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Boston College

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

Be sure to pick a place that you think will help you grow as a person. Allow yourself to let got of any preconceived ideas you have about who you are and who you have been, and enjoy four years of growth; both academically and individually. If you think you would enjoy a school with a large sports program, seek that option because a university with much school spirit can help draw students in, so that they really feel to be a part of campus life. Many of the people I have met in college live by this simple phrase: "work hard, so we can play hard." After a tough week of classes, projects, papers and tests, its awesome to go out on the weekend and just have fun with all of your friends. Be open to new people and new mindsets, because unwavering rigidness to old ideas can be ignorant. Live your college life with intelligence, humor, a work ethic, but also make sure to have a whole lot of fun.

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As a high school senior I attended two AP/College prep classes, along with 5 other classes. I also was very involved with the theatre program, including having a secretory position. If I was to go back and say some sage advice to high school senior me, I would tell her to expect a lot of self-organization heading into college. In high school, you often “hold hands with your teacher” and are handed your homework on a silver platter. In college, while the teacher is sometimes forgiving, the key to passing is making your own goals in that class. At the very beginning of the semester, read your teachers syllabus, understand how you will obtain the grade you want, and get to be confident with your work. Talk to your teacher during their office hours and know that they are there to help you. Know that college is what YOU choose to make it, so that is, YOU, who should make the best of the experience.

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If I could go back to myself as a highschool senior, I would tell myself not to allow others to belittle me because of the person I am. I would, also, tell myself that it is okay to ask others, specifically teachers, for help on work when you need it because that does not mean you're dumb. I would, also, encourage myself to go talk the counselor at least once a week because there are going to be times when things are going to be hectic and appear to be hard to handle. So, having someone to talk to without judgement is a good way to release repented feelings. I would tell myseld to open up a little more because there are some wonderful people and friendships that you might miss out on. Lastly, I would tell myself to have more faith in God because ultimately he is the deciding factor to everything; without God in your life you will never be able to gain the amount of success that you would like.

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My advice to my younger self would be to try. Never be afriad of failing and just strive to complete every task that is laid before him. In high school i found it easier to just coast through; to just get the grades I needed to pass not to really concern myself with trying to exceed expectations. Now that I am older i have learned that if I had performed at the potential that all my teachers around me told me that I had perhaps I would have had things work out more in my favor. starting college seven years after graduating high school i can now see just how important all those lesson I chose to ignore really were. If I could go back and do it all over again I would; I now really understand the old saying " If I knew then, what I know now." The important thing though is not to dwell on past events but rather to be ready for the future and to actually practice that changes you would have made.

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Explore all of your options - don't limit yourself to places where you are sure you'll fit in! There are so many amazing places and people to be discovered, and if you visit enough schools you are sure to fall in love with one of them. Attend tours and orientations if possible, and ask the colleges for student contacts. You can write to them and ask as many questions about the school as you want - most students will be happy to help you. While at school, get involved! Try something new, whether it's the martial arts club or the school newspaper. You can also get involved in activities you already know and love. Extracurriculars are a great way to make friends. Create a relationship with your dorm RA - they can help you with any problems you may experience, and they are there to help you. Give everything a chance and be open to new experiences and you can't go wrong!

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The most important thing for choosing the right college is thinking about the first impression that the school makes upon you. If the atmosphere feels right and is something that really intrigues you, chances are that the next 4 years at that particular school are going to be the best of your life thus far. It's also important while making sure that th eacademics are going to challenge you, but not too much, that you take into consideration things happening around campus all the time. Do you want to be involved in volunteer programs but also be an avid sports fan? There are so many things to do on a college campus that you really can't go wrong with whatever choice you make. If you can see yourself there, as part of that community and involved in the very things that you see going on during a tour, chances are that it is the right place for you and will be a great fit.

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It is crucial in the college selection process to know what you want in a school. Look at where you've been and what you've done, and carefully examine what has worked and what hasn't. This will help you to know what you should look for in order to succeed. Visiting your prospective schools can be helpful, but it is even more helpful if you stay with a friend who already goes there (if applicable). Getting involved right away will help you to adjust to college life not only because you will make new friends but also because it will keep you busy. One thing I found to be particularly helpful as far as study habits in college is to divide my space. I made certain spaces for studying only and others for relaxing only and I did exceptionally well academically. By staying involved and getting organized with academics you will make the most out of your college experience.

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I would encourage myself to be more prepared when it came time to move onto college, perhaps even taking classes at the local community college while still enrolled in high school. It is a far bigger transition than one would assume, especially coming from a home-schooled background. Talk to the professors and other students before enrolling in courses is one of the most beneficial things that I have found to prevent problems later. Getting into a program like honors or Phi Theta Kappa early on will make the time spent in college far more beneficial, even if it is at a small community college. It’s intimidating coming in as a freshman, but the quicker you get over your fear of the upperclassmen, the better; they are often the best sources of advice you can find outside of the councilors’ office.

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Seize every day. Do not spend senior year dreaming of how wonderful and better college will be, as this will ultimately cause you to miss out on your last year of high school. It will also cause great anxiety when you finally DO arrive at college, because the transition is not instant. If you have built college up and daydreamed of how perfect it will be, you will be so let down at first because those first two weeks are not perfect. Far from it, in fact. Do not rush for friends. Get to know people before you begin declaring yourselves BFFL or committing to long-term housing plans. And while you are making new friends, find the balance with your old ones. Be careful not to neglect old relationships, but do not allow yourself to use them as a crutch.

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No one has a perfect transition into college. It is a time when you leave your comfort zone and must make a life for yourself. You are not going to be able to replace the friends you made in high school right away when you come to college. College is not about the partying and the hanging out with friends, but it is about the opportunities that you are presented and the type of people that you meet. College is the place where you are shaped to be the best person that you can be which includes being in challenging and uncomfortable situations. All in all, transitioning into college life takes time for everyone. It is not just you who are experiencing a lot of bumps in the road but these bumps are what make you a better and stronger person.

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