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Clemson University

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

The "right" college for new students should be one that reflects the personality and priorities of the student. Students who are very academically driven or planning on entering competitive fields, should apply to larger, more competive schools which typically have a more difficult curriculum, better opportunities and more exposure to differing viewpoints and opinions. On the other hand, students who are more relationship orientated, more shy or who want the close-knit community feeling should attend smaller schools where the atmosphere is more personal and welcoming. Attending a smaller college does not necessarily constitute a lesser education. Whether a student attends a small or large school, the best way to make the most of a college experience is to get connected. It does not truly matter what you get connected in whether it's an anime group, a religious group or a sports team; the important part is creating that connection. College kids are social creatures; we thrive in groups. Surrounding oneself with a solid group of friends helps ease the transition from high school to college and can also provide academic support. New students should try new things, friends can come from many places, not just classes or church.

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High school leaves us with a painfully small worldview that desperately needs to be expanded or we are destined to live out the arrogant, American stereotype. College years are typically marked by personal growth, so take advantage of this natural expansion in worldview. First, establish a set of morals/values with which to govern your life (these could be dictated by a religion or personal standards) and then embark on a journey to gain new experiences. Hold fast to your principles, but don’t evaluate these new occurrences based on your personal values. Rather, step outside of yourself and appreciate all culture for what it is rather than what you think it should be. Travel to become culturally savvy. Achieve fluency in another language to better express yourself. Question everything to fight intellectual complacency. Take care of yourself by eating properly, exercising often, and napping when you are tired. Most importantly, take time to talk with and invest in other people; each individual you encounter has a wealth of unique life experiences from which you can expand your worldview. Only by truly experiencing other cultures is it possible to gain a better understanding, and ultimately an appreciation, for our own.

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The opportunities to refine ones work ethic and develop true independence are few. College provides possibly the best chance to do these things simultaneously and to use them in all areas of life. Dedicating energy and time are essential to any success in almost any pursuit. The practice of this is used repeatedly in college to meet or exceed the standards set for assignments, tests, and ultimately attaining a degree. This undoubtedly refines the work ethic of an individual and allows for easier transitions into real world jobs that require a great deal of time and energy to sufficiently complete tasks. College provides great transitioning from dependence to true independence. College requires an individual to be self motivated in order to take advantage of all that college has to offer. Self motivation is possible once a person develops resolve to complete a task without any external support or to be able to independently find resources necessary to complete a task. These are skills that will help a person in lifelong tasks. College has allowed my work ethic to be transformed into something that increases my value in any workplace and forced me to become more independent for the better.

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College isn't just about coursework, it is about learning how to think. Currently, there is no shortage of graduates with degrees and fantastic grades-- but creative thinking is what sets apart those who want to make a difference from those who want to make a paycheck. The individuals who make lasting change are those who have cultivated the ability to use and combine lessons learned in other fields to synthesize a novel approach that may be unusual, and possibly risky, but just the kind of solution that would solve problems baffled by 'common sense.' I've had a tumultuous academic career until now, and I've learned the value of setting aside my pride and learning from other people of various disciplines and applying their wealth of knowledge to my own efforts. The rigid procedures and experimentation of the sciences and the unfettered freedom of the arts both challenge individuals to fight their preconceptions and explore alternatives. College is the place to experiment with different approaches and embrace the unexpected. Education isn't a one-way street ending with a college degree, it is a winding dirt road that leads as far as one is willing to take it.

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Attending Clemson was one of the greatest periods in my life. Not only did I get a valuable degree, I gained lifelong friends and priceless experiences. Being accepted to one of the top public universitites in the country was a dream come true and it lived up to my every expectation. I was challenged academically; the teachers at Clemson are passionate and expect the same passion from their students. Clemson provides learning opporunities outside the classroom with school-sponsored trips, study abroad, and guest lecturers. The opportunity to spend a semester in Spain changed my life in countless ways and taught me the value of learning from my peers and environment. My peers became invaluable friends who accompanied me to all the sporting events, concerts, etc. that Clemson has to offer. "The Clemson Family" is something that is mentioned from your first day on campus and in the subsequent years you truly learn what that means. Just by walking around campus you can feel the pride that every student has in their University, their home. I have since moved on to start my career, but not a day goes by that I don't think about Clemson University, my home.

