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George Mason University

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

If I could talk to my self as a senior, there are quite a few things I would tell myself. First, I would say: Do not be afraid of growing up and responsibility. It really is not as challenging adults tell you in high school. Just be smart and think logically, the rest should come naturally. Teacher often tell seniors that college is the hardest challenge we will ever face, and many students fail. Do not listen to them; college is as hard as you make it. When it comes to academics, the biggest piece of advice I can pass on is to take English class as seriously as possible. Seniors do not realize just how much writing college involves. You write essays in every subject you take. Learn how to write concisely and quickly, and how to organize your thoughts clearly on paper. A solid writer will come out ahead in college. The last advice I would give is to be as outgoing as possible. Be outgoing to friends, hall mates, teachers, and strangers. Contacts and networks equal success in the professional world. The more people you know, the better your opportunities are.

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The old saying is true: College is the best four years of your life. Making the most out of your college experience is about stepping out of your shell and being willing and open to meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and striving to do your best in all that you do. Choosing the right college is the most important step to acheiving that. Make sure you narrow your choices. Choose a college that best suits you: Do you prefer a large or small student population? Does it have to be in the city or do you prefer a more rural atmosphere? Do you like the idea of a small student to teacher ratio or do large classes make you feel more at home? To help you make the right decision, visit your top college picks! Spend the weekend getting the perspective of current students and faculty members to help aid in your decision. And most of all students, talk to your parents. Your parents are one your best resources so take advantage of it. But don't let their opinion sway you too much. Make sure you're happy with whatever choice you make. Make the most of it!

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Dear Teen Angst Nia, When you pick your school dont pick it based on staying close to your boyfriend and to get away from parental control. You have the opportunity to go to Georgetown for free ans you should take it. Stop taking life to be one big joke and get serious. This really is the beginning of your life and you will regret it if you mess it up. If you fail classes you WILL feel bad becasue your parents are paying for you stimulate your brain and you will be wasting their money unfairly. Stop coasting by on your family connections and make a path for yourself that you truly want to follow. The career path you choose should enrich your life and I want you to wake up everyday until you die loving your life, which includes your profession to a large extent. Dont act stupid becasue you are afraid that brains intimidate people. Your friends should like you for who you are and most importantly YOU should love who you are. Stay true to yourself always and happiness will follow. Love, Future Nia P.S. Avoid taking ECON 101 you will bore yourself to death!

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In my college experience, I have gained a lot of great values that I would otherwise not have gained. I really believe that each person has something great to pass on to the next generation coming behind them, at in my school experience, I had a few key professors who gave not only the knowledge of their mind, but also from the heart. Truly, in my progressive music studies, I have learned immensely about the knowledge and theory of music, but even more so, I learned a lot how to handle situations that are destined to come through life. There is more to the college experience that sitting in a classroom memorizing information. If you come ready, with an open mind and heart, you can learn alot more than you expect from someone. This is what I did. I came expecting to gain knowledge, but gained important life values such as trust, independance, discipline, planning, and creativity. I couldn't do what I hope to do someday without these aspects of life, and even though I didn't register for these with my classes, I still gained them in my college experiences.

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Not getting into the college you wished for, is alright. My goal was to attend NYU for business, however, there were some complications and therefore I attended Mason. I thought being located in NY would be a great opportunity for me, because there are so many successful businesses around the university. After I decided to attend Mason, I learned that the undergraduate school doesn't matter so much as long as I do well in my field. Mason also has many opportunities for students and it is located in a great area. D.C. is only a short distance away and the area also allows students to have jobs experiences and I've also had amazing internships. It's a good idea to visit the college before you decide to attend it, because there are some college where you get the feeling "Ah, this is for me!" and others where you don't feel like you'd adjust well. Every college experience is different and not every college is a party school as long as your learn to be responsible and to stay focused at the task at hand; with that you'll be able to suceed and do well.

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If I could talk to myself as a high school senior about making this transition, I would definitely tell myself to take it easy in my first semester. Don't get a job, don't take too many classes, don't take very difficult classes, and don't procrastinate on anything. I also had problems in my first semester with having trouble meeting people because I was afraid to leave the comfort of my dorm room. It's important to walk around campus and try to find people with similar interests very early on. I would also advise not to take great academic leaps between class types from high school to college (for instance, don't take honors classes when you never took anything like them in high school). The transition to college is more than just heavier workloads and harder classes. It involves utilizing skills that a high schooler is not completely accustomed to using, such as managing one's time completely and taking initiative with everything, without parental guidance. Because of this, I would advise not to make too big of a change from a previous lifestyle.

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My advice to my younger self would be to take my time and really think about what I want to pursue. College seems to be the natural next step for many high school graduates and they, myself included, often jump into this amazing opportunity without fully deciding on what area of study they wish to focus. College is an tremendous step in life and is financially, socially, and academically challenging. Taking the time to reflect on why it is you are deciding to take this step is crucial to one's success in school and in future career plans. Some students do not know what they want to do but still get As in their classes, pick a major without much thought, get As in those classes and then graduate, only to find themselves in a career that they do not truly enjoy. I think we all need to take a step back and not rush into this decision and take the time to volunteer, intern, and generally explore different career fields as well as ourselves so that we can make a whole-hearted decision before we undertake this incredibly important step in our lives.

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In order to truely find the right college for an indiviual a lot self evaluation must be conducted. It is important to take into mind what type of career you are leaning towards or have decided. There are many different schools that offer extremely exceptional focused programs, so research is nessesary. It is also very important to factor in your financial abilities, then move on from there. Though you may feel that it would be so much easier and fun to go to a college with your friends, it ultimately could hold you back. I went to college with my two best friends, and though I love them to death I find when you are thrown into a new situation like college it is best to venture on alone. In college you are expected to step out of your box and grow. Unfortunatley it is less likely for you to go and find new friends when you are using your current ones as a crutch. College is a time to expand your mind and body,to grow as a person. This can best be achieved by doing whats hard, branching out on your own, alone and experiencing college for yourself.

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Finding the right college is like finding a great pair of shoes- it needs to be comfortable, versatile, appealing and provide you the basic footsteps to succeed in whatever you desire to accomplish in your lifetime. Finding a good university to attend is one of the most important decisions to make in your life and it is even more important to actually visit the colleges that you are thinking about applying to or attending. It is also helpful to consult alumni, your parents, current students and guidance counselors about information about certain schools. It is very easy to put less of an emphasis on school once you get into college and start taking classes, but one of the best things to do to make the most out of your college experience is to get involved, deeply involved, with student organizations and clubs on campus. That is where best friends are made and connections happen that can help you throughout your college career and your professional career, and also where experiential learning happens as well. Don't be complacent in your education!

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I would tell students and parents to make sure their college of choice has a variety of academic programs and a diverse student body. There are so many opportunities available to those that are willing to seek them out. Another factor are the professors, professors should have real life experience in order to better help guide students through their college career. Also the college must feel safe. I grew up in Northern VA and I know that George Mason is a safe campus and I feel comfortable at all times when I?m on campus. Lastly visit the campus or college more than once to get a better feel for how campus life really is. Try and find a tour guide that can take you around campus without a group so that you can blend in more and see how students and teachers on campus really act. Ask your tour guide or other students how campus life is and what the teachers in your academic field are like. Most importantly see if you are comfortable at the university, because if you?re it will be harder for you to enjoy your college career and what it has to offer.

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