Willamette University Top Questions

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


Be prepared for any and everything. Being on your own is not what college is about because you always need a support system. Do not refuse help, you are not in this along. College will not be an easy transition unless you have a good support system and are ready. Also, it is okay to give up sometimes. If you can't do something, it is fine. Remember, to smile and think happy thoughts. P.S. if you are easily offended, do not use a certain annonymous social media site that starts with "y".


The most important change I made this past year was setting goals. Before school started I sat down and I wrote 3 goals for the year; 1) To recieve a 3.5 GPA, 2) Be all-conference in golf, 3) Make friends that will push me to be a better all-around person. Even though I recieved a 3.4 and didn't make all-conferene, I did make a close group of friends. These friends and I compete in the classroom and on the course, we push eachother to become better students and better golfers. We compete to see who can get the A and we compete to shoot the lowest score. My friends have made me a better student and helped me in the pursuit of my first two goals. All year long, I had something in the back of my mind that I was striving for, and that alone helped me succeed. So for next year, I know what I need to do to accomplish my goals, and I was lucky enough to meet some great friends to enjoy college with along the way. I would tell myself, "Set goals and you will succeed."


College is a completely different world than high school. It will be necessary to study more and harder than you ever have before. It will be hard and you will miss home, but you can get through it with the help of the friends you will make along the way. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. College will change you, but you don't have to be afraid of that change. Welcome new people, including the new person you will become. Most importantly, have fun. College is more than just preparation for medical school.


Seek to achieve, to encourage, and to lead by example. Success as a freshman is guaranteed to those who are willing to apply themselves academically. Hard work and dedication reap rewards. You alone are responsible for your grade point average, not your Teacher. Knowledge is the fulcrum to your future, use it wisely. Have integrity; portray a positive demeanor, and a willingness to learn. Step outside your comfort zone often, who we become is magnified by our experiences. Be a person of sound moral character, a compass for peers to follow. Accept criticism graciously, everybody makes mistakes. Meet deadlines, attend review classes, and always do extra credit work when it is available. Learn that time management is not updating your Facebook profile while doing homework. Choose to be a frontrunner rather than follower, you gain confidence and garner the respect of others when you risk doing what is right over that which you know to be wrong. Persistence pays off! And Try, Try Again! Are motto’s to live by as you forge ahead as a sophomore, a junior and ultimately graduate. Lastly, and of equal importance, make great friends, laugh lots, and keep curfews!


Letter to the high school me: Hey there! It's me, your college-aged self. Not to scare you about what's to come, but I have a few words of wisdom that might save you later on. Here they are; pay attention! BE FRUGAL. Your biggest struggle by far in college will be money. You know mom and dad don't have money to contribute. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THINGS YOU DON'T NEED. At one point in your future you will simultaneously be working 4 part-time jobs to make ends meet. SAVE NOW. LEARN TO FOCUS. I know you're a procrastinator, but trust me, once you learn to just "get-er-done", life will be so much easier. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS. Seek out people that have the information you're looking for. Overcome your shyness and realize that you're not bothering people. Most people actually like being helpful. Most of all, STAY POSITIVE. Know that there is always a way if you just put your mind to it. Just a few words to the wise. Use them as you see fit. Sincerely, the college-aged you.


Although my college life has only lasted one year, I feel like I have learned a plethora since those last days I walked out of high school. The person I am today would change who I was back in high school in a great way. To start, a piece of advice I'd give to my younger self would to really make more of an effort with my fellow students. I realize now that in high school, I had a little bit of an ego to me. An ego that made part of me think I was better than any single person at the school. I was deeply wrong about that because I went to school with some incredible people that I never talked to because of how I thought. Those very people are now doing amazing things with their lives and I regret never getting to know them. Also, I regret not appreciating my parents as much for all they did and do for me. I didn;t realize it in high school, but I now realize they are the reason I am the person I am today and I thank them dearly for everythng they have done.


