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Alvernia University

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

When considering a college it is imperative to examine the quality of education, availability of intended major, enthusiasm of professors, available resources, and the amount of possible financial aid. Quality of education, although hard to determine from a few pamphlets and an overnight visit, can be shown through the success rate of alumni in the workforce, the opinions of students attending, and in some cases classroom sizes. If the student is looking for lecture-style classrooms, then he or she should look for schools in which many of the classrooms are structured in that way so as to get the most out of the classroom experience. Similarly, if hoping for one-on-one, approachable professors, then the student may want to examine smaller schools. The quality of education also depends on the program the school has for the student's intended major. This program should be strengthened by internship opportunities and variety in curriculum. College is designed to open the eyes of students to new opportunities, so research the interaction between the institution and community. Finally, make sure that the college is affordable and that financial aid will help with any remaining costs. Happy college hunting!

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As a first generation college graduate the transition into a university was unlike any other. Both of my parents were raced in Mexico, they did not have the opportunity to experience the life that they have provided my siblings and me with. As I looked for advice from my family they gave me the best knowledge that they could without knowing exactly what to expect. If I could go back in time with this knowledge and experienced I would make sure that college was worthwhile. It was a wonderful experience but there are several things that I would do differently. First I would pay close attention to the people I surrounded myself with. It is very important to be around positive and ambitious people so that you can excel. I would also take more advantage of school activities by becoming more proficient in scheduling time for schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I would mostly take advantage of studying abroad because it would have broadened my understanding and viewpoints of different cultures and their perspectives. Overall being active within the school is very important because it would help in finding ambitious people that could result in life long friendship, knowledge and memories.

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When searching for an appropriate college to attend, be open minded. Do not become too focused on attending your dream school; there are many other colleges or universities that offer the same opportunities. Also, be sure the college you choose to attend offers opportunities for career or research experience, as they will be vital in ensuring that you are competitive when applying for a job or graduate school. Many colleges offer the same courses, but it is the out-of-classroom experience that truly makes you a competitive applicant. As with most college applicanst, money becomes an issue. However, it is important that you do not sacrivice quailty for quantity. A small private school may offer you greater monetary incentives to attend, but that slightly more expensive school may be more well equipped to prepare you for your life after college. Of course, in your search for a school, finding a college that offers a comfortable social life is important to your well-being and adaptation to your new life away from home. Those around you wil be your support group for the next 4 years. So, keep an open mind and find a college that will ensure your success.

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My advice is to ensure you do research on the schools. Do not choose a school because a friend/family member is or has attended that school. You need to decide what is best for you, or your child. Everyone has different needs and wants in life. Cost is another aspect to consider, you have to compare each school that you are looking at. You need to be sure to visit the school and familiarize yourself with its surrounding area. You also need to consider the degree programs available at the school. Make sure that they offer a couple programs that you are interested in. Most students change their major multiple times before actually deciding on one. Also, what extra-curricular activities are offered at the schools you are considering? Housing and transportation are also very important. You also need to familiarize yourself with the financial aid department. Dealing with this office can be very frustrating, make sure that the school you are going to attend is prompt in responding to your concerns. Despite the frustration of the financial aid office and the course scheduling fiasco, I am satisfied with my education and my choice of a school.

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My high school years were not very typical. When I fifteen my sister died from a medical error. Therefore, I was not a normal high school student. I wanted college to be different. I wanted to feel normal. I did not take my freshman year of college seriously. In retro spect, I would have told myself that my freshman year is my most important year, and it creates an essential academic foundation for nursing students. My goal in life is to be a pediatric nurse practictioner because of what happened to my little sister. I would have told myself this was not going to be easy road, and that this program was going to drain me completely. But would have reminded myself of the reasoning behind my dream and all that necessary hard work. Fianlly, I would have explained to myself the relevancy of community service. At my school, community serivce hours are required for graduation. I thought this was rediculous when I first apllied to go to Alvernia. Despite this, I have learned over the years the rewarding feeling you obtain when you participate in community service. It is undescribable. I believe this advice would have been priceless.

