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Montana State University

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

Having experienced college life, advice I would give to students entering the university system would be encouraging -to get the most out of life and give back. "You are entering a new chapter of your life which will determine the rest of your life. Be positive, stay focussed, open minded , diverse, meet challenges, learn, achieve, and get involved. Live your dreams and develop your passions, desires and goals. Experience life through developing yourself, living each experience to the fullest. Live in the moment, and use your imagaination to reflect back on the journey. Life is energy. Direct your energies in a positive direction to make a positive environment. Meet obstacles and challenges along the way with optimism and learn from each experience. Judge your success by what you had to give up . Take into account that great achievement involves great risk. To do something truly great in your life and live life, you must find something interesting and extraordinary. Your point of view and understanding of the world is priceless. It makes you the distinct person you are. Share your knowledge - it is a way to immortality." michael

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Listen up kid, your irresponsible and it's going to take you lots of places, some of the good, most of them bad. It'll build character but to forget all that, character means nothing without responsibility, responsibility for your actions, for the actions of others that you contributed to. Real responsibility doesn't just involve "I'm sorry" it involves real actions that show where your stand, words don't fix mistakes (admittedly they can help). Everybody messes up, a lot... So keep your head on straight, stumble with pride, dream like mad, get in over your head, get comfortable feeling uncomfortable in the most responsible of ways, but most of all, don't get caught in those little traps your brain will set for you that can really drag you down. Most of all, wear your mistakes with pride because it's really only in failure that we learn about ourselves, the world around us, and most importantly we learn how to dust ourselves off. Besides that responsibility is charming and will make you a humble person. You can attain all the knowledge in the world and be a fool but you can't be wise without responsibility.

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So far in my college experience I have gained valuble knowledge from both wise and passionate instructors. However, more than that I have gained independence and many skills that will benefit me throughout my life. I have learned valuble study and research techniques that will no doubt be useful to me in my future career as a teacher. I have also learned to motivate myself and my piers to excel. My college experience has taught me to think more critically and explore ideas beneficial to my own personal growth and development. However, I have also discovered that it is okay to make mistakes and that there is no need in sweating over the little things. One poor grade, rather than causing undue stress, should instead be used to movtivate you to study harder or modify your study technique. College has been an incredibly valuble experience to me, providing me with skills and techniques that I can use throughout my life and my career. The knowdedge that I have gained can even be passed along to my future students so that they might be prepared for the same amazing college experience that I have had thus far.

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My best advice to my high school self ten years ago would be to formally withdraw from university when I decided to stop school and work during the contruction boom. Without withdrawing I had to repay full tuitition for a semester I did not attend, and received a full semester of failed classes. This made returning to school somewhat heralding, as my university maintains a pass/fail standard that has taken me three semesters to repair. However I can't see any other advice as worthwhile. Problems between then and now were lessons in life that have led me to where I am today. Where I am today is happily married, struggling to purchase a modest home and attend school. I have gained interests, and more so, passions. Passions which make school easy, enjoyable, and valuable in a way they never were a decade ago. I have taken that failed attempt at college and amended my record to that of an A student. Now I feel I know how, why and where I can make a relevant difference in the world; something unlikely during my first attempt. This is why my best advice to myself is not to change anything.

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College is an amazing experience and it's what you make it. Others can be just as intimidated as you are so take the initative to give that passing smile or introduce yourself. Get to know your professors, find something in common with them, ask them about their education. Research scholarships and grants early in the year. Always use rate my professor.com and talk to other members of the school about required classes if they've already taken them. Play an instrument and bring it to school it can be a very useful tool for winding down during finals and such a beautiful experience to share. Take the hardest classes you can just not all at the same time, challenge yourself. Get a part time job that requires you to socialize, it's a wonderful tool for time management. Do honors projects for the classes both pertaining to your major and not. Pay attention everyday both inside and outside of school. So much can be learned n everyday life. Don't forget to exercise. Study abroad whenever you have the chance. Travel inbetween semesters. Accept other peoples support and go out of your way to support others.