As a driven high school senior, I made some mistakes in my college selection process. My expectations of college have not matched reality. I have been disappointed in the lack of academic rigor that Willamette University has provided me. The students are not focused, and have no drive to succeed and avoid moving back in with their parents after college. When I originally chose Willamette, I had not realized that this would be such a large factor in my happiness in college. I should have examined the culture of the school more closely. I should have looked for a more academically rigorous university, where I would not have stood out for being driven, but would meet many more people who could motivate me further. In addition, I would tell myself to consider a school that is stronger in the sciences, specifically Physics. I had not decided on a major when I decided to attend Willamette, and now am regretting my choice to attend a liberal arts school as a Physics major. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to remember how much I love science, and to choose a school with a strong Physics department.


I would tell myself to not get overwhelmed. College is a big change and no matter how well you believe you are prepared for it the truth is you're never prepared enough. College can be a wonderful experience if you make it one. I would tell myself to get involved in the different programs at the school but don't put too much on your plate at once. I would say to leave room to make mistakes and don't strive for perfection as it is impossible. It's important to keep a social life outside of college because everyone needs to be reminded that there is life besides work and school. Another important thing is to use the resources available. There are friends, teachers, advisors, and programs to use at the school whenever help is needed. I would tell myself that no matter what you're not alone. I would say overall college is a great experience and it should be memorable not something to regret.


Don't stick your head in the sand and let this decision make itself. It's your life and it's your responsibility to get where you need to be. Don't waste your time worrying what your family or friends are going to think about your decision. In a few months, they won't be there. You need to learn to stand on your own, and you can't do that standing on a foundation that you played no part in laying. Try everything, waste nothing, and reinvent yourself a few dozen times while you're at it. Now get to it. You said tomorrow yesterday.


If I could go back in time, the advice I would give myself is keep up the work and don't slack off. I feel that in my senior year I slacked off a little bit and that because of that the jump to college was even bigger than it should have been. If I would've stayted ontop of my school work ethic I think that my first year of college would have been a little bit easier. Also, I would tel myself that altough I have been a procrastiantor my whole life, collge is the time to stop.


If I could go back in time and talk to my high school senior-self, I would talk about being more organized and disciplined. My parents used to talk about being organized but I didn't really listen to them. I thought I could continue to be disorganized and still keep a handle on everything. I soon found out at Willamette that the difficulty of courses, rivaling those at major ivy league schools, and the fast pace of course progression required me to be organized and disciplined or I got behind extremely quickly. My assigned reading from every course was more substantial than any high school class I'd taken, including my Advanced Placement coursework. Of course, my high school senior-self probably wouldn't listen to me anymore than I listened to my parents!


I remember how stressful I found the college selection process. There were so many to choose from, and I was convinced that making the wrong decision would ruin my life. But in the end, I had to make a decision, and to be honest, if I could go back I would probably choose a different college. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not happy at Willamette. It has its faults, but so does every other school. My experience has been what I've made of it. I find the academic rigour a little lacking, so I create my own projects, participate in internships and talk to my professors outside of class. The campus is a bit small, so I make sure and take advantage of the great Outdoor Adventure Club on the weekends. There wasn't a club for Catholic students on campus, so I took advantage of the ease with which clubs are created at Willamette and started my own. So, during the selection process, relax. Choose carefully, of course, but know that not everything will be perfect, no matter where you go, and be alright with that. Wherever you go, you make your own experience.


Since I"ve been at college I've relished the ability to take classes about things I'm interested in, in a broad range of topics. In my high school there was a "plan" for graduation, and there was little room for leeway in classes. In college there are many different classes you can take to fill the same criteria, and I love the freedom of choice. I've also made many friends who share similar interests that I have, and I was able to join a queer-straight alliance for the first time, something I've always wished to do but couldn't because I went to a small, rural high school. All in all, my college experience so far has changed my life because I have been able to experience so many different things that I never could in high school.


