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Benedictine College

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

After only one year at Benedictine College, I have grown more intellectually, emotionally and morally than I have from any other experience. I began my liberal arts education by being introduced to a variety of subjects and possible career paths. I was opened to a new perspective and gained a greater understanding of the world. Yet, as I learned new facts about the world, I was also educated about my role as an individual within it. Through this, I was also able to learn about myself, which greatly assisted me in choosing what would lead me to the most fulfilling lifestyle. I was challenged to take responsibility for my future and the impact that I can have on others, and through this, I learned that I truly can make a positive impact in the world. However, I never would have gained this great understanding if I had not also been challenged to take a step further in my spiritual life by my peers and educators. Benedictine College challenged me in many ways to intertwine my beliefs, knowledge, and individuality into my daily life, and without these challenges, I never would have made the considerable growth that I did this year.

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When it comes to college, it is true what they say, you get out what you put in. Still, it is important to choose a college that not only suits your academic needs, but your personal needs as well. There are many colleges that offer a great education, especially if you are willing to put forth the effort to attain it. Therefore, make sure you choose a college that you will be comfortable at for the next two to four years while you finish your undergraduate studies. Also, make sure to spend a good deal of time researching the surrounding area, especially if there is going to be a drastic change in location or climate (i.e. big city to small town or year round sunshine to harsh winters and cloudy falls). Believe it or not, this could be a deciding factor as to whether you finish your degree at that institution. Moreover, get an honest opinion about that school's financial aid and general administration. This may not seem important during your first year, but eventually it will matter a great deal. In short, be sure to perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the colleges you are considering.

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I have met and befriended great people. I have madfe relationships that will last forever. I have been a part of a larger family. I have gained a great and revered education. I have grown as a person. My spiritual life has strengthened. My social life has benefited. I have learned how to communicate more effectively with employers and instructors. I have been a part of a varsity sport. I have supported my friends in their activities. I turned 21 here! I learned more about myself here than anywhere else. I played golf, video games, watched movies, and had all kinds of fun here. I have been blessed to find this place and call it home. The value of an education here is priceless. You will have earned a valuable and sought after education when applying for work. You will have gained precious resources and networking alliances here. You will have beome a part of something bigger than yourself, but that not everyone knows about. It's not like claiming a huge university. It's more like a close network of people who have all experienced the same thing. Your time and money are well spent here.

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As a senior in high school, all I did was worry. I stressed about my grades, agonized over scholarship essays and college applications, fretted about my future roommate, and constantly feared all the various changes that would inevitably come with the transition from high school to college. Looking back, I can't help but laugh at my anxieties from a year ago. Here I am, with only a month left of my freshman year of college, and I am having the time of my life! College has already taught me so much about life, I have made some amazing friendships, and I have discovered that all my worries were quite ridiculous. So if I could go back in time, I would smack myself upside the head and tell myself not to worry. I'd say, "Self, chillax. Seriously. It WILL be okay! Worry will only make it worse. Instead, give God your stress and He'll do the rest. Then buckle up and get excited because college will be the most exciting ride of your entire life." If I had the chance, that's what I would say. And hopefully I would listen, because worry is just not worth it.

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My high school self was innocent of the intellect and social rehlm. Together these things caused me to have a judgemental attitude toward all my peers. College is a time for personal growth and materity, but that often comes from falling and making mistakes. The thing is is that I am not perfect. My life is full of sin and challenges just like my peers that choose to drink underage and subject themselves to morally questionable situations. If I could go back to my high school self and give advice it would be to look at everyone with love and non-jugdemental eyes. As the saying goes every person has a story to tell and that story is what shapes and forms them. The world is fully of hate for those who spread the news that love is all around us and in us. Knowing now that I am not perfect, my friends are not perfect, and my school is not perfect allows me to see that I am here to grow not to cement myself into the pavement of this university. I would tell myself to love, forgive, and to allow everyone around me to have their redemptive story.

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If I were able to give my high-school self advice about college: Train yourself from the beginning to wake up to your alarm, because the more times you hit snooze, the deeper you dig your hole. Join as many things as you can freshman year, and meet as many people as you can, but DON'T let that stop after freshman year. Never stop learning. Find something you are passionate about and chase it. Take leadership roles in clubs and sports you enjoy, they will pay off later. Never let anyone make you feel like they are better than you, but don't make the mistake of thinking you are better than anyone else either. Don't be afraid to get to know your professors--they will be the ones writing your letter of recommendations. Don't be afraid to try new things, but remember that you are forming yourself, so form yourself into someone you can be proud of. Above all, strive every day to live life more fully, to continuously grow in knowledge and spirit, and to never let a day go by where you can't honestly say to yourself you did the best possible!

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Dear Clare, Congratulations, you're almost there! This is your last year of high school, and next year you will be going to Benedictine College (spoiler alert!). I know Kansas seems like a random place to live for the next few years, but you'll have fun! Enjoy your last months of high school and being familiar with your surroundings. Things change when you go to college, but most things change for the better. The first few days away from home feel surreal, and college won't feel like home right away. This is okay. Soon enough, both home and college feel normal. Your family and friends will be there for you even though you are hours away. Don't be afraid to call home when you need to, but also remember to continue your journey toward independence. Branch out and meet your awesome new friends! God loves you very much, and He will never give you more than you can handle. Benedictine College is the right college for you, and you will not regret coming here! Love, Clare P.S. Thank you for taking those AP classes; they were worth it!

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I know you?re tired of hearing about college, but pay attention. I?ve come back to help you transition into college life. First, Verizon lied. There is no service in Atchison. Don?t buy a cell phone. Second, look for a job on campus ? it?s just too hard to find one close enough in town. Don?t worry: you?ll definitely be able to handle that and your schoolwork. Actually, that?s what I really came back to tell you: you can do more than you think. You will have so much more time in college, so don?t worry about spending lots of time with people. Go ahead and strike up conversations with strangers in the cafeteria, and chat for hours with your friends. You should go to the sports games; I regret missing the soccer and basketball and volleyball games. Don?t get stuck in your room. I know you've heard it a thousand times, but get involved! On a side note, when you create your Dungeons and Dragons character, be unaligned. Trust me. Oh, and nag Emma, or you?ll never get the books she borrowed back before you leave.

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If I could go back in time and talk to that senior who knew everything and said college would be a breeze, I would have a lot to say. First, it is going to be a lot of hard work – more than anything you’ve had up to this point. No matter how good you were in high school, studying will become a necessity. If you choose not to study (and it seems that almost every freshman chooses not to at first), you are setting yourself up for a rude awakening. Just remember, it’s better to study and not need it, than to need it and not have studied. Despite the difficulties your classes will create (and they will) you will have a lot of fun too. Make yourself go out and meet your fellow students as some of them will become your life-long friends. Being away from your family will be a new experience that takes some getting used to but you will adjust in time (and making friends makes it all the more easy). Study hard and know that it will all pay off (although there is no way you can make yourself believe that initially).

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If I could go back to my senior year of High School I would tell myself a number of things. Most importantly I would tell myself that High School is not nearly as hard as college is, and that college is not a place where you party and have fun all the time. I would remind myself that college is like having to work and when you have a job you can't slack off. I would tell myself to take a full load during my senior year so that I would feel more prepared when coming to college. I would have challenged myself to take more advanced courses and increase my study habits so that it wouldn't be a big adjustment when I started college. I would have spent more time with my family because you seem to miss them, especially during your first semester. I would have spent more time working so that I wouldn't have to take out as many loans. Lastly, I would have tried to be friends with people that I had a hard time being friends with because it helps you to adjust to people with different attitudes and perspectives.

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