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Concordia University-Portland

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

Learning is of the greatest value. Embrace it. Grapple with it. Absorb all it has to offer. Do not be afraid to make mistakes; challenge yourself to grow from them and to become better as a result. Learning entails humility, so be willing to be wrong, and when right, help others along the way. Do not be afraid of challenges, but instead, energetically throw yourself into them. Learning is not about passing a test; rather, it is about making the knowledge a part of you so that it shapes you from the inside. Only when this is done will you be able to use the gained knowledge to help change other people's lives for the better positively impacting society. While knowledge is of prime importance, that knowledge cannot be gained without relationships. Value them. Hold on to them. Remember your old friends while being unafraid to reach out to make new ones. Look beyond their outward appearance and learn what makes them. Love them unconditionally, even if they embrace different viewpoints and beliefs. These two things, knowledge and relationships are inextricably bound together. Embrace them, and you will become well-equipped to adopt the life of a college student.

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I would have told myself to, ?Swallow your pride.? Once you step foot on your college campus, no one cares about your achievements in high school. No cared that I was homecoming queen, captain of the basketball team, or member of the National Honor Society. I was plainly viewed as the petite freshman from Hawaii. If I swallowed my pride and allowed myself to be vulnerable and try new adventures, I would have experienced a totally different first semester. If I swallowed my pride and sought tutoring from my professors, my first semester grades would have been golden. If I swallowed my pride and listened to my friends, I would have seen the shooting red flags clouded by my infatuation for that typical freshman boy. If I swallowed my pride and attended all of freshmen orientation, I might have established more new friendships. It is now the second semester of my freshman year. All I can do now is proactively learn from my mistakes and not allow my pride to take captive of me again this semester. In this first month I have sought tutoring from my Chemistry professor and attended various workshops in an effort to meet new people.

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FIRST OF ALL, RESEARCH ABOUT THE SCHOOL. GO TO THEIR WEB SITE, ASK FORMER STUDENTS, CURRENT STUDENTS ABOUT WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT THE SCHOOL AND WHAT THEY DO NOT LIKE. FIND OUT HOW WELL THEY PASS THEIR BOARD EXAMS. FIND OUT IF THEY HAVE AIDS AVAILABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD. FIND OUT HOW STRONG THE TEACHER STUDENT RELATIONSHIP IS. CHOOSE SCHOOL THAT ARE ACADEMICALLY AND CAREER FOCUSED. KNOW THE SIZE OF THE CLASS BECAUSE THE LARGER THE CLASS SIZE THE LEAST ONE TEACHER WILL BE ABLE TO GIVE ONE ON ONE ATTENTION TO EVERY STUDENT. CHOOSE SCHOOL THAT HAVE ALUMNI INVOLVEMENT. THIS WILL CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR CURRENT STUDENTS TO HAVE SECURE NET WORK CONNECTION. CHOOSE SCHOOL THAT HAVE 21ST CENTURY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY. MORE SO, SCHOOL THAT UPHOLDS MORAL STANDARD AND HAVE REWARD FOR OFFENDERS. THIS WILL HELP KEEP CHARACTER IN CHECK AND MAKE ENVIRONMENT SAFER FOR EVERYONE. CHOOSE SCHOOL THAT DO NOT CONDONE CHEATING IN EXAMS. WE NEED GRADUATES TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND THEIR CERTIFICATE AND NOT BE A RISK TO THEMSELVES AND OTHERS IN CLINICAL. SCHOOL THAT HAVE A PASSION TO HELP IN THE COMMUNITY.

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Recent high school graduates can learn finding the right college can be a harrowing experience. To keep up on class work, social life, and family life while realiazing which college is the right fit can be like crossing a river on slippery stones all while balancing several books in arm. It's important to know one's self when crossing this river, including knowing one's likes and dislikes. This was my biggest problem. I had graduated from a small class of fifty students. This made me assume I wanted this out of my college experiece, which made me rule out larger universities. However, I wish I had taken action and found out for sure if I didn't like bigger classes. I could have done this by sitting in a class at a bigger university. If I truly did not like it, then I could have ruled it out, making a more informed decision. Instead, I have learned that too small a university is something I do not enjoy, $20,000 later. Being active can make the decision process less daunting. In so doing, this allows the student more confidence when arriving to the other side of the river.