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You are a smart girl - you always have been. You've stayed out of trouble and been very involved with your community. Continue this in college! Yes, the parties are fun - the boyfriends are great. But remember why you are here. You are paying more than a few dollars to be surrounded by brilliant minds, passionate teachers, and more information than you know what to do with. Relish in this. It is a wonderful thing to have a thriving social life, but please don't throw away your mind on it. It is easier than you think to be a social butterfly while at the same time truly focusing on your studies and the path you want to take. Challenge yourself. Study abroad, join clubs you wouldn't have known existed otherwise, meet a few international students and continue with your commitment to volunteering. College is a unique time in life. You are an independent girl, becoming a woman and are exposed to so much. You have the power to shape the rest of your life in these few years. Never be afraid of failure - if the worst thing could happen, happens - then you will always have a great story.

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By attending MSU I have been able to dive into the sciences. I love my geology and geography classes and am currently in biology and have reveled in the research associated with science classes. I have been building relationships with professors, graduate students and other students that I hope to foster for the rest of my professional career. I hope to become a field researcher as I spend all of my free time in the beautiful mountains of southwest Montana, northwest Wyoming and noth Idaho. My passion is for geology and ecology and I hope to be able to combine these into a viable career. MSU attracts so many intelligent and talented people due to our geographic location and proximity to so many unique recreation opportunities so I feel fortunate to be able to interact with some of the best minds around. And of course, Yellowstone National Park is only about 45 min from campus and I visit everychance I get to study the unique geology and ecology of the area. I will take from MSU some valuable and lifelong friends and a greater appreciation for the beauty of our natural environment.

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In my exposure to college, I have learned that there is a perfect school for everyone; one just has to put time into finding it. For half of my freshmen year, I attended a small private college. My experience there could be compared to four more months of high school: no new faces, limited club possibilities, and similar weekend activities as provided by my high school. This college did not fit me in any way possible. With a small selection for friends, I had a hard time finding the right kind of person to fit my idea of a good friend with the same interests and values as my own. My sophomore year, I transferred to a large university where there are opportunities to participate in activities and clubs with my interests, which helped me to find the closest friends I have ever had. My advice to myself as a high school senior would be to spend more time finding the college that best fits me instead of picking the closest school to my hometown. Going to college is a second stage in life and a time for new adventures, becoming independent; a time to let go of stage one.

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This is about people. Everything that matters in this life centers around people. If you can grab hold of that, it'll change your life. Money, security, social standing, success? all noble goals, to be sure, but there is so much more. Behind every face, behind every name, there is a person. They are as human as you, and they are just as flawed. To be human is to be flawed. It is not in our strength that we find our humanity, but in our weakness. When that weakness is brought to light, confronted, wrestled with, and acknowledged, we open the door for change. Not just superficial, behavior modification, but change that reaches to our very depths and begins to transform us from the inside out. To see that kind of change is the noblest pursuit of all. In simple words: Love people. Discover what they need, then address it. If what they need is food, then feed them. If it is an understanding listener, then empathize with them. Meet people wherever they're at, and you will see faith expressed in love change hearts and transform lives. Always hope, always learn, and always love. Go.

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When I was a senior in high school, I suffered what I had thought at the time would be the greatest heartbreak of my life. I was rejected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the renowned school that I had had my eye on for years. I was devastated because I felt that all of my hard work throughout high school had been for nothing. Even worse, I equated acceptance to top-notch schools with the ability to make a difference in the world, and I therefore viewed my rejection as evidence that I would never be smart enough to influence change in the world. However, after completing my first year at Montana State University, I can truly say that MIT's rejection pointed me towards the school that was a much better match. I took Honors Chemistry and was honored and humbled by the incredibly intelligent people that I studied with. I realized that going to a state university did not make one inferior. I was astounded by the intelligence of the students that I was surrounded by. This year in college taught me a lesson in humility, one that I would not have learned at MIT.

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