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New York University

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

Leaving my home to attend NYU has challenged me as well as broadened my world view. I have met countless people who are completely different from myself, and experienced things I never thought I would have the chance to experience. I have worked diligently academically, as well as outside of the classroom with jobs, internships, and extracurricular activities. One of the most unique aspects of my experience, however, has been life in NYC; seeing shows, attending concerts, going to museums, participating in poetry slams, and even meeting the occasional celebrity- the options are endless, and have provided me with the opportunity to learn about the world outside of my previous understanding. Additionally, being surrounded by other students who are passionate about their interests is invigorating. I learn so much from the people around me, and have subsequently become a more diverse and loving person. The difficulties I have encountered at NYU- living thousands of miles away from family and friends, adjusting to a new life, and overcoming horrific roommate experiences- have helped to shape me into the person I want to become. What you learn in class is important, and what you learn from your overall college experience is invaluable.

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My advice to my high school self is to break the mold, to find success unconventionally, and never to use fear of failure as an excuse for inaction. Once accepted to NYU Stern School of Business, I found myself freed from the shackles, homogenization, and limitations of our public school system. The linear, lockstep progression from grade to grade under strict guidance tends to train students to believe that there is only one path to success. I would tell myself that is not the case. Over just a few months, I recognized that education is not merely a culmination of classes leading to a degree, but rather a knowledge base which can be expanded within and outside the classroom. Through networking and cold calling, I met, established rapports, and shadowed with Managing Directors, Private Wealth Managers, and Advisors from companies including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Franklin Templeton, Edward Jones and CapTrust. Each meeting taught me invaluable lessons and established connections that are vital complements to academic coursework. For these opportunities, I looked outside the traditional path and past the potential of rejection or intimidation in a professional setting. My advice is to bet on myself, not on a system.

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Students, together with their parents, must visit the schools they hope to attend. Apply to those schools that have the programs most interested in. Students must also determine if the school is affordable and financiallly reasonable. Keep in mind that loan payments are payable shortly after graduation. Investigate any scholarships the school has to offer which will help offset tuition payments. It is important to see if the school provides internships in a particular field of study. Is the proximity of the school close to a major city where one can pursue an internship? Students must also select an instituion where they feel most comfortable with. Choose living arrangements wisely since dorming is where one will live, study, socialize etc. Look for any clubs or extracurricular activities that the school has to offer. Students need to relax and unwind. Kepp in mind that if a school is far from home, it will not be easy to get home in case of an emrgency. Make prior arrangements if such a situation arises. Finally, check if the school provides job opportunites or meetings with major companies in senior year. Above all, have confidence in yourself and you will be successful

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First off, physical environment is so, so important. Figure out whether rural, suburban, or urban campuses appeal to you the most, and visit to make sure. When you visit, don't bother with the stock campus tour. Instead, walk around on your own, and observe the students -do they seem like people you'd get along with? Are they generally happy? Engaged? Engaging? Once you've got the scenery down, make sure the school's requirements, as well as its course offerings, fit into your plot. Make sure your plot is not too narrow. Once you're there, stay on top of your requirements, but concentrate on taking whatever appeals to you. You have the rest of your life to be practical (if you so choose); these four years are for dreams, passions, developing interests. The two ways you should prepare for your post-college future? Internships and study abroad programs. Your college should have a career center that will help you find the right internship, while studying abroad, besides providing you with what will undoubtably be an unforgettable, eye-widening experience, demonstrates independence, intelligence, and the ability to adapt, all of which are highly desirable qualities in any workforce.

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Take as much time as you need to decide what you want out of college. Work, travel, take time off. I know so many students who spent thousands of dollars on a certain kind of education, only to change their minds halfway through and decide that they wanted something else instead. When you're choosing a college, think very closely about what it is that you want out of the years that you will spend there. Choose your school primarily for concrete, specific reasons rather than vague, emotional ones. Beware of vast generalizations (i.e. "everyone is unfriendly," "no one is religious") and remember that everyone's college experience is very different, and depends largely on your program, your activities, and the people with whom you chose to surround yourself. Location, prestige, and campus vibe are important, but overrated. Don't take the glossy brochures too seriously, be aware of college marketing techniques and strategies. The most important thing is to find a place that is best suited to your personal, intellectual and career goals, with the resources to help you fulfill them. If you find that, the rest (social life, subjective experience, etc.) should take care of itself.

