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Baldwin Wallace University

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

To Parents: You often know how your child responds to different types of education, teaching styles, learning enviroments, and their interest in extracurricular activities. Help them find the college/university that best fits them. Be wary of schools' reputations as 'drinking schools' or 'party schools' and be sure you child knows the risks involved with going to a school with that type of reputation. Though money can certainly be a factor in choosing a school, keep your options open with loans, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. Be supportive of your child, this is their transition to the 'Real World'. To Students: Deciding on a college/university can be tough. Choose a school with a program you're interested in. For me, Music Therapy was a very specific program and I found Baldwin-Wallace College to be the best fit for me. For schools you're interested in, choose one that you can picture yourself in for 4 years. To make the most of your college experience, be sure to get involved. Join up with groups that interest you; most schools have intermural sports and student clubs for various activities. Have fun and take advantage of the opportunities that await you.

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First, my advice is to involve as many resources as possible. Students should use internet search programs, government websites, high school guidance counselors, and parents to narrow the search. Search programs will lead them to make some difficult choices. Ideally this will result in approximately five possibilities: a dream school that if accepted and it is at all financially possible, is the one; three realistic choices, one of which is at a distance beyond your normal comfort zone (for me that was 500 miles from home), and a good back-up college (that may be a community college or a nearby state university). Also important is the fact that the final choice should rest with the student, not the parent because it is not the parent who is going to be attending classes. Once on campus, get involved! Try out for a play, be an athelete, join a fraturnity/sorority, find a club, but don't commute on weekends. Go to class -- You're paying top dollar, so get what you're paying for. The college experience is more than just academic knowledge, but the proper balance between social life and a focus on academics must always be remembered.

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"Embrace life." The two words I wish I had, not only the opportunity, but also the wisdom to share with my pre-college self. As a developing vocalist, I wanted nothing more than to attend a top music conservatory to perfect my craft. Spending dozens of hours each week in private lessons, choirs, ensembles, rehearsals and performances, I'd thought I had done more than enough preparatory work. Unfortunately not gaining acceptances, I've had to rework my careful plans, always keeping my future goal in mind. Choosing to embrace the situation rather than wallow in it, I decided to attend a college with a renown conservatory attached; Baldwin-Wallace College. Taking charge of my own future, I set out and made the necessary contacts, took the proper courses, and worked harder than I ever had before. Within two months I had been accepted into the Conservatory's Vocal Performance program and have since risen to the top of my class. I'm grateful that I chose such a personal school where I am a unique individual and have the opportunity to reap the benefits of my hard work, and perhaps even more so, have the chance to embrace life!

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Choosing a roommate can be one of the most important decisions you make regarding your happiness and success at school. The relationship can be similar to a marriage at times, so choose wisely. Always remember that the purpose of college is to gain an education, so expect some sleepless nights and sacrifice. Make sure to take all your classes seriously. Exceed the expectations of the professor on every project and assignment you complete, and your grade will often exceed your expectations. Always squeeze in exercise during the day if possible; you won't regret it once you are finished. Eat healthy and do not be the first to put on that freshman fifteen. Finish work right when it is given out, and there will always be time for some fun. Keep your loved ones in the loop about what is going on in your life; they love to hear about you. Take every opportunity to meet new people, and get involved with something that is worthy of your abilities and passion. Step out of your comfort zone to join an organization or activity you would not normally do. Never stop working toward the person who you envision yourself becoming.

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As I stand before you today, you may be thinking of what you and your friends are doing after the last bell of the day rings. You may be greatful this period was cut short and your history quiz was postponed until tomorrow. You may be asking yourself, "What is this girl doing and what can she possibly say that would affect me? I already know what I am doing after highschool."............ ............Leaving high school as an all-knowing senior and entering a college as a freshman, not sure which direction to turn, can give anyone a feeling of definate uneasiness. The one thing I wish for everyone to realize is each moment of each day is here for that moment in time and will never return. Take advantage of everything that is offered to you , for you never know when you may be able to reach into that file of information and knowlege and benefit . If you can take every opportunity in life and make something positive come from it, the event was worthwhile, no matter how awful it may seem. If you learned from your mistakes, then all was not in vain. Grap life. Hold on. Move forward!

