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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 in time and talk to my self when i was a senior in highshcool, i would first tell myself to leave those fast girls alone, and to not let what they did to my self esteem happen. I would then tell myself to be more serious about my education. Having a focused goal on the future was far from my mentality back then. I would walk right up to the younger me and tell myself everything that happened after the day i made that decision NOT to march in my cap and gown on graduation day. Back then i was making pretty good money in the restaurant industry. Later on, the jobs got more and more scarce. I believed that i had all the education i needed. Until i found my calling in martial arts & sciences. Now that i have reached a certain level of awareness in the arts, i felt that it was time to give back what i learned in my travels. Unlike graduation day, now that i am ready to teach, no one trusts my ability because of no degrees or formal education. It's time to correct those mistakes.

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Hi Jessi, yes it’s me, so really it’s you, but not to brag I am just a little more accomplished then you. You know you are supposed to be a senior this year, but you’re not. You stopped high school after tenth grade. Instead of you doing nothing, you continued forward, you didn’t stop your education. No, you decided to go to college, and guess what? There you excelled! You got a 4.0, you decided to become a special education teacher, and you are transferring to your dream school. You did it; you made the hard choices against the normal. Although you didn’t have a standard high school time, you had the one that was right for you. I guess the advice I would tell you is that you should stand up for you, especially when no one else will. Try your best, no matter the outcome. I know, you made the right decision in not having a high school career, but you get closer to the career of a lifetime each course taken, so keep pushing forward and there is no need to look behind anymore, you really made it.

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I came from a lower class family that lived on the southeast side of Chicago. I was an excellent student until I developed panic disorder. I was fearful of having a panic attack at school and that lead to my lack of my attendance . I didn't understand my condition and my family didn't have money for therapy . Ultimately, fear kept me from persuing my dream of becoming the first female in my family to receive a bachelor's degree. If I could go back, I would give myself the encouragement that I needed. I'd give a clear explaination of what panic disorder is and why it shouldn't push me off track. I'd explain the importance of having a college "career" and how it would give me the confidence that I needed in life. I'd tell myself that attending college means more than having a degree in hand. It's an experience that builds integrity, which is exactly what I needed to become a successful adult. Most importantly, I'd tell myself that I'd never get ahead if I let fear make my choices.

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Before embarking on your college career you need to have at least a four-year plan. College is expensive and most likely you will need to take out loans or spend countless hours applying for scholarships that never come to fruition. You do not want to spend you entire life in college, after all college is supposed to prepare you for life. Also you will want to get the most bang for your buck. So have a plan. Pick a major and stick with it. If you are unsure of what you want to do with the rest of your life you may want to take a semester or two to work and save money while you are pondering this question. But take no more than two semesters and then get back in the game! Once you have a plan, carry it out and take advantage of the many oppurtunities that will come your way! You are young so have fun but don't become too distracted by the pleasures of life. Work hard and when all seems lost keep on keeping on. When all is said and done you will have spent your time and money well!

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The advice I would give to students about finding the right college would be to visit the college campus, and walk around it. Find out about the method of transportation that most students use, discover how far it is from town, see if you would be comfortable living there. Then, talk to the professors in the department you're going to major in: see what they value in a student, and ask them what they think makes a good professor. A good professor should always make time to help their students, and should be friendly and willing to answer any questions. See what sort of jobs are common amongst the students as well, and find out how they balance that with their other obligations. To make the most of their college experience, a student should stay organized, stay ahead on their homework, and determine what their priorities are. A student should also explore the town their university is in/next to, and learn to become independent. That's the greatest lesson a student can receive from college.

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Stepping off the stage with diploma in hand, what's next? Beginning a new school with fresh faces for the first time since kindergarten can be a bit intimidating. I have grown up in the same town and seen the same people year after year in school my entire life. The first year of college I was kind of shy not breaking out of my shell just quite yet. The second year though, I have learned to let loose and meet new people and face new challenges as they come. I was afraid before, to get out into the real world thinking that I would be unable to conquer the hardships that I was going to face. The biggest question of all now is what do I want to do? Truly? I want a job that is going to help people and make a difference in at least one person's life. I have chosen nursing to help me follow that path. College has been the greatest asset I've had in deciding my future. There is so much diversity and yet there are so many similarities between us and every person just needs a little bit of love.

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Choosing the right college and enjoying the four, five, or six years it takes to get a degree pose one of the biggest challenges to students and their families. It is essential when applying to schools to visit the campus and see what it feels like, how well the student fits and whether or not he or she can see themselves there. Once school starts, it is important that the student gets involved and learns as much as they can about their institution, connecting up with Residence Life, Student Life, advising centers, etc. Parents have to learn how to let go a little but still maintain a supportive attitude; hovering parents can be one of the most difficult challenges a student has to overcome. Parents who know what kind of services are available on campus and can direct their student as needed are also a vital asset to a student's success. Open communication and respect between the student and parents facilitate a great transition to and experience in the university or college environment.

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The ability to go back in time and talk to myself would be one of the best things that could happen to me. If I was able to do so, I would start by telling myself that it is going to be a big change, even if you're only two hours away. I would then tell myself to make sure that I put myself out there, and make new friends, because they are what will keep you sane in college. Without them, college is a lonely place where all you do is work. I would then tell myself the obvious, go to class. But the obvious is not always followed, and tends to get a lot of people into trouble (I have first hand experience). Make sure you eat properly is another. Do not pig out on junk food or cheeseburgers all the time, it will slow you down and make it almost impossible to stay alert in class. Most importantly though, I would tell myself to have fun, and not take everything too seriously; college is supposed to be a time of your life where you have a blast and grow into yourslef. Make sure you have fun.

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My advice to parents first of all is to make sure your child chooses the school he or she wants to go to, since they are the ones going to the college, the decision should be theirs, but I'm not saying don't give them ideas, but make sure they choose. For students, look for a college that may have what your looking for in a major, but make sure the school has a variety of majors not just the one you want, because you never know if you find something else that is better than the major you intended to do. Also try a variety of classes to get the feel of different types of things. Sports is a great way to interact with others and enjoy your campus, intermurals are very fun. Most college students tend to think drinking is a great thing to do, but it is very harmful, I'm not telling you not to, but I'm not saying you should, there are plenty of other ways to have fun. Don't mess up your education because you got busted with alcohol. Make sure you get to know your professors, they help a lot.

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This answer may not be exactly what was looked for, but if I had the opportunity to go back in time to give myself advice about college and what I know now, I am not sureI would take it. Of course I would want to warn myself about those difficult courses like Organic Chemistry and that it is crucial for one to be self motivated, but at the same time I would want to be given the chance to learn on my own. As a senior I was excited about graduating and going further with my education. It?s the anticipation of not know what?s going to come next that makes college so intriguing. I mean yes I was prepared academically thanks to my high school faculty and teachers, but as for the rest of it I had no idea. I was so unsure if I would do well, or if I would even like it. Without any preparation in that field I discovered on my own that I do love this school and it?s the feeling of self accomplishment that keeps me going. The choice I made to attend Northern Arizona University was the right one.

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