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Ringling College of Art and Design

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

I would say that the transition from high school to college is complicated. I would say that you need to be open-minded towards new experiences and new types of people, but also to lower your expectations. It takes a long time to find people who understand you and a sense of belonging when you go to any new place. College is no different. At a competitive school especially, getting used to the workload and trying to establish personal bonds with new friends can be overwhelming. You'll have an opportunity to recreate yourself, but be careful. Don't be so quick to rebel that you lose sight of what makes you unique. And if you find yourself lonely from time to time, don't be afraid to call your high school friends. They probably feel the same way and miss you too. And remember that first impressions are fickle. If you harshly judge others before you get to know them, you'll miss out on a lot of good people. You don't want to have to swallow your words later on. The first day of class is scary, but it gets better. Keep your chin up.

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What advice would I give to students and/ or parents about finding the right college and making the most of it? Well to the parents I would have to say make sure that your college student has a passion for something. Always support what they like and not try to make them do or be something that you might have missed out in your own life. My parents knew I loved art of all kinds and not so much on sports. I have tried it all but then always came back to my passion with support. To the students I would have to say be true to yourself and don't let anyone make you feel you have to do or be someone you aren't. Realize that only you can make your future bright. Surround yourself with people who you think make a difference in the world either through their ideas or talents. That could mean anything from an athlete who helps out their community and doesn't have a head that is bigger than their salary. Or a famous artist that started at the bottom and through their struggles they came out with experiences that helped others.

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Dan, I am you, writing you from the year 2010. You are 36 and going back to college for film and digital multi media. The technology we have now is incredible. You will be able to do things with computers that you never dreamed of, a whole new world will be opened up to you. I know you are young and you want to live and have fun but you will learn after your time in the real world that college is important. Follow your gut and go for what you love and live life with no regrets. Money will never bring you true happiness. Cherish your family and remember the things you think are so important now will fade in time. Just think what was so important to you just last year? Can you even remember? Listen to your elders, they have paid their dues. They are not out to give you a hard time. They are trying to keep you from making the same mistakes that they made just as I am trying to do for you now. Always be kind to people, the greatest currency in the universe is good karma. Take care of your health! Dan

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Of all the things I have learned, through people I've met over the past year and a half of my college experience, I have learned that, choosing the right college really does make all the difference. For students, I would say, make sure it's what you want, know what you're getting yourself into, and most of all, make sure you will enjoy it, hopefully these will be some of the best and most memorable years of your life. As for parents, Weather you are or are not helping your child financially, you should remember that this is a decision that will effect yours, but more importantly the rest of your childs life, in every way, from how and what they learn to who they meet. Make sure you don't push them into something they don't want to do, but always encourage and try to support them when they need it. This is the first time for a lot of people on their own, and it's always good to have a calm, sturdy figure like a parent to trust in if needed. Other then that, work hard, and achieve the dreams you've always had.

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If I could go back in time and talk to 1990 Mesha with the knowledge that 2013 Mesha has, that would be amazing!!! I would tell the 90's Mesha that she should remain a good student and keep her eyes on the prize. That prize would be graduating from high school first, then entering college. I would tell her not to get overwhelmed with the thought of college life. She should know that college life is going to bring about so many exciting new experiences. Since she is such an outstanding person, she is bound to make new friends, that will stay with her throughout her adult life. I would let her know that her love for numbers will allow her to be able to apply for that career in accounting. She should know that graduating from college is going to give her such a huge sense of accomplishment. She could then enter the workforce with her degree in hand and know that there is so many opportunties awaiting her. By the time 2013 rolls around, her deskplate will say, Kiamesha Delaney, Chief Financial Officer.

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The advice I would give to my high school self about college is overall get better at time management skills. This was the center of most of the difficulties I experienced in my first semester. I got my work done no matter what but at times it wouldn't be at the level I know I am capable of. Not only improve in time management but also don't push yourself overboard. Always remember to get seven to eight hours of sleep and eat properly. Even if it seems like you would be able to get the assignment done if you stay up but the truth is it would take you longer than if you were to get sleep, so please take care of yourself. Also even if you love helping people, make sure you take care of your assignments first then you can help out others. Another thing is if things don't work out as well in first semester, the second semester would seem less stressful and you will get the hang of things so don't freak out and enjoy. These would be the pieces of advice I would give to my high school senior self.

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If I was able to talk to my high school senior self, I would let her know about the amount of work and effort she must put into their work to hopefully succeed in college--plus, to take advantage of much scholarships as possible (a lot of colleges are pretty expensive, including the amount of supplies I need). I would also tell her to keep her head held up high because there will be at times when things seem like it go her way or even maybe to the point of giving up, but she needs to stay strong and know that as long as you have friends, and family that can help push you forward, she can prove to those that doubt her that she can really shine when it counts. Not every piece of art needs to be perfect, and not every person needs to be really skilled at it either, as long as she does the best she can, she can prove to those that hardwork and patience can help lead one to their dream goals--also, don't let anyone discourage you, just be yourself and she will do just fine.

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Students should research academic and social situations at as many as 4 collages . First they should see if the college is accreditted and has a strong department on the field they are wantting to go into,if they have a good counseling department with a strong career advisor, as well as the curriculum of the proffesors. They should see about their financial aids and the help they can get for tuition.They should go and see the schools and their sourandings. Ask as many questions as possible concerning classes,people who attend that school and see how liberal or conservative they are. Students should start college with an open mind and try to be friendly with others because it will probably be the first time that they will encounter the diversification of people and learn about other cultures, races and ways of life. They should not take things personal and try to see that is a different world of what they have been acostume at home. To be polite and respect others.

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Dear me (as a senior), First of all, don't worry so much about your grades. The school you get in doesn't care as long as it's above, like, 2.5. Focus more on doing drawings from life and improving your art. That doesn't mean just give up, though. You manage to score some financial aid because of your grades, so keep up with them. Just don't... stress over them like you are. As far as college classes, I really wish you would take that AP Writing test. It's free, just three hours, and would save you a class that costs tuition money. So, please? To make it easier on me, do that will you? And don't worry so much about college life in general. You're going to meet some of the best people in the world! They'll end up being the best friends you've ever had, so stop worrying. And the work load is pretty heavy, just like they say, but it's definitely bearable. Overall, just relax. Things turn out really well for you. From, your future self

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Dear Ellen, You have done so much since arriving at Ringling. You have made good grades, gotten the RA job, and worked so hard to get closer to your dream. I am proud of what you have accomplished. Knowing what I now know, there are things that can help you further in your dream career. Apply to Scholarships all of the time. To stay at your school, which is your dream school and the place that you have had the best years of your life, you need to. It is financially demanding to your family, and to save yourself from taking a year off, you have to. Work hard, do your best, do even more for success. Find a happy balance in your life and take good care of yourelf. Always support your friends, and value them above all else. They will keep you grounded and help you stay focused. They will always be there for you, make sure to always be there for them. Stay strong. Always rememeber when things are difficult, to be strong. Never ever give up.

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