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Northwest Nazarene University

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

I am a student admissions counselor and interact with high school students on a regular basis concerning this issue. Of course, before a school can be eligible for consideration it must offer the right major(s) and should be affordable for the student. In addition, a campus visit (hopefully including a few nights in the dorms/apartments and class visitations) prove vital in almost every case. A student's heart deserves to embrace a new environment. From this time spent on campus one establishes an instinct toward the university, which proves vital for future conduct, respect, involvement, energy, and effort in one's future college lifestyle. If a student senses even a slight ownership in a selected school their performance and attitude will be healthy and resilient to the adjustments and pressures of university life. However, my experience concludes that above all the assessment of the quality of the staff and faculty must be involved when choosing a university to attend. Regardless of an excellent student body, a community will be incomplete without the involvement and heart of the professors who touch students' lives every day. A student's academic success improves if professors prove caring, respectable, energetic, and personable.

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The advice most relevent to my current situation would have to be to "not worry about the social life, it will sort itself out--just be prepared to work hard because all those around you are doing the same". High school was easy, college takes all that knowledge to the next level while simultaneously requiring you to be on your own and completely responsible for all the are coursework and lifeskills that entails. Help is very easy to find, as long as you are looking in the right places (which generally is outside of your peer group), so don't be afraid to branch out and meet some new people. The beautiful thing about a university is that it brings together so many different people and backgrounds all into one setting of problem solving and critical analysis, where we all fight through the same problems and troubles as everyone else but pick up knowledge and information from people that, without a setting like campus, we would quite honestly never associate with. The university brings people together, but we have to be willing to put in the work to make everything else fall into place.

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If I could go back in time and advise my younger self I would tell myself to get involved in extracurricular activities, get a job, and visit and apply to NNU (then) ! I would say all this for a couple of reasons. First I would tell my youngerself to get involved in extracurricular activities like fundraising for school, participate in student government and in various other projects aimed at bettering the school and neighborhood because that kind of drive and determination to step out of ones box and impact ones surroundings is what those that offer scholarships want to see. I would tell myself to get a job in order to help pay off some off the expenses incurred by attending a private institution, because even a little money goes a long way. Lastly I would have included in my message from the future that I should go start applying to NNU and go visit its campus. It has been a good fit here for me, and though the work load kills me I feel comfortable with myself in making the right choice. I thank you this survey has forced me to look back and be proud of my decision.

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I believe that fear is what grips most young people during a transition between high school and college- fear of the unknown, fear of leaving friends and family, fear of failure, etc. If I could tell my high school self one thing, it would be to abandon fear and wholeheartedly pursue my passions. I would say that if you play it safe, chances are you won't fail. But by playing it safe you are susceptible to an even greater risk of not being fulfilled, and that is much worse than failure. Dreams and ideas are scary, but not as scary as settling. I would urge myself to be vulnerable to both success and failure. In the vulnerability, dreams are fine tuned and gold is created. Put yourself out there, explore uncharted talents, take risks, do what you love, and do not fear a hypothetical situation. Finish the year with no words left unspoken, no ideas left lingering, no regrets of not taking risks. Enter college with a bravery that allows you to make friends, work hard, get involved, and change the world. Fear not; dream on.

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I would advice myself to work hard in college. As if I was speaking to myself I would say, "don't give up. I know it seems like the world is against you and I know you feel lonely and discouraged I know you can use education to find something better for yourself. Don't let your dreams go just because people are bringing you down, you're stronger than that. Get involved with student run activities, be appart of something. Make yourself known, make yourself needed. You have something to offer the world, you're a smart girl. Show them that you have that potential. Prove to them and yourself that you are in control of your life, you decide who you're going to be not anyone else but you. You've dreamt big all these years, be persistant and make your dreams a reality." I wasn't as motivated because of a divorce that had occured at the time and I really let myself slip thinking that I had nothing going for me. But others helped me, teachers encouraged me to look past all that and find something better.

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If I could visit the Ronny Beech who is a senior in high school, I would tell him two things about college life: enjoy the ride and do as much as you can for other people. That's what it is about. Building relationships by investing in others around you and enjoying the things around you as much as possible. This means trying to build meaningfull relationships with professors and students, volunteering time during the week to community organizations/events and attending as many college events as possible such as athletic games and plays. I could delve into logistical advice, such as what classes to take and what to major in, but I won't. All of our hindsight bias is 20/20. All we can do at the time is make the decision we think is best and dive in. If you decide to change your major half way through college, it is pointless to wish you could go back and do it over the way you think you should have. No experience is a wasted experience if you invest in those around you and enjoy the ride.

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Never give up on what you feel is the right thing or correct path for your life. Since my sophomore year in high school I desired to go to NNU. When my senior year came around and it came time to discuss financial issues with my parents, I did not think there was going to be any way I could afford to attend. My mom wanted me to attend a community college. I do not feel there is anything wrong with a community college but my heart longed to attend NNU. For the next couple months I worked really hard in applying for some more scholarships to try to make it possible. I was not until the beginning of August that I knew that all my hard work had paid off and I was attending the school of my dreams. I would tell myself to take one step at a time and never give up on my passion. Enjoy life and the transition from home to school life. Get involved and be genuine with people around. I know now that some of my friends that I made the first couple weeks of college with be my best friends for life.

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When looking for a college you should consider what your family can afford of course but there is no point in choosing a school that you are gloing to hate for the next 2-4 years! The college I chose strains my family's budget but I feel as though I am at home when at school and don't feel the unnecessary stress of a bad enviroment. When looking for a college try and stay in the dorms and eat the food. I can't believe people would choose a school without eating the food first! Meeting the professors is also important because if you have a special way of learning you need a professor who will help you and not be calloused about it. When I walked onto my campus I felt as if I was smacked over the head with the feeling that this was the place where I could become an adult and learn not just about my intended career but also about who I am, and who I want to be. Trust your heart and the right college will come to you.

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I could create an endless list of adive to give my former self. I would begin with handing over a complete guide of the financial aid world; I would stress the importance of financial aid and how expensive school really is. Going along with the expenses part of college, I would advise myself about the trickery of college books. You buy the books for a crazy dollar amount and sell them back for less then 75% of what you paid. A helpful tip I would pass along: Buy used books then sell them to fellow students you know will be taking that class next semester. Fellow students will pay more for your books than the bookstore. The most important peice of adivce I would give to my former self is that your envolvment with the school is just as important as your academic progress. Creating many relationships, prfessional and personal, and involving yourself with the school will create a memorable learning experience.

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I recently became a single mother. I have two children. My son has a brain disease called Sturge-weber and suffers from seizures. I have decided to go to school to become a physician assistant so that I am able to provide for three of us. I have a great support system which will help me to accomplish my goals. As a physician assistant I hope to help some of the people in my community who cannot afford expensive health care costs. I also plan to attend mission trips where my services will be needed. Currently I am attending my community college part-time, raising my two beautiful children, and working as a part-time janitor. Being able to attend college is very important to me because it will help me to become financially independent, and give me the opportunity to pursue my passion for medicine. Thank you for this opportunity.

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