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North Dakota State University-Main Campus

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

The advice I would give to my high school senior self would be to enjoy it and not worry so much about the future. I worry about the future and what it has in store for me often. I wish I could go back and tell myself to let things happen and enjoy life. I think that is the only thing I would want to say because I am happy with the way my life is turning out. I would have myself apply for more scholarships, however, because I did not know that they were as easy to apply for as they are. Lastly, I would just tell myself that you are going to find people that appreciate you, want to be around you, and treat you the way you should be treated very soon. That would have definitely helped my mental well-being at the end of high schoool. I feel like everyone needs a little positive reassurements every now and then. It is hard to convince ourselves that everything will be okay, but we need to. Things get better, and I wish my high school self would have known that.

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Get to know yourself. Get clear on the unique gifts you have to give to the world and your passions. Notice what lights you up and trust that feeling. Once you have strong clarity around who you are and what you want, then decide what university, what degree...what path aligns with those desires. You'll be encourage to go about this process the other way around. Most people will try to convince you that the path is what you need to decide on first. Then, you will be asked to try to make your gifts, passions, and desires work on that particular path. And, if they don't, you'll be encouraged to set them aside. I'm here to tell you: DON'T set them aside. There's power in passion. There are gifts only you are meant to give to the world. There are reasons you have certain desires. This is an amazing time to not only investigate the options available to you, but also to investigate "the you" who has all these options. Conscious engagement in the process is key.

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If i could go back a year and give myself advise on my freshman year of college, I would tell myself to study! Find a good study place, away from distractions, and study! Study atleast two hours everyday and don't cram before tests. Make sure to eat well balanced meals and exercise. Exercising will help release the stresses of the day. I would also tell myself not to work as much. Working is important for finacial reasons, but it forces cram sessions at night, sleeping in the next day, skipping breakfast to get to class on time, falling asleep in class from sleep deprivation, and then repeating the cycle all over again the next day. Getting a full nights rest works wonders when it comes to raising you GPA. I think that if I would have taken care of my body more by getting more sleep, eating right, and working out, along with developing good studing techniques and working less, i would have been a million times more successful my first year of college.

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I would go back in time and tell myself two things before I entered the college life. The first piece of advice would be to appreciate everything that my parents do for me. I didn't realize how much I depend on their support until I was on my own at NDSU. They are only a phone call away, but it is not the same as having them there everyday. My next piece of advice would be to fill out as many scholarships as possible because it will be well worth it. I didn't fill out any scholarships my senior year of high school because I didn't know for sure if I was going to attend college right away or not. By the time I decided to attend NDSU all the scholarships already had their deadlines. After finishing my first semester at college I now realize how big of a help scholarships can be and how greatly they are appreciated. These are two very important things I would let my past high school self know about the transition to college life.

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Traveling back in time to high school, I would tell myself that college will be tough, it will try my patience, my study skills, my emotions, and my well-being. I would tell myself that while that sounds discouraging, I have always loved my education, will always love attaining an education, and I am strong enough to withstand the difficulties of the college life. I would also advise my younger self to not be as afraid of people as I have been in the past, it will take opening up to strangers and trusting them to grow and make a successful transition. Also, I would reassure her that she will enjoy her classes, and that she will receive a quality education, no matter how tough it may seem. There are so many opportunities that you will be open to, do not regret your choice to move away from home to a school that will raise your expectations of yourself and will push you to achieve goals you never knew you set before yourself.

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Dear High School Senior, The transition from high school to college will be a big change in your life. You will be responsible for everything you do and must discipline yourself through your decisions between your social and academic life. You might encounter situations when it will be difficult to say "no", but always remember to stay true to yourself and make the best choice. Try to find a balance between both sides: social and academics. You will also need to work your best to avoid procrastination, because at the end of the semester, you do not want to be a student who is struggling to get your grade up in that certain course because you procrastinated on studying or doing the work for it. Stay efficient, productive, and give yourself a break from time to time. College is very different from high school, but if you are able to balance things out, you will do great. Yours truly, Sayuri Yang, your college freshman-self

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College life is just as good as everyone said that it would be. The transition at first is a little tough, but once you start meeting people you start meeting lifelong friends. Don't worry about what other people think about yourself, because who you are in college will affect many aspects of your life. There is a lot of pressure on picking a major, but there are a lot of people there to help you in your decision. The advisors at NDSU want what is best for you and are willing to answer any questions that you may have. If you have any questions about anything going on in your transition, don't be afraid to ask. Get involved with activities that interest you. More than likely they can help you in your future, and will look great on a resume. Find classes that you will love, and don't overload yourself. Make sure to make time for a social life, it will be reflected in which ever job you end up getting in your future.

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It took me a while to adjust. My parents and boyfriend live only an hour away so I was going home all the time and I think some people didn't like me because I was quiet and shy. But I had some friends from my high school that I hung out with quite often and really got to know a lot better. I made some new friends as well and kept in touch with some old ones. My first semester went badly because I didn't want to do my work so I had a terrible GPA. In my second semester I did the best I could and raised it a bit, but it still could use a lot of work. I learned mostly, and am still perfecting, how to balance my social and school lives. I've had some great professors and some bad ones but I learned how to work with each. My roommate was great and helped me through a lot and I found I could rely on her for anything. I'm glad I chose NDSU because it was a thrill ride that I'm not done with yet and I look forward to more.

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As a sophomore in college, I feel I have not found the right path in college quite yet. As a high school senior I thought it would be easy to find myself. So many students around me know exacltly what they want to do in life. But I am lost. I have accomplished declaring my major in Apparel and Textiles and Business Management. In the beginning as a freshman, I was confused and overwhelmed by all the choices offered. There are so many careers to choose from, it seems almost impossible to know what path is right for you. If I could go back to talk to myself as a high school senior I would say this. Do not be afraid of taking risks. Put yourself out there and hope for the best. Once you start to take chances, you find yourself and what works for you. Never be anyone but yourself and you will succeed in life. Now that I understand what it takes to be successful in college, nothing can stop me from success.

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Be prepared for that which you cannot necessarily prepare for. Without a doubt, money should be saved, grades should be maintained with the utmost care and secondary schools should be scrutinized, but the single idea to keep in the forefront of your mind is openness. You are bound to make mistakes. Maybe you will change your major four times, or fail a class, or whatever it may be. While I am not justifying any sort of wrong doing here, I do believe that there is value to be taken from things that don't go according to the preconceived plan. The bottom line is that this is college; this is an investment in an education, in life, that no matter what, no one can ever take away from you. Avoid getting too tied down at this point. Time, as well as a vibrant education will reveal limitless opportunities, and even when you're not in class, college will leave you with things no one will ever be able to rob you of.

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