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Northern Michigan University

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

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice it would be to stay true to oneself. College is the time to try new things, but it’s important to be able to decipher what is going to have a positive versus a negative effect on oneself. There are many pressures in college, and it’s important to keep your values and morals when making decisions, decisions that could ultimately affect you for the rest of your life. Be who you want to be, but don’t let others decide for you. If I could give myself another piece of advice it would be to find a good balance. College isn’t just about doing schoolwork, but it’s also not just about making new friends. Work hard in school to get good grades, but take breaks to go hang out with others and do fun activities. It will help keep you sane, especially around exam time! And last but not least, have fun! College is a wonderful experience and a time to experience things on our own. Live, laugh, and make memories. And one more thing: don’t forget to take pictures!

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Take a deep breath and relax. You are seventeen years old and need to cut yourself a little slack. You have worked hard, and will regret it later if you don?t make time for having fun and being a kid. Stop worrying so much about five years from now, and just concentrate on the given minute. Ultimately, you are going to make it, and you know this now. You won?t give up, and you will always find a way to pursue your goals. Even when it feels like there isn?t enough time in the day to get everything done, don?t stress, there is always tomorrow. Just when you think you have things figured out, a new challenge will be presented to you, embrace it, because from it you will learn how to be a pretty great person. Don?t take a single minute for granted. I know high school is awful, but I promise you will thank yourself for working so hard and making tough decisions. Lastly, remember to play just as hard as you work. You only live once and even though I know now that you won?t, you could bite the bullet tomorrow.

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You have to keep an open-mind and an open-heart about colleges and try not to have too many expectations. Standards and expectations are two different topics that a lot of students tend mix up in the process of going to college. Don't go to the college that you think is "prestigious" or will "look good on a resume," because anyone can do that. Look for a place that you know you will feel comfortable, happy and fulfilled. They really ar ethe best years of your life and it's never healthy to regret what you've done at the peak of your existence. Don't overlook overlook down on any university, community college or vocational school because they are special and unique in their own way. Education is what you make of it, not what name is stamped on the transcript. I urge you to stay positive if you don't get accepted, either...it wasn't meant to be and you will do well wherever you go. College is what you make of it, trust me...I know. Good luck and no one can make you feel any way you won't allow yourself to feel.

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Take the time to go to the college and take a tour of the campus. It is really worht it. Taking the tours of the campuses was the deciding factor for me. Get a feel for the campus. Does the environment feel right to you? Ask yourself if you could see yourself there and actually enjoying yourself? When people ask me why I decided to go to Northern I don't really know how to answer them because for me it just felt right. Now that I'm going into my second year I know I made the right choice. When you make your choice and are finally there get involved. Go to your hall meeting and meet the people you'll be living next to. Join a club that interests you wheather it's something you like already or something you think you might like. College is like eighty percent school and twenty percent other. You need to be doing something with that other. This is the closest you can be to on your own but still have your parents there to help you out, so learn something, try new things and most importantly have fun. Good luck.

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Find a campus that speaks to you and has many of the same values that you hold. If you are passionate about being green find a campus that is the same, be sure to ask questions when you visit. Don't worry too much about the money as you will be in debt whatever you do, just get a smart loan and try and save a little while you are in school. Many parents and students have trouble with the separation, this is normal, remember even though you are far away you can still call your parents/student as often as you want, that is what cell phones are for. When you talk often it doesn't feel like you are that far apart at all. Most important of all is to find friends that you can study with and have fun with, often at the time. You should enjoy your time at college, yeah learning is important but so are the experiences connections that you make, so set aside some time to hang with your friends on occassion and just blow off some steam. That fun time is what makes the time pass and prevents college burn out.

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move out of state first and take minimum amount of classes, use the spare time fix your self as high school did quite a number on you. don't listen to your parents, your worth more than your father could ever know, and less artisticly gifted than your mother thinks. when you do move back, NMU is probably the best choice as much as people love to badmouth it. sit in the front row in class, yes i know the back is more comfortable and where your friends are sitting, and yes i know the laptop is shinny and has internet access, but you can chat on the internet and socialize with friends after class, its only and hour long, not that hard. also, STOP RUNNING! love isn't what you think it is, its not as dramatic as the movies make it seem. there is nothing wrong with alot of comfort and little sex. also your not the white knight, or the demon in the shadows, stop acting like it as you won't be able to keep it up. finaly its not as important as you think to know yourself just to be comfortable with it now.

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When looking for a college you really need to take into consideration what your interests and priorities are. If you are an athlete then you need to find a school that supports that and is going to be beneficial to those needs. If money is an issue which it usually is with most families and students then you should do everything in your power to save as much money as you can. Spending $40,000 on a bachelor's degree in art might not be the best idea. You need to find a job after college and if you have to spend your life savings on a degree that isn't promising in the career world you might want to reconsider. As far as the "college experience" I think no matter what school/university you are attending you can have a great experience and learn a lot from any of the schools you are going to pick. They are all different but still offer a lot of life lessons that are important. I would suggest a school with cultural diversity because you can gain a lot from learning about other cultures.

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I would tell myself to not be so nervous about not making friends because everybody is nervous about making friends. Everyone is scared about leaving home, but to be honest the dorms become your new home. After my freshman year I actually did not want to go back home. The peopl you make friends with when you go to college are the people your going to want to hangout with all the time. There would also be som many things to do and a lot of people are going to go with you and you'll make so many memories. Also I would go back and tell myself that classes are not too bad, but make sure like high school you go to class and pay attention to what your're learning in class. Also there will be people who just want to drink and do drugs you have to make those decision if you want to do that. Finally one thing that I was not worried abou during senior year was my friends would still be the same. Not all the time your friends from back home are going to change and sometimes it will be drastic.

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The only advice I would give myself is to learn good study habits because i'm going to need them in all my future classes, and not to stress over boys because life goes on. In high school I never needed to study to pass my quizzes so when I got into college I really struggled my freshman year because I've never had to sit down for hours straight to study. I am now able to study for my pharmacology and med-surg classes like its nothing but it was a hard transition to go from getting easy A's in high school to really having to apply myself in college. I would also give myself relationship advice because since 7th grade I was dating my ex until half way through my freshman year of college all to find out he was cheating. He held me back from so many things and meeting new people that now looking back at it, I've missed out on many good opportunitys because I was to caught up in having a boyfriend. Love can wait and even being in college I dont let anyone hold me back from my studies.

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Being able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior would be a dream come true. I'll let myself know that money doesnt grow on trees. The feeling of not being able to start college on time because I need to find a job to pay for my tuition is the worst. It'll make you feel like an embarrassment and a failure in your family's eyes . College is an investment in my future that will give you the skills to compete in job markets and have self assurance that you've accomplished something not a lot of people have the luxury of experiencing. Please don't take senior year as a joke and make the most out of it. Scholarships are wating for you and you deserve it. Hanging out in the hallways and being lazy isn't going to get you these scholarships. Time and dedication will. College is a transition and I hope you're ready for it. A lot of sacrifices will come in the near future. I know you'll be scared, but guess what, no one said it was going to be easy. Good luck John!

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