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Iona College

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

Tips for choosing and surviving college : Talk to your academic advisor about your courses and major. In addition, look at the college course catalog to have an idea of what courses are required for your major. If you are curious about campus life ask students questions that you may have. Some areas that you want to cover are housing, meal plan, classes, study areas, career development, guest speakers, activities, sports, dorm life, etc. You have to give a certain amount of time of studying and reviewing material that you have learned in class. Allow some time each day after class to review your notes. Then when it comes time for midterm and final exams you won?t have to cram weeks of notes and readings. Check the total cost of attendance of the school. If you are awarded scholarships or grants for a certain amount of money that covers part of your tuition and fees look at the balance and see what you can afford. Some scholarships don?t increase over four years regardless of an increase in tuition. Most colleges increase their tuition and fees every year. Therefore, the balance that you have to pay every year will increase.

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If I could go back in time, I would have a few choice words. I would try even harder in college. I would say ‘aim for the sky’, by expanding your expectations and experiences. Take advantage of each / every experience that crosses your path. Be even more outgoing to meet contacts and experience life on a deeper level. Look to get involved in everything that you can because all things in life lead to a never-ending window of new and exciting opportunities. Those prospects will undoubtedly shape you as an individual. Don’t close the door to anything; rather cast a broad net and look to soak in every little experience for what it’s worth. Everything that happens to you (good, bad and indifferent) is a learning experience to take full advantage of. Look at your obstacles not as something overwhelming, but as the world simply testing you. Obstacles / hardships are chances to work on the weaknesses that you need to grow / mature as a successful and well-rounded human being. Lastly, don’t stress the little things because in a few years, they won’t mean a thing. Enjoy each and every day because time flies.

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When searching for college one must learn to be a bit selfish. One has to think about themselves. Despite what everyone else wants you to do you must make your own decisions without the influence of others. I learned this after experiencing it personally. My family wasn’t ready for me to leave the house. They felt that I could achieve my goals by going to any college that was close to home. They didn’t help me realize that sometimes even if it may seem difficult one must leave our comfort zone and explore. If I would have been open to the idea of leaving home many more opportunities would have been available to me. Despite my family’s dependence on me, I feel that they would have been benefited by not having me around. In addition, if I would have known about certain opportunity programs such as the HEOP or the CSTEP programs I also would have applied to some colleges I felt were out of my reach because of the cost of tuition and other expenses. To have a great college experience and use its maximal benefit one must do lots of research and be open minded.

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I would encourage students to take the time to visit all of the schools that they are considering and to speak to current students so that they choose the best school for them. I would also encourage students to research the clubs and organizations of the schools that they are considering, as well as the majors, so that they are better able to understand each aspect of the college. Lastly, I would encourage students to choose the college that they feel is the best fit for them, regardless of what others may want for them. There are so many different things to keep in mind when choosing a college, including finances, majors, and the social community, but in the end you have to be happy with your choice. Make sure that the people are accepting and can relate to you. Also make sure that the college can offer the major that you want. When you are in college, it is important to be open and accepting of others. It is also important to remember to have fun, but have your priorities in order. Making friends is very important, but do not forget that schoolwork is as well.

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When it comes to finding the right school, the most important thing to do is to first make sure they have your major. If you have a learning disability, make sure the school has the necessary resources to help you succeed. For parents, make sure the school is in your price range, because besides tuition there many other expenses that have to be factored in. Make sure the school has a lot of extraccuricular activities to get involved in, so you can meet new people. I also say to visit as many schools as you can. Once you step on the campus , if it's the school for you, you will feel it. You might feel comfortable in more than place, and should find out more about what people like to do for fun, how the professors are, and if there are places nearby where you can pick up anything you may need at any time of the day. In order to make the most of your college experience, you have to get involved. Getting involved will help you make new friends, present netwroking opportunities, and can get you involved in community service activities that look good on a resume.

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The advice I would give parents and students is to find a school where the student feels comfortable not only going to classes but also going to different places on campus and also living on campus if that's an option. Location is key. If dorming, the student should want to be far enough from home to grow independent, but depending on the person, being not too far from home could also be important. Also, you want a school that shows that they care about each individual student and will always be willing to help. To make the most out of the college experience, get involved in a few things that interest you. Meeting people helps in learning to understand and appreciate how everyone is different and how to interact with them. Make friends who you can trust because you can't always rely completely on yourself. Do the best you can in school but don't let it drive you crazy. It's easy to stress so relax when you need to. Don't give up. Take opportunities and make things happen because college can be similar to and will prepare you for the real world.

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I would tell myself that boys and relationships are not as important as they seem, everything will come in due time. Sex, kissing all that is definately worth waiting for the right person for. Fiting in should not be your priority, be proud of what and who you are it's cool to be unique and independent. School work is important! It's a lot harder to "wing" things in college than in high school. You are gunna have to study for some things and doing your homework actually counts a lot! Talk more, get involved; while theres nothing wrong with being shy and quiet you need to know thats its improtant to speak up for yourself. Don't let people influence you. Participate in class, don't worry about looking like a kiss up, trust me at this point your professors opinion of you is way more important than that of your peers. Keep your parents involved in your life they may not be the best but they're all you've got. Be honest about everything especially with your parents trust me it will make life so much easier. Don't skip class its not worth it. Work!

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First and foremost, follow your heart. Second, follow your gut; if you have a feeling that a school is right for you chances are your right. Take advice from everyone around you, but weight that advice no more than 40% on your decision. Remember, it is your decision to make. Never worry about getting 'stuck' in the school you first pick. It is easy to transfer if you decide that the school isn't right for you after all. Choose a place where you can feel at home. If you're not able to relax and feel at home it wont matter how great the school you wont be happy. College is transition so dont be afraid to try new things. Put yourself out there and live it up. If you are discouraged at first, hang in there it usually gets better. College is a big change for everyone; this change can create the bonds of friendship and love the will last a lifetime. Embrace the change and enjoy the process. As much as everyone stress it, it is not about the destination of graduation but truly how you get there and who your with. Finally, have fun!

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Well, to the parents I would say, please know that your children are not leaving you forever. Know that they love you tremendously more now than ever. Know that they thank you for all that you have done for them and have taught them throughout the years. Know that everything you have said to them over and over they did hear you and will take with them on their new journey. Know that we do miss you terribly and love you enourmously with all that we have become because of you. know that we will grow, but not without you, but because of what you have let us become. To the student I would say, don't be scared. You are about to embark on a wonderful future. You can become all and anything you want to be. I would also say join clubs and get involved in your school. Take advantage of all that is there for you to experience and learn. I would say don't be scared, mom and dad have done a great thing for you. Take advantage of this opportunity. And lastly, I would want to tell you that your parents are very proud.

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My advice to parents and/or students in terms of finding the right college would be to throughly research a wide variety of schools, paying attention to location of the school, majors/minors and degree programs offered, different clubs and organizations offered, campus resources, quality of academics, study abroad oppertunities, and scholarship oppertunities. Visit many schools and maybe even visit schools more than once. I personally regret not having researched and visited more colleges. In order to make the most of your college experience, get involved in one's school, and take advantage of all the clubs, organizations and events offered. Also take advantage of any tutoring services offered. Also, I would suggest for students to try and be more outgoing (I am personally shy and find this hard), however by being outgoing you are able to meet more people and expand your social network within the school. I feel that having a good social network at school will also improve the college experience.

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