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Illinois State University

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

It is always hard when trying to look for the right college for you. You need to keep an open mind of all the colleges that you may visit. Make sure that you also go to a college where you may now some people, it is always hard to start off the year not knowing where to have fun or meet people. If you have those friends that have been there for a year, it is always safe to know that that could be an optional school. When you are visiting, don?t be afraid to ask questions. When I first came to this school, I knew no one. But I went and talked to people on my floor and we hung out, and luckily one of the people that I met was a sophomore and he knew where parties were and he was a fun person to hang around. So if you are nervous about talking to people, you need to break the barrier while you are in college. When you meet new people in college, they can turn out to be your friends for life.

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Choosing a place where you feel comfortable and at home is so important. After all, it will be your new home for your college years. Its so vital to emerge yourself in all your college has to offer. Joining clubs and attending socials and sporting events is a great way to meet new people and decide what it is exactly that you are interested in. And you should not expect college to be how it is in movies. It is definitely not all about drinking and partying, and is not what you should be going for anyway. There are so many resources and opportunities available to students for all of their needs if they apply themselves and make an effort to get to know their campus. College is an unforgettable experience that will take you to great places and open so many doors for you. As any graduate will tell you, make the most out of your years, because once they are over you'll want them back!

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If only I could go back and help my high-school self plan for college. I would tell myself that college would not fix everything, let alone did I know the stress of paying for it would send me back home after a semester after not being able to afford a 4-year instituion any longer. All the problems fell in the right place so that I wasn't able to get a loan because no one could co-sign, and I didn't qualify for enough financial aid. In the end I had to leave my new college friends and nice professors to go to a community college. If I could go back, I would save myself the heartache and attended a community college from the beginning. It doesn't matter if that's not the "popular" thing to do! That is the most logical thing to do. If I had, I would be in a lot better place! College is a place to get an education, and today the best option is to choose the most affordable one.

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I have recieved more independence, responsibility, and I have also gotten to know and understand my self better. Every time I step foot on campus I feel like an adult and i have to handle my buisness as an adult. I also feel as though i have options as to what i want to do with my life and education, i dont feel smothered or like a child. college has been very valuable to attend bescause it is what gives you oppertunities in life. Especially with the economy the way it is, you have to have some good education to get a decent job and make enough money to take care of yourself. it is also valuable to me because there is so much you can learn for free (if you attend a community college) so why would you pass that oppertunity up. Attending college can open doors and windows that the world may need you to see or go through to help make a chance and to become a better person.

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Before I attended college I was already a bright young adult. I always passed my test with exceptional grades. My progects were handed in neat and on time and I would never disrupt the classroom as the teacher would teach. I always knew i wanted to attend collegee and make a good life for myself since i was a highschool freshaman. Evreyone would say that college is very hard and that not just anyone can attend. When i got to college it was nothing like what i heard. Its just highschool on level two. I think that its only hard when you dont put your all in the work you do, thats why I make sure I put 110% in everything I do. II feel smart and liberated being in college. I feel that college broadedns my horizons and keeps me well rounded and educated in every aspect of life. Some people say that knowledge is power, and Iam going to be a very powerful woman one day.

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of anything. College is the time to grow and find yourself. Try not to fall too much into the party scene- I have seen countless number of people get too caught up in the party scene and then get on academic probation, it wastes time and money in the long run. Don't be afraid to ask professors questions about *anything*! Maybe they do research on something that you've never heard of before and what they share with you turns out to be what you desire in your life. Get involved with student organizations! It's a great way to meet people, and to stregthen your skills and abilities. If the school you attend (so this goes out to all starting Freshmen) does not have a student organization you're interested in, don't be afraid to start your own. Specifically for ISU, pay attention at the summer orientation... there's some valuable information there.

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If I was able to go back in time I would have an ear full to give myself. I would start out making sure that I knew that no one is going to go out of their way to help unless they are asked. Counselors are more then will to point you in the right direction but they need to be told what direction you are looking for. They are a great resource that should not be ignored. I would also try to talk myself into going to Junior College first. I was unaware of the cost differences and how much harder the transition was going to be to jump into a 4-year school. I also would of made sure that I knew what would happen if I stayed on the same path that I took. Still working towards your major at 26 due to having to slow down and work on paying down the debt that has been accumulated. Not to mention the hour plus long commute that I have to complete due to job location.

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Extensive research would definitely be my advice. I didn't find out about a better institution for my intended major until a few months ago. It's definitely too late to for me to consider transferring, unless I want to start over in my college experience. Best fits as a far as majors and financial aid tend to be the two most common factors weighted when deciding which college to attend. The third factor would probably be distance away from home, but most would definitely sacrifice that if the institution is offering a certain amount of money for the student's education. I would tell students to PLEASE focus on academics FIRST. After and only after that is taken care of, you can get to the social aspects of college. The parties and extracurricular activities aren't going anywhere. At the end of the day, you are in college to receive an education.

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When you are trying to find the right college, take your time, don't rush or get frusturated. Things like this take time, you won;t find the perfect school right away. Also make sure you visit the schools and go into the bulilnding and meet and talk to studensts on campus to get a feel of what they think. When it comes to the college experience, just go to all your classes, participate do all your work and really study for those tests. But don't just focus all your hard work on studying, go out, meet new people, volunteer and do something good for yourself and the community, my favorite is volunterring at animal shelters. join sports and clubs and anything you think will be fun and safe. And when you get behind in your work, always talk to your professor and get the extra help and tutoring right away I made sure I did that when I got behind in accounting.

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If I could talk to my senior self, I would emphasize the importance of applying for scholarships. Even though jobs are said to be available on-campus, it can be very difficult to obtain one. This is for the same reason that all of the other students need money too! Whenever you see an opportunity presented to you (such as a scholarship) go for it! There is no reason why you should not give yourself the chance to apply for it. Of course, you may be lazy to write the essay for it but trust me, your future college-self will thank you later. If you apply to scholarships at the beginning of your senior year, you just might not have to be worrying about money while you are in college. Think about all of that time and energy that you will save by not working while you're in college, and how you will then be able to use it all towards your academic performance!

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