All Questions for

Ohio Northern University

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

All students come from different backgrounds. Some come from small schools/neighborhoods, and some come from large schools/neighborhoods. Some of them want to stay with what they're used to, and some want to go to the exact opposite extreme. Parents and students need to figure out what they student wants for college. Some colleges/universities are geared for "small town atmospheres" and others are the big D-I schools that have all the programs and activities. Another obvious factor is the student's major. A lot of univesities and colleges will have a certain area that they specialize in, whether it be engineering, pharmacy, law, etc. The student needs to pick a college that caters to the area that they are interested in. As far as making the most of the college experience, the best advice is to get involved. Getting involved accomplishes many things. First of all, the student will stay busier, which actually helps with time management skills. Also, it helps them find a group that leads to lasting friendships. It also broadens their education to outside the classroom. The previously mentioned factors for choosing a college also helps make the most of the college experience.

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Oh, Felicia! Don’t procrastinate! Those nights of choosing Grey’s Anatomy over completing your college essays were NOT worth it. You should have finished your college applications in the summer, taken you driving lessons and test, and began the year with enough time to attend numerous academic clubs and community service days. You could have applied to top notch schools through early-decision and the pressure of them monitoring you would have been worth it. You should have applied to numerous scholarships and contests earlier. Since you would, in the future, need to move far from home and live on your own, you definitely should have taken mom up on those free cooking lessons. Ramen will be your best friend soon. That list that you should have made, detailing every single much-needed college dorm appliance would have come in handy. Become acquainted with grocery lists, budgets and laundry. Avoid slackers and party animals. Just because it looks like soda DOESN'T MEAN IT'S SODA. Professors are not all boring, humorless, middle-aged “meanies.” Love your body. Study the campus map hard. Remember to apply for work-study early. I’ll always love you. You were built tough.

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Students should figure out school subjects that interest them. Even if they are undecided when they start attending a college or university, it helps to know what topics are interesting to the student because this will help narrow down options for majors, minors, and degrees, and choosing an interesting degree helps to ensure the student will enjoy his future job. Students should find a college that offers degrees in many of the different areas in which the student shows interest; the more options the student has at a college, the more options he has to explore, so the student will be more satisfied when he does choose a program of study. Academic options is probably the most important factor in choosing a college, but the student should also consider the size of the school (both the campus and the student body) and choose a comfortable size. Students should look into extracurricular activities and sports as a way to get involved because these activities will enhance the college experience and make a student's time spent studying at a college more worthwhile. The choice is about finding a community that suites the academic and personal interests of the student.

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There are many important factors that go into choosing the right college: programs/majors offered, academic reputation, class size, accessibility of the professors, financial aid awards, and location, among others. But the most important thing is that it feels right. When you step onto the campus, it should feel like home?not necessarily like your current home, but a place that could be your home for the next four years. You should be able to envision yourself living there happily for four years and wanting to stay there even if you were to change your major. Knowing that, above all else, is what makes the difference between loving your school and hating it and/or transferring. Once you have found the perfect school, be sure to get involved in campus activities. Yes, it is very important to study and stay on top of your class work, but you will be very dissatisfied with your college experience if that is all you do. So get out and find something that you love. Be involved and invest yourself in the school, and college will be an incredible experience that you will not want to end.

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Parents, please take the time to visit as many college campuses your child wants to visit. It is well worth the time and effort to know that your child will be comfortable with their college choice when they make it. Be supportive of their choice. Do not tell them what school to attend. Students, don't take high school so seriously or not seriously enough. Get involved in extra-curricular activities and maintain a good, not perfect, GPA. You will learn more about yourself if you are involved in personal growth activities and your college choice will be easier if you know what you like. Once you are at school you will doubt if you are cutout for college - you are. Give yourself time to adjust and make good decisions leading you to the best route for your college and professional career. It is, again, not all about the grades. Do your best and let your professors know you are here for the right reasons, but take time to enjoy extra-curricular activities and learn more about yourself and your interests. Your professors are the best route to success - use them, they get paid to be there for you.

