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Alabama A & M University

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The advice I would give myself would include conducting more research on colleges and environments, finding a mentor and networking. The reasons are discussed below. The advice on research would be beneficial, as I should have conducted more research on larger numbers of colleges, programs of study offered, and overall college community atmosphere. Each of these items is important to the overal choice of which college to attend. Colleges and the programs they offer are significant to choosing the appropriate major and jobs linked to that major. The college atmosphere is central fitting other students and establishing a functional network. Mentorship can last a lifetime. It should have started as soon as possible upon entering college. Networking and mentorship are closely related. Mentorship would have allowed me to begin the process of learning from and networking with a person who was established in his/her career. Theoretically this person could have guided me throughout my career. Fitting in with other students would have allowed me to establish a learning network. Learning this before college would have allowed me to establish a viable network of mentor and friends that would have been beneficial throughout college.

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If I could go back to my senior year of high school, I would definitely apply for more scholarships, regardless of the dollar amount. I would take the ACT exam every time it was given because most scholarships use those scores when selecting recipients. I had no idea that college was so expensive. I visited three schools during the fall of my senior year. I would visit several different colleges during the summer before my senior year. I would ask more questions about the costs associated with each individual college and the curriculum needed to become an Occupational Therapist. While participating in sports and volunteer services, I would make a stronger effort to obtain references from teachers, my principal and volunteer coordinators. Something I learned the hard way is that it is very important to follow-up on contacts you’ve made. I would not assume that because someone is an adult, they would follow through on references without a friendly reminder from me. I was a procrastinator in high school, always putting things off until the last minute. If I had a do over, I would complete projects as early as possible giving myself time to perfect certain things.

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If I could go back to my senior year of high school, I would definitely apply for more scholarships, regardless of the dollar amount. I would take the ACT exam every time it was given because most scholarships use those scores when selecting recipients. I had no idea that college was so expensive. I visited three schools during the fall of my senior year. I would visit several different colleges during the summer before my senior year. I would ask more questions about the costs associated with each individual college and the curriculum needed to become an Occupational Therapist. While participating in sports and volunteer services, I would make a stronger effort to obtain references from teachers, my principal and volunteer coordinators. Something I learned the hard way is that it is very important to follow-up on contacts you’ve made. I would not assume that because someone is an adult, they would follow through on references without a friendly reminder from me. I was a procrastinator in high school, always putting things off until the last minute. If I had a do over, I would complete projects as early as possible giving myself time to perfect certain things.

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Out of the last four years that I have attended A&M I have gotten more enriched values both inside and outside of the classroom. First lesson I learned was that it is unfair to judge a school based on a few bad reccomendations, like with A&M, the opinions of others may not be truly reflecting the school's capabilities but instead those of the student/person giving the opinion. My experience at this school has also shown me the benefits in being open minded and exploring new cultures and activities. While at A&M I participated in many educational and extracurricular activities which exposed me to new ways of learning, having fun, and allowed me to interact (and form friendships) with people I may not have been as willing to meet without the influence of A&M. The administration has taught me to be more responsible and "take-charge" through showing me that I should never depend on others to handle my affairs. Though I encountered many peaks and valleys with starting and finishing my college career at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, I truly can say that I have enjoyed the experience and the memories it created.

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The first piece of advice that I would offer to students is to know what they are looking for from their college experience. For example, what degree programs of interest are available, what the surrounding town offers, how interactive the school is in the community, and how the school is respected in the business community in the surounding area - leading to cooperative studies and intern opportunies. Also, if he/she is an athlete, what sports are offered and what policies exist for making up work when missed. Secondly, to the parents, be a guide to your student, not a slave driver. They have to live with what education they get. Ive too often seen students that went to schools that were chosen for them, that are unhappy to the point that they transfer before they are juniors. College is to be a learning experience both academically and socially. Let them learn, do not baby them along. Finally, to both students and parents, apply to as many colleges as possible and make a commitment to learn. For this is one of the most important decision in anyones life - it will have reprocussion, either positive or negative, for life!

