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Central Michigan University

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

I attend Cuyahoga Community College and right now am pursuing an associates degree of applied science in Human Services. What I have gotten out of my college experience is not only growing up and maturing, but also the knowledge to create the future I want to give to myself and hopefully to others. To have empathy and an open mind for others is something I think I had but the proffesors I had/have made it come out more by showing me how to express it and what I as an individual can do with it to help someone . Not only the professors I have and continue to meet, but also the people I have met that I have classes with have become not only friends but probably long time connections to helping me help others. The reason why it has been so valuable to attend is simple, its because I want a future, and my future starts with attending college. When I learn something new I can't wait to try and implement it in real life. It is valuable to me because I get to know that I get self satisfaction as well as satisfying and helping others

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First and foremost, I wish I had a recent college grad give me some advice about the upcoming years. I'm certain the advice that person would have given me is the same I am about to give: please don't rush into your decision. There are so many variables when choosing the right college that most tend to get forgotten; things such as expected monthly payment for student loans upon graduating, what kind of vehicle would be most suitable, which types of apartments best fit in with my goals, etc. Had I given it more thought, I probably would have chosen to sell my car, for example, to pay for a semester and actually get exercise from a bike. The first years of college are a blur consisting of alcohol, fast food, late nights and a rough introduction to college studies 101. So many days are bombarded with the thought of, "Is class going to be important today?" and "How am I going to pay for all of this?" A step back mixed with some extreme throught will go the longest of ways to a high school grad; the analyzation of pre-college choices is crucial to ones' sucess.

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Past me, take the time to apply to more schools and scholarships. I know you think that it's a waste of time and really annoying because you KNOW all the best colleges will be fighting to get you. I can tell you for a fact, you do not know it all, and unless you have more athletic ability than I remember, no college is going to fight for your enrollment. So sit down and fill out those applications and scholarships. You will not regret it. Also, do not sign those college applications with a declared major like engineering or business. Instead, sign all of them as undecided. I realise you know what you want to do with your life, but I have changed my major three times. Also, really look into internships and international experience. Job opportunities in the future do not care about what sports you played or how many friends or clubs you joined. They care about if you took a leadership role in those clubs or what job related experience you have. Believe me, doing a Disney Internship and Study Abroad were the best part of my college experience so far. so you do it to!

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Throughout life, I have been told that college is different from what I know, it's extremely serious in the workload and my whole life’s success or failure is based on the passage of college. To some extent this is true however; college is more than books and essays. It's more than endless lectures and balancing classes with work and friends. College can't be taught on a white bored or online. If you think about it, from all that i have mentioned, college is not too different than secondary schools. Therefore, the experience and the value of attending college I have received has simply came from the ability to learn with those I live with and the ability to live with others before living on my own. The ability to make connections and form groups of voice and change that was not as strong or existent before. It’s the ability to become independent, make choices and become aware of bills as I handle situations like the adult I learn to be. College is still a choice. More and more people choose to pay for college, not just for the degree, but for this experience.

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In finding the right school, the best thing to do is to look for several schools of interest. These could be determined by the programs they offer, their location, or the campus itself. From these schools, it is then important to look at cost. Although it is great to believe that the biggest and best schools are worth the money, this is the real world, and that is not always the case. The trick is to find a balance between a school you'd like, and the cost. This will prevent regrets and stress from both sides. When you select the right school and begin your journey, think of things that interest you. If you do not yet have a major, join clubs and organizations related to things you like that might lead you down a professional path. Social organizations may or not be your chosen pastime, but either way, it is important to be involved and meet people that you will share your time with. In the end, the goal of attending college is to prepare for a career, and all of these factors will come together. Work hard, stay active, and attend every class and you'll succeed.

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"Morgan, you better study for that test you have tomorrow." These words were repeated frequently from my mom as I made my way through high school. And of course I would always respond with, "Don't worry mom I'll be fine I promise." However, things are completly different now. I can honestly say that one thing that would've been helpful knowing in high school to better prepare for the college experience, would be to learn to push myself to study harder. In high school I was the type of person who didn't need to study that often or even at all to be successful on a test. Now that I am in college however, things have become more difficult. I am constantly finding myself having to stay focused and study for hours at a time rather than glancing over my notes right before the test. At the beginning of my first semester this was a difficult transition for me so I think if I would've better prepared myself in high school then this wouldn't have been such a difficult transition. All in all I have learned to overcome this obstacle throughout my experience thus far.

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Do not make a decision on a college based on a teen relationship! Choose a school that has a fun atmosphere at the school and in the surrounding areas. Find a school that is far enough away from home so that the student is on their own, but if they need to go home just to relax they are close enough to do so. Everyone will be asked, not necessarily pressured, to drink alcohol and this something that some students will be able to control, but many will not. Oftentimes students think that drinking a lot at school does not matter. Many students suffer because they think they do not have a drinking problem however, drinking Thursday through Saturday and other times during the week is an alcohol problem and grades drop as a result. This is the time to discover oneself, and figure out what needs to be done to attain what one wants out of life. Work hard, but also save time to relax, meet people, and think about the future. The future may feel far away but college felt far away when we were freshman in high school too. Time seems to move faster with age.

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As like many high school seniors, I had no idea what to expect from my transition to a college freshmen. High schools cannot fully prepare their seniors for the higher education level classes, the work they will be expected to complete, the amount of time out of class that needs to be spent on studying, and balancing school work with the freedom college life brings. If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now about college, I would talk to myself as a senior in high school and tell myself about what to expect within the next year. I would tell myself to schedule out my time daily. Set back time, each day to study and complete homework. if you do not set back time you will not only fall behind but also get distracted by all the surrounding activities that the college life brings. College is a time to have fun and enjoy yourself but always remember you first priority in college is to earn a degree. Partying and hanging out with your friends before your school work is completed will not help you succeed in reaching your goal of receiving a degree.

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Advice I would give myself as a high school senior is to never be afraid to try new things. Connect with the community in the school and make it your own. Make friends not because you have to but because you want to and they will be your support and encouragement throughout college. There are many things you can discover new about yourself that is what is so great about Central. You don't have to stick to what you know. It is healthy to discover what more you can do just by trying and experimenting. The classes and professors are the connections to your career path. Always talk to your professors and accomplish your tasks in the classroom. The work they give you in the classroom is different that the work they give you in high school. With this work you are learning how to function in the community and your career path and preparing for your life ahead of you. It is important to keep yourself busy, but not to the point where you are overwhelmed. The key thing you have to remember is to keep moving forward success or failure. Always move forward.

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I think the easiest way to answer this question is to say that I learned how to live on my own; independently. That would be easy but not sufficient. It's not a specific enough answer. It doesn't give anyone a good sense of what I learned at college. So, while attending college I learned how to manage my money. I had to do my own laundry at the laundry mat, pay for my own food, and pay for my own gas. I couldn't take a spring break trip or buy the next great video game because of what I really needed the money for. I also learned how to get involved. I've done two community service activities and got involved in campus activities to get out there and break my inclusive shell. I've met some interesting people and experienced some great things, such as comedians, leadership camp, and siblings weekend (as a non-sibling participant). I also attended an interesting "My dog knows calculus" presentation. Yes, I learned how to live on my own but it's more than that. I learned valuable life skills, broke out of my shell, and learned money management.

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