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Clearwater Christian College

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

Selecting the right college or university for you is vitally important. Higher education, with its academic, social, and personal interests, shapes and forms each student's growth. Every college has a personality of its own; therefore, finding the right college can be difficult because your personality must mesh well with that of the college. Research is the first step to choosing a college. Through internet searches, personal references, and high school guidance counselors, you can accumulate data encompassing all aspects of life at different colleges and universities. Next, you must sift through the information in order to determine which of the colleges have the activities and programs that you are looking for. Once you have narrowed down your choices to only a few colleges, take some time out of your schedule to pay a visit to these educational establishments. College character can often only be ascertained after spending time meeting the college's staff, faculty, and students. The most important advice to remember when choosing a college or university is that it must be a place where you feel at home, comfortable, and able to concentrate on academic pursuits. After all, your collegiate goal is to become an educated adult.

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Going to college has done so much more than broaden my education; it has been an all around learning experience that gave me both education and life lessons. My classes gave me vast amounts of information that will be valuable to my success later in life. For example, my english class taught me how to clearly and effectively write, and my math class taught me how to solve various types of math problems that have real life applications. Other than education, attending college has taught me life lessons. I have learned organizational skills and how to prioritize. Also, I have learned how to adjust and be respectful to people even when our personalities vary greatly. It was through these lessons that I have learned that my college experience was truly valuable. The minute details and previously unknown side of my desired profession were revealed to me, shaping me into the knowledgeable person I need to be. Likewise, through newly gained independence, my character, integrity, and ethics developed depth and stability. In conclusion, college is not all about education; attending college gave me education and life lessons in an all around learning experience.

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Knowing what I know now about college life and the transition required from high school to collegiate level school work, I would advise myself to read more books and watch more news shows before graduating high school. Had I known what college would be like, I would have read more classic literature, academic journals, and biographies. It is very important to have as wide a knowledge base as possible before entering college. It will help you discuss and confer with your professors and fellow students about the important issues of life. History, Literature, and English Composition all would have been easier if I had read those types of books back in high school. Secondly, I would have watched more news shows so that I could hold my own in a discussion of current events and present good, challenging points and opinions. I always feel disconnected from the world while at college because I never established the habit of seeking out the news. Now that I do not have the opportunity to just switch on the television, my knowledge of current events has disappeared. Thinking and researching what is going on in the world in imperative to a balanced school experience.

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Carefully analyze your abilities and interests and use this information to select a field of interest. Pursuing a degree you are passionate about will make schoolwork much less tedious. Also, if you choose something you enjoy, you will be able to have a fulfilling career after graduation, not just a dead end job. Once you have selected a degree program, find schools that fit your specific needs. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Thorough research prevents unpleasant surprises later. Once you have narrowed down your list of schools, visit your top choicecs if at all possible. A campus visit is key is choosing a school. It speaks volumes more than stacks of college literature. Visiting a school and looking at it online is like the difference between ordering clothes by mail and actually going to the store to make sure they fit. Do yourself a favor and get real taste of the school before you commit. During your college years, be disciplined and study hard, but also make time for people. A successful and enjoyable college experience comes from being responsible and balanced. Overall, enjoy every day, it goes by very fast!

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I would try to discern whether or not an institution could shape my thought processes as much as I assumed. First, one reason I selected this college was because I assumed that it was a "safe" environment which would help me grow in my faith and religious beliefs. However, I now realize that being in an instutition that challenged and questioned my belief system would ultimately have strengthened my trust in God. In retrospect, I would have advised myself to attend a college that would challenge my convictions and thought processes. Such a place of higher learning would cause me to grow intellectually and provide me with the opportunity to broaden my perspectives. Also, I would have attempted to keep my career goals in mind as I chose a college. I am desirous of becoming a surgeon and would have done well to attend a more competitive university. Thus, I would advise myself to attend a school that has a proven track record of students attending, and succeeding in medical school. In closing, my advice to myself after two and a half years of college would be to attend a school that challenges me academically while facilitating my career goals

