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American University

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

Getting into college is not hard. Deciding which school is right for you is. There are more factors this one decision than are really describable. The size of the campus, the type of student body, the style of the facilities, the availability of the professors, the ethnic makeup of the school and surrounding areas, amount (or lack thereof) of school spirit? They all play into having the best college experience, and considering the amount of hard work and money you will be piling into your college years, all things must be scrutinized. Your happiness is the deciding factor of your college success. If you are not happy, you will not perform at your true potential. Not only will your grades suffer, but your social life and employment potential will falter. Keep a dream for yourself, and when choosing a school, ask yourself how that dream may be realized. Anything less is merely a dream deferred - and that is no dream at all.

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I used to think that college would be a waste of my time and money, especially right out of high school. I thought I was in love and wanted to get married. I wish a thousand times over that I had gone to college after graduating from high school. Becuase I did not go to college, I made some very bad decisions, I have a hard time paying bills and my children want things that I can't afford to give them. Go to college Angie and do it right the first time. Make a life for yourself and the family you will have. You grew up poor, don't have your children grow up the same way. They will deserve better. You won't have to worry about having a stable job. You will have the education you need to aquire a stable job, and make amazing money, and keep that job. You are smarter than you give yourself credit for. Don't waste your life. Go to college. You won't regret it. Don't go to college, and you will pay for it the rest of your life.

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When looking for a college don't rule out a school just because it doesn't fit all of the criteria you have listed for your 'dream school'. I wanted to go to a big, public, rural arts school to study music composition; now I'm at a small political science university in the nation's capital. I couldn't be happier with the school I chose. Never underestimate the resources (both academic and social) that a city has to offer, even if you're a farm girl [or boy] at heart! Also, never rule out a university because it's too expensive. Give yourself a minimum about of financial aide you'll accept from the school and give it your best shot. You might be suprised with what you're offered. Finally, when you get to your chosen university remember it isn't high school anymore. This is your chance to be the person you want to be without judgement from your family or your peers. Remain true to who you are, but explore what you can become.

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College is one of the most sudden and demanding changes to occur in a young person's life. Choosing the right school is essential for a student in order for them to feel safe, secure, and welcome in their new enviornment. The most important thing to do is visit schools. No matter how nice a school looks on paper, and no matter how badly you may want to go to a school, visiting the campus is the only real way to know if a school is right for you. Your parents may have gone to Harvard and you may have wanted to go there your entire life, but if you visit and it just doesnt feel right, then it isnt the school for you. There is a feeling in the gut that comes with finding the right school. One simply knows that they will fit in, that they can deal with living somewhere for the main portion of their next four years. My advice to you is not to choose a school by its statistics, but to choose a school based on how it makes you feel.

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If i could go back to my high school years I would make sure that I planned for my time in college. I moved to Washington, D.C. after visiting American University once and falling in love with the campus and the city. I would remember that college is a time for learning and exploring and to make sure that I made the most out of those four years. I would certain I studied abroad for a semester or a summer and looked into different cirricular areas. I would have made sure to join more organizations and maybe even greek life. Most of all I would have not worried so much about finding a job and really taken in my senior year of college without worrying about taking the LSAT's. I think my college experience was unique because I moved across the country for college but I know that American University was the right place for me because of the friends I have made, contacts I have kept, and the education I received.

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I would tell myself to relax. Everything is not so detrimental as I assumed it would be and every decision is made for a reason. Even the wrong decisions I made have helped me figure out what I want as a person. I have come to realize that it does not matter where I go in life, as long as I keep growing. My high school senior self was always highly stressed and cared too much about finding perfection. I wish I had known sooner that perfection should never be a goal since it does not lead to happiness. I would tell my senior self to judge people less and to go into every new class with a fresh start. Even if I have no intention of making huge numbers of friends, a friendly smile makes all the difference when approaching new people. In this past year and a half of college life, I have learned while life is a serious matter, it is not so serious that you should lose your self over it.

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I graduated one year early from high school, so I would say my experience was a little different from most. In retro-spect, high school was simply not a good fit for me. I have always been a self motivated student, and I did not like the rigid structure, rules, and regulations that high school emphasized. Without a doubt, college is a lot of work. But the schedule of college offers much more flexibility, and in my personal opinion, a much healthier lifestyle. No longer do I have to be in homeroom promptly at 7:25 like in high school. I am very self-disciplined academically, but for people that tend to be procrastinators, be careful in college. Waiting until 2:00 am to begin an 8 page paper due the next day is not a good idea. College is the most pivotal time in a young person's life, and it is a time when you as an individual truly discover who you are, and where you want to go in life.

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I would tell myself that it is important to be open minded. Being open minded is what leads to various positive impacts. Open mindedness in college leads to you being aware of things that you should take advantage of, such as office hours of your professors. Office hours are times of not only asking about certain quesitons you may have about the course, but also your future plans. Open mindedness is what allows you to be engaged in your major. If you are not engaged in major, where you do not know of what oppurtunities to take advantage of, such as research oppurtunities, internships, and research conferences. Then you are destined to fail in your field. That is why if I were a high school senior and I had been in a time where I experienced college life, I would tell myself to be open minded. Because, if you are not open minded, then you are not going to suceed in college or life.

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I would tell myself to really get on the ball and to look and apply for as many scholarships that i can. I did not take that seriously in high school and am finding it difficult to be eligable for as many scholarships now. I would also tell myself to do more volunteer work, and apply for more schools that I was interested in. I started at my current school without even really knowing where it was until July of that year. I always knew I was going to college right out of high school even though I wasn't sure what I wanted to go for but when it came time to do everything I didn't and it is hurting me a bit now. I love my school, the people, and opportunities that I have been able to experience but one of the best transitions would have been to not worry about the money. Even being a Phi Theta Kappa member, it is still difficult to find school funding that isn't out of my pocket.

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To the parents, let your child pick the college they would like to attend. Although money may be a problem or not, you have to let the child make their own decisions about this part of life. College is a whole new experience perspective students. One should cherish this moment, college is meant to live a little as well as a get a good education and degree. With that being said, pick the best college that fits you! Size, people, sex, location, activities...and so forth. Although going to college may seem fun, it can also be a scary deal. No need to fear, you are not alone. Remember that the other freshmen are new to college as well, so make a few friends and you'll be okay. Even though people may be hesitant at first to speak, put your foot first and be assertive. You never know that person may have some connections that will help you in the future! Welcome to college!

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