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University of Alabama at Birmingham

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

To find the right college, the student needs to consider if they will be proud to say that they are from 'x' university. When there is a glut of degree holders, it becomes imperative that a person be able to show that they did well at a competitive school. Making sure that the college is accredited, ranked highly in the student's field of interest, and has a high rate of success in seeing their students employed is critical; especially when the mechanization and globalization of the workplace along with the glut of educated workers makes it harder to be employed. Finding a college that offers plenty of social, community-service, and job/research/internship opportunities will help the student become invested in that college as well as help their resume at the same time. A college that offers a plethora of opportunities gives the students a better chance at discovering themselves and what occupation they want as well. To make the most of the college experience, a person needs to do well in their classes so that they have the ability to have stress-free fun outside of class. Taking advantage of the student life opportunities is also crucial.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself three pieces of advice. The three pieces of advice I would give myself would be to study harder, apply for more scholarships, and to focus on my goals and aspirations. The first piece of advice would be to study harder. By studying harder, I could have made better grades my freshmen year in college, which would have allowed me to earn more scholarships and helped to better prepare for med school in the future. Studying harder would have given me the work ethic required to become successful in every aspect of my life. The second piece of advice would be to apply for more scholarships. Applying for more scholarships would have made college a smoother experience. By applying to scholarships, the cost of tuition would have drastically decreased and would have elimated the struggle and anxiety that is caused by student loans and debt. The third piece of advice is to focus on my goals and aspirations. Being career-focused would allow planning for my future and would give peace of mind when the goal is completed.

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Don't be in such a rush to grow up. Live life for what it is, through the good experiences and the bad. Doing so will teach you valuable lessons in the long run. Don't imprison yourself behind the bars of society's limitations; the only limits in life are those that you set. If you decide that there is no statue of limitations on what you can do, then you will go beyond what anyone could ever "expect" of you. Live by no-one's definition. You don't have to be in any existing category tobe someone in life. You define yourself andknow that the best definition one can ever embody is that of "undefinement". Don't strive tobe the best, strive to be your best. If you're satisfied with the person you are and are becoming then what everyone else says doesn't matter. Life is a journey, God has shown us our beginning and our end. He never said what routes and detours we would have to take and make. Enjoy all that is your journey, it will make reaching your destination all the more precious and worth it. LoveLearnExperienceLife. Love, A Wiser You

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At the University of Alabama at Birmingham I found out what I wanted to do with my life which is Neurosurgery. The campus is intertwined with a hospital. UAB has a top medical school. My anatomy class was what gave me my love for the human body and my drive to help those in need. At UAB there are many lectures you can attend on diseases where doctors and researchers speak on what new procedures and treatments they have discovered. Attending these is what helped me figure out what I wanted my major to be and how I wanted to specialize after medical school. UAB's diverse campus allows you to encounter many cultures and types of people. This campus unites people and teaches it's students to interact with each other. Not only that UAB plays a huge role in community service with the entire student body participating in a function called "Into the Streets" in which all of UAB participates in cleaning and helping out throughout Birminingham. This college gives students not only knowledge, but leadership, and discipline. UAB has helped shaped my future and who I am today. I love this University. I just need finacial aide.

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So far from my college experience I have learned many of things. Much like life, college seems to be shaping up to be a mirage a lessons. If all of these lessons are learned and used to my advantage, these small images will in the long run build up to form one big picture. Some basic lessons I have learned from my college experienced are lessons of time management, persistence, dedication, and small lessons of finance. I have learned that talent is like a car with no driver; useless, until someone sparks the engine and facilitates its movements. Therefore talent is nothing without discipline. I have learned that in order to survive one must use his talents and to his advantages. However, I have also learned that survival is not enough. One must strive for excellence. For those who look down regress, and those who look up move onward to higher heights. I hope to use all of these college lessons to my advantage and to build a gorgeous, breathtaking image for not only my college experience, but also my life as well. When i am gone, I hope to leave these images or lessons to benefit the upcoming generation.

