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Purdue University-Calumet Campus

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

I would instruct myself to participate in more activities, seek and apply for scholarships, and develop my study habits. During high school I was an active member of the army Junior Reserve and Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Through this program I was able to participate on the armed drill team. I gained much experience and memories as I traveled to different cities and states competing for exhibition and regulation victories. JROTC also volunteered at places such as funerals, senior citizen homes, and schools. I did not realize the value of extracurricular activities until I was in college. Participating in sports and other organizations in high school can prepare you to lead those same societies in college. It may be known that scholarships are free money for college, but how to find them are not as obvious. Many scholarships are offered to students in high school through their counselor?s office. These scholarships range from local to state. Other scholarships are found via internet or awarded from the government or the college itself. Most importantly, I would tell myself to develop good study habits. After entering college, I understood that learning was a lot of studying and led to good grades.

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Dear Prospective Students and Parents: This is a simple suggestion guide, created by Saba S. Mohammed to assist you in your college search in order to maximize your college experience. When selecting a college or university start your search with colleges you know will enhance and reinforce your current interests while simultaneously affording you the opportunity to expand on subjects you never seriously entertained as possible curriculum. Open your mind to the selection process. Do not rely on the name of the school alone as a decision sounding board by assuming the name of your college; alone; will provide for your academic needs, but rather make sure that your ?well-known? selection will be the institution that fulfills your academic hunger and entertains or quenches your personal interests. There is no sense in selecting anything based on prestige alone. It is important to remember a name is only as good as you individually perceive it, so make sure your perception is not clouded, influenced or rose-colored. The truth of the matter is this is your FIRST, REAL, DECISION and should be made without pressure...period; after all you will be the one going to class everyday. Best regards, Saba

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Dear High School Me, This is your future, more educated self with wise words of advice. Every grade in each class matters. Your grades will determine what scholarships that you are awarded and which colleges you can attend. With this being said, you care too much about grades and should focus on enjoying learning. It is much harder to enjoy learning in college than it was in high school. This is because more of the learning will fall on your shoulders and not so much on the professors' shoulders. Establish good relationships with your professors and show them that you take their class seriously. They will make themselves available to you whenever you need help understanding or comprehending material. Professors will also give you hints about what they are looking for on homework, quiz or test, if you go to them in person or email them. Learn as much as you can about what studying habits and note taking works most effectively for you, immediately. You will use these habits and skills throughout your whole college career. If you find yourself behind or not understanding material, go immediately to the professor or tutors on campus!! Just looking out for you!

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College is the start to your career, so all decisions should be made wisely. The first step is to excel in all of your classes to get into the institution you choose. Good grades causes you to standout as an individual, get selected into the school you pick with no problems, and you receive scholarships. I would also suggest that you get involved in school and outside the class room. Joining activities not only allow you to interact with your peers, but it is also a key component to receiving scholarships, making colleges notice you from your involvement, and let them know your diversity and time management skills. Another factor like getting to know your teachers can benefit you for when you need letters of recommendations, and advice on college life and decisions. In closing do your research on the school you would like to go to. Take a campus visit to find out about the majors, programs, career services, and the cost of the tuition and living if you want to stay on campus. Keep up with all deadlines for scholarships and federal student aid, because school is pricey, so you want as much as you can, and soon.

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Deciding to go back to school after being out of school for over 30 years was an overwhelming experience for me. My three children in college, and many student loans; however, I felt it was my time to pursue a much awaited dream. I enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College in East Chicago, Indiana in January 2004. I continued to work a full time job, attend part time classes, and even my community service work. I graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration on May 10, 2008, and I can not even begin to explain what an experience, and a valuable opportunity this degree has done for me. Since my graduation I have taught classes to culinary students part time at Ivy Tech, worked with remarkable Chef's, and helped many organizations such as Meal's on Wheels with my volunteer work. I now need a Bachelor's degree to continue teaching at Ivy Tech with taking an additional 59 credit hours at a four year college. I enrolled at Purdue Calumet in August of 2010, and adding more to my student loans. Teaching students is so rewarding for me, and giving back knowledge is priceless.

