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Troy University

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

Dear Miss. Know-It-All, Listen to your mother. As a matter of fact, listen to your whole family. I love you with my entire being but, you do not have all of the answers. You are not Kanye West. There is absolutely nothing wrong with attending a community college. It was created for individuals just like yourself. No, it is not because you are black. It is because you are capable but not yet prepared for a four-year university. Do what is right for you. You cannot please the world and yourself at the same time. It's a good idea in theory but life just doesn't work like that. Kick butt for two years in community college then transfer to Troy. (Trust me.) You will need to be close to your ailing grandmother who raised you. Lastly, always remember this. You will have your entire 20s to party. Do not waste the most important year of your college career on boys, clubs, and nonsense. You only have one life, one future, one youth. Visualize the best versions of these blessings and turn them into realities. You can do it. Yourself, Sarina Henderson

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As you finish your school year up. Forgive and forget and your enemies. They are just memories now. Remember your friends, but do not let them make decisions. Do not go to a university because they did. You are building your life now. Make sure you build your blocks square. You don't want an angle. They could slip off and break; living all your hard work in shambles. Begin to love coffee. Start to appreciate the meaning behind the ramen noodles you will prepare. A few years, ramen turn into linguini. Bills into profit. Get ready to discover yourself. The person you are now is only version 1.0. Upgrades will become available. Make sure download and fix the bugs. You are going to recieve lots of money. Make sure you keep it. The nicest car does not pay your rent. You can not eat it. Your student loans will still be there as you drive it, Basically, remember the good times, the laughs, and the education of high school. All the while prepare yourself for the changes, friends, and education will grow to love and miss once college comes to and end.

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Tashema, I'm proud of you and all that you've achieved thus far, making the decision to attend college after high school is a smart choice. Although you're on a path to greatness there are a few things to keep in mind. You're a senior this year; therefore you should obtain as many scholarships as possible. College is very expensive. Along with tuition,your books will be pricey. I want you to remember to follow your heart. In college you will face a lot of peer pressure, but you must keep in mind to never put yourself in positions where you feel as though you have to negotiate your sense of integrity. It’s also necessary that I remind you to have faith in all of your abilities. On this journey there will be times when you feel like giving up. Passion and perseverance is needed for your long and short term goals. You have to develop a powerful backbone and maintain stamina in order to excel. I also want you to remember that there is no magic to achieving, nor is there a secret to success only hard work, choices and persistence. You can do it!

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Take everything you learn serious to prevent repeated mistakes, that could subsequently set you back. Realize that knowledge is a powerful tool that is often taken for granite when you are young. Make use of all available resources, and seek help from those with positive impacts on your life. Strive to be the best at whatever you do, and make sure it is geared towards your ultimate goals and success. Never think less of yourself, but don't be a know-it-all. There is always room for improvement, but never take school lightly. It is the doorway that leads to the life you will once lead. Some portals that you enter can lead you to the destination you so desire. But be mindful that some paths seem right, but ultimately lead to distruction. So, be a leader by learning to be a good follower. You can never go anywhere or have anything if you never learn. Peer pressure has always been around, we've been where you are, and we have done what you do. Just know there are better, brighter days ahead; believe it and watch it come to pass. DKW 1-13-10

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I would definitely say look beyond the actual campus. Look into the city the campus is located in because more than likely your child will want to live off campus one day. Make sure there is adequate health care available not to mention the crime rate of the city as well on campus. Before making a final decision spend a weekend in each city you are considering. Use one day to tour the college campus and use the other day to tour the city and check out the people who live in the area. Also, keep in mind the size of the campus you are looking into. If you want a huge campus (which usually comes with a highly active social community) make sure you will be able to handle the stress and temptations of the big city campus. You definitely must have discipline if you want to succeed in any college setting, but big popular campuses host more reasons NOT to study. If you feel you will be distracted easily by social functions, you may want to start off at a small campus or community college for the first year or so then transfer to a bigger college.

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Assuming that I could have that much needed "sit down" with my nineteen year old self, I would most likely emphasize the following: There is an exponential curve when it comes to success, and nobody is going to clue you in. In a world fraught with the idea that everyone should win just for showing up, the reality is starkly different. Heading into college, you are already behind the curve and you are losing ground rapidly. I would look myself in the eyes, shake the fog and boredom out, and drive home this singular truth. No one cares about your success except you. And once you get into the real world, you're swimming with sharks. So take the time now to make mistakes, challenge yourself, and establish great (not good) habits in your academic, physical fitness, and social behaviors. At the end of the day, you don't need to go to that Tuesday night beer pong competition. You need to be looking five years ahead, and strategizing on how you can balance a good foundation while in college with the social pleasures of this amazing time.

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When I looked at colleges, I stressed over the choice. Did I want to go to an "it" school that I knew I would have fun , or a school that would let me follow a strong career choice, or did I want to stay with my friends at the local community college? Ultimately I trusted my gut and hoped that Troy University, a small but growing college, would be the right choice for me. When you are looking for the right school and experiencing the life that goes along with it , the most important thing is to know what your personal strengths are, and what you want to gain from the school you attend. From my first day of classes and realizing my professors cared about me personally, to gettting to know and love my roommates, to going parties and study sessions, to enjoying concerts and conversation, and to finding friends and true romance that will last a lifetime, I made the right choice. I can only advise that you take a chance and trust your instincts, and you will be able to look at your choice with the same contentment that I do today.

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In order to find the right college, students should start by visiting the campuses of the universities they are interested in. Focus on how comfortable you feel there and how the faculty and students interact there. Research the different academic programs, the extra-cirricular activities, and the financial aid they offer. The best resource you can use when choosing a school is knowledge. The more you know, the better prepared you are. Once you have decided, try to make the most of your experience there. As you meet new people and join groups, you will find out the best person you can be. At TROY, I was unsure about where I would fit in and what my career path would be. As I talked with students and faculty, I found an organization that seems to be niche. It feels so natural to be a part of and I find myself growing and learning more each day. I know that because I am a part of this group I am better prepared to face the world once I graduate from this university. And it is all because I made the right choice for me.

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The advice I would give myself is to go into college with a positive attitude. Do not attend every party there is. There will be many parties in college, sometimes every day of the week. Take your classes serious, dont let other students or upper classmen tell you a class is easy. To them it may have been, but everybody is different. One class may require you to study, where someone else may not even have to show up and ace a test. Go to class unless your health permits you otherwise. Everyone in college isn't your friend, so choose them wisely. Don't be afraid to ask for help, thats what the staff is there for. They want to help you. Oh yeah, when refund comes around do not spend all of buying alcohol and going to parties. Learn to save your money; there may come a year or semster when your finaincial aid does not cover all of your expenses or your meal plan runs out, thats when your extra money comes in handy. Always think before you act and when you feel like there is no one to call on, you've got mom and GOD.

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From the start of my college experience, I have learned a lot about the transition from a protected routine of prior academics onto the real world of expenses and labor-driven income. A mountain of communication and retainment has passed between teacher to student, advisor to parent, employer to employee, and, more often, student to student. The socialization is different and welcoming and the curiosity, explosive. With each new answer I've received, a new question was asked. I've learn about what my interests are, my strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to open up and explore different ideas and fields. Overall, I would have to say college is more than pursuing a degree and a desired income - college is an experience that will help build a foundation and better understanding of, not only one's self and one's future, but also one's family and friends. The onlookers who see the determination and dedication blazing in those striving for academic excellency will hopefully be inspired to do the same.

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