I hadn’t a clue as to my interests. “I have no reason to participate in anything, I’ve already got into college”, filled my thinking. I spent so much of my freshmen year, just figuring out who I was and what I wanted in life. If I were to do high school again, I’d take the time to discover the things in life that bring me joy, to be involved because I actually care.

Alicia

If I were to go back in time, I would stress how important it is to look for scholarships early on. I have spent the past two years at my local community college, which has helped me save a lot of money, but now I am transferring to a four-year university and the cost is much higher. Considering that I have to pay for all of my college out of my own pocket, I would explain to myself that I really needed to be applying to at least one scholarship every day. If I had been applying to one scholarship every day since my senior year, I wouldn't currently be working five part-time jobs and searching for scholarships every day while still going to school as a full-time student. If I could convince myself how important scholarships really are, I think that I would be in a much better place right now.

Sara

I would tell myself to take as many college classes as I could in high school to further up the college process. Not only does it count as college credit, but it also counts for high school credits to graduate. I would also tell myself to not stress out about the whole college experience. It is a little scary in the beginning, but you get the hang of things pretty quickly and it isn't worth all the worry that people sometimes have. I would tell myself to set goals and have dreams and to reach for the sky until you reach those goals and dreams. You are the only one that holds yourself back or pushes yourself forward so you might as well make it count and reach for the stars!

Rachael

Before you take the huge and humbling leap from the top of the food chain to being a small fish in a big pond, let me share two pieces of advice with you. First, to repeat exactly what you've heard from your grandparents, aunts, neighbors, and teachers, college is an incredibly formative time of your life. You know this, but be careful not to view these next four years as the most decisive and concluding seal on who you are. There is an abudance of growth, change, breaking, and renewing in the years after college, just as the years leading up to this point have contained. You will succeed, be challenged, make mistakes, and heal in very significant ways in the next few years, but don't forget that your journey is bigger than the immediate present! Second, know that some of the friends you make in college will be lifelong, and some will be only for a time. It's important to be able to hold both with open hands. When you are able to do that, you affirm the value and uniqueness of the relationship as well as the person and their specific journey. Enjoy every moment!

Natalie

(After studying for my first two years of college at Manhattan School of Music, I had to withdraw due to financial struggles. After taking a year off, I was transferred to Wheaton College. ) "Natalie, your life is going to take some unexpected turns. Keep pursuing excellence, but hold on to your plans loosely. You will learn invaluable lessons about life and God and yourself as you go through trials. It's worth it--these experiences will be extremely formative and valuable. Keep practicing hard and use your time wisely. Remember to savor each place and relationship--tomorrow is not guaranteed. You only have the present. Don't let discouragement entangle you. Instead, be patient and at peace--there are good things in store. Pray and be thankful for your blessings even during dark times. Hold on to the truths you already have believed. Instead of thinking of the future as something ahead, think of it as something behind you that you enter by steps of faith when you can't see what's next. With your past in front of you, you will slowly begin to see how the threads are interweaving in the complex, beautiful tapestry of your life."

Samuel

Out of my entire college experience so far, I would say that out of my first year, I have gotten more life experience than anything. I have learned more about what kind of people there are in the world, what I need to do in order to succeed in life, and to never, no matter how hard the struggle is, give up. My first year of college wasn't that of the typical freshman. I had a roommate I couldn't stand, was training with the football team six day out of the week, having to deal with the same drama I tried to escape from in high school, and trying to adjust to a new world I was thrust into. I learned how to become more self-reliant and more focused in my studies. I would say that even though I went through a lot of strife and hardship in college, i wouldn't take it all back. I look at it all as a learning experience, because if I hadn't gone through that year of hell, I wouldn't be the happier person I am today. -Samuel Dwain Fuller

