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Lehigh 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, the first thing I would say is make sure you keep an open mind. Within the first year of college, you discover so many new things about yourself and about your peers, so you need to be ready to accept any changes that come your way. It is so important to be friendly and open to those around you, because you never know who may end up being your best friend or neighbor. I would also make sure to emphasize that taking advantage of new opportunities is the best way to acclimate oneself to college. Trying new clubs or activities is a great way to meet new people and learn things about yourself that you wouldn't have otherwise. As a closing note, I would stress to make sure to be yourself, and enjoy life to the fullest - you only go to college once.

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I do not have any advice to give myself at that point, if I could go back and talk to myself as a freshman in highschool I would tell myself to do better at school. I graduated and went straight into the army, I didn't have a plan, I didn't start higher education until I was 23. What I learned throughout my early adulthood prepared me for college, it is honestly one of the easiest things I've done; I enjoy it and it sure beats anything I was doing. The fact is I did not do well in high school, talking to my senior self would accomplish absolutly nothing. So if that was all I could do I probably would just tell myself not to get an apartment with that guy Steve; now if I could talk to myself as a freshman I would kick some sense into me. I would tell myself to buckle down and do better in school.

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I would first advise myself to develop good time management skills because those are extremely important in college. I would also suggest to review material before my class or lecture and go to office hours as often as possible even if I think I understand everything; practice really helps important concepts to sink in. I would have also told myself to take more AP classes during high school because even if I wouldn't have received a high enough score to test out of the class in college it's really helpful to have seen the material before. Finally, I would have started working earlier in high school and I would have set aside money for college because tuition is extrememly expensive and it's very stressful to figure out how I'm going to pay for school each year as tuition costs rise.

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If I could go back in time and be able to talkt to myself as highschool senior, I would give my self the encouragement needed and the certaintity that everything will be okay. I would tell my self that college has been a great experience so far, and that instead of being nervous about it I should be excited to attend college. In addition, I would inform myself about the many liberties that living on capus gives you as well as the responsabilities that one has to assume as an adult. I would tell my self about all the amazing people I have met so far and also about the great trachers and professors that have helped me on I needed their help. I used to think that college would be really difficult because I would not have anyone to rely on when I needed help, but I was wrong.

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If I could go back I would tell myself to be open to change. I always look back to my first semester and think of how I wasted it too busy being the same person I was in high school. The great thing about college is the fact that it changes you. I moved to the other side of the country and thought it was going to be the exact same, and when it wasn't I hid out in my room studying and not making friends. College is really what you make of it and you cant spend your whole time stuck in your ways. I think I've change my major about two times officially and about a dozen in my head. Its opened up great opertunities that I would have never choosen back in high school. My strongest words of advice would be to try everything, odds are your going to like some new things.

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If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would remind myself what I truly wanted from a college. I truly wanted a place where I could earn a phenomenal education and succeed in finding a job after graduation. Lehigh is the perfect environment to do just that. Priorities are key when looking for a place to study for the next four years. Education should remain the highest priority as you make your decision of where to go, but location, atmosphere, and culture should not be overlooked. If a student does not feel comfortable on his campus, he will not succeed as well as he could elsewhere. These types of these are also extremely important in making a college choice. If I could go back, I would remind myself of my top priorities.

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My advice to parents and students would be to those who are not sure what they want out of college. Many students know exactly what the want and are able to go through a book and decide based on college guide books and statistics. If you don't know what you want out of college, which I, along with many others did not know while applying, my biggest advice would be to visit schools. I have found that many times students and parents have a strange intution about schools once they visit them. I had no idea what I wanted from a school, and if i were to look at a college guide book right now, I probably still would not know. However, I visited Lehigh, I fell in love with it, and I am still in love. That's why I'm here.

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Visit the campus and speak with the students. First impressions, in this case, are usually pretty accurate. Don't just go somewhere because you think you should. Take a look at the activities the school offers and what other things there are on campus. If you don't enjoy your weekends or your off time, studying and classes will drown you. Meet as many people as you can and don't think that your real friends are the ones you left behind. Get involved in your school. Develop a sense of pride in this new "culture" you're about to become a part of. Plus, it's never too late to transfer, this isn't a do or die decision. Make the most out of this second chance. Not many people get that opportunity.

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Coming into college, my goal was soley to graduate and get a good job. After my first semester, I quickly realized how much more my school had to offer. From academics to social life, I felt like every person on my campus was encouraging me to succeed. Every professor and student has a constant smile on his or her face and you can tell that they are genuinely happy to be at Lehigh. I prospered more in that first semester than I did my entire life up to that point. The lessons I learned are priceless and will be cherished the rest of my life. I look forward to coming back years later and just watching the awe on peoples' faces as they walk through our campus. It truely is an unbelievable place.

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It is important to select a college that will cater to your needs in terms of your major and learning abilities, but attending college is not only about getting a degree. Parents and students should consider the programs availble and organizations and teams to join. However, the most influential factor should be how the student interacts with the student body. Living away from home and leaving high school friends is challenging, but can be extremely rewarding if the student thrives at his/her new school and makes new friends. If the student is uncomfortable in his /her new environment, the next four or more years of their life could be the most miserable instead of the most memorable.

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