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Briar Cliff University

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

So far, in my experience here at Briar Cliff University, I have learned that by "college experience" the pamphlets and brochures have not just been talking about the classrooms and the teachers. My college experience has been about learning independance and balancing my schoolwork and social life . I have learned how to cope with a sleep-walking roommate and which study spots in the library are the best for my admittedly limited focus. I have taken incredibly hard tests in Biology and embarassing hard falls in front of the student body at the Homecoming Pep Assembly. I have learned that people get what they put into their education and this has made me even more determined to enjoy and thrive here. All of these things are what are shaping me to be the person that I was meant to be. My attendance is valuable because I have gotten involved all over campus and feel like a true part of the college. Now that I am here and active I think that my being here at BCU has shown me my full potential not just as a student, but as a leader to my friends and classmates.

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My advice to parents is simple. Remember that your child is the one going to college, NOT YOU, so please do not pressure them into going to a school that you want them to go to. Allow them to go search for a college that best fits them. Incoming students will need to try hard to find the college that is perfect for them. Looking online, asking school advisors, and setting up visits to a campus are the best ways to go about finding what you need. Don't settle for a school you think is sub-par. College can be hard. So sometimes you will not be able to go out at night with friends. This is why, to get the best experience, incoming students should know not to procrastinate. You only go to college once. That being said, you should take care of your homework and studying first. On the other hand, as a student you need to have a social life and engage in campus activities. So refrain from sitting in your dorm or apartment all day. Manage your time well so that you can complete your studies and also have the best experience you possibly can.

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When picking a school you need to make sure you as the student like the atmosphere. You are the one going to live on campus and attend class. As the student you need to research your choices and narrow them down to the top 3 and from there chose which school you are more comfortable with. When you chose don't chose based only on a good sports program or a good party school. Making the most of your college experience is the biggest thing you can do. You need to get out and meet people. If you sit in your room all the time then you will not like the school and will want to leave. If you get to know people, join activities on campus, or join a sports team you will get a much better college experience and you will also enjoy yourself and the school a little bit more because you are involved. Being involved and liking the school are a couple of important things that a good college experience is based on. In the end make sure you like the school and then get involved for the experience that you want.

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I only have two pieces of advice for future college students; go someone different than your friends and visit many schools. In my class it seems as though many of my classmates went to the same school, about 20% of the class, they have met only a small handful of people and don't hang out with anyone new. I have met people from all over because I went to a school were I knew no one. Secondly, I do regret only really looking at one college. I had my mind set on the one I attend and did not look into any otheres. I really wish now I had looked at more schools to decide what the right choice was because no I attend a school I really do not like and am really unsure if I want to keep going there. Take advantage of college visit, most schools wave the application fee if you attend a visit, so now you can apply to as many as you would like and have more options in the end.

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I believe that parents should feel like their child is going to not only get a great education, but also receive friends that give them good advice and make sure they are reaching their potential. I think that students who observe Briar Cliff do feel that they are at home, but what about the time when they are in class, do they feel at home in class? I believe that if a student is looking for a college, they should not only be looking for a homely feeling while with friends, but also while they are attending a class. Also if the student feels that feeling when they stand in the front of the college, I believe that will tell them this college is the one for them. Make sure the student makes new friends that becomes old friends, and have a wonderful time doing what they love.

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if i could go back to my senior year of high school, i would have done a lot of things differently. One of the main things i would have done differently would have done duel credit classes, and taken classes that would transfer over to college. Not only would the class transfer, but it have shown me how a college class is actually setup and how the classes work. Another thing i would have done differently was to be more involved in my school, such as joining clubs, becuase not only does that allow fun times in high school, all those clubs can be put on transcripts and applications so the schools can look at them. All these things can make a huge difference in applying for colleges. its the differents between a yes or no exceptance letter.

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If I could go back now and talk to myself when I was 17 and a high school senior I would tell myself that it's not as hard as it seems, and i'm going to make it through all the finals, due dates, applications, and all the days I had senioritis. I would also tell myself to not be so worried for my first year of college, and that by the end of it i'll grow as a person and become stronger as an individual. The most important thing I would remind myself is that even though it's a very stressful time in my life is to enjoy all the things I have to experience in the coming years and months, becasue it flashes by before you're ready for it to all be over.

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Don't limit your options for you major, even if your heart is set on doing one thing. You might change your mind and you should explore all options. Also, focus hard on school and don't procrastinate. Limit the socializing if you have homework or a test to study for. But still have fun! Be independent and take as many oppotunities you can to get involved on campus and meet new people. Don't stretch yourself too thin though. Make good decisions, the ones you know are morally right, and don't let anybody peer pressure into doing something you know is wrong. Thank your mom and dad for helping you get to where you are and always supporting you!

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Choose a place that is both the best financially and best for expirience of the soon to be student. Ultimately it's the student picking the school not the parent. Negotiate and work together to make a decision. Apply for as much financial aid and scholarships as you can get, no matter how small they seem because they add up fast. Also consider a job either on or off campus to earn some extra money. Be financially wise and conserve as much as possible, make smart buys and use coupons and save as much money a possible. Pinch pennies.

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As someone who decided to take a few years off, I would recommend high school students who are excited for college to find a University they feel identifies with their values and beliefs. I would recommend on campus housing, a great life long experience. Lastly, I recommend to all young people leaving their high school years to follow their heart, if you're not ready for college that's okay. You are the only one who decides your future and you should go with your heart; life is long, enjoy it to it's fullest potential.

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