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Central Michigan University

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

Entering college has been a whole new world. It has taught me how to become a better student, learn to live with people, and break out of my comfort zone. In college, you must make sure you do the reading and learn what is necessary for the class. I have learned how to manage my time between classes and the best ways to study to ace my classes. At home, I always had my own bedroom and bathroom, and after moving to the dorms, I had to get used to sharing a small room with another person I had never met before and sharing a small bathroom with three other girls. It has been really valuable to learn how to live and work with other people. As for breaking out of my comfort zone, it can be scary meeting new people and not knowing anyone in class. College has helped me open up, talk to new people without having the comfort of my high school friends, and join clubs and organizations to meet new people. College has really helped me become a more independent person and helped me overcome real life challenges. It has been a great experience so far!

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I have been attending community college since my sophomore year in high school. Doing so has shaped me in many ways—not just on an educational level, but from a personal perspective as well. I've always been self disciplined and driven to achieve my goals, but taking college level courses has made me more aware of what those goals are and what type of effort it takes to achieve them. It has allowed me to become more organized and independent when it comes to my school work and has taught me quite a bit that I am confident will stick with me throughout the rest of my life. As I mentioned, I feel that the college experience has shaped me from a personal standpoint and has molded me into a more self-aware, motivated young adult. I'm a believer that each experience we go through in life shapes us into who we will eventually become and I feel that the opportunity to attend college has definitely been one of those experiences. Thus far, it has been valuable to me in many ways and I know that it will continue to be as I push farther in my studies.

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In less than a year's time, the amount of knowledge and experience potentially gained is unfathomable. With the last thought I would have as a high school senior being whether or not there will be a party the first weekend, or maybe it was wondering if people in my hall would like me enough to hangout; perhaps it was an unresolved nerve that class would be brutal and force me to quit school all together and join the laborers of the world in a dark, hot, humid factory at 3 in the morning alongside a man named Vlad and a guy who turns out to be a girl and doesn't speak because of some assembly line accident that I wouldn't care to know the details of. Quite honestly there had been an untold amount of college fears running through my senior head; I couldn't pinpoint the last of them. It is this fact that I would advice myself to remember. Every qualm, no matter how detrimental the potential outcome, had been forgotten like the cursive I still haven't used in college. Surprisingly, we humans tend to worry much more than we should. Don't Worry.

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I would tell the Mission High School senior Amanda to be more disciplined with her school work. I had to learn the hard way in college, and now that my foucs is in fully disciplining myself to study and get my errands and work done. If not, then I usually end up falling behind. The college life is wonderful, yet with it comes hard work and one needs to be focused in order to complete the rest of the sememster. As far as the transitioning goes it was tough, juggling bills, projects, family, friends, and life. It's a bit overloading, but the end result is very rewarding because you can take a step back and look at yourself and see the accomplishments. You can see how your dreams are coming to life little by little. It starts with that one step, then that one choice, and then the leap of faith. Either you take the chance or not; how will you know unless you try. Knowing what I know now about college, discipline is the key to stay ahead. Do this and for sure you will be able to get great things done for yourself and for your life.

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Many high schoolers hurry their way through school because they are eager to get to college. This is how I was when I was in high school. I focused on the future, and always wondered how college life would be. However, I made a critical mistake that, if given another chance, I would drastically change. Now that I am in college, I am beginning to realize how much I took high school for granted. I miss playing high school sports. I miss spending every minute of every day with the same friends. I miss the good times. I miss the memories. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to live in the moment, not the future. I would tell myself to focus every ounce of my energy on making lasting memories, and to fully utilize the time that I have left. Paralleling this advice with college, I would tell myself to do the same thing once college starts. I would tell myself to enjoy every semester of every year of college, no matter how stressful or difficult it may be, and that you only get one chance.

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My college experience has encouaged my growth in acedemic, social, and financial areas. In acedeme, my classes at Central have been very discussion orientined. These classes have forced me to think through problems and not only understand facts or possess opinions, but also develop strong reasoning skills to answer questions and solve problems. In the social wold, Central has provided me with countless opportunites to experience something outside my comfort zone. I was abe to participate in Leadership Safari, walk in a Martin Luther King Peace March, attend Slam Poetry competitions, and even experience a Drag Queen Show. All these new experiences pushed my limits, introducing me to new people and new opportunies along the way. Attending college has also introduced me to the world of finances. Paying for college has been a definite challenge and has taught me the value of money and the hard work it takes to make it. College has helped me grow so much in the past year, I can only hope the next few years are as life-altering as the first.

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If I could go back in time I would tell myself one thing and that's "Don't worry so much". I would explain to not worry about the future, because if you always focus on how things will be a year, five years, ten years down the road then you will never really be able to enjoy a moment. You will make plenty of new friends, your friends from home will do the same, so don't worry about losing them because you wont. You don't have to know what you're majoring in right from the start, it will all get figured out. Just understand that everything will change but eventually that change will become normal. All of the thoughts of uncertainty dissapear and you will realize that being happy is something that comes from within yourself, not from the kind of people you attract and get to know. Enjoy the moment, enjoy every day before you leave for school, enjoy feeling like a kid and being with your bestfriends everyday this summer, but don't be scared to leave. Change makes us who we are, everything works itself out if you put the effort in.

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It sounds cliche, but follow your instinct. Certain colleges will look amazing on paper but when you take a tour it is entirely disheartening. Even more, don't follow the financial aid. If a college is a better fit, but it's going to cost a couple thousand more a year, I would take the better school over the cheaper school. I took a full scholarship at a university that isn't academically challenging and wish I had not made that decision. As for making the best of your college experience, just make sure you have fun. Work hard and strive for good grades, but a 4.0 in college is entirely different from a 4.0 in high school and much harder to obtain. Don't kill yourself over a GPA and miss out on all the clubs and volunteer opportunities that your school has to offer you. Lastly, make sure you join a few clubs. Get involved in something fun like a musical group or sports team, but also find something that might help you in a future career such as a business fraternity or student teacher club or a political organization.

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Try not to worry about college so much. You're going in not knowing what you want from life, but before your first semester ends, you'll have found two programs that you love so much that you can't decide between the two. Then, you'll just have to figure out what to do with that dual major. Give it time. It'll come to you. You'll have some amazing academic advisors to help you on your journey. They truly want you to succeed, and they will love to hear about your accomplishments. Try not to be afraid to tell them your career goals. Your advisors will help to point you in the right direction. Making friends in college will be natural. You'll have made your core group of friends before your first week of school is over. They're good people stick with them. Nowhere else will you find a group of people that love MarioKart just as much as you do. P.S. Don't let your high school chemistry teacher discourage you. You will have better chemistry teachers and receive much better grades than you ever imagined. It'll all be worth it.

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What I have gotten out of my time at Central Michigan University is a lot of leadership experience. Being involved in Central Michigan University's Leadership Institute as a Leadership Advancement Scholar, I have been subject to leadership camps, speakers, clubs and organizations, and even the faciliation of leadership events on campus. Protocol from my Leadership Advancement Scholarship requires that I participate in two or more Registered Student Organization's on campus, attend at least one leadership-related speaker per semester, hold a leadership position in one of the organizations or clubs I am involved in, as well as put on a leadership-related event on CMU's campus. Thus, involvement on CMU's campus is highly encouraged, even if you are not involved in the Leadership Institute. However, most students are! In fact, the Leadership Minor is the largest minor at CMU! Overall, CMU and CMU's Leadership Institute have allowed me to become actively involved on my campus, as well as improve on my leadership abilities.

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