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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 go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that I'm going to miss home more than thought I would; that I'm going to call my mom every day, and she'll be thrilled. I'd tell myself that it's going to be difficult sometimes, and I'll feel like giving up, but that everything will work out once I push through it. I'd tell myself that teachers aren't just talking textbooks -- they are people who care about your success, and have a great wealth of knowledge, resources, and experience to share with you. I'd tell myself not to worry about making friends -- everyone else will be worrying about the same thing, and conversations will naturally pop up! I'd tell myself that I am strong and capable, and that I am on the path that will take me the farthest.

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As a high school senior I had no idea how challenging and time consuming college classes would be. I would have told myself to take more time studying and learn how to study before I were to arrive at college. Time management is key. I also would have told myself to learn how to prioritze what is important to make sure that gets done before wanting to do something that is not as important. Another important key of college is getting to know your instructors and asking for help. It is much easier to earn an A as a final grade by starting off earning A's, rather than try to work your way up from a C midway through the semester. By getting to know the professors and asking for help, they know that you are willing to work hard for you grade and that you really want it.

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I would advise students and parents to be open-minded about options for college. Check out as many campuses as possible and be sure to research available majors and minors offered as well as extra-curriculars and organizations available. I believe in many situations, such as college, what you put into it is what you will get out of it. By studying hard academic acheivement can be accomplished, by joining organizations and activites social success will be found, and by volunteering philanthropic experience will be gained. By acheiving these, I believe a student will become a more rounded individual. Most importantly I do advise that academics come first, but it is up to the student to overcome the challege to balance everything to which this reward is invaluable.

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Dear Amy, I know this is a busy time in your life as you are trying to finish high school strong and still get ready for college next year. Although you are doing a good job, don't forget to have some fun and relax. I know everyone tells you this and how fast it is going to go, but it is really true. You will really appreciate it later if you make some fun memories during your senior year. I also know that you are nervous for next year, but don't worry. Everything is going to work out fine. It may be stressful at first and you may feel all alone at times, but don't worry things will get better. Be confident in yourself and don't be ashamed to ask for help, it OK not to know everything. Stay strong and keep up the good work, it will pay off. Love, Amy

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The first thing I would tell my high school senior self is to stay eternally positive. Being a positive person not only keeps your own attitude upbeat, but draws others to you. I think for most college freshmen there comes a time when you feel down, alone, and lost. You are in a new place, everything is unfamiliar, and you are away from your friends, family, and everything else that you are used to. But you get through it, and soon things look up. If you give in and give up during the hard times, you aren't giving yourself the chance to turn things around. Instead, you need to stay positive and trust that soon enough you will adjust, learn how to function in the new place, and make awesome friends. Don't let yourself fall short of being happy.

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I would tell myself to research more. I felt like I was not very aware of the different choices I had. Actually, I remember asking my counselors office to help me, but never recieved a straight forward answer. Also, I never took a campus tour. I highly recommend this. A person can get a feel for the campus and also learn a lot of helpful tips along the way. The dorms are also a very great experience. Even though it might seem like you're paying a lot in room/board, the experience you get is worth it. A student can make lifelong friendships this way. Overall, I recommend that a student research as much as he/she can... and apply for as many scholarships as possible. After senior year of high school, there aren't many to apply for.

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First figure out what you want to major in, or at least what your interests are. By doing this you can find a school that has classes that will fulfill any of your interests, so you won't have to attempt to transfer credits. Also, make sure you tour the campus that you're interested in, because even though it may sound perfect on paper, it may be completely different than what you want. In the end though, the main thing is to make a list of your interests and find a school that can cater to most if not all of you're interests, because then chances are that you'll be able to find someone with the same interests as you and it will make your college experience that much better if you're not missing something that you enjoy doing.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to slow down and be patient. I would tell myself to work hard and enjoy the time that you have, and that eventually everything will fall into place and be what it should -- as long as you work towards a goal and never give up on that goal. That sound cliche, but it isn't. I was in college for the first time 15 years ago and finished my Associate's degree, even though I was 7 months pregnant. I'm finally going to get to finish my Bachelor's degree, because I continued to believe and work towards that goal. So, I would tell myself not to rush into the things that you think will never come around again, but to take everything in it's own time.

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I would tell myself to not be afraid to take chances and experience new things. The shift from high school to college can be stressful, but it is manageable. The important thing is to take college seriously and work hard. Working hard for what you want in life and particularly in school is an important thing to learn. Being hard-working and determined are both great qualities to have, and I would have told myself to work on strengthening both those qualities before coming to college. I would also tell myself not to fret over the little things. College is a great, new, and exciting experience that every student should enjoy. Worrying over minor things is not worth it and distracts you from your goals and dreams in life.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing I would tell myself is to apply for as many scholarships as possible before the end of the school year. It's no secret that the cost for attending college is more expensive than it's ever been and applying for scholarships in large amounts gives yourself a chance to lift the financial burden off your shoulders and not be stuck in 20,000 dollar debt like I am today. Applying for scholarships is an absolute no brainer as I continue to do it on a daily basis in the hopes of reducing my education costs for the future. If I was able to open the eyes of my high school senior self then I wouldn't be in the financial predicament that I am in today.

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