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Lipscomb University

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

Choosing the right college is always a tough decision. Several factors come into play when a student decides which school will be right for them. However, in making this important choice of where to go to school for the next two to four years a student must decide their top priorities. Top priorities are what should help narrow the numerous choices of schools down to just a few. Such priorities can include: distance from home, price of tuition, condition of dorms/buildings, peers, quality of the intended field of study, connection to faculty, and the list goes on. After determining what is most important overall for his or her college experience both students and parents need to take campus tours. Go see the actual school! Feel what it would be like to actually go to school there. After each tour decide what things about the school could be tolorable and what you could not live with or without. After this process a students choice of school should be much simpler to make. Once the decision is made and classes begin, remember to be yourself,try your hardest, and strive for high goal. Success starts when you pursue after your goal!

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The college selection process must go beyond the school's academic offerings and promised financial aid. There are things to consider that will directly impact the student's ability to perform well in their collegiate life. The type of students, faculty, and beliefs of the university are some of the most important criteria to be evaluated before making any final decision on where to attend. The enjoyment that an individual can obtain during college can be immense and this joy will motivate the student resulting in a more successful academic life. Although the economy has proven to be quite detrimental to the average student, there are still many resources available beyond what the school's financial department has awarded the student. Taking time to look at the type of environment that the student enjoys will be most beneficial in finding a place of higher education that will be conducive to the student's needs. At first glance the most important things end up not being the most important; take some advice from someone who wishes he had looked beyond the school's academic offerings and financial aid awards.

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Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would go back and tell my high school self to be focused and take every course extremely serious. I would make sure I know that my education will prepare me for the future because as advanced as society is becoming, I am expected to be knowledgeable in the working world. My success relies on my education, and throughout the years I must perform as a scholarly student and apply progressing devotion each semester to my academics. The most important factor is GPA because that determines financial aid. During my current college experiences everything has reflected back to financial aid, and for me to continue my education I must be able to afford it. It has been a struggle to be successful in college because I continuously worry about tuition payments. I currently work extremely hard not only at school, but at a job that contributes to my tuition. I do believe that if I did not have to devote as much time to work and worry that I would have a much better performance in college. Start the devotion in highschool and it'll reflect in college!

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There are many pieces of advice I could offer to prospective students; some I have taken myself, and some I have had to find out the hard way. The most important advice would be to make a long-term plan for financial reasons. Will you work immediately after graduating from undergrad, or is graduate school in the future? Plan finances accordingly and make sure you can afford your school(s) of choice. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing that you can no longer afford the school you attend and you still have to pay for graduate school. Get the paperwork for financial aid, such as the FASFA and loans, done as soon as possible. It saves a lot of panic when you near the school year. Finally, the most important piece of advice comes from my uncle--stay focused. You've spent all this time, effort, and money in attending this college, and you don't want to waste the education you've worked so hard to get. Social time is a necessary--and fun--part of college life, but it shouldn't interfere with academics. Above all, whatever advice you take, make the most of your college life.

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I learned a lot about responsibility during my two years at Ivy Tech and I'll learn even more at Indiana University Northwest. Both schools are so different and require students to be open to new experiences. Ivy Tech was very basic that let you guide yourself during your program, with help. Indiana University is very different. IU wants you to be on your own with very little help. It will require a lot of focus, determination, and time management. Both schools were opened and allowed you to wander and feel free but, with IU, I'm going to learn more. My education will be taken to a higher standard. I'm going to learn to better accommodate my business field and learn what life is really like to be in a tight structured environment that changes with very little notice. This is what I have been preparing myself with Ivy Tech and now the opportunity to try it before stepping out into the real world. I've been at the IU campus for a while and I know I will succeed. This will help me when I go into the business field because every day is a little different.

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Dear Leslie 2011, Today you are frustrated and lonely walking the halls of your cold, dreary, soon-to-be alma mater. You think to yourself, how can you understand, my parents have me living there version of a happy life with their separate spouses and children. My lack of test taking skill will not take me to the college of my dreams. Plus, I don't have enough money to go anywhere far away. Again you try to tell me through the page, "My dreams of leaving this place and creating MY life in a plac far away, that sems like a fairytale in reality." Girl, think again. Cinderella once said something very wise, " A dream is a wish your heart makes." and your dreams will come true if you keep pressing onward toward your goals. I urged you to never give up the search for the "Dream School" because it's out there. Don't be afraid to dream, because if you look for your dreams in everyday life, soon they will become a reality. What I am trying to say is best stated in the movie "Tangled", "Go, live you dream." because soon it will become a reality.

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The key piece of advice I would give myself about college life is to stop being so worried about everything. The anxiety is not going to help the experience, but hinder it. Being nervous and a little scared about making the transition is a natural thing to experience ,but do not overdo it owing to the fact that everybody is going through the same thing. Speaking of everybody and people, do not be afraid of talking to them just because you do not know them. The best way of making new friends is to be open, friendly, kind, and respectful. These characteristics will let you get in further life than being a mean grouch and should not be restricted to friends, but everybody you meet in life. Another thing I would like to mention is to not spend your be your overwhelmed and agonized over your your homework and tests: it is what it is, so just do it. You will do well in some classes and badly in others. This just means that it will require more effort on your part. My last piece of friendly advice would be to have some "me time" and relax.

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Connection and balance will ultimately determine your/your student's success. Connecting with fellow students and professors provides the emotional and academic support that you will need to thrive during you years at college. Balance is a life skill that must be cultivated in order to be able to look back on the college years as the best part of your life. When choosing a school, find some aspect of it with which you can connect long before the first day of class. This could be a professor in your field, the coach of a sports team, or other students (look for on-line forums for future students). When it comes to balance, make sure to try lots of different things, and learn how to drop a few of them when you realize what is most interesting to you. I was afraid of being overcommitted, so I hesitated to get involved with anything my freshman year. Don't do that. I look back at that, and think of how much more fun I could have had! Finding the balance is key to making the most of the college experience.

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The experiences I have had in college have allowed me to gain a new perspective on others, myself, and life. The people that I have been blessed to call my friends are people that I never would have imagined being friends with who have truly broadened my way of thinking. I have gained a new level of self confidence. I used to have an idea in my mind that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough. Now I see just how much I am truly worth. Before college I had a certain image of this world, and I knew just what I wanted out of it. Now that I have been away at school for a little while, I have begun to dream dreams about what I could give to the world, rather than what I could take away from it. I have started to see everything in a new light. My college experienece has allowed me to answer the questions of who I am and who I want to become more than I could before. Additionally, my education is giving me a path that will help get me to that person I want to become.

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I would first tell myself to keep working hard and doing my best and to not slack off with the given senioritis that comes along during this time. Even though working hard and doing well is important i'd want myself to know that it's ok to take a break and have some fun every now and then but not to overdo it. Here would be the best time for practice self-discipline and time management. As far as the college experience I would inform myself to start looking and applying for any and every scholarship and grant availabe as soon as possible. One of the last things I would say is to not stress too much over the idea of college because it's not as bad once you're here. You only think it will be from all the views shown in movies and tv shows for the most part. Maybe a few college slackers fit in that category as well. So work hard, do your best, manage time, don't stress and have a good time. Enjoy your current life and get ready for the future one.

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