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California Baptist University

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

I am currently attending my first semester at Miami Dade College as an International Student. The first day I went there, I felt like I was home. The people were so welcoming and enthusiastic. My advisor, Sylvia helped me out to choose my classes and these are a perfect fit for me. In every class, the professors provide an excellent and pleasant ambience through their passion for their work, their support and their concern about students’ success. This environment makes us comfortable and eager to learn. The staff trusts, respects and encourages its students. They are always present for us. Miami Dade College gives me great opportunities for my development as a student which will be helpful later for my career. Another amazing fact about my college is the diversity of culture. The five continents are represented among staff and students. It perfectly corresponds to the image of Miami and to today’s Business World: A World of diversity and exchange. After six months at Miami Dade College, I feel a real change in my academic and personal life. That is why I am exited to extend this wonderful and valuable experience and encourage everyone to choose Miami Dade College.

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I would most definitely reccommend that you research the different schools in the area you would like to go. After you discover the many different campuses, keep in mind the student/teacher ratio, campus meal plans, campus housing, off-campus housing, extra curricular activities, boy/girl ratio, overall academic excellence, as well as surrounding ammenities. It is important to find out not only the academic side of the school, but also what surrounds the school - most students, if not all, tend to go off campus rather than be cooped up in their room on campus; so if that is the case, you need to make sure there are fun things to do around you (amusement parks, beaches, mountains, arcades, plaza's, etc.). The last thing i would reccommend is to take a tour of the schools that interest you, then narrow down to about two or three schools. Visit those campuses again, and find out if they have any overnight stays or programs for prospective students (California Baptist University allows prospective students to stay the night in a dorm room with actual students, go to classes with them, and see how campus life really works).

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There are certainly a lot of things to take into consideration when choosing a college. In light of this, I think that the college decision should be based off of three things: Career interests, world view, and social needs. Obviously the first question one must ask about a college is "Does this college offer majors that interest me?" It does no good to go to a college that doesn't offer a Nursing program if that is what one wants to take. Additionally, having a few basic ideas about what one wants to study will allow him to focus on information regarding whichever major he is interested in and compare it to other schools as far as quality of learning and experience. Secondly, one may be more comfortable at a school that is centered around a world-view similar to his, such as a Christian who wishes to attend a private university that has other Christian students. And lastly the social needs; if one is looking to being social and active in school then they may be more interested in a smaller college that is more intimate and has a variety of activities available, rather than larger, overwhelming state schools.

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My first word of advice is that parents allow the student to look for their own college. Do not choose their college for them. It is the students responsibility and is always a great idea to be involved in their search but parents must allow the student to make the ultimate decision. It is their future and their future only. Parents can help look for colleges, help the student to figure out whats good or bad about a particular college, aid them in university tours, etc. Parents should be involved. Also, when applying for colleges as a student, do not put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, do not apply for just one. Give yourself options by applying for several or as many as you want. As a student, the single best piece of advice I can offer is to not procrastinate...with anything. Get the applications out of the way before their deadlines; apply for fafsa right away; apply for loans and scholarships right away. Once in school do not put off assignments or studying. Thats ok if you work well under pressure, some people do. Other than that, study first, play later and have fun.

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College is not only a place to earn a degree, it is a place of life-formation. The ideas that are explored, the people with whom one fellowships, the environment in which one surrounds him/herself with, and the experiences that one has during this season are possibly the most influential in his/her life. The best advice that I can give, therefore, is to take into account all aspects of the colleges that you are considering, not just the academic alure. And when classes begin, waste no time in beginning to pay attention to the people, the environment, and the underlying principles behind the lessons being taught, looking for those "ah-ha" moments when you realize that this is a person/cause/place you could build a life on. Don't be afraid to take a step back and re-evaluate the courses you have set; it's OK to change majors or career paths! Better to do so now than after you have dropped a huge investment! Remember that life doesn't start after you graduate, it starts NOW, so live NOW-- and not foolishly, squandering time and resources, but wisely, balancing all aspects of what are imporant.

