13 Questions Incoming Freshmen Should Ask
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13 Questions Incoming Freshmen Should Ask

These are the questions no one will tell you to ask but you definitely should.

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13 Questions Incoming Freshmen Should Ask
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These are the questions no one will tell you to ask but you definitely should.

When picking what college/university to attend, every prospective student has questions. Most of them are basic--how expensive is it, how far away from home, do they offer what I want to major in, etc. But there are some questions that you don’t think of until after you’re a student that you wish you had asked before you made a commitment.

1. Is my school ever in the news? If so, why?

I attend Liberty University, which is constantly in the news over political issues. While that doesn’t affect my day-to-day life as a student, I do get questioned about it constantly. There’s a school near my hometown that makes the news weekly for violent crime. Don’t just Google the school you think you want to attend or take a tour of it--go to Fox or CNN and search your university and see what comes up. It can be eye-opening.

2. How easy is it to get a job on campus?

Schools often boast about the financial aid and scholarships they offer, but what about campus jobs? At my school student worker positions are incredibly competitive and I applied for multiple ones before getting the one I have. It’s good to know whether you’ll have to fight to make money on campus or if a job is guaranteed.

3. What is the parking situation?

At some schools, you are assigned a parking spot when you register your vehicle. At others, anyone can bring their car and as long as you find a legal spot somewhere it’s fine. Parking is scarce where I am and if you come back too late in the evening then you have to park pretty far away. Know if your school allows freshmen to bring cars too.

4. What is the food like?

On a campus tour you might pop in the cafeteria for a few minutes, nothing more. If you can, try to eat there before or after your tour to see what the food is really like. Ask a student if the food is like this all the time or jazzed up because a tour group is there. Take note of the different options where you can use swipes around campus. Food can make or break a school.

5. Is crime a problem?

Look up the crime rates for the city your prospective colleges/universities are in, and for the colleges/universities themselves. My university publishes a crime report every year and I make sure to read it. Most of the numbers have happily hovered at 0 for my time here, but that cannot be said for every school. What types of crimes are being committed, and how often?

6. What is their stance on weapons?

My university allows you to conceal and carry as long as you have your license with you. Other schools only allow pepper-spray, and some forbid all weapons including pocket knives. This can tie in with questions 5--if the school you’re set on has a high rate of muggings, you may want to consider carrying a weapon that’s within your school’s code.

7. What is the community life like both on and off campus?

Most people start out living on campus at their schools, and it’s important to know that the people around you will be good. It’s also nice to know what the city and county your school is in are like, whether you intend to move off campus eventually or just explore. Some schools are in the middle of nowhere, and that has to be taken into consideration when choosing a place to attend.

8. What if you change your major?

Most people change their major at least one or two times. It’s important to know that if you decide to pursue a different degree you don’t have to transfer schools. Consider every possible thing you could be interested in and check that they offer a degree in it, just in case you change your mind.

9. Is the Wi-Fi decent?

Most college assignments are due online these days. Wi-Fi is an integral part of a college campus because you’ll be doing homework, arranging hang-out times with friends, and more with Wi-Fi. If the wireless internet sucks it can impact day-to-day life more than you realize. The only way to know the truth about this is to ask a student while you’re visiting campus.

10. Is there a pharmacy nearby?

You are going to get sick in college, so having a pharmacy where you can pick up some medicine and maybe be seen by a doctor is a big deal. Oftentimes going to a pharmacy is cheaper than going to an actual doctor’s office and they can diagnose and prescribe things for most basic illnesses.

11. Is there a Walmart nearby?

I do literally all of my shopping at Walmart, and for good reason--they have everything. Walmart is convenient and having one close by is nice for when you realize you forgot a trash can or you need more printer paper at midnight. It’s also cheap and if you go through self-checkout you can grab a handful of extra bags for that trash can you’re buying.

12. Is there a bank nearby?

One of my roommates last year was from New York and her debit card was through a small bank in her hometown. Unfortunately, that meant that when she had some problems with her card or questions about a billing statement, she had to call her parents and have them figure it out for her. Make sure there’s a branch of your bank within driving distance.

13. Is there a hospital nearby, and what is it like?

People are stupid in college. Your roommate (hopefully not yourself) may need to go to the ER and you don’t want to have to drive half an hour to get there only to discover it’s not reputable. You don’t need to live next door to the greatest hospital in the country, but make sure you’re not too far away from a half-decent hospital for the emergencies that are bound to happen.

I hope these questions have helped you understand what you should be thinking about as you begin your college journey. The next four years really are going to flash before your eyes, so enjoy every moment while it lasts!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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