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Central Michigan University

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

From the time that I started attending to now, I have grown so much in many aspects. I have found that at college one is not taught, but taught to teach himself or herself. Coming from a very small school with a graduating class of about fifty students, attending a huge university such as CMU was truly a culture shock. I grew up in the country and with such a small school, one could really get to know teachers and friends with little to no effort. College has taught me to be self sufficient and to also be efficient. It has been valuable to me because I know that in the job fields that I want to go into, I will be my own motivation. Not only will I have to push myself to succeed, but I will need to be efficient and do quality work. Dentistry is the field that I am interested in and the career that I am pursuing. CMU has many events that relate to diversity and expanding one's mind to new things and people. I feel that this is a very valuable experience and will help further my career goals.

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If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I know now about college life, my biggest advice would be to get involved and take some risks. You usually get only one shot at college so why not try to make the best of it? Try to take that swing dancing class you have always wanted to participate in, go out and join the group that is going to serve lunch at a soup kitchen or travel with International Student Volunteers and make a difference in another person's life. Make as many new friends in as diverse of places as you can, they can only make you a better person. The people you meet here can be life-long friends and can make you look at things you previously had not looked at before. The trick is to balance your school work, social life and heath: if you can do that, you will have an amazing college experience. Last but not least, I would tell myself to not worry so much and try every so often to push myself out of my comfort zone; that is where you will find a new you.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition from high school to college I would inform myself that it is important to make goals, keep a positive mindset, and not procrastinate. Before entering college I had no clue of how important it was to make goals and keep a positive mindset. In college goals will set you in the right direction and keep you on track along with those goals a positive attitude is needed to motivate you to continue and push to acheive those goals. With this advice I believe I would be motivated more to accomplish things that I do no think I can accomplish. With goals it will motivate me to start assignments that I unfortunately wait until the last moment to do and stress over yet pull through. Advice such as that would have made my first semester mush more smooth than it was and because of what I have learned my second semesteris going well compared to the previous one.

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From what I know about college life now I would have saved as much money as I could of from my job i worked at through high school. I also would have made sure I tried even harder to get a better ACT score to better my chances of getting scholarships and would have tried harder to sign up for scholarships. I know I would plan on making sure I have a more organized way of doing things so I wouldn't be so stressed and have more of a hard time finding things and doing my school work. If I could go back I would also tell myself to try and join different organizations or groups to be able to meet new people and try new things. I would set different goals for myself to stick to as well. Over all I would tell myself that know matter what happens to never give up because God puts obsiticals in our way for a reason and if he didnt think we couldnt handle them then he wouldn't have put them there. Those are the most important things I think I would of told myself to have prepared me better.

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First of all the final decision should be the students choice and not the parents. Second, it will be very helpful to have a future career in mind or a degree you wish to pursue. From this point it is important for the student to visit colleges that have their degree of choice and communicate with older friends and family about the colleges they are considering. The student must feel comfortable and safe about their decision because at some point things will get difficult once they are out on their own whether they claim they are prepared or not. Those things are the primary things to look at. Some secondary things would be price, location, and/or following a friend. I feel that you only have one chance to pursue what you truly have a passion for and you need to go after it regardless of the price, location, and friends. You will naturally select the place you feel the most comfortable and feel you can succeed. And success is the reason you are pursuing a higher education.

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I'm sure it would be a pleasure for everyone if we could go back in time and re-live a cjhapter of our lives. I know if I could go back to myself as a high school senior, I would definitely know what to expect from my first year at college. I think I would tell myself to be open to as many opportunities as possible. It's amazing how many opportunities there are in college. There are so many clubs and events to participate in. I wish I would have taken more advantage of them. I also would have told myself to go into my first year with an open mind. Its always good for students to break out of their shell and maybe try something new. With an open mind and a good attitude, anything is possible. Students have the ability to be anyone they want to be in college. Its a fresh start, and a place to take chances. College is a time to take advantage of new opportunities and branch out of your comfort zone! I wish I would have known that coming in to this great experience.

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The first thing I would tell myself is to definitely learn how to study. Study skills are a major part of the college survival kit. Also, I would tell myself to learn to be more adaptable, and also have my time management skills ready in my back pocket. Something else would be to stay active after high school and to lead a healthy lifestyle. Amid a college schedule, and lifestyle, healthy eating and physical fitness may fall to the wayside, but should definitely be kept at high priority. Lastly, though I do hold this skill, I would suggest that I learn more about my parents financial situation, how school will be paid for, and other issues regarding school, and take hold of more responsibilities before leaving for school. When at home, parents are physically there to help through situations, but when away at college that isn't the case, so knowing how to be responsible is important. With these skills I feel that I would have been able to be a more successful college freshman.

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The most valuable thing I have gotten out of attending Central Michigan University is a sense of worth. It is definitely not what I expected to gain from college, but the feeling is overwhelming. In high school nothing challenged me and I was bored, it was rare for me to really enjoy material I was learning no matter how challenging the class was. Now that I am in college I love my classes because I know it is helping me achieve my goals. I feel empowered and in charge of my future. I have even decided to take more challenging classes, including another foreign language, to make me accessible to all students. I also love how in college it is easy for me to get involved in the community through different groups that will help me in the future. I never expected to feel this way about college. I came into this school and was blown away by everything I can do for my future and am constantly trying to make myself better so that I can be the best special education teacher possible.

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I would first recomend that they visist as many colleges as they can. Getting a good first look at a school is the best thing they can do. Even if it is brief you can for the most part get a real feel for the campus that you can't get from visiting their website or hearing from friends. Next I would research the school as much as posible, you have to think of this choice like it really is, an investment in your future. Your going to be spending a lot of money at this university, you owe it to yourself to make sure this place is going to be right for you. Make sure they have areas of study that interest you, and that they are strong in those areas. Try and make sure there are going to be there to help you on those tough choices school will have for you, this is probably the hardest to judge, but do your best the support staff at your school can make or break your college exprience. Most importantly don't be affraid to make mistakes, all you can do is learn from them.

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If I could have a conversation with 17-year-old me, about to graduate high school and head off to college, I would say, "Listen to that little voice telling you to take a year off and get some experience before starting to work on your degree. Right now you see college as much as the beginning of your studies as your first taste of independence. It's true that it is both of those things, but I'm afraid that if the first time you're out from under your parents' roof is also the first time you sit down in a lecture hall to learn about the subject of your choice, one of those things will seem more exciting than the other and you'll end up bumbling your way from major to major. There's nothing wrong with the non-traditional route, and if I know you (and I like to think I do...) you'll find your way to it eventually, once you develop the confidence to march to the beat of your own drummer. If you think you might be capable of getting a jumpstart on that now, more power to you!"

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