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Colorado State University-Pueblo

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

My campus experience is a collage of vivid encounters produced by belonging to an elite campus leadership program, opening a new campus organization and in employment by the university as an Orientation Leader. The President's Leadership Program is an academic leadership program sponsored by Colorado State University-Pueblo. They believe I can be a transformational leader who will serve Colorado and the community I live and work in. We join with local and state leaders in Colorado to resolve social issues. My class and I were so moved by the need of children living on the streets in our community, we made it our PLP junior class project about raising awareness of homeless youth in Pueblo. Just as an artist has many color selections to fill in their picture, the diversity of people I have met in college color my life. I have taken the opportunity to start a campus organization. Working with numerous resources of the Student Activities Office offered through the campus has helped me gather a group of multicultural and international friends bringing a fresh perspective on how beautiful different cultures are. Friendships I have found here have forever left a lasting impression on my heart.

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I am returning to school to earn my teaching certificate because I have realized that the field of education is where my passion truly lies. I have already received a Bachelor's from Ithaca College in Sociology which I have used in my work with an environmental lobbying organization as well as an educational reform non-profit. However, I caught the classroom teaching bug and I couldn't seem to shake it, so I returned to school last fall at the University of Rhode Island to pursue my degree in Secondary Education, History and Social Studies. However, I found URI woefully disappointing and started looking elsewhere. What CSU Pueblo does well is that they offer choices to students who are going through transitions. Their Degree Plus program was perfect for me, allowing me to earn only the credits I needed for teacher certification without going through the hassle of a lengthy second Bachelor's Degree. I am grateful as well for the friendly and helpful staff employed here, including my advisor who walked me through signing up for classes and laid out my requirements in very plain terms. I look forward to my future experiences here at CSU.

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Prepare for college by first applying for scholarships and government-supplied financial aid, as this step - though tedious at times - will remove monetary stress and allow for more time to enjoy classes and learning (take student loans as a last resort). Buy and sell textbooks online to save money while helping other students in your same situation (schools like to sell high and buy low, a negative impact on students). Above all, apply to as many colleges as you can; don't feel restricted by state boundaries, because college is about experiencing new things and seeing new places. If moving to a new state for a college seems like a challenge (or staying in your current state while family moves to a new one), know that schools are willing to work with you and on-campus living is usually quite affordable. Be sure to follow your dreams and do everything in your power to attain your goals; don?t let circumstance make your choices for you. Your main priority as a college student should be to improve the world and enhance the lives of others by your efforts - be confident in asking for assistance and laugh off the little worries.

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I enjoy the idea of advancing my lifestyle with the use of my education, none of my parents have recieved a four year college education. I am very greatful that God has given me the oppertunity to eccelerate in school and show my potiential to succeed. College is a learning experience that goes beyond just the books, but allows students to have the oppertunity to get a stability in order to achieve asperations in life and promote a competitive drive. I believe a college education separtes the future avaibility of a good and decent finacially stable lifestyle with a struggling lifesyle, especially with the American economy. Being that I am African-American, I must consider the fact the I will be judge negitively because of the stigmas of my ethnic soiological influnces, so it is critical that I persue my education so that I am not apart of the negitive statistics but an exception. In America the college experiece is a gift and a honorable achievment, I am highly blessed to experiece all the pro's and con's of college, and with that I will encourage everyone, especially African Americans to attend college and graduate.

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The truth about college is that it is NOTHING like it is portrayed to be when a student is in high school. The college experience is a grenade that destroys everything a student believes about life, the world and themselves. In my experience at CSU-Pueblo, I have discovered a portion of the complications of life, like the importance of money, cultural tolerance and dealing with death. There have been many situations that have expanded my knowledge and continue to drive me to succeed, such as a study abroad trip to Italy, Greece and Turkey. Most importantly, through the relationships and experiences that have been introduced to me at the university, I have found a new me. When leaving high school, there was a real anxiety associated with my identity and who I wanted to be. With the help of my friends and my higher power, I have successfully found the person in me that I like being... that I am proud being. There is nothing more valuable than understanding yourself and knowing what the purpose of your life is, and I believe that college has unlocked and will continue to help me unlock the mysteries of myself.

