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Jackson State University

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

According to William Lowe Bryan, ?Education is the one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get.? Unfortunately, these sage words are reflective of some and in fact depict a grave reality for many. Yearly,students enroll in schools that are not condusive to their personality which results in parents funding education that is not received. Therefore, I would advise parents and students alike to be very careful in their selection. Education is so essential to future achievements that is vital that one choose the right institution for advancement. So many times indivdiuals opt for institutions based on names and stereotypes, however, this is not recommended at all. This leads to poor decisions that could affect the individuals matriculation. Students, choose a college that is designed to accomodate you - not only as a student but as a person as well. The university of your choice will be your prospective home and it is important that you are well adjusted and that you take advantage of the opportunites that lie ahead of you. College life is an experience that will be reflected in memory for years; therefore, the decision process should be handled accordingly.

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My father instilled in me the values of going to college and receiving a promising education. Throughout my matriculation in college, I have been awarded some amazing opportunities and even gain strength from times of adversity. I have always pride myself in being involved on campus, interacting with my instructors, servicing the community, and maintaining high scholastics. But my greatest honor of achievement is not the positions I have held or the prestigious accolades that I have obtained, but the impact that I have been blessed to have made on so many lives. Attending college has been very fulfilling to me because it has allowed me to not only pursue greater strides of achievement but use my experience to inspire others. Every opportunity on campus that I have partaken in has played a vital role in allowing me to meet a unique individual each day. Upon conversing with each individual, I have been able to assist, encourage, and even leave a lasting impression on others whom I have not yet had the privilege to meet. Through this experience I have received a great education and most of all a greater purpose in life to truly inspire others.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to spend the next four years in a junior college pursuing certificates in Welding and Collision Repair. I would tell myself to take more time to contemplate my career choices to prevent myself from having to repay multiple school loans. I would make the most of my caring, compassionate demeanor, and goal-oriented determination to focus on a career in Social Work because I truly enjoy interacting with and helping people from all walks of life. I would concentrate on maintaining high academic achievements so that I could broaden my chances of receiving scholarships and grants to defer or prevent massive financial repayments after college. In return for receiving these funds, I would give back to the community by volunteering my time and/or resources after graduation. While going back to talk to myself during my senior year in high school would have made some things easier in my life, doing so would have thwarted my life experiences and perhaps, prevented me from experiencing the things I have experienced and prevented me from being the person I am today.

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Advice that I would give parents on helping their children have the best college is experience is financial advice... Try, please try, as much and as hard as you can to be involved in the financial status of your child while they're in school. Do they have enough money to pay for school? Are books covered? Room and board covered? Are you equipped with enough food and drink in their dorms and/or apartment without having to secretly borrow behind their family/loved one members back. Being involved like this will dramatically change the relationship between you and your child. You all will grow together and learn about the costs of your child living alone together. The same goes for the student in a way... Student, if you need help. Tell your parents, don't suffer without anyone knowing if parents are unable to help, your local church, your falculty and staff, theyre all there for advice, encouragement, and help and providing a stable living environment for you. And most importantly, dont be afraid to contact the school DEAN. Trust me.. he/she is there for a REASON. Theyve been there and done everything you're doing now.

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I would tell myself to stay true yourself no matter what. It is so easy to loose yourself and loose sight of your goals and aspirations once you enter your post-secondary education. Distractions and hardships come right after another. I would tell myself that although college is a time to learn and experience new things dont let those experience deter you from your dreams. Set a plan and stick to it. Be willing and open to learn yourself, but dont loose sight of who you were before entering college. Stay true to that person that got you there. Sex, drugs, parties, alcohol, fake friends and much much more is going to come your way you must be strong enough to decipher the truth. Be smart enough to get your degree but intelligent enough to know that earning your degree is a small fraction of what college is all about. Its the growth, connections, networking, character building and experiences that define you. You should seek to leave your undergrad with not just a diploma but a little more insight and understanding into the world and yourself. Theres a difference in knowlege and education be wise enough to obtain them both.