Linnea

My current journey is expressly invaluable; during my college years, I have experienced dissatisfaction, satisfaction and abundance. Sometimes, one “gets out” precisely that which she “puts in”—hours of study for a passing grade. Other times, one receives the unexpected—new knowledge or extended grace. Unmet expectations are also inevitable—failed relationships. I invest time, money, skills, desire, studies and respect, and I receive, discover and uncover endlessly. Questions accompany new perspectives. Joy thrives amidst struggle. Friendships offer challenge and support. Growing in expertise and my desire to continue learning and teaching necessitates an ever-increasing humility. My experience has afforded me opportunities for service, study, travel, engagement, and involvement. I also gain life skills and critical thinking; learning how to learn prepares me for unforeseen challenges. Moreover, the Wheaton journey has value in its uniqueness as a faith-based college experience striving for academic excellence in a small, intentional community comprised of global members. More than simply future connections or momentary fun, relationships are priceless investments into others’ futures. Finally, attending Wheaton College has value as it is my own formative experience, beginning to answer, “Where have you come from and where are you going on your journey?”

Daniel

My college experience has been invaluable in teaching me about what it means to be part of the global community. I grew up in the Philippines and went to highschool at an international missionary school so I could say that my global experience is wider than most, however, I would still say that college, more than anything else in my life, has incredibly impacted my worldview. In my highschool everyone had relatively similar experiences and views. At Wheaton College, I have met people who have been pulled from all sorts of places and many diverse walks of life. Nearly all of them come in pursuit of a higher education and the benefits of a college experience but each hails from a different setting and has something distinct to offer to the comunity. They all have their own unique ideas and understand life each in their own way. In my interactions with these people I begin to see the world through their eyes, and sometimes, my perspective is changed forever. If the world is to find peace and prosperity each person should try to see through the eyes of the unfamiliar and those who they disagree with.

Roseanna

I just started my first year at community college and feel I have already taken away so much. School has undoubtedly honed my writing skills and sharpened my time management skills. It has also given me an extreme confidence boost, as I completed my first semester back with a 4.0 GPA. It is wonderful to have immediate goals and to have the assistance of my Professors in achieving these goals. Attending school has allowed me to completely change my lifestyle. I was working at a bar that encouraged me to drink with patrons and I slowly started to feel like I was drinking my life away with no real goals. It was depressing, so I signed up for classes and have truly found my passion. I intend on doubling majoring in Food and Nutrition and Psychology. I would like to teach individuals healthy eating and lifestyle habits. I’ve always been passionate about food and health; I was just never really sure what to do with it. With the help of school counselors I have mapped it out. I feel that, armed with my degrees, I will be afforded opportunities to truly do what I love for a lifetime!

Torunn

In the two semesters I have been here, I have made the most amazing friends! Wheaton has fantastic community and is full of interesting, outgoing, smart and funny people. It has been so valuable to me to have classes with professors who really love what they research and what they teach, and who are active about getting students to love it too. The Wheaton Conservatory of Music is a part of the college, and we get world-class concerts from amazing students and professional artists all the time, which is really unique from other schools. I love that in one week I can go hear a symphony played by my peers, go to a sculpture exhibit in our art building, get invited to a hockey game and discover a poet at a reading in the library that I love but had never heard of! The diversity of activities, academic and non-academic, and the friends I have made participating in everything make it so worthwhile to attend. I know that studying at Wheaton will prepare me for whatever grad school I want to attend or job I will apply to in life.

Grant

I picked Wheaton College because of the outstanding music program, and the strong Christian influence. Wheaton has been the perfect fit for me. My musical talents have grown in ways here at Wheaton that I never expected would happen. Not only have my musical and academic abilities grown leaps and bounds, but also my spiritual life. Wheaton is a place where I have been welcomed by fellow students, administration, and teachers alike. One of the main differences I hear from friends at other colleges is that their teachers don’t care about them on an individual base. My experience so far at Wheaton has been that every teacher wants you to succeed, and they do what they can to help you accomplish success. If I had to make the choice again of where I would attend college, I would without a doubt choose Wheaton College again.