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I would suggest searching for schools relating to particular fields of interest. If the student is interested in psychology, like me, then look for schools with a strong background in a medical field, or even a background in education. If you are unsure of what you are interested in, I would say that you should attend a community or local college where the student can fulfill general electives for any major while paying less. When a desired field is selected, the student can then choose the right university. To make the most of your college experience, the first and most important thing is to remember that you are in college! It is not a four year party, it is school. I love to have fun but do not forget why you are there. The second thing is to uphold your morals. College is very influential, sometimes in a negative way. The decisions you make now may affect the rest of your life. Do not make decisions based on friends or the idea that "everyone's doing it." A new environment can be intimidating; a new student should get involved slowly and enjoy the many opportunities that college has to offer!

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I would tell myself that the most expensive school, like ivy league or private, is not always the best choice. Before I finally decided to attend UAB, I wanted to go to Vanderbilt University. I loved the setting and the professors from when I took a summer program called PAVE. Now, I feel like I made the perfect decision to attend UAB because I am already in an honors college, president of a club, and on the Dean's List. I feel so comfortable in Birmingham knowing that I have scholarships to pay for my tuition and housing. Also, I would tell myself to learn my study habits before I attend college. In high school, I studied everyday after school and completed all of my homework. Now in college, I do homework in the mornings, afternoons, and mostly nighttime. My schedule is always different each semester, and sometimes I have morning classes or night classes. By learning my study habits, I will find the best time for me to study. If I had known that earlier, I would not have experimented for weeks in my freshman year trying to learn the part of the day I study the best.

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Get focused early. It is alright to get out and explore being on your own, but don't allow this to hinder your schoolwork. Take every class seriously, even electives. Just because you can skate by and still pass doesn't mean you should take that route. Remember, that A that you could have earned had you tried your best will be useful in cushioning your GPA later in your college career when the course load gets harder. The more hours accumulate, the harder it is to raise your GPA. Give yourself a fair chance. Start reaching out to companies you would like to work for early. Volunteer or get involved in an internship. You will need these references later, not to mention the experience will be beneficial to your resume. Get out and make friends. All work and no play will drain you and cause loss of motivation. Surround yourself with positive individuals who want you to succeed and who know when and how to relax. When you look back on your college experience, you not only want to be able to say you did well in class, but also that you made long-lasting relationships. Best of luck!

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Ok, you are a high school senior now.... What's next?? I know that question is daunting right now but must be considered. Please take some time out and do a lot of research on different career paths. I think it would be wise if you did some shadowing on different careers to grasp an idea of what each entails. Once you have shadowed a few professions, start working on your networking skills. It is helpful to know people who are in your field of study. Additionally, I think it would be in your best interest if you purchased a planner and started working on being organized; that will help you tremendously. College is tough but you can do well if you apply yourself. After working on becoming organized, start applying for scholarships, college is expensive and will not pay for itself. Last but most importantly, start now! Break your awful habit of procrastination. It is a terrible habit and will only harm you in the long run. Read before class and take notes, ask questions if you don't understand the material and if you optimize your opportunities to learn, you will excel.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would explain to myself "The Three D's to Success." Upon graduating high school and entering college, I began to really think about what I want in life - about what I want to accomplish and what can help me obtain my goals. So, at the beginning of the Spring semester at UAB, I thought of "The Three D's to Success": Diligance, Discipline, and Determination. Many people believe that college is the time in life where one should really enjoy their newfound independence from their parents. While in some respects this is true, I believe that college life is an opportunity for us to really mature and grow into the adults that we will be in life. College life is an opportunity to prove that we can be responsible and hardworking on our own, without our parents having to tell us what to do. "The Three D's to Success," I believe, are the most important traits one needs to really be mature and hardworking. I would tell myself as a high school senior to follow these traits, and continue to succeed.

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