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MU Students Give Advice On The College Search

Thursday, July 22, 2010
The best advice comes from people who not too long ago were in your shoes. The Marymount students featured below say that it’s all still fresh in their minds – the questions, anxiety, and apprehension that the typical high school student experiences when starting the college search. Here’s what they have to say:
 
“Start Early” Mike Bekampis ’13, Business Administration with a Marketing specialization; Pittsburgh, PA

”I took my SATs when I was a sophomore, which is when I started my college search. Then I applied to college in my junior year and was accepted. So when my senior year started, and all my friends were running around, stressing about SATs and college applications, I was relaxing and telling them, that’s all behind me. I really enjoyed my senior year.

"My college search was pretty basic because my sister Alex was already at Marymount, and I would come visit and hang out with her friends. I really liked this school and could see myself studying here. I looked at another DC-area school, but decided against it because of the difficulty of getting back to that campus from DC. But Marymount is at the perfect distance: far enough so I can avoid downtown* traffic, but close enough so I can be in DC in 10 minutes.”
 
*Insider tidbit: “Downtown” is what residents of the Virginia and Maryland suburbs call Washington, DC, as in “I’m going downtown.”
 
“Challenge Yourself” Sarah Burnett ’11, Politics with an English minor; Whitman, MA

”Work on your writing and reading skills, and challenge yourself, because you will be challenged in college. I hope for a future as a politician, so a school in the Washington, DC, area was a natural choice for me. The smartest thing I did was get on a plane and come visit several schools in this area, which opened my eyes. It’s not the same as looking at a website.
 
"Marymount is so great because you can explore DC all you want and come back to campus and feel comfortable, because we really have a community here.”

Insider tidbit
: Sarah will be a Resident Assistant in Marymount’s newest residence hall, opening this fall. She says, “We’ll be in a third-floor apartment facing Washington’s monuments!”
 
“Don’t Slack Off” Caroline Rivera ’12, Psychology; Olney, MD
 
"Don’t let senioritis get in your way! While it’s important to have a social life, don’t let having fun take over, because college is a lot harder than high school. Don’t slack off!”

Insider tidbit: Caroline, whose two older sisters also attended Marymount, is planning to continue on to earn her master’s degree in Nursing.
 
“Change is Good” Samantha Spencer ’12, Multidisciplinary Studies; Manassas, VA

”Choose the school that’s best for you – not what’s cool, or where your friends are going. You will make new friends and acquire new interests that you don’t even have a clue about yet. My sister went to a state school, and she was in classes with 500 people where the professor didn’t even know anyone’s name. I couldn’t see myself there!
 
"At Marymount, the classes are small and the professors notice if I don’t show up. Also, I love knowing that I can go to the cafeteria by myself and I’ll probably find a friend to eat with. And if I wake up late, the campus is small enough that I can still get to class on time!”

Insider tidbit: At Marymount, the ratio of undergraduates to faculty is 14 to 1. Classes are small, and students get lots of personal attention..
 
“Find Your Passion” Marvin Marenco ’12, Pre-Physical Therapy; Alexandria, VA

”Find your passion and pursue it hard. In high school, I didn’t have a clear idea of where I would attend college – or even if I was going. Then something happened in spring of my junior year that changed the course of my life: I was going to the Cherry Blossom Parade downtown with my sister, Stephanie, who was at Marymount. The professor had OK’d me sitting in on Stephanie’s last class of the day and, as I sat there, I started listening and even took part in the discussion. I was so thrilled to see that learning could be this much fun. That’s when I made up my mind: I was going to Marymount!”
 
Insider tidbit: Marvin created a new student club at Marymount: the Mixed Martial Arts Club. He also volunteers at an assisted living facility and tutors grade school children in math and science. He plans to attend medical school..
 
“Keep An Open Mind” Cyndi Trang ’13, Nursing; Moore, OK

”In high school, I was vice president and president of the Honor Society, and I was in the Key Club, a volunteer organization. Being involved in these clubs was really helpful because it made me develop my communication and leadership skills, both of which are needed in college. So I advocate being involved in clubs and activities in high school.
 
"In your college search, keep an open mind and don’t be discouraged from applying to a private school because you think it will be too expensive. I was very surprised at how much financial aid Marymount gave me – more than what the public schools offered me. All it took was one phone call, to ask about financial aid!”

Insider tidbit: 87% of full-time undergraduates at Marymount receive some form of financial aid. A Marymount education can be surprisingly affordable!
 
“Start Now” David Huson ’12, Business Administration with a specialization in Sport Management; Long Valley, N.J.

“I waited until the last minute to start my college search, and it put a lot of stress on me. You can’t concentrate on school with all that stress. Also, you can’t visit enough schools if you wait too long to get started. You need to check schools out in person, because until you go, you won’t know what place is really like. I knew I wanted a smaller college, so I limited my search and didn’t waste time looking at big state schools. I wanted to be away from home, but not too far, and I liked the DC area, so Marymount was an easy choice.”

Insider tidbit: David, who plays on the MU lacrosse team, is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.