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Cedar Crest College

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

Choosing a college is likely one of the most important academic decisions a person makes throughout their lifetime. Having said that, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. First of all, the student needs to choose whatever it is that makes them happy when they are selecting a major. From what I have seen, it's more important to be mediocre in a subject that truely enthralls you and captures your attention, rather than excelling at a subject that makes you unhappy. While many academics and parents may disagree, I feel that there is no reason to major in something if you do not enjoy it. Your major is determining factor in your future career, and 30-40 years is a long time to spend in an unsatisfying career. Another important factor is environment and distance. If the student is painfully shy and grew up in a small town, a large campus may intimidate them and hinder them socially and academically. Social butterflies may feel stifled on smaller campuses and flourish on larger campus. Once the student finds the right college, they should be willing to branch out and try new things and meet new people.

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I strongly sugggest that the parents allow the student to choose the school that makes them feel the most comfortable, and do not pressure the student into attending the school that the parents want their child to go to. Students should visit a few colleges to get a good idea of the different options that are available and to look carefully into the programs that they are interested in. Although financial circumstances are extremely important in chosing a college, there are many scholarships available through various programs so no school is completely out of reach. Another suggestion for the student would be to attend classes that are in their field of interest so they can get an idea of what they will be like if they are actually attend the school. If class size is a factor, you may be able to see how small or large classes are. Previewing residence halls if living on campus is also important. The student should feel as comfortable as possible in the residence halls, it will be their home away from home. Chosing a college is not always an easy process, but their is a school out their for everyone.

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I am currently finishing up my first semester of college, freshman year. I obviously have much education left to complete; however, I have already learned so much from my first year at community college! So far, I have realized that in college, a student must be accountable for their own study habits. I have nobody holding a textbook to my face, yet I understand that if I don't sit down and force myself to study, I won't get an acceptable grade on the test! I think this epiphany will guide my studies throughout my college years. The other valuable lesson I have learned, as of now, is time management. You really have to make time for important activities, and eliminate time-wasters. I manage this by giving myself timelines for everyday activities, say, two hours allotted for doing my English reading assignment, and a half-hour reward and break of watching a television program. I've found that this balance of work and play keeps me focused throughout the trying school week. I am very excited to complete my college experience; I thank you, wholeheartedly, for taking the time for read my submission.

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Think about what suits you (the student). What type of setting would you feel most comfortable in? What do you ultimatley want out of your education and of the institute of higher learning that you attend? Visit the schools that you apply to attend. It is hard to decide where you want spend the next part of your education with out setting foot on campus before move in day! I would suggest that you also mostly rely on the gut instict (or "vibes") that you get from the campus and the people that you encounter. Also, on a more pratical note, look into the different programs that are offered at the school. Are you split between two majors? Does that college offer both? Can I minor in one of the subjects that I'm thinking about? Also, consider how much financial aid you are getting from each school that accepted you. Sometimes how much you have to pay for the education you want makes a big difference when deciding which college to attend. And finally, when you get to the college of your dreams... GET UP! GET OUT! GET INVOLEVED! It makes a world of difference for your college experience!

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I would tell fellow students to research their options and weigh out the pros and cons to each choice. I would tell them to take a tour of the schools they are interested in because campus layout plays a major role in the whole college experience. Money and financing is also one aspect that should be looked at very carefully because the prices are just skyrocketing. Parents need to be there for their children, supporting their decision, but still offering advice and guidance. Let's face it, students, we really don't always know everything, as much as we would like to say that we do:) Students should also attempt, if possible, to speak with people who attend the colleges/universities they are considering, to get the real inside and firsthand scoop on the school. I recommend once in college, to put academics first and make sure enough time is spent on studies, since that's why you're spending all of that hard-earned money. However, you also must take time for yourself to simply have fun and relax, enjoying the whole experience and making it one that will last a lifetime.

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My advice is to take everything into consideration. Don't just go to a school for a major, or because it's close/far from home. Choose a school that will suit your individual needs and will make you feel comfortable. Choose a school that will be all that you want and will give you room to explore yourself. Definitely explore yourself and your wants/needs/desires for your future. College is expensive and so you need to make it worthwhile. Don't choose a major based on pay, but on what you want out of it personally and emotionally. Have fun!!! Don't let it be all work and no play, but definitely work hard!!! Travel whenever you can and see everything! Volunteer through your college and help other students! Join clubs and sports if you can; make friends with everyone! Know your professors and treat them with respect! Don't bring too much junkfood and eat your vegetables - you will get sick if you don't ( I Know!) Take every chance you can and never regret any choice! Free your mind and don't drink...too much! Tests suck when you have a hangover. MAKE IT MEMORABLE!

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Dear Me, High School is over and you can't wait to go college, but here's some things they don't tell you when filling out those applications: First, welcome to a full-time job. Didn't see that coming. Time to roll-up your sleeves. Sure the difficulty is about the same, but there is much more work and higher expectations from professors. Secondly, FOCUS. Sure, go party, hang with friends, but remember you have to budget your time. Be ready for those all-nighters and the consequences of misjudging your time. Have chocolate on hand. It is time to step-up to the plate, be responsible and learn some discipline. Third, find the fitness center. You're going to stress-out, gain weight and start feeling lousy. Nip it in the butt! Exercise the body while exercising the mind. Forth, find a club or two. Join and make friends. They'll help you more than you'll ever realize. Lastly, it will not matter what you scored on a particular test or what classes you took when it is all said and done. What is important is the person you will become. Make the most of it.

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Simply, I would say to write out the important factors in accessing your educational goals and take time to consider each option. This is not to say that I did not take certain precautions before I made a final decision. But I do believe that I should have given myself more time and more options to choose from. I wish I would have really thought about what it takes to achieve a degree for me; whether it is more important to be close to family, long term financial impact(of college itself), and what I expect to even get out of obtaining the degree. Thinking back, I only felt a sense of hope for the future. It seemed as if nothing was set in stone, but that college was a place of opportunity. Within the college itself, there are the factors of professionalism and respect. It is important to really access your environment, getting a sense of what will have an influence on your life(whether it be religious based or something else). Currently, I feel the best decision was made with what I knew at the time; with the realization that you always learn more as you get older.

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I can say from personal experience that the most important thing to remember while searching for the right college is to always keep and open mind and to not instantly dismiss a school without looking into it further. When first finding out that Cedar Crest was an all women's college I was instantly ready to say "pass" and move on. However, after speaking to a representative of the school over the phone, I was convinced to take a tour of the campus. Upon my arrival I was instantly captivated-- the campus was so beautiful and the people were so sincere and helpful. A year later, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. And now, rather than sneering at the thought, I'm proud to say that I go to an all women's college. As for making the most of the college experience? I say be ready to try new things and step out of previously instilled comfort zones. Try out for that team, join that interesting club, take that challenging course... Without an open mind and a willingness to explore possibilities how can you ever expect to make it through life-- let alone college?

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When I was deciding on a college, I knew that wherever I went would need to have the major I in which was interested It limited my options a bit, and I ultimately chose the school from my list of "major-friendly colleges" that I was pretty confident would accept me. It seemed like the most practical decision I could make. One of the most important lessons after I arrived at college is that a lot of other students had chosen our school for similar reasons. Many of us ended up discontent with our college experience and/or transferred to another college or university, as we realized that, outside of the majors we had wanted, it really was not a good fit at all. My best advice for anyone looking to attend college is to take your time observing the actual campus community and see if it would be enough to keep you happy even without your current major of choice. Even if there are other campuses nearby, it will still make a huge difference in your college experience if you don't have anything but academics to keep you at your own school.

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