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Georgia Southern University

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

Take high school seriously. Study harder because you will need to have that foundation for your first year of classes. Take your first two years of classes seriously once you get into college. When professors see your dedication, it opens doors later on down the road. Respect the professors' time and read the syllabi and grading rubric before turning in assignments because that will help you to better understand what the professors are really wanting from you. Also, read the textbooks and research your questions before asking your professors. Try to understand the material before going to class to prevent asking questions that the books answer, which also helps you better understand what is going on in class. Learn how to understand concepts instead of memorizing facts because that is what sticks with you as you progress from freshman, to sophmore, to junior, to senior. Keep in mind that researching, writing, and completing projects takes double the amount of time that you originally think. Finally, do not waste your time while you are there. Maximize the time between classes to study and work on projects ahead of time to prevent having to stay up all night to to these things.

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Parents should allow their child to make personal decisions on where to attend college. Everything the parent does from birth to high school graduation should have prepared their child for college. Send your child to a place where they can feel comfortable and not just a number. Sit down to compare and contrast top universities because in my case GSU has some of the same fellowships, accreditations, grants and recognized programs that may rival other well known schools. During their child's sophomore year visit schools on their list during open house, homecoming week, or other major events because it gives the student a better feel for the day to day happenings of an institution. Definitely look at the financial situation of the future because we now live in unstable times where financial panic and economic fear are ever present in our minds. Always consider what could happen tomorrow, could your child still attend school if a scholarship/ financial aid was lost? Lastly, my biggest piece of advice is to pay your money at an institution that suits you: success should not be measure by the name of your school but rather the name you make for yourself.

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High School can either excite you or frighten you about your first year in college. My advice to myself, if I can go back in time, is be excited! Excitement is raised from the knowledge that you will acquire and independence that you will have to be embrace. That college fund that your parents may have been working on, may no longer exist by the time you graduate. No need to worry about your parents’ expenses because there are countless scholarships that are open to high school seniors that will assist tuition and supply costs. Saving and smart spending is an important concept that you should learn because it will be used almost everyday. Students are easily manipulated that suggested textbooks and supplies are absolutely necessary and must be purchased from the university store, which usually sells overpriced items. A way to avoid excessive spending is to seek out every source around campus and online. The best prices and deals are usually located on Internet-based stores. Don’t let money stress you out too much! While your attending college, stay up to date with events and fairs that are happening and are usually free and fueled by entertainment.

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I feel that after I leave Kent State University (and attend graduate school), I will be prepared for my dream career: clinical child psychologist. Graduate school is extrememly hard to get into, but with all the oppurtunities on campus, I feel I have an advantage over many applicants. I have been able to work directly with professors on their research projects, giving me valuable experience. There has also been many job-related experiences available on campus. For example, I can work in the psychology clinic. This will give me my first real-life experience working with clients. Graduate schools will look at this and know that I have the skills neccesary to work with clients before they accept me. My teachers have also opened my eyes to issues unrelated to psychology. For example, my Nonviolence teacher has motivated me to get involved and be an activist on issues I feel strongly about. I have been able to create a student organization to help changethese issues. This campus has fully-allowed me to reach my potential. On any other campus, I would not have been able to gain these varied experiences or broaden my interests to the extent I have..

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Knowing now about the transition from high school to college, there are some pieces of advice I would give to myself as a high school senior. One thing would be to take the SAT and ACT more seriously, meaning taking more time to study & going to study groups. Besides needing it for the entrance requirements to colleges, it is used for many scholarship opportunities. Even now as a current second semester freshman, scholarships and honor societies are still asking for my SAT and ACT scores. Having a higher score would of allowed me to get into Phi Chi, a psychology honor society, which would of given me more experience in the field of psychology and something else to make me stand out in the job market. I would of also let myself know that getting involved in clubs and organizations and creating leadership opportunities are extremely important. Not only does it help establish your new social life, it gives you chances that are only available during your time in college. It helps you grow as a person and learn more about yourself. Getting involved in these organization will also help you network and open doors to possible internships.

