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Drexel University

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

To most high school students, college is the most exciting, nerve wrecking, and life changing experience. You are forced to live with people who are completely different from yourself, maybe in personality, in looks, or even in religion, but you learn that none of that actually matters. You learn to communicate and deal with those you may have never dealt with in your life before, you learn to compromise with others, and you learn to find yourself and what is best for you in the process. Life is no longer served to you on a silver platter, you are an individual and you realize that you have to be self-reliant. Although many people may understand these things, you may not be aware until you experience it first-hand. Going into my third year of college, I wish I could have gone back and saved money first and foremost. There are many expenses that come with college and living on your own. I also wish I had more experience in the field that I chose to go into. Having experience will take you a long way. Put all that you can into your work and you will succeed.

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The best advice, that I never received, is to visit the school and speak to students in your intended major. Orientation does not give you a well-rounded view of the university. Typically, the college has only the students with a positive experience speak at these events. Once you decide on a college and begin your first semester, remember why you are there. Class is actually important and sometimes interesting. It's also a great place to meet new people. Get involved. You will be so dissapointed looking back on your college years if you feel that you never did anything. That doesn't just mean partying. Clubs, sports and friends are why you want to go back for homecoming. Make the most of what your college offers. That includes the career center and alumni association. In the real world you will find that it isn't always what you know, but who you know. Make friends with professors and alumni, you may be suprised how it will help you in the future. Finally, keep an open mind, often times the best of friends are found in unlikely people.

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If I could go back in time, to when I was a senior, I would tell myself to shy away from relying on my teachers to teach me everything I need to know and inform myself that when you reach this level of academics noone is going to hold your hand and walk you through the process. You are going to have to learn somewhat more than what you learned in high school, but, you are going to have to teach yourself tremendously a lot more than you have in your entire life. I would enlighten myself not to take anything for granted. Every test, quiz, and homework assignment is vital to your education, academic standing, and development as a student and as a professional. I would also inform myself that it is critical that during the summer vacation after senior year that I should get involved in some sort of transition program or at least find time to study, because everything you learn when you first get to college relies heavily on what you were able to carry over from high school. Lastly, I would tell myself not to worry and that I am capable of anything I wish.

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If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice as a high school senior, it would revolve around a simple concept that took me 2 years of college to finally understand: time management. Learning how to manage your time wisely is a skill that is not often taught in high school but quickly becomes an essential part of being successful in college. During my first year of college, I didn't bother trying to change any of my habits from high school and thought I could get away with using the same methods I used for the past 4 years to get good grades in college. I was wrong. In high school, it can be very easy for students to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still pull off good grades, but this perk is guarunteed to disappear in college, which most students wont realize until they've already made the mistake. Learning how to set up your schedule to balance study time, time spent with friends, and possibly time at work is crucial to becoming a successful student and living a stress free life during your college years.

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“Just relax! You know yourself!” I wish I could go back to December of senior year and scream these words to myself! By December 2nd I had finished applying to my tenth school and was seriously considering an eleventh. I remember the date because it was the day before my mother’s birthday. She told me all she wanted was to stop paying application fees; I had spent well over $500. The guide books, the prep-classes, and my friends had told me that when I found the school I would just know it was right. I had yet to find “the one”. I wish I could have told myself to ignore their opinions. I have never been someone to make decisions based on feelings or intuition. I forced myself to stop applying and just accept what would happen. A week later I received a scholarship to Drexel University. I was denied by one of my favorite schools and waitlisted by another; my decision was simple. I wish I could have told myself to calm down and not measure myself by what worked for everyone else. I know myself. I just had to work things out in my own way.

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When choosing a school, visit the campus. Look around at the students while you are there. Do they look happy? Will they talk to you and your parents about the school? What do they say? If you know what you want to study, find the building that will house most of your classes, and look around. Does the facility look up to date and like the students like using it? Do these students look happy? Can you imagine yourself in that building studying with classmates? If the answer is "yes" to all of the above questions, you have probably found a school that is perfect for you. Once you are enrolled in college, as a new student, everything can seem scary. You're on your own for the first time, making your own decisions... but if I can offer any real advice it would be to not be afraid. Try an elective that interests you and has nothing to do with your major. Join the salsa club even if you don't know anything about salsa but you want to learn. Everyone at your school is there to learn and try new things just like you. You are not alone.

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Dear High-School Me, I hope you are having fun and enjoying your last year of high-school. There are a few things I would like to prepare you for as you make the illustrious journey to your first year of college. I know you didn’t make it into your top school, but trust me when I tell you that everything happens for a reason. Your first year of college is a huge transition. While all of your surroundings change, I ask that you stay grounded and do not allow your new environment to shift the person whom you are. You have worked harder than most of your peers attending this university and you will continue to have to work harder than them. But I promise you, the payoff will be extraordinary. Go into every situation with an open mind with no preconceived notions of what something will be like it. Prepare to be confronted with challenges you have never faced before, prepare to be tested in ways you never have been. Your first year is tough; “embrace the grind” don’t try to run from it. And remember even in the big city, A County Boy Can Survive.

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I have received confidence, growth, knowledge, and maturity from my college experience. I have been accepted into Drexel and that has given me so much confidence in my ability to succeed in my career. Now I am in college and joggling school, a job and home life. This new routine in my life has allow my to grow into the responsible adult that I want to be. My major is Computing Technology and Security and I have already learned a great deal in my first semester attending Drexel. The instructors that I have had in my first semester has been great in teaching and being able to relate with the students so that we understand what we are learning and what we are doing with computers. The knowledge that I have obtain in my first semester has prove to be true why I Drexel is one of best colleges for computing technology. My college experience has helped me reach a new level of maturity that I did not even know I needed. College has been valuable to attend because it has given my more than an education. It is preparing me for my future and success.

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In order to pick the right college I believe a student first needs to figure out what they would like to do with their life, what career interests them the most. Then look into the colleges that excel in that industry. That would definitely be the first step, the second I would recommend is figuring out where you would like to spend your next years in college, in a metropolis, country side, so forth (this will make all the difference in their college life). Then its up to the college, what the student looks for on campus, if they want a sports driven campus or one more focused on academic progress. A fun upbeat social life or one more grounded and quiet (this will affect the students mental health greatly when coping with the college workload). As for the price I would worry/look at that last. Most schools are getting to be very expensive, but thats the price one has to pay for a good education. If the school meets all the past requirements, then in the long run the money will come back around to the student through their now loved career.

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If one day there was a machine invented that would allow me to only go back in time to the point where I was a high school senior, there are a plethora of things I would give myself advice on. For starters, I should have done a lot more research on the major I chose, which is electrical engineering. I have always had an interest in electrical engineering, but back then I only had a general concept of what it was, so when I got to college I was extremely dissatisfied with myself to see other students in my age group that were more experienced than I was in the major. So the first thing I would tell my high school senior self is to start learning and getting more familiar with electrical engineering. Aside from being more prepared, I would also advise my former self to always remain positive. There were many occurrences where I felt down between that time and now, but as I look back at it, those instances do not seem as serious as I once thought they were. So having a more positive attitude through it all would have helped tremendously.

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