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Trinity University

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

Student, know thyself. Albeit short, this phrase is rich and powerful and lends to making the most out of one's college experience. Knowing oneself means knowing one's interests allowing one to find the school where one can best develop and refine those interests, as well as discover new ones. Typically, in the process of refining interests through participation in groups, one forms strong friendships with people who may come from completely different walks of life but share a passion for the same interest. It is these friendships that contribute to the best college experience. Parents, encourage your children to believe in themselves. That is, encourage your children to pursue their interests. Do not let your own ambitions for your child cloud your child's personal goals. Ultimately, your child will need to be self-reliant and so allow your child to take responisbility and own their choices. The best thing you can do is to encourage your child to pursue their interests with a passion and work hard at it, whatever it may be. The most fulfilling choice is one that was chosen, worked upon, and achieved by oneself. Through teamwork, you can find the right college.

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The most important thing Trinity gave me was confidence. By this, I mean confidence in who I am as a person, a scholar, a professional, a friend, and a servant to the community. As a recent graduate, I believe that there is value in my ideas and I feel comfortable expressing who I am in a variety of settings--something which I lacked prior to college. I've learned to be a strong person and stick to my beliefs. Trinity enabled me to see challenges as an opportunity to grow rather than a hindrance. These challenges arise in the classroom, in the community, and within friendships, but they continually make me grow stronger. Within the classroom, other students are constantly challenging ideas and asking tough questions. This has taught me to not only fully prepare ahead of time, but also, to think on my feet and provide equally challenging responses. Trinity has encouraged me to be a well-rounded person. As a result I am a full time student, part-time employee, a member of the Epilepsy Youth Leadership Council, several honor societies, and a sorority. I know now that I am capable of handling all challenges with confidence.

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Choosing the right college isn't as hard as one thinks. Explore your options and immerse yourself in the community by attending the classes, spending the night with a student, and asking questions to student panelists and faculty members. The right school will offer you the opportunity to continue doing the activities you enjoy while challenging you to explore other paths. If your passion is playing in an orchestra, do not go somewhere that doesn't have an orchestra. The key to being successful in college is to stay healthy and happy. The only way to do that is to make sure you do things for yourself. Of course, academics are an important part of choosing the right college, but do not forget that college is a time to enjoy. If a school is academically challenging but offers nothing as a stress reliever for you, it is not the right choice. College is a balance. So, remember to play your cello, join the lacrosse team, be active in the chemistry club, and go swing dancing. Studying for tests and succeeding in classes will be managable if you make sure you have an outlet for stress. I promise.

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College is a great way to explore a variety of subjects to decide on what career you wants Trinity University is a great school and has its fair share of variety of courses/majors to choose from, but if someone is looking for something more specific, then a larger school would be better. Students have to think about what exactly they are looking for in a college and pick the best one that fits that description. Look at what the school has to offer in terms of academics and extracurricular activities. Location is also important because once in awhile you just want to get off campus and see what the city has to offer. The college experience should be something that you remember forever. Be open-minded and join as many school activities that you can. Learn a new language and about other cultures/ religions. Academics is important but once in awhile take a break and hang out with friends. Your college friends are who you will keep in touch with years after you graduate. Take advantage of what the school has to offer like career help. Have as much fun as you can without letting your grades drop.

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Visit as many colleges as you can and start early. Chances are, when you find the right school, you'll know it. If you're having trouble narrowing things down, try doing an overnight stay with a student and go to class with them to get a feel for the campus. The student you stay with has a lot to do with your experience, but chances are you will still get a pretty good feel for the school. Lastly, be sure and take things like climate, political leanings of the student body, socio-economic diversity of the student body, class size, religious affiliations, distance from your parents / home town, drinking and drug use habbits of the students, the prevalence of fraternaties and sororities on campus, and the campus setting (rural or urban) into account before you make your decision. Basically, know what you are getting yourself into. If you're a laid back person who doesn't have a problem with people around you doing things you don't agree with, then it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you are on the other side of the spectrum you should be much more careful in your decision. Good luck!