Terry

My college experience has given me career opportunites that would be unattainable if I hadn't procured a university degree. It has allowed me to advance in the medical profession and pursue other avenues of interest. Consequently, this has instilled a drive within me to continue to evolve and expand on my knowledge and education by seeking to obtain a doctorate of pharmacy. Without my previous college experience I would not have come to the crossroads that I'm currently at. Instead, I would be working a job that I was unsatified with to make enough money to pay bills and other financial afflictions that plague us in everyday life. So, education has become a very important aspect in my life as a result of the education I acquired early in life. It has enabled me to look further and to continue to push myself and persevere until I achieve my dreams and aspirations. The drive has always been there. However, financial obtacles have made it difficult. That is why a scholarship would be a great asset to me . It would be something I would appreciate tremendously as it would allow me to continue my ambitious pursuit of knowledge.

Jenn

Attending college during my formative intellectual years shaped and transformed me into the person I am today. The dreams that I had in high school changed during college; having professors and mentors that deeply cared about my wellbeing as a person helped me to choose a career path that was incredibly fulfilling. I taught high school English for four years after graduating, and now I am about to pursue my master's degree in TESOL. Being enabled to pass on knowledge was an incredible experience. I discovered that I love to teach, and specifically I love to teach those who otherwise would not have learning opportunities. Without having the foundation of a college education, I also believe that my roles as wife and mother would be much more challenging. My confidence and decision making skills were honed during my time at college. By training my mind to engage in study, I am also better able to train my children to engage in the world around them. College was one of the singular most important experiences in my entire life, and it could not be replicated in a different scenario.

Sydney

Independence is a big word for college freshman. For some, it means going out and partying every night. For others, it just means being able to eat that extra bowl of ice cream (ladies and gentlemen: the freshmen 15 explained). But for me, independence was not something that I really craved. It was actually something that I was afraid of. Crazy, right? But in my new found independence, I've also found a confidence that I wasn't award I had before. I can go up to a professor and ask them a question that might have embarassed me before. I can wear that dress with tights around campus without wondering whether it's really in style. This independence, confidence, whatever you want to call it, it's really helped my self-image and day-to-day life. It wasn't something that was wild, or gross, or something to be afraid of. I love it.

Rebekah

The more time I spend at Wheaton College as a student, the more I appreciate the value of the life lessons, insight, resources, and time for growth available during undergraduate study on this small campus. The Wheaton College professors and faculty constantly pour their time, energy, and wisdom into receptive students. Below are two examples of how Wheaton College professors and faculty members have encouraged me as a student. Dr. Ryken, the Wheaton College president, spoke at a recent Philosophy club meeting about his work in academia exhorted everyone present to embrace their calling as a scholars as a continuing vocation throughout the course of their lives. My philosophy professor, Dr. Talbot, challenges all his students to commit to thinking hard and well instead of accepting things or ideas at face value. Thus, through my college experience, I have learned valuable lessons on which I will draw for the rest of my life.

Jessica

College has been an incredible experience for me so far - it is so true when they say there is really nothing quite like it. The community at my school is something that I cherish now and know that I will miss once college is over. I love the classes too. I have some of the most intelligent and well-connected professors in the United States and it's such an honor to sit in their class and learn from then every week. I believe the best thing that I've gotten out of this school so far is the ability to really think more intelligently. My professors aren't focused on advancing their own academic standing as much as they yearn to impart their great knowledge to students. It's true that I do learn history and facts, but I've also learned how to approach the world and make good choices in my life. College is definitely an essential part of growing up, especially for anyone wishing to lead a content life and be able to successfully overcome any obstacle.

