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California State University-San Marcos

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

Make sure to visit every college and find where you feel comfortable. I think it is really important to feel comfort as soon as you walk on the campus, considering college is one of the most exciting yet biggest change in anyone's life. Moving away from everything you have known your whole life is hard so a place where you feel like you belong is very important. Also involvement is key to any student going on to college. I have been on both sides of the involvement spectrum and being involved has changed my whole college experience, for the better. Being involved allows for moe opportunities that are key to success like, friends, networking, fun, support and encouragement and just memories! All the people who have fun stories from college were stories that they have because they were involved in something. It's the begining of the journey of finding yourself, put yourself out there and be confident in who you are and what you can do and you become very surprised at what you can accomplish.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to take things VERY seriously. Pay attention to class lectures and take lots of notes. Never fall behind on school work, for it does have a negative impact on your grade at the end of the semester. It is quite difficult to catch up once you fall behind. Always find time to study before exams well in advance, it will only be most beneficial to you. Make sure that you are taking the correct courses for your major, if you are not sure then make an appointment with your academic advisor, it sure would make things easier. Be social towards others on campus and try to make many friends. Join clubs or organizations that interest you to keep busy and meet new people. Most importantly, don't let the actions of others have an impact on you emotionally, not everyone is going to be nice and it may be hard to adjust living independantly and away from home, but keeping a postive outlook is always the best thing to do!

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I would tell myself to make more of my own decisions when it comes to college instead of listening to my parents, friends, and family's wishes. I would tell myself that I shouldn't feel pressured to go to a certain college with my best friend instead of picking one out on my own because I am scared of making new friends. I would also tell myself to have a little more faith in my personality and trust that I can make new friends on my own. I would also probably tell myself to go to community college first instead of being obsessed with going away to a university right off the bat. Because I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in, I wish I would have gone to community college right away, then transferred to save money and take time to decide what I really wanted to do in life. Community college was one of the better experiences in my college career and I would tell myself not to be afraid that I would get stuck in the same place because of choosing to go to a local community college first.

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Senior year is a very difficult time for a 17-18 year old. You are faced with one of the most important decisions in your life. It is extremely stressful because this decision will determine your fate for the next four or so years, so you do not want to get it wrong. If I could go back in time, the advice I would give myself is do not choose a school that is far just because you are sick of your parents. Almost all freshmans are homesick at some point, some cases are stronger than others. Before you move across country make sure its truly what you want and not just to get back at your parents for not getting you a new car or something. I would also say visit and try to stay at each of your top schools before making the final decision. Often times than not the school is not what you pictured it to be and if you worked so hard in high school it is awful to be dissapointed. And lastly really research the schools and decide if this is really the best thing for you and how badly you want it.

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I would say that most of the so called "friends" in high school are not friends at all. They are only are hanging out with you or choosing not to hang out with you because it makes them appear to be in the "in" crowd. But when you get to college, whether or not you were in the "in" crowd in high school immedaitely ceases to matter. This is because when everyone gets to college no cliques or groups exist because everyone there is away from home and their high school "friends" and they are all now in the same boat along with you and thus have to start all over and make new friends. In this situation, whether or not any person is apart of some clique doesn't matter since these don't exist, but rather the only qualities that matter for friend making are those that are truly yours - not what you pretend to have or others think you have. Thus the friends that you will make in college will truly be your friends because they will cherish you for who are and will be your friends for life.

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The best advice that I can give is that almost nothing that you experienced in high school will prepare you for college. It is an entirely different experience altogether. Never be afraid to ask a question if you don't understand something. Chances are there are a few other people who have the same question as you. Keep up with the readings. Do the homework, even if it is not being graded. Make friends with people in the class; form study groups. Trust me; study groups will be your biggest friend. If you can get tutoring help on campus, take advantage of it. Your grades will increase. The second best piece of advice that I can give is to choose the school where you think you will be the most happy. I chose a school that was very prestigious, but I was not happy there. I ended up leaving that school for another, less prestigious school. It may not look quite as impressive on my resume, but I am happy and my grades reflect that.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myslef as a senior, there is a lot of advice that I would give to myself. It would start out with the relationship aspect of going to college. I would say do not follow any boyfriend to college...it may turn out as pure heartache. I would tell myself to save money instead of taking out so many loans. I would tell myself to live a little and go out with the girls once in a blue moon. I would tell myself to keep in touch with the ones that I love, no matter how far away we live from each other. I would tell myself to never give up even when you feel like the world is coming down around you. I would say never lose faith in God because He is the only thing that will light your path in times of lonliness. I would tell myself to cut my twin sister some slack when she has had a long day and forgot to pick up laundry detergent. I would tell myself to call my parents and say thank you for raising me right.

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I would first of all advise students to not let friends influence their decision. Wanting to be close to friends and family could possibly get in the way of the student attending the college that will truly make them happy. Secondly, I would advise parents to not discourage a college a student is truly passionate about because that is where they will do best. As far as making the most of the college experience goes, I would advise students to not go home too often. From the first day, they should break down their barriers and begin meeting new people. The most important thing to remember is that no matter who you were in primary and secondary school, college is a chance to be a new you and erase any characteristics about yourself you wished to change in high school. Lastly, if something is calling a student, be it a place or a major, they should follow it because that is the only way they will ever be truly happy and successful.

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During my first semester at California State University San Marcos, I've broadened my horizons for the future. I've learned things about the mind in philosophy and psychology. This has fueled my desire to enter the field of medicine. I enrolled in an Intro to Theatre class and this has made me want to pick up some acting. I would like to take some acting classes for fun and see where that takes me. I've made new friends, more than I had in high school and this has boosted my confidence level. I'm excited to attend classes every day. It has been valuable for me to attend class because to get into the Nursing program I need a gpa of at least 2.0. My first semester, my gpa was 3.4! I have worked hard for the grades I achieved. I'm ecstatic for the progress I'm making in college and cannot wait to start my career. Success is fueling me toward a good future. Overall, I want to live a comfortable lifestyle and make my parents proud.

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If I could go back in time to when I was a high school senior, I would tell myself to apply to the UC system. I feel that I should be challenging myself more, and wish I could have gone somewhere else in the state to where I didn't have to live at home. However, I am content with the school I attend now for the major I am studying. I only wish I could have learned how to live on my own sooner. I have considered myself a very independent person for the most part, but one can never really know until they are on their own. I hope to share an apartment with a friend next year to get out of my parents' hair and prove I can live on my own. My younger brother will be attending a UC next year and I would love to be able to help my family by paying my own way. I owe it to the two people who have influenced me the most, paid for extracurricular activities all of my life, and ultimately have been paying my expensive loans out of pocket.

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