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The future is brighter than your current circumstances. I know that you may be afraid but have faith and follow your gut. Friends you had in highschool may fade away, but dont worry more loyal and reliable ones are on the way. Chase your dreams, because everything you thought you were not cable of achieveing, are the very things that you will soon master. It's okay if you change your major a couple of times, after all this is your life. Don't let judgmental people who were afraid to chase thier dreams deter you from yours. Remember to enjoy the journey because one day you will achieve everything you set out to do . Have fun, laugh alot, be social, dont be afraid to talk to people, because you're never too old to make new friends. When school gets stressful dont get depressed, instead take a break look at something funny and laugh until you feel better. Always remember to encourage yourself, be strong, stand up for what you believe in, and never let anyone tell you what you can't do. Love yourself, you're "different" for a reason . WALK IN CONFIDENCE!!!!!!! Your future depends on it.

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The mos important piece of adivce that I would give myself as a high school senior would be to study hard and try my absolute best my senior. I would encourage myself to choose classes that would be helpful in collge, such as psychology, sociology, and math related classes instead of "blow off" classes. I feel that by taking those classes it make the transition to college much easier since many majors require similar classes. This way you would have a basic understanding of the course you are going to take in college. I would also tell myself to try my very best in high school. I know that sometimes in your senior, you come down with a case of "senioritis", but your gpa and sat score are very important and can help you out a lot financially! If my gpa would tried or studied a little harder I could have brought up my gpa and been eligable for many more scholarships! Lastly, remember to do ALL the readings your professors assign you. Although it takes up some time and it may not seem important, there is valuable information to be learned, and the material may be on a test!

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I would advise myself to pay more attention in class. I feel that in high school, as well as college, there are so many distractions that get in the way with one's academic performance such as sports, leisure activities, friends and family, and other issues with one's personal life. Likewise, there are also many distractions within the classroom at both the high school and college level. In order to beat these distractions, I would advise myself to pay more attention in class; study more; work harder; listen more attentively to my teachers; be more responsible; and be more determined to succeed. In high school, I always wanted to take the easy way out, and I did not work that hard to get good grades. In college, everything is a lot harder. I would advise myself to work harder in high school, so that I am more prepared for the huge work load in college. Another thing I would advise myself to do in order to succeed is to have better time management. In high school, you do not get as much homework and you have more leisure time, but in college you get stock-piled with homework.

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Dear 17 year old LaJenné, You need to take the time to weigh out your school options. If you haven't started applying for scholarships, which you probably haven't, you need to start right now. Don't miss out on your dream college experience because your parents can't afford it. Also, you know that African-American history is your passion, so do everything you can to read as much scholarship on the field starting now. If you begin your reading now, you'll be ahead of your peers by a long-shot. You are smart, don't let the complex language steer you away. The more you read, the more you'll understand the terms. Lastly, write and read ferociously, but read more than you write. There are so many conferences available for young undergraduates with a passion for knowledge, the only thing that seperates those who succeed in those endeavors and those who fail, is the simple fact that many just aren't well read and rely too much on assumption. Be better and your academic life and CV will look that much better. Oh, yea! Heads up. You're going to graduate school. Sincerely, You.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would simply say entering and experiencing college is not as stressful as others make it to be. As a high school senior, it can be taunting to wonder what the next step will be after graduating high school. Of course, the most obvious answer to that concept would be college. But where to start? How to pay for courses? What major will be decided while enrolled in college? All of those stressful questions could be answered even before stepping into college. There will definitely be other students who are just as nervous. However, those feelings of being nervous and "out of place" will soon wash away with the help of academic advisors, professors, and even other classmates. While high school and college can be both similar and different at the same time, it is the goal of gaining knowledge and moving up the ladder that makes every single aspect of enrolling in college all the better. Being a current college freshman has opened my eyes to what I have already accomplished, and will accomplish along the years.

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