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Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

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

College is a time when many young adults step out on their on for the first time. The time they spend there is more than just for career training, but for discovering their interests, and for valuable life experiences. When searching for a college, its important to keep in mind the student as a whole. A solid academic curriculum is indispensable. However, I would urge you to look for a school that will also offer you a diverse environment that fosters cultural awareness and personal growth. When you arrive, become aware of all the learning resources available to you. They wonCollege is a time when many young adults step out on their on for the first time. The time they spend there is more than just for career training, but for discovering their interests, and for valuable life experiences. When searching for a college, its important to keep in mind the student as a whole. A solid academic curriculum is indispensable. However, I would urge you to look for a school that will also offer you a diverse environment that fosters cultural awareness and personal growth. When you arrive, become aware of all the learning resources available to you. They won?t just be in the classroom, but in the people around you, as well. Allow yourself to be challenged by change, and be open to the unexpected. You just may find your true calling that way. Take more than just a degree away from your time at college. Take with you a better understanding of yourself, your neighbor, and the many possibilities open to you.

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Throughout my undergraduate experience, I discovered the core principles of social work across practice levels. Values such as empathy, empowerment, and social justice have increased my awareness and acceptance of the professional and personal responsibility associated with this discipline. My goal to gain more experience working with young adults in urban settings who experience chronic poverty, minimal education, and high unemployment has becomes more and more practical as my journey in social work continues. Additionally, majoring in social work has afforded me several opportunities to gain practical experience. These opportunities include volunteer work through my university and working with at-risk youth in rural settings. The experiences and instruction that I have received as an undergraduate have helped me sustain my career goal. I have learned the importance of evaluating your practice in this discipline. The development of my critical thinking and understanding of the research process has helped me realize that I have chosen the right path. With continued commitment to learning and professional development I know that I will discover my role as a professional. I would not change anything about this experience, and I anticipate what the future will reveal.

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Parents and students, especially students, know who you are! What type of person are you? This will determine the type of college you attend. For example, if you are interested in the sciences but do not know what path to take, find a school that has a great science program. More than likely, they will have many opportunities and knowledgeable advisors that can help you find your niche. That brings me to another point. Some schools, usually larger ones, have advisors or professors that have little communication with students outside of class. Some students need attention and some may thrive in a highly competitive, cut throat type of school. In my experience, when advisors personally know you, they are more compassionate about your performance and your success as a student and future professional. After finding the right college for you, get involved. In order to get the most out of the money you are spending for tuition, first, use every resource available. This includes the library, recreation center, tutoring center, counseling center health and wellness, the options are endless. Secondly, get active in extra-curricular activities, this is the best way to make friends and enjoy being a college student.

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From a young age and upon entering highschool, I was always interested in architecture. I looked foward to projects that would allow me to design building structures. However, during my senior year I started to recieve advise about alternative career choices from the school advisor and my parents. Their concern was that archietcure wouldn't yield a good salary but becoming a doctor would. So for the first year of my college career I attended Purdue University majoring in pre-med. I was miserable but I figured it would eventually pay off. It wasn't until I noticed one of my friends making a bridge for his engineering class that I realized just how much I loved architecture. The following fall semester I left Purdue, transfered to a community college majoring in archicture and eventually transfered to SIUC- SOA. I would tell myself to just trust God. I belive that everything happens for a reason. Although I could have avoided the set back of Purdue, I feel I wouldn't have really understood the amount of passion I have for architecture making me more focused in school. My advice would be to follow my heart and true joy will follow.

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If I was able to go back and give advice to the highschool me, I would reassure myself saying that I am confident that I will gain the most out of my education at Southern Illinois University. I woujld say that there are numerous ways to be active both on campus and off. I would encourage myself to volunteer and become a member to as many organizations that I possibly could. As a result, my networking would grow tremendously from connections with teachers, students, organizations, andeven potential employers. I would say when you feel like you are working hard, to try a little bit harder becasue it is worth it. I would say that every assignment, paper, test, and quiz metters. I would say there is no better place to develop a well-rounded foundation of Architectural Knowledge then at Southern Illinois University. The professors truly care about each and every student and would love to help you succeed to move forward in your endeavors. I would say the students in your program are not just other students, they are your support and your family away from home. I would say that Southern is the perfect choice.

