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Ohio University-Main Campus

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

Success is a goal that about every person strives to accomplish at some point in their life. What was once attained by having slightly more than a high school diploma, is much harder and demanding in today's society. A college education is the "high school diploma" for success. Choosing a location for this education must be considered according to the student's best interest. Every person is different and has their own plan for the future, which is why every college location is diverse to suite a future student's needs. Knowing that college is one huge expense, finding the right college to attend is only part assurance that the expense will not go waste. Once in college, taking advantage of the vast resources available is an option not one student should disregard. Becoming involved within the school is almost as important as maintaining satisfactory grades. Building social networks, making friends, and most importantly building character will come out of college by becoming involved. College life does require much effort, but can spare time for social events and building lifetime friendships. Now is the time to build your foundation for future success, so go take the college advantage!

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Understanding what kind of college environment suits you best is important, as well as considering whether your prospective college has a strong department for your area of study. Other key choosing points involve tuition, diversity, transportation, grading, campus size, population and reputation. It?s important to keep an open mind in college and learn to hear both sides of each story told. College is often a transition period between dependence and adulthood so it?s important to face new responsibilities and learn from them. Students should have fun, but also remember why they came to college in the first place. Parties are great, but they are not what tuition pays for. You must learn to be able to balance school work with social activities, because much learning and growing comes from peer interactions. It is really important to check out all of the extracurricular activities offered in the beginning of the year and find out what fits you best. This is a great way to make new friends with similar interests. Being involved and learning how much you can do to help shape a community is extremely beneficial to growing into a successful adult.

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My college experience has helped me to better understand the real world. It is an excellent transition in life between high school and the rest of one's adult life. In college, one learns how to manage time and meet deadlines. Throughout one's life they will constantly be met with this exact challenge, balancing their time. As a college student, I have constantly been torn between, studying, family time, friends, and much needed sleep. Work and school are mandatory time-takers, and how one spends their free time is a lesson needed to be learned by all. Attending college teaches one balance; it teaches balance through the pure necessity of it. Attending college is demanding enough that if one does not maintain balance, they will not be successful. For me, learning to maintain this balance has been an extremely valuable lesson. Though it is tough to decide to study rather than hang out with friends, I quickly learned that studying is more beneficial to my life than those few hours with my friends. I am grateful for this oppurtunity I have to attend Fresno City College and learn this lesson for myself. It will be a life-long benefit.

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Go fishing more. Such an introspective, relaxing hobby holds within itself astounding complexity; seeing your breath dance away in the morning sun, as a realm of impossible realities ripple at your feet. Never knowing with that first cast what awaits you. Hearing the spool-lock disengage, your wrists snap. Silence falls; you watch your jig shatter through the dusk sunlight like broken glass. Apprehension, hope and excitement fly with your hook, hoping to snag some of the wonder you fantasize resides in the mystic portal you’ve cast into. Sound rebounds into your eardrums with the distortion of the mirror and the “thunk” of your bait. It disappears from sight. Diving to worlds you were never meant to see, with eyes that were never meant for sight. You imagine your jig shimmering through the fantastical worlds you’ve conjured up today, and the sirens who watch with curious eyes. Your envious eyes, however, watch from the bank wishing your line will go taught and your rod bow between your hands. Water ripping off the tip of you rod you’re sure now, this is it! Instead your jig pops up at your feet empty. Well there’s always next cast.

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I believe that a person should first examine their finances so they won't hurt themselves monetarily in the long run. Once an affordabel college is found, a campus town of similar size to their hometown would be a nice, comfortable fit. A person's personality, Type A, or Type B should also be taken into consideration. If a student has an outgoign Type A personality, a party school, or a school far away might be an easy fit. For someone with a Type B personality, however, should go to a university that is a comfortable fit, possibly one that has friends from high schiool already attending. A student's comfort level during college has a lot to do with their performance at that college. If someone felt out of place at their university, it could lead to slipping grades and maybe even depression. Most importantly, parents need to constantly support their children as they attend school. This doesn't always mean monetarily, but constant communication should be maintained regardless of how close or far away the parents are from their child. Ideally, a student should choose a university that they both can afford and feel comfortable in.

