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Drexel University

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

My advice to parents and students would be to be pragmatic and do your research. Find an institution with a culture that matches your personality. For example, if you are a very free spirited individual should you choose a school that is conservative? Additionally, look for a college that will meet your financial and academic needs and challenge you to grow via a diverse network of students and faculty. Attend open houses, tour the campus, and reach out to current students and alumni for an objective perspective about the school. It is also important to make the most of your college experience. Get involved on campus! Statistics show that students who get involved are more likely to be satisfied with their collegiate experience and are more likely to complete their tenure. College should provide a comprehensive learning experience. Learning shouldn't end when classes adjourn. Nor should school be all work and no fun. Thus, actively explore the extracurricular and professional opportunities your school offers from student organizations to internships to networking opportunities. Engaging in these activities makes you more attractive to prospective employers who are interested in more than your GPA. In short, choose wisely and maximize the oporrtunity.

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Students should begin the process of choosing where they would like to go to college as early as possible, preferably in their junior year of high school. The first step should be to determine what it is they want to study, and then research which schools offer the best programs for their desired major. Then, many other factors should be researched and evaluated such as: location, cost, program, ranking, extracurricular activities, reputation, degrees offered, size, campus resources, financial aid, etc. In order to get a feel for the college and the educational environment, students should visit the campus, take a tour, attend a class, talk to students and teachers, eat in the cafeteria, and spend a night in a dorm, if possible. In making the most out of the college experience, students should get involved with different clubs or extracurricular activities within the school, and take advantage of the facilities the school has to offer such as computer labs, libraries, sports, and the student union. College is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience. It should be realized that although this includes significant work, challenges, and occasional frustration, it could also include priceless memories, experiences, and lifetime friendships.

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Going back in time, I would advise myself to first thoroughly explore the different career paths and corresponding majors needed to pursue them. According to Boderzine, 80% of college students change their majors 3 times which can be a waste of time and money. I believe students are not well informed before entering college as to what career/major they should choose. Deciphering this early on benefits students, for they have more direction towards what college will best suit their intended goal. In addition, I would encourage myself to go on as many college visits/tours and take time to speak with students already in the college, for they provide the most honest details and tips that are often neglected by the tour guide. Lastly, I would strongly suggest fully becoming aware of all the resources the college provides, and take an initiative towards utilizing them. These resources include advisors, career development centers, co-op programs, extracurricular activities, workshops, and more, which ultimately help students mold themselves for the real world and become excellent candidates for jobs/graduate programs. Therefore, college provides students with numerous opportunities; however it is up to the students to make the most of it.

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I advise students and their parents to have a solid plan in regards to attending college. There are many aspects of college life that get overlooked such as financials, housing, and social life. Often times, tuition and/or housing costs increase or a student may lose a grant or scholarship due to slipping grades. It is difficult for students to stay focused on academics if they're worrying about how they're going to pay for school, or even having to get a job to make it through the school-year. Students and their parents should be involved with looking ahead to housing situations. Sometimes schools don't have housing for upper classmen which leaves them to find an off-campus apartment that may be in a dangerous neighborhood, inconvenient location, and costly. Lastly, students and parents should consider what type of social scene they would like to experience at a school. Sometimes students feel uncomfortable at a school that is high in school spirit, or may feel left out at schools where partying and drinking are evident. Some feel like they are not getting a full college experience by attending a school that has few extracurricular activities and organizations.

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First, I would encourage myself to apply for college immediately after high school. Because, I didn't have much encouragement at home, I never applied myself and am now back in school to complete my education. Achieving a college education is an amazing way to grow, to learn and to secure a brighter and more stable future. High school graduates enter the world with the opinion of of life just beginning which is correct! Indeed, I would have advised myself to take that idea and use it to fuel my ambition in becoming something great. The transition from high school to college is an amazing transformaiton that enables a student to grow and be exposed to many resources that repeatedly encourage positive thinking. For an example, getting involved with student organizations, attending sports games to support school spirit, creating study groups that hopefully result in new friendships and using all the resources that a college/university has to offer. This will ensure a promising future in any path a student chooses. In short, I would say STAY IN SCHOOL and continue growing and learning to provide yourself a bright future that will bring all your dreams and desires to fruition.