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My college education has been full of opportunities for growth, both in the formal learning and in the experience itself. The experience of learning to live with roommates I wouldn’t have picked, learning to adjust to a very different culture of choices and freedom, and learning to discern beliefs for myself when immersed in a variety of worldviews has taught me as much as the required credits could have. Education has been extremely valuable in my life. Not only has college expanded my mind, but it also has taught me how to learn by providing the resources to start. This experience will affect the rest of my life because it has taught me how to continue growing after I walk off the stage with my college diploma. Because of college I have learned perseverance to accomplish a degree, discernment of my personal abilities and limitations, and adaptation to other people and environments. The actual classroom learning has been mind-opening and invigorating, yet I have received so much more than classes and lectures out of my college education. I’m beyond excited to see what future opportunities and challenges this education will bring.

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Dear Alicia, You're almost ready to graduate from high school and will be making an amazing transition to college studies and life. There are few things you should know before you take off. Work hard in everything you do, including studying, planning, writing--even thinking! Spend the time to do every assignment with excellence. College professors are absolutely thrilled when they meet a student with a critical mind, one who learns and is eager to do so. Follow that example. Glean from them as much as possible. They are absolute treasure troves of information and knowledge. Be kind, friendly and open to those around you. Smile even when you don't feel like it. Behave with integrity and sincerity. Even as a freshman, people will be watching you. Be worthy of their attention. Finally, and most importantly, love God. Spend time with Him fervently as you learn to love Him more. He is your strength and renewal. The quality of your relationship with Him is directly to related to your relationship with everything else. He is worthy of your time above all else. Take heart to what I've said. It comes from experience. Love, Alicia

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I would suggest attending a smaller college rather than a bigger University. At a small college, it is easier to make life long friends and interact with people you will see everyday. At a big University, it's possible to never see the same person twice unless your in a class with them. I also suggest a smaller college because the class sizes are fewer and the curriculum is more extensive. Professor's care about their student's success and will gladly help the students with their needs. It is easier to form study groups with those in your class because everyone knows eachother well. The home comfort of a small college helps students have a family atmosphere rather than a number on an admission slip. Finding things on campus is easy and there is always a friendly face to help when it is needed. The curriculum at my school is rigorous and I have to retain the information in order to succeed. I enjoy learning at my college, Clearwater Christian College, because the information I learn sticks with me for life and not just for the tests. I wouldn't trade my small college experience for any bigger University.

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I would tell myself to keep working hard even though those around me will tend to slack off. Oftentimes throughout your college career, you will want to quit or just do the bare minimum - do not do that. Reach your potential and keep working hard. Find out what requirements you need to meet for education, and keep trying to learn all that you can as you go out into the classroom. Be kind to everyone because you do not know who your friends will end up being. Be honest with the friends that you do make, because your true friends will love you the most for the hard things that you told them. Even the people you dislike may need to be loved. Prioritize and plan your time to include friends, family, school, and sleep. Sometimes you will need to say no even though you think something will be fun. The most important thing in your life will always be your relationship with God. The only way to keep that relationship close and vibrant is to read the Word daily. No matter how tired you feel, always strive to wake up and start the day with a conversation with Christ.

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#1 While college is about academics, grades, and interesting classes, equally important is the atmosphere of the college and dorms. One cannot make it through college without supportive friends, teachers who genuinely care that you learn, and a campus that is safe. #2 Even though all you are thinking about right now is the big question of "Where are you going to college?", it is important to think about the rest of your life as well. After your four years at college, you may want to remain nearby because of good friends or job opportunities --could you see yourself living there? When living on your own for the first time and maybe starting a family, will you regret spending so much on a private college? What clubs and activities can you become involved in at the school that will develop friendships and look good on your resume? Don't just think about a good college experience; consider the future. #3 Go for it! If you make the wrong decision you can always transfer. Don't worry. Simply trust God, listen to your familiy's advice, and make your best decision.

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