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I would advise parents to not force incoming students to pick a school based on affordability. I know it is easy to have few options when considering costs, especially in the economy now. However, students really need to find a school that closely represents America. By that, find a school that encourages the "melting-pot" effect. I believe it truly has a positive impact on students when they attend a diverse campus. When faculty, staff and students represent diversity, the experience will be worthwhile. I would also advise students to take advantage of what the campus and community has to offer. There are schools that have plenty events held on and off campus, and students just don't take advantage of all the opportunities. Lastly, students need to participate in an internship. When you have an internship under your belt, employers take you more serious and realize you really care about your future. Grades alone will not teach anyone how to do a job. Also, when you surround yourself with positive and motivated students, it is very hard to slack off and become a another drop-out. Stay focused, and put your mind to it!

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There is financial aid available for college in the form of scholarships, grants, work study programs, and loans. Maintain the high G.P.A. you have in high school and throughout your college years to be eligible to apply for merit based scholarships. To keep a high G.P.A. in college you will have to develop independent study skills, balance your social and study time, get enough sleep and eat healthy. Unlike high school, in college there are grants available for low income students that can be used for tuition, books, school supplies, campus housing and meal plans. To be eligible for low income grants fill out the Fafsa application at www.fafsa.gov and the college's financial aid office will mail you an award letter. Student loans and work study programs for college expenses are also obtained by filling out the Fafsa application and through the schools financial aid office. Limit the amount of student loans you apply for as much as possible by working. The debt and repayment of student loans and the interest can accumulate very quickly and become a burden to the borrower. Develop a budget and manage you money wisely.

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If given the opportunity to go back and give myself advice for college, I would tell myself to save money, be organized, and perfect managing your time. Thus far college has been a great adventure and even though I'm only in my second semester, I think I've got the hang of things. Saving money is something I would tell myself, because at first you don't realize how little of it you really have and how quickly it disappears when you don't have a job. Jobs around college towns are hard to find, especially when you're a full-time student. " Save your money...please" I would demand myself and hopefully I would listen. Also important is organization. Being organized is the best way to prioritize your assignments and eliminate unwanted stress. Being organized also influences the next piece of advice I would give myself, which is TIME MANAGEMENT! I believe whole heartedly that college is a four year, time management project. Once you learn to manage your time more efficiently, life suddenly becomes easier. If I could go back, I would tell myself, "save money, stay organized, manage your time well, and you'll be fine".

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Most say that attending college is valuable because of the degree you obtain when you are finished. Often times leaving out all the other benefits of attending college, or in my case the 4-year university commonly referred to as Georgia Southern. It is obvious that people take these years out of their life and spend all of this money in order to hopefully improve their future careers, but I think in most cases the greatest values of a university lies much deeper. As only a sophomore at GSU I have matured more than I ever thought possible, made more friends than I could have ever imagined, and created more memories than I can count. Sure I have learned more about the world than I ever would have had I not come here, especially since I am an International Studies major, but I have also gained those things in life that one holds onto and looks back on and cherishes for the rest of their life. I have grown through my valuable experiences and I am changed for the better because of the incredible people here. Most importantly, I have made lasting memories none of which would exist without college.

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Perseverance, determination & discipline are the pillars through which I have built my beliefs from since I was a child. These are qualities of those students who have the motivation and who dream of what they believe they have already accomplished because they are completely sure they will succeed in life. In life one must imagine you have already attained specific goals you have set for yourself in present day, because once you believe you have achieved it, reaching that point just seems natural. This is something I learned from reading a book by the name "The Secret", a world-wide best seller. After comprehensively reading and really taking in the messages from this book I completely new what I wanted in life and how I was going to achieve those objectives. So far, I have made crucial decisions in my life from the first day of high school up until today. If I had the chance to travel back in time I can be sure that I would follow in the same footsteps I have proudly left behind me for my footsteps have continued to grow with me in time. Inclusively, I stand today assured they will continue to grow.

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