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Messiah College

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

I'd tell myself to try to make my experience fun but productive and directed toward some area they are truly interested in, no matter what other people may think. To try to end high school with as few bad memories and trauma as possible. I'd explain to myself what happened to me and how I finally was able to rise above the bad times but that because of my bad decisions some experiences will stick with me forever. Standing up to what they believe in and what they know is right because they can't wait for someone else to do the right thing. I'd tell them to take initiative, do their best, speak up for what they need and stick with the winners. Really, stick with the winners. Find an activity that they really love and don't let themselves get bored. Keep it interesting, whatever that means for them and make sure to take care of themselves before trying to save everyone else. Life is hard so get used to it. Go into life knowing this and figure out a way to make life as enjoyable as possible during the times it's not hard.

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I would tell myself not to be worried about the college search process. When I was applying for colleges, I was nervous that I would pick the wrong one and be miserably stuck there for 4 years. When I did not get accepted to my first choice, I thought my fears would become realized. But once getting to school, I found out there was something on campus for everyone to enjoy. Most of my friends have said the same thing about their colleges, and if they did not like it, it is easy to transfer. It's also not that big of a deal to transfer-- many people do it. I would also reiterate to myself that I probably will change my major. I always wanted to be a Broadcast Journalism major all through high school. It was my drea. But when I attended classes, I realized it was not my dream anymore. I changed my major to Sociology, and I love it. It fits my personality perfectly, and people at the school really helped me figure that out. I would also tell myself that it IS possible to have a good time without drinking or partying!

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First and foremost, I would tell myself to start filling out scholarship applications, and develop a habit of trying to save as amuch money as you can with your educatoin so that I will not have a large amount of student loans to repay when I graduate. Second I would tell myself to make sure you know when you can first choose your courses so that you can get your more desired classes chosen before they fill up. Another thing that I would tell myself would be to start a list of what textbooks you will neeed for your courses if possible, so that you/I can start shopping around to save money on the course texts. Another thing that I would tell myself to do is to anticipate a much heavier workload then highschool, and don't just think college is gonna be all fun and games. Allong with the last point, I would also enourage myself to make sure that I enjoy my classes and time at college, while I get the most from every oppurtunity possible because I am after all paying a large amount of money for these oppurtunities.

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As a high school senior all I wanted out of college was to go to a place far away.. I wanted to prove to my parents that I was capable of living on my own. I looked at colleges five hours away, but chose Messiah College, which is two hours away. It was far enough away to be on my own, but close enough that my parents could visit. Now that I have completed my first semester of college, I realize that when I thought about the location of the college that I attend, I never thought about myself. The location has taught me a lot about myself. I am very close to my friends and family at home. I wholeheartedly enjoy going out and spending time with them. I also thoroughly enjoy a day at home, just relaxing. I now regret not considering these things when deciding on the location of the college that I wanted to attend. From this experience, I have learned one essential lesson that will be will me for the rest of my life. I have to make decisions based on my wants and needs, not decisions to please others.

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When I was a senior in high school, my mother and I went "college shopping"; she told me that I would just know when I was at the right school. I rolled my eyes and sighed, but when I stepped onto the campus of my Alma Mater, it just felt right. It was also very helpful for me to make a list of my top priorities in what I was looking for in a school. I'd rate each school based on those priorities, and then schedule visits. Once you know what kind of school you're really interested, stepping on campus is a fun and exciting experience that (at least for me) made the choice instinctual. Once you have chosen your school, try to take your gen-eds first - you never know when you might decide to change your major. Also, take advantage of studying abroad: It will change your life! As you get ready for that first semester, be prepared to work hard! College is a lot different from high school, so don't beat yourself up if you don't do as well as you thought. Overall, take EVERY opportunity you can and LIVE IT UP!

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The advice I would give myself would be to not be afraid to be myself. I think a lot of times, high schoolers think about college as a time in which they can reinvent themselves and become somebody completely different. I came into college thinking that I had to become someone who I simply was not. I thought that I had to give myself a whole new identity because that was what you did when you entered college. I was wrong. It's okay to want to be more confident, to make yourself step outside of your comfort zone. However, a complete and total change isn't neccessary. I'm really good at being me. I snort when I laugh and my jokes aren't always funny. I can say some stupid things sometimes and I can embarrass myself greatly at times. But I'm also a really kind, caring, intelligent woman and for me to change the snorting and the joking and the embarrassing would be for me to remove a part of me that makes me who I am. College is about discovering who you are,and embracing it, not giving it all up.

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My college experience has helped me to be comfortable being myself. Through the relationships that I have made and the experiences that I have had I have been given the opportunity to flourish in my own skin. In high school I would have been characterized as a wall flower. In middle school I recieved votes for being the most shy in the year book survey. In college I was placed in a new environment where I was able to start fresh. As time went on I made friends that allowed me to joke, to laugh, and to enjoy myself instead of worrying what other people are thinking of me. In a cross cultural course I was able to live with two different Amish families for a week each. From this experience I realized that I can make friends that span cultural gaps. I also realized that there are endless possibilities for my life. Some of these are not expected. As I continue my journey through college I am growing, learning (about my major and myself), and enjoying the few short years that I am a college student.

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Jackie, I have something important to tell you. Put the homework down for a minute. This is exactly the reason I want to talk to you. You put so much effort and time into your work, beyond what is needed, but you do not know how to stop working and take care of yourself. So, here is what you need to do to prevent that medical withdrawal I suffered through: TAKE NO MORE THAN 15 CREDITS EACH SEMESTER. Yes, you?ll graduate late, but this way, you can put in the effort you want to, without damaging your health. Got it? I understand your classmates are all taking 18 or 19 credits, but you are built differently. Also, your parents care much for you and they do not want you putting so much pressure on yourself to pay for every expense. They will support you while you are in college. Stop being so stubbornly self-reliant and stay close to your family. Talk to Mom and Dad about any financial questions you have; they will be glad to help. Jackie, I have to go, but keep doing what you are doing well. Bye!

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Go to a school where you feel comfortable, where you've met friendly people, and that offers you cool opportunities. Even though you may not do all the things you initially plan to do, if you are attracted to a lot of things right away, it's a good sign that you will continue to find good things at that school. What's most important to you? Your major? Your volunteerism? Studying abroad? The dining hall? Dorm life? Getting into grad school? Getting good internships? Do you want to be in a city or the country? Know what you want out of college and find the one that fits YOU, just you. You will not only be happy with your opportunities, you will find like-minded people and make the best friends you'll ever have. Talk to professors and students, spend a night or two in the dorms. Go to a game or a play or a concert. College can be very hard and stressful, but if you're at the right one, you'll be okay. (Friendly student-centered faculty and outgoing students are always a good sign!) Good luck!

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Messiah College has provided me with memories I will cherish for a lifetime, as well as a valuable eduation--not just academically, but also in areas of faith and personal growth. The faculty exemplify characteristics of leadership, and they genuinely care about the individuals in the classes they teach. I have become a more confident person, even to the point of developing leadership capabilities in overseeing teambuilding activities for sports teams, RAs, and incoming freshmen in areas like canoeing, high ropes courses, and rock climbing. I have also been challenged in my faith; though I attend a Christian school, there are many students who are atheists, and in taking the required courses in religion and philosophy, I have engaged in many challenging conversations and debates on the issues presented. In short, I have gained a greater appreciation for both my life and the lives of others in the past year, and I firmly believe that it could only have happened by attending Messiah College.

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