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?I don?t understand why I continue to fail these tests! I study so hard.? I repeated this thought many times during my college freshman year. Within a year, I realized I was not ?studying,? I was ?memorizing? my course materials. Had I never learned meaningful study and research skills as a high school student? No. Rather, the educators did not truly teach these skills. If I could return to my high school years, I would advise myself, and others, to develop these meaningful skills. Stephen Covey introduced ?The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.? One of those habits is to ?begin with the end in mind.? One should create a mental plan before implementing the plan; the plan in high school should be developed around success during college as opposed to success at getting into college. The ?end? in the minds of my high school teachers was ensuring that we graduated with ?winning? grade point averages and SAT scores, thereby gaining acceptance into college. My final advice would be to challenge teachers by asking them to teach study skills that they practiced in college; ask them what skills made them successful college students. Then, plan accordingly!

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High School Graduation, a relief, a sense of completion and accomplishment. Yeah, its over. Receiving that diploma is anything but the end. It marks a new beginning. College, the next step with so many decision to make, is the next adventure! My advice would be- 1) live on campus. This will allow you to become more independent and learn how to make decisions on your own. Stay in a dorm the first year and room with someone you don't know. Getting to know others from different places is a wonderful learning experience in itself. Two, don't get discouraged if you change your major. Although its best to try to finish in four years, most people don't. Relax, don't ask yourself "what will I do for the rest of my life". Life has many paths, take advantage of every opportunity and you will fall into your destiny. Third, take advantage of the college resources. All colleges offer help with medical issues, academic descisions, finances, tutoring and general counseling. Lastly, have some fun, by participating in school activites. They have something for everyone or you can create an organization that interest you. Go, become smarter than your parents.

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You can attend a prestigious school, maintain a 4.00 GPA, be the president of your honors fraternity and have excellent recommendations for when the time comes to move on to graduate school or your career. But, think to yourself: would these achievements have a deeper meaning to you other than what they stand for on paper? The college experience is about finding yourself. Trying a variety of things outside your major and interests and talking to different types of people is what truly contributes to your knowledge. Yes, doing well in school is important and shows you are committed to learning and facing challenges. But, well-rounded people are the ones who will succeed when put in any situation than those whose minds are set on one goal. Anything that happens, getting that C in Architecture 101 which wasn?t even required for your major or realizing that joining the American Marketing Association chapter at your school is not what interests you, happens for a reason and teaches you something about yourself. Ask yourself what you want out of your education, how it can make you satisfied and let you make a difference in the world?then choose.

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As a high school senior I would definitely emphasize how important applying for scholarships are. Even one scholarships can make a difference between going to school and not going to school. I would utilize my teachers to assist me with letters of recommendation and college essays for competitions. This biggest piece of advice for myself personally would be that grades matter and you can never quit working hard; hard work paysoff. Those excellent grades will have help me get into and pay for school instead of being in debt now. I would study every night in high school and in college because after a lecture in class, studying the provided information allows you to learn and retain the information, instead of cramming later just to get through the test. If you have questions or do not understand something, ask. I would definitely attend orientation and arrange to stay on campus to get a true feel of the environment, dorms, and college life itself. This would truly help me see the real picture. I would find out if there is a tour and take one; having a visual, hands on type experience will allow me to pack and prepare for moving.

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College experience varies as individuals and colleges differ throughout the country; college experience thus depends on the individual and the college they attend. My college experience has been a great one so far. I have learned a lot about myself through socializing with other students and dedicated teachers. Insights on my views, expectations and goals have improved by attending college because it led me to self exploration and evaluation. It has been valuable to attend college because now I know which path I am taking to accomplish my goals. Learning about various topics, including discrimination, child and elderly abuse and education, have broadened my views and ideas on them, which has made me into a cultivated student and a human being. Attending college has heightened my awareness of the beneficial aspects of it because I have learned that without college I would have relatively low knowledge on subjects that are important to me and my community. Graduating college is one of my greatest goals in life because I want to become an educator who teaches her students the value of learning in school and especially in college.

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