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Marshall University

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

The overarching task during the four years (or more) of college is being able to adjust to your new surroundings and tasks as a student, whether they be academic, career-oriented, financial, or otherwise. Choosing a school whose setting and student population are suitable for your tastes certainly helps, but these are merely two of many variables that will determine the outcome of your college career. Likewise, choosing a school which has programs in your prospective field of study is unquestionably important, but bear in mind how common it is for a student to change his/her major. Remember that college is what you make of it. If you go to college with absolutely no career goals, then you will obtain very little from going to college. However, if you chose a school with an even a general idea of what you want to obtain from your education, then you are more likely to adapt when changes present themselves and therefore complete college. Do not be preoccupied with minute details of different colleges, but instead use your general career or education goal(s) to determine what college will be best suited to help you obtain those ambitions.

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Consider the environment, whether it would facilitate your learning experience or hinder it. You should take time to visit the campus and surrounding area, meet professors, and see what type of students with whom you would be sharing this learning experience. See how focused the university is on what field of learning you will be focusing on, and if you are not sure of what you would like to have as your focus, then see if they have a good career counseling center. Make sure that they have enough extra-curricular activities in which you can involve yourself. Find out how you can balance your social life by inquiring of both their study facilities and what students generally do for fun. Look into the types of intramural sports, clubs, and other activities you can get involved in around campus, which will all help you be involved in the college or university as much as possible. Finally take notice of your ?gut feeling? for the campus. Sometimes there are things that you may not be aware of as unpleasant to you or not fitting to your personality. However, if you feel comfortable there, keep that school on your list of possibilities.

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The most important thing to understand is all of your options. I know you are science-minded and believe that physics or chemistry is the only field you have perceived yourself pursuing, but you MUST stop and consider all of your options. Explore chemical engineering programs, environmental engineering, biotechnology, economics, chemistry education and every other program that this research leads you too. Keep your mind open in terms of your future career and role in the world. Also, don't assume you MUST attend the college that is in your backyard; you know, the one that everyone, including yourself, has always assumed you would attend. The is no good reason for this default assumption. Learn about other schools. Look at rankings. Look into the types of research and publications that other school are involved with. Also, prepare for the ACT. Don't just take it to get the minimum score necessary for a full-ride to college. Take it like you want to get into the world's best school. While your at it, go ahead and apply to the world's best schools. Who knows, you may get in. Show your potential. Live up to your potential.

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If I was given the ability to go back in time and revist myself as a high school senior after experiencing college life first hand, I would need a couple of days to express the advice I would have for myself. First, I would tell myself how important it is now to start practicing effective study and work habbits. A person never quite understands how important these qualities are to have for your college career. Contrary to popular belief, college isn't one big party. Secondly, I would express the importance to myself of putting myself out there, getting involved, and meeting new people. My mother always told me, "the friends you make in college are the friends you'll have for life". If a person doesn't enjoy themselves from time to time, they are ultimately setting themselves up for failure. It is important to remember that with hard work, comes reward. All in all, college is one of the most precious and valuable real life learning experiences that cannot be marked with a price. If we could travel back in time to prepare ourselves, it would ultimately take the learning aspect away from the priceless experience.

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While my fellow classmates planned for their futures during high school, I procrastinated and put off planning my own. I offered words of encouragement and advice telling them they would succeed at whatever they put their minds to, but I never thought about what I would do with my own life. Seeing as I needed to seriously consider a school for my future, I then turned to Macomb Community College as the college I would spend the next few years of my life. Whoever says community college is not worth while has clearly never looked into the value and education it brings to an individual. I have met so many interesting people, of all ages, and the education I am getting costs less and is of equal value to a university. I feel safe and comfortable in the friendly neighborhood that houses this beautiful and easily navigable campus. The professors are easy to communicate with and are very understanding. MCC provides a variety of classes, as well as relatively small class sizes that allow the professors to communicate with all of their students. The material is presented in a manner that is reasonable and fair.