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The best advice I can give parents and students about finding the right college for them, is to really sit down and put together a list of what makes the student happy. This list should include everything from the importance of sports to art, as well as what they simply enjoy doing in their free time. After creating a list that includes what the students likes/dislikes are, another list of the students interests in careers and/or majors should be considered. I personally don't suggest choosing a school that does not have numerous options available as far as majors go. This is because many people I know, myself included, changed their major at least once between the time they entered school and graduated. I truly believe that until a student is on their own they don't really discover everything about themselves as a person. An enormous amount of growing and learning takes place throughout college, and it's important to remember this while picking a school. A student needs a school that not only caters to their career goals, but their personality and interests as well. After all, a happy student will be the most successful student.

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College will teach you more than just business, it will give you a sense of direction. Don't let the uncertainties of life distract your studies, work hard and God will direct you toward a purpose. Although your performance in high school proved your inteligence and dilgent work ethic to be sucessful, you must work even harder in college. Don't get discouraged by the academic challenge it is doable! Learn how to manage your time, accept the challenge even if you dont succed the first try. Understand the sacrifices you make will be worth it in the end, don't participate in activites that can worsen your SVT. Your college degree isn't as far as your think, soon you will be able to do God's work through bettering the corrupt healthcare systems, and giving children like you affordable medical care that you were never able to recieve. The academic transitions will be more difficult, your well rounded personality will transition beautifully but academically Clemson is more demanding, and it is your responsibilty to step up. Try your best even when you feel you dont know what your working towards, all the hard work will show you direction.

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Knowing what I know about college life and making the transition, I would give myself the advice to take more Advanced Placement and dual college credit courses. I would let myself know that challenging myself before college would give me a great advantage in the college classroom, and I would challenge myself to study and research topics applicable to my future major. I would make sure that I saved money every month, make a budget, and ensure that I apply for as many scholarships as I possibly could. With the academic and social obligations, I won't have much time to employ myself in the work field as much as I did while in high school. I would give myself the advice of remembering to build stronger bonds with family and close friends, and I would make sure to push them to excel beyond societal expectations. I would also research all possible extracurricular activities at the institution of my top choices, and I would plan ahead and decide which organizations I would join. Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, as a high school senior I would advise myself to take advantage of every opportunity.

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Lights! Camera! Action! Life is a personal movie. However, life cannot be rewound or fast-forwarded. It cannot be paused, stopped, or ejected. Instead, life is a movie of different aspects and encompasses numerous people, perspectives, and phenomenon. The running time may feel endless while at other times the picture goes by too fast. The director of the movie is YOU. You determine whether the movie tops the charts or fizzles at the box offices. It is up to you to direct a movie worth watching by going at life with gumption, sensibility, and purpose. It is important to take the initiative and work with an aggressiveness to do your best. Don?t let life pass you by. Let your inner spunk and spontaneity shine through so you can experience the amazing opportunities that arise. Take risks in life with common sense and determination, and go at it with all the vim and vigor you can gather up. Find your passion and go for it. As a result, the presentation will come together and be a definite success. Life can be a box office smash hit and to think it will all be written, produced, directed, and lived by you.

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The hardest and most important thing about choosing the right school and major is figuring out what you want to do. For most people this does not come easy, and it may require exploring several different options, majors, and sometimes schools to figure out what exactly you want to do with your life. It is not vital that you find out what you want to do immediately; however, doing something that you do not enjoy just because you are unsure of what you want is a waste of your time. It is important that you realize that the college experience is not solely about the academic education you receive. Your education is very important, but it is only a small part of your overall college experience. The college experience is more about developing as an individual, and improving yourself in many aspects of life. It is a time to grow socially as well as intellectually, and it is a time to expand your horizons. It is a time to mature and embrace the responsibilities of being an independent adult. My advice is to find a school that you love and one that will help you accomplish the things mentioned above.

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