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Central Michigan University

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

"Don't worry. It will all work out." How many times did I hear those words from my parents, relatives and friends in the last few months of my senior year? I knew they were meant in comfort, but at the time, I didn't feel comforted. The glamour of senior year had worn off, and I was clinging to my childhood with both hands. How I wish I had listened to those words! I'm only one semester into my college experience and, though it's been a tough transition, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Remembering how anxious and sad I was to be leaving home, there are so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself. I'd say that the classes aren't as scary as I thought, that all the high school drama that seems important will soon mean nothing, that my friends at home won't forget about me. But more than anything, I'd say the best thing about college is the freedom to choose who I want to be, and that I have no one to please but myself. "Don't worry. It will all work out."

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There was a lot that I didn't know when I was that young. I would tell myself to get more involved while in high school and to really consider what kind of eperience you want while in college. There are so many opportunities one you get there to join a group, choose an area of study, make friends. Remember you're going to be living with other people. It will be extremely fun and challenging at the same time. Have an idea of what your interested in and what classes you would want to take. College is expensive and there isn't a whole lot of time to figure out what you want to do. Most of all, college is meant to be fun, exhilirating, challenging, and so much more. But its only one part of your life. Eventually you'll have to go into the real world and it will com emuch faster than you would wish so make the most out of everything. In addition to the great education you will receive, you're going to meet so many different people and make friends for life.

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Central Michigan University is a great University if you don't want to feel "lost in the shuffle." The professors are always willing to sit down outside of class and answer any questions that you may have. There are a lot of different groups to join, and I would certainly suggest joining a group that is focused around the same career goals that you are interested in. In addition there are a lot of extra-curricular groups. Join something that represents what you want to do, where you want to go, or just fulfills a hobby that you have. All in all, my advice is to choose a college or University that suits your needs, and expands your knowledge base. Learning is what college is supposed to be all about, so that should be your main feature in a school. Check out financial aid opportunities through FAFSA because they are INCREDIBLY helpful. Good luck in making this important decision. Follow your heart, and not your friends. Choose the school that is right for you!

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When choosing a college, choose the school that feels challenging both academically and socially. Challenge is necessary for growth. Consider what kind of environment suits your interests and passions and would allow them to be used most effectively. Look around at the students; do they seem like-minded? Would you feel content, yet not complacent on this campus? Does campus or the surrounding area have a place to which you could retreat? When you get to school, know yourself. Do not be hesitant to speak your mind, as you will find those who agree. Prioritize. Work doesn't always need to take precedence over fun or rest. Be where you are and know where you're going. Make use of your time. Do not be afraid to make a change. Try new things. Help others. Be engaged. Look for what you want and need, and when you find it, do not let it go. And most importantly, remember that life is fleeting. This life is your life; know it while you have it.

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The advice I would give to high school me would be to take as many advanced placement courses as possible. They boost your GPA as well as give you the opportunity to recieve college credit for a very cheap price. You have a lot more free time in high school to so this would be a good time to study for those AP tests. I would have also taken more classes at the community college before going away to a university where college credits are much more expensive. Also, now that I am in college, I realize how taking the harder or more challening classes in high school benefit you in college. They really help make sure you are ready because college classes move at a much faster pace. In high school, I wish I would have also taken classes that would have taught me entirely new skills or classes that didn't interest me at first because you never know what you are going to like or enjoy and this will give you the best idea of what you want to do in your future career.

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If I could go back and give myself advice as a high school senior, it would be to save your money for different college expenses. As a high school senior, I had two jobs and no financial responsibilities. All the money I made went to frivolous things, such as clothes, shoes, hair appointments, etc. My parents would tell me to save money for school, but of course I did not listen to them. Now that I am in college, I realize why my parents were telling me to save my money. Besides the room and board and tuition, college can be very costly. I have been paying over $300 a semester in books alone. There are also cost for being involved in different organizations. And if you want to do anything besides staying in your room on the weekend, it will cost money. I was unaware of all these cost going into college. If I had saved even half of what I made in high school, I would be living a little easier. Now I am truly living like a ?broke college student?.

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Choosing the right school and making the most out of your college experience can be difficult and very dependent on the student themself. For me, I talked to teachers that I had as to what was a good choice based on what I wanted to go into. My first school was great for this and I got involved with different groups that made my experience there wonderful! I transfered to this school for its programs and discovered how much I like it here and being away. What is right for you is different for every person. Sometimes it takes some figuring out and lots of thinking to figure it out. It took me going to another school to discover it. I know I made the right decision for myself at the right time in my life. My advice is to truly think about what you want to do and base your decision on that. As for making the most out of your expeience, getting involved always helps but do what makes you happy. Success will come your way if you find yourself happy.

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I would tell myself to start saving money and develop better studying skills. There is not too much more I would say, my transition to CMU was not that difficult, it was very smooth. I just realize now that my studying skills were only mediocre and if I could have worked on them in high school I wouldn't have such a difficult time studying now (in the present time). My GPA would be higher and I would be less stressed out. Financially, if I would have learned to balance my money better in high school, I feel I would be better off right now. Yet, when I was younger I tended to splurge on everything. Therefore, if I would have saved my money more and learned to spend more wisely, I would be much better off right now. Those are the two things I would tell my high-school self to prepare myself for college. Although, I'm glad I eventually learned it-- instead of going through life not realizing what was stressing me out and becoming more and more confused.

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When it comes to picking a college, you want to make sure you find the one that is right for you. If sports are your main focus, then look for a big sports college, same for any other subject. If art or teaching if your main focus, find a school that is well known for that. If you need to get financial aid or student loans to go to a school that is better for you, then do it. If you attend a college that you like and feel is right for you then you are more likely to do well and be sucessful. If you know what you want to go into, see what colleges have that major and if you arent sure what you want to major in, look to see what kind of ways they have to show you what your options are. To make the most out of your experience, stay open-minded. Try out new things. College offers you a lot of opportunities that you might not get at any other time in your life. If you attend a college and don't think you like it, give it a chance for atleast a year.

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Going from a small town school to attending the thrid largest university in the state is a big change. Classes are set up very differently, you are going to have to study and read outside of class time. Also, you will not develope a relationship with the teachers like you did in highschool, but if you need help don't be afraid to ask for help. Beware of alcohol. If you begin your college years drinking you will soon find yourself in a habit that is incredibly hard to quit. When school frist starts look into clubs and other on campus activities, here you will meet some really cool people. Plus, if you do it when you first start your college career it makes it much easier. Get involved right away. And never feel like you have to do something to impress someone, such as your roommates. If you don't exactly click with your roommates, just remember there are thousands of other students outh there, there are bound to be a few more like you.

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