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California State University-Long Beach

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

Parents and students should not always consider financial situations as the main standard for determining what college to go to. Sometimes a college that may cost a little more may provide better education than a cheaper one and sometimes the most expensive college may not provide many top-notch professors who care about their students. Instead, parents and students should consider researching what a school can do for them and vice versa. They should utilize websites, reading materials, and/or other sources that provide a college's rank according to various categories such as rate of career-placement after graduation and/or retention rates. As for making the most of the college experience, parents and students should look into resources or activities available at the college that can enhance social life, career life, and academic life without one jeopardizing the others. I have also seen personally that utilizing the college counselors as well as peer counselors can help maximize the college experience. These counselors can help guide students should they feel lost and prevent them from wasting time; thus, more time can be allotted towards having a meaningful college experience that can leave a lasting impression on the students' lives.

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While attending high school, I attended a two year college. While attending both schools, I ran Student Council, was my junior and senior Class President, National Honor Society Vice President, a DECA officer, and participated in 6 other organizations. Many wondered how I managed these activities while I wondered how I managed to stay sane. But now, I know that I have my college experience to thank. Attending a community college taught me various things. I learned how to take the reigns and organize events. I obtained the ability to manage my time wisely and maintain organization through responsibility. Nevertheless, I gained amazing social and business skills. For instance, I matured enough to converse to complete strangers and contact businesses in order to gain needed information. My college experience has allowed me to be more independent and reliable on myself. It has been long, tough, unique, yet amazing; it was worth ever second of my time. Attending a local community college has made me prepared for my future journey. Therefore, it was greatly vital to experience. Because of my college enrollment, I now know I will be prepared for a four-year college and extremely successful in the professional world.

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Each college offers different experiences to those that attend it, however many simply coast through the college years without becoming involved in their campus. A college experience is only as memorable as one tries to make it. It is simple to show up daily to classes and just go to school. it is when students become involved in academic learning communities, Greek life, Intramural sports, Associated Students Incorporated, and the many things that their campus offers that college will become most memorable. Many schools offer stellar programs in multiple areas but these same schools also only provide an education, causing students to graduate without making the most of their college experience. Choosing a college should not only depend on the academic excellence each school offers but also the campus community that exists in each college. In order to make the most of school students must put time not only into their studies but also into seeking out programs which fit them best and allowing them to release the exponential potential of their college experience. In short, a memorable college future awaits, will you choose to grab hold of the opportunities that await you or simply let them pass?

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The transition process from high school to college is a beneficial obstacle. Going to college requires from you many expectations. However, there are only four primary steps to be successful before entering the actual academic semester in college. First, visit your campus before classes start. Knowing where and when your classrooms are will ensure that your spot is guaranteed on that first day and not dropped from them. Second, take time to read your campus regulations. Having knowledge about strict rules such as, no plagiarism is allowed, can prevent you from making any felony that can ruin your whole entire career. Third, know why your here. Sometimes in the first year of college it is difficult to stay on task when your education is now considered a choice and not a requirement. Remind yourself that education builds opportunities to pursue an enjoyable career in the future with possibly a higher salary than without a college education. And fourth, research over all majors to find your true passion. Explore other areas before choosing one major because this can help you spend all your money in something you enjoy. By going through all these steps, you can guarantee yourself success in college.

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You spend the first two years of college completing GE requirements for your bachelor's degree before you actually start taking classes that focuses on your major. Passing as many AP classes that you can actually handle is helpful. Begin developing excellent relationships with your teachers. By developing close relationships with professors, you get extra help with homework or essays and they can also write you helpful recommendations for jobs and internships. Get involved in as many clubs and organizations that interest you because you meet a lot of people and make lots of friends. Don't be pressured into joining fraternities/Greek life. Seriously think about your priorities and do your research on them before you join. You can still create close bonds with people and still have fun even though you're not in a fraternity. If you have any questions about sex, drugs, alcohol, or peer pressure, you should talk to your parents or someone you can trust. Living on or off campus means interacting with other young undergrads with tons of freedom and "raging hormones." Talking about these issues will help you learn how to deal with them and make smart choices like a mature adult.

