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Central Michigan University

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

Everything about college has opened my eyes and broadened my viewpoint on multiple matters. Being that in high school I thought I had the rest of my life figured out in a ten year plan, I would go back and tell myself I was an idiot followed by a few important tips. Firstly, you WILL cry at some point during your first week, whether it's the minute your parents pull away after moving you in to your dorm or when you realize your roommate smells like bad fish. Second, going to parties is a great part of college life, but don't drink yourself into the toilet bowl, or so to speak. No one wants to party with the pukey, whiney chick. No one. Third, there's a reason why in fairytales Prince Charming doesn't wear bro tanks and Sperry's. Finally, have fun being yourself. High school is over and no one cares if you were on Homecoming Court or not. College is for expression and invention of a life you can be proud of. So let go of expectations and just do your thing. There's no mistakes, only opportunities to learn.

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If I were able to go back to my high school self and give advice regarding college life and transitioning from living at home to being in college I would have to say that easing into it would be best. There will be a lot of new areas to have to get used to as well as some that will get easier from high school. One of these areas would be the class times; they are much more varied and are not as rigid as high school. However, there will still be some early classes but studying will be easier to manage because the class days are not as long as high school. In regards to personal matters of transitioning from high school to college I would have to say that having personal items is very important. Talking to family and friends that would not be able to be seen (and doing so frequently) can also help with any anxiety or home sickness that may happen. Even having a routine can help with the transition. Making new friends and going out and having fun is a very good way to keep a social life and help transition!

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College is so expensive! Growing up with a mother who was diagnosed with a mentally ill parent made preparing for college really tough! I would have wished that I found a way to get better access to a computer because the one my mom had was very out of date. I would have gottten a ride to the library or a friends house to use their computer. I would have gotten a job in high school and tried to save as much money as a I could so I would not have had to make out so many loans. I would have tried to attend a college closer to home so that I could have saved money and probably finished my degree. I am now choosing to go back to school and have been in school for awhile after I graduated from Sonoma State University. I think I would have done a little bit more research on Northern California colleges before trying to come up here. Being now 27 and trying to become a medical assistant has not been easy and I wish that I would have considered going to a community college soon after graduating from high school.

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Never look for a cost effective college, and don't push yourselves to go to a school where your family are alumni or where your friends are going. What truly matters is your education. Look for a school that has great programs for the field you are looking at going into. Remember that money doesn't have to be an issue, thats what scholarships and loans are for. Make sure to visit the campus before enrolling, because it is better to find out if you like the feel of a campus rather than having to be unhappy upon first arrival. Once at college, GET INVOLVED! There is no better way of making new friends and finding a new hobby then to get involved on campus. There are many opportunities, from programming, to Greek Life, to student life; the list goes on and on. Getting involved definitely beats sitting in your room. Make sure to keep up on your studies, and remember, "in the end, the only person that you are letting down and hurting is yourself!" Take it seriously, but have a blast while doing so!

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Many people say that if they could go back in time, they would do things differently; that they would spend more time focused on school, on their grades, on getting into college. However, if I could go back and talk to myself as a senior to give myself advice, I would actually do the opposite of this. I would tell myself to let loose and have a little fun, so that way it's all out of my system by the time I get to college. College is supposed to be one of the best times of your life, but I also feel that it should be a focused time. I think that high school is your last bit of childhood before you are expected to enter into the real world, and I know that the stress of getting ready for college gets to many students. I, personally, wish that I would have enjoyed my senior year more instead of just rushing through it and getting so wrapped up in the pull of college. Stress is for later in life - I think that seniors should take the time to enjoy themselves and spend time with their family and friends.

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One of the main points I would give a younger me would be get involved. I was involved with dorm activities as a freshman and sophomore in college, but didn't really get involved with clubs/groups on campus until my junior year. I have met so many more people and aquired valuable connections (for my future career). Another point my younger self would have benefitted from is to focus more and put more time into your studies. My freshman year was definitely a transition year and I didn't spend as much time on my classes and homework as I should have. This dropped my GPA down and if I had spent just a little more time on my classes my cumulative GPA would be better now. I spent a lot of time with friends just "hanging out" and I would tell my younger self that those friends would have still been there even if I hadn't spent as much time with them. I should have broadened my horizons (by on campus involvement) and spent more time on my classes. But as I say all this remember to take some time for fun.

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In college, I have learned, like all students, how to live by myself. I have learned that it is very important to keep track of your time with homework and social life. College has definatley allowed me to have the space away from my parents to grow up. Being in college helps you develop many social skills too. You are in a place where at most you know two percent of the college's population. I have gotten the chance to meet so many new people and descover who I am. It has helped me be me. I think college is a very valuable part of life because you get the biggest oppertunity to grow as a person. I was very fortunate to get the chance to experience life away from home. Its important to be able to discover who you are for yourself. Not only have I had the chance to discover who I am, furthering my education is a blessing. A lot of people do not get to further their education. I get to have more job opportunities. I am very fortunate and I think college is an exprerience that everyone should have.

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I would tell myself to really think about what I wanted to go into as far as a career. I would tell myself to work a lot more and really try to keep a job to transfer to the college community. I would tell myself to stop worrying about chasing boys and trying to keep that popular status, when none of that really matters in college. You make new friends and hardley talk to the ones from high school. I would stress that grades and studying are way more important than staying out way too late with friends. College's don't accept you based on your social status, but on your academics and involvement. Which is another thing I would talk to myself about. If I had been more involved in the past I would really have a lot to say on my resume when applying for a career. I would tell my self to keep my head up and that the best and most important years of my life are about to start. I wish someone would have told me to look forward to my future, because from what i see now, things keep getting better.

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The first piece of advice I would offer would be to not rule out any school from your options. I would advise you to visit any schools that you are considering. All schools have their own environment and feel, you need to find the one that feels right for you. Work hard in high school. Your high school grades and gpa could earn you a scholarship. Also, there are many scholarships and loans available at any college or university, look into all of them. You may qualify for a scholarship that you did not know about and when paying for school for four or five years, every little bit helps. Once you decide on a college or university, get involved. You will get more out of your college experience if you venture out. Find at least one club or organization or sports team to get involved in. Go out and have fun, but don't neglect your school work. You pay way too much money for your classes to waste them and ultimately, as fun as college is, you're working toward your career and your future.

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First I would tell the parents that it would be best for their child to go away for college. I believe that it is essential for that a student to go away and by going away they will learn so much about themselves and what they want to do/become in life. I was fortunate enough to go away to school and I love every second of it. By going away ,one learns many new responsibilites that they would not have learned at home. Now about finding the right college for you. I would suggest to take a tour of many universities in which your daughter or son is interested in and try to find a school that you both like. I toured two schools before I found Central Michigan University and it was clear to me that Central was the school for me. In order to make the most of your college experience, I quote my brother who is attending medical school. He said "do not have any regrets" and that is a quote I live by. In closing, pick the school that you feel works best for you and everything will work out great.

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