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Central Michigan University

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

Coming out of high school, I was not certain I wanted to attend a university. After being here four years, I am so thankful that I have. The lessons I have learned these past few years cannot be measured. They are priceless. Each semester I feel I am becoming more and more capable to succeed in my field. I feel that I am gaining the expertise and knowledge to be a good leader and worker for my career ahead, and I am getting more and more anxious to graduate and change the world by enhancing the quality of life for those around me. But college is not only giving me the tools to complete a job I am passionate about doing, it is also teaching me life skills, like the ability to relate to people who live and think very differently than I do. One thing I will take away from this college experience is that I will never stop learning from those around me. It is the people who are the most different from us who we learn the most from. My name is Bethany Juen, and I am a Commercial Recreation major at Central Michigan University.

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Choose a college environment where you feel comfortable. If you walk onto campus and immediately feel it is too big and scary, or too small and intimate, do not go there! Chances are that feeling won't change. Look at what schools have the newest technology and or ideas about your field. They will most likely be caught up in the world and willing to share the knowledge with you. If you are undecided as a major, go to a school that has many options so exploration can be done. If a school has a reputation for being a party place, then it probably is, so choose accordingly. Wherever you choose, remember that everything in life is best in moderation. Party, have fun, live it up while you're still young...just don't over do it. College is a place to learn, so study hard and achieve your goals...then celebrate them on the weekends! Get involved, meet new people, step outside of your box and become a part of the campus whether through a job or organization. Being a part of the big picture will make college feel like home.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would first sit myself down at a table with a blank piece of paper and a pencil. I'd divide the paper in two. One half would list all my mistakes, while the other my successes. Knowing myself, I'd have more mistakes. Sitting across from myself I'd state: Why is it your list of mistakes is longer than your successes? You're so stuck on not being able to successfully climb the largest mountain, that you don't feel proud of all the hills you have climbed over. Grade school, the first eighteen years of your life have consisted of successfully getting to the top of so many hills, and Megan, you need to be proud of that. Don't allow those hills to be a reminder of what you haven't accomplished, instead have them encourage you in continuing forward towards your goal. That mountain is never going away, it will always be there until the timing is right and you are ready; so don't stress, and don't dwell, just breathe and continue to climb those hills.

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I would first tell them to find a college and campus that they would feel comfortbale at. If your not comfortable there it doesn't matter what they offer academically. Second I would research the schools areas of study. See how many they have to offer and check out if what your planning to go into is well respected at that school. For instance I graduated with a business degree and CMU's business school was ran very well and was known around the state. Third I would find a school that is just the right distance away from home. For me, that was being two and a half hours away from my hometown. It was close enough to home that I could visit every once in a while but it was also far enough that I could become more independent. Lastly, I would visit as many schools as I could. This is big decision in your life so you want to get it right and be happy with your choice. And remember to have fun, join clubs, play intramural sports, whatever it is you like to do. You will be biulding life long relationships.

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What advice would I give myself? As a senior in high school, I was very active. I knew my schedule and it was set in stone. We were told what assignments to do and how to do them exactly; every little detail to help us get an A on our report cards. It has changed completely now. From learning this, I would have told myself to try and take the initiative to talk to teachers more and ask questions about the assignment. Also, when preparing papers, make sure to actually take the time to draft, draft, and draft because I had to learn this the hard way in college.I would also give myself advice, and to all upcoming college students, to learn to manage your time! This is essential. As a double major student, there are not enough hours in the day to complete things. I?m not complaining because I love every bit of it, but when scheduling homework time to ?partying? time, make sure to manage your time appropriately so you will benefit. I used to just go with the flow back in high school and hoped that it all went well.

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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 prepare better for college. I would tell myself to learn to prioritze and organize better and set realistic goals for myself. Study harder and study material that isn't only covered in class or on study guides and to learn how to study properly for each class. Sometimes one technique doesn't work for all subjects. Take the initiative to study in further detail. I would also tell myself not to take too many difficult classes the first semester in college, but to take the first semester a little easier and learn what college life is all about. College isn't like high school. I would also tell myself that it is okay to ask for help and to get the help needed sooner rather than later. Sometimes later may be too late for that semester. Lastly, I would tell myself that although it is very very important to study and work hard it isn't necessary to stress out too much and it is also important to enjoy college life.

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Students, listen to your parents; if they've gone through the college selection process, they can be an invaluable resource. Don't shove them away when they try to help in the process, and make a point to keep in touch with them at least once a week while you're away, just to let them know how you're doing in your classes and with your friends.. Parents, listen to your children. They are not you; they have their own goals and they have very distinct personalities that may lead them in a direction that you never would've dreamt for yourself, but that's exactly what is so wonderful about moving away to college: the student is given an opportunity to find out who he or she really is, without the constant guidance of the parents. Don't freak out of your student doesn't call you every day; it's probably a good sign. If he or she is calling you every day for the entire first semester, then you can worry a bit. College is a keystone in life; the right fit can take you places you never would've thought possible.

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There have been many things I have got out of my experience. It's been a long but very fast 4 years. I have made friendships that will last forever. I love my friends from home, but nothing compares to your college friends. It's almost like a different friendship meaning you living with these people, you party with these people, you go to school with them. You're constantly with these people which also helps you realize a lot of things. Living with people makes you learn patience and the ability to share experiences and feelings. You develop a very close bond with them. Also, college opens your eyes to the diversity and uniqueness in the world. There is so much out there that we don't know about and we need to know. Going to college, especially away to school, makes you experience situations that maybe you would have never experienced. Of couse, I also learned the value of an education and the value of money. Spending thousands and thousands of dollars may sound ridiculous but in the end it will be worth it.

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An education is forever. First and foremost, when looking for a college, educate yourself. Choose your college wisely by researching what each college has to offer you. Find that school that allows you to be yourself but also allows you to grow. Make sure the college you choose will challenge you and make you practice ready. When starting school and throughout your undergraduate years, remember that the main goal is an education. Yes, it is the first time that you will be free and independant but don't let your newly found freedom get in the way of why you are truly there. An education is forever. Take this education seriously; you are given an opportunity that many people are not given. A college education does not solely rely on books. Personal growth and becoming a well-rounded person are also important. Make each lesson learned, from people and books, a noteworthy and positive experience. Finally, be independant and assure of who you are, what you stand for and who you are going to be.

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Hey Kyle, It’s your college-self talking…Well writing. Don’t even think about not finishing this; I have something important to tell you. Are you ready? You need to put more effort in college than you did in high school. Don’t lie to me, I know that high school was easy for you, and that you didn’t have to study for tests, do the readings, or go to class to get good grades. College is different though, and a lot harder. Don’t skip classes, even if your proffesors don't care. You need to study, and read your textbooks! You're paying for these classes and those books. Don't waste your money. Once you graduate high school, you have a scholarship waiting for you also. You don’t want to lose it do you? You know mom will never forgive you if you get it taken away, especially if it’s your own fault. So you had better get prepared to make some changes Kyle. You can do this! Don’t be lazy! Don’t think you can pass effortlessly! Stay motivated! And Kyle, enjoy college. It truly is a great experience.Love Kyle

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