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Attending college is of great value to me because it has given me three important abilities that give me a sense of motivation and happiness no matter what it is I do whenever I am using one of these abilities. The 1st skill I received from college is critically thinking. This skill is priceless to me because it gives me a dynamic path of thought to answer and make decisions based on various types of questions or situations. Arithmetic reasoning is the 2nd skill that college has given me and with this capability I am able to experience and/or perceive a natural phenomena and than model that circumstance by using mathematics and conceptual knowledge to answer questions and pioneer new ideas. The final gift that college has awarded me with is a dynamic, clear, and efficient way of communication. This invaluable ability gives me a means to express my ideas and systems of ideas to others so that those thoughts are comprehensible and require the least amount of time I need to convey my thoughts to people. No matter how I attain a drive or joy, it will come from one of these abilities that college gave to me.

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I’ve been in a bubble my whole life. I suppose that explains why I enjoyed playing with them so much as a child. My world, kindergarten through senior year, was two buildings separated by a parking lot; a high school with only three hallways; and I loved it. I never thought much about college or finding a job; I was perfectly happy in my bubble. Then near the end of my junior year, it popped! I was suddenly faced with ACT scores, college and scholarship applications, financial aid, and everyone asking me where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do with my life. I was so overwhelmed that I pushed everything aside and decided not to worry about it, which unfortunately, came with many consequences. I always tell myself, that if I could go back, I would give myself the help that I never had. I would have joined more clubs, made more connections, gotten scholarships, and graduated with the best, and everyone would be so proud. However, I will not waste more time looking into the past at “what could have been”, but am now going to focus on the future and “what could become”.

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It is very beneficial to visit the campus of each college you are interested in attending. Sometimes you will get the feeling that the campus is not right for you and other times it will just feel right. You definately need to choose one that feels like it best fits you and your needs as a student. If you attended a small high school it is usally good to also attend a smaller college since you are already used to smaller class sizes. If you attended a large high school a smaller college still might be good for you if you would like to know the students in your class as well as have a connection with the faculty. In order to make the most of your college experience you need to first choose the college that is right for you. Then you will enjoy the activities that occur on campus. There are many clubs that are available to each student that actually decide what activities should be done for the students on campus. This way students have a say in what they get to do. It is also beneficial to get involved in sports and leadership positions on campus.

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I would tell anyone willing to listen, not to your Education for granted!! Without education you can not make it in life, you can not even get a job working with the Sanitaion Department without high school diploma. When starting high school while in 9th grade I was so busy clowning around with friends trying to do what ever it took, to be popular. In doing so i ended up wasting the first year of high school failing every class but P.E During second year I tryed buckling down staying focused and getting my grades up. Grades were not great but I did pass every class. Since I did'nt pass the previous year I wanted to change schools I was to ashamed to stay in the same school. Thank GOD the new school I was attending happen to be a alternative school . By taking extra online classes and summer school, I was able to play catch up enabling me to graduate on time . Just think it all could of been avoided just doing what i was in school to do get a Education. Bottom line focuse more on your school work and less on trying to be popular.

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Research the school. Talk to current students (not just the ambassadors or admissions or financial aid people) and find out what really happens during the week and weekends. Talk to residence life about housing options for students. Get involved. For instance, I started two clubs on my own and am a founding member of Alvernia College's theatre program (which, by the way, has grown tremendously in five years). It doesn't matter if it's a large or small school, find something you enjoy and do it. It's your chance to totally be you (or reinvent yourself) so just do it. Don't worry about roommate situations and just handle situations as they arise. And don't be afraid to talk to people (faculty, staff, other students) to get what you need. If you want to get the most from your classes, do the work (or extra work). You may be able to breeze through by not reading a book, but you're the one paying for the credits and school. And don't forget to figure out the class to money ration -- you'll skip class a lot less when you figure it out (trust me).

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