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Philadelphia University

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

Because of my experience at Philadelphia University including all of my hardships and struggles in Freshman year and throughout the following years, I have not only discovered my passion and learned to love and value myself but also feel confident, generous, and sometimes even obligated to share the knowledge that I have gained from the various professors. I am currently a fifth year student in the Architectural Studies major. Philadelphia University has offered me the unique opportunity to truly shape my future and maximize my academic experiences because I was able to balance Conceptual Design courses with Technical courses. I have studied various fields including, Architecture (including Landscape, Interior Design, and Construction). I have also taken a few Business courses including Management, Marketing, and Business Law. However, the most valuable courses and the most relevant to my passions were the Liberal Arts and Humanities courses that have opened my eyes to the world, taught me how to think critically, understand relationships, causes & effects, the "pros and cons" of globalizations, and most especially the value of Humanity, Cultures, and Earth. Because I was inspired and encouraged by my Professors, I have successfully obtained a very unique internship position after graduation.

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Each individual prospective student needs to decide on their own what is best for them. To often parents try to make these decisions for children because they feel one college has more security over another, or similar cases. In order to gain a positive college experience, it begins with selecting the proper school. First you need to decide, "What kind of environment do I want to subject myself to?" Then you need to ask yourself if you want to attend a small or large school. This is important because smaller universities offer more personal learning environments with professors that make themselves available often to the student. The career you desire to pursue should ultimately help you decide which university is right for you, many universities focus on one aspect over another such as liberal arts, sciences, or design. Once you decide on your college or university, in order to make the most of it, first, you need to stay focused on your career goals which means your grades and dedication to your studies. Secondly, it's important to incline yourself to the atmosphere your presented with, making freinds and involving yourself with the campus and community is important for oneself.

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I had been anxiously and excitedly looking forward to attending college for years throughout high school. It seems unavoidable that a girl's imagination will go wild with exaggerated hopes and expectations before any major, life-changing event. However, my experience at Philadelphia University is everything that I had been imagining and so much more. It has matured me as an individual and expanded the horizons of my mind; taught me not only about the field of psychology, but also how to live with a girl I had never met before the summer, meet deadlines, and so much more. For anyone who is considering not attending college for financial or any other reasons, my advice would be this: go! Find the right college for you, and go! Making my own decisions, achieving goals, living on my own, and studying a subject in which I am genuinely intersted are the aspects of college that set my current exciting life in Philadelphia apart from my previous life in the monotonous, less-specialized world of public high school in New Jersey. I am confident that every dollar of my yearly expenses is benefiting my future as a respectable adult and professional.

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Since attending college, I have learned to be dedicated, independent, and more confident. Instead of searching for the 'craziest parties on campus,' I found myself spending countless hours on design projects, devoted to the quality and craft that makes a good presentation. I put a lot of time and effort into my work, because being proud of the outcome is very rewarding to me. Since my coursework has taken up a significant amount of my time, I have learned to efficiently manage my schedule. My college has provided me with tons of activities to participate in, however it's impossible to be involved with everything. For the stuff that is a priority, I am able to budget my time, thus becoming more independent. I have found that college has given me the opportunity to be in charge of my present and future. I'm not taking this independence for granted, as some of my peers are. Instead, providing for myself and accomplishing goals has boosted my confidence. I participate in class and take advantage of the discussion, something I wouldn't have done in high school. I believe that college is going to help me really grow as a person.

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I have successfully completed one full semester of college, with less than three months to go in my second semester and so far I have learned quite a bit. Not only have I gained knowledge academically, but my view of the world in retrospect has changed . My entire life I have lived in a box. I never knew anything outside of the relatively small city of San Antonio, where usually the worst thing that could happen is a severe thunderstorm or a tornado warning every few years. I made the decision to attend an out of state college for the experience and chose Philadelphia University for it's unique and comforting charm. In these four months away from home that I have spent in Philadelphia I have learned a lot about the world and a lot about myself. You really never know how much people mean to you until you have spent months upon months away from them. Words like homeless, jobless, struggle, and sacrifice never used mean anything to me, but now these words describe people, actions, and experiences that I've lived through, and it really changes a persons outlook on life. Philadelphia University surely has changed mine.

