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Hofstra University

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

With my college experience, I got a chance to learn about other religion and race. I graduated with less than a hundred students. I live in a smaller community where most of the people share common beliefs. I never saw anyone different from me, but my first semester of college I never realized how different we all are. Naturally, I mingled with peers, and I was astonished with some of their views. Meeting different people and listening to them made me think about my beliefs and maturity. I met a lot people in my first semester and I feel this experience has helped sculpt me into what I should be. Though, I did see the differences in each of us, but I saw the kind of people in this world. Meeting different people changed my views more ways than one. Some thoughts were negative, which led me to see some are untrustworthy, manipulative, and distasteful. I realize these people I?m going to school with are the people I?ll be working with in the future. I value my attendance in college, because the effect of my grade average, but how others can effect my future in the work office.

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I would diffinetely pay more attention in maintaining my GPA. Having a high GPA is what colleges are about, especially for pre meds. I hate to say that most of the colleges makes students to be good test takers and fail to test their natural knowledge. What you put on a paper based on your knowldge of what you read or researched may not get you the score you want, instead you have to pay more attention into what your professor is looking for. So i would diffinetely try not to be independent but rather interact with everyone because that is how you get extra ideas from. If i was in High School, i would set a time schedule for everything. What i constantly heard about colleges in High school wasnt completely true. Colleges do not mean more freedom because there are more expectations of the education system to fulfill. I would also aim for my desired major as soon as i graduate from High school.The problem with selecting individuals major is that there is no one to guide. Going from Business to Law and then what major i really want to fulfill "Pre Med" wasted my two years.

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College is a complete learning experience. College gets you prepared for life while still allowing you to experience it and have fun. Choosing where you want to spend two, four, or more years is very important. Making a list of the most important factors is key. Location, Size, Major availability, Job placement/Internship Programs, and Financial aid/Affordability are some big factors that can help choose, and definately help eliminate schools. Sometimes finances can play a big role in your decision, considering the price of schools (private school vs. public school). After narrowing it down to a handful, it is a PRIORITY to visit the campuses! It would be best to visit during classes, even if it is curing summer or winter classes. After all this is done, you should have a really strong feeling about where you might want to go. Even if your first choice is not there after this process, I'm sure that your gut feeling along with the preperation will help you choose an excellent place to achieve greatness and make some great friends along the way. GOOD LUCK!

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When I started my college search, it was hard, especially without a major in mind, to decide what I wanted. But, I needed the college that would give me the ?real world? experience I craved. My advice to anybody college-bound is to think hard about where and how you want to live. Although the program you choose is important, you still live at your school! I can?t say how many of my friends and classmates have transferred, but I know what they had in common. They picked because of distance, their major, or a significant other. Now, I haven?t seen many cases where those reasons were enough for choosing a lifestyle. There?s nothing wrong with transferring ? life is trial-and-error. But what?s better than getting it right first try? There are colleges in that offer all kinds of experiences ? all you have to do is look! It's easy to forget, with big things like academics and financial aid to worry about, to think about the little things that are going to make up the life you will live for four years, and the experience you will remember for the rest of your life.

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Did you really think you would be able to deal with the cafeteria food? I don't think so. Stock up on your usual Snickers and donuts, because 60 percent of the time, the cafeteria is either closed, or never selling the food you want. When you are in luck, the chicken nuggets are rather lackluster, and the pizza is frozen. But do not fear! McDonalds is always right around the corner! Save your money. It is ok to dress down for class, but looking like a bum can cost you. "Oh, you're the girl with the Spongebob pajama pants!". Use the library. Your room can be the biggest distraction. Especially when Jack Bauer is dominating a terrorist on the television screen. CALL YOUR PARENTS. Make sure the laundry machine is working before you save all your dirty clothes of two weeks, and pile them all up on Sunday, only to find the machine busted. This leaves you with soggy, smelly shirts, and shorts in the winter. Ditching class was SO high school, you are not a rebel anymore. Oh yea, did I mention CALL YOUR PARENTS? THEY LOVE YOU! (Bringing back a gift always works!)