I'm learning many new things that I wouldn't otherwise have the oppourtunity to. The same definitly goes for people as well! Social networking is an important part of college and it is an important skill for later in life. I love college! It has taught me to be more independent and responsible. Not only all of those things but if anything you should go to college for the experience!


I’m mid-way through my career at Willamette University, in Salem, OR. The last two years at Willamette have supplied me with skills that will be sustainable well beyond the next two. Here I’ve gained an ability in community building, analytical thinking, reading, and writing, creative communication, various fine arts disciplines, not to mention real-life work experience and a grip on who I am that eclipses any experience I’ve ever had before. The thing I love about college is how everything I’m learning inside rooms is relevant to my life - it’s incredible how intersectional my life here is, as each semester experience builds on the last to inform my education in a really widely liberating way. Despite how overwhelmingly expensive WU is ($48,000 a year and climbing), I squeeze every benefit I can from each lecture, study group, social justice group meeting, project, -- you name it, I’m involved and thriving in it. This place has sprouted in me an ability to thrive under unending pressure, and a joy in accomplishing tasks and resting in that place of progress -- a balance that I hope to live out for the rest of my life.


The best thing I have gotten out of college so far is independence. Sure, a majority of students say this about their experience but no student can tell their high school friends that it's easy to be away from home. In the first few weeks, you are asked to mature and to know everything about the school. Professors or departments are not going to chase you down for things. You have to make a concious effort to close that gap and search for things yourself. But along the way, you may ask for help; the staff get paid not to see you suffer. They get paid to help struggling students succeed.


When I started college here, I didn't know for sure what it was that I wanted to do. Being here at Willamette University has helped me to realize my love for science. The small size of this college allowed me to take advantage of opportunities not usually available to freshmen students. I was able to get a research internship during the summer that has allowed me to experience first hand the kind of work that research scientiests actually do. This experience has not only helped to confirm to me that I am following the right career path; it has also provided me with valuable connections in the scientific community and experiences which will help me to get a job once I graduate. With a strong science program and great teachers, I know that Willamette University will continue to help me acvance on my chosen path in life.


My college experience has taught me so much about myself. I have discovered how I learn best, what I need to do to retain information effectively and grown infinitely more confident in my ideas. In high school I would hesitate to speak without first weighing the thoughts in my mind, afraid that someone might prove me wrong or think poorly of me based on my answer. I now have no qualms about speaking first, and I even present unfinished thoughts with the hope of sparking a good debate. I feel that I am getting so much more out of college than a simple grounding in facts. I am truly becoming a life-long learner, and I have finally come to terms with the fact that an education is worth the price.


Be genuine. Nothing in the college experience is going to wear you down and force you to seriously question what you doing with these four years of your life than trying to look good for your future. It isn't productive either. You will have ample opportunity to volunteer and participate in clubs that make you look "good." But taking time to tutor a kid or participating in the student run emergency medical service on campus is simply exhausting, if you only halfway care about the activity. In this exhaustion, it is nearly impossible to find something that you are fully, truly passionate about -- even if it is looking you in the face. If you find that you are spending a substantial amount of time on an activity, course of study, or club that you find moderately (but not very) interesting, do not be afraid to give it up. The free time will enable you to explore new opportunities. I wasted nearly two years on activities that only halfway interested me, because I had not realized this. Find you passions first. Then, enjoy yourself as you become increasingly proficient. After that, plan for the future.


The first thing I would tell myself is to focus on school. By doing this I would be able to figure out what I wanted to do and to tell myself in the long run doing what I enjoy the most is the best path to go. I would also tell myself to stay away from relationships and to avoid getting married at such a young age to lesson the burden of college life on myself. I would also tell my self as I rogress through school to keep my focus on the future and what I want to do in life. I want myself to be able to have the best oppertunity to be succesfull with the job I want after graduation.


