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Illinois State University

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

Finding the right college is a lot like an interview. You are interviewing the college to see if it accomodates to your particular interests on campus, and if the college will deliver the knowledge you wish to receive when you graduate. Visit a couple of campuses and ask any question that comes to mind to a couple of students. Tour guides are there to spruce things up, students will tell the truth. For example, If you are interested in the sports program, ask a sports athlete that goes to the university. The best recommendation about making the most out of your college experience is to be yourself. There is no popularity contest in college, and making friends is much easier to do. I guarantee there are students that share the same interests as yourself, and being yourself is the best way for them to find you.

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Visiting the campus is of utmost importance, it can really make or break your decision. Know what you're looking for in a college, for example a big or small campus and what activities you want to do. Make friends with those people on your floor/in your whole dorm. Strongly suggest living in the dorms. Get along with your roommate as much as possible, me and my roommate did this by talking about how studius we are, what tv shows we like to watch, what activities we like to do, who's responsible for what, etc. This helped set guidelines, I suggest even roommates who know each other do this. I don't think it is necessary to get involved with campus activities at least for me, I met people in classes and through friends I already knew on campus. Be outgoing, there's friends out there for every single person.

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The key ingredient to finding the right college and making the most of it is the environment in which the university provides the students. Visit each campus you are interested in for a day, longer if possible. Eat in the cafeteria, sit in on a class, talk to the students on the quad, or common area, spend a night in the university dorm if you can. Universities are never adequately described on paper. Just because a university has a great reputation doesnt mean that its the right fit for you. When I applied for college I had my heart set in on Suffolk University in Boston, but it turned out that I was more comfortable on a traditional campus, rather than a vertical (urban) one. Visiting a college makes you see the school in a different light, and for me, changed the entire path of my education for the better.

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Hello Self, I wish there was a few things I could have told you a few months ago to make your transition to college easier. First, don't start out in summer classes like I did. This is your first semester into college and you don't know what you've gotten yourself into yet. Summer classes are so face paced, you need to be use to college before you take on the challenge of summer classes. Also, if you decided to fill out the Fasfa application which my school required for admission, make sure you have a professional help you. They usually don't charge. This is because if you do it yourself, and mess up, it is very complicated and frusterating to fix. It will also take longer for your results to come in if you have made mistakes. Have fun in college but make sure your priorties are set straight. Enjoy, Myself.

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When you choose a college, do not allow distance or money keep you from doing what you dream of doing. If you want to attend the school, that you like, just get good grades, and get a job on campus. If you do not go to the school that you want to go to, you will most likely end up regretting it. I know that I somewhat do, because I was supposed to go to school on a scholarship for athletics, but I didn't. But the best advice to give to future college students is, to go into school on a positive note. Do not goof around, it is much easier to get situated first. I know it's exciting, and you may think that you need to join everything, but enjoy school for a semester, and if you think that you are ready to take on the many endeavors that college life throw at you, well then good luck! Enjoy college.

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Illinois State has made me a well balanced person and teacher. The education course work completely prepared me for a lifetime of teaching. The practicum and student teacher experiences made me feel comforatble in the classroom before graduation. The professors were knowledgeable and friendly. They always put forth effort to make my experience better. I feel that I was on a campus of a perfect size. It felt like a community rather than a large city. The town is young and lended itself to the campus. There were many opportunities to make friends and meet people from various backgrounds. I was able to be invovled in campus committess and clubs. I enjoyed watching the sporting events of the Redbirds as well. Illinois State was a home away from home. It was the perfect place to spend four wonderful years.

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If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to be so nervous about going to school. The transition is way easier than you think it will be. You will have no trouble getting used to the college life. The classes are not as hard as you think they will be. As long as you go to class and pay attention, you will be fine. You will make a ton of friends and have a great time hanging out with them. You will meet a ton of new people and it will not be hard for you to make new friends like you thought it would be. So just calm down. Be smart about going to class and doing your work. You will be fine if you just be yourself. No one judges you here like they did in high school. You will love it here. So stop worrying so much and enjoy the time you have here.

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Make sure it has a wide array of majors to choose from just in case you change your mind. Visit more than once. Stay overnight when you visit at least once. Make sure you pay attention to your gut feeling when choosing; pick a place for the right reasons, and pick a college YOU want to go to, not one your parents might want you to go to. Get involved and try your best to make friends. Go to plays and musical performances. Eat well and get enough sleep. Don't get caught up in the drinking scene; it's not the right vehicle through which good friendships are made and healthy relationships are started. Take at least one day per week to do something for yourself; relax. Stay in touch with friends and family. Keep a positive attitude and make the best of your situation and you will do great!

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For the parents, I would say to help your son/daughter pick the college that will meet her needs. This is a time for them to be on their own and figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life. The school needs to be far enough away to get the whole experience, but close enough for them to come home whenever they want. Just be a guide for them and they will thank you for it later. For prospective students, I would say to pick a school that will offer you everything that will make you happy. College is a time to learn more about yourself and to have fun; join a club/organization, make friends, but most of all - do what you want to do. There isn't anyone here to tell you how to live your life. So do everything you can and make sure to take it all in; it will be totally worth it.

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I would say to myself: do not doubt your choices. Stick with your gut decisions, because you know that you will make the best choices that you can for yourself. College is a time to worry about your identity and yourself completely, and it should not fall upon your shoulders to correct anyone else's mistakes but your own. While it may be difficult, it is important to learn how to choose people to call your best friends. There are many people in college that you will meet that will try to tear you down and dismantle you. Keep your head high, move on, and do what is best for you. Use your time in college to find yourself, and find those who truly make you happy. If you are not happy, move on to a new chapter of your life; do not dwell on the past, as it will only create heartache and distrust.

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