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Oregon State University

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

I would help myself find happiness in the world of work. To do this I would first describe the work done in different job settings. The essential elements in every job setting revolve around basic parts of each job, such as sitting at a desk, answering the phone, working on a computer, being outdoors, and talking to people. After these elements were described I would then ask myself which I think I would enjoy enough to do 8 hours a day. Then I would take these choices and match them to college majors. Now with a list of college majors that may work I would have a starting point in life. These choices could be narrowed down again by considering income provided by jobs in the field. For example I would discuss with myself how much a family of 5 children may cost. A last critical step to finalize major choices would be to do job shadows. With these things done anyone considering college may save thousands of dollars and years of their life by not wasting it on things they probably won?t enjoy in the first place.

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I would tell myself the following... "First off, I know you have no idea what to expect from college. The best way to approach the college decision is to not rush things like I did. When you pick a college, make sure that it is somewhere that fits you and makes you happy. If when you get to college you feel out of place, take that feeling seriosly because it means something is wrong with where you are. Also, you don't have to pick a major right now, or even in your freshman year. Take your time, because you have all the time in the world. Think seriously about what you want to do for a career and find out exactly what classes are reqired by your major and what they entail. Don't pick a major because you feel like it's something you should do or because it sounds neat. Pick it because it is something you really want to do. Most importantly, find some people you actually enjoy being around and are not simply tolerable. Be sure to keep a check on reality and don't go through college with "the blinders on." Good luck!

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Remember who you are in this very moment. I read once that "our true selves lie in who we were in high school"; now, as I face my 40th birthday, I see that too be true. Hold on to your passion...hold on to your dreams...don't let yourself be the little fish that drowns in the big pond. College will try to diminish you. There will always be someone better looking, smarter, more talented, more...more...more... Don't allow that to make you "less". Don't let yourself be defined by the number on the scale, the Greek letters on your chest, or the numbers on your transcript. Hang on to that brazen teenager who had the world by the tail and was ten feet tall and bullet-proof. Travel. Learn a dead language. Try out for a student play. Date someone your parents hate. Make lots of mistakes but never regret them, for it is far better to have remorse than regret. Hang on to your high school yearbook and stay in touch with those friends. Years from now when you feel lost, they are the compass that will guide you home.

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If I could go back to high school I would tell myself to prepare and be diligent in my studies, and how college really is a whole new ball game! There is now no one to neither expect anything of you nor really care how much effort you exonerate. In college you waist your own time and money or you make the most of it! I would make sure I stressed the kind of college student I want to be and how important it is to be the kind of student that elaborates on the material stretching the knowledge and gain from each class. I would emphasis to myself that not only is it your own responsibility to make useful the resources I supplement such as my time and money but that it is also my responsibility to get the most out of every classes. I would make this the largest theme of the conversation, because being a year into school I realize not only how relatable the information I am learning is to my everyday life, but by knowing this information inside and out I can excel in the related classes and build on my previous knowledge.

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If I were given the oppurtunity to go back in time and speak with myself in high school, I would be able to offer helpful advice. After experiencing the college life for a year, I would tell myself several things. In high school, I think it is important to take tougher classes and to speak up in class. It is important to not let the feelings of insecurity prevent you from taking every possiblty that you can. Having confidence is a must and having the courage to remain true to who you are. In college, I learned that it is alright to be yourself. In high school, I was to shy to really be outspoken. I would tell myself to change that because being shy you miss out on learning experiences as well as other activities that may have enhanced your experiences. Most importantly, having the courage to speak up and ask questions will help prepare you for college in many ways. Not only, gaining the knowledge, but also gaining the skills. It would be a tremoundously beneficial to go back in time and offer advice to myself.

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Hey, I know your excited about finally being out on your own and finding out who you really are, I just want to say be careful. You get to meet new people but even though they may seem like your best friend, you should get to know them real well before you do anything important with them. That kind of goes with the whole roommate situation. Having a roommate has it's ups and downs. You could get lucky and get a chill roomie, or you could get a roommate that is so polar opposite of you that it will make your life miserable. College is all about adjustment, you share a room, not a house a room with somebody else, your classes are nothing like high school has ever set you up for. No more classes with 30 kids, now it's like 300 and it is sometimes dull, but don't get sidetracked or you will fall behind. So start off with your first term making the highest grades possible, that way later on if you do get sidetracked you have a bit of leeway with your gpa. Have fun and get involved, and always use your head.

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The change between high school life and college life can be a major change for many. Being away from parents is one thing many high school seniors look forward to, a life without rules. The first piece of advice I would give to anyone going into college is, just because you are free from your parents reign doesn't mean you shouldn't make your own rules. College will be impossible if you don't have some rules laid down. Another piece of advice I would give is, avoid "having a good time." I hear far to often that because I'm in college that it's time to be stupid and reckless. But when grades come around, you wont be to happy. Laying down rules remains the only option. Also I was a major procrastinator in high school, this terrible habit followed me over to college and it was not easy. Do your work as soon as you get it, don't ever wait until the last minute. This is one of the rules i made for myself, and it has helped. To succeed in college you must set rules and boundaries to regulate your life.

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Taking full advantage of the opportunity, I would tell my younger self about the importance of beginning scholarship applications as soon as possible. I would explain how I liked going to community college before the university to have smaller class sizes and lower tuition costs. I would convey a sense of necessity for a decision on a college major to take the best advantage of time during college. I would tell myself to enjoy every minute of life because each year in school is more challenging than the last. I would say remember your love of art, do not let it go. Remember your love of swimming, do not stop. Remember the importance of friends, do not isolate yourself. Remember your God, always put him first. Remember that life was created to be enjoyed, have fun, go out with your friends, and spend time with your family. School is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Make a decision and stick with it, you will succeed in anything you put your mind to. You are a fighter, go for the gold.

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I know that it seems like you have to have everything figured out right now, you don’t. I know money seems tight but remember, where there is a will there is a way. Don’t take no for an answer anymore, advocate for yourself in your academics! Don’t tell yourself you’re not good enough because you are. Be sure to fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible; don’t procrastinate on that because the stress of waiting until the last minute is not worth it. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people, everyone here is very friendly and accepting. Your morals will be tested, hold tight to them because once you lose your morals, you lose yourself. Don’t feel pressure to rush… there are plenty of women who are successful and aren’t in a sorority. Don’t bring your entire closet; the dorm rooms aren’t that big. You’ll need to get a job so apply quickly because everyone is in the same situation. These will be some of the best years, but focus on school too because its the true reason you're going.

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I would advise myself to prepare for a change in lifestyle, living more independently and making my own choices more independently than ever before. Make sure I know where I stand on issues of moral, scientific truths, religion, and my social circle. I would also tell myself to be sure to prepare everything before I go, make sure all of my financial aid is in place and double check everything that needs to be done before leaving the house and going to live on my own. Another thing I would tell myself is that sometimes things will seem hard and I will feel like I am in the wrong place, but I must realize in those times that I am not alone and that I am in the place I need to be in and I will do well here if I have confidence in myself and manage the opportunity I have been given well. Finally, I would tell myself to make the most of this blessing to be so fortunate to persue an education in such a great place, for I know not everyone is given such a chance. Don't take anything for granted, but enjoy it.

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