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Stevens Institute of Technology

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

I hope my advice would inspire a passion for Teamwork because I think that is core to success in not just college but also life. At Stevens I learned teamwork was not just important to get assignments done, but to inspire other to enjoy it and grow from the interaction. My excitement for group challenges made other realize they can be fun and a valuable learning opportunity; we found pride in ourselves, new skills, and wonderful accomplishments. I may have doubted that one person could make a difference, but working as a group has clearly shown the value that each individual contributes and how individual abilities can mesh to create a greater whole. Another benefit from sharing group projects is the bonds we form with others. As group assignments became more complex, I learned the value of planning, coordination, and communication. Most important, I learned the value of leading as a partner with appreciative praise, appropriate instructions, and a “Can Do” attitude to encourage and inspire others. I would tell the seniors to take every opportunity to work with others to build their team skills. It will forever change how they remember high school and what they accomplish in college.

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Finding the right college is never easy, however if you know what you really want to do in your life it will always give you a head start. If you know your major then you can look at all the specific colleges that has great programs available for your major, which will narrow down the number of colleges for you and your family to focus on. From there you can create a chart to compare the schools by things that you and your family consider to be important factors in determine the right college. By comparing this narrowed down list of schools to each other, you and your family can further narrow down the possibilities and focus more on the few schools that interest you. From this point on you should determine which school is your top, secondary and safety choices. Once you do, apply to these schools and wait for their reply. If you are accepted to all the schools great, if not, don't worry since your secondary schools might just fit you better. Now that you are accepted to the schools that interest you, you can now chose the best school to attend through affordability and distance.

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I still remember the uneasy/exciting feeling of looking for a college. I recommend to every person to decide what they truly want to get out of college. When applying is seems like they all offer the same education but with just a different atmosphere; I learned that this was wrong the hard way. I narrowed down to two schools. Assuming that the academics would be relatively the same at either place I chose the more 'appealing 'campus which had a few more things that interested me. After going through the first semester without learning anything and after talking to upperclassmen and graduates, it was time for me to evaluate what I really wanted out of college. I thought about it long and hard and decided to transfer to the other school; even though I loved everything else about my first school. I made my academics key. So my advice for those looking for a college: decide if you want to hang out, not learn as much and get a so-so degree, or if you want a hardcore degree that will really get you into the 'meat' of you major? The decision is harder then you may think.

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When looking for the right college, the main thing you must do is visit the school, stay overnight if you can. You must also ask yourself, do I want to live here for four, maybe five years of my life? You must also ask about financial aid even if you think you are not going to need and/or qualify for it; there is always the possibility of your parent's income from changing. If you are going to be playing sports get to know the coaches and your future teammates, before making a decision. The two main things a student is going to need to do well in college are study habits and time management. If you are able to develop study habits then you would get good grades, which is the key in succeeding in college. By having time management you would be able to balance academics, athletics, social life, and other activities. Then by being able to balance all of these you would get the full college experience. College is not all about studying, but it is also not all about partying and athletics...trust me on that one, it's from personal experience DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!

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Having gone through 2 tough years dealing with a little bit of everything, sports, fraternities, clubs, and schoolwork, I feel confident in answering this question to a concerned parent/student. College is where you/your child will spend most of the time in for the next four years. You have to know where you feel comfortable and high school is a big help for that. If you go to a big high school and the size bothers you, then you might wanna change that when you go to college. For me, I prefer a small school because every teacher you have gets to know you and that can be very helpful with the course work as well as connections for after graduation. Living on campus is also a great experience. While there may be concern about dorming affecting the student's study skills due to too much socializing/partying, there is nothing like dorming. Not only will you make great friends, but you will make great connections which can come helpful when you have a project or a hard test to study for. Lastly, you want to choose a school that has a high job placement after graduation.

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The upcoming student needs to examine what he or she wants out of college. If the student knows what they want to do then picking a school based on that is a good way to start but college is more then just academic work. The location and social life on campus are also big factors in the decision. My advice would be to visit many school. If the opportunity arises to sleep over at these school, definitely go for it. See what kind of environment is most productive for you. Also you should look into the other activities and programs on campus such as co-op, rotc and research opportunities on campus. Many of these activates are good ways to obtain financial support as well as valuable experience before entering the work place. The price of the school is definitely one of the factors in deciding which school is best but it should not be the final factor. If you think a school is perfect for you go out and find the financial aid and support you need. There are tons of scholarships and aid programs out there. If you have enough drive you can get what you need.

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First, I would urge students to do their best in high school, since their grades and GPA could prove the difference of whether or not they get to go to their favorite college. Second, together with their parents they have to discuss the cost of college and whether financial aid would be enough for them. During this economic crisis most banks are reluctant to give away loans to students, so it would prove a good idea spending the first and second years to a college of second choise. Another way to save money would be to attend a college in your own state. Last but not least, I would advise students to get involved in college activities. Making friends and joining clubs could prove very beneficial when it comes to studying and preparing for school work. Also, it is common knowlegde that college classes tend to be very crowded. Taking the initiative and talking to your Professors not only separates you from the rest, it also shows your Porfessors that you have a keen interest in that particular subject.

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College seems so scary and complicated when one is in high school. Thousands of questions constantly run through one's mind. Will I make friends? Will I be able to do all the work? What if I hate my roommate? If I could go back in time, I would try and ease all of these silly questions out of my mind. Freshmen are always worried about making friends, but everyone is in the same situation. No one knows anyone so everyone is friendly. Just keep your door open and be open-minded when you meet someone. Also, if a student does not like their roommate, the staff is very helpful in switching dorm rooms to accommodate both parties. I would tell myself to relax and have fun. College is difficult, but there is a lot of free time to enjoy life. I have a 3.787 out of 4.0 GPA and although I do study, I still relax. Something very important is to keep a planner. Your mom is not there to make sure assignments get done on time and it's easy to fall behind. College is the most important time of your life so just have fun.

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If anything at all, do not believe what the faculty of the school tell you is avaliable to the students. Lies are how they sell the school. The work load here at Steven's is not even close to being able to be completed on a steady manner. Everything is rushed and not done correctly due to time constraints. I am not only saying this about my school but also any other school. I transferred to Steven's because I was unhappy with my first choice (too easy). I came here and was shocked of how different it was. Adjusting was easy but the work load was overwhelming. The food at most schools is sub par as well. So when they tell you it is great, there they go with the lies again. Off-campus food Is much better and agrees with your stomach as well. You have to let your child make their own choice. They are not going for you but rather should be going for themselves. I picked a challenging major (chemical Engineering) and I am happy with what I chose. Let your child find themselves. The school only shapes them.

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Picking a school where your son/daughter will be for the next 4 years of his/her life is very important. The most important part for me is the financial aid because if the school costs a lot of money, usually the child has to be working and taking out loans throughtout the shcool year, and that can affect with the schoolwork. You want to make sure you visit the school a couple of times and not only during the weekly campus tours, but also on the weekends at night to analyze how the nightlife is as well as the schools safety. You want to always ask about the cooperative job options that the school has because with today's economy the employers are looking for as most experience as possible. Another important factor to research is the class size and the tutoring services available to make sure that your child has a good opportunity to receive a good education. Also, look at the job placement percentages that the school has for its graduates. This is what I would advice to parents of incoming freshmen.

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