I step into a time portal and find myself back at Roosevelt High School, starting myself in the face. I blink at myself and the college me opens my mouth to talk: "First, you should go to Willamette. Take advantage of all of the oportunities you have. Go to talks on campus, look at clubs, become involved in the community. Take interesting classes. College life is interesting and go into it with an open mind. Don't miss out on oportunities because of what your friends want to do - be independent, that's what college is for!" My college self puts an arm around my high school self. "But, most importantly, college is a chance for you to discover who Sarah is. Take the classes that stand out to you, that challenge you to think. Step outside your bubble and attend club meetings. And use these opportunites to reflect. To find out the way you think about things and to discover who you really are." College me steps back and takes a long look at high school me. "Have fun!" Then I step backwards through the time portal and find myself back at Willamette, ready to take my own advice.


College is a complete 180 from high school. Given the opportunity, I would tell my senior self to, above all, be appreciative. I realize now I passed up numerous opporunities which could have increased my probability for success. I should have payed more attention to my teachers' lectures and been more actively involved in classroom discussion. I would tell myself to apply for more scholarships so my parents and I don't have to worry each day how they will pay for the household bills, how I will finance my education, and if we will even be able to afford my return to campus next fall. I would have told myself to prepare for the intellectual changes and strugles, but moreover to be ready for great emotional changes. I would advise myself to spend more time with my friends; they had so much great advice to offer and lessons to teach which I overlooked. I would tell myself to not worry about the little things so much, and be happy with myself when I tried my best but fell short. It's not all about accomplishing every goal, it's the journey and the lessons that matter.


If I could go back in time the first thing I would tell myself to do is to branch out. I think being part of a college campus is a huge step and going around and getting to know people is so much fun. Another thing would be to be more independent. Its great to have your friends, but being able to get out and be a leader and stand up for yourself is something to be proud of. I would also tell myself to be more involved. If i had really thought about where I was going in life I would do more. I am doing things on campus and in the community now and I love it! Get used to talking to teachers and being ready with questions you may have is another tip. Most of all just have fun with what you do because you will get where you are going with whatever route you take, and do things with a smile :)


High school and college are totally different. They are different socially and academically. Do not start slacking! Even during senior year, passing AP tests can really help you in the long run. Also, college is a whole new level academically compared to high school. Sure, you may only be taking 4 classes instead of 6, but the workload you receive from those classes offsets the fact that you are taking less classes. Do no be afraid to ask for help! Yes, college is very intimidating at first, but you have to remember, your professors are there to help you. They will do everything they can to help you succeed. Once you get to college, get involved! Join clubs, intramural sports teams, anything! Not only is it great for meeting new people, and even lifelong friends, it also enhances your networking which will definitely help you in the future. Most importantly, have fun! College is suppose to be enjoyable! Your studies are important, but if you are miserable for four years, it's not worth it! So go out there, study hard, meet new people, and have fun with it!


Benefiting from the clarity of hindsight, I could have saved myself alot of time spent worrying about the future!! As an ambitious student in high school, I fretted way too much about things that were beyond my control. Also, perhaps surprisingly, SAT scores don't really matter after you get into college. So, don't go into college focusing on what you can already do or how great you were in high school. No one really cares. Instead, reset your mental game, and establish what you wish to know! Be a sponge! Embrace every new opportunity as a life experience, and that the highs and lows of life always teach you something about your character. College after all isn't only for academic development. Also, and perhaps most importantly, establish relationships with professors and faculty. The sooner you create a dialogue, the sooner you'll have an advocate to support ambitious endeavors. Don't be shy! Professors are people too, even if they have a scary amount of knowledge in their brains. Overall, allow yourself to explore your interests and stop worrying about the future! Be diligent, work hard, and keep an eye on the tasks at hand.


