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Illinois State University

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

College is an opportunity to start off brand new again, a personal renaissance, in which you can find new friends, make new grades, and become a new person. Whatever you may have done in high school that got you labeled into a clique, forget about it, because now you are whoever you want to be, and I encourage you with all my soul to put behind you what other people think about you and do what makes you happy. The drama of high school will be behind you, so go ahead and talk to that professer about your test, debate with your classmates in your general education politics class to support your opinoin, and dont let the peer pressure of drinking, smoking and partying change you into someone you dont like. There are plenty of student organizations on every campus, so get out there and try out something new, continue something you love, or just have fun. Those organizations are also a great place to meet people who will enjoy you for you, and will become those friends that you have forever and are truly there for you. Have fun, do well, and congratulations on a new you.

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Dear High School Senior Brittany, Its me, the 22 year old version of you, with some advice about college and your transition. The very first thing I want you to do is understand you are a wonderful person. Its time to take pride in who you are and have confidence in sharing that with new people. Next, tell you "BFF" you are going to room with a random person. This will help you branch out and maintain a friendship you will otherwise lose (trust me I know). When you get to campus be open, and be your own person. Make plans with other new students instead of following around one friend. You have countless chances to make friends whether it be at campus activities or classes. Embrace new friendships. Now to classes-buy your books ahead of time, don't procrastinate, put in your best effort, and ask for help! Do those things and class will be the easy part of college! At first you will be homesick but talk to mom about it. You'll have loving emails and letters from family to help! Be kind, be confident and be sure to meet Tyler (your future fiance)! Love, Brittany

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Choosing which college is right for you may be one of the most important decisions of your life. College is the place where you make your lifelong friends; the place where you learn the skills that you will use for a lifetime, whether they are your career or people skills. The actual place or campus that you land on is not the most important part of your experience. Always choose the place where you feel the most comfortable because you will be yourself in that environment and let other people see the real you. College is not about the classes that you couldn?t get into because you had a late registration date; college is about the new friends you made to complain to about not getting into that class. Making true friends is the most important part of college. They are to stay up late with you to prep you for an early exam, go out on the town with, and make the most of a crummy situation. Make the most of every situation and never waste time because you always think that you have much more of it than you really do. Four years really does fly past.

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Choosing which college is right for you may be one of the most important decisions of your life. College is the place where you make your lifelong friends; the place where you learn the skills that you will use for a lifetime, whether they are your career or people skills. The actual place or campus that you land on is not the most important part of your experience. Always choose the place where you feel the most comfortable because you will be yourself in that environment and let other people see the real you. College is not about the classes that you couldn?t get into because you had a late registration date; college is about the new friends you made to complain to about not getting into that class. Making true friends is the most important part of college. They are to stay up late with you to prep you for an early exam, go out on the town with, and make the most of a crummy situation. Make the most of every situation and never waste time because you always think that you have much more of it than you really do. Four years really does fly past.

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If I had the ability to warn my senior self about college life, I would have told myself to stop wishing I could finally escape the routine world I lived in and to cherish every waking moment my world was handed to me free of charge. The high school to college change is much harder than I could have ever imagined. Making new friends and gaining the same trust you had with your elementary school to high school friends is unbearably frustrating and discouraging. I would have told myself to never waste or take any moment for granted in my old house if I knew we were going to move out of it shortly after going to college. I would have trained myself how to see money as a prize instead of a luxury and encouraged myself to never let that optimistic smile that got me through highschool go because perspective changes everything about a place. But if I could only chose to do one thing, I would have shaken my hand and said "Great job kid, keep doing what youre doing" because support and having someone believe in you is one of the most powerful gifts there are.

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What I have gotten out of my college experience is more then one single opportunity; it was a whole new row of doors that opened for me. I recieved chances to do things I never would have thought possible before my attendance to college. I worked hard, which insured positive results and good grades bought me a confidence I didn't have before. I stared seeing my cup as half-full rather than half-empty, and before I knew it, I had acquired a spot in the top 3% of my college. I would have never before believed enough in myself to try for the opportunity to study abroad. However, grades have taken me to new heights in school and I realized: grades are everything in school, but can only get you so far. When it comes to life, I feel how you handle lifes situations will make or break you. I would have never before believe enough in myself to try for the opportunity to study abroad. A positive attitude is a key component in success and I think that is why it has been valuable to attend I learned one of the many important factors needed to succeed.

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Senior year of high school is a very exciting time. Students are about to finally leave home, in pursuit of an education that will lead towards a future career and life. The promise of a new beginning creates a feeling of being on top of the world for many students. However, this feeling can lead to many problems during the college transition. If it was possible to travel back in time, the biggest piece of advice I could offer myself would be to stay on task. It's easy to get distracted during freshman year, and even easier to forget that you are in college, not for partying, but for an education. If I could do it all again, I would read all assignments, take extensive notes and study diligently. With these changes, I would have made a smoother transition into college and would have been much more comfortable with my new surroundings. Many high school seniors do not realize it, but a higher education does require a large amount of work. Once this is discovered, it is much easier to succeed in not only a university setting, but also a future career.

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Do not look into schools solely for the familiarity of their name (i.e., Ivy Leage schools, or places like University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign). Take a look at what the schools are well known for, as well as what they have to offer outside of classes. It is not absolutely necessary to go to an east coast or west coast school, and there is no need to go to a school hundreds of miles away when there is a school that is just as decent within your state. If you are intimidated by big cities, it would be better to skip schools like DePaul or University of Chicago in Chicago. This also goes for students who like urban/populated areas. Attending a school located somewhere in the middle of miles of cornfields may not be a good choice. When you do find the right college, make sure you join something. There are many clubs, music ensembles and sports to choose from. You will find people who have the same interests as you, and it will give you something to do besides classes and school work, and have something fun to look forward to every day.

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Parents: listen to your child; Sudents: listen to your parents. Choosing a college is a huge decision and students will not only need as many opinions they can get, but also trusted advice from a parent. However, the ultimate decision should be left up to the student, for he/she knows themselves the best and where they'd be happy. For most middle-class families, such as myself, the largest factor when choosing a college is financial aid. I attended a large state university at the behest of my parents, yet it wasn't the best choice for me. My education and happiness may have been compromised since I was accepted into top=tier presigious uiversities. I am growing to like it where I am and it's important to students who don't end up at thier first choice to atleast give thier new school a try before they decide to hate it. I was bitter when I first enrolled which impacted my experience. Now I'm looking at my school from a new perspective and like it alot better. There will be "jerks" and potentcial freinds at every school, so just give it a try!

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Although, you are having a great time as a senior and it is going almost immaculate. It is extremely significant to not forget about your future. It seems like college is far away and will never come, but it will be here before you even know it. You are a beautiful and intelligent young woman and I know you are capable of accomplishing more than you know. I would just like for you to remember to keep a few things in mind as the next milestone approaches. First of all, STUDY, STUDY and study some more! You might possibly think you do not need to now, but use this time to practice for your next four years. College is all about studying and utilizing your time wisely. I would love for you to be prepared for that next step and senior year is the best place to begin. You have come this far and I want you to be as prepared as possible. Also remember that with growing up, changes also come along. That means that your high school friends will not always be there, but do not fear you have a bright future awaiting full of excitement and possibilities!

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