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Clemson University

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

As a college senior I only went to school 3 classes and then worked the rest of the day. If I could give myself advice I would say, take all 7 classes and get involved with the things at school, that will keep you out of the trouble you are going to get in at home. Stay away from that boy you think you are "in love with" because he is bad news. I would tell myself everything. I would say " hey Gretchen, he is going to get you pregnant and leave you." Oh well, if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have a wonderful 13 year old son and had the opportunity to learn some of the greatest lessons I have learned. I wouldn't change one minute of the life I have, I just wish I would have waited a few years to start it and done college first. I probably wouldn't be struggling so hard to pay for it if I would have been able to go right after high school.

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Rebecca, This is your future self. I just recieved my Associates degree of Liberal Arts from JCCC. I am now in the process of transitioning to Pitt StateUniversity to major in Music Education. There are a few things that I should tell you about college and what you should be doing right now. You need to be filling out scholarships or you will have to take out a lot of loans when you go to Pitt. I know that you do not want to fill out scholarship applications or job applications, but you need to so you can have plenty of money. Go ahead and go to JCCC for your first 2 years; but in your last semester there do not take World Regional Geography, you will not like it and you do not need that class for any of your degrees. Finally do not be shy, make friends and be part of Intervarsity at JCCC, have fun and work hard for good grades. Love, Rebecca

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I would tell myself to know my boundaries and limitations. I grew up in a rough neighborhood in downtown Kansas City and thought I could handle anything a southern college could throw at me. It would have been an easier transition if I would have know how easy it is to get yourself into trouble and how hard it is to get out. That, and to never be afraid to meet new people, because everyone here is in the same boat initially. They are all looking to meet friends and are just as scared as you. I also wouldve told myself to do more homework, because it actually counts in college. I would tell myself to learn to cook, to wash clothes properly, and to dress more nicely than tshirts and basketball shorts. I would tell myself to get in the good graces of the teachers early on, so they will see your dedication and be more apt to help you later on.

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Clemson has gone above and beyond my expectations in a higher learning institute. Not only has it provided me with unique and challenging acedemics, but it has also created a place of comfort that makes me feel "at home". I am more than satisfied with the diverse classes that are offered, and class sizes are very fitting. The work is demanding, but this has pushed me to try even harder in order to take full advantage of this opportunity. Attending Clemson has not only increased my knowledge in the academic spectrum, but I have learned how to cooperate with and be mindful of people from varying ethnic backgrounds, which is extremely important in today's world where globalizationplays a major role. I feel more than prepared to compete in our global society because of the unique skills I have learned at Clemson University.

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The biggest piece of advice that I would give to anyone partaking in the college search is to not rush it. Take your time and find the college that is going to fit you best. Just because you have been a fan of a specific school since you were young does not mean this school is right for you. Search near and far, and find the school that will challenge you academically while providing what you need socially. Look at every statistic you can find, from the drop out rate to the average GPA of students. This is a huge investment, and therefore you must treat it as such. You wouldn't rush into an investment in the stock market that you hadn't researched thoroughly, and the same must be applied here. Look for the school that will give you the most you need for an affordable price. At the same time, however, have fun with it!

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The most important thing about getting the most out of college experience is going to a college that has a good balance of academics and social activities. You want to go to a school that is academically prestigious and has good programs for your interest of study because after all, you're going there to prepare for your future career. However, you don't want to consume your life with work, and the same goes for college. You do not want to make studying and academics something you do every second while you are at college. Students need time to relax, unwind, and have time for themselves. Unfortunately money is also a large factor. It can be very difficult to pay for college, so it is important to apply for scholarships and financial aid because the potential for a good education should not be hindered by money.

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The best advice that I can give anyone that is planning to attend / sending their child to college is to make sure that you are picking the college that you feel most comfortable. Go and visit many different colleges so that you will experience a little bit of life on a college campus. I was a little concerned with the overall college process, but once I visited Clemson University, I could tell that it was going to be my next home. If you feel comfortable in an environment, you will be more comfortable with the people, places and activites that that environment has to offer. You will be confident on the first day and more willing to branch out of certain comfort zomes and meet interesting people. I am glad that I visited Clemson and confirmed that I was making the first and best decision of my college career.

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Coming to a place like Berkeley, you learn so much more than knowledge that one can achieve through reading a mere book, I have seen the many facets of diversity that our society holds, from the variety cultues we have to the various types of individuals you can come across. After a year and a half, I feel as if I have grown up more than my entire life prior to college combined. As you grow up, you see things that you don't see as a child, and good versus evil becomes solifidied and your naive eyes fade away. At Cal I have be taught by world reknown professors and I have a limitless future ahead of me after college because of my experience here, and I see that. My knowledge is beyond that of words written on paper, and I know that going to a place like Berkeley, has wholeheartedly contributed to that factor.

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If you have a specific field of intrest or intended major in mind make sure to research it well. There are a lot of colleges out there that have outstanding programs in majors you wouldn't expect and it is easy to miss a great oppurtunity. Use accrediting sources to find programs your looking for and make sure to take a campus tour. Most students, especially freshman, will be living on campus for a least a couple of years and getting a good look at the campus and area around it is essential to knowing if the college or university is going to the right place for you. Guided tours are great but usually they are limited and only show one side or particular buildings on campus. Make sure to take time to wonder around on your own time and path, finding places where people are living their everyday campus life.

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First of all, do your research!! This is the easiest way to go about making a decision that will be a huge impact on you. Also, I would do a tour of the campus and ask some of the students you see any questions you may have. Feel free to ask them about anything from on-campus housing to the party scene-they're all things that will affect you. I would not ask the tour guide because oftentimes they do not give truthful answers, just the "right" ones. Also, if at all possible, try to talk to someone in the department that you are interested in to get an insider's opinion. Overall, the biggest advice that I can give is to thoroughly ressearch your choices. It is the only way that you will be informed and able to make a smart decision about where you are going to spend the next 4 (or more) years.

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