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Illinois State University

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

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now, the advice I would give myself to begin with is education is the key to the rest of your life. Without an education you stress over bills, having insurance, living paycheck to paycheck, having to work two and three jobs at a time to survive and put food on the table for your children. To make the rest of your life not so scary and stressful get an education so you can get a good job even a career that will give you and your family the sense of security that you cannot get from working a minimum wage job, with no benefits, no retirement plan, no vacation or sick days. The transition from high school to college for me is been exciting, considering I'm 34 years old and have 5 children, this is my chance to show my children the difference between having an education and career and then not having one. I finished my GED this last year and I am ready to learn and eager to better myself for me as well as my family.

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I would tell myself that rushing the process isn't a good thing. No one can make the decision but yourself. Thinking too much will only make you question the right choice. I would also tell myself that junior college isn't always a bad choice. If you are uncertain about going away to a four year university, dont do it. It may mean you arent ready and ruin your experience. Giving yourself time is key and making sure you are mentally prepared. You have to be very open to new things and new people. College isn't just about doing the school work, one should enjoy the social aspects. Joining in things may help the transition. Also dont be afraid if a conflict arises while at school, dont let it bring you down. Conflicts and problems are normal and will only make you a stronger person. Never tell yourself no, or i cant. Just keep trying. Also try to take some fun classes, learning about your hobbies may give you some releaf. Also, excercise is a good way to relieve stress and will improve your life in every aspect.

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Trust your gut. High School Senior Madeline questioned everything. She questioned what others thought of her. She questioned whether or not she was making the right decisions, and she questioned what she wanted for herself. However, in retrospect I knew that this old version of Madeline knew what she wanted. I was once so consumed with making the "perfect" choices that I ignored the only thing that could guide me in making all my decisions: my gut. Having completed a semester in college, I've learned that I know what I want, and when faced with tough choices, I learned to take a breath, think about what I wanted out of my college experience, and realized I knew exactly what to choose. Whether the choices affected my relationships, academics, or my extracurriculars didn't matter. College is a time to figure out who I am. In keeping with that, I have to trust that my gut feeling will guide me in the way I'm supposed to go, allow me to learn from my mistakes, and enjoy what the next four years have to offer me.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior some advice I would give myself about college life and making the transition would be get involved with as many clubs as possible. This is an excellent way to meet new people and looks good on your r?sum?. Also, rushing to join a sorority may be a good idea. Even if I have no intentions on joining I should at least do rush week because it may be an opportunity to meet a lot of new people and I may actually find a house that shares the same morals as me. Be prepared to share your miniature room with another person for the year. It may be hard to get alone time because your roommate never leaves the room, so you should consider taking walks or finding a place of your own around campus. Now about campus food, learn how to eat what is provided because the weekly menus can have slim pickings and tend to be repetitive. Also, if you ever get home sick, breaks are longer than in high school and a lot of people go home for the long weekends.

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My college experience helped me to gain leadership, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities. I was President of my National-Honor Fraternity (Phi Sigma Pi). I was the leader of a ~40 student organization to help build a strong, positive reputation on campus. I remained involved with volunteering at a crisis hotline weekly to help anonymous callers who threatened suicide, were homeless, or had experienced domestic/family abuse.I also volunteered weekly to help a 9-year-old leard to read. I have also been part of a Health Services center to increase knowledge about sex, drug, and alcohol use on our campus and trying to stay safe. I have gained so much through my experiences at ISU that I even held two part-time jobs to continue my successes. I worked with adults with disabilities to help them obtain a more independent lifestyle. Through this job, I then graduated and have been working at a school with kindergarteners with disabilities. Without ISU, I wouldn ot have the accomplished resume that I do now.

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If I had the opportunity to go back in time and give my senior-self advice about college, I would start by asking myself what it is I want to accomplish in my life: "You want to be smart? Go review your textbooks instead of giving up on your homework. You want to make your family proud? Work hard instead of worrying about not being good enough." I was very self-conscious in high school; I thought that I was stupid and that I was incapable of reaching my goals. Now that I can look back on those experiences, I can see how greatly my mindset affected the way I behaved-and how it affected my grades. I would explain to my senior-self that I should not give up on studying if the material got difficult. I would admit to myself how I wish I did not quit in fear of failure. I wish that I would have worked hard to earn a full-ride scholarship to a nice school so that my immigrant mom would have less financial stress. Now, as a college sophomore, I still regret earning mediocre grades in high school.

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If I could go back and give my high school senior self advice about college, I would tell myself things to make the transition easier and more fun. The first thing I would tell myself would be to take one or two general education classes at a local community college during the summer before college to get ahead and possibly graduate early. As of now, I am set to graduate on time in four years in May 2016. For me, the transition into college life wasn't too difficult mostly because I was in marching band and I had no choice but to meet new people. There are a few other things that I would tell myself to do differently going into my freshman year of college: Don't be afraid to meet new people. Almost everyone is away from home and in the same boat of transitioning. On the topic of new people, if you have a roommate talk to them. Ask them to get lunch or dinner with you. Also, don't worry about being away from home for long periods of time, just stay busy with your school work and other school functions.

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I would tell myself that making friends, makes your freshman year of college. it is a hard transition and you cant meet new people by not getting out of your room. you have to try new things and get out of your comfort zone to be able to make friends. Your roomate, bad or good, if you have friends they will get you through all the long weeks with three exams or that eight page paper you need to finsih in three hours. the friends you make become you make shift family at school. you go home on break to go home, but you end up wanting to go back to school to see your family. with school, i would tell myself that going to class can make or break your A. so many times professors do random sign ins for extra credit, those extra points will always help. reading and doing homework, may seem tedious but it really helps when you pull out the study guide and know most of the things on it. it really does help. College is about finding a career but also to find a new family, so make friends and do good in school.

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To parents and students looking for the right college, I would simply say explore your options and your personality. If you prefer smaller towns to larger towns, go with a smaller campus. If you are a social butterfly, make sure that the school offers a lot of opportunities to meet people. Also, ensure that the college of your choice offers programs to develop your major of choice to its fullest. In order to make the most of your college experience, you must try your hardest to come out of your shell. Constantly introduce yourself to people, and don't be afraid to strike up conversation. Really, no one minds making new friends especially in such a large setting such as a college. Don't be afraid to ask the person next to you for notes, and don't be afraid to ask the professors for extra help. Remember that making the most of your college experience will not involve strictly academic principles. Introduce yourself to everyone on your floor, and set aside time to study. This will help you succeed.

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Ok man this is the beginning of the rest of your life. Over the summer you need to buckle down and prepare to live on your own. You should learn to do your own laundry and waking yourself up. While working this summer save your money because there will be time in college you need some spending money and if you forgot you will not be working. When you get to school be outgoing get to know all the people on your floor and in your classes. If you stay shut up in your room you will not have fun at college. Also get involved in student organizations and sports clubs or intramurals. This will be the best way to make new friends and meet people interested in what you like. Oh and number one thing to learn is get used to reading, a lot of reading. Take the summer to read the paper and other books get used to fitting reading into your schedule. Believe me this will help because in college there is a lot of reading. Last but not least you are no longer in high school so the easy way out won?t work here.

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