When I was a senior in high school, I was so focused on getting to college and getting out of my small town, that I didn't take the time to enjoy my senior year. I was taking seven classes, I was heavily involved in several different organizations, I had applied to nine different schools, I was working two jobs and I focused more on my studies. I stressed a lot about money. I stressed about how to pay for college, how to pay for the applications, and how to pay for the college visits. I could only pick one school, and my decision was based on whether or not I could afford it, not which school I actually wanted to attend. If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior, I would have told myself to slow down and enjoy it. I would have also said no matter where you end up you will always have the stress of money and the impending doom of finals will feel exactly the same, so don't spend now worrying. There is plenty of time for that later so why stress out now?


Having struggled until the very last moment with making my final college decision, I would most definitely tell myself not to worry so much. College is, by and large, what you make it to be. If you want to get a lot out of your college experience, you will. Colleges are set up to help students succeed, so no matter where you end up, you will be able to accomplish as much as you wish to. Also, when making your college decision, make sure to take cost into account. Though the cheaper school might not be your first choice, it is most likely just as good and will afford you a lot less stress when you get into college. Having to work while trying to learn and experience as much as possible in the few years you will be spending in college adds a lot of stress. If you are going to get a job, make sure to sign up for something that you will enjoy doing. Ideally, try to find work in the area that you intend to major in. That way, you will be gaining experienes that will be useful when trying to find a job after college.


Not only is the transition from high school academics to college academics a big one. Another transition I had to conquer is my new change in scenery from Hawaii to Oregon. After getting past those two obstacles I would tell myself the following: 1. There is a very loud train outside your window so go to sleep early because it will wake you up every hour; 2. Study before playing; 3. Just because it is sunny outside does not necessarily mean it is warm; 4. Daylight savings is something that you will just have to accept, do not fight it; 5. You are going to make a new group of great friends, so be prepared to create some of your most cherished memories.


Kristine, no matter what anyone says, college is NOT as easy as high school. Once you get here, you can expect numerous amounts of all-nighters, perpetual dates with the library, and a newfound love for all things caffeine. There is definitely more freedom and independence to do things your own way in college, however with that privilege comes more responsibility on your own part. TIME MANAGEMENT IS ESSENTIAL. Start practicing now; organize due dates and meetings in a planner, get ahead on projects and papers and most importantly, remember that although academics are a huge part about college, the experiences you will have will teach you more than anything you can ever learn in a book. So as much as possible, try to balance your exciting, new social life and challenging academic work.


I would tell myself to try harder to get a job. Not only would it be nice to have money for collge as well as for general spending, it would really help me to get a job now that I am in college. If I had had experience in an office I may have landed one of the jobs I didn't get. Having experience and references really makes a diffrence.


I would tell myself to not let social life or the intimidation of peers with better educations to deter me from being a better student.


If I could go back in time to relay advice to my high-school-senior self, I would encourage myself to take as many AP classes as possible. Reflecting back as a college student, the more-rigorous AP classes did well for preparing myself for the college workload. My toughest class in high school, AP US History, helped me learn how to study for exams and developed a set of tools I used to better read a text, a skill set that I use every day in college. By encouraging myself to take such hard classes as AP Physics and Chemistry, which, granted, would have been torturous at the time, I would have developed a better work ethic, allowing me to thrive even more now in the college environment.


I would tell myself to explore everything, even if only for a little while. Then find something to be passionate about and learn as much about it as possible. This is important because its great to be knowledgable in many areas but if nothing inspires you to learn more, then you will just be a person with a little knowledge about a lot of things.


Make it something you love, make it something that can be yours. College is more than an institution of education, it is a new home for those attending and living there. More important than anything else, is that you feel comfortable in your own skin, your own identity, while attending your school. Sure, the academic profile is important. Everyone wants to go to the honors school, get good grades, etc. But beyond that, College is about developing a person's ability to handle tough situations, its about growing up finally, away from home after being under the care of parents for 18+ years, college students are finally given a chance to test their mettle. College is growing up, and learning, yes learning, but learning to be.