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Stress. You don't know what stress means when relating it to academics until you have stepped foot into a college classroom. You think that high school is hard?! You're crazy! High school is like walking to the cafeteria, getting a piece of cake, and having the teacher spoon feed it to you until you can't take the creamy, richness of the chocolate anymore! In college, my friend, you must find the cafeteria, cake, and spoon yourself, and there isn't anyone around to help you consume that wonderful piece of joy! But don't get me wrong: college is fantastic! You're going to love it! The freedom, responsibility, maturity, and time management you acquire will truly shape you into a fabulous person with a bright future. I suggest going for the "diversified" approach. Go to the Recreation Center, join several student organizations, and try some International food or attend a concert. Whatever you do, enjoy these years of truly finding yourself! College is the key to opening the door to the rest of your future, so if you want to have a smile on your face as you open that door, experience new activies with confidence!!

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Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, and after a year in college the truth of that statement resonates. I could make a rather long list of decisions that I would like to tell myself to make differently. However, adaptation occurs, and despite all the wrong turns and missed opportunities, I am finally on a road I am happy with. On the way to that route there were roadblocks of inefficient studying, wrong turns of majors, and long detours via Facebook. Of all the impediments though, the one street I missed and most regret, was reaching out and meeting new people as a freshman. That opportunity is similar to a one-way street. It is simple to go flying past it, but difficult to turn on to once missed. As a sophomore people have already formed many of their relationships and friend groups. Also, there aren?t the same opportunities to meet others. Orientations are over and introductions are harder to come by. However, I haven?t given up. While I missed the opportunity to become friends with some very amazing people, I did learn a lesson. I know now, to reach out when opportunity presents, and turn on to that street.

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Independence is not measured by distance. You do not have to move miles from home to gain freedom from your parents. Choose a school that is only as far away as you are willing to travel multiple times – because you most likely will. In college, your view of life will change. Use it as an experience to learn about yourself. Try new things. Talk to people you normally would not befriend. Get involved in the community and organizations. Make a list of all the events you want to participate in before you graduate. Do them! Try things you feel you are not capable of succeeding at. You will surprise yourself. Challenge things you were taught in your rearing. Distinguish who you are and who you want to be. First, determine your goals. Then, plan how you will accomplish them. Learn through your mistakes. Take on leadership positions. Take the class you feared in high school. Use all the resources your college has to offer. You are responsible for making the most of your college experience. I can guarantee if you work hard, utilize resources, and get involved, you will be shocked by how much you learn and grow!

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I scored in the 94th, 96th, and 79th percentiles of the GRE Verbal, Writing, and Quantiative sections, respectively. My SAT scores were far less than that. My 18 year old self had zero confidence and ambition, sans when he was a competitive video game player travelling across the nation. He didn't study for the SAT. He completed his homework and promptly fell asleep during the rest of class. Without a true challenge, he was undermotivated, disinterested, and lethargic. He refused to fail; he didn't care enough to be a winner. It was the lecture he received before his Junior year, I think. The Assistant Principal told those students between the 20th percent and 50th percent of the graduating class that they didn't know what to do with that group of the student body. They weren't geniuses. They weren't morons. They were all going to be Computer Technicians. I would, without a doubt, tell my high school senior self to challenge himself. I would tell him to defeat that incessant boredom that all too often morphs into apathy. I would tell him to ignore what the American education system has deemed to be his destiny.

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When I entered college I was coming from a homeschooled background that was far from any urban areas, making my high school experience very secluded. When I came to college I realized how behind I was regarding social norms for behavior and I immediately began working to improve. My college experience, while not providing any revelations on academics or personal freedom, most of which I already had, did teach me a lot about learning how to better present my person and personality to others. I failed many times, with friends, people I thought were friends, girls I was attracted to, but I had found a challenge that I wanted to complete, so I kept trying and working towards my goal. Had anyone known me when I first entered college, finding that I was homeschooled would not have surprised them. About a week ago, I reported I had been homeschooled and only got disbelief as a response; I wasn't "weird" or "geeky". So, in addition to learning something that I can apply to a career, it was valuable for me to attend colege because I learned how to better interact with others and while maintaining my core values.

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