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Students and parents stress about finding the right college, feeling that the wrong decision could be catastrophic. However, student usually already have an idea about the type of school they want to attend - big/small, city/rural, etc.. At that point, academic standing and location preference usually help narrow down the process to a few schools that would all suit the student well. Colleges make a concerted effort to continually improve the quality of education and collegiate experience of its students, so parents and students need not worry, and instead concentrate on the specific interests of the student and its fit with the college. Take the college process one step at a time, and trust your instincts. Once in college, students should make the most of their experience from day one. Most do a pretty good job at making the most of the their social experience, but the academic and extracurricular experiences should also be considered early on. Many students discover helpful resources or exciting clubs in their final years at the school. Stay focused on long-term goals and investigate all of the college's resources to get the most out of those life-changing four years.

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NYU has a price tag of $50,000+, an insurmountable burden on my parents. Gandalf the Grey is still falling down my hole of debt. So I?m making the most of my education. Perhaps there?s a bit of fatalist theory in me, but everything happens for a reason. I was forced to turn down my first choice, but freshmen year was incredible. I couldn?t imagine being anywhere else. The application process probably drove you mad, but remember: you will attend a school. Consider advice from others, consider academic prestige?but choose a college that'll allow you to challenge yourself, pursue pulsing ambitions, grow, and be happy/successful?even if means compromising parental wishes. But keep an open mind. Keep your passions within reach, allow your education to serve as cornerstones for your career path, but look into universities with arrays of options and room for exploration. Approach someone who intrigues you; be open to new relationships, perspectives, environments; balance the social and academic aspects of college; be independent but don?t be afraid to seek guidance, step out of your comfort zone, carve out your own opportunities, take an unexpected class, take the stage, have fun.

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Having never visited the school or even been to that state before, having no other friends or classmates attending with you, I know you fear loneliness going to a university on the opposite coast. But don?t worry, you?re going to be more than fine as long as you open yourself up to new possibilities and join school organizations, where you?ll meet friends with similar interests. Definitely consider studying abroad sophomore year. You?ll have the time of your life there, traveling all around and forming close lifelong friendships with classmates in the program. Also, be sure to take advantage of the internship opportunities. When you first get access to the career center, have an advisor revise your resume and cover letters, post them on the career website and apply to all suitable internships and work study jobs. Don?t be picky until after interviews and offers?choose the best one later. Books are expensive, but luckily there are textbooks and required course readings available in the school library and in its course reserves, which will save you a considerable sum. Overall, make the most of all available opportunities and resources, manage your time well, and have fun.

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Understand that as every child is unique, each school is unique. Therefore, applying to college should not become a war in pursuit of getting into particular schools but rather, an opportunity for self-discovery. Today getting into college in the U.S. is more difficult than ever. With acceptance rates dipping, number of applicants soaring and other scares, the college application process has become a nightmare for many. Most of the stress seems to come from the misunderstanding that applying is all about fitting in to get in to "The school". There is no use struggling to fit because you (and your parents) will spend the time fighting for something that ultimately isn't up to you when it could be spent finding out your strengths and weaknesses, realizing hidden dreams and aspirations and perhaps, even for family bonding. While in school, it will become important for you to understand yourself in order to make the best decisions. Many obstacles will come upon you throughout college but no matter what happens in the end, I'm sure you would agree that you would like to remember making the best decisions you could for yourself. Get ready to make yours now!

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Choosing the right college is one of the hardest decisions a student has to make in their life. The school you go to fundamentally shapes you forever. It is crucial to take the time to visit the school as it can change your perspective on it completely. Remember this is where you will be spending the next four years of your life. It is important to look at various factors including ranking for your suspected major, tuition, and extracurricular activities. First and foremost, education should be the reason you are going to school. Therefore, doing research on the classes and programs is the most important factor. Also, considering the expense for books, tuition, housing, food, etc. is vital. The money spent on college will affect you for many years and students often don't realize how much it will impact them after graduation. Furthermore, make sure that there are various extracurricular activities that fall in line with your interests as this will be critical in making friends with similar values After choosing a college, keep an open mind, listen to viewpoints you were not exposed to before, and experience new things. Also, remember to have fun!

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