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California State University-Long Beach

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

One should take the time to get to know the environment they will be in for the next few years. In addition, a student should always look for a college that has their possibe major that will help enhance the experience of completing college. Students should never chose a school based solely on their reputation or being well known because I have seen many friends drop of colleges solely because they didn't like the environment. Thus, one should take a visit to the college before accepting to understanding the actual environment. It is hard to find out a lot of information from just word of mouth or by looking online as we all know that technology is a main reliance that the new generation now relies upon. As I have learned through experience that there is no better way to adapt then by getting to know the environment beforehand. By understanding the environment will help make college life easier. It will allow you to find guidance amongst your pupils and have further knowledge that makes learning an enjoyable experience.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that a lot of things are going to change. I would tell myself to try harder in my classes because even though it does not seem like its going to make much of a difference, passing AP tests especially, will make college easier. I would advise myself to take advantage of the financial aid possibilities because working two jobs and going to school is not easy. When I recieved my college admissions letters, I would have told myself that my first choice school would not have been whats best for me, that Cal State Long Beach (the school that I'm attending) is truly the better choice. Being popular is not what was important about high school. Memories with close friends is key to a great high school experience. But more importantly, take advantages of all the resources that surround me, whether it be academic resources or developing beneficial relationships with the faculty, I wish I would have known how different college would be.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to not be so stubborn and to listen to my councelors because they do know what is best for me. When I was a high school senior, I was so stubborn and thought I knew everything about anything because of the research I could do on my own. However, the expertise of my teachers and counselors should have been more valued since they had the knowlege, and the experience about how the college transition works. Not only did they know how college works, but they also knew a great deal about how life was like as a young adult going to college. I was so Idealistic and thought that I could tackle the whole world with my own wits. However, I realized now that my teachers and councelors were only trying to bestow self-discipline upon me because that's exactly what college requires in order to succeed. They advised me to paste myself instead of loading too much work. However, I did the opposite in college and now I regret not listening to them.

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From the bottom of my heart and in all honesty, I feel so lucky to be attending CSU Long Beach and taking from it all of the knowledge and amazing experiences that have fallen upon me in the last four years. From the first time I set foot onto the campus, I knew there was something unique and worth while. Everything I was looking for from a college, Long Beach possesed. It had the easy going and down-to-earth atmosphere. It had the perfect blending of education and extra-curriculars. It had the gorgeous nature of my native Northern California and the sunshine of the beachy Southern California. Long Beach was my home and I knew it. As the first person in my family to attend college, I did not have a very wide knowledge base of what to look for. However, I did know that the most important thing was my education. What I am so lucky to have found at Long Beach State is a widely diverse, socially developed, and educationally passionate and esteemed university, one that I gladly and proudly call my home. Go Beach!

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Ana, listen to me, you have a big year ahead of you. You will do well in all of your classes, and spend time with friends but trust me on this one, your priorities are mixed the wrong way. You think school comes first then friends then family- you may not say it but your actions speak the truth. Ana listen to me, don't forget your family, your parents are fighting and your brother isn't so little any more. School should come second, your real friends will understand. Ana, listen to me. I know what you're hearing is tempting to believe- that getting into the big-name, big-money schools is going to get you places, but don't apply for those, don't waste your time and money on application after application... when you know in your core that success is not defined by the number of zeros on a future paycheck. Ana listen to me, what you'll regret most, is spending more time defining yourself for college essays than with the people that already love, and accept who you are. You've put in the work, college is around the corner.

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I look back at myself as a senior in high school and even a college freshman and I feel that I really didn't have a plan or set goals when it came to college. My parents never attended college, therefore I never had someone to guide me into the process and tell me how college works. I think that seeking people like teachers and other proffesionals who have gone through the college experience is something I would advice myself to have done. As a high school senior and college freshman, I was very confused in what field I study. In my freshman year I took a personality test and I never listened to the career objectives it gave me or the career counselor. Ironically, I am currently specializing myself in one of the fields that the test indicated me to pursue. I think that I should have explored those results earlier and I would have finished my bachelors in Psychology sooner. Therefore my advice would be to make an appointment with a career counselor and explore the options given to you, because they might be right.

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I would have said to myself, "Reuben, lose the bookmark." I know that seems arbitrary, but it has a lot more to do with college life than just the time I spend reading. See after a sit-down of book browsing, I put the edge of my bookmark exactly where I left off, so I don't waste time reading what I'd already covered before. Sounds innocent right? Wrong. The bookmark ranks among the exclusive club of man's inventions that are too convenient for our own good, like the tv remote, escalators, and coffee. See, I used to read without the use of a bookmark. I would end reading at a chapter break. But now, I end whenever I want... mid-chapter, mid-line, mid-sentence even. It means when I pick up reading again, I'm lost. I have no context of where in the story I am, because the damned bookmark gave me no incentive to finish the chapter. I really might have done better to lose the thing. But its too convenient. The day I get rid of the bookmark is the day I lose the remote and taking the escalator. Not going to happen.

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For every senior going into college here are few pieces of advice to myself. To start of with college is no longer just going to school its different and be prepared for change. College is a time where you are building you're life. The information you learn in class are actual skills that you will need. College is not just about school, going to class and doing your homework. It is about networking and finding a passion in life. Its a place where you explore every curiosity that you have and search for answers. You are going to school to gather inofrmation, learn from the best and improving yourself. Next, my advice would be to make an effort to be involved on campus get to know your teacher more. Make sure they know who you are, it will benifit you. Finally, have fun embrace the whole expreince and realize that eveyone is goign throught the same thing with you. Relax college is stressful and it not easy, but remember, sometimes we do have to fail at things and it is okay. Take care of yourself, physical and metally.

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I’m 25 and have one semester left in my sophomore year. I joined the Navy while still in high school and 17 years old because I didn’t think I could afford college or earn scholarships. “Accelerate your life” sounded like a good promise at the time, but I feel that my decision to enlist postponed my education and took years away from a real career that I truly want. If I could talk to my high school self I would tell myself that I could do what I wanted with my life and not to be afraid that I wouldn’t make it. I would stress the importance of hard work and dedication, promising that it would pay off. I would say that working through college part time may look difficult and intimidating from that perspective, but it’s nothing compared to being active duty in the military. I would tell myself that what is really important in life is other people and that the best way to make a difference in people’s lives is to get educated and to get to work solving society’s problems and building a world that doesn’t need war.

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The one piece of advice I would give my highschool self would be take your time, but do not take time for granted. During my first semester at school I was told that before I knew it, I would be in my senior year of college and time would have just flown by. Now that I am in my last semester at CSULB I realize the truth behind this statement. That is why we should not take time for granted and utilize everyday of our time as a college student. The other piece of my advice is take your time. This is very important to me because although you should not take time for granted and take advantage of all the exciting opportunities college offers, it is also crucial to stop and realize where you are in life. College is about getting an education, but it is also about enjoying the whole experience. You will be stressed, but relax, be patient, and know that things will come when you are ready for them. That said, when you are in college and throughout life in general, if you want something work for it today as the time is now.

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