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Boston College

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

I completed my freshman year at Salve Regina University and I transferred to Boston College for the fall semester my sophomore year. Making the transition was difficult, but end result made it worth it. Deciding to transfer was the biggest risk in the past nineteen years of my life. I am more of a reserved student, so deciding to transfer was a risk that I never predicted myself to take on. I decided to transfer to a school where I knew no one, and the nerves I was feeling the summer before I moved in almost made me change my mind. As I'm sitting here in my dorm room at Boston College off of Commonwealth Avenue and not my dorm room overlooking the ocean in Newport, Rhode Island, I could not be happier that I followed through with my decision. Although I exchanged ocean views for fall foliage, Boston College has more to offer than I have time for. I have joined the Appalachia Volunteers Group, Undergraduate Government of Boston College, and I have applied for a summer abroad trip to Greece. All in all, the opportunities in Chestnut Hill will lead me to a successful career and life.

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Katie, go to sleep. College will still be there even if you fail this test. It's 3 AM and you've already taken enough Tylenol for a full day. Despite what you have been hearing for the past four years, the mysterious and almost mythical entity known as "College" is not as terrifying or all-powerful as you think. Pushing yourself every night for each test and quiz is not worht it. You will succeed no matter what your class rank or SAT score. Success is the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are living a productive, healthy, and happy life. Are you being productive when you spend more time worrying about the giant, theoretical future than on fostering better relationships with family, friends, and teachers? Are you healthy barely functioning on a few hours of sleep everyday? Are you happy beating yourself up after every low test score? My advice to you, Katie, knowing what I now know, is that you are strong and will adapt. It is just another part of your life, one that will provide you with challenges and comfort - good and bad alike. And that it is nothing to lose sleep over.

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As a student athlete, my best advice to future students and parents looking at colleges is to always make sure to choose a school for the right reasons. While athletics may certainly factor into a decision, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that the student chooses a school they can see themselves attending with or without their sport of choice. Coaches may leave, injuries may occur, and passion for the sport may fade. If any of these were to happen and you subsequently took athletics out of the picture, would you have any regret about making the choice you did? As far as making the best of your experience, always remember the saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side." Many friends will come home telling you how great their first year was, and its important to keep things in perspective. Its easy for stories become "larger than life," and its rare to hear about all the negative aspects happening at another University. Take one visit to a friend's school, and I'm sure you'll find things there that make you appreciate where you chose to attend.

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Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way from the very beginning. While you should prepare for your future career, be sure to enjoy where you are at in this very moment. Don?t get so caught up in succeeding academically that you give up your social life, but don?t have a carefree attitude about academics either. Give 100% in the classroom, but reward yourself. Realize that there will be mean people, and you may have the unfortunate experience of being hurt by them, but there are also nice people. Seek out those nice people, and don?t let yourself be discouraged by those that make you feel left out. It is your school. Be a part of it. Try something new. You might surprise yourself. Don?t be shy. Show people the amazing person that you are and all that you have to offer. Use your talents to make positive contributions to your school community. Take pictures. Laugh. Build strong friendships, but don?t forget to call home every once in a while. Your college experience is what you make it. Make the most of your time. You only have four years, and they will fly by.

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If I needed to be told anything, it's "Remember to breathe." Taking that one deep breath is what will be most helpful in reorganizing my thoughts, refocusing, and calming myself down. One breath grounded me and forced me to remember that everything would work out, everything would be okay, and I don't need to have everything perfectly planned out at the start of my undergraduate career. There is still time to explore options, still time to correct mistakes, and there is still even time to bring up my GPA. Yes, it's not perfect, and it's not exactly what I had envisioned, but it's just another lesson preparing me for future life experiences. Taking the time to remember to breath is what saves me from committing to too many clubs, from giving up after receiving a low paper grade; breathing keeps me sane. Breathing is essential to life and at college you begin to plan your life. College is the place to practice for the real world so take the time time college to breathe, reorganize, and refocus so you have an idea of how to maintain control, your happiness, and your health.

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Stay true to yourself while in college. In high school, you listened to authority, but you never made decisions based on what other people thought was best. You did what you believed would be best for you, and look! You're at a great institution that cares about you. The best part? You can study what you want with professors that passionately care about the subject. As wonderful as this place is, don't give into peer pressure. You didn't back home, so why should you start now? What makes other people happy isn't necessarily going to make you happy. If it makes you uncomfortable, don't do it. You are the one living with your choices, so make decisions that bring out the best in you and others. And never give up hope. Your unwaivering positivity is the best part about and makes life better for others. Never let go of this great gift. People here are quite intellegent, and the atmosphere is daunting at times. But remember that you were accepted here and deserve your education as much as anyone else. Don't let the sucess of others keep you from finding yourself.

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When trying to find the right college there are several variables to take into account, but in the end it really boils down to what the studen is comfortable with and what it is theyare looking for in a college. If there is any hesitation at all, some time should definitely be taken to weigh all of the possibilities before making a decision. Spend your time wisely. Manage the time that you've been alotted in order to make this decision and balance it throughout, don't wait until the last minute to try and make decisions. This is your future. When trying to make the most of the 'college experience', don't try too hard. Stay away from peer pressure, period. DO NOT follow the stereotypical college student lifestyle of all-nighters, drinking and other depictions of the college student because they're mostly untrue. Seeing this first hand, I've come to realize that many lose sight of the reason why they are at college in the first place which is to learn. Whether it be in the classroom or other event, there is always something to learn. One step at a time.

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Everyone starts their college search process believing they will find the right school and have the great college experience that they?ve heard so much about. I was just like this, but found out quickly this is not true for everyone, and I had made a huge mistake in my choice of schools. I spent my first 3 semesters at Wake Forest University, trying to fit in but knowing deep down this is not where I belonged. After coming to terms with the fact that I would have to start all over through transferring, I became much more in tune to what aspects of a college would suit my needs and interests. I chose to transfer to Boston College, which I now consider the happiest place on earth. My advice is to make sure you like who as well as what you see on college visits. A campus may be gorgeous, but if all of the students are wearing the same J. Crew shirts and you have never set foot in that store, it is likely not the right place for you. Talking to professors is just as important. Search for passion, socially and academically, in all aspects of campus.

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If I was able to go back and talk to my highschool self about the transition from highschool to college there would be three main points I would elucidate. The first is that college is what you make of it in terms of academics, internships and friends. The more you are willing to put yourself out there the more you are likely to get back. The next point is would be to advocate for myself and peers because the vioce/opinions of the student body is taken into consideration. So if their is somehting that you do not like/agree with talk to administratin to see if something can be done to resolve the conflict, because more than likely if you feel a particular type of way you are not the only one. The final piece of advice and most imporant I think i would have needed is that you can not go through college alone. You need to build an inclusive enviorment amonst your friends, professors and staff because there will be moments you want to cry or give up, but they will be the individuals to pull you back up. They will become your second family!

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College has been extremely valuable and rewarding to me thus far. Being around so many intelligent and interesting students and professors has instilled in me a need to take advantage of as many of the courses as I can during my four years. I do not want to just get through the classes in order to get good grades, I want the knowledge of the courses to become part of who I am. I want to be exposed to as much information as possible. I am taking an Ancient Greek as a language course. I am in my second semester of learning Ancient Greek. If I had not come to college, I would have never been exposed to this. I am an English major, thus am being introduced to a vast array of interesting authors, their writings and their lives. College life has also been valuable to me on a personal level. It is gratifying to be independent in my decision making. I decide for myself what it is I want to do with my time. I achieved all A's on my first semester, freshman year report card. I am proud of my independent choices and accomplishments.

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