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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?

If I could bo back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would advise myself to get involved as much as possible. You can make friends in the classroom; however, the main area you make your close friends and have the most fun is through extracirricular activities. You do not have to be a great athlete or gifted to be involved. Join a band; join a choir; join an intermural sports team. North Dakota State University will accept you for who you are; people at the college are very friendly, are very excited to meet new people, and the organizations on campus are very fun. College is a place to make lifelong friends. Yes, you go to school to learn chemistry, history, wellness, and the like; however, the main purpose of school is learning how to be a responsible, loving, and caring adult. Friends stick with you through good times and bad; therefore, get involved at NDSU. You will not regret it!

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I have been fortunate in my college experience to be challenged academically, socially outgoing, and found determination to do my best work. All of the things that I have gotten out of attending NDSU come from the confidence I have been given through my peers and professors. These characteristics are valuable to me because they have made me a well-rounded and determined individual. My new found confidence has allowed me to do better at my studies, get a job that I enjoy, and made new and exciting friends. Experiencing life with a confident view has allowed me to be more friendly with others and accepting of diversity and other differences. I feel better about myself and the world around me. No challenge is too great because I have the skills and knowledge to handle it. Furthermore, my confidence has given me hope for a better future where I can be happy to be me and sure that I will succeed.

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I would tell myself that it is best to find a school that you feel most comfortable at. It isn't always the best idea to go to the school in the big city just to get away from home. Trust your gut instinct and chose the college that you feel makes you happy. However, make sure you tour as many colleges as you can because you won't know what you are looking for until you have other options to compare it to. Also, take your time deciding on what school is best for you. This is where you are going to be for the next four years of your life at least. Make sure that the school you chose is able to serve all of your needs and not just some of them. There is a school that is right for everyone even though it might not be the same school as your best friend. This is your time to focus on yourself and what you want to do with your life, not what your friends are going to do with their lives.

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I believe the most important thing one can do when choosing the "right" college to attend is to make an appointment to visit the campus. A campus tour shows the prospective student what life is really like for people attending that university. Not only will one get a feel for the social, academic, and living situations on campus, he/she will also get a feel for the distance between the campus and their hometown. Distance from family sometimes plays a big role in deciding which school to attend. Once getting to college, I believe one should take full advantage of any oganizational "fairs" the college puts on. They may look "cheesy" or "boring", but they are really good for reaching out to students and getting people involved. Joining one or two groups can make all the difference in the first years of college. Students with the same interests join similar clubs and can become great friends.

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If I were to go back in time and advise myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself the importance of keeping focused. College life is the doorway to independence. I think it?s easy for students to get side-tracked and make unscholarly decisions. Teachers will not force you to come to class, parents aren?t there to tell you to study or go to bed. You need to remember why you are enrolled there in the first place. You need to be independent and focus on your goals and remember that you?re making an investment in your future. Learn as much as you possibly can and make sure you are making friends that will help you to do so. College is so beneficial to you and you shouldn?t worry about the transition. It all comes so quickly and easily, and although the first couple of weeks might be intimidating and hard it only gets better from there. Stay positive and stay FOCUSED!

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I guess I would say it depends on your major. I learned that you always want to apply for your number one college institution that you want to go and at least two more back-up schools. That way if you don't get in you will have somewhere else to go. It's easier to get into a harder school by transfering there oppossed to going there straight out of high school. If you aren't accepted the first time try your second choice and then try tranfering after a semester or two. Another helpful tip is to make sure you get a tour of the campus first before accepting it as your college, that way you get a feel for it before you end up being stuck there and not likeing it. The best advice I can give is to do some research about your major to find where the best affordable institutions are and see if they fit your lifestyle and go for it. Anything can happen if you put your mind to it!

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Meeting fun people, challenging yourself acadmecially, learning about yourself, being a member of a community, revealing your leadership skills. If these sound like qualities you wish to posses, then you need to decide what it is that you want from your college. For me, it was going to a college that was just big enough that not everyone knew your name, but not so big that you became student number 9,786,457. I wanted a college with several different organizations to become involved with. I wanted to go to a place that had conservative political views and a friendly atmosphere. The only way you can figure out what different colleges have to offer is by visiting them. Tour different colleges! That is the best decision you can make when narrowing your options. If you do that, you will certainly choose a place that will allow you to make the most of your college experience.

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I would say to visit as many as you possibly can. Sit down with the staff that you will be working with and really evaluate them since they are who you'll be working with for the next few years. That helped me pick out one less than desirable teacher. You really need to balance whatever is important to you in making the decision. Pick a school that is just as strong in your preferred activities as your selected major. To get the most out of the experience, get involved in whatever you can to find friends. Go out to an event even if you don't feel like it at first and don't give up if you don't find where you fit right away. Some don't, but when you do, you'll be glad you stuck with it. Stay on the campus. DO NOT go home the first weekend. Many never come back after that. More than anything continue to seek out the place where you most belong on the campus.

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Through my transition to college I found it really nerve wracking. If I could go back I would let myself know that the transition to college would not be stressful at all and not to get so nervous about it. I'd tell myself to just breath and enjoy the end of my senior year. I would also remind myself to enjoy planning Teens Giving Back, the youth volunteer event I planned and executed my senior year. I'd remind myself to be extremely grateful to those that volunteer to make Teens Giving Back happen and to give it my all. As a final note to myself I would say, "keep an open mind about everyone you meet, all the places you go, and all the things you encounter, because you never want to wonder what if..." It is the 'what if's of life that will eventually hold people back in the past instead of allowing them to continue on with the rest of their lives.

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If I had a chance to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to stay strong and focused because the hardest of times are yet to come. I would explain that college life gives you so many opportunities to make something of yourself and if you follow your dreams and shoot for the stars, you can do anything you put your mind to. Just as the saying goes, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!" I attended a 2-year college already and I have never been so proud of myself as the day I graduated with honors and received my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Practical Nursing. I now plan to receive my RN Bachelor's Degree. Therefore, another thing that I would tell myself as a high school senior is, "Go to college and make yourself and your family proud and don't give up when times get hard!"

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