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Dont rush yourself. Be postively sure that you are in a place where you can place everything you have into your college experience. Take as much time as you need and dont listen to the clock ticking. Happiness is more important than grades. Be yourself and dont forget about where you came from. Know your goal and always stick with it. You always dreamed of becoming an attorney and you will, but do not sacrifice your well being for others expectations. You have made it this far and you always knew deep down you would be successful. It is emparitive that you are in the right place when you enter college. Keep your dreams high. You can become the president. Always fight for loyalty, equality and your friends the way you always have. Never bend or bidge on your goals. Never forget about your dreams, always help your friends. The difference between those who make it and those who don't is ambition. Dont be too abrasive, but prepare for a battle. It will not be easy, but you have done just fine alone your whole life and you will continue when your ready for dollege. Bend, don't break.

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Your first choice may not always be your best choice. Just because a school is no Harvard does not mean that its academic programs are bad, it just means that it isn't Harvard. You can still get a great job after graduation and then with hard work you will get to where you want to be in 10 years. I go to school with 4000 students and my social life is very active. I am involved in campus in student government which has only created more oppurtunities for me to get involved. Usually with a smaller campus students are able to get more academic help than on a larger campus. My professors are readily available for help and know me by my first name. They give me their phone numbers in case I need help after they leave campus. Live on campus!!! When students live off campus, it creates a tension that they have when trying to get involved on campus. Although there will always be oppurtunities to get involved, the experience will never be the same as living on campus. My friends for life because we have lived together and know what is needed to help each other.

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One would think it would be easy to go back and say which things they would change about their life. To be honest, I would not change anything. I made mistakes when I originally graduated High school. But for better or worse, you learn from those mistakes. However, the one main thing I really did learn was that ultimately you need to keep going. You are a strong, intelligent individual, there might be obstacles in your way but "where there is a will, there is a way". Keep going as you are, plan ahead like you always have, but also do not forget to live. College allows you to grow both educationally as well as personally. Take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you. You never know where one opportunity might take you, you will learn of new talents and skills and new doors will open that you may never have imagined before. Taking new steps in your life, independently, will really help show you your true aspirations and goals in life. Doors will close and open, have faith that you are in the right direction, to succeed in a career that will make you happy.

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The advice I will give myself as a high school senior is to be prepared for what is expected in each course. There is no reason to slack off and state, "I will catch up soon," because I have had the experience to slack off with homework and fall behind massively. College is not like high school where you can slack off with homework or any assignments and easily catch up. I will tell myself that if i fall behind i will stay behind throughout the entire course because work piles up each day and have other classes to worry about as well. The most important advice I will tell myself is to manage my time well. Manage my time with school and work, I should be able to attend both and have no trouble coming home and finish all my assignments and study for upcoming quiz or test. Another important thing about managing time is sleep! In order to stay focused and be determined the body and brain need enough sleep each and every day to continue the day without stress. Stress can cause sentimental damage throuhgout the school year and can be major trouble towards my education.

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First off take the SAT's! Lots of people are encouraging you to go to community college but don't listen! It just takes longer to get through college! Stay focused now so it will pay off for your future in college. Don't let home life affect your studies ever. College life will be exciting, fun, but challenging and lots of work! Work on not being such a procrastinator now because that doesn't fly in college and makes life way more stressful then it needs to be! School first, fun later. Work on study skills now. Trust me! It will help you be successful in college. Now there will be stumbling blocks on your way to achieve your education, but keep going! Don't give up! Failures aren't people who fall down, rather people who fall down and never get up. If getting a degree were easy, then everyone would do it! By the way dump that boyfriend now! Six years down the road he breaks up with you, leaving you heart-broken and affecting your schoolwork and studies. Schools more important! Lastly always keep going, especially in those moments where you want to quit!

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