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Tarleton State University

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

First off, it doesn't really matter where you go to school, you can learn anywhere. There are positive and negative things about every campus, these things being determined by the student or potential student. The best advice is to come up with a list of criteria that you can apply to potential college choices. These can range anywhere from location, tuition costs, or availability of recreational facilities, whatever is important to you. Make a list of these criteria and their answers for each respective college choice. You can use this list as a guide to help you make a final decision. To make the most of your college experience, just get involved on campus, with anything! Most schools have ample opportunities for involvement ranging from sports (competitive or intramural), performance groups, fraternaties, sororities, clubs, and professional organizations. In addition, many schools offer social functions such as movie screenings, special events for holidays or other occassions, and much more. Being involved is a great way to meet others who have similar interests as you. These people can become friends for life.

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The degree itself is invaluable because my life revolves around my business degree with a certification in teaching 8-12 graders. However, it's not the classwork that one takes the most from college. My undergraduate college experience has been one of the best experiences in my life. I discovered who I was while away at TSU. I learned the "real" me through my morals and values being tested. I did not always pass the tests, but I did learn that I always fall back on what I know is right although that may not be what my parents taught me. I learned networking with professors, staff, and students at school is one of the most important activities one can participate in for a future career. I always heard not to judge a book by its cover, but it never sunk in until I was at college where diversity was all around me instead of in a small rural town in the panhandle where most people are farmers or ranches and fully participate in all activities in school. My college experience opened my eyes to the "real" world, and I am very thankful that I was afforded the college opportunity.

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My high school self desired reassurance more than any advice. If I could travel back, I would tell my younger self only one thing: you will make it through. Transitions have always been tough for me, and the stress of moving to a college a whole hour away from my childhood home was a common subject in my weekly counseling appointments. The summer after graduation, I often believed my anxiety would take over and prevent me from success at school. The fall semester, however, came all too quickly and I spent the next year at a small, private college where I learned more about myself than I had in the previous eighteen years. I battled many ups and downs--though often more of the latter--which challenged me in ways I had not expected. Making friends, roommates moving out, eating cafeteria food for every meal, and keeping up my grades while surrounded by the chaos of living in the dorms were not things I had any way of preparing myself for, but I made it through. Now preparing for my sophomore year at a new school, I know something my high school self did not: I will make it through.

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If I was given the opportunity to visit my senior-self and offer words of advice, I would say to never be unprepared. College expects great things out of you as you transition from a dependent child to an independent adult, and the easiest thing to drown in in college, is being unprepared. Nothing is too hard, but to skip out on readiness, only puts you back farther in the game. Whether it be forgetting a scantron on the day of your final exam, misplacing a homework assignment that counts for twenty percent of your grade, or even having no idea what you want to do in the future, can put a downer on the entire college experience. Part of the reason students venture to college is to gain freedom and independence, but how do you obtain such things when you can't manage to remember to set your alarm? When unpreparedness trips you, the sudden reality of your future abruptly introducing itself to the ground is painful. If you are prepared for anything life throws at you, naturally things run smoother, allowing you to enjoy more of what college has to offer for its students.

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If I could go back in time and speak to myself as a high school senior, the two main things placed on my heart to share with myself would be: (1) thoroughly research the colleges you want to attend and (2) stay focused and purpose-driven while you're in school. Although financial aid is important, it should not be the only deciding factor in your decision. Whatever college you decide to go to, especially if it's away from home, that college, it's surrounding area, and the environment at this school will be your new home and frequent dwelling place. It's imperative that you know what you're getting yourself into and whether or not it would be conducive to your progress and success as a student. College is definitely a place where your values, morals, and beliefs will be tested. It is very important to keep your goals at the top of your priority list. College is also a place where you start to discover who you are and what you're made of. Have an open mind, but think through your decisions and don't be afraid to draw boundaries for yourself or with others.

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Dear Liliana: I know that you are in your senior year in Obregon Sonora Mexico, Next year you will be enrolling college in Tucson, Arizona. Thisis going to be one of the most important decision in your life. The transition is not going to be eassy at all. You will be in a first world place, far away from your family, friends and all the people that you know now. Further more you will have to learn from the new culture and language. You better pay attention in your english classes this senior year. Next year is going to be a totally new and challenging expiernce for you. Take care of yourself and don't be afraid of talking with people, be confident and believe in yourself. Keep working hard, always do your homework, do every extra credict assignment even if you think you don't need it, ask question! that is really important, take advantage of the instructor's office hours, read before every class that is going to give you a better understanding of the instructor is talking about and ask for help if you need, there is alwais people willing to help.

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Dear highschool me , Hi its me , college you , I want to tell you to enjoy yourself more while in highschool. Make sure you savor every moment of everyday. Dont stress about that boy because by now you have forgotten him. Be grateful for the time you have at home with your family and friends. College is way different from high school. You are now responsible for your actions also be cautious of the people you meet. All those thing you were stressed about can't compare to anything you're about to face. Try more networking so that way when you get to college you kind of have a heads up and a guidance couselor to help you cope with everything. Also read more and practice on essay skills they are going to come in quite handy. Listen to everyones advice about college because you dont even understand how real its going to be. If you dont take heed to anythingelse that Ive told you please , please , please I cant stress it enough DO NOT PROCRASINATE. Most of all remain yourself and dont let the critics get to you.

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Knowing what I know about college life, and if I could go back in time to when I was a senior in high school, I would tell myself to get serious about my life. I think senior high school students do not give enough thought about life and how to prepare for it. It is so important to search yourself and take careful consideration about what you want to do in life. It would be a good idea to already have narrowed down a field of study that you want to pursue when you go to college. So many high school students are just so excited about "going to college" and stuck on which college they will be attending that they loose sight of why they are going to college in the first place. Volunteering in your community is an excellent way to experience first hand some occcupations that you might be interested in once you finish college. Learn how to budget your money and your time so that you don't feel overwhelmed. Working part time in your senior year helps you experience how it feels to work, go to college and study. Finally, never give up your dreams.

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Someone once told me that it doesn't matter where you go to college, they teach the same things everywhere. While parts of that may be true, I can't agree with the entire statement. The college experience should be about gaining knowledge for the betterment of oneself. For each person, the college experience is a truly uniquie opportunity to shape his or her own future by intensive study and research in an atmosphere created specfically for that purpose. In selecting a college, my advice is to visit potential schools and talk to as many people as possible about anything related to the university or its programs. Most schools offer a general tour of the campus, which are good for people who have never been on the grounds before. Don't settle with just this tour; try to arrange meetings with specific people who either teach in or administer programs in which you might be interested. If you can, talk to students about what they think of the school or its offerings. Get as much information ahead of time as you can, it will help, I guarantee it.

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I would tell students that they should visit each campus in person before making a decision. You should feel comfortable on the campus because it will be your home for the next four or more years. If you do not enjoy being at your college your grades will probably suffer because you will not be happy. I also think it is important to visit a professor or dean in your areas of interest. They want you to succeed and will help you find valuable information that will help you to make the right decision. I would encourage students to get involved on campus in some way whether it be intermural sports, greek life, religious organizations, or major specific organizations being involved with help you meet new people and network. Being involved also makes college more fun and gives you chances to take a break from studies. The last thing I would suggest it to make sure that you manage your time so that you do not wait until the night before a test to study. Tests in college are much different than high school tests and require much more studying.

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