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Houston Baptist University

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

My parents have taught me something life-changing. Finding the right college and making the most of the college experience depends on this. They taught me to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to not lean on my own understanding. Trusting in God involves intimitely speaking to God in prayer, asking for His wisdom and guidance, waiting for His answer, and aknowledging Him in everything. Suddenly the question of what life's purpose is comes to mind. Why do people go to a university after all? What experience do students want in college? Is the root of all this selfishness and greed or just an exiting interest? Class sizes, academic standing, fraternities, social groups, and career opportunities resonate in students' minds. There is something bigger and better to life than just worrying about those things. Place every plan and decision in God's hands, and He will use your life far above your expectations as a blessing to others and as a testimony of trust for His glory. He, not you, will find the right college for you. Also, your college experience of study, learning, and friendship will have a whole new meaning to life with Him.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would begin by telling myself to settle down and not be afraid to go to college. As a high school senior, the thought of attending a University scared me to death. As a high school student I was under the impression that college was a whole lot tougher than high school and only the most intelligent individuals would succeed. Another issue that made afraid was the financial burden I knew that college brings. I remember hearing stories of individuals who racked up tens of thousandths of dollars in student debt and would spend decades paying back their student loans. After being removed from high school for three years, I decided to continue my education. After attending college for a little over two years I have personally found that college is not as hard as I once thought and in fact the studies are very manageable. The costs are manageable as well, with financial aid and an abundance of scholarships available out there. If I could go back in time and speak with my younger self, I would have already been a college graduate.

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To start your search for the right college will take time. You should make a list of qualities of what you are looking for in a college. You should list what your interests are, what activities you enjoy, what you hope to accomplish academically, and more. This list will serve as a guide to compare your top college choices. Next comes the research. Attend the college night at your school?s facility, read over the appealing brochure, and visit the college website. Learning as much as you can about the school will help you when you visit the school. Visiting the school should give you a good feel of the people and faculty. All that lies next is your decision. However, now that you are in the perfect school does not mean you will have your amazing college experience. To accomplish this means to come out of your dorm, hang out in the local spots, get involved in different organizations, and attend the lectures. Don?t be afraid when asking others about their different cultures; you are at college to learn. Always be excited about what you are doing. Excitement will ensue a happy college experience.

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Universities that are too small or conservative will definitely thwart the typical college experience; instead, it will be more like an extension of high school, especially if the student resides at home during their undergraduate years. It is understandable that some parents are protective of their children and prefer that they remain in town or even at home for these college years. However, if the student prefers to go elsewhere for college, I suggest they oblige. Unfortunately, I was forced to attend a college in my hometown and this propelled me to pull away from my parents. Noone likes to be coerced into a decision, especially if it is one that will last for four years or longer. Finding the right college does not necessarily mean Ivy League, prestigious, or even expensive. It is all about the right fit. At this crucial time, parents and students should definitely hold many discussions about potential schools, allowing everyone to have their say. Communication is invaluable to compromise and if a midway can be achieved, both parents and students will be more grateful in the end.

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Given the opportunity to speak to my college age self, I would give myself the confidence needed to be emotionally successful at a much earlier age. I would tell myself that everyone is challenged with something in their life, but choose to express their struggle differently. Do not aspire to be like someone you perceive to be successful. Aspire to find your own success and follow your dreams and your passions. Take time in making your decisions, but not so much time that you miss an opportunity. Do something that makes you fulfilled and do not worry about money and personal success. When you are in a career you love those things will come. And if by some change it does not, you at least love what you are doing, and that is fulfilling in itself. Take the time to love your family, friends and significant other. You will realize that these are the people that matter most in life and should receive your undivided attention. Too many life choices that override these relationships become detrimental to your being. Finally, find ways to be happy, to be loved and to love.

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Dear past self, You have done a great job in preparing for college. You had plenty of oppurtunities to become independant, and you took hold of those chances. If you had lacked that independence, college would have been extremely hard, and everything else would have fallen apart. The other great thing you made sure to do was learn how to study. So often now in college I hear the words "you can get through high school being knowledgeable and not have to study, but when you get to college, that does not work any more." I find it odd how I never heard this advice in high school, yet I still managed to develope good study habits. Finally, during finals week, I did a lot of studying, but I was not nearly as stressed as everybody else, and I even watched a few movies at night. Nonetheless, I did very well on my finals! How? I learned how to study consistantly throughout the semester, instead of cramming it all in the week before. Though it seems like a little more work on the front side, from experience I can say that it is definitely worth it! Sincerely, Your college self

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First and formost, high school senior self... enjoy your time with your frieinds. Not because you want to chill with them, but because a couple mpths after school started you wish you still had thier phone numbers. Its going to be hard. Physically, emotional, and mentally. It will hurt you many days when you choose to read that 50 page assignment. Never underestamate the power of an absence, missing one class can feel like you missed two weeks. Advice I may have for you are things you already know. Never procrastinate and ignore assignment thinking you will do them last minute, unfortunately its not thats easy. Enjoy the little moments of rest you have now because it just get busier for here on out. Have a good talk with your counseler in preperation for what your about to step into. College is not as hard as you think, and it is not as easy as you think either. But most of all, have faith in yourself. Never let enayone tear you away from your dream, and believe in that dream. Because there will come come a point you will be all you have. And Pay attention to everything.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to practice good study habits and time management. Also, I would recommend searching for colleges as early as possible that way you can have a wide verity of choices of colleges wanting you. Also, apply for as many scholarships as you can, because paying for college is becoming harder to do without. After gaining financial assistance you must manage your money. Once in college stay focus, and use your first year to see how you handle the classes and work load, because you do not want to put unnecessary weight on yourself. However, you should enjoy college because it is a wonderful experience, go to the campus games and interact with fellow classmates. This will help you to form and join study groups which will help you to study harder and more effectively. The only way to pass is to study hard, listen and participate in class. Lastly, you should make it your effort to talk and to get to know your professors because the more they speak with you the more you can learn and achieve.

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First I would think about what you would like to do in college. Find out what career path you want to take. Once you've figured that out, do research on colleges. Find out which collages and universities have programs that fit your needs, and would be beneficial in your career field. An important thing to consider is whether or not you want to stay in state or go to college out of state. Once you have narrowed down the list to a few. Send in applications to those schools. Once you are accepted to a school, call the office of admissions and arrange a tour. This will allow you to get a feel for the campus, and know where everything is and what building is what. If you are satisfied make final preparations to attend. If not, then investigate the other schools that were on your list and you recieved acceptance letters from. In order to make the most of college experience, it is not necessary to go all out in your studies. You need to maintain a healthy balance of serious studying, and casual recreation. A proper balance must be maintained in order to reduce stress.

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Congratulations! You just passed through one of the toughest years of high school: junior year. Even though your SAT and ACT scores were not what you desired, you did really well in your classes. Now, you may think that just because you finished one of the most crucial years of your high school career, you can just slack off and let loose. Well, think again. As a senior, maintain your GPA, strive to be your best, and do not, by no means, procrastinate. Yeah, procrastination is a tempting demon. He will reel you in, promise you relaxation and peace, and before you know it, you have two papers due, a project, and an exam all on the same day. Just do not do it! Senior year is important because, even if it seems cliche, just the beginning. In order to get to that university of your dreams, you have to get through senior year. Challenge yourself. You have a lot of potential and can achieve everything you set your mind to. Stop doubting yourself! You do it too much, and all you are doing is hurting yourself. I wish you the best and that God blesses you in everything.

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