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Northern Arizona University

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

If I could go back and talk to myself when I was a high school senior, knowing what I know now, I would tell myself to focus less on the little things. I got caught up in drama and friendships that didn't end up lasting. If I could give myself one piece of advice it would be to focus on what's best for me and not worry so much about other people. Applying for scholarships and really pushing myself to do my best in school would have helped me so much when applying to colleges. High school isn't going to be the highlight of your life and even though it may be hard to realize it at the time, you aren't going to remember half the bad things that happened because what's to come will be so great that it's all you'll want to focus on. Growing up, my mom always told me to be my own best friend and that was some of the best advice I was ever given and I should have listened to it more when I was younger!

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In high school I was very apprehensive about going to a four year university right after graduation. I would first tell myself that it is going to be blast living in the dorms freshman year and meeting hundreds of new people. However, I would be sure to encourage getting involved more in activities such as clubs, organizaitons, or intramural sports. I feel that these types of activities are where you meet life long friends, simply because you all share the same interests. As an education major, I would tell myself to try and volunteer in the public elementary schools more often, simply for the enjoyment and the experience. Lastly, I would tell myself to make sure and try new things such as snowboarding, and only using my bike for transportation. I would encourage myself to take advantage of all that NAU and Flagstaff has to offer in order to create an unforgettable college experience.

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There are a few things that I most value about my undergrad experience. First, education is a bit like traveling; it makes you realize that the world is exponentially wider than your own personal experience and perspective. I think this is a crucial realization to have to become right -sized and to understand that there will always be alternate view points to your own. Second, education helps you find your place in this world and helps you to see how you can contribute to it. My undergad work helped me to understand and embrace the idea that I could do good work for my fellows. Finally, I met professors who really cared about their fields (education, history, humanities, and others) and wanted to share their passion with the next generation of scholars. Ultimately, my undergraduate experience motivated me to grow up and jump into a life focused, at least in part, on helping others.

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If I could go back to my senior year of highschool, I would tell myself numerous things. The first thing I would tell myself is apply for as many schlorships as possible. It is so expensive to go to college and it has been terrible needing to take out loans to be able to get a secondary education. I would also tell myself to save as much as I can before I get to college. I would also go back and tell myself to appy at more than one college. I love NAU and knew it was the college that I wanted to go to but I never thought about what if I was not accepted. I had no back up plan and luckily I was accepted but it could have been terrible having no plan B. I would also tell myself to spend more time with my family. Now that I live two hours away from them, I miss them so much everyday and wish that I spent more time with them when I lived at home. Last but not least, HAVE FUN IN COLLEGE!

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Throughout my first year as a college student, I have realized that I am dedicated to my work, whatever that work may be. I might not always like what I have to do, but I know that I have to get it done. I've also gotten a sense of who I truely am and what really matters to me. I have realized that I am a very family oriented person who likes to solve problems and be in a city environment where there is always something to do. My personal relationships and my professional relationship (as in school) have really stood out to me this year. I have close friends who I love spending time with and I enjoy meeting people who have the same interests as me. I find it easier to work with people who I get along with, and college has exposed me to many types of people. Being a college student has opened up the real world where I understand that it is up to me to either fail or succeed.

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If I could go back in time to give myself advice for the transition into college life I would not want me to know I was from the future, instead I would want to be my best friend, since friends are hard to find. I would first tell myself to give more effort towards being able to support myself financially, scholarship-wise. I would tell myself to focus more on my future, college, rather than honors classes that were useless to me. I would also tell myself to let myself go, socially. The transition into college has taught me that to not worry about what others think, to just have fun, and be friendly. I believe high-school is a hard place to make friends and I would tell myself to not stress out about what other people think because college isn?t the same. The last thing I would tell myself is not to have no worries, because it?s only the beginning of something great.

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Through my first semester in college I learned many things about myself and what I really didn?t know about myself. In my first semester I really was just shocked about how different it was from high school because I was all alone able to do what I want. I was kind of shell shocked on how little high school prepared me for college, but that was mainly my fault for making my senior year easy instead of preparing myself for college. Halfway through the semester I realized I don?t know how to study or manage my time very well. Now in my second semester I have completely changed it was a real Jackal and Hyde change. Only one semester and my whole outlook on school changes I have all knew habits and I do my work the day its assigned instead of at the last minute. Now I can take this new outlook on education and time management and apply it to other aspects of my life.

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In the past year or so, I have grown up and learned a lot. I went on exchange to a new world and culture and dove into a new lifestyle that forced me to let go of the immature high school notions I once saw as "real life." If I were able to go back and give myself advice, it would be to not worry about what others thought and focus on my dreams and my goals. I would remind myself not to sweat the small stuff, and make every moment worth while and worth looking back on. In my honest opinion I woulnd't change a thing about my recent experiences, but the years I spent in high school worrying about popularity and other peoples' opinions were wasted . I could have been focused on my goals and personal achievment. So I guess the main point of advice would have to be to forget what is being said about you... and focus on what you think about you personal future.

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so far, my college experience has been short. As my first semester is coming to a close, I'm realizing just how important the next few years of my life will be. I have made an effort to better my future, and have a hope for the family I will one day have. I am a first generation college student, and now that means more than it ever has before. My mother is not working and my father is in fear of losing his job. It is clear to see that if I do not find funding, I will have to drop out. My college experience has been valuable to me beacuse i have met some amazing people, and i am able to see that I have a drive to attend classes. In high school, I just thought college was what I was supposed to do next, but now that I'm here, I realize that it was where I was supposed to end up. I lovve me school, and my instructors, and I'm ready to continue my education.

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It is important to select a college that you know you would be able balance your studies and social life. I think that many people choose colleges based on just fun or just academics but that shouldn't be that case all the time. Taking a visit to your ideal college would be a really good idea because it would give you the opportunity to see exactly what your'e getting yourself into. Also look for a college that offeres your interests. If you like cold weather, you probably wouldn;t choose a college that is in Arizona. Your choices would be limited to places up north because that would work with your interest. A good idea is thinking of a few possible majors, and choosing an accredited school that fits your choices. In order to make the best of your college experience you should stay positive and remember not to let the "little things" get to you.

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