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SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

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

In modern America, the passing down of information from generation to generation is becoming a less practiced form of communication. The nuclear family is becoming less appreciated and the work family is beginning to take precedence causing much of our youth to become confused and uninformed about themselves and their future. This reality emphasizes the need for all members of the human race to consider eachother as extended family, not as workforce competitors. Thus, I share this information as a nurturing mother of the American youth. Because college is a place for both personal and academic growth, I feel it necessary to briefly advise students on both grounds. In regards to academic growth, I advise students to form strong connections with their professors, advisors and teaching assistants. These relationships will not only open doors to life-changing opportunities, but may direct to other doors that did not previously exist for the high school student. In regards to personaI growth, I advise all high school students to break down their social barriers and preconcived notions. College is a place where only an open mind will thrive. Do not be afraid to try new things. Expect anything. Live it and love it.

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Choose a college that has a wide array of courses and extra-curricular activities that you are interested in that you may chose from. Even with a set carreer path, you want to be able to gain many unique experiences. This could possibly introduce you to something you never knew existed, whether within your chosen field, or something completely different. Both students and parents can not be affraid of step outside of their comfort zones. Don't be afraid to move a few extra miles from home to participate in a better cirriculum, or to sign up for honors classes even if it means a few extra late nights of studying. Challenge yourself. Being outside of your comfort zone does not mean that the student should feel uncomfortable at school, however. Visit the college, walk around, talk to the natives, get a sense of the campus community. You should feel at ease, and able to be yourself. College is challenging enough, so the less you have to worry about the better. Some keys to success at college: Push yourself to work your hardest, Learn the secret of power naps, Form study/support groups, Be yourself, And have a little fun!

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Courage and being independent are the traits that had me out of college experience. When I was a senior in high school, I was scared to feel "change." My hands were shaking when I went to college in order to be more independent without parents by my side whenever I need help. I was scared for not having friends in college since it is hard for me to make new friends in high school. I was frighten if I walked into the wrong direction whether the school and major was right for me. If it was the wrong direction, then I have to start a new, fresh direction which is my most fear. After surviving one semester of college, I told myself why was I afraid before? Why was I worrying too much? When first semester started, I kept saying to myself, everything will be fine and not to worry anything. So I forced myself to lead the direction that I always wanted and never give up of what I am doing. I just kept going forward and being independent is the most important trait that I needed to learn on my own which I got from college.

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My undergraduate degree program gave me the ability to seek out rewarding employment opportunities and I am exceedingly grateful for all that I learned in the Landscape Architecture program at SUNY-ESF. In my current Sustainable MBA program which I am enrolled through Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT, I've been able to further my knowledge of business development and organizational structures. I graduated from SUNY-ESF in 2004 with a Bachelor's of Landscape Architecture, and it took me several years to decide that a Master's of Business Administration would be the best way to further my education in a way that made sense for me professionally. With a unique focus on sustainable business tactics and corporate social responsibility, I have been able to take my passion for the environment in a direction I'd never dreamed. I would recommend both SUNY-ESF and Green Mountain College to anyone ready to take on important leadership challenges that are critical to our nation's sustainability.

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If I could go back in time to high school and give myself advice, I would tell myself to stay focused even though there's pressure not to. First semester freshmen year I struggled in two of my subjects while taking an 18 credit course load. I passed the two classes but with D's, which brought my g.p.a down and caused me to lose my scholarship. Instead of studying and getting the help I needed for the courses I chose to engage in every social activity possible rather than only a few. I worked very hard the second semester and was able to bring my g.p.a. up from a 2.069 to a 2.538, taking 18 credits again, but I still was unable to receive my scholarship. I'm an out of state student, and tuition is higher for me. My sister also wants to go out of state for school, and I will probably give her the advice I wish I had known. Have fun, but stay focused, school comes first no matter what. Social activities are important, but not to the point where schoolwork suffers.

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Attending college has been a life changing experience for me. During my three years at a junior college I’ve learned the importance of family and independence. My family is my safe place, my island in the midst of stormy seas. Whenever problems occur I run to them and they help me. I only learned this through attending college. College has presented many challenges that helped me to see that I could be an independent person. When I got a bad grade in organic chemistry, I realized that Pharmacy was not my passion. I changed my major; disappointing my family. In turn I came to question my decision and my reasoning, but then I realized that I needed to stand by what I believed was right for me. I needed to trust my decisions and stand by them. In gaining my independence I gained the support of my family. For this I am forever grateful to college and the experience it has given me.

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When I was trying to decide what college I would go to, I was concerned that living too close to home would take away from my college experience. I chose SUNY-ESF in large part based on costs, even though I believed that my top choice, Cornell University, would give me a fresher start because it was farther away from home. However, when I arrived at ESF, a twenty-five-minute drive from home, I realized the program was perfect for me. I found many new opportunities, my major is exactly what I've always wanted, and the school's faculty is very attentive to students' needs, even at the freshman level. I wish I had known that the most important thing was to find the best school for me, even if it was hiding right under my nose. It would have saved me a lot of time and worry.

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Finding the right college for you can be a complex process. I think that one should first weigh out possible career options that are right for you and then do some research concerning your field and the top schools in that field. If you're a person who is more of a homebody, I would suggest choosing the best qualified college closest to home. If, however, moving out is more of a viable option, then an on-campus living situation may be the best. Living on campus allows you to become closer to your classmates and allows you to socialize more easier. On campus living gives the advantage of making the most of college simply because of the close availability of opportunities that your college may offer.

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Don't room with friends because they might not follow through. Work in the library so that you can do school work and still get paid. Also give up your state residency so that tuition can be cheaper. Stay in school and study, take lunch and dinner with you. Try and get as much work done at school before returning home and then when you get home go to bed by midnight regardless of how much work you have to finish. Wake up early ( after a min of 6 hours) and continue working on assignments. Leave weekends for resting but if you do work, work only a maximum of 6 hours a day so that you have time to do chores and other personal activities as well.

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I would tell myself that instead of going to Cayuga Community College to get my associate's degree, transferring to SUNY ESF to get my bachlor's degree in biology and then having to go back and get another associate's degree from a NAACLS accredited college in order to get my MLT certification, I would save myself time and money by going to Broome first and then SUNY ESF. This way, I can ultimately end up working in a medical lab working my way up to a successful career woman and making a difference.

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