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Illinois College

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

Hey, Darren, I want to congratulate you on taking advantage of so much that your high school has to offer you: - Taking all of the honors/advanced classes that were offered; - Playing competitively in three different varsity sports; - Making wise choices in your electives; - Volunteering in causes that you believe in; - Establishing great friendships. Now, I'd like for you to stretch just a little more and consider taking on leadership roles like Student Government, a class office, or president of one of your many organizations or clubs. Leadership roles in high school will improve your communication skills (oral and written) and develop listening, delegation, time-management, organizational, and human relations skills. I've been reading several professional publications recently and a common thread is regret at not having taken advantage of the opportunity to develop leadership skills initially in high school and then further refining them in college. Professionals feel that a lack of skills in these areas have negatively impacted both their job satisfaction and success. Keep up the great work, Darren! You are going to be very proud of your efforts in high school! And, please consider taking charge in an organization that you feel strongly about.

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As I progress through my studies, I realize that my skills in communication, computers, group collaborations, and people skills have grown in magnitude. With these, I can enrich society to embrace differences and learn to work together towards a common goal. I was fortunate enough to participate in a BreakAway while earning my Bachelor's Degree. After 10 weeks of study focused on associated literature, history, and sociological aspects, a mixed group of faculty and students spent a week in London, England, where we visited some of the most spectacular buildings and sites in the world. Our campus contains visiting students from several foreign countries and encourages U.S. students to study or travel abroad by offering scholarships, grants, and opportunities through the Study Abroad and BreakAway programs. Interaction with students from differing ethnicities or countries is emphasized through clubs and classes on-campus. Globalization is spreading, and being able to cooperate and build friendships with other people from different backgrounds builds character and strengthens our global community. Keeping this in mind, I stay in contact with friends who have graduated and moved back to their own countries to continue their studies.

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Spend an hour or two each night researching for the best college. Decide which regions of the country seem most ideal. A few very important aspects to take into account is the size of the college, and if a public or private institution is more suitable. Weigh the advantages of a liberal arts education, or a more technical educational field such as engineering. Once a list of five to seven schools has been made, arrange to have the administrations of those schools send more information, and if possible schedule a time to visit the institution. When in college, go ahead! Take advantage of some of the opportunities such as study abroad and a campus activity or two. This will open up ways to meet other students and create friendships that could very well be for life. Do not forget to balance all that is scheduled so that stress will be at a healthy level. Make sure to continue to search for scholarships and use any tool or opportunity that is feasible. Last but not least, always remember college students are predominately young adults without real world responsibility, which allows students to make the most out of their collegiate experience!

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I believe that finding the right college can be a life-changing experience. In my personal opinion, attending a four-year college or university and living on- campus is the best college experience, although I am probably biased because I do attend a four-year college and live on- campus. Four-year schools offer many types of opportunities, such as travel, research, and internships that may only be available at these schools. My school offers "Breakaway" programs, in which a one or two week trip is made possible by taking a travel course. I plan to travel to Peru this summer via this program. I also have experience with a two-year school. I have taken a class at a local community college, and I felt that learning did not extend beyond the classroom. When class was finished, everyone immediately left to return home for the day. At a four-year school, students extend their learning, as they spend much time together studying outside of class. I have a regular study group that meets in our science building most evenings; this would not be possible if we were not living on- campus and therefore available many more hours.

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Scholarships. Seek and apply now. Do not think that they are not out there. I have lost thousands of potential dollars by being unaware of Eagle Scout scholarships. Those are valuable, and along with others, will not be available beyond your first year. Many are easy, just filling out basic information and writing essays. Do them. Majors. Wait to declare. Do not be like others going in with one decided major only to choose differently later. Such students often result with classes not applying towards the new major. Wait until you are absolutely sure what you want to do. It is worth it. Extracurriculars. Join groups. They are a great way to meet people. Sigma Pi is the literary society to choose, but go to more “smokers” so you know more of the actives and brothers during the pledging process. Also, do sports. Cross Country and Track are fantastic at Illinois College. Lastly, I am glad I was recognized for six years of community service by our mayor, earned my Eagle Scout, participated in church groups, and worked for good grades. It is all worth it when you get here. It is the character you and your future stands on.

