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Clemson University

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

The summer after high school graduation I would often find myself crying and dreading the fact that I had to go off to school in a few months. Looking back, I think it is so silly that I was so afraid. College has truly been the best experience of my life, and I've only been there for one year! I wish I could have told myself to look forward to a new beginning and to embrace the experience with open arms. I would have encouraged myself to get excited about going to school, to pick out cool things for my dorm room instead of just the essentials, to enjoy the first few weeks of class--because they are the easiest, and to not hold back. I wish I was not so withdrawn and shy. I would advise myself to always carry an umbrella in my backpack, go to the bagel shop for breakfast, and study on the second floor of the library. I would also tell myself to join more clubs and participate in more activities on campus instead of stressing about schoolwork. Finally, wake up bright and early on football Saturdays and get ready for a long day!

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Everyone says that college is a big change and that it is the best years of your life. Both of these are absolutely true. However, without successfully adapting to such a drastic change, your years will not be as flourishing. College is all about balance. My first week at school, I was overwhelmed with the amount of clubs and groups I could join, and joined as many as I possibly could, and then got so stressed that I ended up quitting them all. There is always something else to add to your plate, but pick what is really important to you and even at first when it is hard to balance it all, stick with it and it will get easier. I had people tell me that academics is only a small priority in college, and that getting out and "learning what real life is " and "having fun" where just as important. Although I am all for making great friends and having fun, school should be your number one priority. If you want to party everynight, that is your choice, but figure out a way to get all of your work done completely and be prepared.

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I knew Clemson was the place for me, not only because I'm a legacy to the university, but because I felt a connection when I came to visit. Being from out of state, I didn't know any people going to the school, but I still knew it was the right place. The defining moment not only came in tailgating at the football games since I was three years old, but when I came to visit without my family. I had taken the official tour, I had been to the games, and I had heard all the wonderful memories my family members had made here, but I hadn't yet seen the real Clemson for myself. I stayed the night with a family friend when as a sophomore in high school, and I cannot stress enough the importance of that weekend in my college search. Staying overnight in the dorm and being around town, getting the night-time atmosphere, even without the excitement of the football games, and also attending a class of interest was the best thing I did. Clemson had always been a football team that I loved; but after that weekend, it became a true goal.

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I am the youngest of four in my family and I am the first to attend College. Being a Latina makes it sometimes complicated to over grow family roots and traditions. In my family most women are married and are stay at home mothers but not me. As a College student at HCC I have grown both intelectually and personaly. I have lived experieces that has help me understand my want to become a Elementary Teacher. My believe is that the practice of learning habits begins at an early age and I want to be able to teach children the skills they need to know. My goal is to become an educator to pursue a career and not just a job I truly believe that with high perseverance I will be able to meet my merit. Making the decision to attend college was at first questionable thinking how am i going to attend. I dont have the sufficent money what can I do? Having the benefit in working in a high school gave me the chance to meet with college representatives. Reading my budget HCC was a fit and I registered taking the chance of my lifetime.

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My high school senior self thought I knew it all. I thought I was invincible. I expected to go to USC, join a sorority, and balance studying and partying, but I was rudely awakened. A male student who I was fairly acquainted with started threatening me and saying strange things to me. It ended with him threatening to kill me and my family. He was arrested for stalking and trespassing. I transferred to Clemson for the spring semester. If I could go back to my high school self before this incident, I would tell myself that I am not invincible. I would tell myself that not everyone out there is going to like you. But I would also tell myself to keep going. I would tell myself to be open to new ideas and new people, because there is so much more to college than getting into the sorority you want or graduating with that perfect GPA. I would tell myself to find friends that help you grow on both a personal and intellectual level. I would tell myself to make the best of these years, and to never give up. Only you can control your fate.

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Dear Mackenzie, Welcome to your senior year of High School! Try to enjoy this last year at home as much as possible. Play frisbee, hang out with friends, and don't take yourself too seriously. But also, don't forget to apply to A LOT of scholarships. As time-consuming as they may be, you'll regret not spending the time. You won't receive every award you apply for, but don't give up. Now, when you're applying for college, apply for MORE THAN ONE. Apply to those schools that everyone dreams of attending, even if you don't think you'll be accepted. I mean, at least apply to Harvard! If you don't, you'll wonder the rest of your college career whether you could have attended one of the greats. Also, DO NOT study architecture. You won't like it. Study History and Global Politics and English and French and Italian. And remember to join those service-oriented clubs you've always meant to join. FInally, don't forget about your family. They're the best you've got and they'll be there in the rough spots. Best of Luck, Your Future Self.

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There are two types of colleges you will encounter, Diana-- liberal arts colleges and public universities. The two can be compared to a diner and a downtown restaurant area. Since you chose Clemson, you chose a downtown restaurant area. With diners, you have all the choices given to you and you can make decisions at a leisure pace whereas with downtown restaurant areas, you must find the place you want to eat and go after the choices on your own. I want you to say yes and go on a whim at times even if you have that doubt creeping in the back of your mind. After all, if you don't move out of your comfort zone and shell, how do you expect to grow as an individual? Of the utmost importance, release all resentment and bitterness because that will hold you back. If you were to think over every mistake and play out the what if scenarios, you will regress into a cycle of loathing and emptiness. Go after what your gut tells you and seek help when you need it. One final lesson you should keep in mind is that you are here for yourself.

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If I could go back in time and re-live my last year in high school as a senior, I would change several things. I have been running track for about 4 years now, and as a senior in high school I was banking on receiving a track scholarship to pay for my college education. However, my senior year of high school that plan fell through when I injured my knee and had to stop running and get physical therapy for three months. I went through the whole summer devestated and not taking any initiative to find other alternatives for my education. I knew that going to a college out of state was going to be hard for my family and I because my parents would be trying to put three children through college at the same time. However, once I visited Clemson my mind could not be changed. I made the mistake of not trying to find other scholarships besides the track scholarship to pay for my education. Now I know, you can't always rely on one thing to take care of everything because it may not work. It is always good to have a back-up plan.

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Visit the school and interact with students and faculty. You'll be surprised at the little things you notice such as academic advisors always remembering your name. A school really needs to fit your personality. People adjust to things in different ways. Some like small colleges while others may prefer big. There is no way to truly determine the value of an education based solely on its academic prestige unless you take into consideration your college experience as a whole. Your college years will be some of the best times of your life and you will make friendships that will last forever. Take advantage of all the opportunities that you can because soon you will be in the workforce and won't have them chances. Travel and see as much of the world as possible. I will never forget my college experience and I owe it all to Clemson University. Everything from academics, athletics, to social life was a perfect fit for me so make sure you choose the right school for you. These years were honestly the best days of my life!

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Going back to my senior year in high school, there are a few words of advice I would give myself regarding making the college choice that would best fit my personality, goals, and academic desires. When making the college decision, it is crucial to tour the colleges or universities that you are considering attending. Touring each campus allows you to not only see the physical and landscape settings, understand the historical significance, or meet professors and academic advisors, but it allows you to feel a sense of student life. In my opinion, student life is one of my most important aspects of your college experience that changes how you live your life and learn your studies throughout your years in college. If you truly take all of these pieces into consideration when deciding what is the right choice of a college life for you, then you will make the best choice that will help make your college experience enjoyable and exciting, full of learning new things, and leave yourself feeling happy while you do it.

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