Whitman College Top Questions

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

Haley

We line up; the time starts; I run; I finish; That is the story of my first fitness test as a Whitman College varsity soccer player. Along with my matriculation at Whitman College in April came the knowledge that I would be playing varsity soccer and have to complete an assessment measuring my physical preparedness. This entailed a summer of training and anxiety. By August 18th, I was sufficiently scared out of my wits. While my fears that the test would be the most physically exhausting activity of my life did prove true, after ten minutes it was over and I could look forward to what came next. In retrospect, this fitness test was emblematic of my entire college transition. There was a lot of hype, it lived up to most of the hype, and then it was over and a new chapter begins. My most important advice to myself would be to recognize change as inevitable and to not let petty apprehensions detract from what is the most life-altering, positive transition of my life. Don’t get overwhelmed by fears, but enjoy your last months as a naïve high school student and embrace the change to come.

Joan

Three things you should know before coming to Whitman: 1) At the beginning of the school year, it can be really hot, so I would suggest bringing a fair amount of summer clothes. But also bring winter clothes too, because after a month or so, it starts becoming chilly. 2) Do ALL of the activities planned for you during Opening Week. They are all part of your Whitman experience and are all amazing. 3) Don't go overboard, but do bring a lot of things from home that will make your new home feel like "home." It helped me transition better. Also, consider bringing a lot of junk food--as means of making friends by bribery (i.e. chocolate).

Miranda

If I could go back to my senior year, I would tell myself to quit goofing around and to take school more serious. Life threw me a beautiful baby of a curveball and it has only motivated me more to take school more serious. The first time i attempted classes at a community college fresh out of high school I was more worried about what all my friends were doing and failed a bunch of classes. Now, the second time around, I recently graduated with an associates of science degree in a medical assisting program with a 3.95 GPA and was a few days away from perfect attendance. I never would have thought that I had it in me to be so dedicated to school, but now that's all I'm about. I want a good future for both me and my baby girl. I always wanted to become a nurse long before I had children, but actually, now I'm even more excited to have my little one watch me walk across another stage but this time with a lifelong career in hand. You never know where life will take you. You have to get prepared!

Guadalupe

An advice I will definetly give myself is to not wait to do the work last minute. College is really time consuming, yet it can be fun if we know how to manage our time correctly.

J

This applicant would challenge himself to remain focused and intrinsically motivated to retain the dream of attaining a higher education to acquire the soft and hard technological skills for the benefit of humanity and the environment in the spirit of excellence. All the while, he should sustain a spiritual balance and relationship with God, yet ever cognizant that he has been placed in this life to serve. The experiences gained while acquiring these technological skills in the halls of academia would enable and empower him with the rudimentary skills requisite of one who aspires to affect a catalyst for change to the world at-large. Because of his spiritual centeredness and worldly desire to be trained in a capacity to technologically, philosophically, and theosophically contribute to, and add his verve to this human melting pot, he must remain keenly aware of the impact he has on the behavior, thoughts, and actions of others. This striking awareness thereby causing him not to desire to abuse, mishandle, pervert, nor misuse those entrusted to his charge; this all, to the glory of God. Again, this applicant would endeavor to convey the ideology that with this great power comes due diligence and great responsibility.

Andrea

Don't stress about college, you are well prepared. Talk to high school alums and learn from their experience. Listen to your parents and teachers, they actually do know a thing or two!

Sophia

I would tell myself this - DO NOT FRET SO MUCH. I was so worried about whether or not I was making the right college choice that I failed to consider one crucial thing: there is not one perfect college for me. I gathered so much information on my top choices and loved visiting them so much that it was rediculous to think that there was a "wrong choice" that I could make in the end. I would be happy wherever I went. And accepting this statement in itself would increase my happiness with whatever choice I made. I found a wonderful new home in Whitman College. Worrying so much over the college process, despite the college process' obvious importance, could only hurt me in the end.

