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Kent State University at Kent

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

In my college experience, I have gained a vast amount of knowledge through many different situations and experiences. Currently, I serve in a Residence Hall student-elected position. I am the Director of Leadership Development and the National Communications Coordinator for Kent Interhall Council. Through this position, I have done everything in my power to make my campus a better place. I have organized conferences, leadership training opportunites, self-marketability seminars, and philanthropy projects. I have also worked with people from many different ethnich and social backgrounds. As a Spanish Translation and a Justice Studies major, experiences with these populations has helped me become more comfortable with potential clients, colleagues, and audiences. I have also become more comfortable with myself. Kent State Universtiy offers so many opportunites to participate in activities such as this, with 200+ social clubs and activites. The historical aspects of Kent are also very interesting. It is amazing to be in a place that holds such a historical significance in our nation's history. Kent State is the place where "The War Came Home" on May 4, 1970. Everything about this campus has shaped and changed my life for the better.

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The best advice I can give a high school senior about transitioning to college would be to genuinely have a passion for success at their school. Students who are dedicated to their academics, respective student organizations, and positive extra-cirricular activities tend to excel at a faster rate than other students. This particular group of students are the ones that have a lot of spirit, pride, and love for their campus. Since the day they were admitted, they started exploring the campus website, making campus visits, enrolling in programs that help new freshmen transition, and becoming acclaimated to campus. For those who are intimidated by universities that total over 20,000 students, I would encourage those students to find at least one friend. Whether this friend is a roommate, a professor, or simply someone standing in line at the diner, the student has just built a network. Looking at my experience in growth and development at my institution, Kent State University, I have learned that networking is just as - if not more - important than academics. Find a friend. Join a student organization. Be proud to be a [School Name] [Mascot]! Become passionate about your life and success.

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Higher education success requires a committment to stay focused on the goal and have a defined plan for efficient and effective execution. While it may be easy to become overly distracted with extracurricular and socail activities, do not lose sight of the primary goal of aquiring useful and relevant skills/knowledge and graduating on time with a respectable GPA. Besure to access capus support services and resources such as career planning. Get to know faculty and staff. Theye possess the experience and knowledge to help you reach you golas. When your schedule permits, take classes outside of your comfort zone to expand your repertoire and diversify your acumen. Undergraduate study can be the gateway to achieve future career objectives. How you spend your time and the ojectives you achieve are a relaible relflection of what you have to contribute to your future employer's success. If you borrow money to fund your studies, it must be repaid. Consider working on/off campus. Internships and community service are excellent mechanisms gain and expand skills while strengthening you network. Take advantage of available opportunties to reap maximum return on your college investements.

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I would have told myself to have a job. The reason in applying for any scholarship is due to the financial need so by having a job during my high school career, I would of saved enough money for the books I need in college, the expenses needed for my class materials and dorm room, (i.e. covers, pillows, food, hygiene supplies and especially school supplies!) Even if you are planning to attend an Out-of-State-School, expenses becomes increasingly expensive. Not to scare future incoming college freshmen, but you have to remember plane ticket expenses, transportation expenses and wardrobe for changing environments. Personally speaking, being born in Florida I never seen snow then moving to Ohio where it snows for months is a great transition. Advice I would have given myself: Apply for an abundant amount of scholarships to avoid loans; Do very well in high school, because what you do your freshman year sticks to you when you get to your senior year; Get involved in extracurricular activities- take on leadership roles, because majority of the time, in future applications that is mainly what they ask; Volunteer for different organizations; and Build lasting bonds with teachers

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Take advantage of every opportunity to grow and expand your skills and knowledge base. Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of your professors and other staff. They are there for that purpose. They want to help you succeed. Do not be afraid or intimidated to do so. Look at it as an opportunity to learn how to take initiative and find your voice. Become involved in organizations and clubs to develop leadership and organizational skills and to learn how to network with others and develop your sense of community responsibility. Have fun and do not take yourself too seriously. This should be the best time of your life, so enjoy. Life is a continual learning process, so embrace it and know that you can learn something from all kinds of different people and situations. Take advantage of scholarships, career services, and all that college has to offer. Finish your educational program because it is essential in ensuring a brighter future and more advancement opportunities in life. You cannot depend on someone else to financially support you. In this economy/society, you have to be able to support yourself. Plus, you need an education to make educated, informed decisions.

