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Harvard University

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

Dear Ruby, I know that senior year is pretty rough, but better times are ahead. Try to focus a little bit less on the past and the future and start thanking God for your many blessings now. Also remember to open your bible a little bit more frequently. I know that a lot of God's word can seem harsh and confusing, but spending more time in it will provide you with a better understanding of His love for you. Maybe with that understanding you'll be able to start the long process of forgiving Marilu and Dad. We forgive because we have been forgiven. Don't you ever forget that. We are forgiven continuously because of his mighty love for us. Hold on tight to His hand. He'll get you over the biggest mountains. Love you, A Wiser You

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The clock keeps ticking and one does not get any younger. Work hard during the early years of your life and you will be able to enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life. Take every class and every assignment seriously. Your GPA builds up, start strong! Live up to your own expectations. Friends from your college years will remain your friends for life. Make a difference in someone else's life. Contribute to your community and well-being of its population. Have patience with those who are only taking space on the planet without contributing to humanity, and help them become something . Start your semester having already completed your reading assignments for the first four weeks. Stay focused and enjoy life.

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I would advise myself not to be so fearful of the opinions of others. During my first days at college, I refrained from acting how I wanted to because I was afraid of rejection. I have learned in college that being oneself is probably the most important ingredient to enjoying the college experience. Pretending to love partying when you don't, or acting as if you like people just because you are afraid of being alone is not the way to go. Accept who you, embrace it, and only then will you find your true friends and your favorite extracurriculars. College is so diverse. There is a place for everyone. Don't try to fit into a group that is not something you truly enjoy; instead, try to find the place where you belong.

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You probably don't know at this point what you want to do when you "grow up" because you're still in high school. That's perfectly alright. If you do, then great?choose a college that has a strong program in that field. But for most of you, the best thing to do, I think, is to choose a college that offers as many opportunities as possible. That's probably a liberal arts school. And it's OK to study what you like, regardless of what "real world" applications it may have. Plenty of people study English and go on to do things other than teach English, write, or edit. In many respects, the point of college is to gain skills and the ability to think critically and analytically, not to learn a trade.

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Do not discredit the chance that you or your child might find their way into the upper-tier of schools. For low-income families, these top of the line schools offer financial aid that can make it cheaper to go to the best school than to the worst. Also, choose schools to apply to not only because they are good schools, but because you would want to live in that town or city. Lastly, once in school, remember that even though you might be a small fish in a big pond, you are still worth something. Especially at large, top of their class Ivies, this is easy to forget. But, remember that these schools would not have admitted you if you were not special. If you remember this, you will succeed.

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It really depends on what kind of student a person is in order to find the right college for them. I am a shy very funny sociable guy and my school Harvard Extension School does not fit me in regards to that. However it is the best academic choice but having a social life especially at 22 and being good looking as me is important to me. So I would guess if a student is a shy kid that needs to live a little send him or her to a school that will help them do that unless the student is already a party animal that is easily distracted than clearly a less social oriented school is warranted. Unless the student is accepted into a ivy league school than I say forget their preference and tough it out.

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Go with your gut feeling. It's great to analytically go through all the schools in a rational, comprehensive fashion, but it comes down to where you feel most comfortable when you visit. For most people, all the schools they are looking at are usually comparable academically (otherwise you won't be accepted), so try not to worry about which gives you a better shot at med school or sets you up best for a career. Those things will sort themselves out during your four years. Bottom line, if you work hard then you will have plenty of opportunities no matter where you choose, so try to focus your attention on going to the college that will allow you to enjoy your college experiance the most.

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I would encourage myself to 1) pay more attention in my math and science classes because it really helps out in the intro level courses, 2) read more recreationally because the required reading load in college makes it nearly impossible to read for fun, 3) improve as much as possible in whatever extracurricular activity that I'm doing (instrument(s), sports, etc) because being skilled at something comes in really handy in college where everyone else will come with some special skill other than academics up their sleeves, 4) say you'll keep in touch with current friends and teachers and MEAN IT because you never know when you'll need their assistance somewhere down the road.

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Parents should voice their views and give advice to their children on important aspects of a college that should be considered. However, they should encourage their children to choose the college that best fits them according to an informed decision. Students shouls also remember that there is no school that is completely flawless, and that each school has its advantages and disadvantages as no two schools are the same. For these reasons, students should focus on a school that responds to their needs as best as possible and should be prepared to adjust their expectations after arriving on campus in order to benefit the most from a college experience.

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Don't be afraid to try new things. You might be afraid of wasting time with something, but you must be proactive about your future to figure out the best path for you. You will be happy no matter where you go to college if you keep this in mind. Take advantage of the opportunities in your life, and don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Take advantage of office hours for professors and don't be afraid to major in something your parents would not choose or to admit when something is too hard to do by yourself. It might sound kitschy, but the more your believe in your own success, the more doors will become open to you.

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