September 9, 2013
Seniors c/o Derinda Carter
Dear Future College Freshman:
As a current college freshman, I am writing this letter to you to offer you some tips to help you be successful in college. My hope is that this advice will make your transition from high school to college a little bit easier. Whether you are a freshman or senior in high school or even a freshman in college we all need a guide to help us survive the next four years of our lives; that is if you are entering to what they call “adulthood” but we call college. Consider this your guide or Surviving College 101 from someone that has already been in the shoes you are about to jump into. So take out a pen or pencil and some paper, there is some useful information I am about to share with you. Consider yourself a lucky individual. Not just any ordinary information, but three important things you will need to know; from paying for college, to what not to say to your professors. I hate to say it but yes, you are at the bottom of the totem pole again, and you are now a brand-new freshmen!
First and foremost, to enter college you need to pay for college. Paying for college can be quite simple; all universities offer financial aide. Some financial aide options include, federal grants, scholarships, and loans that all students are able to apply for. One of the federal grants that is free for all students is the Pell Grant, which one can apply for through the Free Application for Federal Student Aide (FAFSA). Another way to pay for college is by receiving scholarships. Scholarships can come from various sources that can come from local level to international level. Also, scholarships and federal aid are the best types of financial aid because for the majority of aid you receive, one does not have to reimburse the money they receive. Typically, the last resort to pay for college is by taking out loans. Loans may seem like a great idea at first, but in the end they may have negative effects for your future. One major consequence that comes with taking out a loan is the debt involved. In the article, “Ripping Off Young America: The College Loan Scandal,” author Matt Taibbi tells of Alan Collinge, who graduated, with an Aerospace Engineering degree, but also with $38,000 in loan debt. Taibbi also tells of how the debt has impacted Collinge’s life. After being fired from one job for asking for a raise, Collinge was able to get another job, but once the company ran a credit check on him he was fired again. Jobless, Collinge found himself with over $100,000 in debt due to the loans he initially took out in college. As a result, future students must be aware of the method they choose to pay for college.
Secondly, as you are entering college, watch out for the crabby ones! I mean, you know, those nutty professors that expect you to be a prodigy. Don’t blame them for being that way, you’re a college student now, you need to be mature. Professors have five major issues with the questions that students may ask, and in her article “5 things you should never say to your professor,” Jorie Scholnik lists all of them. One is, “Did I miss anything important/Did we do anything important in class?” don’t say this because EVERYTHING is important, by asking this, you show the professor you don’t care about their class and you are responsible to find out what you missed. Second, “I just took your class for an easy A,” although some classes will be easy enough for that hardly earned A, professors want to know that you have taken their course seriously. Third, “I didn’t know we had anything due in this course,” that statement is false because the professor will hand you a syllabus at the beginning so you know when everything will be due and on top of that you will receive emails. I suggest to become organized now and stay on top of everything. Fourth, “I was busy studying for my