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California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

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

I would give myself the following advice: - Upon arriving to school, contact the Disability Resource Center to schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss your learning disability and the resources available to you - Do not register full-time your first semester - Research all career options that are applicable to the degree you are pursuing in Animal Science beyond Veterinary Science- Do not become overly invested in the relationship drama that occurs between your roommates- Attend as many on-campus activities as possible: sporting events, plays, musicals, dances, etc. - Schedule appointments with your professors to seek their advice regarding career possibilities and course direction- Register for one fun class a semester as a means of relaxation and to meet individuals outside your regular circle of friends- Do not be afraid to take advantage of financial aid options- Do not underestimate the amount of study time necessary to succeed at the university level- Make conscious effort to maintain relationships with friendships from home- Keep an open mind; explore new places and points of view, to become a well-rounded individual- Listen to the advice of your mentors; in retrospect they were correct more often than I gave them credit- Sleep

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The advice I give myself is remember the acronym RET, which stands for responsibility, effort, and time. In college, its your responsibility to attend every class, and manage your schedule wisely. If you need help its you responsibility to search by going to a professor, classmate, or tutoring. There will no longer be any remainders or obligations. Your professors want to see that you have interest in their class, and including time and effort assures good quality work. The assignments are at a higher level, be prepared, and ask many questions. Each professor is different, so don’t underestimate their expectations. Finally, starting early on an assignment will eliminate the possibility of having to rush through an assignment. Don’t ignore an assignment, because its due one month from know. The most important advice is no procrastinating, and having a planner to organize lets you visualize you time. College involves responsibility for your education, which means putting your greatest effort into every assignment. Finally, procrastinating with time would be like the air in a popped balloon, once its gone there is no coming back. Even though our education comes first, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy college life.

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Although I initially expected college to have the greatest impact on me academically, I have found that my most enlightening experiences have had little to do with stereotypical academics. For example, through interaction with diverse classmates, I have realized how selfish my thinking and analysis were prior to my enrollment in college, which led to becoming more culturally aware and accepting. I have come to appreciate and recognize the need for diversity in organizational settings in order to promote problem-solving and critical thinking. The most rewarding and profound experiences have been those that made me uncomfortable in the process. In essence, I have acquired a better understanding of myself and the varying individuals around me, all of which has helped me to master effective communication with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Considering my pursuit of a degree in business administration with emphasis in accounting, I cannot ignore the fact that I have learned a great deal about how to control a company’s finances and conduct business. Overall, I am excited about the fact that my college education and experiences are not only preparing me for a successful career, but also successful leadership.

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College is a journey. The right college (for you) will have multidimensional effects on you. It will challenge you mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, the experience will allow you to grow and change as a person. Therefore, finding the right college (for you) is extremely important. Do not make the common mistake of choosing a college solely based upon its prestige and academic history. Of course, the academic prestige of a university weighs heavily upon which college you choose to attend. However, you also need to consider your prospective colleges from a holistic perspective. Visit the college and talk to the students, faculty, and administration, even sit in on a class lecture. Most importantly, spend all of your day at the prospective college. This simple task is commonly overlooked, yet it is extremely important in the process to find the right college. Spending the day on campus allows you really "feel" the campus. It enables you get a glimpse of what your life would feel like for the next four years. My advice is simple and short however, if followed it will enable and embolden you to choose the right college (for you) where you will begin your college journey.

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When the decision time comes for students to choose their college, parents play a vital role in helping them determine that. Parents can help their student by taking them to see professions and career paths that the students are interested in. Seeing teachers, business officials, or even engineers will strongly help students see the possibilities. Once students determine their majors, it is important to choose a college that is well-known for that major so your degree is valued more than others. Once you choose the university/college, parents should take a step to examine the various programs the college has to offer and the ways to fully know that their child?s education will be covered whether financial aid or loans. When students are able to choose their living situation, I highly encourage them to live on campus housing so that they get more networking, meeting new friends, and just having a positive surrounding of other students onto a great future, just like them. This will help when students have to interact with professors, group projects, or simply attaining extra help from other people among your major. College is an important step, take full advantage of it.

