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Menlo College

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

College for me has been one of the most challenging, inspiring and life changing phases of my life. When being dropped off at Menlo, my freshman year, I truly had a very hard time adjusting to college life; academically, socially and emotionally with the distance from home. My rough start made me so appreciative the staff and faculty who welcomed me and made my transition easier, along with helping me meet an amazing group of friends. I am presently a junior in college but due to unfortunate financial difficulties last semester, I had to take a semester off. You never know how valuable the gift of an education is until the opportunity is taken away from you. I do not believe I would still be a junior in college or have this outlook if it wasn't for the staff and faculty at Menlo who changed my life and made me feel like I had a family so far away from home. For people to succeed today a college degree is almost necessary and not only do I believe I am receiving an education and tools to succeed but I am also experiencing relationships that will change my life forever.

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After being in college for a year and half, I figured out what the most challenging objective was; keeping my own identity and not allowing others to influence decisions based off of my education. The most important thing in not only college but life it's self is to never contemplate who you are but rather what you want to do for the rest of your life. If I could sit down with high school senior version of me I would tell myself to go into college with a positive attitude about everything. Make studying something fun, make eating the cafeteria food taste like a gourmet meal, and make your classes seem like discussions with friends. But the most important thing to tell myself would be never to lose who you are. Just because you are opening a new door into your life and are provided the opportunity to make new friends does not at all under any circumstances mean that you have to change YOU. We are all strong individuals with power to succeed and be great in life. Always remember to speak your own words and dance your own moves. Be proud of who you have become.

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Dallen, as you embark into furthering your education make sure you use this time wisely. You should take the service/religious based leave to New York when you turn 21 because it will give you the greatest insight into life that you've experienced to date. If you want to attend a larger university, or try anything unique, or even anything out of the ordinary, don't be afraid to because you never want to say, "I wish I had . . . ." Apply your experience in basketball to life: your school had never won a state championship and you helped lead them to that through determination, hard-work, and continually learning the game. As you put that into affect through other aspects of life you?ll always come out on top. Also carryover the lessons learned from growing up in a rural community to help others succeed. When a community is united and striving towards the same goal no one can stay the hand of success, yet when it?s in a tumultuous state it disrupts any progress foreseen. Contribute in your college to give back what was given to you.

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I graduated St. Ignatius College Prep. in 2004, and I didn't have a care in the world. As a senior in high-school, I didn't follow through with the usual process of finding a college, applying with all the paperwork and essays, and getting accepted. Instead, I skipped the entire stressful routine and sat back as all my classmates did what I was too lazy and scared to do. I took a semester off directly after graduating, and I attended a junior college in the spring of 2005. I took almost 4 years to complete what should have taken 2 years for my Associates Degree. It was then that I started taking college seriously. It was also then that many of my high school classmates were graduating with their Bachelor's Degree. If I could go back , the one critical piece of advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be attend the junior college full time straight out of high school, finish in two years, and transfer to a four year college. If I would have done that, I would have graduated 2 years ago with many of my classmates.

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To focus, be open minded, and not afraid to explore is the first advice I would give myself if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior. There is so much information available to us, so I would tell myself to research different fields and to see what suits me best. Then I would get to know and network with people from that field either through family, friends, or going to organizations in the area. I would also tell myself to be outgoing and being involved with activities. Being involved may be a good load of work, but the experience teaches the person. I would definitely tell myself to choose a small school because there are many great resources available in order for students to succeed. It is also easier to make a difference in a small college and to network closely because it'll be these classmates who will be the future leaders. I would also tell myself to work in my chosen field to build experience and to learn skills. All the learning will definitely ensure my success as a future leader in my major.

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Most importantly, if I could go back in tme and talk to myself about college, I would say to not stress so much about the application process! I took AP classes, studied for the ACT and SAT and made sure I turned in my apps super early. Looking back now, I realize that whatever decisions I felt like I could have or should have made, what classes or activities I should have done or been more active in, I ended up in the right place. High school students are pressured so much these days by counselors, teachers, parents, friends etc. to "choose the right school" because that will be your whole future. It doesn't matter what school one ends up at, what matters is how well you do when you get there. If one is a good student, focused organzed and did well in high school, one will be a good college student too. Menlo College was not my first choice and I ended up here by a twist of fate. It has worked out well for me and the "everything happens for a reason" mentality rang true in my situation and it will for others too.

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If I were to go through my senior year in high school, I would tell myself that it is very crucial to always give one's best effort. The senior year of high school is stressful, but all that hard work does not go to waste. The grades one gets in high school are very important to colleges. Also, one must keep in mind that this is the year that most students take their SAT exam, and it is very hard to do well on that exam if students do not attend class everyday. The advice I would give myself going back to high school would be to give the best effort. Also, I would tell all high school seniors that the teachers gives the work for a reason, and that is to help the student to become more aware of what is expected of them in college. One may think that the work in high school is very difficult, but it gets even harder in college. The two hours one spends doing homework in highschool nearly doubles in college. One must always go to class, and pay attention, and always get help one one needs it.

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Dear Alesi, There are many things that I have to say to you. This is the last year of high school , and I know how worried you are, but everything is going to be fine. College is exactly like high school and yet so different. I know this doesn't make sense know, and that it probably seems like a useless piece of information, but it is not. College is not something that you can describe. It is an experience that has to be lived in order to understand. I can tell you that it is an amazing experience. College is not as hard as they make it sound, it is all about managing your time. You have to find the balance between work and play. I know that you are scared that you are going to miss your family, and you will, but you will be so happy that the time you miss them will be short. Do not be scared to make this change. You are going to start to become the woman that you always envisioned yourself to be. You are going to meet and make so many friends. Relax, have fun. Love, Alesi from the future.

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I would tell myself to really look at where you want to go to college, and trust your first instinct. College is a huge step in life and you want to make sure that you are happy at where you are at, because if your not college life only gets harder. I have transfered from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Menlo College making several stops at community colleges along the way. Now finally being happy at Menlo, I wish I would have trusted my first instinct when it came to choosing my college, if I had I probably would have not had to take 5 years. I would also tell myself to make sure to balance out having fun, work, and school. I feel that too many times I have had to miss out on the "college experience", because I have been to focused on school or work. College is where you make friends for life and I wonder how many I have missed out on. Stay close to your family or friends. It is always good to hear a voice from home, and sometimes when you have a rough day they can make it all better.

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If I could go back and give myself advice as a high school senior about college, I would advise myself that the most important thing about college is to be thoroughly organized, systematic, keep on top of your academics, pay attention to details, and observe carefully what your professors expect and give it to them as best as you can. I would tell myself to practice these things in high school so it becomes second nature by the time you get to college. In making the transition, I would advise myself to take things seriously and pay attention to details because you will be on your own for the first time. that means be careful with your money and keep in touch with your family for moral support. Most of all, it is important to take care of your health, be smart about getting enough sleep get physical exercise, participate and believe in yourself. Now is the time to really learn your sklls and prepare yourself for your future. Last but not least, I would say to enjoy my college experience!

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