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California State University-Long Beach

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

Depending on what the parents and/or students want out of their college experience is up to them. This includes housing, academic programs, location, tuition fees, and etc... However, there are some things to look into before deciding upon a college. The advice I would give to parents and/or students about finding which college is right for them is to actually visit the campus itself. Taking a tour around campus is definitely beneficial for the student and will expose them to campus life and to ther services/resources that are available. Get a chance to talk to current students attending the campus to get a different aspect of the college other than the staff and workers. There are many things one can do to make the right decision about college by looking into books and resources on how to decide which college is best for the student. Get involved! Students that are connected to campus activities & clubs do better in school. Research shows students who are connected to school do better in their education. Being connected to school also creates networking through the campus, community, and job force.

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Relax. The single most important piece of advice I would give myself if I could go back in time would be to take a deep breath and calm down. College life and the transition are not as difficult as they seem. Sure it is challenging to leave behind your family, friends, and significant other, but the distance between them will not break the bonds that have been formed over countless years. In addition, where a new home is being made, new friends are simply waiting around the corner, and once those relationships begin to blossom, the pain of leaving home begins to lessen. College life is a whole new experience with not only new friends, but also new surroundings, freedoms, experiences, knowledge, and challenges. Focusing on the positive side of a college career greatly eases the aching for home. A relaxed approach and an open mindset will make the transition much smoother and much more fun. College can be an extremely difficult path to undertake, however it can also be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and enlightening periods of your life. So relax, take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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I would have shown myself how diverse college is with culture, religion, and intellectual minds. I would ask myself to not be egoistic, and open my mind to a world of special people. The college experience is not about parties, drinking, and being destructive. College is the first step into the real world, where you meet people of outstanding vision. People who allow you to experience their ways of life, even for a brief second. I would not only give myself advice verbally, but show pictures of all of the amazing people I have met in a few short months. I would say that these people are what makes the world go around, and I am joining in that party soon. Lastly, I would adivse to open my heart towards expressing my culture. To show my philosophical ideas through martial arts, and my cultural beliefs. In order to understand culture, you have to understand and share your own. As a senior, I was unaware of this becuase I lived in a segregated part of South Los Angeles. If I had known, I would have helped my fellow students develop a better understanding of themselves, people, and most importantly, life.

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When I accepted to attend CSULB I was scared, I doubted I?d make any friends and assumed I was just going to sit, learn and leave back home to study. However, once I stepped foot onto CSULB my assumptions were proven completely wrong. What I got out of my college experience was much more than I would ever imagine. First of all and most importantly I found myself, I found the major I adore, psychology. I?m learning about it each day and am getting closer to profiling my dream of working with and helping people. I?ve experience things I have never before and doubt I would have, not attending college. I made lifelong friendships, meet different people from all kinds of places and learned interesting things from their life experiences. I got to overcome my timidness and actually got to know my professors. I joined PSA the psychology student association and am currently going to join PsiChi the society of honor students in psychology. Attending college has been extremely valuable to me it made an impact on my present and future. I acquired things I wouldn?t have elsewhere and wouldn?t change it for the world.

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Even though my college experience has just begun my preconceptions and my reality of it were quite different. I thought that a college experience was supposed to be about meeting tons of new people, participating in a lot of clubs and being in a new educational environment. I thought it was supposed to have the perks of high school with more independence. However after my first year of college, I found that my experience made me really think about long-term goals for myself that had to do with not only my education, but with life decisions as well. My college experience ultimately taught me how to be an adult. Even though most could say that college is supposed to or expected to mature a person, to experience the feeling of truly making decisions on my own and having career goals, among many other things was extremely rewarding. Unfortunately poor financial problems caused my college attendance status to change, and at that point I realized that experiencing college is valuable because it is a privilege where making the most of your time there can only benefit you and just like that it can be taken away.