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Pick the school that best describes who you are and what you love. Have a good balance of work and social life, try to not let your academic life take over your friends and family. Try to make the most of college life, it goes by extremely fast. Be sure to become involved with the community as much as possible. Create bonds with your professors, they are experts within their field and you could learn a thing or two. Planning is key, look over what classes you need in the beginning with you advisor, so you don't end up regretting last minute decisions. Once you've decided on your major, change your advisor immediantely to someone that knows what you need in order for you to graduate on time. Furthermore, management is a definite must; manage your money to the last cent, you don't want to end up broke half-way through the semester. In addition, understand your "needs" and "wants" don't combine the two, or else you will be eatting Ramen noddles for the rest of the term. Have fun; this isn't a punishment; you'll find that college is a grand opportunity to experience.

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A college decision is best made by gut feeling and a willingness to to try new things. If you step onto a campus and immediately feel welcome and at home, that is oftentimes a great indicator of a good choice. No college experience will ever be good if you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone and find out who you really are and what you are capable of doing. There is no other time in your life in which so many leadership and personal development opportunities present themselves. It is up to you to decide on how you respond to challenges you will be undoubtedly be presented with, whether academic, organizational, or otherwise -- and even in the most brutal times of misstep and failure, this will be your education. Such is the essence of the college experience. When you respond positively to something difficult with dedication and hard work, even when it does not turn out how you expected, you will find that success comes to you. When it comes, be humble, keep your eyes open, and be proud of everything you have done, because it will shape who you are.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself, most importantly, to take advantage of every opportunity possible. College offers so many different experiences you will only be able to do once. Meet as many people as possible, you will create life long friendships. Try to stay motivated, but also keep a healthy social life otherwise you will get stressed out. If you are ever struggling in class, do not be afraid to ask questions or talk to your professors. They are there to help you. Speaking of professors, create relationships with them. They will help you with building your career, and are always a good place to turn when you need recommmendation letters. Join greek life if at all possible. Greek Life is a fantastic experience; it gives you a home away from home. Being in a fraternity or sorority can help you build leadership skills you will use for a lifetime. Finally, always remember to have fun! College is supposed to be the best years of your life. Do not let any of that time go to waste. Your possiblities are endless.

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The transition is the most stressful part. Don't view all the different papers you have to file as one big task; it will greatly overwhelm you and you?ll fear approaching it. And waiting only makes matters worse. Give yourself more time than you think necessary to do things. Work on many tasks in little increments, less than what you?d think effective. Working like this, you're not overwhelmed and you still accomplish enough given your extra time. This also works with studying; it does for me now that I?ve settled into college. Don?t view leaving home as intimidating and it won?t be as strange. View ?early? as ?on schedule? in preparing for college and in college. You will make much better use of your time. Remind your parents not to overstress about you; you?ve got things handled and none of you needs their anxiety. It?s okay to make a few visits home or ask for advice or favors, but not excessively. You?ll only become more homesick when you have to leave again each time. It?s time to control your life and the first step is right out your front door.

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Attending college is a fascinating experience, but I wish I would have known more about the college experience. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to learn everything there is to know about college. I could have learned so much more about college. My high school held a meeting about financial aid, but I did not attend it. I would not have so many questions if I had gone. Also, during my college orientation, there were many meetings I did not attend because I did not want to drive the 45 minutes to the college. However, I would have learned more about the college experience, so I would not feel so unprepared when I entered college. I also should have attended the involvement fair because I would have seen how I could have been involved on campus. Since I did not attend it, I did not know how to get involved, so I missed many opportunities to have a more exciting year at school.If I had told myself to learn everything about college and attend any informational meetings that arose, I would have had a more exciting year without so many questions.

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