Thursday, September 5, 2013

COLLEGE Q&A: Admissions/Academics

Hey All!

 In my last couple videos, I asked you guys if you had any college questions you wanted me to answer. I was going to answer them in a video and after sitting down to edit the videos, I realized they were just too long and drawn out. I figured a blog post would be much easier since you can pick & choose which questions to read and I can be more thorough without wasting your time by making you sit through a long video.

Here's Part 1 with all your questions relating to Admissions/Academics:

Q: I'm in the same type of program u were where I go to community college for junior and senior high school years so I want to know what it was like transitioning from high school to college at a young age and was it harder?
A: Yes, community college is harder than high school. I enjoyed CC much more however. I was only in class for about 3 hours a day and got to study on my own terms. The courses are more difficult but totally manageable. I think the hardest part is that CC professors won't hold your hand like high school teachers will. Due dates are stricter and it's really up to solely you to perform well. The transition was pretty easy, I think you get the hang of things a couple weeks into CC. 

Q: How competitive is it to get accepted to your major?
A: This depends entirely on the school. To get into the business major at the University of WA (where I go), it was extremely competitive. They have strict requirements and I know people who have applied 4 times before getting in. On the other hand, at Seattle University (a different school I was considering), you're automatically accepted into your major. I would just do a search under the department website to see what the admissions process looks like for different majors. 

Q: How did you choose your college?
A: A huge part of it was money. I wanted to attend an in-state, public college because I knew it'd be way cheaper and less of a burden financially. Another part of it was looking at which colleges were best for my major. I knew I wanted to major in business so I compared business programs and different colleges I was interested in. At my college (UW), the business major is extremely competitive but it's rated as one of the best for public colleges in the U.S so that's mainly how I chose to go there. Plus, it's close by in Seattle and I've always had an interest in it :)

Q: How did you choose your major?
A: It was pretty hard. I narrowed down my choices by thinking about what I liked and what I would be good at: communications, psychology, English, marketing. I researched each one and looked at the job market, starting income, etc. Then as I researched them more, I realized that business marketing involves communications, English, and psychology. I would really just research what each major entails and look at the job market because that's super important. It's also important to see what kinds of positions you could hold w/ that major. Like with an English major, the main occupation would be teaching but I would be the worst teacher ever, so I crossed that off my list. It's possibly to do more with an English major but I was looking at common jobs. 

Q: Did you have to take Calculus in college? If so, is it really as hard as people say it is? 
A: I took business calculus in college. You'll likely have to take some sort of calculus but it really depends on the curriculum at your school. It was extremely hard for me because I SUCK at math but some of my friends who took it did perfectly fine. But if you work hard and seek help outside the classroom, you should do fine.
Q: What are some tips for writing the personal statement?
A: You have to remember the board of admissions reading tons and tons of personal statements each year so when you're writing, think about how you can catch their attention or evoke feelings from them. Think about what makes you unique and stand out from everyone else applying. Whether it's an obstacle you encountered like an ill parent or a life-changing experience like traveling to another country, those are things that will be interesting for someone else to read. Most importantly: keep revising! You want second and third opinions and make sure there are NO grammatical errors or anything. Having another person read through is very helpful.

Q: What did you write for your college essay?
A: I wrote about my life in general, focusing on my Vietnamese culture and my father after his brain tumor. It sounds random but I somehow made it flow well hahah. 

Q: Advice on taking notes in college?
A: In my experience, typing notes is so much easier. I know studies have shown you remember stuff better when you hand write it but sometimes professors talk so fast that it's impossible to write everything neatly. Typing is fast and ensures that you can write down everything. You can also organize easier on a Word document like moving different points around or elaborating on them after class. What I like to do is keep all my typed notes labeled w/ the date and topic so when it comes time to study for midterms/finals, I print out the notes I need and stable them into a little study packet. Some professors will post lecture notes online and if they do, you should also print them out so you can reference them in case he/she flips goes too fast.

Q: How is college different than high school academic wise?
A: Well, it's harder of course. It's extremely easy to do bad in college since some classes have no required homework or roll-call. The material is harder too and sometimes you may find yourself thinking "wtf is the professor talking about" during lectures. Just make sure you attend lecture, take notes, and read required readings. 

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