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The choice to go to college is the smartest idea one can make for their future, however the college experience can either make or break the desire to finish with a much needed degree. There are literally thousands of stresses that batter the mind of a high school senior about where to continue their education, how they are going to pay for it, will they meet new friends, are classes hard and of course will I be prepared to be successful in the world ahead. To prepare for college the financial situation (how is school going to be paid for) should be addressed first and foremost. Lots of stress can occur when a student finds themself needing a certain book, not having money for food or activities with friends, needing certain lab equipment or even worrying about the final bill at the end of each semester. Making sure your financial needs will be met with either financial aid or the availability of a job should be the main focus. I soley believe anyone can be successful with a degree from any college/university, I just don't want to be paying for it the first few years of my career.

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For students, figure out what you want to do before you go to college. Plans may change, but this will help you find a college that isn't based on aesthetics. Don't go to colleges because you're liberal, conservative or because you want to become either. Consider your interests and how the campus can satisfy your needs. Some institutions provide opportunities that give you a sense of fulfillment as well as something to put on a resume, and those institutions may not be nationally recognized. Make sure your decision is made with two things in mind: your comfort future. Finding the right college can be easy if you don't consider reputation. For parents, don't support any particular college before your son or daughter decides. Your opinion can sway your child to choose to attend a school that may not fit him or her. Allow your child to decide where to go before you put in your opinion to assure that your student's decision is solely their own. It may or may not be your money going towards the education, but there can be a middle ground between your expectations and the student's personal aspirations.

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Traveling back in time would be amazing, because the choices we make in highschool seem to reflect our choices as college students. Being a college student, I often reflect on my senior year of high school and wonder what I could do differently. Attending three different high schools did help me to transition. However nothing could?ve prepared me for the new experiences of being a college student. Going back to senior year, I?d tell myself that I shouldn?t worry as much about the people and fitting in. I would state that our parents were right when they said no one cares how cool or popular you are in high school, but everyone likes you for what you do and the personality you show to others. High school is great, and I know I?d say to enjoy every minute, but college is just a new experience knocking at your door. One of the biggest facts of life I?d like to tell myself is too never procrastinate. Not on scholarships or school work, because those things will be the biggest stress factors on your life and if you continue it, than your future will be very grim.

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College experience to me has been the absolute best, especially since I moved to Texas last year in my senior year of High School. Last year, because of the move, I was very depressed, moody, and hated to go to my new school. My grades dropped, my parents were concerned with my behavior, and making new friends was a difficult task. I was literally in a dark deep hole, one where I did not want to ever come out of. I missed my life back at my home state of New York, missed my wonderful friends, and felt hatred towards my parents for forcing me to move here. College gave me a chance to have a brand new start in school life, one where I was very happy, upbeat, and excited to start a new learning year. Since the start of college, I have yet again regained my love for knowledge, met some very cool people, and found my career goal in life. I also have done many new and excited things in college, like singing on stage in front of hundreds for a charity event, a very scary and thrilling experience. In a nutshell, college helped me be myself.

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I received the education, skills, and development of personal qualities that allowed me to succeed from a post secondary institute. College allowed me to grow from a cook making minimum wage to a career path set in the information technology industry. I have become a well rounded individual and gained several qualities such as: communication, teamwork, integrity, diligence, and respect. I truly believe that my college experience has shaped my life and set me on a course that I would not have achieved otherwise. The social interaction has allowed me to form new lifetime friendships who I have kept in touch with since graduation. This type of networking also landed me my first job. College allowed me to pursue a career that I have contemplated since I was a child and opened unbelievable opportunities. I became a teenage father at the age of 19. College allowed me to earn a job that enables me to take care of my family. I am extremely grateful for the education I have received and only wish to continue my academic career.

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