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College has helped me experience many different aspects of life. For instance, for two years I have been involved in the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and was an active officer as the Correspondence Secretary in which I attended frequent weekly meetings and helped organize events such as our annual Blood Drive coordinated with Life Stream. I gained so much experience being a member of Phi Theta Kappa where I also participated in a Beach Clean-up, spoke at and helped organize a Human Trafficking Informational Event in which I organized and also successfully collected materials for victims of Human Trafficking through a Basic Needs Drive. Recently I worked with the Red Cross to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake victims and other similar international disaster relief needs. I am very focused in helping the community and working in events such as these for people in health and circumstantial needs and crisis. Long Beach will help me help others. That is what I love to do and in the long run would want my career to be in Health Sciences in order to keep on helping other people.

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I wish I had the opportunity to to speak with my high school self. Then again, I would not change anything that got me to this point in my life. For I have enjoyed every minute, even the hard times. Regardless, I would like to give high-school Chris a few pointers. This is what I would say to him: First, do not be intimidated by life. No matter what happens, you have the skills necessary to perservere. Therefore go out and take on some challenges. You will make it. Secondly, enjoy learning. Instead of sitting in class wishing you were out of class, enjoy the lecture. It may not seem valuable, but knowledge and retaining knowledge is the most rewarding. Ignorance is not bliss, insight and knowledge is bliss. Finally, take time to appreciate the people around you. Vey quickly your friends, classmates, faculty, even family will leave your side. This is the natural way of things, people move on. Their absence will be missed, therefore take time to value their presence, and do not be afraid to tell them. This is the best advice I can give you Chris. Take care of yourself now. Bye-bye.

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I am a 27 year old women who is currently in the nursing master's program at CSU, Long Beach. The experiences and everything I have done in college helped me focus in on what I ultimately want to do in my professional live. I started off getting my general education at community colleges because they were more affordable. Because they were less expensive I had more time to dedicate to student affairs such as participating in the student body at Grossmont Community College. Participating in the student body helped me develope leadership skills and teamwork which benefit me as a nurse practioner. I also had time to volunteer at a hospital, there my interest in nursing was sparked. However, I wanted to see what the arts offered and at CSU, Long Beach I joined the theater department. I got a great deal from the theater program and I learned a lot about myself. The long hours and working with the staff, crew and actors of the shows helped me realized the importance of working as a unit. Knowing I want to be a nurse, all these experience from my education will help me succeed and be a dedicated nurse.

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I have gained the opportunity to learn from the most interesting professors. All of them I could say I have learned a number of things that will continue to help further reach my goal to one day become an optometrist or I may have learned a life lesson that will assist me out in the real world. I have had the chance to gain friends and meet new people; these people who share a common goal to make something of ourselves and strive to get through the semester. I have gained the gift of being educated, a gift that not everyone has the opportunity receive. The United States is a very fortunate country where education is prolific and all children are given equal opportunity to go to college where in some countries, students have to compete or have the funds to attend college. As Americans, we should take advantage of this gift which is truly a blessing to contribute to society and use ourselves to our potential. Why miss out on the opportunity to learn from amazing people, meet someone who could be our roommate or life partner, and accept the possibility to become a prominent figure to our community.

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Taking myself back to senior year in high school, many memories come to mind, some are good and some bad. Thinking about what I had done and the choices I made, I would tell myself one main piece of advice thus far. "Be more positive, and don't worry so much"...Being a senior and preparing myself for college at the time, I was always so worried that something would go wrong. But why? I have learned over time that everything always seems to work itself out in some way or another, but worrying about all the negative things that could go wrong will do absolutely nothing to help myself. Whether it be worry of finances, transportation when not owning a vehicle, family dysfunction, typical teenager emotions; everything going on at that time in place will eventually pass. Truly teaching yourself to be positive not only changes your outlook on life, but really helps you become a happier person overall because it helps you see everything that you do have to offer. True to the heart after everything I have overcome so far, these are words of advice that I would give to myself as a senior in high school.

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