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California State University-Long Beach

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

I would highly advise any parent and/or student to visit the school they are considering for college during a time in which classes are in session. I would also advise to definately try to get a tour given by a university student, preferably one in the major that the student desires. The school environment can make a major difference in how you choose your school. My original first choice for college was made prior to visiting the campus, but soon after, I decided that the school was not for me. My allergies were very bad there, the people did not seem nearly as friendly, and it was a very far drive from my hometown. I had never considered CSULB before, but after visiting the campus, I fell in love. The campus was beautiful, the environment was comforting, and they had a great program for my major. If I had not visited these campuses, I might have made a choice that would leave me unsatisfied with my college experience. The academic quality of a school is very important; however, the environment of the school can make a great difference.

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If I could give my high school-self advice based on my experience in college, I would tell myself to make more of an effort to be outgoing and sociable with my peers. I am a bit of an introvert and find it hard to share how I feel with others let alone have a meaningful conversation with them. During my first year of college I kept mostly to myself and focused on studying rather than the social aspect of college. I was fine with this lifestyle until I began my second year where I found myself longing for more meaningful relationships. Therefore, if I could go back in time and tell my younger self to do something differently, I would encourage myself to join more clubs and extracurricular activities to meet more people and make friends. I now realize that it’s absolutely essential for me to learn how to communicate with others because it’s a major part of a career in the art industry. And because of the state the economy is in, it is more important than ever to have a good network in order to get a job. So go make more friends younger self!

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Hello, Richard. It's me, Richard. From the future in college. You're in the BFA program and you've accomplished so much. But you need to pay attention. I know you're looking for fun and great experiences, for new friends. My personal advice, do not room with your sister's asshole ex after the dorms. Meet new people who appreciate you and who value you. And when you do, continue to reach out to them. You will do well in school, in art, and make it far. But you can do more. Make no excuses for yourself, for there will be days you lose motivation and spirit. Reach out to people, do not be afraid, and believe in yourself when the dark days come. As long as you remember the love of your family and true friends along the way, you will accomplish wonders. Also, build up the courage to ask girls out for dates, we need to graduate with at least one date. Joking aside, remember to keep in touch with those who believe in you and be proud of yourself instead of being hard. Challenge yourself as you always have and do it with creativity.

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In helping either a fellow student or parent in a college search, I would advise them to research the quality of institution, as well as visit it. It is important to get the feel for a place of education because I truly believe that if you're not comfortable with your environment, then it will take a toll on your ability to learn. Remember to interact with current students and ask them how they like their institution, and if the classes are academically challenging. It's also best to start checking out colleges as soon as possible, because the earlier you start the more motivated one will likely be in their current studies. It is always best to lay out a future plan, regardless of whether one wil stick to the route because it at least gives a person a sense of direction and perseverence. Most importantly, when one arrives to college and settles in, don't hesitate to start talking to other people as soon as possible, because networking is probably one of the most beneficial things a person can do, not only socially, but futurewise.

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I would advise myself to go in open minded with the willingness to try everything! College is what you make of it and the only way to provide yourself with a successful and happy experience completing higher education is by getting involved and putting yourself out there. After all, what is there to lose? You have to take risks and learn from your mistakes. I would rather look back on my college experience and be proud to say that I tried a variety of academic and nonacademic activites. I would definitely advise myself to work hard in the classroom and take advantage of all the on and off campus tools aiding my success through school. Also, i would advise myself to find good people to surround myself with and not be afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I would honestly say that most learning goes on outside the classroom and i would prepare myself for the real life struggles that I was about to endure, such as paying bills and managing money. The only way to learn about the real world is to experience it. So get out there, and live life.

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First of all students should attend workshops that couId help them answers that they have concerning college admission and requirements. They should also talk to any career counselors that they have on their high school. IGoing to the career center could help them be infoprmed of any deadlines and events that concern important information regarding requirements for admission. Secondly, as a first time student entering college, they should have an idea or know what they want to major in. It is important to know what the student's career choice is because they have to look for a school that has that major. The student also should make sure that it has programs for their choice of major, so they could get involved in. Students should also interacr with an academic advisor at the school they wish to attend so they could get informed of what are the requirements in enetering the institution and the the program of their major, if any. It is important to be aware of deadlines that regard a student's life career and their academic success.

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Like most poor decisions we make in our lives, we wish we could go back and tell ourselves to do something different. In my senior year of high school, I was extremely depressed after discovering that my boyfriend of three years had cheated on me. Instead of being focused on finding a college, I was tangeled in drama and anger. I kept telling myself "I will apply for scholarships tomorrow." Unfortunately, 'tomorrow' never seemed to come. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that all the anger and hurt is not worth it. Happiness is not going to be handed to me on a silver platter. After all, happiness is a choice. I can either choose to be happy, or choose to be miserable. Life is not going to get any better by sitting around waiting for something to change. I am the change and I am most definately the difference in my own life. I am in control of where my life leads me. Moving on to bigger and better things starts and ends with me. I owe it to myself to be the best that I can possibly be and accomplish my goals.

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There are 2 big peices of advice that I would give myself about college life and making the transition from a high school senior to a college freshman. 1) Just because you were able to get by in high school with minimal amounts of study, that is not the case in college. You need to develop your study skills and take classes and lectures seriously. Learn to work in cooperative study groups and put forth your best effort for every class, including your GE classes. The hardwork and effort will pay off. 2) Get involved and stay involved. The more you put into your college experience the more you will get out of it. Join a fraternity (guys) or sorority (girls). If the Greek system is not for you, join a club or campus organization. This gives you the opportunity to meet many different types of people and expand your social groups. College is not just about getting your education, it is about learning who you are and who you want to be and the best way to to that is to get involved and stay involved. It keeps you motivated to do your best.

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If I could go back in time and give myself advice about the transition into college life, I would tell myself several things. First I would stress the importance of getting scholarships before college begins. Without funds, it is very hard to continue with an education. I would also encourage myself to apply for several schools and not to feel too bad if I did not get into the first school of my choice. If I really had to get into a certain university, I would encourage myself to spend the first two years at a junior college and then transfer in if i did not get in to the school I wanted to. Then I would tell myself to be outgoing and make some friends at the beginning of the school year and get involved with on-campus groups, because a big university can be a lonely place. Lastly, I would say to just have fun and relax. College really is not that different from high school. There will be some new things, but change is a natural part of life. In order to succeed, you have to embrace it and let it transform you into a better person.

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My college experince isn't over yet, but from what I have experienced so far, I have to say that it has certainly been a roller coaster experience. I definitely did not feel like I was fitting in when I first started out. My soul goals were to just get to class, stay awake in class, and leave campus as soon as class was over. No questions, no making friends, no interaction. I was there strictly to learn the material, not another students life's story. It wasn't until my second semester that I realized I couldn't go through my entire college life being absent from a social life. I needed people with me to help me get through the toughest classes, the toughest school and work schedules, and to just help me get through life. I needed to be able to make friends. I started making the effort and actually utilizing the help offered to me at school, and now, here I am. Looking for scholarships, trying to help myself a little more to get through college. And if it hadn't been for the new friends that I made, I probably wouldn't have tried.

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