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Seton Hall University

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

Seton Hall University is a right place for the students who are seeking for quiet environment and high technology system. SHU has outstanding IT technology. Everyone is campus has laptop, access Internet and do assignments a professor posted. (Most professors are good at computer; such as Lotus Notes, blackboard, etc.) Techonology service center is open to students who cannot use a computer well. They explain how to use computer and Internet. Most class works are online. Professors post up powerpoints and assignments on blackboard (school website), and students can download whenever they need it. Housing life is anouther outstanding fact of SHU. Everyone in dorm become friends. We help each other. We make a study group and sit in the lounge, which is open 24/7. Internet access is availabe, and the furnitures are always in excellent condition. Each room has ac/heat, so students can control the temperature. Dorm rules are strict, so everyone in dorm can concentrate on study in midterm/final exam weekends. (It is quiet as library) Additionally, campus green looks gorgeous for entire year. Especially in winter, we have two gigantic christmas trees so everyone can celebrate the holiday.

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Most people assume that college life is all about taking some major courses, graduate and then get a job. But this is not the case. College not only prepares you for your career but it also teaches you so many life skills that you will need in your life. So to maximize this college experience, one needs to get some preparation too. The most important thing that one needs to be successful in college is to be a good listener. We all know about the importance reading and SAT words or importance of note-taking or those extra-curricular activities to be a better speaker. All these skills are important but listening is like the backbone of those skills. It helps you to take better notes, understand lecture and talk intelligently with your fellow classmates and professors. So, to develop this skill, one needs to be friendly and patient. And for academic purposes, doing independent research about any subject matter is very important as it helps one to understand different subjects from any intelligent conversation or lecture. So, I would advice someone to develop his/her listening skills by making connection with different people and doing independent research.

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The greatest advice I could give myself is to prepare myself for just how intensive a college program of study truly is. Although I took honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school, the level of work was fairly balanced. In these high school courses, students had many opportunities to better their grades through quizzes, tests, presentations, homework, etc. In college, however, the final course grade often depends on solely two or three grades, usually the midterm, final, and maybe one other grade in between. While in high school, I depended on the various little grades, especially when I had not done particularly well on something. Now, I must discipline myself to read my texts closely and to constantly review my work. If I only have two grades in one entire course, then I have to commit myself wholeheartedly - WHOLEHEARTEDLY - to my studies. No longer am I receiving a free, public education. Rather, I am spending thousands of dollars A SEMESTER for an education that will provide me with the tools to improve not only my life, but the life of my ailing mother and my younger sister who also has college to look forward to.

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I suppose that no high school student will truly understand how important it is to take their high school courses seriously, and to be involved. This means Chorus, Band, sports, volunteering, etc. Whatever it is you like, then do it. Colleges look for invested students. That being said, take the time to begin college applications early and VISIT THE SCHOOLS. No college will take an applicant seriously unless that student takes the time to come and show that they are interested. Parents must learn the fine line between nagging and reminding their children to fulfill the suggestions I gave above. You must also make sure that you stay on top of the financial aspect of College. Do not, DO NOT, forget to submit a FAFSA form, or to contact the school when you send in information. Most importantly, call your children when they are at school and make sure they are assimilating. Visit them, not too often, but get them to introduce you to friends. Also, encourage them to speak directly to teachers and deans when they have questions. Most importantly, an involved student is a happy student. College is a community, be a part of it.

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Don't change yourself to fit into a college - let the college fit you. Think of yourself not as a prospective student, but as a student with prospective colleges. Make a list of necessary criteria your school should meet, and reserach each institution based on your needs list. A monkish disciplined student nearly void of original sin should not apply to a party school, nor should the talented musician join an intensive technical academy just to please her parents. Some items to think about are class size, demographics, student organizations, price range, and academic programs. Academic programs should be perfect matches to your criteria because they are the core purpose of your college attendance. Research the faculty and staff, their publications, the work of school graduates, and ask yourself if you can learn something from these people. Can you commit to the level of the program's intensity? If not, there are many more options out there. A diploma is just a piece of paper, wherever it's from. The importance is graduating with fond memories, professional skills, and the ability to excel afterward.

