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University of Alabama at Birmingham

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

Dear Autumn, College is not as scary as you think it is. The people don’t bite and the professors aren’t out to get you. I know you want to be around your friends from high school but you need to think about yourself and choose the college that is right for you. Once you have made up your mind as to what college you want to go to make sure to enjoy your first year. Immerse yourself into the college life meet new people and experience new things. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, people will love you because of it. Also, don’t forget to keep your grades up in the process this will save you trouble later in your college career, trust me. It is also important to have your future career in mind to avoid taking pointless classes that don’t count toward your degree. The most important advice that I can give is to embrace college it is a completely different place from high school. I believe in you and make the most of it.

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Finding the right college is like trying on a new pair of pants. Sometimes you know right away that they do not fit. Other times they just need to be broken in, but then they become your favorite pair. College is the same way. It might be love at first sight, the moment you walk on the campus you know that this is the place. It might take a semester before you realize how great the place you chose really is. Two pieces of advice are if you go with your gut feeling chances are you will do just fine. Secondly don't be afraid to visit as many colleges as you feel nessasary. Also don't be afraid to transfer if you don't get it right the first time. Thousands of students don't finish college where they started it. If the pants don't fit then go and try on a new pair. Lastly, get involved with the campus activities its the best way to meet people and see if you and the college you chose is a good fit.

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The main thing i would advise parent and students to do is to apply to many colleges and take their time deciding which place would be right for them. Visiting each college the student is interested in is extrememly important. Obtain lists of each schools activities and majors to see if any seem interesting to you. I would advise the student to get involved early and find the club/group where they feel the most comfortable. Going to college for the first time can be very scary but if you get involved early you will be sure to make lasting friendships. Also, I would advise the parents and students to take the time to fill out scholarship applications, because with the economy as it is coming up with money for college can be extrememly difficult. Overall, just make sure to consider all your options, and trust your gut feeling. Trust your heart because you know yourself best.

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Dear High School Maegan, College is coming. It's coming fast and it will be here before you know it. Although it is scary at first, it will be the best time of your life. It may not be one of your top priorities right now, but I think you should visit as many college campuses as possible. I really love my school, but sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice. Also, apply for as many scholarships as possible! They may not seem very important right now, but when tuition is due, scholarships help more than you could imagine. Most importantly, do not lose your values. College is full of temptation, frustration, and new experiences. Above all, do not lose who you are and what you believe in. Sometimes it is the best choice to not fall into peer pressure and to create your own path. Always keep your final goal in mind, stay optimistic, and put all of your faith in God.

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If I could go back to when I was a senior in High School and give myself some advise it would be to work on my organization and time management skills. In college, every time you turn around there's a new deadline coming up, a project due, and a test to study for. I would tell myself to go ahead and make a panner my best friend because keeping up with so much work for so many different classes is hard to do. I would also tell myself to learn to be more organized, to keep all my flash cards and notes from different classes, because you never know when you're going to need your old notes. But the most important thing I would tell myself is not to procrastinate. College tests are nothing like the ones in high school where you could study the night before and make an A. I would tell myself to start studying for any test atleast two weeks in adavance.

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Attending college is a great experience. Campus life allows you to experience the most independence you have ever had. Campus life can distract you from studies so keep in mind your true objective which is to complete a degree. It is okay if you are not sure exactly what you want to do but in deciding on a degree make sure that it is marketable. You can get a degree in a number of fields but that does not guarentee you a job upon graduation. Explore prospective job growth and determine if any fields are of interest. The chances of getting a job after graduation will be much better if the field is expanding with job growth. It is also beneficial to start making contacts. A lot of job searching is determined by "who you know". Making aquaintences with those that will be great future references will give you an extra edge.

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Hey! Calm down. The life ahead of you is so much brighter than you can imagine. Continue to devote more time on your school work instead of the social life you will barely care about in a few months. Apply for scholarships every single day! Make it a second part-time job. It is so hard to balance school work and a job! Listen to mommy. Stay home and go to UAB! This school fits you perfectly and it saves a ton of time and money. There are so many opportunities there for you. Don't worry, you will know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life by your second year there. College is not scary. It is one of the best experiences you will ever have and you are going to make the best friends you will ever have. Above all, you are smarter than you think. Love yourself and remain confident. That is the key to success in school.

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Going into college, I was leaving all my friends behind. My greatest fear was that I was not going to be accepted by others the way that I was accepted by my old friends. I was afraid because I do not drink or go to parties, and college was known for its parties. I didn't want to become someone I wasn't. I wanted to be loved and accepted no matter what my actions were. If I could go back and talk to my high school self, I would tell myself to trust in God more and to not worry because I am not by myself. When I got to college I realized that many other students prefer not to drink. I was blessed with an abundance of friends who stayed home and studied with me on a friday night. I wish I could go back and make myself less stressed as a high school senior because now I know that college is going to be the best years of my life.

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Keep your options wide open from the beginning because it can be very easy to change your mind on the spot. Find the one unversity that takes care of ALL your needs and not just some of them. Also maximize your potential for federal student loans and scholarships because it's never too late to start applying and building up your finances in order to cover all your college expenses. The last thing you want to worry about is going into debt on top of attending college. Lastly, keep your stress to a minimum. Attend the college that will fulfill not only your academic needs, but also your social and mental needs because if you cannot have fun and get along with the other students at a university, you could become depressed and therefore struggle with your grades and potentially cause yourself to get dropped from the school.

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Make sure that where ever you decide to go it is somewhere where you think you will actually be happy. Somewhere where you feel that you can grow as a person and intellectually. Also, somewhere that is affordable for you or your parents price range. Also, always investigate their financial aid process and their schoalrship process. Have a major already decided once you figure out school you want to attend, it will make things a lot easier. Try not to let the party sences overtake you and remove your attention from what you go to college for. Make sure that your values are strong enough for you to make it through the daily life of a college student. Lastly, at the end of the day make sure you enjoyed college and learned needed skills. Make sure you can look back and smile and wish you could do it over again.

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