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Choosing the right college it has to be a choice that the student makes . They cannot make there college choice based on the decisions of their friends, or girlfriend/boyfriend. In addition, students should not follow the dreams of there parents, just because there parents went to a certain school does not mean that is a fit for the child. The students should make the choice for themselves, based on what they want and need in a school, because the choice of a college is a important one that can effect someone forever. Moreover, going to campus visits is highly recommended. Students may find what they are looking for when they go and visit different schools. Once a student has made a decision in what school they want to attend, then they should make an effort to make there college years the best experience of there life. When students descend on to college campuses, many times they are lost at what to do, are often shy, and get lost in the crowd of busy campus life. To make college a memorable time the students need to find the right group of people whom they fit in with and feel comfortable.

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If I could go back to high school as a senior. I would be better prepared for college mentally, physically, and financially. During high school years, everything was basically an easy way out. You spend 7-8 hours at school Monday through Friday playing and enjoying your friends' company. However, college is the complete opposite. You attend a school over a 1,000 students and the size of your classmates increase. Another breath taker is that 9 times out of 10, your professor doesn't know your name. Physically maintaning to stay in shape and eat healthy because majority of the students eat junk food or instant meals because of the time spent studying. Financially, college is expensive. High school is an free education. I wish I woud have taken advantage of that education because every extra money I receive goes toward my collge tuition. In closing, the most important advice I would give to myself is when the ball is given to you, run with it all the way to the goal, because having the ball in your hand that leads you to greatness but holding on to it after the time buzz, is worthless.

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In 2005 I was at a turning point in my life. My husband had just passed away, and I had a 11 year old special needs son to raise. It was then that I decided to go back to college. I was really apprehensive about deciding to continue my education after being out of school for over 25 years. However, I became much more comfortable after taking my first semester at a local community college. Before I went back to school I was not very comfortable writing a simple letter. Now I can write term papers and letters with great confidence, speak in front of an audience, and I also know a little more about the world in which I live. Although those were excellent goals to achieve while attending college, they were not life changing events that I have remembered most. It was all the people that I have met, and who have helped my college experience to become a successfull one. I have been nominated for several awards. and have a 3.4 G.P.A. My memories of serving on the student government association, meeting new students and instructors, will be ones that I will never forget.

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I would advise parents and students to keep two things in mind when selecting a college. The first thing to be aware of is the cost of the college, relative to the value of the education. While everyone would love to attend an Ivy League school, most simply cannot afford it, even with scholarships and loans. An important thing to remember is that an education you cannot afford doesn't help you much. Secondly, I would advise students to become familiar with the colleges, so that they can make a wise decision about which school is right for them. A college will be a student's home for the next four years, so it is important to choose a college where he or she feels at home. I firmly believe that in order the get the most out of the college experience, you must be willing to give it your full dedication. Your college experience and education will only be as good as you make them. You have to be prepared to work hard and long to ensure that when you graduate, you have gotten the best education possible. Noone can succeed for you, you must do it yourself.

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Fill out your FAFSA NOW, before JSU's April 15th deadline; they handle awards first come first served. (Go to Mrs. Smith in financial aid; she will help you stay in school). Apply for housing early so you can get the better rooms. Also , as far as academics go, learn to actually study instead of scanning pages and memorizing; it doesn't work in college! Believe me, I tried. Make sure that you schedule time to study or you will always put it off. Try to sit in front of the class; it will help the professor to learn your name and help you pay attention better. Find interesting organizations and enjoy yourself; college is also about having fun. Don't forget, there must be a balance between academics and social activities. Meet new people, but remember, not everyone is your best friend so don't act as such. You will get hurt. Be open-minded to other's ideas/opinions; you can learn a lot. Don't forget that listening is just as important as speaking. Don't wait until you are failing a class before you get to know your professors. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!

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