Torunn

In a world in which liberal arts Christian Colleges are few, I can honestly say that Wheaton College holds true to giving me both an incredible liberal arts education, and a world perspective centered on Christ. I have been given the incredibly valuable gift of learning in a community that focuses on the teachings of Jesus and also pushes students to succeed in all areas of academia. Wheaton has taught me to keep an open mind, to become actively involved and invested in my community wherever that may be, and to challenge and surprise myself by trying new things and being curious about everything. At Wheaton I have taken language classes, math classes, English classes, Bible classes, sculpture classes, been involved in clubs and varsity sports and intramurals, and every time I think that something may not be for me I end up being surprised by what others have to teach me. Wheaton has given me an appreciation for all aspects of learning and life, and an understanding of the true value of a Christ-centered liberal arts education. I am so excited for the rest of my time at such an incredible college!

Stephanie

Above all, my college experience has expanded my horizons. I have learned so much from the college experience, even outside of the classroom. College has allowed me to explore an area entirely different from where I grew up, begin the process of living on my own, and meet the best friends I've ever known. These experiences might not be unique to my school. Yet attending Wheaton has allowed me to be a part of a strong, faith-based community. I love living in a place where I rarely encounter violence, drinking, or even profanity. Even the neverending snow has its benefits: I have certainly learned patience in waiting for spring. Wheaton has taught me more than I ever thought I did not know. It certainly is the right place for me.

Jared

First off, I would tell myself not to bring granola bars containing peanuts, because a guy on my floor is deathly allergic and peanut products have been banned. On a more serious note, I would offer encouragement by reinforcing what I?ve known for some time. I?m definitely smart enough to succeed in college. The secret to success, however, is balance. The balance between working diligently and goofing around with friends, between procrastinating and getting your work done, between work and sleep. In my opinion there is no universal answer to these questions. You have to find out for yourself often by trial and error. Also, I would say that in order to succeed in college, you must not procrastinate, and you must learn to read. By that I mean you must learn to read quickly, carefully, and selectively, knowing that you can?t always finish every assignment. It?s vital to know what parts of a reading assignment you can skim, and what parts you really need to know. Looking back, I would have told myself to practice those skills before coming to college, because they make life a lot more enjoyable.

Karalee

Everyone has this vision in their head of setting foot on their college campuses freshman year and having a fresh start. Students are eager to start over and to become someone new. After all, these people you are now surrounded by in college didn?t know you in high school, so this is your chance to create a new identity. While I think college is a great opportunity to have a fresh start and to begin a new chapter in your life, I think it is unnecessary to be so adamant about changing your personality, habits or values that you have established and carried with you for the past eighteen years of your life. This would be the advice that I would have given myself during my senior year of high school in preparation for the transition to college. I would have liked to have been less concerned with figuring out how I wanted to ?start over? and more focused on building upon the foundation that I had already established for myself. College itself offers plenty of new opportunities and it is unnecessary to change who you are in order to find them.

Jessica

College is the estuary of the world. It's a place where you will be challenged, engaged, and inspired. Deciding where to go to school directly impacts the next stage of your life, so make sure you pick well. And you will pick well if you carefully consider, thoughtfully pray, and take your time to decide. That being said, Wheaton College is a school where you will encounter opportunity in both academics and relationships. Investigate this college! It may be far from home and it may be out of your comfort zone, but do not let those petty fears keep you back from the beauty that this last year and a half has been. The four years of undergraduate study offer a time for fun, but remember that the person you are now is the person you are becoming for the rest of your life. So choose wisely. And don't regret. Pray and trust and take a leap! And remember, education is a gift, so always be thankful for the opportunties you have been given!

Cheney

If I had the ability to talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I now know I would tell myself to be prepared. I should have applied for more scholarships and put myself and my academic acheivements out for more people to see. Then perhaps instead of paying off loans I could be saving that money up for something realistic like a house.

Jacob

I would tell myself that College is a far different experience than High School. I would have prepared myself more by participating in internships, talking to companies, and getting out into the field. College is a lot of what you make of it. You can choose to have a very vigorous college career, or you can choose to coast on by. I have chosen thus far for my college career to be vigorous. If I could go back in time today, I would tell myself that studying was very important. Getting my homework done on time is just something that needs to be imbedded into my brain. When you get an assignment, you complete it. There is no excuses for not completing an assignment, because there is no credit given to late assignments. With a better work ethic, I would have a significantly better transition from High School into my College career.

