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Northern State University

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

While I believe everything which happens helps shape us into the people we are today, I admit there are a couple great regrets from my high school to college transition. I never took that year off to study a foreign language and now I am left with a basic and conversational level understanding of Spanish (which is hardly a gleaming addition to a resume). It would have benefited me greatly to sacrifice a vacation and buy Rosette Stone to learn Russian for my current field. Sociology comes easy to me as it’s been in my family for generations…had high school me just managed to accept this, I would have saved $12,000 from that costly flirtation with the education major. I would have been a lot happier had I just gone to NSU right away because it’s an entire school of open-minded people who love debate and conversation. I would’ve also encouraged myself to be more social and outgoing. College friends connect with you on a deeper level because they share similar goals and aspirations and encourage you to strive for a better grasp of your creative and scholarly self.

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You know how you are feeling burnt out due to the heavy school class choices you made? You really just want to work with your hands due to that feeling right now. The problem is that years from now when you have done all the things that are morally right, but chose to work with your hands instead of your brain, your body will be broken and your family will suffer. You are smart for a reason. That reason is to better the world around you. Look at the big picture, and see that with a great education you will have a career instead of a job. You will have more time for your family and more money to better care for them. When you adopt four kids, on top of the two you create, you will be able to provide everything they need as well as teach them to do the same for themselves. I know you think that getting an early start will help you save for the future. I know that you think you owe it to your families business to carry on a legacy. The truth is you owe more to your future.

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attending college has given me a variety of experiences that i wouldnt have otherwise been able to experience. not only have i been given the privilage to experience higher education, but i got to do this in an environment that wants me to succeed. i have learned how to be independent but still to know when to askw for help. this has been valuable to me because this skill is one that i will use no matter where my degree takes me. i have also learned what it means to have true friends. i have friends from high school, but once we went away to college they changed. by making new friends at school, who have the same ideals and values that i do, i realized that i can have friends from both areas but only one group will fully understand me and the descions that i decide to make for my life. this is valuable to me because it is better to learn sooner who you can count on and turn to in a time of need. over all college has helped me grow and learn what is best for me.

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Knowing what I do now, if I were able to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to worry so much and to enjoy life more. Yes, college is hard, but professors do genuinely want to see their students succeed. Do not focus all of your extra classes on your major, but do explore other avenues. It is a big, wide world, and there are so many creative and wonderful things that exist outside of your career, although that is wonderful, too. Trust your decisions. You are a hard worker, and you are smart. You will make it through college and anything else life throws your way. Make sure to take time to be with the people that you love, because they are more important than anything else, even your education. Education is still important, of course, but do not ever forget why you went to college. You want to make the world a better place. Hold onto that, and everything else will turn out fine. That is what I would tell my high school self.

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It is okay to be nervous about the future, but you must realize the path ahead will be a winding road. The uncertainty you hold is part of your adventure through life. You will never fully know where you are going, what you may desire to become, or who you may encounter, but with each you will discover yourself. Every turn, every stumble along the uneven path, will reveal to you something of beauty. Whether this beauty be knowledge, skill, passion, love, faith, endurance, inspiration, or honor, you will grow as a person and find your meaning in life. If plans do not go as anticipated, do not allow yourself to falter. Continue walking confidently towards tomorrow. There are many forms of success and many ways to achieve it. Always be true to yourself, remember your roots, be open-minded, and forever fill your days doing what you love. Enjoy the journey as it unfolds.

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As a high school senior, I would tell myself to enjoy my time. I think a lot of time I was so worried about the future and what was going on right now, that I didn't work to enjoy my last year of high school. Also, I would tell myself to keep working hard. As for transition to college life, it's different than I imagined. I was thinking freedom, lots of time, no stress, and partying. However, I would tell myself that that is not the case! In college you still have to work hard if not harder, you don't have as much time as you think, so you cannot procastinate, and there is stress because proffessors still have exams and quizzes all on the same day. I would definitely tell myself not to worry though, and to continue working towards my goals and doing what I love to do. Keep being me!

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The most enchanting and dangerous thing about college is the social life. There's going to be a lot of times when it's tempting to just kick back and enjoy the company of people who really do love the same things as you do, but make sure you put some time aside for studying. Friends can always be contacted later, papers on the other hand have a pretty brutal due date. The work won't be harder but there will be more of it and the expectations will still be just as high as in that AP class. Just set aside about 2 hours every night (it's really not that much you'll be up until 2 in the morning, don't worry) and make sure you get those papers done. Also private colleges are really not for you, stick to public colleges, the people are more fun and the classes get much more animated!

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There was a lot about high school that i wouldn't change, because i think learning from my mistakes has helped. One thing i wish i would have done differntly is the order i took my classes. I took all of my really hard classes in my first couple of years. It seemed nice my senior year, but i have forgotten most of what i had learned. I also took a college bound english class my senior year that i didn't take very seriously. In the end i got a B, and i was satisfied with it at the time. Now that B is the one grade that holds me back from a 4.0. In high school i never knew how important every grade was, and i wish i would have understood that the extra effort would have totally been worth it.

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I think I would tell myself to apply for scholarships even if I'm not sure on the outcome of who will get it. Meaning, take a chance. And I would tell myself that there's nothing to be stressed out about as long as I do my best and not worry about what others think of me. I'd also tell myself that even if people treat you like a target for teasing in high school, doesn't mean people in college will. And to take a chance at getting to know guys - not everyone will act as immature as high school boys. College can be a chance to come out of a shell that you've been in for years. The college will have counseling services that you can go to if you need help.

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When you first step on campus, you should feel right at home. You want to be some where where they want you to succeed. Decide if you want to be close to home or farther away because it makes a huge difference on how well you will do in school. Like the place that you will be living in because that will be where you will be spending most of your time. Like the food on campus because it really stinks if you don't like it. Find the college that fits you and what you are going to school for. Don't let your parents pick for you. Most of all, make the best out of college. They are some of the best years of your life!!

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