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The first thing I would tell myself is, stick with your first choice. Although Seton Hall was originally my first choice, I decided upon another college due to financial reasons. In the end, those plans fell through and in a frenzy I contacted Seton Hall. Likewise, I initially chose a major that did not suite me and was miserable the first semester. If I could do it all over again from the beginning, I would tell myself to listen to my heart and not allow for others opinions to influence me. After the college life began, I should have realized that this was the ideal time to begin making friends not continuing in a relationship. I regret being in a relationship that in the end did not work out and isolating myself from social events because of another indivdual. College should be a time when relationships are built with friends, not with significant others, there is plenty of time for that in the future. I've made mistakes, I've learned from my mistakes, yet I will continue to make them and keep learning. However, I do wish that someone did tell me these very things as a senior.

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The tips and values I have learned in college have helped me become the positive and empowered student I am. If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would change the way I prepared for college during my senior year. Paying for college is a very important factor in getting an education. I should have applied for more scholarships and grants. My friends used to spend valuable time writing essays and applying for various scholarships. They took so much time to do this to aid their parents in paying for college. Now, I realize that I should have taken the time out to apply for more scholarships to help pay for my college tuition. Along with applying for scholarships, I should have taken AP courses throughout my high school career. Many of my friends did not have to take some courses in college because they took that subject as an AP course in high school. I should have worked on strengthening my study habits during senior year. Towards the end of the year, I would just wait until the day before of the exam to study. Studying throughout the week will help one get a better grade.

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My advice for students is to make a list of some of the things you believe would make their college experience successful (size of school, location, sports, clubs, interests, aspirations, etc.). Make sure the college you choose is a right fit for the type of person you are. Don't pick a college because your friends are going there. Study the colleges your interested in by searching through their website, visiting the college, speaking with current students, faculty, and alumni. Minimize your choices to at least 5 and apply. Anything is possible so don't be afraid to apply to any college. When your at the stage of choosing your final choice (make sure its at max. 3) make a list of the pros and cons of going to each of those colleges. Don't just make a decision without thinking about it. Give it time and rest on it. Talk to your parents or someone you can trust and ask them what they think. Ask a teacher, a counselor, an older sibling, a school coach, etc, and most important base the decision on what you really want not what someone else thinks is good for you. Follow your heart.

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Firstly, enjoy the college process. Not many people get that far. Most importantly, prepare to teach yourself. The transition will require you to go from active listening (which is what you do in high school), to active teaching. Your professors won't walk you through the material. That's your responsibility. You need to read the book, understand the material, and be able to do all work associated. The professor is just there to guide you and answer any specific questions you might have; they will not TEACH you. For every class that you are struggling with as a high school student, put in five times more the amount of effort. If you don’t understand it on your own, go to the teacher, find a tutor, search the internet for demonstrations and explanations, and ask for help. Do not throw in the towel and give up or say “I’m just stupid”. The second you do that is the second you fail. If you give up, you will not succeed in college. Be prepared for hard and challenging material. And always remember that you can do this; if other people have succeeded, you can too! Don’t give up.

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Were someone to invent the time machine that humankind has long sought after, and were I to return to my senior of high school and inform my past self of how to transfer to college life, there would be two major points I would tell myself about. First, I would tell myself to get up and start searching for colleges ? in high school I let the colleges find me, instead of actively searching for the best one. I am of the mindset that regrets are only upsetting if one allows them to be, but I clearly see in hindsight that I should have toured and applied to more than four schools (which I did not). A broader spectrum allows one to find the school best for them, which makes for an easier acclimation to college life. Second, I would assure myself that the prestige of a school is not everything. What with college rankings and a competitive market, schools are always trying to outdo each other in the PR arena. Attending a lesser-known college is not anything to be ashamed of. One could even think of it as a challenge: to be the school?s first distinguished recognized graduate.

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