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North Central University

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

If I were to go back to my senior year and talk to myself, I would tell myself to calm down. I was so afraid of life after High School that I didn't take the risks I should have. I didn't trust the Lord and allow Him to take control, and while I believe I'm at Sandburg for a reason, I know it isn't where I was supposed to be. If I could go back, I'd convince myself to get the loans and assure myself that even if they did get rejected I would be alright. I have had a great college experience, don't get me wrong. But I know it would be a completely different experience in Minneapolis as opposed to in Galesburg. Less stressing and tears would have been a great way to end my senior year, so that is what I would do. I would hit my own palm against my forehead and say, "Taylor! Take a chill pill and do it!"

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I would first and formost tell myself to take my studies as a high school student seriously. Your work quality definitely affects the scholarships you're going to be given as well as the opportunities in college. If you don't have a great work ethic, you are going to spend a lot of time waiting inbetween just to try and get back to college. I'd definitely tell myself to take advantage of the study opportunities given. I'd say that I'd need to hit the books harder even if at all. All the social time you spend engaging in during your senior year truly ammounts to nothing! You don't take that with you after high school. You are all going to go your seperate ways & you're not going to even see eachother again, really. So, don't invest your time in being a social butterfly. It's your last year, give it your all.

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Don't pick a college just because all your friends are going there. Find the one that you feel comfortable going to, that feels like home when you visit, and actually cares about helping you succeed. When you are there, take every opportunity to get to know people. If you live in the dorms, leave your door open. You'd be surprised how many people will stop and say hello. Expect to be challenged. Decide what's really worth fighting for and don't sweat the small things. As for parents, let your child fly. That's not to say that you shouldn't help them when you see they are going to crash and burn. For me, it has been really important that my parents have let me learn my lessons, but when I ask for their help, they are ready and willing. They are still involved in my life, and I value that.

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There are many different things to consider when looking for the right college. For some it may be all about the althetic department, and for others it may be how well the school does academically. It all goes with how well you can do the little things. For instance, if you get a football scholarship to lets say Notre Dame. You want to make sure that the school is the right "fit" for you. Check out the school, the dorms, sit in a classroom, eat the food, hang with the students, do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are 100% sure that this is the right school for you. Now, just because I mentioned Notre Dame doesn't mean that you have to start there. Go to all sorts of schools, public and private. There is one out there for you. You just have to look for it. I did.

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I would tell the student to make sure that they know what career they want to go into before they decide on going to college and wasting their money on something they never wanted to do. I would also tell the student to do a thorough check into the competency of the administration in the school as well as what's available to them for housing. A lot of times schools will put on a front and when you get there you don't realize who they are until you're two years into your college education, on the verge of your jr. year, and trapped there because it's to late to transfer, in order to shy away from this I would recommend really doing a lot of research into the school by contacting people who have gone there through facebook and other means.

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Although I am only in my 2nd semester of my freshman year, I have already matured so much from my college experience. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that college really isn't as hard as many people make it out to be. The key to success is staying on top of your homework, saying no to those friends who always distract, and learn to prioritize everything. The freedom which college brings is not always as freeing as I thought. With freedom comes paying for things out of your own pocket, remembering all your scheduled events, and difficult decisions that are made without a parent guiding your every move. But, each and every experience has been immensely valuable and will help guide me in my future endeavors.

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I would tell myself to take risks and not be so worried about what others think of me. I would tell myself to get out there and make more friends sooner and to enjoy college. While balance is essential, I would tell myself to put more of an effort into my friendships, while still knowing when to say no to hanging out with others. College is a place to learn but also a place to learn how to stretch in all areas of your life. Don't take things so seriously (or literally), and take a chance when it comes to new things. You might get more out of things once you try them out. We don't get anywhere if we don't attempt new things and are willing to fall if that's what it takes to experience or learn something new.

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Make sure that you research what the school is like. One of the things that really helped me in choosing my school was building a relationship with a current student. It is also very important to visit the school and get a tour from someone specifically a student, because they can get you a little more insight sometimes on what the campus is really like. The staff tours are good as well, for more practical reasons. When you get to college, don't expect it be anything like high school was. It is so much different both academically and socially. Prepare yourself to be challenged and pushed acedemically, it won't always be easy, but you can do it. They wouldn't have accepted you if they didn't think you could.

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Do not be discouraged in your search for the right college. Keep looking untill you find the one thats right for you and offers what you want to study. Talk to the professors and see how open they are to helping their students. Also talk to the students because this will give you an open and unbiased view of what the college is really like. Visit it as many times as you can and try to sit in on some of the classes. See what they offer for financial aid and scholarships but remember that even if you do not get a lot of financial aid towards the school of your dreams, sometimes it is worth it to spend the money to get a good education and go where your heart is.

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Find a college that fits who you are. So if you are musically orientated, find one with a major focus in the arts. Essentially find a school that fits everything about you, whether that is a school close to home or on the other side of the country. Also important is going to a school that is going to stretch you. Do not just go to a place that is comfortable and is easy for you. To the parents, let your children have freedom in where they go and not only that be supportive. They will be muvh more liely to listen if you are being supportive and know you support them in whatever they choose. It is there life and you cannot live it for them.

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