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Stony Brook University

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

I would advise students seeking the right college to figure out what field they are interested in and research what college has prestige in that particular field, so that the students can receive the best education possible at an institution that can abundantly satisfy their educational and career interests. If students are not sure of what they would like to pursue after college, they could look into which (liberal arts) colleges offer a wide scope of programs so that they have all the resources necessary to thoroughly explore and utilize in their goal of determining a suitable career path. The advice I would give parents in helping a student to choose the right college would simply be to fully support the student's decision. A student should not be inhibited from attending a college due to the parents' needs, such as the parents wanting the student to commute from home. Part of the college experience is not only to gain knowledge for a career, but also to become an adult. Parents who embrace students in their freedom to choose where they attain their post secondary education are only enhancing this goal of pushing them forward on their journey of maturation.

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I recommend finding a school where you can discover who you are and what you love. School size, cost, coursework demands, campus demographics, and geographic setting are excellent comparison factors. However, they are most effective when used to choose a school that will be both comfortable and challenging to your lifestyle. This standard will provide an academic and social atmosphere where students encounter people that are both similar and dissimilar to them. Connect with the schools on your short list of choices by visiting the campus or speaking with current students. When you begin your first semester, let your interests help guide your course selection. Understand that a major is not required right away. Do not rush the decision. If you do make a decision, it can be changed later if your career goals change. Most importantly, no matter how great the pressure, tailor your college career to your interests and not those of yours parents, friends or peers. In addition, get involved with campus activities that complement your academic career. All these suggestions are grounded in one thing?the pursuit of your passion. It?s the best advice I can give. Chase your passion.

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Looking back at the situation of my life as a high school student and all the life changing events that surrounded it I could have benefited from finding a strong female role model. My high school self was a good student with no mother and an over worked father lacking the support of extended family. As a now strong women in the nursing workforce I would have told my highschool self how important it is to get involved with activities of interest while in school. This discussion would be supported with words of empowerment to pursue scholarships that would enable admission to college. It would also be important to motivate my highschool self by providing the various resources to support work towards entrance to college and encouraging this thinking half way through high school. It would be challenging to stress the importance of working towards an education versus building a social life as most of the students in my high school lacked motivation to continue on to college. A discussion on how putting work into pursing and obtaining a good education might lead to a happier and healthier life full of many rewards might have been reinforcement to previous discussions.

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Finding the right college is often a daunting task--the best advice I could give is that students should take into account not only the academic aspects of their potential schools but also the overall quality. Often, parents and students look only at the prestige of the university and not how well it suits the individual child. Class size, closeness to home, campus dining and housing, and finances are all important aspects of the college experience and should not be overlooked in their quest to go to the top universities.The ''top''school may not necessarily be the ''best'' school. College will be what you make of it and having a healthy balance between work and play is important. If you like to dance, sing, volunteer etc., then look into some of the clubs and organizations available on campus. You should, however, keep in mind that these things are not handed to you or dropped in your lap, you have to look for them yourselves. Remember, success is not just about doing well academically, but also about being creative, innovative, having the ability to adapt, seizing opportunities, meeting new people, making friends, and working hard towards your goal.

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When it comes to finding the right college, parents and students should visit colleges to have a glimpse of what college life is like. Once a number of colleges have been narrowed down, a student must put some things into consideration. Academics is considered as the most important aspects of the whole college experience, therefore, one must make sure that the school that one chooses will provide the right tools and learning experiences in order to excel in their field in the future. If the student is going to live on campus, the living conditions and dorms must be highly considered as well. In order to make most of the college experience, students must always have in mind that the main idea of this whole experience is to continue their education and to grasp all the knowledge possible within their field. Keep up with your schoolwork; procastination is bad! Make sure you join clubs, become involved and make yourself heard! Take the opportunity to broaden your horizons and to meet people with different ideas or thoughts and of different cultures. Have fun, but be careful; there will defintely be instances where one must know what's wrong or right.

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Throughout my senior year of high school, I was bloated from the high marks I received in Honors Calculus, Marine Biology, and AP Computer Science. I concocted the notion that I was a scientist, and I was going to cure cancer with a biomedical engineering innovation. Yet, my true passion has been to become a lawyer. Running from the humanities, I applied to mostly science universities. This is when I should have heard, “Don't forget yourself. You hate science.” If I had received this message, it would have impacted me two-fold. The immediate impact would have been on my college application process. I would have applied to more and or different universities. This would have given me options to contemplate. The lasting effect revolves around class selection. I would have not taken as many science courses in my freshman year of college. Without those courses, I would have had a significant boost to my GPA and increased space for classes I enjoy. I would love the chance to gain a greater degree of happiness and intellectual development. A meaningful difference in my life could have been made with these six words, hypothetically speaking.

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The right college does not mean the most expensive school, but rather the best school for the student. One should consider what captivates the student, both academically and socially. People forget that the students must spend 4+ years in the school to succeed and make something out of themselves. So why not spend those years in a facility you like, people's company you enjoy and studying a major(s) you want?! In order to make the most of the college experience, students should be involved in extracurricular activities. Each student can explore the variety of activities and may, in fact, explore who they are. Being involved in something one cares for instills passion and experimenting in a potential career path. For example, if a student volunteers at a career center as a peer counselor, that student may want to further delve into being a career counselor. The right college for students goes hand-in-hand with making the most of the college experience: if the student likes the school, the student will want to become involved in extracurricular activities and find him/herself. And that is what college is all about- finding oneself!

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If i were to go back in time and give myself advice about college, i would tell myself to broaden my horizons and get involved on campus. In college, one deals with many new experiences and situations and if that person can keep an open mind, each situation will be a learning experience that will not only teach that person something new, but allow them to have fun with something they don't usually experience. People go to college to educate themselves, but they should educate themselves not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom. They need to interact with others and learn about the experiences others have lived through and through the sharing of information, both people leave the situation wiser because they can now relate to others more and learn more about themselves in the process, which will help them interact with others in the future. College prepares people for problems they will face in the real world such as maintaining relationships with others and the testing of one's beliefs and ideas. If one enters college with an open mind, whatever they learn during their four or five years there will last them a lifetime.

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My advice for finding the right college would be to start researching colleges early and to do some deep thinking about what qualities are truly most important in a college. So many superficial factors like rankings, location, and cost are unfortuantely given too much weight in the decision of which college to attend. College guides that provide rankings on the academic and social environment of a college give a generalized overview relying on the opinions of people that may bear very little resemblance to your opinions. Get as much detailed information as you can so that you can decide based on your own judgment of a college, not someone else's. When it comes to making the most of the college experience, realize that this your opportunity to have some unique experiences that will be valuable in a future career as well as in your personal life. You may never again have so many opportunities to travel, become socially involved, or benefit from the knowledge of a collection of experts. Remember that there is more to college than the workload, but never get so distracted that you forget the primary goal of college is to learn.

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I would advocate visiting several different campuses, even ones that you are not interested in. It is far more helpful to see campuses that are definitely undesired when trying to decide on a college. I visited many similar colleges and had a hard time choosing because they were so similar, and sometimes I regret my choice. Also, try to visit during the academic year. It is difficult to gauge the quality of campus life during the summer when nobody's there. This is especially very important with schools that have a high rate of commuters. In terms of choosing a school that best suits your academic needs, try to pinpoint as best you can what the student is interested in. Having had almost no clue, I basically chose between large universities that would hopefully have something that interested me. Perhaps I would have been happier somewhere else if I had done more to find what I am looking for academically. Finally, social life is more important than you may think. While academics come first, a poor social life may create laziness, depression, and ultimately affect grades. Be sure to look into this before choosing a school.

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