Caitlin

After I read this question, I was tempted to make a list of things to avoid at college. Never procrastinate, avoid that class, do not date that boy. But I realize giving myself advice about what NOT to do was negative. Instead, I would give myself a list of five positive tips. First, I would look my younger self straight in the eye and say: "have faith." Have faith in your talent, creativity, and charm. You are smart and strong, so have faith in yourself. Second, despite your strength, you will stumble sometimes. Ask for help when you falter. Friends and professors will be happy to give you support. Third, work hard. Fully apply yourself to everything you do. Anything less than your best is just not good enough. Fourth, let yourself fall in love. Fall in love with a subject that makes you excited to learn more. And let yourself fall in love with a boy. No, not your first boyfriend (he turns out to be rotten). But the second guy you love is definitely worthwhile. Fifth, revel in being young. You have options, opportunities, and open doors right in front of you. Enjoy every minute!

Emily

My college experience so far has been one of hard work, great people and developing the real me. Being away from the influences of home and family have forced me to evaluate who I really am and what I really want out of life and learning. Playing Division III soccer has given me a group of great friends and athletes, a great many sore muscles and a higher level of competition than I have ever experienced. Academicly, the professors are for the most part great. Caring and always able to find time to help. The campus is beautiful and the town of Walla Walla small enough to go anywhere on bike and find the things you need. Even if just getting away from it all is your goal. I am so happy I came to Whitman.

Vanessa

College in this past year has taught me more about life then the seventeen years I lived at home combined. I moved out of my parents house when I was seventeen and ever since then i've been working full time and going to school to make a difference for myself. I've learned how far determination will get me and even though some days I feel like i've hit my threshold that each assignment I complete and each class I attend is bringing me closer to my dream. I've also learned that nothing is handed to you on a silver plater and if you want it, your going to have to work for it.

amanda

My going to college means everything to me. I am anxious to learn and receive a excellent education experience. I look forward to a career that will not only allow for great employment , but also enjoying and rewarding. The career field I have chosen; will allow me to help other people who are in need of medical relieve; being able to ease and relieve the pain of others gives me a great satisfaction, joy and knowledge of accomplishment. My ultimate goal in life is helping others feel better. This college experience has allowed me the opportunity to learn, grow, and discover more about my inner-self. The lessons I have learned combined with the values that have been instilled in me through my parents, community, and college has allowed me to become a better student and person, which has given me the opportunity to strive for my ultimate goal in life. My attending College is a important stepping stone along the pathway of reaching my ultimate goal and striving for a dream come true. I look forward to a rewarding career, the opportunity, and satisfaction of doing my best in making the world a better place for all equality

Kyaw

Nothing in all the world is comparable to reading Ayn Rand beneath New York's skyline or to studying Nietzsche atop a mountain summit. Since childhood, the studies of philosophy and science have interested me profoundly. Having read many books on relativity, quantum mechanics, existentialism, religion, capitalism, democracy and post-Aristotelian philosophy, my quest for knowledge has only intensified. Certainly, the purpose of my life is to discover a greater understanding of the universe and its people. Specifically, I plan to better grasp the interrelationship among forces, matter, space, and time. In addition, I hope to find a unified field theory and a convincing explanation for the birth of the universe. During the summer of tenth grade, I took a number theory course at Johns Hopkins University with students from Alaska, California, and Bogota, Colombia. My attendance of the New Jersey Governor's School in the Sciences is another accomplishment that exemplifies my dedication to knowledge. During the summer following eleventh grade, I took courses in molecular orbital theory, special relativity, cognitive psychology, and I participated in an astrophysics research project. For my independent research project, I used a telescope to find the angular velocity of win with the angular.

Cari

I would tell myself that it is possible to manage doing a million things at once and that sleep is overrated. I would also tell myself to enjoy my time here because it only last four years. Finally, I would tell myself that nothing is too hard for me and if I just put in the extra time to study, no subject is too hard.

