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Southern University and A & M College

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

As with any perspective student or parent of a child entering college; there are many decisions to be made. I would first of all advise them to develop a timetable to organize and prioritize their task. Start planning and researching colleges that has the program of their career choice in their junior year of high school, so by the senior year applications can be completed. Select colleges that also offer activities that meet your genuine interests, extracurricular activities and that best fit you. Make a list of the colleges selected; review their admission requirements such as; applications SAT and ACT testing, written essays, interviews and recommendations. Search the web to find out what admission officers look for in applications. Also, look into the selected colleges tuition and fees. Narrow your list down to the schools that meet your carrier choice, location and financial status. Have your guidance counselor write letters of recommendations for schools in case you need them. Complete and mail all applications prior to the deadline to each Perspective College or University to ensure they time. In conclusion define your goals and select a college environment, academic major and career that will best benefit you in the future.

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"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." This quote is taken from Dr. Seuss' book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go." My college experience has taught me the value two very important chararistics:: perseverance and detemination . First, perserevrance pays off because it commands respect . Demonstrating you are focused on a achieving goal (graduating with honors) and you will not be deterred shows high level of commitment . Next, dermination is the spririt of "never say die." It shouts to world "I am going to make it!" It is just like The Little Engine That Could mumbling to himelf, "I think I can. I think I can." Finally, after what seemed like an eternity , shouting, "I know I can! I know I can!" These two charateristics ,developed incollege, served me well professionally and thoughout life. I would not trade the experrience attending college for all the marbles in the world. It serves as a remider you should not rest on laurels, you must go on: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

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In my opinion, the most important factor in choosing the right college would be feeling comfortable among other students and surrounding community. If you're not comfortable with your surroundings, it can lead to depression and other anxieties that can destroy your academic career and chances of securing a good job upon graduation. The next important factor would be the reputation and networking strength of your desired undergraduate program. A strong network with your professors and industries can lead to better jobs in case you are not the strongest student. Once a student chooses his college, he or she should become involved in extracirricular activities in order to balance social and academic life. Part of the college experience is to meet lifelong friends. Fraternities/sororities and intramural sports are a good way to meet a variety of people who may share the same interests. Explore the city around your campus and find off-campus activities to indulge in. Getting away from the campus can be a stress reliever from time to time. With a balanced life, a student's college years may be the best years of his or her life.

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My freshman year in college I decided to try out for the cheerleading team at my university but did not make the team. I did not engage in any of the extracurricular activities on campus, had very few friends, and produced good grades; however I could have done better considering my amount of free time. I greatly missed the simple joys that cheerleading brought to me. I finally confess that my pride was crushed and I felt as though I was at my lowest point because I was not doing anything that was self-fulfilling. The following year I tried out for the team and made it! Subsequently, that semester and the semesters that followed my grades were ecstatic! I discovered that because I was a happier person doing something that I loved, my performances in other aspects of my life were also improving. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would go back and get involved in some kind of extracurricular activities such as student government or one of the many organizations on campus. It made me a more diverse student and allowed me to network and make friends that I will cherish for a lifetime.

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The most important thing for parents to understand when finding the right college for their child is to be aware of the fact that its not a college for the PARENTS its for the STUDENTS. Allow the students or your kids to find out their likes, dislikes, ambitions, and ULTIMATE goal for pre and post graduation status. Even sometimes their hobbies/passions can determine what college is right for them. For example, I was excellent in accounting classes in high school, but I had been drawing and painting for years at a very experienced level. I initially wanted to be a CPA, but quickly realized that ART was my passion and something I enjoyed. Its much more pleasant having a major that you ENJOY and are INTERESTED in than one where you are basically rolling with the tides. Students, its so important to set goals for yourself, find the steps to reach them, and go for it! No matter what your peers, professors, or anyone else says, if you do those things, you will be successful. Have a "go get em" attitude for your college experience and you will most certainly make the most out of it!

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Knowing what I know now in my experience of life and college, I would advise myself as a high school senior in 2006, to really think about what YOU want in life, not what others expect from you. It will be a challenging transition from high school to college. You will want your independence, be pressured into doing things in life that may not be the wisest choice and you will meet people who are in your corner hoping for your failure. You will have to stay focused on your academics and your expectations for your life. You will be tested by family, friends, peers, and those who want better for you. As long as you remain positive, driven, and unafraid to ask for help when needed, you will succeed. No matter how long it takes you to complete your college career, do not be discouraged and quitting is not an option. You deserve the best that life has to offer, always believe this and believe in yourself. The road will be long and trecherous, but keep God first and keep your priorities together. You will be fine, the best is yet to come! Good luck!

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In addition to education, I've achieved confidence during my college enrollment. Each day I attend my classes is a constant reminder of the hard work and efforts that my professors and others undergo every day to make the lives of their students a success. I am incredibly grateful to have met the individuals that I have regarding my area of interest, field of expertise and area of my major - Mechanical Engineering/Physics/Mathematics. I am appreciative of their time they dedicate each day to improve the educational standards of the institution as a whole and not just in their class room. College of Dupage's Engineering/Physics/Mathematics department is arguably their strongest and many of those involved in these departments volunteer their free time not only to the college but go above and beyond to provide assistance to their students and anyone, really, interested in their fields. I hope that one day I will be able to influence students in the same manner they have inspired me to succeed to the very best of my abilities.

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When I was a senior and deciding where I should go for college , it was kind of a diffcult time for me. I wanted to get away from home, but not too far away in case I got homesick. If I were to go back and tell my senior self about college and the transition, I would say to think and consider your college decision . I am currently in the middle of transferring from Southern University to Univeristy of Louisiana at Lafayette. I saw that by being there, it was not the place for me. I was surrounded by people who did not have the same interest as I did in bettering myself and attempting to receive a quality education. I did not feel comfortable there and I would not want my senior self to go through the same. Secondly, I would tell myself to finally take this opportunity of going to college and grow and change as an individual because you find yourself through the things you do. Finally, I would say that not to worry much about transitioning. If you keep a good, open mind and work hard, it will be easy for you. Good luck to you.

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Ebony, I'm so proud of you! I know you're excited about starting college in the fall but before you start I'd like to give you a little advice. In college you are going to have so much time on your hands, and what you do with that time is totally up to you. You won't have momma to wake you up and ensure that you make it to school anymore. You will have so much freedom and responsibility. With that being said, make wise choices and understand that you are responsible for yourself and your recieving of an education. You will have the choice of studying or going out to parties, doing homework or going to the mall, and so many other decisions. Although you are now in charge of your life, you're not alone. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask. There are counselors, professors, tutorers and uperclassmen who may help. Don't ever give up for your education is extremely important. Friends come and go but the degree you are striving to earn can never be taken away! Goodluck on your voyage for this is the begining of your future!

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior, there would be several things I would say. First of all, I would tell myself that COLLEGE IS NOT HIGH SCHOOL! When I first got to college, I had the same nonchalant attitude I had in high school, that everything just came naturally and was so easy. After starting classes in college, I realized things were much different. I couldn't just attend class and have the material like in high school. I actually had to go back to my dorm and study, something I didn't have much experience with. Needless to say, my apathetic attitude had to quickly change if I wanted to keep my scholarship. Maintaining a 3.3 GPA in college is much harder than it sounds. If I would've known this as a senior, I probably would have come into college with my game face on. Secondly, I would tell myself to take more Dual Enrollment classes. This semester I'll be taking 19 hours because I need classes I could have easily taken in high school. All in all, I would tell myself to be more prepared.

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