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The first thing you want to do is to write down what you want to get out of your college experience (good education, internship, club participation, friends etc). Visit schools and explore them. Ask questions if you're on a tour, try to meet falculty (open houses are the best), and talk to admissions couselors. Don't forget you are going to spending possibly four years at this university, and will be paying in some way to attend. Try the food, make sure you get a taste test. You will be eating over 300 meals in a year, so you want to make sure there is a variety of food choices available. To get the most out of your college experience, join something. Whether that be playing a sport, joining a club/organizaiton, or Greek life, just by joining one thing will help you meet others that share your interests. Do this in your very first semester; it helps with the transition and will really boost your college experience. If someone came up to me my senior year of high school and told me everything I were going to do in college, I would not believe them.

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Entering my fourth year of college I have gained tons of new and exciting friends and they have helped me gain mental focus. Going to an out-of-state college I was entering an atmosphere where I was walking in alone. No family or friends to assist in the transitioning process. I quickly learned that the only way to survive was to get to know people and let them tell me about their past experiences and also share mine. Once this happened, I was no longer alone and that was what I needed to help me through. Homework was no longer a stressor because my friends helped me through. When I was dealing with family problems or issues back home, they were there to get me out of my room and help me enjoy life a little. These are the same guys who have graduated and still check on me to make sure that I am doing everything necessary to also graduate and be successful. They have been the reason that college is valuable for me to attend. They have helped me blossom into an amazing human being: more confident, more outgoing, and soon to be more successful.

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To the me of long ago, Stay true to yourself. Oh, how cliché, but what a truth nonetheless! In college, you will find yourself in every situation imaginable. Don’t forget who you are and what you stand for. People, clubs, friends, and teachers will try to influence you in one way or another. Listen intently and hear what they have to say, then retain the nuggets of wisdom and proceed as your heart and values prompt. Although you will encounter individuals who are different than you or may have drastically opposite views, always be open. Every single person you encounter has something to offer. Whether they are sharing a piece of information, or even just teaching you patience, remain open minded in every circumstance. Use every interaction to grow as a person. In college, you are not only expected to mature academically, but you are also expected to develop your emotional and cultural capabilities. Use these interactions to grow in these areas every day. College will be an exciting and challenging place. Embrace what you are about to experience.

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The story I’d tell high school me about the college transition is one of hope and responsibility. I’d say: High school is such a worrisome time for you now, but acceptance and expansion are on the way. You’ll meet new people from new places and what strength that will bring to you will astound you. You’ll be embraced for who you are and enhanced for who you are not, both by peers and professors. But despite your new friends and trusted mentors, you have the right and responsibility to stand up for yourself, to take care of yourself. College away from home is the time you learn who is truly responsible for you: you. Everything mom nags you about ad-nauseam? She’s right to remind you. Because amidst this newfound freedom and opportunity, experience and wonder, might come a lost grip on the important stuff. Nourish yourself, protect yourself, be your own advocate and have your own back. Stay true to yourself while welcoming in new possibilities. That balance will save you. Oh, and focus on your work. Study something that makes your heart beat fast.

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There will be a lot of changes, both inside you and outside of you. Breathe, and roll with the punches. Take yoga: it sounds silly, but it really is helpful for your stress level and your weight. Do not let the negative people you encounter influence you and change you. Change for the better, not the worse. Those negative people aren't always enemies: more often than not, they can be friends too. Have a good time, but don't be stupid about it. Stop hating your body: turns out, the weight issue isn't your fault, it's a medical issue you were doomed to have once your parent's combined chromosomes to make you. Therefore, it's out of your control. I know it's hard, but learn to love your body, because you won't be subject to a Freaky Friday-esque body switching phenemenon with Scarlett Johanssen any time soon. Who you are attracted to does not dictate who you are: like everything, it's a part of the whole person. You are talented, and are worthy of good, which is something you will still struggle with,but know that. One day, you will believe it.

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