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Knowing what I know now about college life there are a few pieces of advice that I would offer myself as a high school senior. First, don't focus solely on GPA. Yes, it is important to learn and to do well, but an A is not everything and a B isn't the end of the world. Second, supplement your academic studies in class with participation is professional organizations or extracurricular activities that interest you. These provide a great way to meet people and network, apply what you have learned, gain real world experience, as well as to have fun. Making the transition from high school to college is hard. Living with the people you go to classes with can be hard so there are a few things you should know about this as well. First, give yourself some freetime alone. This allows you to refocus and maintain your sanity. Second, forgive people. When you live with people you are bound to find nitpicky things that annoy you. Don't let them get you down. Focus on the positives and give people more credit. Most of all, learn and have fun, because you will never be in college again.

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This is your choice. Make the most of it and find exactly what you want. It's like marriage: you should know what you want when you're looking for a college, make sure you go back for multiple visits to ensure your first impression wasn't a fluke, be aware of what you're getting yourself into financially, spiritually, emotionally, and socially, and NEVER SETTLE! Be sure that you have prepared yourself correctly for this college-selection journey with hard work and determination in high school; if you have done your best until now, that will show when you are being interviewed at a college. There is always a way to make it work, to pay for the college or university that you want to attend; don't ever abandon your first choice because it seems "out of your league". And parents, put trust and faith in your student regarding the school she/he wants to attend. If young Dani comes home wanting to go to Harvard, you better believe it and be as supportive as possible, while keeping Dani rooted in reality. FIGHT. Fight to get into your first choice school in any way you can. Do it.

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First think about how you adapt to change. This can help determine many different aspects of your college life. If you adapt well, I would suggest looking into a school that is not like the area where you grew up to give you a different perspective. If you don't adapt well to change, join different organizations; join something even if you do adapt well to change. This is the best way to meet others with similar interests, learn more about yourself, or you can try something new. You will also feel more connected to the school and others socially and academically. Parents need to remember that food is always a plus, and the dormmates will love your student even more. Also, this is the time your student is learning about freedom, life, and their place in the world. They may need some guidance, but college really does teach all of this, even if it is the hard way. Students, don't forget, just because everyone else is doing it, you do not have to do it too. Lastly, the upperclassmen are very helpful. They know how it feels to be in a new, stange place, you are not alone!

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There are many things I have learned and taken from my experiences at ONU. The most important are communicating skills and independence. I have always kept to myself or my family. Here at ONU I am majoring in Athletic Training, and it has forced me to be more socialable. Everyday I am working one on one with Athletic Trainers and athletes. I have learned how to communicate with them on a professional level and how to feel comfortable while doing it. I am also pushed everyday to work out problems on my own. Although my professors are there to guide me, they also encourage me to be independant and not always lean on them for answers. After graduating from ONU, I plan on attending grad school for Physical Therapy. As a PT I will be working with people everyday. To be successful, I will need to have strong communication skills with my patients and their doctors. I will also need to be able to design rehabilitation programs on my own and not depend on others to do it for me. The skills I have obtained thus far from ONU will most certainly contribute to a successful future.

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Throughout primary and secondary school, many people learn to give a large amount of focus to learning the most material possible and becoming academic giants. The smartest people in the class are the ones who tend to be most recognized while everyone else is looked upon. This leads students to believe that academics are the one and only key to success. However, in college, I have learned otherwise. Being the smartest person across the board is not necessarily as important as showing a willingness to learn, presenting my best effort, and always asking questions whenever I have them. In fact, this is what college is soley about in addition to teaching me how to live independently and interact with others. It is highly unlikely that I will remember everything that I am taught over the course of four years. In fact, work places will even offer extra training and reteach anything that is needed to help me do my job. It is the valuable hard working skills I develop in college and the willingness to be humble and learn that will carry me throughout life wherever I go.

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