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Northern Arizona University

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

Finding the right college should really be up to the student. I was accepted into the school of my dreams; the school I had been planning on attending for about 5 years. Yes I knew what college I wanted to go to when I was an 8th grader. The problem was how much the school cost. Even though I was 18 and free to make whatever choice I wanted, my family told me I could only attend an in-state school. I was devestated and often question how my life could be right now, but I try not to dwell on it too much. Save money for your child's education and fill out financial aid forms. You should be proud that your child wants to continue their education and do the best you can to reach a compromise. The key here is planning ahead and getting an idea of what you both want, sooner than later.

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I met some of my closest friends in Flagstaff, and I met my husband while working on campus. I was given many opportunities to learn more about myself and other cultures. I learned to be an adult while I was in college. I had to learn how to drive in the pouring rain and in snow storms, I learned to manage my money, and I was successfully transitioned from living on campus to an apartment in town without negatively impacting my GPA. NAU was a place I liked to be, and I still visit. It is a very comforting place, I think because it is smaller and feels safe. The campus is so beautiful and the locals are very friendly- my husband and I have talked many times about making a permanent move to Flagstaff. I definitely believe that I became my best self while I was in college.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, it probably would not help very much. Everything I knew in high school, I know now, only now I have personal experience. Go to all of your classes, do all of the assignments even if you do not know all of the answers, and get involved with the people. The only thing I would tell myself back in high school is that I want to major in German Secondary Education. Do not try to please your family by going into medicine. Major in the one thing you have interest in and have always had interest in. Live and learn for yourself, not your parents or friends, but remember the lessons you learned by living for your family and friends before. Keep going and never give up because once you do, that is the end.

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I have gotten so much out of attending a university. It was very surprising to me to find that the professors at a university really now how to make sure that their students learn the information and take a lot away from the classes. There is so much less emphasis on tests from class to class, it is more about the understanding of the information. Also, the best part is meeting people who are more unique than you could imagine. My best friends at school are unlike anybody that I have ever met before. Meeting people like this really makes a person understand the world better and be less judgemental. People from different areas, with different experiences have different quirks and it makes a person be more understanding towards other people and themselves as well.

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Stand up for what you believe is the right thing to do. Just because someone is older than you and supposedly "wiser" does not mean that they know the best path for you. Make your own mistakes, you will learn. Make decisions and choices with your whole heart put into them. Be passionate about what you say and do. Do not let others get in your way. Do not doubt yourself when your dreams are almost within reach. Challenge yourself, It's the only way you will learn anything, and who knows ... you may have a the time of your life while doing it. Learn to embrace others and their divsity. Some of the strangest people you meet may just come out to be your best friend. But most of all, have confidence in yourself and your dreams and do everything with 110 percent.

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I would tell myself to take more Advanced Placement classes and try to get as much credit as possible. I would also tell myself to relax, it doesn't need to be as stressful as I made it because everyone is so helpful and are willing to make things right. I would also suggest taking a Physical education course, just to mix things up and relieve some stress. When talking to myself as a senior, I would stress that I need to relax and have fun in every situation- college is about finding yourself and you can only do that when you are relaxed and having fun. Also, don't eat the food at the Union everyday- mix it up and have a salad and fruit, which is much healthier than greassy pizza. Enjoy life, and don't stress about the professors or the little things!

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The advice I would give is that you should make up your mind about going to college first and when you are thinking about choosing a college you should definitely visit it and see what the atmosphere is like. See if it's some place you would like to stay. You should definitely check out the tuition and expenses and see if your college has great financial aid options and see if they are truly willing to work with you. Realize that there are many things that go on in your college that you might not be ready for or prepared to handle, but don't sweat it because there should be a balance and a place you can "escape" to if things get to hectic. Don't be afraid to try new and interesting things, like joining your major's department club and get involved.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, i would say to myself "do not take time off to find out what life is. Stay in school and stick with my goals that I had made when I was about ten." Knowing what I know now, I would have been that Doctor or Attorney or maybe even that Pilot if I'd just stayed in school. I justified the way my life turned out by educating my daughter and encouraged her to go to college. It is the best thing that one could do. Education is the best way of insuring quite a good and eazy life. Now I am very involved in my grandchildrens' lives and stand by the foundations that I had been taught as a child. I pass it on to them daily, I speak with them everyday, even it is just to say a qiick "hello."

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I feel that I had a good transition from the high school enviroment to the college life. However, if I was to be able to go back and talk to myself I would tell myself to really maintain my hard work and vigerous studing, but also reserve my self more time to spend time with my friends which I would not be able to see as much after the college start. I would want my self to find a more equal level of studing and socializing instead of procrastinating. I beleive that if I was to hear it from myself that the procrastination is a hinder to myself I would spend time alittle more wisely. Although, despite my procastination, I feel that my college transition went smooth and that I am very happy with my choice of going to Northern Arizona University.

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Visting the campus of a perspective school is always a good idea, but there is only so much that you can learn from a school-run orientation program. I would recommend getting together with someone who actually goes to the school (not an orientation leader who has been instructed about what to say and what to show you). A regular student can give you a better idea about the ambiance of the campus. You really don't want to start at a college and realize that you don't fit in there. I got really lucky with the school that I attend, because it happened to reflect a lot of my personal views. But some people aren't so fortunate. Get a REAL feel for the schools that you're considering, and when you find the right one, you'll be much happier there.

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