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Missouri State University-Springfield

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

Past Forward “Ever-growing self-explorer, make this senior year more memorable, having discovered that the power to positively influence isn’t in looks, neither that being street-smart (or misled) in brands, parties, drugs, violence, sex equates to sophistication and knowing how life works – what are my losses, what do I gain that I would resort to desire and feign I belonged?... >>> …But find ME and be content as a humble star amidst the night, and see what thing on earth can dull or move me? All the lessons repeating tears and bloodshed in the chapters of human history, including those pages of my family’s incredible journey to America, consider now truly appreciating their consequential benefits for my present life, especially my education, which should yield this commonly overlooked end. Experience at the college level reveals that many, even the most knowledgeable, who may esteem themselves civilized lead their entire lives unlearned of the foundational discipline of integrity: self-respect. These are never too distant or abstract, and possessing them would see me defy those petty judgments and heavy regards for the external, to devote my educated concerns to greater matters of poverty and injustices in the world.”

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The most critical factors when selecting what college is right for you are: field, prestige, and affordability. First, one must determine what career they want to pursue, then examine which schools' are strongest in that job market. Second, decide wheather the school is nationally recognized and will stand out in ones resume when entering the world of work. Third, and most critical factor when selecting a university is affordability. If one cannot pay the tuition, it would be futile to consider the school. In short a prospective college student should determine the strongest, most renown school for their desired career, then carfully decide if the selected school is within their monetary means. Lastly, visit the university, check out its facilities, meet some proffesors in your desired department and ask their opinions of your future plans; they are trained experts and most will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can, their advice is extremly valuable. If the college is in accord with your field, is a recognized school, and is affordable, then it is an appropriate school to attend. However, one should always vist several colleges before determining which school is the proper fit.

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Asking questions, especially about financial issues, degrees programs, etc is a big help in finding which college is right for you and your budget. It is also beneficial to visit the campus before attending. I visited several schools before choosing a college. Some of them put me off immediately and some of them made me like the school better than I thought. In order to make the most of your college experience, it is definitely best to get involved. Sometimes, I regret not being more involved in school activities. It's probably the best way, or one of the best ways, to meet people. College is about being on your own, learning to do things for yourself. Everyone else is going through the same thing, so meeting people, and developing a support group is really beneficial to you. Together, you all learn about life. Finally, study abroad! This was definitely one of the best decisions I made in college. Even if you don't know another language, there are definitely opportunities still. Studying in Spain, I gained a different perspective on the world, tried new foods, and met new people (some Americans!). I will never forget that experience. EVER.

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If I could go back and give my high school senior self some words of wisdom, I would advise a more detailed college search and visit. Specifically, I would suggest going on more campus visits and actually spending a little time exploring the campus and academic buildings on my own. In addition, I recommend fully using scholarship search sites and apply to all that I qualify for. Then, for all colleges I apply to, scour the school websites for both regular Freshman scholarships and other possible general or departmental scholarships. After choosing a school, I suggest full immersion into my new identity as a college student. Once at college, attend as many events as possible and join a few organizations or club sports that interest me. Stick with the favorites and continue with the organization. Regarding academics, keep up with all homework and reading assignments. Establish a close relationship with as many professors as possible. Introducing myself to them during office hours or after the first class is a great way to make myself known and to show interest in what they teach. Overall, just imagine a great year ahead and believe in it.

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When choosing a college it is important to find the right learning atmosphere for the future student. Small or large class sizes do make a difference in the learning experience, as does the availablility of study facilities and aides. One important detail to check into when college searching is the resources of the campus advisors. A student's advisor is an important aid in their college experience because they can help the student plan and build their future. Most students come to college undecided in their future goals but with the help of a good advisement and career center they are able to find something which suits them almost perfectly. Another good detail to examine is the dorm life on campus. Its important for students to live in the dorms for at least the first year of college because it is a great place to build friendships and a social skills. Dorms should offer a wide variety of social activities because they are great ways to prevent stressful and harmful lifestyles from forming. Also the campus should provide a wide variety of activities such as sports, plays, and concerts to build a well-rounded educational experience.