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Knowledge, this world is continually changing, and with knowledge, one continues to grow and learn with the world. One learns to fine-tune their social skills, they develop and refine studying tools, and lifelong friends are established. College experience has shown me, I am smart and, it showed me I am capable of learning, not just memorizing, but also actually learning things. With the knowledge I have learned, I am more able to reach out and help others, I can teach and demonstrate to my students what they need to learn. Along with the knowledge also comes age and experience, a wisdom you might say. There are many aspects to the value of attending college, as mentioned above college and the courses taken allow someone to grow, if there is no growth, then there is stagnation. When I think of stagnation, I envision this pond with slim, mold, algae, and a horrible stench; I do not want to be like that pond. Continuing my education opens more doors and different avenues for me to travel, should I choose to do so.

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The advice I would give myself would be to not worry about the little things. When your in high school everything seems like the end of the world, but it's not. It's just the beginning, and thats the amazing part. Whatever happens throughout high school eventually doesn't matter. I would tell myself to not be concerned with the judgment of other people, how many friends I have, or how many school dances I get asked to. Because when you get to college, all of those things become irrelevant. High school doesn't define who you are or who you're going too be. Everything that ever happened in high school is forgotten and in the past. I met amazing new people and have created a family at my new home. The great thing about college is you get to find yourself and try anything and everything you want too. It's the most exciting, hardest, scariest, and best rollercoaster I have ever been on. The last piece of advice would to myself would be to live in the moment and know that there are great things on the path ahead.

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When I first got into college I was so scared that people woulden't like me that I hid out in my room for the first week. I would tell myself that when you put yourself out there to be known you gain courage to face anything scary that comes your way. I would have signed up to be in Traditional housing to guarentee that I would be forced to meet others. It was nice having a sink and bathroom to myself but it sucked that I had to work twice as hard to meet others around me. The amount of people and friends I made was such a shock my next year when I lived in traditional housing. I ran into people everywhere I went and made amazing friendships by being forced to see them everyday in the bathroom. I really didn't have to go out of my way to try to meet people. My junior year I am again in traditional housing and I have bonded with everyone of my dormmates. Its like having 30 of your closest friends living with you. I only wished I could have walked into college living in that style of housing.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would stress starting college passionate for your degree and being prepared to give as much dedication as possible. I had too many distractions during my first couple years in college. I volunteered a lot, worked, lived at home with family, and a couple years later was engaged and planned a wedding within a 10 month span, which took an excess amount of time from my studies. I would also tell myself to quit procrastinating and get steady in that. I would strongly encourage myself to maintain a strong connection to my support systems; christianity (God), family, church and a few close friends. Also, to continue volunteering at church but not too many hours a week so you don't get burned out and want to just quit everything on you plate. Another bit of advice would be to not expect perfection from yourself for all facets of life and not doubt what feels right inside, but press on with the passion for the goodwill in your heart.

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A number of high school seniors put off the selection process and then, with a deadline approaching, pick the first opportune college they find. This, however common it appears, is NOT IDEAL! To best find a college that suits your needs I suggest visiting and touring many campuses and learning as much as you can about each one before making a decision. Start the process early. Even if you know you will not be attending a college or university, it is beneficial to check it out simply to afterwards be able to identify what aspects you liked and disliked in order to help you better know what you are looking for in a university. I guarantee you if you visit just one college it will look like the right one, no matter what, because it will be all you know. Once you start touring though, it may become a more difficult decision. But I can almost guarantee there will be one that will stick out above the rest as the place you want to spend some of the most crucial and best years of your life.

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One of the greatest values of attending my school is the free counseling service they offer. Within a few months of each other, my best friend was killed, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I got laid off from my job and ended up loosing my apartment. I tried as hard as I could to hold everything together, but with the added stress of transferring to a new school, I needed help sorting through everything that had been going on in my life. I called my schools counseling department and they set me up with an appointment right away. I saw my counselor for a term and was able to slowly work through the events that had seemed to paralyze me before. The free counseling I received help me have a clearer mind, be able to focus more on my studies and safely go through the grieving process of having to lose someone so dear to my heart. I would not have had the resources to get the help I needed if it wasn’t for Concordia.

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