Katrina

There are three specific things I would tell myself coming out of High school. First, always have a goal, even if its a small one. Its impossible to get anywhere if you are not moving, and its much easier to change directions if you are in motion than if you are standing still. Having a goal keeps you motivated and moving in a direction. Without a goal, life starts to pass you by. The second thing I would tell myself is to make sure to have a good advisor in college, and to listen to the advice of the advisor. too often I have followed the "knowledgable" advice of friends, only to find out that I knew more than they did. I have missed opportunities and rescheduled classes for graduation because I didn't take the time, or make the effort, to see my advisor. Advisors are there for a reason! Use them, rely on them, and you will not be disappointed. The third thing to keep in mind is that happiness is a choice. You can spend a lot of time dwelling on negatives, or you can choose to be positive and enjoy life. Choose the positive!

Roneshia

If I could go b ack to my senior year in high school, I would have told myself to apply for as many scholarships as possible. I never knew that chasing a dream would put me in so much debt. Colleges make it hard for students like me to get a degree. I've been to two different colleges and build up a debt of $19,000 and still is not close to acheiving a goal. I cry almost every night because it's necessary to have a degree to live comfortable in this world. April 8th I will be expecting my first child and I'm afraid that without the right amount of income that I won't be able to supply her the things she will need in life. Fashion is my passion no doubt, and I fight to get my degree like my life depends on it. It's hard not having enough money to help myself.

Sophia

Pray before you make a decision.

Sophia

Pray before you apply to 20 different schools.

Alexandra

Don't take yourself to seriously. Care about people, get to know them, listen to their stories. Take life seriously as necessary, but don't forget to laugh and not get yourself down for your mistakes.

Curtis

"Do not confine yourself to a specific career path you think you want to pursue. Chances are your passions and interests will change as you take new classes. For example, I started as a music major and switched to environmental studies. Most colleges require lots of gen eds, use this time to figure our what your major should be. Don't take the maximum credit load, you may be able to handle it, but you won't be able to get as much out of the class. You will be more conserned with completing the assignments than learning and applying the material. Use your time in college to develope healthy life long habbits. Get in a routine; workout, get enough sleep, eat well. College is a time to develop all facets of your lifestyle not just academics. If you go to school close to home, resist the urge to go home often and get to know the people in your dorm and in your classes. If you can, get off campus every once in a while. Go downtown and do something fun to get your mind off work. Don't expect to get the same straight A's in highschool. "

Roy

Daniel, the fact that you made it into this school means that you are educated. But that won't be enough to keep you in it. You know that you have what it takes to keep up with all of the geniuses that go here. You know, the studnets that turned down Harvard, Princeton, and Yale to go to Wheaton. You know you have what it takes, so when you get to Wheaton next year, prove it. Don't become complacent, or lazy. Don't make the same mistake twice. Follow your heart. You want to major in biology because doctors get paid. That is the worst thing you could possibly do. Wealth won't bring you happiness. Focus on your writing, focus on your ability to create music, and foremost, focus on God. You know that He is the only reason you got into this school. You are smart, but your High School GPA said otherwise. God showed the selection committee of this school the potiential inside of you, masked by a subpar GPA. When you get to Wheaton next year, you need to let that potential out. You are standing on a cliff. It's time to jump.

Justin

I would tell myself to focus more on the end benefits of the college in question. During the process of applications and campus visits when I was a senior, I focused too much on where I was right now, and what would fit me as an 18 year old kid. If I could go back, I would look deeper and try to figure out where I saw myself 5 years down the road. I am convinced that I made the correct decision in attending Wheaton College. However, I went into it with reckless abandon. Assuming I could go back in time I would be more careful in my decision making, keeping my future in mind.

