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Oakland University

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

Deciding the right college is one of the most crucial decisions of a person's life. There are many things to consider when choosing a school, such as the size of campus, number of students in classes, programs available, the environment around campus, and Greek life. When a student is going to campus everyday, nothing less than perfect is acceptable, so make sure that it meets all your requirements. When debating between two or more schools going to the campus or talking to professors or advisors give prospective students more information and therefore help narrow their choices. Once the decision-making process is over and incoming students are thrust into college life, there are several things freshmen can do to become acquainted; walk around campus with friends, talk to advisors and professors, and join organizations. Becoming friends with people at school is also very critical so that during your study-free time you can take the chance to relax with other students. There is a higher chance of making friends when freshmen get involved with campus activities and programs. New students will quickly become acquainted with the professors and the campus, the key is making the most of their opportunities.

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Students attending college firstly need to make sure that hey are making an informed decision about the type of school they are attending. Visiting campus is very important in order to see what types of extra-curricular and social activities are available to students. Students do not want to enrll in a school where they believe that the social scene is going to be the same as another university becasause it usually is not. Universities with a high commuter student population tend to have less social activities and the student body tends to be very widespread. The internet is also a very good place to do research on a particular university. Doing simple searches for the university and your major should place you in contact with alumni of that particular major. There are a variety of websites that do this as well. Learn as much about career possibilities in your major as posible. Be financially responsible. If a student does not have much money, and is attending a school with a large amount of commuter students, it may be difficult to sociallize adequately since many activities are off-campus. Review financial aid, tuition, and most important- student fees per semester.

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Hindsight is 20/20. Consequently, I am thankful for this opportunity to offer advice to prospective college students and their families. Although financial cost tends to receive the most focus, I don't think it is the most important factor. If a student does not perform well and decides, or is forced, to leave the university any money that has been spent will be wasted. Conversely, if a significant investment is made based on the student's needs and preferences, the money that has been spent will be well worth it. The student will have a plethora of beautiful memories and the skills required to succeed and reach his or her goals. Be reasonable, but don't be cheap. It is very important for the student to ask himself or herself: -What does my ideal experience consist of? -What do I expect to gain from attending college? Will I be able to receive it there? - Will I be able to receive the proper amount of personal attention at my prospective institution? - Will I be able to focus on my education, or will I be distracted by an excess of extracurricular activities? Balance is the key. Communicate openly and listen respectfully.

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There is no question as to whether or not my college experience was valuable. I have learned diligence, time scheduling, and multi-tasking; all of which are necessary qualities for any person to manage their busy lives. I have also gained an awareness of my environment I doubt I would otherwise possess. I have become aware of social phenomenons and cultural differences through my education that I think would be lacking in a life without college. I have spent my whole life living in Mesa, Arizona and there is so much more to be discovered in the world than what I could uncover in those city limits were I not a student at Mesa Community College. My gained awareness, I hope, will aid me as I move out of my parent's house to live alone for the first time in different city. Sure, Flagstaff is not a foreign country, but I think my learnings will still help me in assimilating to my new environment. Furthermore, college of course makes individuals appear more appealing to the social world, I think it also allows people to be more confident in seeking out great opportunities due to their educational springboard of advancement.

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Dear Lesa, Congratulations on wrapping up your High School Career!!! Before you place the Bow on your wonderful 12-year package, please allow me the pleasure of giving you some tips for your new adventure... * Knowing that there are no rich Uncles hiding out somewhere to help Fund your Education, Please Apply for Every type of Scholarship you can without having to take out large loans. * Don't Mess up your Credit!!! There is a good chance you need a loan at some point in your college education and have to take one out. * If you get any kind of credit cards, Pay it off Immeditely and begin and build good Credit!! (Charge small amounts only) * Boys/Men are not going anywhere... Please do not let the guys distract, or slow you down from building the Educated Woman you are striving to become... * VERY IMPORTANT!!! I Understand you are a remarkable Daughter to your Mother and have taken care of her since you were 14 years old, but all of your choices regarding her care need to be thought out and well balanced... Make sure you have the time to complete your classes and continue to towards a degree.