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To any college-bound student of high-school age or otherwise, I would foremost suggest that one disregard any discussions about "college life" in favor of something more vital to one's success at the university: about which I am speaking of the student role. What you've most-likely heard a lot of thus far is that your institution-of-choice will be looking for an abundant extra-curricular repertoire for your admission, or that 'college will be a place for meeting new people and expanding your social life', Et cetera. While I've no remarks pertaining to either of these, I should dispel what I've come to believe are the following misconceptions: 1. Extra-curricular activities are important, yes, but grades and academics trump them nine times out of ten. 2. Your social life is hardly important; relinquish the face-book and the "i"-gadgets and surround yourself with old dead men instead. 3. One never "gets" their education. Find a major that suits your abilities and financial circumstances, and if you're after education: Visit your local (or university) library and refer to point 2. (. . . and some more recently discovered insight: Apply for scholarships EARLY!)

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As a late life/return student, I would tell my high school self to perservere, to be humble, and to seek help from students who had made it through the college system. In the spring of my sophmore year in high school, I had a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, the health issues caused by my kidney failure also caused me to struggle to get even decent grades. Though my grades improved drastically after the surgery, I still had all the self doubt gained from struggling so many years in school. This doubt plagued me and motivated me to leave junior college before finishing my degree - a choice I am now paying for with far greater sacrifices than had I perservered and humbled myself to jump through all the hoops colleges require of students. Knowing that I would face bad academic advising from my junior college advisor, I would tell my younger self to not feel angry and defeated, but, instead, humble myself, and seek advice from students who graduated successfully. Given the opportunity, I would encourage myself to hang in there when classes seemed hard or when academic advisors failed me, and to seek outside help, especially from successful students.

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I came in to my Freshman year with a real solid path to what I want to do, but the classes in my first semester have opened my eyes to even more possibilities above and beyond my previous plans. My hope is to use graphic expression and art to educate, incite, entertain, and bring together people of differing cultures. My inspiration has been the study of the Manga genre in Japan and its use as entertainment, business, and educational materials. I have already studied many computer languages and electronic forms of graphic design, and now I am learning more of the business and international aspects. I am also keeping myself aware of news items where electronic and social media are making a difference, such as influencing our U.S. political campaigns, providing news after disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, connecting student groups in China, and forming communication outlets for oppressed groups in Iran and Venezuela. I am very excited to explore more ways to apply my knowledge of technology and art to cross geographic boundaries and unite people by building useful and attractive networks and applications for the edu-tainment industry.

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"During your senior year really get to know yourself interests and explore them. Do opportunities outside of school that interest you. What you think might interest you, might not after you experience it in the field. Remember to have fun during your final year but do not forget how important your grades really are. " "Also, keep up-to-date on college applications and whatever you do, do not forget to talk to your counselor about scholarships! The scholarships tend to sneak up on you and have different deadlines than the universities' application deadlines." "Make sure you know your counselor very well throughout this school year. They will do everything they can to help you succeed. If they do not know you already, make sure during the first week of school you make an appointment to talk to them about your plans." "Evaluate your study habits. Do you study efficiently? Do you study enough? Do you need to study more? Get this taken care of right away. Seek tutoring if necessary. Don't put off tutoring because you are embarassed! You will be more embrassed if your friend gets accepted into an university and you don't." "Remember to dream big".

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The best advice one could give to their high school self would be to keep their head up, think straight, force themselves to work hard, and apply for scholarships. It is very daunting to try to arrange financial aid and prioritize education with not being able to enjoy four great years of growth, education, experience, and excitment because during their senior year they did not focus on amazing grades, planning for the future, or figuring out their financial situation. Applying to any and all scholarships should be a priority for juniors and seniors because not everyone has the funds to comfortably pay for their education, to not take loans, and to not have to stress about making ends meet. No student should have to work two jobs just to be able to have the opportunity to go to school and better themselves. While it happens, and it develops character and experience to pass to their children, incoming students should make the commitment and sacrifice during high school to apply to scholarships to secure their education. In retrospect, I wish I did this as well, because I spend more time worrying about paying for school than worrying about passing.

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