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Stepping onto California State University Long Beach State's campus in Fall of '06, was emmensly overwhelming. Standing as a young eighteen year-old among 48,000 fellow students was quite intimidating. Over the following five semesters I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. I battled trying to find a positive friend base, inter-active clubs, and a right fit major. After multiple trys at each trial, during my eighth semester I seemed to have finally gotten it right. Throughout the previous semesters I had enrolled in various Theatre-Arts courses as a part of general education, I had also met several Theatre majors who had a passion and a love for what they were studying. Before that time I had learned a variety of subjects, however, nothing seemed to draw me in like Theatre. Over the next three semesters I had the great honor of studyng Theatre as an art form. I have learned the history, the political impact, the emotional opportunity, and the varying acceptance of theatre. I have been exposed to a wide-variety of students and professionals who have one common passion and goal; to educate and expose the public through the miraculous entertainment of Theatre.

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College is really a dream come true. There are innumerable resources available to make sure you receive everything you need. Having trouble with your homework? Visit tutoring centers, attend office hours, e-mail your classmates! Feel a need to relax? Swing by the student center for free school events, lay down in the perfectly-maintained grass, walk over to the library to read some picture books. It is a student's haven because in college, your only responsibility is to learn. Your college provides resources so that it can measure the sum of your knowledge in a number, a GPA. So of course, attend your lectures, do your homework, and study your books. But if you want a more fulfilling experience, take initiative and also explore your school, take advantage of every opportunity, and make friends. The college experience is more than a number. So let yourself make mistakes. Apply for a few internships and get rejected. Talk to that flawless person and make a fool of yourself. College is not only a place for you to attend class, but also training grounds for life. Someday you're going to graduate, and you're going to appreciate these "extracurricular" studies.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior with what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would have advised my high school self to take some foreign language classes on the side and study abroad. I believe studying abroad was something I should have done during my undergraduate years because I could have had the opportunity to increase my network globally and garner experience in my major outside of the US. With the good amount of foreign exchange students I have made friends at California State University - Long Beach, I realized my global competition, especially many of them knew at least three languages, and made me become more openminded about finding good opportunities for me outside of the US. In addition to studying abroad, most importantly, I would advise myself to join a toastmaster's club to become a better communicator. Although I can join a toastmaster's club right now, I feel that it could have vastly improved my social and communcations skills. This is usually a weakness for most engineering majors such as myself. People can have brilliant ideas, but people need to understand them.

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Location, location, location. As a hospitality management major, I have learned that location is a key component of success in the industry. Along with many other factors, this also applies to the education system. 4,216 colleges within 50 states have been established to fit the needs of every college-bound student, each having something unique to offer. In finding the perfect college you need to make a list of criteria that you feel your school should meet to fit your needs. BE PICKY! Making the right choice will have a large impact on your future. Choosing a location that you will enjoy and a college community that you will feel welcomed in should be among your top criteria. Getting involved through clubs, sports, the Greek system, or the dorm life will help you make the most of your college experience. It will offer you the chance to meet people that will be a part of your life forever. There may be millions of students like yourself searching for the perfect school and thousands of prestigious colleges to choose from, but there is only one school for you that will offer an infinite number of possibilities for your future success.

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I grew up not knowing a single thing about college and how college worked. No one in my family had attended college or even graduated from high school, but I was determined to achieve a higher education to better myself and help my parents prosper while being a good role model for my two younger brothers. Graduating from high school, and getting accepted to Cal State Long Beach was the best thing I have accomplished yet, and having my parents as my personal cheerleaders leading me on, has made my first year of college an exciting journey. Attending CSULB has opened many doors and allowed me to share my experiences with my brothers, in hopes that they will also value education. I have met numerous people from various ethnicities and created friendships that last, while creating study groups with many nice people I encountered. I have learned to value education from my parents status and observations, and I am grateful for having the possibility to attend college as I hope to provide a better life for my family and my future family while value the dream of graduating with a bachelors in criminal justice, and break the drop out tradition.

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