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When selecting your school, be very aware of the availability of courses offered. A school may reportedly have a wide variety of classes, but lack of funding may hinder students from placing into their desired classes, which also has a tendency of prolonging the road to graduation. It would also be prudent to choose a school that has strength in the program or major the student wishes to pursue, regardless of its general reputation. Another aspect to look into is the mix of clubs and organizations available. These tend to be the best way to socialize and mingle with others. An obvious factor of school selection is personal affordability. Financial aid tends to be offered in smaller amounts than desired or expected, and scholarships are either very much competed for or are fairly scarce. One wouldn't want to cost himself an arm and a leg just to end up being dissatisfied with the education and experience they are paying for. An essential part of the selection process is campus visiting and touring so that the student gets a good feel of each school. Finally, don't just base selection by school reputation. Lesser known schools are just as promising.

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I feel that the most important part of the college experience comes in the beginning when you are selecting the college. Be sure to research and compare various univerisities, and ensure that their values, and academic focus reinfornce and resonate with your lifestyle and career focus. I would also recommend that once the student decides on a college, to research community college options as well, as they are able to take their first 2 years there then transfer. This is an excellent way for students and their parents to save money, an option that I feel many are unaware of. Furthermore, I feel that students will enhance their college experience if they find a school with a sense of social solidarity, where the alumni networking is strong, and the professors are well known experts in their field. I would encourage the incoming and prospective to student to become involved in the extra curricular activities that they enjoy, do not to join "just to join" but join to make a difference in the community and on campus. Meet with full- time tenured professors in order to ensure their curriculum is a good fit with what you want to study.

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My advice to students when choosing a college would be to have a strong sense of self. If you have a strong sense of what your future plans will be you have a better idea of what you want to do in the future. That will narrow down schools that do not meet your criteria. Choose a school that can meet your academic needs and offer resources that can facilitate growth while making the most of your college experience. As a student seek out all the help, resources and guidance you can take in and help your fellow students do the same. College is about learning, sharing, educating and helping each other reach their goals. Throughout this learning process there will be many changes don't be discouraged. My advice to parents is to encourage their son or daughter to embrace and explore their independence. Lastly, I would say to students and their parents always keep an open line of communication, that is extremely important. College can be fun yet overwhelming so many students loose their way so, if you feel lonely connect. A support system through school can make the difference between success and failure, take time to connect.

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Don't waist time. College life has the ability to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable times of your life, but it can also be one of the most regretful. You must understand the importance of maintaining a stellar grade point average, while developing yourself into a professional that the world needs. Take full advantage of the resources that are accessible to you, and work hard to build long lasting relationships with your campus community, professors, and established professionals. Your future is truly in your hands and no one other than yourself can decide the life you are destined to live. Lapses in judgement can result in regrets that are irreversible. Don't fall victim to the distractions that college life presents as their will be many nights where studying will not seem appetizing. You must have a clear vision and always stay focused as you embark down a journey that will surely change your life forvever. The ability to pay attention at the most unpleasant times will surely build character and be of great benefit to you. Never be afraid to think out loud and give yourself advice like I've given from me to you.

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Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions that you will make in life, so it's important to think about the unique qualities that you as an individual desire from a college experience. You should consider your preferences in type of education, accesibility of professors, and class sizes, so that you'll be happy with the schooling you receive everyday. Education may be the most important element in picking a school, but you also need to consider whether you will be happy physically, mentally, and socially at your school . Visit the campus and decide whether you feel content with the atmosphere that surrounds your new school, and possibly your new home. Find out whether or not your interests are fulfilled by the activities offered on campus. Take a look at the students and see if they appear happy in their environment, and look at whether or not the campus is diverse in their student population and in their offerings. Everyone will have different ideas and preferences when picking a college, so the key is to assess your own needs, do your research, and choose a college based on what you feel is the best for you.

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