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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I had known that I would not be "the odd one out." My high school did not have APs, and I thought I would be behind everyone. It did not help when the head of admissions described the incoming class at "Accepted Student Day" -- I would be among students who had been published, hold patents, and won world championships. I felt intimidated. However, once I was on campus, I realized those students are the exception, and most of us are typical fresh-out-of-high-school students making our way through college. I was not behind; I excelled.

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There is a common impression among RPI?s freshman that the city of Troy is a boring and even unsafe place to go. Because of this misconception, few choose to venture off campus. I wish I knew before that such notions were far from the truth and took the time to see all that Troy had to offer earlier. Troy has many quality restaurants and entertaining shops. I recommend that anyone applying for college becomes familiar with the area they will be living in.

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I wish I had known about the emphasis on research over undergraduate education. I feel I'm paying a lot ($50k+) per year to get very little instruction. I feel like I could have achieved nearly the same results if I were just given several books and locked myself in a room for 4 years.

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I am 100% happy with the knowledge I came to this school with. I learned for myself the "ins and the outs" about campus life, living off-campus, about academics, and social aspects of this school and I became the person I am today because of it.

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That most other students here came from schools with AP programs. If I knew I could have taken AP tests in high school and gotten out of "gen-ed" type courses, I would have pushed for more AP classes in my high school.

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College is not like high school. You cannot coast by without studying or applying yourself. You need to study outside of class, and if you don't your grades will suffer accordingly.

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I wish I had known there was basically no english or foreign language requirement. I would not have taken so many AP's had I known.

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I wish I had better preparation in high school for more independant learning styles.

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There is nothing that I really wish I had known more about before I came to RPI.

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study with other people as much as possible, there's a lot to do outside troy

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