Gillian O’Connell, Dartmouth
Q. How difficult are college courses compared to high school regular, AP, and honors courses? – Jack Kovarik
They are significantly more difficult than regular high school courses. A rule of thumb here is that each hour you spend in class, you should be spending 2-3 hours outside of it working on it. Like for my English course I do reading every night and I am generally working on an essay every week. In my math and combo Chem/biology course it is more doing problem sets. Tests are really challenging. The way testing is here, we had two midterms and a final this week, so there are only three tests that your entire grade is based upon. For my biochem class, the median grade on tests is a 65. You have to keep in mind during the test that it is OK if you aren’t getting it, because no one really is.
Q. How do you spend your time daily? – Louis Ridgway
I get up earlier than most, so I can get work done. I get up at 6:45 and I study for a little, head to breakfast and go to my earliest class at 8:45. I study more right after that class and then head to lunch (sometimes) and then I go to the library around one and then I go to the gym and then dinner and then sleep. I know, it sounds really exciting but that is my average day. It’s a lot, but I have breaks in there.
Caroline Barnett, Kalamazoo
Q. What is the hardest part about being on your own (moving away)? – Casey Schmidt
I think the hardest part is just adjusting to new experiences. For awhile its hard adjusting to a new community because you’ve spent so much time in one community. You have to figure out a new way to fit in and meet people. I think the best way to meet friends is to have no anxiety about it. You’re always going to be nervous, but you just have to push past that and try new things. Just go out and start a conversation with someone you don’t know; everyone is pretty much in the same boat as you not knowing anyone on campus.
Q. What is the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make? – Morgan Satterlee
I have found that the type of work that you are doing in college is a whole different way to think about things. Instead of doing ten problems of math and reading a chapter for an English class, it’s more like reading 100 pages for each class and then discussing it the next day. You have to get better at time management. There is always stuff going on on campus and after awhile you want to do all of it, but you have to realize “I can’t do everything, I have to take a break and go do homework.” You have to balance work and social life.
Henry Foster, KU
Q. Is joining a fraternity a good idea? – Michael Esselman
I definitely think it is a good idea because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t know as many people. This way you are automatically thrown into a group of friends that you get to know throughout the year and then can be friends for the rest of your lives. Academically, without being in it and having the competition I wouldn’t get the grades I have. For guys we just have rush parites throughout the year and it is an informal way to get to know everyone. I know some fraternities have really big parties where they drink, but we don’t drink at ours.
Q. What’s the hardest thing about living with a roommate? – Heather Hartong
I technically have 20 other roommates. I love it because you get to know everyone so much better and quickly and it is just a central meeting area too. A lot of parties actually happen in the locker room [where the boys live]. The girls love the locker room, which is cool too. It’s basically just a big room with a bunch of open closets in two lines across the room. We also have a common sleeping dorm which is called “The Roost” and in theory everyone is supposed to have their own bed but we actually have too many people. It’s really not hard at all to live with these guys, it’s really cool.
Katy Richardson, TCU
Q. Is it better to go Greek or be an independent? – Kellie Johnson
I would say that going Greek at TCU has been a really positive thing and I’m really glad I did. College is really different and when you are just thrown into it it gives you a really great outlet to make friends right off the bat. It gives you a smaller community within the bigger community. I think if you are not really sure what you want to do you should just try it out and you don’t have to stick with it. I actually really enjoyed rush, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I went into it thinking ‘alright, well this will be fun.’ You just go to all of the houses with a group and talk to girls from each of the houses. At first it was a little intimidating, but I got the hang of it. The whole rush process allows you to see what philanthrophies the house does, what kind of events they do and the kind of girls they look for.
Ross Guignon, Illinois
Q. What is the biggest perk of being a college athlete? – Caroline Dodd
A lot of things. For starters, you are given an unbelievable amount of resources. We actually have our own academic center and we are required to come to it as freshman for ten hours a week. As far as academics go, that side of it is pretty incredible. We also get a lot of different clothes, which is awesome. We get practice clothes to wear to practice and there are also a bunch of other clothes they give you that you can wear around. I get my laundry done for me (laughs), I don’t think everyone gets that done for them.
Q. How do you manage your time with the responsibilities of independent living, homework and extra activities? – Shannon McGinley
That’s actually the most important thing. I’m usually pretty good with time management, but I got hit pretty hard when I first came with how much work I had. It is really a matter of taking advantage of your down time and knocking out some studying or knocking out some small things that usually you put off. But if you are able to stay on top of the small things, then it really opens up time at night if you just want to relax and watch TV. And always keep a planner.
Sarah Genton, KSU
Q. What is the easiest way to make friends? – Carolyn Welter
I’ve made a lot of friends that live in the same dorm as me. I think that living in the dorms your freshman year is a really good idea, because you’re bascially just living with those girls on your floor and it’s not hard to just knock on their doors and hang out. I’m in a four girl room and I knew Mary Joyce [her roommate] and she knew another girl and then the last girl we went pot luck with. It has worked out really well so far because we all really get along. I don’t recommend rooming with your best friend, especially alone. I recommend going pot luck for sure.
Q. Freshman 15: Myth or fact? – Emma Cousineau
It’s hard to adapt. You come from home where you are eating healthy food that is constantly provided for you that is obviously free. But if you know how to make the right choices, then you aren’t going to gain 15 pounds. One section of the dining hall is Mexican food and then there is Italian food and they always have hamburgers and hotdogs and deli meats and soup and salad. They also have ice cream, which is the worst part for me. They give you a lot of options, but it’s just really about picking the right option. You also walk everywhere, so you don’t realize how much you are actually doing.