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Emory University

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

College is where you find lifelong friends and a place where all your dreams can come true. If one works hard and puts forth one hundred percent dedication, ultimate goals can be achieved. It becomes really hard to balance your social life with your academic life, but one thing I have learned is to ALWAYS put your education before your social life because in the long run, it is only that which will help you gain a successful future. You make your own decisions and choices in college; it is up to you to chose the right ones. You will seldom choose the wrong option, but that is how you will learn-from your mistakes. In college you make several mistakes, but you only become a better person from fixing those mistakes. It really is true when people say, dreams at college do come true.

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Explore. That is all I would have to say to my high school self who was entering college. Explore new oppurtunities, explore new relationships, explore the world. As a senior I was a shy, timid and reserved child. I still am in many respects, but I think with a little push my younger self would have been more exploring. By explore I am urging my younger self to immerse themselves into the college experience and all it has to offer, meet more people, take an odd class, join a cool extracurricular Anything, really. I just wish I had been less reserved and shy upon entering college, but they say hindsight is 20/20. With the right push I might have has a different first semester experience at college,, and I, like everyone else, like to think that it could have turned out better.

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Benjamin, look at me. Don't dump your girlfriend of a year and a half just because you see a pretty girl on campus. You have to realize that, since you're being homeschooled, you haven't experienced a lot of the real world yet. So be careful. Like they say, don't do anything your parents wouldn't do. Get ahead on your work early. Don't wait till you have four papers due in the same week. It's not smart. And you're going to college to be smart. If you start to fall behind, don't give up. You'll make it through. And with your friendships, watch yourself. You tend to give in to your feelings too easily, but reason DOES have it's place in decision-making. Remember that. Also remember to call home every so often. Your parents will miss you, let me tell ya.

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Finding the right college is more than just finding a college that you can afford. Don't rule out a college just because you don't think you can afford it, take the time to look into the financial aid available to you. Also make sure you visit the college before you enroll so there aren't any big surprises on the day you move in. If you're unsure about what you want to major in, go to a liberal arts college that has a lot of majors available to you so that you have options and aren't forced into a major you don't like. As far as experiences are concerned, never be afraid to skip out on something if you don't feel comfortable. It is good to go out side your comfort level at times, but it's also important to limit your stress level and stay focused on your grades.

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The college process can be extremely tiring, but do not give up. Take time to do thorough research and understand that not all schools are a perfect fit. Just because one school may hold a certain ranking does no mean that it is the best school for you. Eventhough it may seem like alot of information, in the end it will definaltey be worth it. Also, do not be descouraged if you do not get into the college of your choice, because anyone can succeed if you put the right mindset behind all your tasks. But when you do finally arrive to college, get ready for the real world. Eventhough you may have lots of free time, use it toward your advantage. College is a different level from highschool, but at the same time it can be the most enjoyable experience.

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During the past four years in the exciting setting of Atlanta, Emory offered me an opportunity to explore new ideas while fostering a sense of idealism that the world can be a better place, that philanthropy can make a difference, and that diplomacy cannot only end wars but also prevent them. Although we live in hard times, Emory became a buffer for me to grow and mature, but most importantly, to hope of a brighter future. Emory University has even provided me with the opportunity to work in dignitaries like President Jimmy Carter. As I close my chapter at Emory and move on to the unrelenting waves of the real world, I hope I never forget the most important lesson that I have learned, that good intentions may not always win, but they can never lose.

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Students should not be devastated if they do not get into their first choice, because in the end everyone ends up where they are supposed to be. I would suggests looking at college that offer programs and activities you are interested in and not focus so much on college ratings.--not everyone is meant for the ivy leagues. As for parents, they should not force their children into applying to colleges the child does not see themselves at, because although the parent may have the best intentions, it can lead to a very unhappy, costly college experience that is just now worth it in the end. Overall, just follow your gut and realize that the college rejections are not a measure of your character, but a symbol of where you just do not belong.

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"Why doubt yourself?"- I took the advice very seriously, because one's future self does not travel backwards to share advice often. As talented and passionate creatures, humans must engage and explore while they still have time. A college experience provides a blossoming human with intellectual, physical, cultural, spiritual, and social pathways to embark upon amongst a large group of similarly motivated people. Unfotunately, I now recognize that students rarely take full advantage of the endless and diverse opportunties offered at college. Such failed capitalization results from an inclination to doubt oneself in the face of numerous unfamiliar activities and commitments, such as the Classical Guitar Ensemble or the Debate Team.

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My experience at Emory not only provided me with a well-rounded, high quality education, it provided me with personal skills to be a successful, organized, and motivated individual. The Emory staff always maintained very high expectations for its students; this taught me to always go above & beyond. Do not settle. Set goals, work towards them, achieve them, and contine on. You will hit rough times, however, there is no reason to quit. By upholding this philosophy, I believe that I can create change in the world, help others, achieve my personal and professional goals, as well as always continue to learn. My education at Emory was priceless, as it has created a foundation for my bright and successful future.

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Invest a lot of time in researching college literature to narrow down your choices. Don't choose schools based primarily on reputation. I think most high-achieving college applicants underestimate the importance of finding a sense of place in college: I know people who have gone to my school and higher-ranked schools who do poorly despite their acuity because they aren't motivated in their environment. Find schools that seem stimulating and focused in your field of intended study, visit their campuses (but not for a tour -- investigate the campus yourself to get a realistic sense of what it's like), and decide based both on the basis of reputation as well as how the school feels.

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