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Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College

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

College is a time where all the possibilities are open to you. You make or break yourself. No one is going to tell you to do anything. You have to make sure you are quite disciplined from the start. Never give up! It is also extremely important to be open - not only to people of different cultures or ethnicity, but also to people in general. Never be narrow-minded. But always stick to your values. Don't ever do drugs or binge drink - they seriously ruin your life and it's a waste of money and time. Choose your friends wisely and don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. No one judges you in college. You are free to be yourself; but remember your values. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Someone will always be ready to listen. Being smart is cool. It's very important to get involved straight away on campus during your freshman year. It helps so much in adjusting and making friends and connections and getting awards. I won so many. And I have so much pride in my college. I've had the best time!

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I want parents to remember that your child is going to be the one attending the school so try to support them in their decision. Try to do whatever you can to make the college decision easier because trust me, they will appreciate it. I know it is difficult to see your little girl/boy growing up, but try to undersand and help them attempt to advance their knowledge for the future. For students, do as much research as possible before you decide what school you will attend. Trying to find the right school involves visits, converstations with current students, and online research. I know it seems like an impossible decision but trust me, you will know where to go if you just put in enough time. Try to keep your head up and ur focus on your future. When you get to your school, attempt to meet as many people as possible and try to establish positive social and educational values. I know it will be rough at first but trust me, the experience is priceless. Good Luck parents and future students!

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If I could go back in time to my senior year and talk to myself, many things come to mind to discuss. But there are two suggestions that stand out. First, I would tell myself to not be afraid of getting involved. Getting connected within the community gave me a chance to meet new people with different views. I have learned about many different cultures from people who grew up in what seems like different worlds. I have turned into a whole new person since high school because of the people I have met. Another piece of advice that I would give myself would be to stay determined. I always used to find myself getting stressed out over the smallest things, but now I know that as a college student you have many opportunities to redeem yourself. As long as you know you are doing your best, thats all a student can do. Through the ups and downs of college it's easy to become discouraged. But if you remain focused on your goals, you will achieve them and more.

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Having a younger sister heading into college for the Fall of 2009, I have been helping her and my parents through the college process again. Although this will be my parents third child to be sent off to school, they understand completely the importance of finding the right college. I have been working closesly with my sister and the best advice I have given her was to read up on the colleges she is considering. She has to do some background checks to find out what the schools are really all about. The biggest and one of the most important steps is talking to your high school advisors because they have all the information that any parent or prospective student would need. College visits are also essential because you are naturally attracted to places where you grew up. Every college campus is different and appeal to different students which is why it is crucial to go and visit the college and see the living conditions and dining options.

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I would tell myself to do everything you can, if that means working more hours, doing more research, or finding good opportunities that make you stand out compared to everyone else do it. College is totally different than highschool, it is alot of work and time. I have always been the type of person to get things done as early as possible, so I would tell myself maybe to manage my time and get things done first that are due earlier. Also stick to your values is a big one, when you get to college morals and values of other students are very different. If you don't like something do not do it. If you feel it's wrong stick to your gut. I would tell myself to meet as many people, those people or clubs you join could really help you out and make you stand out compared to someone else. Most importantly be yourself, and do not give up when life gets hard, college is rough but if you have the right attitude then you can get through anything.

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I would advice myself to appreciate what I had. I would remind myself about how my parents pay the bills and stock the fridge. I would also reassure myself to be open with new people and just go out there and meet as many people as I can. College is its own unique world and it only happens once, and it goes soaring by. Even while you're in college you know that it's going fast. But there's no way to stop it. I would remind myself that tests and things aren't all that life is about, that life is finding beauty in the small things. And to find these small things we need to experience as many different things as possible. Also that you need to love yourself in order to help others and to succeed. People lose sight of what's important, and I would tell myself, that college is when I need to hold tight to who I am so that way my future involves the person I want to be and not who the world influenced me to become.

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Aside from a few minor tips like pack more food for college and start getting on a good sleep schedule, I would advise my past self to take some more initiative in the college searching process. The fact of the matter is that I ended up settling for a school rather than finding one that I loved and one that is the best fit for me. This is not to say that Penn State Behrend is a bad school, because it's not. The teachers are great and there is a strong sense of community among the students. However, it is not the best fit for me, and I now know of half a dozen other schools that I would love to be at instead. Now that I'm looking to transfer, I realize that this whole process could have been avoided had I made the effort during high school. So, the advice that I think high school Josh would most benefit from would be: take the initiative now so you'll be happier down the road.

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My college experience has been a whirlwind of activities and life changing lessons. As a sophomore in college, I have learned more about myself personally than I ever thought I would. I have learned how to be a sociable person, a good friend, and most importantly I have learned what my values are. The students and staff are so helpful and friendly that I feel completely comfortable asking any questions that need to be asked and getting any help I may need. To me, it has been a valuable experience to attend college because of the friends I have made, the education I have received, and still put to use, and the lessons I have learned about life. There is no better way to learn about life than to live on campus and have to support yourself and all of your needs on your own. Its such a wonderful experience that I would highly reccommend to anyone thinking about on campus living.

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I wish I would have had family members who had taken part in the college experiance so I would of had some refrence. The number one transition issue for me was study habits so I would have deffintly told myself to try out different study habits and study dedication. High school was a lot different exspecially in the content of exams so I now wish I would have pushed myself much more beyond to be prepared for college material. Making up an exam that I knew would be much harder then the one we would be taking in class would be a very good study method that I would go back and have myself try. The money is of course an issue also I would have a job all throughout high school to save up before starting to college. Scholorships and grants would be a must for me to do, I would advise to start looking into opportunties early into the year so I had time for a back up plan also.

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I would tell myself to get into more clubs and take more ap classes. Being well-rounded is very important for college so being in many clubs helps with that. Also, I would tell myself to stay closer to home. Family being one of my most essential values makes it hard to be away from home. I try my best to make my family proud because I know I can be anything if I try. With the transition, to keep myself busy, I took 17.5 credits this semester and was accepted into the most prestigious club on campus, Lion Ambassadors. I feel that I did all I could to prepare for college, I just wish I would have filled out more scholarship applications like my mom said to because I hardly received any financial aid. College is expensive and the price goes up every year. I wish I would have listened to my mom.

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