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My advise is mostly to students who are planning to attend college. PREPARE EARLY in your hight school career. Start taking college prep courses during your high school years . Be sure to check the entrance requirements for the college you are planning to attend. Ensure you have all the requirements met and, if possible, go beyond the requirements. Take each class seriously and don't waste time thinking "I've got four years to do this - I'm going to have some fun." Work hard in high school to take the best advantage of any scholarshop money that is out there. Apply early and often. As far as advice for parents goes - I would start working with your student during the sophomore year in high school. FInd out what their interests are and try to be supportive in their career choices. Be there for advice and guidance. Once their interests and career choice is made - assist them in scouting college in that particular field. Be sure to pay particular attention to the tuition and financial responsibility that you will incur. College costs are skyrocketing and you must choose wisely to get the best bang for your buck.

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I started my medical career because I wanted to help people. What I ended up discovering was I first needed to help myself. SJVC is different than any other college in its support and care for their students. The environment truly ?breathed? family. I was drawn immediately. Since courses are completed quickly, dropping out is no longer a problem as in past college experiences. I?m learning at my pace and not getting bored. In going to school, my abusive, alcoholic husband became jealous of my success and growing independence. He left me five weeks in, seven months pregnant, and with two toddler boys. He?s taken off before and I always took him back, but not this time. My instructors taught me that everything I need, I have in me already. It?s only a matter of discovery and application. Applying this concept has tamed my emotions, cleared my head, and kept my heart strong for my family. I?ve learned to live healthy and feel a sense of responsibility to share that with those in need regardless of the hour. I?ve gotten a LIFE out of my college experience and wouldn?t change it for the world.

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Push yourself. Do research. Find what you need. Any college is a good college, if you get what you want out of it. Only a motivated student can succeed. Opportunities to overcome financial, academic, or involvment barriers will present themself. You, the student, must take ahold of the chance and move with it. Higher education means higher responsibility. The faculty will be supportive. The resources will be available. You, and only you, must make the decisions to work hard and succeed in your field. When the going gets tough, fall back on your family and advisors. You make the decisions, but you have support behind everything you do. There is no wrong choice in selecting a college. What you learn at one may not be the same you learn at another, but that information is of equal value. The lessons learned will vary from school to school, student to student, life to life. But all lessons, no matter what size, are invaluable to your future. It is all about you. You (not your college) are what will determine your life. Surround yourself with what you need and the world will welcome you to success.

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Choosing a college can be one of the most exciting (and frightening) times of a student's life. Don't be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone! Choose a college that best suits YOU, not necessarily where all of your friends are going or where you think you'll have the best time. Talk to students who attend the college. Take tours of the campus. This will be key in making your decision. When you've chosen a college, BECOME ENGAGED by joining student organizations or intramural activities that interest you. This is especially important if you chose a college where you know very few people. You will be able to meet people that have the same interests as you. College is a time to not only secure your future, but to also make lifelong friendships and memories that will last the rest of your life. At the same time, STAY FOCUSED! You need to find a balance between socializing and making the most out of your last academic years. These years are going to be the best in your life. Take full advantage of every opportunity that lends itself to you. Be bold. Make friends. Study hard.

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Dear High school senior, These last ten months of your secondary education is here, the moment you have been waiting on. This is no time to become lazy, but to work harder and relax because it’s almost over. You may feel clueless on decisions you will have to make soon but make those decisions with what you want and not what anyone else wants. Homecoming, turning eighteen and prom are all the fun things but Graduation, 8am ACT test days, and acceptance letters in the mail, are all the days that will mean more in your future. You are a beautiful, intelligent, hardworking, and a loving young lady to say the least and most definitely on the right track to prosperity. So remember once you graduate on May 21, 2011 to not stop there, but to go out and uphold yourself on a pedestal of academic achievement. Show those Scholarship donors how proud you are and unbelievably grateful for their gift towards your academic career. You are a black girl that rocks and whichever choice of University you will go to that that will be the best choice for you to grow wiser while embarking on a new life.

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