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When looking for the right college, always do research. Find out if there are any situations going on with your school that could prevent you from getting the education that you deserve. Always visit college campuses before making your final decision. Ask students and faculty at the school questions to help you decide if this is the type of atmosphere you would like to be in, a first impression is a lasting impression. To make the most of your college experience, remember it is important to have fun and enjoy the college life, but at the same time, do not forget the reason you are there. In reality, your reason is to get an edcuation, not partying! Have fun, but do not let it interfere with school. Attend school events because it gives you a chance to meet new people and show school pride. Build relationships with the faculty at your school. Meeting these new people will help you network. Parents should allow their children to choose the college they would like to attend because only the child really knows what would be best for them. Parents should also show interest in their child's road to higher education.

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If I could go back to my senior year, there would be a few pieces of critical advice that I would give myself knowing what I know now about transitioning into college life. First, I would strongly advise myself to take advantage of college courses that are offered in my senior year. By doing so, this will eliminate some of the anxiety that freshmen feel when they embark upon their journey as college freshmen. Subsequently, this will afford me the opportunity to experience the level of reading, writing and creative thinking that is required to be successful. Additionally, I would warn myself about the seriousness of procrastination. It will cause undue stress and will not allow me the opportunity to showcase the quality of work that I am capable of achieving. Finally, the last word of advice I would give, would be in reference to time management and how it is the key to success in whatever it is that you do in life. Your parents will not be there to take up the slack, and you will have to be responsible for yourself. With these critical pieces of advice, I would tell myself success is well within my reach.

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As a college freshman knowing as much as i do now i would have alot of advice to tell my self when i was a senior in highschool. For instance, i would definatley make sure the finacial aid award was really all the way awarded to me because oweing money isnt a good feeling . I would have told my self to apply to way more colleges and for way more scholarships. I would have kept all my notes and binders from each subject; because your first year is like highschool all over again. Having better time management skills would help tramendously. Focusing more on my education than on a social life would have made things easier. Interacting with people with a different ethnic background; would be a easier transition in college. In college theres so much diversity and if your so use to just seeing one type of group its kinda hard adjusting. Studying alone and reading more in highschool would definately make me a better writer. The transition is so different in college all you have is yourself so getting a job and being independent would really ease alot of finacial problems once you actually get to college.

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I equate my college experience to that of the phoenix in greek mythology. I witnessed the murder of my fiancee in 2007 which left me with a 4 year old and a baby on the way. I knew that no matter how hard it would be I had to make a way for my children. While juggling my duties as a full-time student and mother I have grown tremendously. My college experience has taught me how to interact with people from all walks of life. I have also shed my shy former self and now communicate better with others. The most valuable change since beginning my college journey has been my developed thirst for knowledge which goes beyond the classroom. I now truly understand that education is a priviledge, and the hard work and time dedicated to it is well worth the struggle. My professors, classmates, advisors, and family have all been key in my transformation from someone unsure of my potential into a confident and serious scholar. I am currently being refined as a college student. I will emerge from my college experience as an amazing new version of me, just as the phoenix was reborn from ashes.

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While you are still enrolled in high school, do your best throughout the entire semester. I?m sure most of your classes are electives and you feel as if they are not important, but they still count towards your grade point average. Colleges you apply to will look at your grade point average and it can also help you qualify for different scholarships. You need to apply to as many scholarships as possible to help you pay for school. I recommend that you spend a great deal of time looking into different colleges. You may have a particular college in mind, but you may find a school you like even more. You should also visit these different schools. Take a tour around campus and meet different students that are already enrolled or have graduated from that college. These students can give you better insight on the school. I know that a lot of kids? parents tend to put pressure on their child about going to a certain university, but the choice is up to you. You want to be somewhere that you feel comfortable. I hope this advice is very helpful in your transition from high school to college.

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