Ashley

The first thing I would tell myself has to deal with change. I would ask myself what I expected, then tell myself to forget that and not expect anything. College is going to challenge and change you in ways that you can not even dream of. The things you would like to change will not necessarily change, and the things that you would like to keep the same could possibly change. Learning to allow change in your life will be difficult, but will ultimately help you to become a much more confident and knowledgeable person. The second thing I would tell myself deals with self-confidence. Learning to be confident in college will take making friends that really care about you and that will help you find out your strengths as a person. Learning to trust and enjoy the people around you will be the most important thing you learn your freshman year of college. The third thing I would tell myself is to get ready to work harder than you have ever worked in your life. You will need to spend more time on schoolwork than you ever have before, but it will be exceedingly more rewarding in college.

Bryant

Whatever happens through this process occurs for a reason. Don't fret over the transistion from high school to college like it is the judgement of alll your previous years through public education. It is a large step in life, but countless people have survived it, and made their own memorable experiences, so you can also. Everyone asks about college, and you might feel pressured to go to a well known college, such as the Ivy Leagues, but it should not mean anything. This does boost your confidence, supporting that you passed"judgement", but the Ivy Leagues are not for everyone. It is true that if you go to a name school, people will admire you, but the Ivy Leagues are not for everyone. Something that we all forget is that we should not tailor ourselves to fit a school, but find a school that fits us for who we truly are. Only then, can you have a memorable and joyous collegiate experience. In this light, those colleges that do accept you, recognize your spirit and want your contributions and dedication to learning.

Cindy

Be prepared to re-learn how to write, think, analyze and read. Whitman professors expect you to understand and interpret on a much deeper level than high school teachers ever did, and they demand more out of you without being intimidating. Push yourself to work hard and you'll get much more out of the class. Don't procrastinate! Reviewing is also key because there are fewer tests and papers, so they are worth more - take your time with big assignments and start early! Try new things, and don't be afraid to introduce yourself to new people. You only get four years - make the best of it! Try a new sport, and go to on-campus events. Go to lectures even if they don't sound interesting - professors and students go through a lot of trouble to bring someone to campus, it's worth going to listen to! You will definitely learn something new. Find a cause or club that you're very passionate about, and focus your energy into it. The power of the students can accomplish a lot and the school is very generous and understanding about funding good causes/projects.

Fanny

Dear Self one year and 6 months ago, When you arrive at college, no matter where you choose to go, I can pretty much guarantee that you will immediately start wondering if you've chosen the wrong school, if it isn't "just right" for you, and if possibly you should transfer. Do not be alarmed. You will eventually come to terms with the fact that "just rightness" has no set definition. Of the schools you've applied to, each and every one of them has pros, cons, and things that can't be categorized as either, and believe it or not, there is no such thing as "perfect". Your curiosity will always make you wonder what would have happened had you done this and not that, but you will never know, so don't let these questions interfere too much with the choice you have made, becuase whether you can put your finger on it or not, there was a reason you made it. Don't be afraid of working hard, it's the only way to get things done, and the only way you'll ever feel satisfied in anything (sorry, but it's true). Good Luck!

Geni

Be introspective when decided what factors are important. Are you someone who engages best in discussion type classes? Look for a school with smaller classes. Are you a homebody and will want to have the freedom to visit home? Pick a school that is reasonably close to home. Do you love varsity sports? Perhaps look for a bigger school. It's all important to look for well-rounded schools if you're not sure what your major will be . You want to know that you're dabbling in strong departments when you're trying to find the correct fit. Reputation is important, but finding a great fit for your personality is key. If you have the resources to visit while school is in session and to stay overnight, I highly recommend that as well.

Emily

My advice would be to look for a school that will have students like you. If you like to study and plan on working really hard, then don't attend the number one party school in the country. Being able to live and work alongside students with the same goals and ambitions as you is the most important. It will keep you motivated and happy. Granted, you can find certain kinds of students at any big university, but the overall atmosphere of the campus will have a huge impact on your experiences.

