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Rochester Institute of Technology

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

I would tell myself as a high school senior to take more honors classes and broaden my horizon with the classes that might make me think differently. I would also let myself know that I can choose so many colleges to apply to, but when I do choose the right school I will now it in my gut. To be able to tell myself as a senior to not stress about the little things because I can honestly say, I did. I would like to let myself know that I will have so many opportunites in the future that will make me think so differently, so I should stop shutting the new things out and accept them with an open mind. I would tell myself that I should learn more languages in my senior year at least to make myself more diverse. Another thing I would say, would be is to just be as happy as I can that it is senior year and take full advantage of all of the amazing activities at my high school, and to worry about college a little less than I did, and be more excited for my future as a psychologist one day.

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I know you are sitting in class right now wondering if you are going to go to college, wondering if you are smart enough, and if you have enough resorces to make it in college. How do I know this you might ask, I will tell you, I am you in a year, going to college and loving it. You as a high school student should not think of college as a option, but as a choice that you have already made, I don't want you to put your acedemic degrees on the back burner. If I was to have a do over of highschool I would take as many AP and honors classes as I possibly could fit in my schedual, sure you might be thinking but that is hard, and a lot of extra work. All I can say is it is worth it. You will look better on paper when colleges look at your academic record, you will save TONS of money by taking college level high school classes. Trust yourself, and believe that you can do this, as unlikely as it seems now you actually end up enjoying those hard classes and ultimatly college.

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If I were to go back to my senior year, I would only change a few things. I had the opportunity to take some AP courses during my high school but I would have chosen to take a few more so that I could get the most out of college by not having to take as many courses here. By taking more AP classes I would have been able to take more general electives and also minor courses so as to give me a more diverse background of courses on my transcripts. Another thing I would change is that I would choose to join in more activities at school. I felt as if I didn't do enough of what was available to me during high school. We had many clubs and extra-curricular that I wish I would have joined. They would have given me a more experienced outlook on what to do during college. I hope that since I wasn't able to take advantage of all the options in high school, that I'll take advantage of all the opportunities here at RIT. There are many clubs and events to go to that will benefit me.

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Don't pack so much! College life is not like going camping or being on an extended vacation. Go through the list again and cross off some items. For example, the frisbee. You'll probably get a free frisbee (or six) within the first month of college. Ditto with pens and gum. Don't bring too many clothes, but more than enough underwear is probably a good thing. The essentials? A good pair of walking shoes and an all-weather parka. This will leave more space in the car for your little brother to come on the trip to drop you off at school. Find out what the lighting situation is in your dorm! Dorm rooms already feel small, and you could feel trapped in the dark lion's den without a few good lamps. Bring a few home-y touches, too, like picture frames and mementos. Don't sweat it if you forget something - school stores or local stores usually have what you need, or you can live without a hair dryer for the first semester. Natural drying is better anyway.

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If I could go back and give myself advice as a high school senior, the first thing I would tell myself is to not rush out of high school. High school is when you can truely act like a kid and have fun, and that move to college is a big step, so enjoy it while it lasts. The next advice I would give would be to to be smart, and NEVER buy textbooks for full price. My first semester I bought my textbooks from my college bookstore, and I haven't gotten them from the bookstore since. You save so much money when you get them from a website or even use ebooks. You will be saving money and paper. My next advice would be to make friends with everyone. It makes the transition to not knowing anyone a lot easier. I was never a very outgoing person, but my first quarter at school I really broke out of my shell and tried to make new friends. It made being away from my old friends a lot easier. And lastly I would tell myself to call my mom more often. She was always worried sick.

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Stop short changing yourself! Do not enroll in an art school! You have always wanted to be a scientist and understand the world around you! Why are you suddenly changing your mind? You don't think you're good enough? You've never seen or heard of a gay scientist before? Trust me, there are dozens! Some work for NASA or the CDC or companies you haven't even heard of yet! This does not make you inferior in anyway! You are smarter than you think! Trust me, I know. You need to have confidence in yourself! If you go to art school, you'll do great but you'll be unsatisfied...trust me, I know. You'll know that you can push yourself harder and do more...trust me, I know. You'll transfer schools, which will require many more years. Once you develop confidence in yourself, you will constantly be pushing yourself further and never settle for the mediocrity that you know now. You will realize that you can be the role model that you almost found too late...trust me, I know.

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Looking back on it now I would tell myself that college would be an amazing experience. I would tell myself that this would be a great time of growing in all aspects of my life. Not only obviously growing mentally through education but also maturing from living on my own. I would tell myself not to worry all that much about the little things, because they will take care of themselves. I also would tell myself that not everything would come as easy as it did in high school and that hard work would be very necessary for success. I would also encourage myself to be more open when meeting new people because I could have meet so many more people then I have already. In addition I would remind myself to stay in touch with my old friends because looking back you realize you loose touch with some people that you really never should. Most importantly I would tell myself to stay close with family because they are your support and singularly responsible for your success.

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If I were to go back in time and talk to my high school senior self I would give a wide range of advice. First I would tell me to not care so much about school rank, and just go with the flow, choose a school that would suit me personally well. Then I would tell me to make up my mind and just choose physics as my major already, and stop flop flopping between stuff. Then I would probably give a short rant at me for a variety of other, random things like slacking off. But then I would get back to the meat of the matter, and tell me (him?) to not worry about the transition to college, since its not bad, and is rather easy. The only difference is you actually have to do the work unlike highschool, since far too many people put too much weight on how difficult college will be, and all the challenges and how different it will be, when in reality it is not that bad. It is similar to high school, but drastically different at the same time, so just go with the flow.

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The best advice I can give to a student about finding the right college is do a lot of research! Talk to people who go, or went, there. Visit the campus if possible and if not then maybe take an online tour, find out whats around it in terms of social life and job oportunities. Basically don't settle. Also, while parents may have some say in your final decision (especially if their helping to pay for it) don't let them push you into a school you wont be happy at, because if your not happy then you wont do well. As far as making the most of your college experience goes my best advice is that you get your work done and then you have a good time! College is a time to grow up, make new friends and to try new things. You can learn a lot about yourself and life in general if you just take the time. Be open minded to new people, ideas andexperiences. My only advice for parents is let them go, if you don't theres a good chance they will hate you for it.

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My friends’ ears were nearly falling off after all the times I told them how excited I was to go to Rochester Institute of Technology. “I got into RIT School of Film and Animation!” It is one of the best film programs in the country and I had never been more excited. After the long and mildly annoying years of high school, I got a new start at college. As a film student, I live and breathe movies and rarely sleep on account of all the hours we put into productions, but I love being busy because I’m doing what makes me happy. When I was 16, I never could have imagined doing the things I do now. I write, direct, and edit my movies and I crew for other students on their films. I feel confident in my work and I’m eager to get out into the world and be in the film industry. On top of that, I’ve made friends that I couldn’t live without now that they are in my life. I’ve been at RIT for two and a half years and it continues to get better everyday.

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