All new ventures must be started with a clear plan involved, or goals hoped to achieve. As college seems to become compulsory for those seeking a good career, that fundamental truth cannot be lost. Parent and student should sit down together and figure out what they want the student to get out of this experience. Often, it is a mixture of academic rigor and making a connection to a new place and new people. What I have learned is that the student needs to explore. If there are not activities that interest the student outside classes, there will not be future employment that will be satisfactory. There is more to school than going to classes. If those options are not available at a school that fits in other ways, there should be accessible avenues to initiate some at the university. One must foster their exploration with the right university and surrounding community.


To the parents, don't worry. If your kid has a good head on their shoulders, they will make the right choice for themselves. The most important thing is to visit the campus. There are some colleges that sound great in theory but when you step on the campus the vibe just doesn't sit right. Then, you step on that one campus and bam a wave of good vibration wash over you like warm fresh out of the oven cookie smell that just sucks making you fall for its charm. Also, if the school offers a spring preview or chance for the student to stay over night with a current student; do it. That is what sealed my fate, in good way. To the students: I know it is very clich? to say this but get involved on campus. I joined the rock-climbing club on a whim and it was great. I got to climb on real rock for the first time. It was thrilling, scary and amazing. Also, don't be afraid of those subjects you fear. First encounters can misleading but maybe your leader was misguided. I wish you good luck.


It is important to remember your passions. Your education will do nothing for you unless you are pleased with your life's outcome. At the same time, it is important to think about finances. In this capitalistic society those who lag behind financially have a hard time making it in the world. Try to find a college that will nurture a part of you that you are both passionate about and will make you some money in the long term. This college should be honest and open, trying their best to give you tools for success that are attractive to you as well as effective. If professors, students, faculty, and staff band together to make a caring, interesting, and quality community, the rewards taken by all will be immesurable. When you choose an education that paves a strong road for your future, you will eventually be able to give back to the world in a meaningful way that paves the way for others. Think about this when choosing a college! It's not just a four-year decision... It's a life decision.


Definitely visit the campus and do an overnight visit-- you need to make sure that the school feels like it could be home, not just that it has great academics. This will be where you live for four years-- classes aren't everything, and no one wants to feel the need to go home every moment they aren't in class.


Go and check out the college before making the commitment and talk to a variety of people.


Most students change their minds at LEAST once about their major. Many of my friends REALLY wanted to major in biology, or history, or english...until they took the first class that the major required, and realized that they had no intention of continuing. Not to say that some don't follow through with their ambitions; I do know students who majored in pre-med wire to wire, or have been anthropology majors since the day they arrived on campus, but the point is that you (and what you want to study) will quite possible change over the course of your college education. My advice, therefore, would be to choose a school based on more than any one factor. The availability of extra-curricular activites that you enjoy is incredibly important, as is whether or not you like the climate and culture of the surrounding area. The best way to find out about these things? Visit the campus, and talk with students who are currently attending. The bottom line? Is this an environment in which you can see yourself living and learning for the next four years? If the answer is yes, you've found what you're looking for.


Visit the campus and take advantage of any tours or overnight offers. No matter how good the school looks on paper, you can't really know if it will fit until you've spent some time there. Ask specifically about student life and spend time in common spaces like cafes or the library. Also take a look at the buildings that house your favorite subjects- if they get you excited to be there, you've found the right place.


don't be impulsive or hasty. don't let admissions personnel tell you what a school is like, take the time to find out for yourself. be honest with yourself: why do you really want to go to a school? if the reason is because of its' reputation as a party school, and you want to party, be honest with yourself about that. don't kid yourself: college is tough, struggle-fests are frequent, but the people you'll meet will help you more than you'll ever know.


Look at class sizes and the interactions students have with Professors.


Don't assume that only "one" campus will make you happy. There are good things and bad things about every campus. Pick one, and enjoy where you are. There is something good about ever college campus- just find it.


