When do you need to decide what you are going to study?
Some people come into college knowing what they want to study, while others have no idea. It is totally normal to not know what you want to study right away! Most colleges give students the freedom to try a variety of classes so that they can figure out what interests them. Once you have zeroed-in on your interests, you can declare a major. Your major is the main subject that you are studying (I’m majoring in English, for example). Most colleges ask that students declare their majors by the end of sophomore year. That means that you have up to 2 years to decide what you are going to study! And if you change your mind, it is usually still possible to change your major after you declare. You will have plenty of time to figure out what course of study to pursue!
How long do you have to go to college to be a lawyer?
It can take 7 years to become a lawyer. First step is to go to college and get your Bachelor’s degree. This can be in any subject you enjoy. Lots of lawyers get their degrees in government, history, or English, but it can be anything! Then, you apply to law school to earn your Juris Doctor degree (JD). Law school takes about 3 years to complete. Once you have your JD, you just need to pass the Bar Exam to become a lawyer. The Bar Exam tests your knowledge of the law, as well as your ability to write various legal documents. 7 years sounds like a lot of school, but it is common to break up those 7 years of schooling by working some jobs in-between.
What is the difference between a private college and university?
Private colleges are “private” because they are not funded by the state, unlike public colleges, which are. For example, UMaine receives its funding from the state of Maine, whereas Bowdoin College is privately funded. Colleges are schools that only serve undergraduate students, meaning freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Universities, on the other hand, offer classes for undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students have already graduated from college and are going back to school to pursue a higher degree. To use the same example, UMaine is a university because it has undergraduate and graduate students, while Bowdoin is a college because it only serves undergraduate students.
Is college like school?
College is kind of like school that you're used to, but not really. You don't stay in the same building all day, and there are a lot more teachers and students. You have more choice in what classes you take (what subjects you study), and there are tons of opportunities outside of class. Instead of being in school 7 hours a day, you have less class time but more homework. You can do tons of extracurriculars like sports and clubs which take up the rest of the time. Also, everyone wants to be at college, so they are usually excited to do their schoolwork. Sometimes you live at college, so that's different too--you get your food there and are closer to your school buildings. -Anna
Do you have to be there every day?
Yes, usually in college students have class every day Monday through Friday. There may be other meetings or practices they have to be at school for too. Most weekends students do not have to be there, but they still are, because of clubs or sports or friends. It depends if you live on your college campus, too--if you live there then you are already there everyday! -Anna
Do you have to go to college to get a job?
Not necessarily. There are lots of jobs in the world that do not need a college degree. But, you might be able to get a higher-paying job, or a job you'll enjoy more, if you do go to college. -Anna
Does it cost money for food in college?
Yes, usually it does cost money. But, like at Bowdoin, sometimes you'll pay all that money before you get to college, and when you're there, you just use a little card to go into the dining hall and get as much food as you want. If you have scholarships or help with paying for college, that money will help with food. If you want to go outside of the dining hall for food, it costs extra money. -Anna
What kinds of food do they have in college?
Most colleges have big dining halls with lots and lots of types of food. At Bowdoin, we have cereal, bread, fruit, coffee and tea always available. Each meal is different: pasta, pizza, salads, vegetables, rice, meat... And each dessert is different: brownies, ice cream sundaes, cookies... (But, here's a secret about Bowdoin--we ALWAYS have soft serve ice cream!) -Anna
Do they have sports you can play in college?
Most colleges have lots of sports! Frisbee, soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, hockey, curling, running, swimming, and more! -Anna
Can you switch roommates if you want to?
During the year, you usually have one roommate you stick to. If there is a serious problem, you can talk to someone to switch. But for most people, even if they aren't friends with their roommate, it works out okay! -Anna
Can you bring your own things to college?
Yes! You can bring all of your own things to college, as long as they can fit in your dorm room. I brought my clothes, my sheets & pillows, my books, and more! -Julianna K.
Can you be whatever you want to be at college?
You can learn to be pretty much whatever you want to if you go to a college that has that department! And you can join whatever clubs and groups you want while you’re in college. -Anna
Do you have your own dorm? Or do you have to share a dorm?
