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Monmouth University

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

The key to finding the perfect college, in my opinion, requires the new college student to think about what means the most to them as an individual. Are they academically focused and driven towards achieving a degree for a great career? Are they laid back and intent on partying, having a good time? Are they interested in meeting people and building friendships and relationships to last a lifetime? These are very important, philosophical questions. Because of this, the new student always needs to develop or continue their own personal philosophy about their education before they get started. It's very important to figure out exactly why you are going to college and what you plan on doing while you're there. The best advantages for a new student are to make sure that they find a school with a great deal of resources available. Schools with resources that the students actually use and gain advantages are schools that are usually good choices. These resources, and the personal philosophy of each student, are the most critical ideas when choosing a college. My advice: Find out for yourself why you are going to college. Personal drive/sacrifice will always work. Good Luck!

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If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to relax. As a student in Advanced Placements classes, my friends were driving themselves crazy trying to get into big-name schools with the top-rated academic programs. I would tell my past self to stop worrying about what other people think, and how much I'm going to love attending class two minutes away from my house, how I will meet great people there, join different clubs, serve as Treasurer for Monmouth's Student Government Association, and still get to work, teach dance, and do theater outside of school that I would have missed out on. I would tell myself that I would love the small class sizes, the Monmouth community, and the personable faculty, all factors that another school would not have offered. Most of all, I would remind myself that a "famous" school does not make you successful, but what YOU do at a school determines your success. I would proudly mention that I would graduate in only three years, while ranked first in my class for Economics majors, and get accepted to my first choice law school, Seton Hall.

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Now that I am pursuing a second Master's degree for the 2014-2015 academic school year, I definitely have a few words for my high school senior self: wake up and take off the rose colored glasses. I was very naive in my youth, and made degree choices not based off of career aspirations, but decided by my intellectal interests. This mentality was a detriment to my post-college career growth. I did not spend enough time in my youth thinking pragmatically. A number of events woke me up to the "real world." For instance, I first-hand witnessed my house flood from Hurricane Sandy. Managing a post-disaster construction project made me aware of the resistance involved in business, regardless of the cause of business. I discovered that this idea of humanity (something I've spent a lot of time philosophizing about) is more of an obscure concept. I want to pursue altruistic dreams when I have the ability to pull resources together. So, my final words to my high school self are: if you every want to achieve your dreams, the best path may not be linear and it definitely is not a short road.

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I believe that above all, you should go with your heart. I applied to about four schools, and the one I chose in the end was the most expensive, but upon going on a tour of the school, I felt that this is where I would feel the most comfotable. If you do not feel comfortable and do not see yourself being able to succeed in that environment, then eliminate that from your choice because you probably will not last long if you cannot picture yourself liking it there. Do not make your decision on family/significant others. To make the most out of your college experience, get involved. Participate in class and get to know your peers. These may be people you will have in your life for a long time. Also, academics come first, but become part of a club or social organization. Find people who have the same interests as you, and your college experience will completely be fulfilled. You will people you can never imagine your life without. Sooner or later, you will look back and wonder where all of the time went. So take advantage of your opportunities and do what's right for you.

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Right now it seems like everything is moving way too fast. With prom and finals, graduation and SATs, everything seems like a blur. And although all of this is very exciting, it's also very scary. I mean, this is the rest of your life here. You're jumping off the high school diving board and falling straight into the college world, a place full of more possibilities than you even knew existed. College is pure, undiluted life without curfews, sans parental rules, and practically void of supervision. And if you think high school life is a blur, you're in for a wild ride because from here on out things will only get crazier. But don't let it intimidate you! Don't let all the possibilities pass you by! Get involved; make friends; be crazy! And learn with every step you take, not just formulas, grammar, and philosophies of literature, but also learn about life; learn how to enjoy the moments of ecstasy with new friends, and most importantly learn to savor all of the possibilities in front of you. Be brave; go with courage to unexplored paths, and you will succeed.

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Our American culture grooms us to seek immediate gratification. Nothing will cripple the dreams of a college education or a successful life faster than succumbing to the ideology that your desires must be met ?now?. Realize that regardless of your age, every decision you make has an impact on your dreams. Living and deciding for the moment makes a fool of someone failing to consider the long-term effects. Consider the financial ramifications of debt and what it really means to ?bank on the future?. Consider the personal obligations and possibilities (positive and negative) in relationship decisions. Consider what activities benefit your long-term goals when planning your daily and weekly schedule. Consider the gain of delayed gratification, temporary discomfort, or atypical solutions to typical problems. Life is lived moment by moment, but decisions must be made with the future in mind. Abiding in the "immediate gratification" ideology will impede the success you ultimately desire, not only with respect to college, but also in respect to your life.

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I had no clue what I wanted to major in college, even while I was in college. I eventually chose psychology as a major and ended up going to graduate school for Educational Counseling. As a senior in high school I would have laughed in someone's face if they told me that I would one day have a Master degree. I was unmotivated during most of high school and only did enough to get by. If I could go back I would encourage myself to spend time researching schools and programs. I accepted that I would go to a Community College without a thought. Now I realize I did not even explore other options. I work as a high school guidance counselor currently and I tell the seniors that the most important thing they should be doing right now is researching schools and taking their SATs. I invite my students to meet with me one on one to go over their ideas. I often wish I could go back and reseach schools with myself. However, I may have picked something different to major in and I have been successul in the career I chose. I have no regrets.

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The best advice I could give to parents and students looking to find the right college includes a variety of things. First off, if location is an important factor, that should definitely be looked at. In addition to this, it is very important to look at the areas of study you are interested in and really research different colleges to see what they have to offer in terms of the academic education you would be recieving. My final word of advice for finding the right college, is to tour as many schools as possible. It is so very important to find a place that you feel comfortable and welcomed. To make the most of your college experience, the best advice I can give is to get involved in anything that interests you. It is a great way to meet new friends that have your same interests, and a few years down the line it also adds as a nice addition to your resume. My greatest memories of college come from the friends I made and the times I had in the clubs and activities I was involved in. It's such an important part of the experience.

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Everyday I wish I could go back in time so I could do many things over again; to make better choices. If I could go back in time now and talk to myself I would tell myself to go to college. Education and knowledge is key to having a life that you want. Even though high school wasn't a pleasant experience, college is different. There are some many people who are willing to help you through this new adventure in your life. Stick to school. Social events are not that important right now. Getting your life together and setting up for your furture by going to school will be one of the greatest choices you will ever make. Since you want to have your own family someday, school is the best way to achieve that goal. It will help you become stable in so many areas of your life. Moving around from friend to friend everyday is not a life. By going to school and leaving your social life, you will avoid so much pain mentally, emotionally, and physically. Make the right choice and get yourself on the right path to a life that you want.

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I would tell my self " Hey come here for a moment. Let me tell you something; more like tell my self something... that is besides the point. I want to tell you about college life..." I would likely responde "I made it to college?" "Yes we did. Your going to love it, especially since you make friends out in the desert. The college life is great, but it comes with great consiquence if you don't get ahead start. Listen to what the teachers and our parents tell us. Go online and start applying for scholarships if not, then we are going to end up biting the dust, and being left out of school after the first semester. Alright so I am forwarning you about how we are going to end up if you don't start listening and being so stubborn and think that you will make it on just pure luck like always! So get up and start going. Surf the web and apply for scholarships, so WE don't end up outside the gates looking in. And fair warning I know we love music, but maybe you should look into a history major; it's better alright."

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