Saratoga Springs, NY


43 Ratings

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Skidmore College

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

When looking at different schools, make sure you get a feel for as much as you can. School reputation, social activity, academic integrity, physical conditions of buildings, dormitories, apartments, quality of education, quality/dedication of professors, available resources, surrounding area, ease of access to specific needs (counseling, tutoring, learning disability assistance) -- all of these are important to consider in the college you plan to spend the next four years of your life at. What is most important, however, is the overall quality of LIFE at the school, and the overall quality of happiness that students find there. In terms of making the most out of your college experience, the most important advice I can give is to try new things. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated or frightened by new people, new activities, new customs. Throw yourself into anything you think you might be interested in, because you never know what kind of inspiration it might spark. Partaking in extracurricular clubs is also a great way to make friends who share similar interests. In essence, the best advice I can give is to not be afraid. Great memories can be yours if you simply allow yourself to have them.

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Skidmore College provided me with a nurturing and challenging environment, in which I discovered and more importantly, cultivated my passion for Visual Art, Music, and Poetry. It was through the guidance of teachers and the inspiration of friends that I pushed myself farther than I ever thought I could go. I took an independent study in Monotype Printmaking with two art professors all to myself. I served as the President of our student arts organization, PROARTS, where we organized parties and educational panels, raised grant money, and opened a new exhibition in the student gallery every week. We even won Best Club of the Year from the Student Government. While at Skidmore , I was given the chance to work in three departments of the Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery, as well as make a forty minute documentary about gender and sexuality. It was there that I learned how to play the card game Spades, which was the subject of a second documentary. I would spend hours every night in the student center playing Spades with people I still consider my best friends to this day. It was valuable to attend because I learned about hard work, personal character, and creativity.

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The college search is an exercise in being engaged with the world around you. Before you apply to college, you must be aware of your options: research schools online, ask teachers and graduates, see what people have to say about different schools. Visiting is both exciting and tedious; though all tours sound alike, they give you a reasonable sense of a school's size and dynamic. While on campus, keep your eyes and ears open- see how students dress, what they carry (books? footballs?), look at the posters hanging around campus. Sit in the campus coffee shop and observe the campus pace. Ask students for directions, see how they respond. Visit different sized schools in contrasting settings. The cardinal rule is to keep an open mind; it's difficult to discern what you want when you don't know what's offered. Once you have chosen a school, it is imperative to understand the opportunities available to you. It is only once you are aware of what is possible that you can begin to take advantage of it all. Wherever you are whether it be in the classroom, at the gym, in casual conversation or intense debate, do not disengage.

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Choosing a college is a tough process, but it's also really exciting!! When choosing schools to look at, i'd suggest you stay very open to all possibilites. and visit lots of schools! These is nothing more helpful in decsion making than being on a college campus and observing the students and professors while getting a feel for the campus and surrounding town or city. If you have any friends attending the schools you are looking with, it's also really helpful to visit with them to get a really honest understanding of that college dynamis. Overall, the college experience is absolutely amazing. Make sure to take advantage of the educational oppertunities, but also enjoy the social components. A healthy balance of work and fun is key to surviving the stresses a college workload may bring. Generally speaking, I think people can be happy nearly anywhere so long as the make the best of it. So keep an open mind, and stay true to yourself when looking for the perfect place for you. Remember that everything happens for a reaosn, and sometimes a second, third or even fourth choice school may end up being the best place for you!

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My college experience has been eye opening. Coming from Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was accustomed to having the ability to appreciate different populations of people. However, when I came to Skidmore I realized that I would not have that same ability. Most of the kids I met were Caucasian, and those who were not mostly stayed together. From the first day I began to become familiar with my surroundings, I felt I was experiencing for the first times the result of inequality that still persists in our country. I am not taking anything away from the students enrolled, for they did the work needed to earn acceptance. However, as I took classes in sociology and social work, I learned that people of color and various populations of lower socioeconomic statuses are systematically left out of the picture of opportunity. A vicious cycle of poverty and stigmatization has minimized the ability for everyone to achieve the "American Dream" I feel I am partially living. As a result, I have found a passion in educating others about inequality and hope to find a career in trying to induce social change in these matters.

