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Stevenson University

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

I often reminisce on my high school years and wish I did have someone to better prepare me for what was to come. Highschool prepared me academically, but there is more to college than just academics. If I could go back, I would tell myself to prepare mentally and socially. College is different from high school in so many ways! For example, in college mommy and daddy are no longer waking you up for class, it becomes your job to wake yourself up and be to class on time. Another example is homework, in highschool homework was mandatory, if your homework was left undone you were promised detention. That was incentive, motivation! In college, that extrinsic motivation doesn't exist. It is up to you to do your homework. With College comes responsibility, it really forces you to grow up and make grown-up decisions. Given the oppurtunity I would make sure to emphasize the importance of remembering why your going to school. College to highschool children means parties, it wasn't until I actually arrived that I realized college was the key to my future and if that meant saying "no" to a party, then so be it.

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Dear Jaimie, You know there's much more work to be done, but stop for a minute and breathe. Look at where you are and realize how far you've come! You're a senior now! You did it! Be excited! You've kept your eyes on the future and you're on your way! And while you excitedly prepare for college, which will help you get one step closer to your goals, remember this: Your goal of earning your degree and getting a career is not the endpoint, but a step in your (our) life's journey. On your journey through college, you will be faced with new challenges, new experiences, and new uncertainties--existential crises. But crises does not mean failure--it means change. Embrace the change. Embrace the challenges. Embrace the experiences. Embrace the uncertainties. Uncertainties lead to opportunity, to creativity, to new possibility. Look toward the future, but also look at what's happening to you in the present. Accept the uncertainty, the crises, and see these times as what is molding us to become who we are in the future. Enjoy this time. Enjoy this journey. You're on your way.

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As a college student now, I would most definately tell my highschool self to learn how to study effectively, prepare to be stressed, but also to learn how to relax (and don't be afraid to relax). During highschool I was a student that never really had to study, and this hurt me coming into college. What I should have done was discover my specific learning styles while in highschool, that way I was prepared once I reached collegiate level courses. Stress was something I expected to face, however the level of stress that college poured upon me was surprising. I think I would have told my highschool self to learn how to suck it up, and simply do my best through stressful times (even though it seems as if the world is ending). Lastly I would have shared the most vital piece of information - Learn how to relax. College, as I said before, is very stressful. However, constantly running at 200mph is not healthy. My advice would be to learn what helps you relax and stick to it. Being able to relax every now and then rejuvinates the mind and allows for more success later on. Good luck me!

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The chance to go to college is the American dream! However, the ways you can get there are all dependent upon how dedicated you yourself are. When teenagers are seniors in high school, they are completely blinded by how critical their efforts towards getting enough money and going to college really are. If I could go back, I would most definitely cover how important money is when in college and convince myself to sign up for all those available scholarships and grants that I passed on because I thought they were too small, not enough and not worth my time. Senioritis truly does ruin the chances for a senior's future. We all know how lazy Seniors can be, and this is why so many college students say they missed out on a lot of money they could've used on college and never will have another chance to get them because of not being a high school senior anymore (including myself). As far as attending college, the whole purpose of getting the money, I would just tell myself and others: Just find and be your own self. There's nothing more successful than being your own person in life!

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The first thing I would tell students or parents looking for the right college is always to visit them. The website you look at may seem great, but actually going to the college and talking to students and professors is the best way to get to know the school and if it feels right to you. I visited a couple of different school and came to find that I prefered a small school with smaller classes, but someone else might prefer lectures and higher student to teacher ratios. To get the most of your college experience, I would say to try new things whenever you can. Often school have orientation days or social events that have tables set up with the different clubs and organizations available for you to participate in while on campus. Talking with the member of the clubs will give you insight on whether or not you may want to do that activity while giving you a chance to meet some of your peers and start creating relationships. This will also give you a great opportunity to make friends in clubs. The best way to find a college and experience it is just to try new things.

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Hello seventeen year old John, you are about to start the most important semester of high school; junior year. This is where you need to start truly finding yourself, and what your interests are. You will start applying for colleges, financial aid, many scholarships, and possibly even making a decision on where you want to go, and what you want to study. What you need to know right now however is that you need to make sure you are passionate about what you want to study, and love what you do. Start trying out new things, join new clubs, explore new possibilities. You never know what you will end up liking, and the more diverse you are, the better you will look to colleges, and scholarship opportunities. Another tip I want to give you, is if you plan to go to community college first, make sure the credits you take will transfer to the university you plan to attend after community college, don’t waste money on credits that will not transfer. Good luck, and enjoy your last two years of high school, and keep working hard in college; it will pay off in the end.

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Definitely don’t doubt yourself! Studying really does work and hard work does pay off. The feeling of earning an A by using free time to study, figuring out how to make sense of material, and giving 100% effort is worth it. I would tell myself that C's are not acceptable, even if a C is passing; they really hurt your g.p.a. Look into internships by sophomore year. Don’t procrastinate! When you break up with Todd don’t let college come second to your emotions. Devote extra time to studying. Social life is great and it is important, but college isn't high school. Having a lot of friends isn’t always the most important. Surround yourself with more people that are in college because the friends that aren't in college won’t understand the importance of getting good grades. Apply earlier to colleges, have more options. Otherwise everything really does happen for a reason, and considering the obstacles, college is demanding, pressure and anxiety will increase but you’ve always known who you are. As long as you study and manage your time you will be just fine.

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When I was a junior in high school I decided to persue a major in Graphic Design. Although I had some experience with digital art I was terrified knowing I had to take drawing and painting classes. I have always been creative, but by no means am I Picasso or even close. However, diving in I realized I was not half as bad as I assumed. After finishing a few drawings and paintings I could honeslty pat myself on the back. I couldn't believe I had actually completed some of my art assignments myself. I learned to never under estimate myslef, becasue part of the college experience is exploring ideas and talents out of your comfort zone. I read a quote that as a artist I really grew to appriciate. "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." The best part about being a designer is having the freedom to be original and having your own style is ok. An effective design never starts out as a master piece. It's a long process of making mistakes and growing. When I graduate I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone.

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What I have gotten out of my college experience and what makes me attending college valuable are the learning beyond opportunites and career architecture. At Stevenson Unviersity (previously named Villa Julie College) they pride themselves off of learning beyond opportunities. I am thankful to have been able to experience the benefits of learning beyond when I was selected to go to James Madison University this summer in order to conduct research in the field of organic chemistry. I was able to present my research at the annual American Chemical Society Exposition as well as I was payed a very nice stipend! This research experience allowed me to get a taste of what I could expect in my field of interest (chemistry and forensic science). I was also able to apply the knowledge I acquired during that summer of research to the following semester when I took Organic Chemistry for the first time. This learning beyond experience helped to mold my perception of the real world and what to experience in my career and for that, I am forever greatful.

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Looking back, I was always worried about the future. Being the first of my family to go to college, the entire experience always seemed so daunting. Even though I did well in high school, I was concerned that I would not be able to continue this trend in college. Was I good enough to succeed in college? What if I did not fit in, socially? However, these were the concerns of a teenager who never had the chance to fully experience life. Knowing what I know now, I would like to go back and just remind myself that almost everyone going into college is scared for a variety of reasons. But it is also exciting to be able to take this next step of your life. I would remind this teenager that feeling scared, nervous, excited, and an entire whirlwind of other emotions is perfectly alright. Even being three years older than I was then, I still am not completely sure of a lot of things in life. However, that is normal. Life is meant to be a journey where you make mistakes, but along the way you find out more about yourself and the world around you.

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