Brenna

It is incredibly important to visit all school choices. A school may appear to be one thing on paper, yet be another thing entirely once you set foot on campus. Since this will be the student's home away from home, it should feel very comfortable. It is important to see if the student gets along well with the current students, if they like what is offered on campus, living conditions, the way in which classes are conducted, etc. It is also important to consider financial aid. While it is true that money must be spent to make money, sometimes the debt is simply not worth the education received. Find the best education for the best price. Extracurricular activities are important to consider as well. The probability of having free time outside of study time is quite high, so it is a good idea to see if the school offers any activities in which the student would enjoy participating. Balance between studies, a social life, work, and other activities is something for which to strive.

Audra

Go with your heart. Sometimes rationale misleads you. When one school offers lower costs, honors programs, or other benefits, yet you still don't feel quite as at home as you did at another, it is difficult to see why you shouldn't go there. But before you can learn you need to be comfortable where you are. Parents, advice your children, but be supportive of them whether or not they choose the school you desire them to go to. It is okay to set boundaries, but don't force your child into any one school. College is one of the first steps into independence, if the decision is made for them; you are harming them more than helping them (academically and developmentally). Once you have made your decision, fall in love with the school you are going to. There is no time for you to think about what could have been. Initially follow your heart and then invest it in where it first led you.

Jordan

Finding a college is all about what is comfortable for you. Ask yourself, could I see myself spending the next four years of my life here? Academics are very important, and you should choose a school that has a good program in whatever area of study that you are interested in, but if that is the only reason you are choosing the school, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Make sure that the school is in a comfortable setting and offers extracurriculars that you are interested in taking part. Things as simple as the weather and the quality of the food are important when you spend three-quarters of your year living there. Once you choose a school, make sure that you get involved right away. Join activities that will allow you to have time relaxing away from your textbooks. Remember, you are there to study first, but don't let yourself get burned out. Get to know your professors if possible and take full advantage of any resources that may be offered. Lastly, you are only going to get as much out of the experience that you put in; don't coast through college!

Suzanne

Though I've made my share of mistakes in my life, I would say the greatest one is not being honest with myself. Therefore, my advice is to be genuinely you throughout the college experience - from application to graduation. Some people view life like it is a game of chess, treating people like pawns in their grand plan. They know what to say and how to act and when to surreptiously slide spaces to capture the pieces they desire. But what is their ultimate goal? What about the pawns crushed along the way? When they've finally reached the end, do they even know who they've become? Yes, life is rather like a chess game sometimes, but people should never be pawns. I'm not trying to say that I'm all-knowledgeable in the game of life, because I'm a royal mess myself, but I've learned recently that you go much further in life when you don't have to pretend. Your talents, your flaws - there are always people that will accept you no matter what. Don't make the mistake of pretending to be something you're not. It's your move.

David

First of all, if prospective students have a general idea of what major they wish to pursue, choose a college with a good program. Next is the size, which depends on what kind of a personality you have. Big schools mean you are a number, your professors are distant, and you don't know a lot of people. Small means close to professors, close friendships with lots of people. Next, never underestimate seemingly insignificant concerns. My advise is definitely go smaller. The quality of the facilities, dormrooms, campus aesthetics, and food make a big impact on your living experience at college. These comforts make college feel more like home away from home and contribute greatly to your mood and perspective of the school. To some, these factors may not matter much at first, but then they end up transferring elsewhere at the end of the semester. If you take these things into account during your search, you should be able to narrow down a list to a few schools which will fit your preferences.

Faith

The most important advice I would give to students about picking the right college finding the delicate balance between satisfying the wishes of others and the desires of oneself. By listening only to what parents and guidance counselors think is best for you, you make the mistake of loosing touch with oneself. For some, college will not only be your school but your home. Once this decision has been made, don't just sit back and let this experience pass you by! Put your tuition to work by studying and engaging with your professors. The other side of learning in college is more personal. You will learn so much about yourself in just one year. Put yourself out there or try something that brings fullfillment. In the next year you will work hard and question yourself. I hope you come out strong and confident!