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The most important advice that I would provide myself is to not be afraid of the challenge of collegiate coursework. During my high school years, my mother struggled with an addiction to crack-coaine. The young man of those times was afraid of life's possibilities due to the abandonment and instability that he had experienced up to that point. The current me would simply assure my high school self that everything will be okay and encourage myself not be nervous about the future. I would tell me that college is not nearly as difficult as the teachers portray it; they are simply trying to prepare you for the most daunting challenges that may arise throughout your collegiate career. On the whole, the curriculum is not much more difficult than that of the Advanced Placement high school courses in which you are currently enrolled. I would also tell me that Mom loves me very much, even though it may not seem that way. I would say this in an effort to remedy the anger and insecurity that I had developed in hopes of preventing some of the poor choices that I ended up making shortly after high school.

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Going back in time with the knowlegde I know have about college life I would have told myself to work harder academically. Coming from a high school with very poor instruction and lack of motivation from teachers I would have pushed my self to work harder independently in mathmatics. I would have told myself to get a tutor and go further then college algebra, maybe take a physics course so I wouldnt struggle now in my physics courses. I would tell myself to surround myself with proactive people instead of being around people who were were always fighting and getting into trouble. I would have also advised myself to be more involved in the community, providing service to the many people who were in need in my community. I would have also become a mentor to younger girls in my community. I would also advise myself to research college majors and occupations that I may have been interested in before coming to college. In making the transition to college I would have advised myself to visit the campus before moving on campus, and get to know my first dorm roomate before move in day.

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College has always been a dream of mine, I even enjoyed going attending high school. I always felt like I got by in high school attended all the events provided to celebrate my schools name. I dont regret my high school experience but I sure wish I could turn back the hands of time when study groups were formed to assist those who "werent passing", or when the "smart kids" were hanging together coming up with ways to raise their grades for graduation. By Aug. 2007 we were all freshmans in college but I was not at my "desired college", but a community college close by; how upset I was. Now i'm here in 2010 obtaining my AA degree in Dec and attending a Honors College in the Spring of 2011. While attending the community college I obtained a different kind of focus; books, academic advisors, and scholarships. I learned that it wasn't all about "gettting by" but being responsible for you and your actions. I learned that ones future is not about beauty but about brains, dedication and determination. I am now on the right track and plan to stay there for the rest of my life.

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I would tell high school seniors that freshman year is the easiest year of college, but even though it is easy coursework, doesn't mean you should take it lightly. Missing classes is a big mistake because you are losing attendance points which can make the difference between getting an B then an A. In order to obtain good grades you must first take school seriously. Time management and organization are the two must important skills you need in your life. I advise that you get a planner and check it regularly. Also talking to the profressors and asking for help is always good because that is how you network and how you learn. Don't be afriad to get tutoring because it will help in the long run. Once you find out what you want to do in life, join a related organization so you can get hands on experience. Take advantage of seeing guest speakers speak especially since it is free and you can learn so much. Take risks and be open to new things. College is truly a different world and a learning experience and when you take the right chances you can definitely succeed.

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FIrst, I would suggest these few things. Be more outgoing and do not give up. There are people to help you, so do not be shy and speak up if you have a question. Also, talk to people. Small talk can start real conversation and develop friendship. It is okay to still be deciding where you want life to go, but understand that this decision cannot be delayed too long. Get out and broaden your horizons. Go to sporting events, volunteer, have fun, but make good decisions. Ending up in a paper for trouble is not good for you, friends, classmates, or family. College is in the "real world", not the general 8-3 routine. It is your life to live, so be yourself. Make your own choices, but make them for your benefit. Lastly, there are a lot of people. As potential competitors, every student seems like an enemy. There are people who try to put you down. Cut loose from their grip and keep your head up. Professors and faculty remember the ones who smile and show kindness better than any other student. So: be positive, press on, get some rest, and never give up on your dreams!

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