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It is amazing to me how many decisions I made early on in college that have had an effect on other people in a negative way. Once a student reaches college, his or her parents are not typically around to make the everyday decisions that high school students are so used to having made for them. At first I did not realize that I would be confronted with so many decisions, and I especially did not realize that they would affect others; other than myself. Like many high schoolers, I was completely consumed with my own desires, and only concerned with what is best for myself. After a series of bad and worse choices, I realized that my actions affect others, and that the decisions I make have a lasting impression on those around me and those who care about me. Given the opportunity to give advice to myself as a high school student, I would relay specific examples of the decisions I have made and things I have done that have hurt others, or even hurt myself. I would stress the fact that loving others well and developing solid, healthy relationships is perhaps the best way to live life.

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College is an exciting adventure rather than a daunting challenge. Being away from home will be difficult and you will miss Mom and Dad but there will be very little time to reflect on being homesick with all of the new people and experiences you will encounter! College is a gift to help become a more authentic “you”. People will appreciate what individuality and unique ideas you bring to the table. No longer will you be looked down upon for your beliefs and opinions, in college you will be celebrated. You will unexpectedly begin to love learning since you can take classes that suit your interests and skills. These classes are difficult but high school prepared you well and you will gain confidence overcoming academic obstacles. You will be exposed to radical people and ideas in which you can choose to appreciate and learn from, as others will from you. Most importantly you will make friends, every college freshman will be in the same boat as you are. Be friendly and open to new people and opportunities that present themselves along the way since you never know where they will lead.

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Studying. Higher education requires studying, no matter how easy high school was for you. Take the opportunity to learn how YOU study best: do you learn best making flash cards? Having a roommate quiz you? In a group? Alone? The faster that you figure out what suits you best, the easier the transition. Class. Go to it. Get to know your professors outside the classroom. Most of the time, they will love that you take time to show you really care about learning their subject. Plus, you will establish bonds that will be crucial when applying to medical school. It's so much more than just "getting through it." Knowledge is one of the most amazing blessings. Friends. Meet new people and step out of your comfort zone. Although the soccer team brings 26 immediate best friends, it's okay to branch out and express some individuality. Faith. Trinity is a hard place to crack. Even though you don't drink, it's okay to go out with your friends and meet new people. You not drinking may influence them to ask you about your beliefs. Overall, enjoy it while you have it because it goes by fast.

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I would advise the students (and parents) to not worry about choosing a college that fits the field or major the students wants to enter. In all honesty, a college student changes his or her major an average of 2 times (I changed mine 3). The college experience is what is most important. SO, find a college that best suits your tastes and your lifestyle - an environment in which you can see yourself absorbing more than just the textbook knowledge. About 10% of what you learn in college is in the classroom - the rest, you do on your own through self-initiated research, or through life experience in general. In my opinion, there is no college that will be "just right." There is, however, a group of colleges that will interest you for a wide variety of reasons. Prioritize those reasons, and choose your college accordingly - and more than anything, follow your intuition. (and if you need a little extra help, surveys like this one are truly invaluable!) College is the best time of your life, so follow your heart and choose where you truly want to go - you won't choose wrong!

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If I could go back, I would tell myself not to worry so much and to just be very open to everything that college life has to offer. I would tell myself to be prepared for interactive classes and to be outspoken and opinionated in classes because participation is very important. I would definitely tell myself to try and meet people and be social because college is much easier with friends. Your social life really does matter. Even though some people see college as a time when you should be completely immersed in your studies, you cannot do that all day everyday. You need people to hang out with and to talk to, so make friends. I would also tell myself to take any and every course I think seems interesting because when they tell you that something you might not be interested in will end up being one of your favorite subjects, it is actually true. I would also tell myself to be prepared for tough times because, like life, college has its ups and downs, but you will get through them, and when you do, you will be so proud of yourself because it is all worth it.

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