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Loyola University New Orleans

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

It gets better. But, as it gets better, it also gets harder. The more you learn, the more problems you discover. The more problems, the less you feel capable of making a difference. Don't let this cheat you out of becoming the strong-willed, compassionate person you want to be. Allow your professors to inspire you, your peers to challenge you, your coursework to expand your worldview. Get involved in the rebuilding of New Orleans, dedicate your free time to serving the greater good instead of yourself. Read outside of the classroom, ask questions when you don't understand something. Don't waste time with the television or social networking, as these days are passing more quickly than you realize. Be appreciative of the opportunity you have to attend such a great school, as many people don't. Know that it's ok to be unsure of where you are going and that every decision made is an experience. Your first job out of college probably won't be the one that shapes your career, and the economy will get better. It all gets better, even you.

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If I could go back I would tell myself something that my mother has been telling me all of my life. I would tell myself to keep an open mind and a positive attitude about this new stage of my life. Throughout middle school and high school I learned to associate school with misery and it seemed like an endless task that I had to complete. When thinking about college I thought it would be more miserable than previous years. I started college with a negative mindset and ended up making it more difficult for myself. Once I realized that college was not as bad as I assumed, I gave everything a chance and realized that I actually enjoyed going to school for the first time since we had recess. Going to college has changed my whole outlook on my life and the world, I enjoy the fulfillment of obtaining knowledge and the self assurance that at the end of each day I am a better person. If I had just known this at the beginning that everything would be better than I could imagine, I could have gotten more joy out of the little time I have at Loyola.

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knowing what i know now i would tell myself so much. first i would tell my self to listen and to take school seriously, and that learning is fun and beautiful. READING IS FUN!! i would scream that to myself. i would also tell myself that friends and social life are important but school is more important. as soon as i entered college, i realized that and loved school immediately and loved to learn and read. friends were important but they came after school work . i would also tell myself to get involved more and to value my education to the fullest. in college you are able to be so involved and help others, and it is really good for your soul. in highschool i was a bit selfish, which is natural for an immature highschool student, and i now regret that because helping others and being involved is the best feeling! i also would tell myself that it will be a rough road and it will not be easy so hold on for the ride, and enjoy!! college is amazing and has changed my life like i never would have thought. i am thankful for an education.

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There are so many things I would tell myself. I would definately push myself to keep applying for scholarships even when it looks like I'm not going to get any. It can be frustrating, but keep trying, and it will pay off. I would also tell myself to get more involved with school. Extracurricular activites are super important to colleges, and I really wasn't involved very much. I would tell myself to apply for more than one college. Maybe some close to home and further away. Not just to one college. Give yourself options and different places to go. I would remind myself to start being independent and depending on myself, because once you move out of your parents house and are on your own, you have to depend on yourself, and it is a rude awakening if you aren't prepared for it. But if you start learning while you are living at home, it will make it easier. Lastly, I would tell myself to keep up on grades and schoolwork until the very end, and not to just give up because I'm so close to graduating. Slipping in the end isn't worth it.

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Looking back to Senior year in high school I was very nervous about college when it came to where I was going to go, what was I going to go for, and most of all, being in a large environment that i knew no one and nothing about . Now, as a sophomore in college, and having experienced and adapted to college life I would first tell myself that college is not nearly the big scary place I had in mind. Maybe because I attend a fairly small college, but none the less it fairly welcoming. I would tell myself to stop worrying over how much harder the work is going to be and how in the hell am I going to write 10 page papers?! Because in actuality, although it is stressful, it is manageable. What to major in? Just take classes I like and go from there. Majors are not written in stone, you can change if you feel the need to. And lastly, " To Just be yourself, be social and friendly and things will fall in place. All good things come in time and you will make lasting friendships and experience amazing times all while following your goals."

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I could only have one thing to say to my two years younger self now: don?t get drunk every night. This is a clich? piece of advice, and would probably fall on deaf ears, but going to school in New Orleans has taught me many painful lessons about drinking. I was a drunk my first two years, and being a drunk in New Orleans is a feat. For two years I didn?t go one day without being plastered. Because of my excesses, I ruined my four year relationship, got poor grades and never made any friends beyond drinking buddies. Now that I?ve learned to drink responsibly I have no friends and no boyfriend to support me. I would remind myself that the things you do when you?re drunk (whether you remember them or not) can?t be taken back. Usually they?re the things that you feel ashamed and depressed about for weeks or months afterwards, and there?s no way of making people forget they happened. Consequences will arise and you will burn bridges. When and if you finally do look back there will be little left. Take care not to drink like I did.

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As a high school senior in a small California town, my impatience to move forward in life found me serving stir-fry bowls to my former classmates after graduating a semester early. I moved to the bay area to attend UC Berkeley a week before the graduation ceremony and never looked back. The five years between now and then have taken me to half of the fifty states, including Alaska; to Scotland and Berlin. Finally settled, I've resumed my studies with a sense of focus I could never muster before my travels. If I could go to California now and visit the seventeen year old working at Tiki Hut, just off the highway, I might be tempted to tell her to study art and psychology, and simplify the tornado of possible majors she is trying to understand. However, showing her a shortcut would rob her of the sincere commitment I feel now to these as my passions. Instead, I would smile at her, and tell her she'll make the right decisions so long as she has a sense of who she is and who she wants to be. I would tell her to trust herself.

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First and foremost, visiting the schools I was interested in prior to acceptance was the biggest thing for me. Without that trip I would have ended up in a small town that was very uncomfortable for my needs. Instead, I ended up at the best place I could ever hope to attend school at: Loyola. It really has been a dream come true. And in terms of the college experience, never ever be afraid to stand up and take an opportunity when it presents itself. By becoming good friends with my professors, studying with friends, and not being afraid to shake someone's hand, I've made it all the way to New York for an internship, I work at the best jazz hall downtown, and I'm already planning events for a local non-profit (an area I'd like to get into once I graduate). And lastly, ASK QUESTIONS! YOU are paying the money to go to that school, so make sure you learn the things that YOU want to know! So many people and professors are willing to give extra advice, all it takes is the right questions. So never put that hand down.

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Dear Us, As you read this you may be wondering who wrote this letter. In short, you did. Or rather the future you will. Your next question shouldn?t be how, as much as it should be why. It?s because the next few years are going to be some of the most exciting and challenging years that will inevitably help shape the man you will become. You are about to be one of the first in your family to ever leave your small town and go to a four year college. You are going to be walking into a new world of people with experiences and knowledge vastly different from your own. You should listen and learn from all those around you. Because what you learn in college goes far beyond what you will merely find in the books. It?s also a social journey. Befriend and learn from as many around you as you can. You never know if your peer sitting next to you will one day be your boss or the social connection you will need. Just remember, true luck is when preparation meets opportunity. So go out there and make our dreams come true! Chris

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Going back in time to talk to myself I would encourage myself to not waste time and to reach for your goals. Do not get distracted by the pressures of hanging out with friends or doing outlandish, crazy activities and reach for the stars. This may takie a bit of change in life and it may be very difficult, but looking back on what has happened throughout my life as a college student I would wish that I could go back in time to tell myself that I have so much potential and to not waste my time searching around for what I want to do with my life. Knowing what I do now makes me feel so much more confident. Not only in myself, but the choices that I make also. I would tell myself that I need to reach for the stars and don't waste time because it will cost you a large amount of money and time in the future. It may require change from my high school habits, but you know what, you can't change the world unless you change yourself. Life is full of misfortune but what matters is how you overcome them.

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