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In deciding which college to attend, there are many factors to consider. Students need to think about what they want to gain from their college experience. They also need to figure out what they plan to major in to make sure the college of their choice offers their major. Size and location is another important factor. The student must feel comfortable at their college. Although they will spend a great amount of time on-campus, it is important that they feel comfortable in the city or town in which the college is located. In order to make the most out of the college experience, an individual needs to set high goals and standards for themself. It is crucial to remember that a student is at college to grow academically and socially. The ultimate goal is to earn a degree and learn from the many experiences offered. Students also need to be open to trying something new. College is about broadening your horizons and pushing yourself to the limit. When a student graduates from college, the ultimate goal is to move on to the next phase in life ready to begin a career that he or she has been prepared for.

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College was valuable for me for that fact that in order to be successful in life, you must have a good college education. In the realization of this, I decided to pursue a dual learning experience, to heighten my musical skills as well as my business sense. I come from a family with high values in pursuing a college education, so going into college was not a mattter of choice or opinion. My choice in higher learning was a result of my past experience in business and music. I consider myself an artist: keyboard player, songwriter, and producer; as well as a businessman, after selling Cutco merchandise and aspiring to be an entreprenuer. In order to start my own businesses, my intelligence would need to be backed by a solid source of reference: a college degree. It never mattered to me where I attained my degree; just the fact that I am aiming for several in my possession by 2016 brings confidence to my inner workings. The fact that I am ambitious and a hard worker, in my eyes, proves busting my buns for a college degree is worth every penny spent; because in the end, its a penny earned.

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I believe that students must pick the school that meets their needs. In order to find that school, one must visit numerous types of colleges and not wait until second semester of their senior year to start. When visiting these schools, one must ask questions, sit in on a class, and go on a tour. Perhaps make notes of the good and bad things of each college and do not limit oneself to one school. It is important to have a ranked set of universities after visiting and it is important to get one's application in early. After deciding on a school and moving in, one should attend the orientation programs or different social activities on campus in order to meet people. In order to have a great college experience, I recommend joining many different organizations that one is interested in. Being involved is a great way to meet people with similar interests that one might not have met otherwise. It is also important to be open to new things and accepting of different people. I believe that following this advice will lead to great success in college and in one's further pursuits of education.

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I believe that the best advice I could give myself is to work hard and set a goal for college. Coming into college, I did not know what to expect, but it was not a hard transition. The faculty and staff are very friendly and are willing to help with any problems. With that in mind, one of the best pieces of advice I could give to myself is to get to know my professors over the summer. There were many opportunities to have conversations with my future professors, but I was nervous to start a dialogue. I believe if I would have gotten to know them better, it would have made the transition easier. Having professors around campus that you can go and talk with about any question or problem, even when it is not about a certain class, is important. Being away from home can be a hard transition, but with the help of the professor I had befriended, the transition was made that much easier. The best advice I received after coming to college was, ?Mine your professors, they are your greatest allies when it comes to knowledge, and your greatest friends when it comes to conversation.?

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Students, don't be too eager. Teenagers tend to be hasty, however this is not a decision that you should make quickly. It is not like picking out a new shirt; this is your future. Take a look at all of your options, looking at what you want to take out of your college experience. Don't base your decision on where your friends are going because you will make many new friends. While you may go to the same college or university as your friends, it is important to expand out and meet knew people. Parents, let your kids look at all of their options before giving your opinions. I know too many classmates that went to college at the schools that their parents or siblings went to. Having the right education and experience is sometimes more important than keeping the tradition alive. Picking a college can be stressful but it can also be very fun and exciting. Looking to the future can sometime be scary for high school student; however, my friends and myself became much more excited about college when we sat down and decided where we would be spending the next 4 years of our lives.

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