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Finding the right college is not a "one size fits all" process. There are so many choices a student can make when it comes to selecting the right college. That's the good news. It is also the difficult part in determining where to attend because the number of colleges can make a decision overwhelming. My advice is to narrow your choices using geography and size. Geography in the sense of not only where in the country you want to attend school but whether being near a large city is important. Once you have been able to determine geography, the student needs to assess what size school would be best and the benefits of both large and small schools. Making these two choices will narrow the field tremendously. Campus visits should provide you with what is most important- your gut feeling when you step on the campus. I firmly believe you will know when you have found the right school. Once you find the right school, it is up to the student to make the college experience- not the other way around. Becoming an active member of the college community is the most important way to insure a positive experience.

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The advice I would give parents and/or students about finding the right college and making the most of your college experience is to be proactive and take initiative. The ideal college for most students is not going to just come and find you. You should begin your search as early as the summer prior to your junior year of High School. Compile a list of specific things such as a school's location (urban, rural, etc) , size (1,500 students - 40,000 students), travel distance, and overall environment that mirrors your learning style. Consider rank and costs but don't necessarily let that be an ultimate deciding factor for example Harvard may be $43,000 a year but most ivy league institutions offer need based financial aid and employ a debt-free education model of financial aid which include scholarships and grants with minimal or no loans. However for the money many students as well as faculty would argue that the best overall education may not be at a Havard - like institution but schools more like Penn State University. So do your research, consider all options, don't limit yourself and you will be fine.

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To parents and students about to commence the college adventure: When picking a college to attend, one must absolutely research such areas such as its location, safety, job placement, social activities, and most importantly, student's response to the campus. General concerns of course are to discuss safety issues due to location, how accessible campus is to home, and if this distance is ok with the student. The number of campus selections may vary due to availability of an intended major; however even in this aspect the prospective student should ask current students how they feel about the school. Doing this will give you absolute real information on campus routine, activities, social life, etc. Whether as a parent you want to hear these facts or not, the student will be the one interacting everyday with the campus and students, therefore will be susceptible to influence. If the decision is between a few schools, this ultimately should resolve the decision. The student will attend for 2-4 years, and the quality of everyday life as per campus influence should be as extraordinary as can be.

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I chose to study fashion design at Philadelphia University because of their superb design program, and also because they did not require portfolios with acceptance into the program. I was interested in learing how to design clothing, but did not live in an area conducive to my learning of the skills before going to college. This is one of the few schools left that teaches you from the ground up- every student starts at the same level and no prior knowledge of anything in the design word is needed. I have learned literally everything about fashion design from the excellent faculty at the school. Since classes are small you recieve one on one attention and come to know your professors very well. I have already learned valuable skills needed for my continuation in the program as well as in the workplace. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the many study abroad and internship programs provided. Because we are required to graduate with a B.S., the science courses I have taken have sparked my interest in investigating green fashion and making better business choices based on environmental ethics.

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Finding the right college for you as the student and assisting the student as the parent is extremely difficult. The student needs to feel comfortable in the school environment, the area and the learning environment. It is important the student feels as if they will fit in and will be able to make the most of their college career. Also, the student needs to feel as if they will be as important as they want to be to the faculty and staff, this is important when determining the size of the college the student would like to attend. Making the most of the college experience all comes from feeling comfortable at the school of choice; does the school have the clubs and organizations, the sports and the facilities that interest the student? There are all important criteria to consider when choosing a school because the experience the student will have depends on these characteristics of the college. The deciding factor should be when the student walks around the campus, steps into the classrooms and the dorm rooms is if they can see themselves living and learning in the environment of the college.

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