It depends on your school’s rules. At some schools, you may have your own room, while at others, you may have a roommate (or multiple roommates). At my school, most students have at least one roommate. I have four! -Julianna K.
How long do you have to spend away from your family?
If you go to a school really close to home, you never have to be away from your family. If you’re near home, you can come home often. Otherwise, you can come home for summer, and maybe other breaks! You can always call them though. -Anna
Can you see your family during college?
You can absolutely see your family during college! You can go home for a weekend, or your family can come visit you on campus. There are also holiday vacations throughout the year, so you will get a chance to go home and spend time with family. -Julianna K.
Can you see your friends in college?
You will make lots of friends in college! You can also always call your friends from home. You can see them when you go home over break, or if they live near you, anytime. -Anna
Do you get to drive out of college to shop?
If you have a car, yes. Otherwise, you can probably walk to some stores, or go shopping when you’re traveling or home over breaks! -Anna
Can you have your own room?
Most places you will have a roommate, at least the first year. After that you might be able to have your own room! -Anna
How can I get into art?
Depending on the school you go to, there may be art classes you can take. At Bowdoin, I know people who are taking drawing, printmaking, sculpting, and film classes. There are also lots of opportunities to do art on campus, maybe through an art club. Most schools have some sort of craft center where you can do whatever kind of art you want. I made a cool mug at my school’s craft center! -Julianna
Do you take trips in college?
Yes! Some classes may have field trips to cool places. For my oceanography class, we get to take a trip out on the ocean to do our experiments. Some classes get to travel even farther, and lots of schools offer opportunities for field research. If you find something that you want to research, you may be able to go on a trip to another part of the state or another part of the country (maybe even out of the country). -Julianna
How many colleges are there?
There are over 4,000 colleges just in the United States! That means that you have tons of great options to choose from when thinking about where you want to go to college! -Julianna
Do people help you choose a college?
Yes, usually you will have a guidance counselor in high school who is knowledgeable about the college process. He or she will be able to offer support as you are applying to colleges, and will give you helpful advice about what college might be right for you. Your parents or family members also may be able to help you in making a decision because they know you so well that they may have some ideas about what college would be a good fit for you. Ultimately, however, only you can know what is best for you. It is great to have other people help you and give you their opinions, but you are the one going to college, so your college choice should be what you want. -Julianna
Can a college ever be full?
Some colleges can only admit a certain number of students because they have limited room. That is why some applicants to certain colleges may be rejected. There are some colleges, however, that can accept everyone who applies. If one college is full, there are so many more that one will definitely have a spot for you! -Julianna K.
In college you have to be there all four years?
There are many different types of colleges. Some only require you to go for a year or two, others require four, and others require more than four years. For example, most students at UMaine Orono go to school for four years before they get their degree, but students at Maine community colleges only have to go to school for two years. If you do a little research into what you are interested in studying, you will be able to find the programs that are right for you and the amount of time it will take to complete them! -Julianna
Do you have to go to college to get a job?
Nope! But you might be able to get a job you like better or that pays better after you go to college. -Anna
Can you earn any money in college?
You definitely can! You can get a job either on or off campus, depending on what works best for your schedule. If there is a grocery store or cafe near campus, for example, you might be able to work there. Most schools also offer on-campus jobs. To make a little money, I work at my school’s dining hall, and I have friends who work as lifeguards at the school pool or as office assistants in the admissions office. There are lots of options! -Julianna
Is it your choice to pick a roommate?
Some colleges let you pick your own roommate, while others assign you a roommate (or roommates). I had to fill out a survey, and was matched with my roommates based on my responses. But I have friends at other schools who were randomly assigned a roommate. And I have other friends who got to choose their roommate ahead of time. -Julianna
Can your parents come to college?
Your parents can absolutely come visit you at college! Many colleges even have a “Parents’ Weekend” where all the students’ parents and families come visit the campus. But your parents can come visit you anytime they want. -Julianna
Can people work together for homework?
It depends on what your professor wants you to do. Some professors allow, and even want, you to work with other people on the homework. Some professors require that you work on the homework by yourself. Some professors let you work with people on homework, but require that projects are done individually. Don’t worry, though, because your professor will tell you what he/she wants you to do. And you can always ask if you are unsure! -Julianna