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East Texas Baptist University

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

God has blessed me at ETBU! Blessed in my dorm room, roommate, wonderful friends of all different cultural backgrounds, learning to better communicate cross-culturally and other languages, ministry opportunities to others and myself, encourgement, my classes and professors, being stretched in learning, rides from others, finding a church to plug into, and a work study job at the campus library. My first semester I was on the dance team; I got exercise and was able to develop great friendships! I performed and gave support at home football games. I am not on the dance team now, but I feel that God is preparing me for what He has for me. I am now a leader of the prayer ministry in our Baptist Student Ministry on campus. I'm excited, God is moving not only in my life and the lives others all around campus, but in the lives of the community. I am also a senator of the Student Government Association. Being a voice for my fellow students, to improve campus life. I have such a big heart for people, and God has given me more opportunities to share love with others at ETBU than I ever imagined.

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Jana, I know you think that you have a lot of time and everything will fall into place but the truth is that is not how the real world works. Choosing the right college takes a lot of work and time. You know the most important things to you in a University are; 1) a Christian University 2) a small/medium size population 3) a chance to play softball. Going off of these three musts in a college you can narrow it down. Next, you should decide if you want to stay in state or go out of state. Going on campus trips is a must!!! Virtual tours are nice but they still do not give you the true feel. You should talk to current students and faculty members at each university. Keep your mind open. After visiting every potential University sit down visualize yourself at every school and think not only of what the school can do for you but also how you may impact the school. Asking for someone else's opinion is fine but remember in the end this is your life!! Lastly and most importantly pray that God will guide you to make the right decision.

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I would go back and teach myself the truth about Christs sacrifice and how that relates to the forgiving of my sins. I would explain the transformation that would soon take place and encourage myself to pray for my future husband. I would go back and ask my Christian friends about Christ and what the difference is between the mormon faith and the Christian faith. If I had the oppurtunity to go back I would try to relate all of this so that my quality of life and love would be that of a daughter of God. Now education means so much more than ever before and aside from my religious transformation, I would explain how important school is and how my grades relate to my gpa and what that means in the long run for my education. I would DEFINATELY explain to myself the utmost importance to make new friends that had good influences on me, change the music I listened to and tv I watched, and most of all I would buy a newer translation of the Bible and read it in plain english instead of having to sort it out in the King James Version.

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Know exactly what you want in a University. When you step on the campus and you fall in love with it, you will know that this is the one! Do not let anyone influence your decision on what University is best for you; you are the one that will be going there for the next 4 years. As you transition from a high school student to a college student: get to know everyone and share a smile with everyone you come in contact with. Get involved, stay involved and influence everyone around you to do the same. Be proud of who you are and what you have to offer to your University and to your friends that you make along the way. Take pride in your work and do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help from your peers or your professors. Be ready to study harder than you ever have before but know that when you are done, it was all worth it. Prepare yourself to miss your family terribly but know that you have a great foundation that got you where you are today and always remember that they are your greatest support during this adventure.

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It is really important to find the school that best fits you! and make sure that you talk to students throughout the campus to know how they feel, they will let you know what everything is really like. Look at all the dorms and sample the cafeteria food as well. Make sure that you dont go home every weekend when you first start going to school because you make most of your friends at those times and you really wont like your experience at all. Most of those people end up leaving after the first yr. Try to get involved in something that you will really like. Not everyone is made for frats or sororities, so do intermurals or anything that you find to be fun, and you will meet way more people that way. Dont forget to study because it is NOT like high school, you cant coast if you wanna get somewhere in life! Its ok to miss out on some things because you need to study. Dont blow your money and get in debt, it will hurt you later! And stay physically active, it will help your grades and the freshman 15 is real!!

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After making the first major mistake of my life I would go back to high school and talk myself out of going to the University of Texas at San Antonio. I would also tell myself to follow my heart and not my brain. I thought by going to UTSA on a full ride scholarship in Air Force ROTC I would be set later on in life. After the first semester of college there I found out that I was wrong in my decision, and that I had not done what God had called me to do originally. So after finding out that the Air Force was probably going to revoke my scholarship anyway I listened to God's calling. I completed the fall semester and took the spring semester off. During this time I prayed and listened to God. After much prayer and careful listening God was leading me to ETBU to play football and become a history teach and coach, like I had originally planned, and now that is what I'm doing. That is what I would tell myself if I could return to high school because that is where I found true happiness.

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First thing you need to know is don't slack off. A lot of people say it and it is true. If you slack off in college, you will get behind and possibly fail the class, which is not something you want to happen. So, work on completing assignments before they are due and talking to teachers if you need help. From somebody who started running start, I want to say it was really worth it. I got my associate's degree when I graduated high school. I saved a lot of money and was able to stay close to home for the first two years of my college life. After community college, I am transferring to a university where I will get my bachelor's degree. If you choose not to go that path, I would definitely get everything ready before hand. This means, collect all the information, all the brochures, anything you will need for the application process. This way, you have everything you need so when you sit down you can fill out everything and know when it is due without sweating, or stressing last minute.

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I know of a song that says that high school never ends. This song has a lot of meaning to me who is only half way through my first semester at college. Being from a poor white family with no trackable ethnic inheritance for many generations (my family came on the Mayflower!), it is hard to find scholarships that are compatible with my needs. It is just like high school all over again. The rich kids come to school in their fancy cars, wearing all brand name clothes while I stand alone is a sea of others just like me that are dull and don't shine at all. It isn't for lack of trying. I wanted to wear pretty clothes and be a teacher's pet, but with a disabled father and a mother who is unsure of what to major in, I was always in a tight spot for money which was a constant stress. College is just the same, or maybe even worse. You are lost in a new world with new rules, but unlike the rich kids, you don't have parents paying for you. A lesson for the poor in college: Find a mentor!

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As years go along, you start to find yourself. You start to realize that if you’re not on the right path that you need to find God and let him guide you to the right path. You notice that everyone you think is your friend is not and you see who the people in. Only if I was more mature and responsible in high school I would have been a much better person than I am now. Because I was irresponsible, I made my senior year harder than it should have been. Procrastination and bad time management hurt me bad. Sometimes waiting until the last minute to do my work wasn’t good enough and it would be too late most of the time. Now that I’m my own man and making better decisions for myself, I feel so much better. In the back of my mind I know I’m doing the right thing and before I always knew it was wrong but I still followed. I’ve realized that if you thank him how you should and appreciate everything he has given you then it would make your days go by much smoother.

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Assuming I could go back in time to my senior year in high school, I would advise myself to get a better job to help with housing payments. I would also advise myself that college is not a "walk in the park" so to speak. You have to stay focused at all times. Times are hard and money is tight, but I believe that an individual can attend any college of their choosing. Be more determined going in, and be able to brag about your results coming out. I would tell myself there will be good days and bad days, but if you make it through that 24 hours you'll get to prepare even more for the next day. There will be times you'll want to give up, but don't give into that temptation. It's not easy being a college student, nor is it suppose to be. You have to work for what you want because no one is going to hand it to you. The most important advice I would give myself is to stick it out, never give up, reach your goals, and in the end you'll be successful.

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