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My advice for parents and students about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience include the following: First pray. Ask God to help you with every step you take. Second plan. Start taking ACT/SAT prep classes, starting in the 11th grade, to prepare for the ACT/SAT test. Taking the ACT or SAT is crirtical in getting into college. The higher your ACT or SAT score, the better chance you'll have at getting into a good college. Third make sure you have financial aid. Either work, save money, or fill out scholarshaips starting in the 10th grade. Once you have done the above steps figure out what you want to study by brainstorming or writing down what interest you then research by looking up colleges with those programs. Next apply for schools that are within you financial barriers. Going to school out of state is not always the best thing to do. Once in college make the most of it by being social and getting envolved in organizations both student and academic. Always ask questions, that is the best way of being informed. Last but not least, step outside your box.

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Life at college is simply what you make of it. Hard work promises uplifting results, while laziness (or missing many classes) results in not only lagging grades, but a depressed outlook on life in general. Find out about everything that will save you money or time, as these are two of your most precious resources. AP and CLEP exams are a great way save time and money for other things, such as other classes. Be proactive everyday and leave lazing about for the weekends when no offices of business are open. Learn your university catalog inside and out and keep a copy at all times. Take your education in your own hands and don't let anyone take it from you. Grades are vital to procuring scholarships, work hard on them and you will be rewarded. Making connections and networking is crucial to your health as well as to your successfulness. Don't be afraid of anyone, but treat every person as an opportunity to better a life (or make them smile). College can be hard, but don't despair: it can also be the best time of your life. And NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give up.

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Wow, if I could push rewind and talk to my high school self, what a difference! My freshmen year was imperative to me. I would be on Honor Roll, no exceptions. I would’ve succeeded, but one obstacle, Social Studies. Being mature, I would say, every subject matters even if it’s your least favorite. I would’ve prospered during my sophomore year, but the culprit was World History. Tanesha, World History is important; do you not want to know more about where you came from? Some of yesterday’s histories play a major part on today. Finally, junior year arrives. I did it, I accomplished my goal! I was number seven out of ninety-nine, scholarships here I come! Uh-Oh, senior year blues. The senior drop out syndrome prevailed. The people I wanted to acknowledge my achievements didn’t. The Tanesha now would say, if nobody else cares, you have to care yourself. Build yourself up and don’t take no for an answer. As a consequence of my break-down, I graduated out of summer school. The Tanesha of 2012 would say do your best, because when you don’t the later consequences will hurt.

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If I was given the opportunity to travel back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, my words of advice would be priceless. I would make sure to first say that your first year of college can be one of the most exciting and enlightening years of your life if you seize the opportunities you are given. I made the mistake of not taking advantage of all of the opportunities given to me in my first year of college, and I have come to deeply regret that. Also, I would make sure to explain that nothing should stop you from achieving your personal goals and dreams. Living in the dorms is a great experience, but can also greatly distract you from receiving decent grades, and you have to learn how to balance your personal life with your school work. I would also tell myself that I need a plan for gaining admission to the pharmacy school of my choice. I have changed my mind numerous times about where I desire to attend college at. Most importantly though, I would tell myself that college is full of opportunities to meet new people and experience new things.

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Throughout the two and a half years I have attended Marshall University, I have grown tremendously in several aspects of my life all because of the experiences I have faced in college. Even though I can point out more than one experience which has helped me grow, the most important one to me is the effort at which I exert myself. Most freshmen see college as only four more years of school. Knowing this, many strive just to meet their B-average standard, C-average standard, or whatever it may be. Coming into college, I too suffered from this mentality. It wasn't until about a year ago that I decided I wanted to go to law school. With this in my future, my prior mentality of "just getting by" wasn't cutting it any more. I realized that if I want to get into a reputable law school I am going to have make my studies my top priority. This doesn't hold light to only law school. I have since learned that other professional degrees are extremely competitive, as is the work force. Always putting forth my best effort is a habit that I now live by daily.

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