Jason

Learn as much as possible about the students, alumni and professors of the college/university; this is where you get to see the values, strengths, and weaknesses of the school most clearly played out. Find exceptional alumni who have made significant contributions to the nation or the business community and ask yourself how you value their legacy; but don't just seek out extraordinary alumni; find ordinary alumni you know and spend time with them; ask them about their college experience and how their college years influenced their current life, career, values, and what they have given to their communities. See how this matches with your aspirations. Also ask about professors. If you have a chance to talk with them, even for five minutes, ask them why they teach at their university and in their subject. Every professor will be preoccupied somehow, but keep in mind the concern they show for you. Stay on campus with students for a weekend. Figure out what motivates them in academics and how they live out their values in school and their social lives and see if this is what you want to live with through college and for the rest of your life.

Jean

You will make friends for life at college so choose it wisely, whether it is a party school or more academically focused. It is a unique time in your life when you will be surrounded by peers your own age who are just as brilliant and driven. Take time to get to know people different from yourself. Your peers will come from different backgrounds and cultures. Take time to learn to see the world through their eyes. Also, find a way to volunteer. Volunteering can put a face to the abstract concepts you learn in class and is a great reminder of the practical applications for your studies. One of the most important things to check when choosing a college is the accessibility of the professors. My professors bent over backwards for me, even coming to campus to do study sessions until 9 pm the night before a major exam. It took me two years to realize the professors were my greatest resource. Professors who really care about you and want you to do well can really make or break your college experience. Most importantly, balance is key. Study hard, find ways to serve, and take time to relax.

Ross

Don't choose a school based solely on how it will look on a resume. Take the time to find a school where you will enjoy not only learning, but also day to day living. A good college experience is more than just the value of an education. College is a time to really craft individual identity, and picking the right school is an important part of this process.

Ashley

The child needs to seriously think about what they want out of their college experience. They need to thoroughly research a wide variety of colleges and look at many different aspects of the college. Also, students should not choose a college solely based on academia or on their perceived potential career path. Parents should help their students research but should leave the ultimate decision up to their students. In order for students to make the most of their experience they need to get involved in things they care about and they need to develop a strong social network of people they care about and can be real with.

Peter

Make your number one choice an easier school to get into! Without a doubt this is the most practical advice for students. There is no one school that will satisfy all your needs and desires. The college you go to does not make your college experience. Sure, there are many colleges that are extremely different, but there are many that are very similar. The decisions you make and the way you use the opportunities given you during your college life are what make your college experience. Thoughtfully apply to a variety of schools, and, once you are accepted, then decide where you really want to go. That will relieve much of your stress. Take more time to consider not where you want to go, but who you are and what kind of people you want to meet. What type of people, students and faculty, do you want to surround yourself with for 4 years during a large developmental time of life?

Megan

I would tell them that if they are getting a liberal arts degree it really does not matter what they study. They should pick something that interests them because they will have to be immersed in that for four years. Additonally, they should consider what type of experience they want to gain. It is important to know what size of school you want to attend, if you want a religious institution, and what kind of location you want to be in. If you know that you want to get off capus and do other activities, you should not apply to a school in the countryside.

Brittany

When choosing a college, be sure to visit the schools you're applying to. I applied to two schools. On paper, one school was my top choice. But once I visited, the other school became my top choice. I ended up at that school; it wasn't deinfitely the right choice for me. To make the most of your college experience, do not lock yourself away in your room or the library to study! Make friends and have fun with them. You need people to help you get through the college experience, especially that first semester when you're all confused and homesick. And you need fun in your life. You're a human being, not a robot. Don't work the whole time. Studies are important, but so is taking care of yourself and making sure you have fun sometimes. Don't waste this time in your life when you're surrounded by your peers and potential friends.

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