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Linfield College-McMinnville Campus

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

Believe. Following your passion of music does not, in any way, make you less intelligent than someone studying Math! Love what you are doing and you will discover so many opportunities that hard work brings. Music is definitely more complicated that what you're seeing now and you are going to LOVE learning about it. Those business classes you've been taking in high school? Worth it, kiddo. It's going to be tough moving away from home, but I promise- you will be okay. There are other people who are going through the same thing as you! Reach out to those friendly faces, because it never hurts to have great support from friends and some of these people you meet may become your lifelong friends. Just remember: you don't have to do what everyone else is doing either. It's okay to say "No." As someone once told me, " It isn't awful to make mistakes. The awful thing is not learning from them." You will have some frustraing times in college, but they will show you why you strive for and deserve the great times. Enjoy this new chapter in your life and BELIEVE.

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Much of what people say about the college life is false. It is not all about partying, non-stop studying, depending on your major, trying to finish college all in four years, or that you could simply take out a loan to pay all the bills for your tuition, books and supplies, and personal spending. No, college is all about being smart, thinking your way through before you get through that point, improvising, and adapting. You always have to adapt to changes that you might not otherwise suspect from the beginning. Examples of these adaptations includes taking up a job, applying for as much scholarships as you can, while maintaining your grades, better time management, looking for internships, and scheduling independent studies outside of your classes relating to your major, if you wish to be ahead of the game. Besides this overwhelming workload, you must set aside time for projects relating to your major, besides independent studying. A great part of being in college is developing those vitals skills that future employers wish to employ in their company, and applying for internships and doing projects related to your major are some of the ways of marketing yourself to future companies.

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It is impossible to describe everything I’ve gleaned from my college experience, because there are so many subtle, unexpected lessons at each step of the journey. Valuable life lessons began before I stepped foot in a classroom. I learned how to fit an oversized bag of dorm essentials in an aircraft’s overhead bin, where to find the absolute cheapest towel set, and how to say goodbye to my mom for the first time. When I arrived at school these lessons continued, and I learned how to build a new friend network from scratch, how to communicate with professors, and where to get food to fuel midnight study sessions. These simple lessons will serve me throughout my life, but I think the most important thing I have taken from my college experience is a love and passion for learning. This educational attitude is infectious on a campus where students and professors learn and explore together. I meet each class with renewed wonder and excitement, and have found that learning experiences in my everyday life directly correlate with the knowledge I gather in the classroom. This development of a desire for lifelong learning alone has my investment in college worthwhile.

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As a first-generation college student, assuming I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior is especially mind-blowing. At Linfield College, after three and a half years, I found my unique personal identity. I have developed an awareness about what the future can hold, and the uncertainty that must be confronted in order to pursue my goals. Taking risks is not easy, but it feels less scary when there is nothing to lose. I learned to face the unknown with confidence. The advice I would give my high school senior self is three-fold. First, be patient and slow down just a bit. Second, follow my instincts without hesitation. Finally, try not worry so much about the future. The transition to college will be not easy, but certainly manageable. The experience will be an incredible learning opportunity and truly life changing. I would tell myself, “your doubts and fears will become a source of inspiration and encourage you to do the impossible.” Four years from now, you’ll learn how to appreciate the past, look forward to the future, and embrace the present. “Everything will be fine, you will be just fine.”

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I grew up in Thailand and went to a Thai school all my life, up until 2008. When time came that I was to start thinking about my universities, I started to apply to the usual universities in Thailand. I didn't even really consider applying for college in the states. It just was something so surreal, I didn't actually think I could do it, what with the SATs and the language barrier(despite being quite fluent in English, I did realize that--despite my school's good English education program--my English skills would probably still quite a ways behind most native English speakers), and everything. But, after much persuasion from my dad, I decided to try to apply to a few colleges in the states and because I actually soon realized that I was eager and curious to find out about the culture my dad had come from. After much difficulty and a few rejections, I was finally accepted into Linfield college. These past two years at Linfield college has been a whilwind of change and completely amazing experiences. Thailand's and American culture is probably almost polar opposites, but I have truly enjoyed every minute here.