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In high school, students are often in search of their own identity and often don't figure out their calling or purpose until well after high school. Many are left with unanswered questions about themselves, who they are, what are they suppose to become, career choices, and how they see themselves in society. A perpetual search for purpose and meaning to quench the soul is often at the heart of a student as they choose a career path and pursue education. I found myself like this, not know what i really wanted to study and pursue, but knowing i needed a degree in something. So the advice i would give my high school self is this: As you transition into college and make a decision on a career path, don't have the mindset that you have to become established in one particular job for the rest of your life or be good at one job description. Let your area of interest, talents, abilities, and passion for knowledge guide you into a world of discovery where you find yourself growing and adapting to new job challenges. College is about learning how to learn, not trying to become. Enjoy the journey.

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I entered Oakland University as a junior in college not knowing what I wanted to pursue as a career. As far as the upper level courses are concerned, there is a lot of very knowldgable and caring professors that offer a great amount of help to their students. I have run into a particularly amazing, approachable professor who I immediatly was drawn to. He helped me not only as a genetics professor but has allowed me to work in his lab as an undergraduate student developing my liking for scientific research. After graduation I have continued my education and lab work under the same professor, which I am incredible excited about. Oakland offers not only a small and comfortable campus, but the student body is relativly small and you grow to recognize many of the students in your classes as your education proceeds, making for a nice transition throughout the college process. The professors recognize you here, which makes for a nice personable experience. This has made my transition from being an undergraduate to a grad student pleasant and less scary, allowing me to focus learning everything I can.

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To find the right college, there is help available for those who have no direction whatsoever. However, if one researches, visits, and compares campuses, he or she will find that it is quite easy to decide which one is best. I think an excellent marker of a good college is how many people are around when they are not in class. If it is observed that large numbers of students are using academic facilities (eg- computer labs, library, etc.), then it becomes quite apparent that the campus is a wonderful learning center that encourages success. I would also recommend even asking a few questions to students around a campus, which may be helpful in determining whether or not that college is the right one. To make the most of a college experience, it is important to GET INVOLVED. There is nothing better than connecting with peers and participating in a character-building experience, be it running a small group or helping in a conservation effort around the school grounds. Getting involved in organizations on campus is the most important factor to having an enjoyable and memorable college experience.

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There is one thing every high school senior should know. High school is not important. When you get to college, no one cares about your class rank, whether you were a starter or bench warmer or with what clique you ate lunch. College is a fresh start.You will not come across many opportunities in your life for a clean slate and chance to reinvent yourself. Take advantage of this. In college, no one knows your past and you?ll never find a group of peers more willing to help you embrace your future. Surround yourself with the people who bring out the best in you. High school is tough. It?s your first introduction to real stress and life-changing decisions. During you senior year, the world revolves around high school. But the world outside is bigger, much bigger, than high school. College is where you life begins. So get involved, be confident (or at least act it), don?t party too much, take a public speaking class your first year and befriend a foreign exchange student. But most importantly, don?t go to college thinking you will find yourself. College is about creating who you are.

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If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior with the wisdom I have gained of college life, I would advise myself to first of all create a schedule of a healthy pattern of exercise. Exercise stimulates your brain and encourages blood flow which results in better focus and better functioning. Secondly, I would tell myself to not procrastinate. A cliché piece of advice, but as I learned from a past professor “procrastination is a sign of fear. Putting something off that you fear will make it all the scarier. Just do it!” Procrastination also can leave you awake until 4 in the morning the day a paper is due, taking a toll on your body, your mind, and your grade. Finally, I would tell myself to just breathe and relax. There’s enough stress in DOING the workload not to mention the level of stress if you psych yourself out prior to doing the work. We all know college is hard from the day we know what college is. If we just breathe and tell ourselves we will achieve higher education successfully, the stress we experience in college will diminish substantially.

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