For families or students who are concerned about finances, pay special attention to the financial aid packages offered by your prospective universities. Personally, my freshman year I was promised plenty of scholarships and grants, and despite my maintained superb academic status, the following years became a constant struggle to obtain loans that exceed all of my friend's debts who attended public universities. Define the aspects you find most important: financial aid, location, class size, majors/minors, etc. I made a spreadsheet to make these qualities more visually accessible. Apply to whichever schools appeal to you- many offer waivers for the application fee if they are filed online. If possible, visit the campuses and find out where you feel most comfortable and then choose, based on wherever fulfills your desires and needs!


Any college will offer a great educational base from which students will build on in their personal, work, or further academic life. It is important to find a place that has that inexplicable feeling of comfort when you are strolling through campus, for without that the whole experience is tainted. Peace of mind and comfort with where one is will lead to improved studying, socializing, and everything else one experiences at college. Never underestimate the power of open office hours, and furthermore, simply walking in to a professors office. Class time can be maybe the least productive part of college depending on your classmates, so make sure that you pick your professors brains as often as possible in a more intimate environment. Study with those who know their stuff including tutors, advisors, and the folks in class who sound like they know their stuff. Parents, your children will call you - just wait for them to and they will show their love and gratitude. 'Sup.


To students: To find the best college for you, you first need to discover what it is that you want to attain. Visit the colleges and talk to students beyond those involved in the campus tour. Although the tour guides are great, they are most likely the ones with the highest opinion of the college and may give you biased ideas about what you will experience. Find three subjects that you enjoy, and pursue them in your first few years. So much about college is finding yourself. expressing yourself, and discovering joy in the field that you choose. A common misconception is that you always need to be doing something while at college-- even when not studying. Sure, check out the various clubs and intramurals, but don't forget to simply sit down and relax with freinds every now and again. One thing you want to be able to say to yourself when you are standing on the podium, degree in hand, is "I know where I am going and I am happy with it". To Parents: Listen to your child and don't try and choose for them. The college itself doesn't matter, your love and support does.


Visit the campus! It is strange but a school will speak to you telling you if it is the right place for you. Talk to people - all kinds of people. When you get to your campus keep your dorm room open. No one wants to approach an unopened door. Say yes to all invitations to join people in activities whether it is just going to dinner or to the movies. Don't be shy - everyone else is probably as scared as you are even if they seem to know everyone on campus. Join Join Join - clubs, groups, intramurals - whatever you are interested in. Don't worry about not being good enough at something; if you try you will get better! Support your friends in their interests (sports, music, drama) - be a real friend. Discover the area outside your campus. Take part in study abroad. Can't emphisize this one enought. Network for classes, jobs, internships; your school is full of resources - use them! Talk to your professors - often. Remember to email your family about your good and bad times, but especially the good. Keep a journal. It will be over sooner than you think.


The greatest advice I would give to prospective college students is to focus on everything except money. Apply to the schools you have the most desire to go to and the ones that can provide the most for your future, finances will take care of themselves and most schools do an excellent job of accommodating financial need for students accepted into the institution. The most important thing to consider in your college search where you want to go. Also, use resources at your disposal like interviews with alumni and interaction with the college coaches if you are an athlete. Where there's a will, there's a way. College is a rare opportunity to start anew and discover the person you really are. In order to make the most of your college experience, do the things that make you most happy while still following through on academics and athletics. College is an incredible opportunity to make connections with new people and develop an impressive resume, but it is also a time to have fun and enjoy life. Responsibility is important in college but it is unique and this kind of opportunity to improve oneself will rarely ever come along again.


I think the best thing to do is to tour schools of different types (ex, big vs small, liberal vs conservative) and see what kind of vibe you get from the visits. It's best to go during peak times and to sit in on classes and spend the night. Try to talk to students on campus. My experience has been that most will be happy to stop and answer a few questions. Finding the right fit in a college makes the experience infinitely better. You want to find a college where you can grow into your own person and be the person that in the end you want to be.