Danielle

Students should look at their college of choice or if they cant, then they should contact an alumni and see what they got out of the college. Also, it would be wise to contact the professors in your field of interest or your prospective major. If you dont know, you could talk to them anyway because then you might have a better chance of getting into the college. Also, if the school has a program where you can stay over night, that is an amazing opportunity to see what the college is like. Good luck on finding your undergraduate experience!

Katie

There are so many different colleges out there, and so many of them seem to fit the same description - it can be a daunting task to filter through all of them to find the 'right one.' Yet, it is important not to become overwhelmed by your many choices. Instead, you should follow your own instincts and ideas of what sort of college atmosphere will work best for you in order to narrow down the huge list to a chosen few. It is also important to remember, however, that a written description cannot possibly encapsulate each and every facet of a school. Each college has a certain something that differenciates it from all others, and visiting the colleges you are looking at will help you to determine which ones truly 'fit'. As far as the college experience goes, it too can be a bit overwhelming. However, even when you feel overwhelmed by everything going on in your life, the easiest way to deal with stress is to face things one step at a time. If you stay focused on accomplishing the task at hand and leave time for the many new experiences college has to offer, you will do fine.

Gabriela

Name doesn't matter. Dig beneath the surface.

Chelsea

The undergraduate college experience is one you will (most likely) only experience once. When looking for the school that is right for you, do not overlook the value of extracurricular activities and the feel of the campus community. Extracurricular activities, in particular at a smaller school, will provide many opportunities for enrichment of an otherwise solely academic four years. A strongly knit campus community is invaluable to forming close friendships and networking during and after school. In my opinion, these factors are priceless. With rising tuition costs these days, few people are likely to find a steal for the price of their education. If you find a school that offers exactly what you want and need, price shouldn't be a factor. I am more than willing to take on the financial burden I have, considering the great value of my undergraduate experience.

Rosie

look at the dorms. ask yourself if you would want to be friends with the kids at the school.

Sarah

I believe that college is not simply a mode of acquiring a professional degree, but an important time for students to develop their intellects and to discover their passions. For this reason I think that one of the most important factors in deciding on a college is the student's knowledge of what about a school's academics and community excites them the most. For a student to get the most out of a college education, they must be in a place that they find stimulating. This may mean a school's individual approach to teaching, a location such as a big city with lots of diverse opportunities, or a school's excellence in a certain field. An education is only what each individual makes of it. I believe that if a student is in an environment where they can be happy, they will be much more inclined to make their time in college worth it. In looking for a school I recommend that students and parents try and find a place that will give them experiences that that will be both interesting and challenging rather than focusing on a school's name or on a moneymaking career.

Kristianne

Don't choose a college just because it has a program that you think you are interested in now. Believe me, you will most likely chnge your mind a few times when you get into college about what you want to do, choose a college because it is a place that will make you happy. It is a good atmosphere for you? Are you happy there? I can guaruntee you that if you go to a place because you know that you'll be happy there you will find what you are meant to do.

Wendy

When selecting a college, think both about the experience you want when you attend the school and what you hope to do upon graduation. Having recently graduated, I've found that a liberal-arts school is fabulous if you love learning and plan on going on to get a graduate degree, but it may not be ideal if you hope to get a job right away in the work force. You don't need to know your major going in, but it helps to know what you definitely DON'T want afterwards. Also, VISIT your top choice schools during a time when the college is in session and stay overnight if possible. It may be more convenient to make college visits during summer or school breaks, but the campus is only a tiny part of the equation. A college is your school and your home for four years and it is the students and the classes that make or break your college experience, so get a chance to really experience the ambiance whenever possible.

Desiree

If you're able to visit the colleges you're interested in, go. If not, talk to as many people as you can about college in general and any alumni of that college or a similar one. To make the most out of your college experience, get involved, learn when to push yourself and when to take a break, to enjoy what you have, to earn where you are, and to make the most out of all the resources around you - friends, professors, facilities, etc...