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If I were given the invaluable opportunity to give my younger self advice, I would have so much to tell him. I would tell him to embrace the opportunities that he is presented with so that they do not slip through his fingers. Furthermore, I would tell him how important these years are in his life. These are the only years of your life you get to choose what you want to learn and, on top of that, you get to spend all of your time learning rather than paying bills or running errands. He should be reminded of how fortunate he is and that he must put his best foot forward as it will eventually get him where he wants to be in the future. I would also tell him to take advantage of study abroad programs and learn another language! There is nothing better for your communication and presentation skills than knowing that you can communicate the same view in two languages. I would emphasize that this is the beginning of a beautiful four years and you will find what you are passionate about in time but, on that voyage be sure to give every assignment your best.

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I f I could talk to my eigthteen year old self, I would advise myself to make practical decisions. I have declared education as my major and american studies as my minor. I wish I would have declared spanish as my minor instead because as a future teacher I would probably be better off when it comes to finding a job. My Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) advisor, Lewis, advised me to minor in Spanish, but I did not listen. My mother too kept insisting that I study Spanish. I was reluctant to study Spanish, and even now I do not understand why. I simply thought that it was some sort of descrimination, that because I was Spanish I had to study Spanish. I was so wrong. Making the practical decision of studying Spanish in the first place would have been benefical. I would be bilingual in two languages English and Spanish. I can speak both languages now, but I would love to professionally develop and practice them more in writing and reading as well. I believe that I still have time to study Spanish, because this time I want to.

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I once heard that high school is the mouse race that prepares you for the rat race. When I was in high school, I thought that everything was peachy keen. I was on the Varsity Dance Team, straight A’s (although there was an occasional B), an amazing boyfriend, and loyal friends. Academics were always pretty easy for me from elementary to high; I even learned how to read before Kindergarten. My education took a turn when I got accepted into Nursing School. I have to study 24/7, perform well on tests because extra credit isn’t offered, and show in my clinicals how I’m going to be an excellent nurse. If I could go back and tell myself what I know now, I'd say use your time wisely. When you aren’t devoting your time to dance, devote your time to expanding your knowledge. Knowledge is power. I’d tell myself to talk to a counselor to seek financial assistance before now. I’d explore the options of scholarships as a senior so I wouldn’t have to write essays when I’m almost through college. All these ideas would prepare me for the rat race.

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The first thing I would tell myself is to work harder and take my work more seriously as a high school senior. Transitioning into college was difficult since I was so used to getting good grades without putting effort in or taking any of my work seriously. I would also tell myself to work on my time management skills, because that that was also a crucial problem during my college career. Even now, time management is difficult, but as time passes, it gets easier. The most important thing I would tell myself is to be open-minded and flexible; take a variety of classes rather than only taking classes in one subject. I wanted to be a Chemistry major and started off taking only science courses and whatever other courses that would fulfill my liberal arts requirements, but that proved to be a mistake. I switched my major at the last minute and it has caused many problems, including being unable to study abroad, which is my one major regret. Finally, I would tell myself to call my family more often. Every once in a while is not enough!

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Looking back, high school seems both light years away and merely days away. To acknowledge the number of years it has been since high school is both terrifying and relieving. After the initial shock of seeing my younger self (my hair didn't look like that?!) I would start out by giving myself a reality check. I would say that people weren't magically going to mature over the course of a summer, and most people would stay the same. I'd remind myself not to expect everything to change for the better as soon as I stepped onto the hallowed campus grounds. Most importantly though, I would tell myself to ignore those people who told me college was supposed to be the best four years of my life. They're wrong, but that's okay. I have years of my life left to be the best. It would be depressing to reach that so early. There is no sense in rushing it all. Then, I would probably quote a master and say, "Here's looking at you kid," and time travel right out again, because really, life is too short not to go for some flair.

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