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Barnard College

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

The transition from high school to college is incredibly stressful especially socially. I spent a lot of time my first few weeks of college worring if the people I met really liked me or not, rather than enjoying my new friendships. One thing that really helped me was joining my school's ultimate frisbee team. It provided me with an outlet to relieve stress and anxiety and helped me form true relationships. I would advise high school seniors to continue the extra curricular activities they enjoyed in high school, like I did with frisbee, in college. These activities provide familiar ground but also oppurtunities for new experiences.

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I wish I could go back and do college over again. I was going through so many personal transitions while I was an undergraduate student that I feel I missed out on having fun and making the most that I could of my college experience. Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way during your college years and if the opportunities aren't knocking on your door, go out and make them yourself. These are crucial years that can and will affect and shape the rest of your life. Make them positive!

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The most important thing you can do is to visit the campus, and try to sit in on a class! It is the only way to determine whether you will feel comfortable in that environment--it is a place where you will be investing your time and energy for the next four years! If you know you aren't a city person, do not choose a city school, even if the academics are great; if you are unhappy with your environment, the years spent there can be torturous and will negatively affect your grades.

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I ll say to my self: "Enjoy the time when you can be considered as a naughty kid while sometimes think deeply what is your real passion and interest in the future." College life seems more loose than high school life but in fact I always feel like I am rushing and have no time to be "myself." However, if I could enjoy myself more during senior year and go to college with a relatively clear goal, everything will be different for me right now.

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Even if you don't find exactly the right fit -- don't panic! Every college experience you have will teach you something, regardless of whether you decide to transfer or tough it out, and the tougher times will often shape your character more profoundly and positively than the easy times. Remember that you get what you put into it, so be sure to take classes that you really love so you can put in 100%.

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Be sure to really take the time to do your reading during the semester. The semester-end cram sessions are definitely not worht it! Also have fun and be sure to take advantage of all the weird andinteresting classes that your school offers. You'll never really get the chance to explore the world this way again.

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I would advise myself to relax more. College is so different from high school, and a lot of it can't be quantified. Go visit the colleges and see how you feel about them. That's more important than the random facts thrown at you by college counselors.

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Parents and students should choose the right college for themselves regardless of the college rank or reputation. Consider the school size, environment, population, classes offered, curriculum, location, student body, and extracurricular activities.

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Finding your niche takes time and the people you meet right away could and could not be your best friends, so just give everyone a chance but don't spend time with people that you know right away are not for you.

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I would tell myself to relax about social as well as academic issues. It is most important to feel happy and confident, and thereby to get enough sleep. Put health first for success in other realms.

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