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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?

I am glad I followed my advice I had given myself going into college. I knew that getting involved on campus was a big part of the college expeirence. During my freshman year I was apart of Kappa Delta Sorority and Hall government. Going into the school year of 2011 and 2012 acedemic year I will still be invovled with Kappa Delta Sorority but I was also chosen to be a Bison Guide (school tour guide), a peer mentor for my major, participate in leadership board for my major and I will also be an admission assitant. I am excited to start all these new activites but school comes first, I currently have a 3.1 GPA and last semester I recieved a 3.4 GPA. I would like to raise my cummlative GPA because my ultimate goal is to become an attorney. I am glad I got invovled with everything I wanted to on campus because it will only enhance my college experience.

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I would explain how college is, and tell myself to continue on the academic path, not to let any feelings hold me back. College is very different than high school, both socially and academically. The classes are strict with deadlines and expect the best from all of us. They are easy to manage at first, however, the later terms become more and more challenging. It may seem overwhelming at first, but in time you will get used to the concept. Another factor is work, class schedules need to work out with the work schedule if income were to meet above expenses. Lastly, there is more to life after graduation, if you feel you didn't do well in your adolescent years, there will be time in your adult life to make it up. College gives people keys to opportunities, and those opportunities open gates to what one really wants to fulfill in their life.

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If I were to go back to my senior year of high school to give myself advice, one key point I would make sure to emphasize is to be proactive in seeing a career counselor. After my senior year of high school, I applied to a local community college and pursued an AA degree, to which I never finished. Then, a semester later, I transferred into a near-by four year university. Seeking professional advice would have saved myself a year of time, and a year of college tuition. The advice of seeking a career counselor would have eliminated my year of uncertainty and narrowed my focus to my current choice of wanting to become a nurse. Nursing school has shown me the importance of having a good relationship with a mentor, or a school advisor. My naive-self needed this advice three years ago, but all I can do now is share this advice with others.

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You should find a school that is in a location that will allow you to succeed. Make sure there are enough options when it comes to majors, so that if you want to change you do not need to tranfer to somewhere else. Don't pick a school where you will be worrying about how you will pay tuition all the time. Base the dicision on the size of campus on what you think you will be comfortable with. Take a tour of the campus during the school year so you can see students as they move around campus so that you are familiar with the types of people that you will be in class with. Check out the opportunities the school offers to graduates trying to get a job. Don't pick a school because a bunch of your friends are going there, because you will not be able to meet as many people and probably will not branch out to new people as much.

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I was always told that getting good grades was the most important thing in college; however, I have learned that being involved with extracurricular activities such as research projects and Student Government is just as important. These activities prepare you for your future career. You learn skills that you cannot learn in the classroom. You meet people and develop a network of contacts. These people end up being your friends, colleagues, advisers, and potential employers. They can help you decide what career is best for you or let you know if you are pursuing a career that you will never enjoy. The people you know can be as important as everything else you learned in college. If you want to be successful, you need both the information and the contacts. That is the advise that I would give myself as a high school senior.

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I have obtained a lot of life lessons from college. One huge thing I've learned is how to better manage my time. Going to school full-time and working part-time can get busy, but it forces me to evaluate task goals and decide what I need to accomplish and when. Another valuable lesson I've learned is to not give up. I have taken some very challenging courses, but I have never dropped a class because it was too hard. I have a career goal in mind, and I know that I have to put in some serious work in order to reach that goal. One final lesson that has been important to me is the ask for help. It's tempting to try and do things on your own, resisting the services being offered to you. But faculty and fellow students are a huge asset to be utilized. All these lessons will help me as I continue on in a career after college.

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I would tell myself, " Amanda, don't listen to what everyone else says about having plenty of time to pick a major. Yes, you do have time but once you get into college it is even more overwhelming to try to pick one then when you are in high school. Also at the beginning talk to everyone, you need to make connections and get involved to make the transition easier. Oh, and another thing I honestly don't recommend that you start dating anyone before you go to college if they plan on staying in your hometown and you plan on leaveing because it just adds stress and confusion to starting your new life and it may ruin your friendship that you had before you started to date. Finally, have fun and be yourself, if people don't like you it's their loss and you will find wonderful people like you to be friends with."

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So far I have gotten a lot. I have gotten to know a lot of students and professors, who I can have life long friendships with. I already had pretty good study and work habits, but going to school here with all the available resources, I have improved those study and work habits. In general, I have improved myself as a person. The school helped with that with all of the activities, speakers, and general information that they have available. I think it the most valuable thing for me is the quality of information in the classroom. The stuff I have learned for my Construction Management major and Business Administration minor will be very helpful. I think it will help me stand out of the crowd from others when applying for jobs. I also think it will help me reach my maximum potential once I do find a job.

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If I were to go back to my high school self and give her advice about what to expect in college, I would first tell myself not to make a big deal about the transition. It was a very easy transition from high school to college and I spent a lot of my time stressing about it. The next thing I would tell myself is to go out and make the most of the opportunities presented to me. I would tell myself to join clubs, go to church related organizations, talk to the girl down the hallway. During my first semester, I spent a lot of time in my room, or only going out with my room mate instead of meeting new people. Finally, I would tell my high school self not to bring so many clothes. It's very hard packing clothes into a tiny dresser, especially when a lot of them are clothes that you aren't going to wear.

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I have gotten a lot of things out of my college experience. Not only am I recieving a top notch education that will help me attain my future career goals, but i also have had many great times and met many great people that i will keep as friends for the rest of my life. It has been very valuable to attend college because it is educating me and giving me the opportunity to persue my career choices and have a high chance of attaining the occupation i want because i have the proper skills to perform the tasks asked of me. It has also been valuable because it has allowed me to meet the best friends i have ever had and given me some great life experiences on the way. If i could do it all over again i would definetly attend college again. It is an experience of a life time and i will never forget it!

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