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Southern Oregon University

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

I would advise myself to take it very seriously and to find a way to stay in school continuously to obtain my bachelor's degree. Taking close to 10 years inbetween receiving my associates degree to starting on my bachlor's degree has been quite an adjustment. It is much easier to do when you can stay in school full-time and not have to work a full-time job or care for children while attending school. I would remind my younger self that I am a role model for my children and having to work, take care of them and attend school means that my entire focus is not always where it should be. I would also advise myself to save all the money I could because at some point you have to pay your student loans.

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One thing is certain; I would tell myself that the sky is the limit and you are capable of achieving anything if you try your hardest. As a highschool senior; I struggled with feelings of inferiority, not being good enough, and comparing myself to those around me. I would tell myself to not be scared because college is going to be the best time of my life. It is going to be a time to really find my identity and where I fit in in this world. A time for me to figure out my interests and what I would like to do with my life. And the last thing I would tell myself is to not be scared and to embrace this new environment that I am going to be living in and learning in for the next four years.

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College is a big step. Going back I would make myself learn how to study. Sure moving away from home is tough, and being on your own is a completely new concept; but dealing with all that AND being completely overwhelmed with school could ruin someone. The work load for college courses is pleantiful, and your schedule can get tangled so easily. Procrastination often causes trouble for students also; but each lecture session presents so much information that cramming for tests and quizes won't cut it anymore. Making friends is easy, and settling in can be a little fun. Other than the academic transition, any advice would come naturally for each event as it presents itself.

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I would tell myself to learn how to really study! So many things happen in college: financial responsabilities, study techniques, communting, and being resourceful. I believe that high school prepares us for the acedemics yet not for the social changes. I would tell myself to pay more attention to what my parents said, and trust that the teachers want you to ask more questions in class. Inquisitiveness is not a bad thing! I would also try and tell myself that you will get through it; day by day if you have to! That every effort and mistake counts for something and that with faith you can learn what you always thought was out of limits.

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Dont pack as much. I thought i needed so much for school, but in reality i ended up sending most of it, or taking most of it, back home. Dont procrastinate. I would spend time doing what i wanted to do and then do my homework into the little hours of the night, but if i had just sat down and did my work i would have had more time to myself. To be myself. Others thought me quiet and to myself because i didnt really make an effort to speak up and show my true personality those first weeks. Have fun. Those fun times go by and the memories I could have had slipped away because i chose to procrastinate and have no time for it.

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When you or your family is going through the process of finding what school would be the "right" school, start with what is important to you. Look at schools that are well known for the program of the field of study you intend to persue. Given that there are so many schools available, narrow down your choice by location, campus size, programs that you would consider minoring in. Also considering applying to schools in which some of your friends have already inrolled or intend to because it is nice to have someone you know to be nearby when you get homesick your first time away from home.

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I have learned a lot about myself and about how I can better myself to prepare for the future. I've enjoyed this quiet little town but I've realized that this isn't the kind of town I would want to live in for the rest of my life. I think it is important to try different things in order to truely know what you want in the long run. I have also learned who my real friends are and who's willing to stick by my side for years to come. This has been one the most enriching experiences I have ever had and I will continue to utilize all of my skills learned here for the rest of my life.

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The biggest piece of advice that I would want to give myself as a high school senior is to take a college writing class in high school. Writing papers and essays in college is a lot different than in high school and I was definately not prepared for this level of writing. I would tell myself that I need to pay more attention in English classes and show more interest in my writing. Thinking outside of the box does not come natural to me, so writing in depth is not easy. Taking a creative writing or even any writing class would have prepared me more for college.

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For me it has given me the freedom with a structured lifestyle. I has been a great growing tool for me personally finding my own freedom and also academically has open my eyes to a whole academic world I would otherwise not have had to privialige to be a part of. I went from being a freshmand straight out of college, to a Resident Assistant my sophomore year, to living in a house off campus with my friends. All of these experiences although very tough and challenging at times have prodded me to grow into the person I am today which is someone I am proud to be.

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I would tell myself that the college experience is what you make of it, and so putting in the effort to do the work well really pays off. Don't worry so much about the social life - friends come and go, the college transcript is forever. It isn't about proving yourself, it's about learning and gaining experience and professional connections so when you go out into the "real" world, you're prepared for whatever it may throw at you. Most of all, believe in yourself. Self-confidence is the key to unlocking the real benefits of a college education.

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