Drew

Make sure the culture of the school is what you are looking for.

Corrie

Get started early, and find a campus that feels right to YOU. While it is important to have a few ideas about what you want to do, don't stress to much. Besides, if you really don't know what you want to do, then a liberal arts school is the perfect place to go. Make sure you apply to plenty of scholarships as well.

Shelby

We're not going to win.

Andrew

Go with your gut.

Katharine

Really look hard and be ready to look into schools you don't expect to be a good fit

Monica

Start early on your college search and spend time to really think about what you want in a college. Make sure after you've narrowed it down to visit the colleges you're interested in, try to stay a night in a dorm, talk to students, talk to professors and check out departments that you are interested in. When you receive your acceptance letters and financial aid packets, this information along with the information you've gained from researching and visiting the schools will combine to form the best decision. Having embarked on the college experience, it can be difficult to balance a perhaps highly social atmosphere and freedom with school work. To be successful, set priorities early. Make sure that you don't fall behind in readings and classworks, study to do well on tests, and then be able to enjoy time spent with friends and weekends. Being involved in extra-curricular activities can be great ways to meet new people and a fun way to spend time. Make sure you don't sign up for too much and make your work load impossible to handle. The key to success in college is finding ways to balance your time.

Emily

Remember that college is an important time in life to figure out what your next steps are. Before applying take time to outline your priorities. Think about: -what's most important: academics? sports? social life? creativity? -what schools are strongest in that area? -how does the school compare to your current academic standards? -what makes it unique? -are there groups on campus that you can be involved in? (eg. religious, cultural, interests, etc) -how important to you is size? housing? accessibility? distance from home? scholarships? There are many more variables to think about, but I would recommend visiting a school to get a feel for it before making a final decision. See if you might feel at home and how you could get involved. And once you arrive, make the most out of everything that you identified as important to you.

Obreanna

Just figure out what you want, then hunt it down. Also, follow your gut. That's what I did -- I saw my college's website, and just from that I could tell that it was a good fit.

Andrew

Visit

Christine

When initially applying to the colleges, pick schools that fit the criteria most important to you. Say for example: academic reputation, big city/rural environment, class size or ability to interact with professors, athletics...and so on. Then make a list of at least six schools: 2 "dream schools" that you think might be a long shot considering it's competitive admissions process, 2 "most possible" schools that you think you have a pretty good chance of getting accepted, and 2 "for sure" schools that you "know" will accept you. Then, when acceptence letters come, visit those schools. A school might seem great on paper, but sometimes one just doesn't connect with the "feel" of the school. This is the most important factor in deciding what school is right for you. If you don't feel comfortable or can't picture yourself being at that school for four year, it doesn't matter if the school is everything you thought you wanted on paper - you will not be happy forcing yourself to attend that school. Once you start college, branch out and make new friends that first month. Then focus on perfecting a successful study routine. Good luck!

Joe

College is what you make of it.

Andrew

Go with what you feel is right in your gut. If the school makes you feel right at home and is dedicated to you, then the odds are that it is the right school for you. Talk with some of the professors, get to know the campus, get a feel for what life on campus is like. In the end, it is all about what makes you feel right at home. Finding the right college is hard and may take a while, but in the end, if you have found that perfect school, you'll never regret it. Whatever factors you consider most important, be sure that they scream "YOU." The best college or university is the one that has your best interests in mind.

Anna

I would advise those trying to choose the right college to not only visit the schools you're interested in, but visit your top choices multiple times at different times of the year. For example, a campus can seem alive and happy and wonderful in the spring, and can be completely the opposite in the winter; dead and beige and so depressing you just can't stand it. I advise students to talk to their parents extensively about their experiences, because, believe it or not--they know a lot and have been through the same experience. Learn from them if you can. Make a list of important aspects a school needs to have for you to be both successful AND happy--for example, big time sports, school spirit, great class size, really great extracurricular opportunites, location, major options, class options, etc. And don't forget--follow your gut; it's usually right.