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With my experience at Linfield, I have learned many life lessons and lessons that will benefit me throughout school as well. School at Linfield is taken very seriously and a degree from this college is a great opportuntiy and people recognize that. But many hours of hardwork and late nights are put into a major at Linfield which teaches you techniques that will make you successful in the classroom. Time management is most definitely the greatest skill i have mastered with my time at Linfield. With playing sports here at Linfield, not much time is left for studying, so throughout your day, you have to plan time to get your head in your books and study for upcoming tests and papers. Time management forces you to discipline yourself to jump on things that are due down the road so your not in a struggle come finals time. Politeness is one aspect that you see at this school that is lacked at other places I have atteneded. When you wallk through our campus, you are promised to get at least 5-10 greetings on your way. People hear teach you how to generate friendships and those friendships last a lifetime.

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In order to make the most of your college experience choose a school that fits you. Don't go to a big school if you want small class sizes and for your professor to know your name. Likewise if you prefer to have someone hold you accountable and know that you exist as a person and not just a number, consider a small school. As far as succeeding and making the most out of your college experience it is important to remember that grades aren't the only thing that matters, growing as a person and discovering who you are and what you want to do is just as important. With that being said however, grades are definitely important. To succeed in the classroom know that college isn't necessarily more complex, it simply requires more effort and work in order to be successfull. Learning to manage your time and be responsible is of the utmost importance becuase classes move faster and cover more material. It's better to be diligent and possess a strong work ethic than be a genius in college, although being a genius certainly helps too. Ultimately, the school doesn't make your experience, you do!

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More than anything, I have found that the best indicator of where you should go to college is the overall vibe you get when visiting the campus. While a lot of information can be gained from going to college fairs and doing research in books, the only way to know for sure is just to go there and experience the college. There is no such thing as the perfect college, even though all of the glossy brochures and pamphlets make it seem like it. In reality you learn to accept the things you don't like about the school. If you spend your time looking for the perfect college experience you will only be disappointed, instead be more pragmatic in making your selection. Think about if you can live with the problems that you might have with the particular school instead of dismissing a school outright. There is also no substitute for talking to students and staying in a residence hall to get the college experience. Although, It seems as though even small colleges are big communities. Even if one group of people doesn't seem like it fits, it doesn't mean they won't be out there somewhere.

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The keys to finding the right college and the keys to making the most your college experinece are remarkably similar. You should sample a wider variety of schools and experiences. Variety is not just the spice of life, it's the path to success. To find the right school, you need to be unafraid to try different ones on. I reccomend applying to one or two "safety" schools, three or four "target" schools, and two or three "reach" schools. This will give you the most options when it comes time to select the school you're going to attend. Then when you have your acceptance letters, financial aid offers, the schools' web page, and (hopefully) notes and pictures from your campus visits laid out in front of you, you'll be able to make your decision with all the options and all the facts. Makeing the most of college requires the same thing. Try different things! Just because you didn't do student governemnt in high school doesn't mean you can't start now. Just because you were never an athlete doesn't mean you can't enjoy intermural sports. Variety is truly the key to college success.

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“Hey buddy I know you have led yourself to believe that you can just float through life but listen closely to the words of wisdom I have to offer sonny boy, when you enter college the world you know right now will disappear and you will be standing there gawking.” I would slowly begin then to explain to my other self in as simple of words as possible (I had heard the speech a thousand times before but never thought twice about it, and maybe just needed things to be in simple terms) the kinds of things that were coming. “You may not have homework now because you can finish everything in class but believe me you will in college.” My younger self would then reply not realizing the sheer amount of horror homework brings with procrastination “Really I think I can handle it.” My older self replying “The time you spend just sitting around with; friends, your girlfriend, just doing nothing will all be gone.” “Eighteen hours of your day will be compiled between doing homework and going to class!” “Procrastination will only cause days on end with no sleep, and that is only the begining.”

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