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Stetson University

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

Choose a school that not only fits your needs academically but also socially and geographically. If you choose solely on academics, your overall well-being and social happiness will be compromised. Also, do individual research on prospective professors and their successful (and unsuccessful) students. Take a brief survey of the student population, is it diverse, with people of different racial, cultural and economic backgrounds? One downside to a school that isn't varied is the lack of a broad spectrum of beliefs, opinions and objectivity. Have an emergency financial plan; apply for as many scholarships as possible-even if you think you'll never have a chance of getting it. Also, apply for a school that you think you do not have a chance of getting into, a school you want to get into and have a pretty good chance as well as a school that you are positive you will get into.

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I would be sure that I would tell myself that things will get rough but you will get through them. You will become friends with some people that you would never think you would be friends with. Also, i would tell myself that it will be tough to be away from home and you will miss it but you know it is the best thing for you and it will help you to grow into a better person in the end. You will be sad, you will be happy, but just know that everything will be okay and everything has a way of working out. Additionally,i would want to tell myself to keep up with studying and not think that the class is easy and that I will be fine. As long as I keep my head up things will turn out great. Just have fun and dont let the little things get you down. You will have a great time, and dont worry about money so much, there is nothing you can do to change it.. You just have to be prepared.

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Dear High School Senior Self, Take a deep breath! You are almost there! Applying to colleges can be overwhelming. Hearing the word college may also stress you out. This is why I emphasize to breathe. College is not as scary as you think. College is a new environment, a chance for you to be anyone you want to be. Take chances, be outgoing. Don't worry so much. The other students are much more friendly than you think. Don't shy away from new experiences, get involved. Being involved on campus really helps with the transition. Take risks and discover new things about yourself. Work hard and strive for your goals. You can graduate college! Try not to be so hard on yourself when you don't get the grade you want. Learn from your failures, and reach for your own excellence. So take a breath and enjoy the ride because your time in college will fly by. Sincerely, Your Future Self

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After experiencing two years in college I would have given myself the advice to get started early. I was in the International Baccalaureate program at my high school, but it would have been useful to lend more of my time to internships or Dual Enrollment classes at the local state college. By the time I had graduated high school I knew how to write a good essay and analyze a piece of text like it was no big deal, however, I witnessed several Dual Enrollment students walk across the stage at graduation with an associate degree. I want to attend graduate school to become a research biologist and if I had spent my high school years to get ahead I could be a college graduate with a bachelor's degree already pursuing a higher degree. I would have given myself the advice to not wile away my high school years, but put them toward bettering myself and achieving my long term goals.

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Cassidy, right now you stare in the mirror for hours picking out flaws. You waste money on fancy clothes to try to stand out, but end up just as invisible as before. Listen to me. Self-hatred is a waste. The only one who thinks badly about you is yourself. Other people are concerned with their own problems and insecurities; So, even if you feel like every failure is hung up on a wall like art and everyone is critiquing it, in actuallity they aren't. They feel the same way. So live a little more for yourself and care a little less what other people think (stop trying to please people: you won't be in contact in the future with the people who don't accept you now. They won't matter anymore.). You've wasted too much of your life already wishing you were someone else. Soon you'll realize what a gift it is to be you, and you'll wish you had appreciated yourself more. Love, Cassidy

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Right now you have your eyes and mind set on Harvard. But trust me when I say this, there's more to life than Harvard. You have a part to play in this world and no matter where you go in this world, you can achieve it as long as you believe it. You may want others to assist you, but don't give up when everyone turns away from you and looks the other way. You are all you need to get it done. You are in a room full of many doors. Don't be afraid to grasp a handle and take a risk. Sometime when you risk it, you lose big. Sometimes when you risk it, you win big. You never know which , so take your eyes off that one door and open up your eyes to what else lies before you. There are different ways to reach to the world and achieve your dreams. Think outside the box and walk through that open space. I can assure you this, if you take the risk, in the end you won't be disappointed.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior the advice I would give myself is to stay at the school and do homework. I had a high school teacher tell me this and I didn't really listen to her because I thought I could just sit down at home and do it like I always have. My first semester in college I didn't get very good grades because I would come home and get distracted. I ended up having to withdraw from the semester due to medical reasons, so my grades didn't count for the semester. When I re-started my first semester in the Spring, I listened to the advice the teacher at the high school gave me to stay at school and study. When I did, I got so much done and learned so much more than I did in the previous semester. I know when the Fall semester comes around I am going to continue to stay at school and do my work because I get it done that way.

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In order to find the right college for your child it is pivotal to visit each potential campus. A school may seem to be the perfect fit in a catalog yet may not be what your child is looking for upon arrival. For example, visiting a school and taking a tour gives a strong, accurate sense of the people on that campus and how they interact. It also truly displays the school's facilities unlike retouched pictures. Although the above is very important in finding what is right for your child, the most important thing to remember is to allow them to pick what school is right for them and stray from forcing a decision. The school that you feel is right for your child, or that was right for you, may in reality be unsuited for them, and forcing or pushing an institution on your child may take away from their college experience leaving them with "what if" questions.

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The most important thing about picking out a college is first visiting it and chosing the college that you feel most comfortable and "at home" at. You also need to focus on how large you want your classes to be. This school is really small, which fits me and my needs best and is why I feel so comfortable here. When you get to college, you need to learn to manage your time appropriately. I have seen many freshman come in and get as drunk as possible and ignore classes. ALWAYS attend class, most professors here grade you on attendance, but missing one lecture can be detrimental. Always set aside one day a week where you do not do anything school related, it will help your stress levels. Also, living on campus prevents a separation of a home life and a school life, so make sure you plan a few days to get off campus to help stress levels as well.

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Visit the schools you are thinking about attending and actually talk to some of the students there. Get a feel for what the campus, students, professors, and community is like. You want t o make very sure that the school you choose is going to be a good fit. Also, once there, get involved. Find something you are passionate about (outside of class) and get involved in it. Utilize all the things that your school has to offer so that you can succeed acdemically (tutors, career services, academic services, professors, librarians). Also, be friendly. You will feel more at home and part of the community if you become friends with people there, and people respond to friendliness the best. Put yourself out there; be willing to be hurt; be the first one to extend help, sympathy, support, and loyalty. Enjoy college! You only experience it once.

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