Lee

Students (and parents) should never settle or be preemptively afraid of the application process. Many potential undergraduate students are scared away by SAT scores, GPA, and the like, while most schools actually place these quantitative values very low on their admissions priority list. Most schools will actually look first at the submitted essays, a student's involvement in their home community, and many other qualitative characteristics. Especially when applying to a smaller liberal arts school, admissions officers are looking for students who will nurture the schools creative, intellectual environment. Students at undergraduate schools should never be afraid to approach professors. When students take genuine interest and passion in any field of study, professors become invested. Most professors will go to great lengths to accommodate a student's intellectual growth. Students should never feel like--or tell themselves--that they are incapable of learning about things for which they are passionate. Parents should know their children, and be able to encourage them to grow: pursuing avenues they may not have even known existed, for at the end may be a passion for knowledge previously undiscovered. When a student is open to their own creativity, there is no stopping their intellectual exploration!

Meg

I think the biggest thing in finding a school is going to visit it! Walking around the Whitman campus, talking to faculty and students there made the biggest impact on me; so much so, that I applied early. I don't think there is *one* perfect school out there for each person; I think some schools are better fits though and once you're there, you have to be able to go about doing things yourself that will make the experience the best for you. Get involved in things you're interested in, even if you're nervous to do so at first! Go to your professors for help; they are usually more accomodating than you might expect. Keep up with your work, but make sure you are leaving time for other activities, friends, eating (!), sleeping, and other things that are not academically related. College is NOT just about academics and getting good grades!!

Tom

It's critical to find a handful of schools that you can really imagine yourself going to. Be realistic: don't dream too much about the Ivy Leagues and the Stanfords, because you're most likely not going to get into one of them! Find schools that are more attainable prospects and learn everything you can about them. You'll find that there are dozens, hundreds, of colleges that probably suit you much better than any "Reach School." It's not all about the name. Take a good look at yourself and decide whether you really belong in a school with a bunch of stuffed-shirt, legacy types. If none of the aforementioned applies to you, then maybe this will: don't just apply to the one state school that you're guaranteed to get into, just because you don't know where else you'd go. Do some research. Find the school that really speaks to you and your interests. Then go visit that school and talk to everyone there!

Elizabeth

To visit colleges before making a decision. You can only experience a college by visiting and talking with current students.

Lauralee

Come to this college with an open mind because there are so many different personalities that one will come across. There will always be someone that is able to debate an idea one might have and chances are they will if given the opportunity. It is truly an intellectual, yet simultaneously happy college.

Jonah

Think about what you want out of life, think long and hard, and then pick a college or colleges that fit that description. then you will be happy.

Claire

I know that this option isn't always a possibility, but, I would highly recommend visiting the schools you are considering before you attend the school. Several of the schools that were my first choice after reading about them turned out to be totally wrong for me when I visited. They just didn't feel right. As for making the most of your college experience, my words of wisdom would be : try new things and manage your time wisely. Really try to make time for social activities in between study sessions. It is very important to make time to de-stress during the week and social activities are a really good way to do that. Also, everyone I know who has good social connections seem happier than the more introverted people.

Alice

College is all about finding the right fit for you, and sometimes that takes some self discovery. While I thought I was destined to be a SoCal college girl, fate found a way to guide me in the right - and opposite - direction. After being rejected from my first and second choices, and after some prodding from my mother and the soccer coach, I reluctantly came out to Walla Walla - and within the first hour I knew I was going to spend four years there. Sometimes, you just know, and have to go with your heart. Other times, you find out along the way. A friend of mine transferred three times in four years, each time with high hopes, and his final choice has been the reward he was looking for. While difficult, the courage and foresight that it took him to keep trying was not only impressive but character building. Once you've found the college for you, maximize it by throwing yourself into campus life. Homesickness can be an early distraction, but the best cure is building a new home at your new school. It will happen before you know it.

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH