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University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

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

My family chose to move two states away partway through my senior year, so I had many transitioning difficulties. Ironically however, what affected my life the most during that time was that I did not take initiative. I took AP classes and always received As and Bs, but never paid attention to the large changes and deadlines flying at us in school. Now I am paying for it-I could have graduated this month with a BA and begun my Master’s. Instead, I am in the second full year of my degree, balancing an unrelated entry-level job with full-time schoolwork. If I could go back, I would tell my younger self to catch every deadline as early as possible-scholarships, applications, and pivotal graduation requirements. What we do above and beyond the minimum ultimately matters the most. These transitions are what define us, because the whole world is easy compared to attaining the next height. I enjoy college, and handling the schoolwork is not a problem; the lost time is my only regret. I still need this reminder sometimes, but now I have seen why we must never stop reaching, and I wish I had known then.

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If I had the ability to go back in time to tell myself what I know now as a college freshman, I would tell myself that it is important to practice time managemant and organizational skills to be successful in college while taking on multiple demanding tasks such as a part time job and attending college full time. High school is another world than college and, as a high school student, I had been told numerous times that learning how to study effectively in less time is vital for success in college. In high school, the teachers make sure you do everything in their classes to pass them but in college they do not care for the most part if you pass or not. The responsiblity of the professor is to teach you the material so that you can understand it well and it is the college student's responsiblity to use the information to succeed in performing tasks assigned by the professor. I wished I would have known as a high school student that college builds upon knowledge that I learned previously and that it is important to remember the things that I learned pertaining to my major.

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I have learned that in order to suceed you must push youself harder everyday. Studying is a #1 priority. And attendenc is also very important.. Not going to class is like paying for a movie and not attending the showing. Basically you paid for that class and the instructor to teach you the material so why miss the class. I just dont understand some students that skip class this is so disrespectful towards your teacher for one and your just cutting yourself short of extra knowledge you could have learned on the day or days you missed that scheduled class day. I currently work full time as an EMT and in 2007 graduated Paramedic school and im a full time mom of 4 children. Its been rough BUT YOU MUST STRIVE TO SUCEED!! You have to want it to get it! Iam 30 years old and have decided i would like to work in the Criminal Justice feild. College has made me a stronger person, because it is stressful at times but i understand that you cant get anywhere in this ole world without an education! I work hard and study hard for my education and for my family!

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College is the greatest experience I've had in my education so far. It's a shame to think how much greater it would be if I hadn't been the procrastinatory deadbeat I was in high school. Because of my actions (or lack thereof), I am now without a scholarship of any form or fashion, blindly making ends meet. If I could go back and be the one positive influence I was missing in my college preparation, I would have never let myself hesitate to take the most important steps. For example, taking the ACT. I would make myself take it multiple times instead of for the *first time* on the last eligible day. (What was I thinking?) I would make myself visit potential campuses, something I never did. I would encourage the college experience since I had basically given up on it by senior year--I had no idea how great it would be. I would tell myself how quickly two semesters pass, nowhere NEAR the time a school year seemed to last. I would tell myself not to worry so much about going or not going--a full ride ANYWHERE is a FULL RIDE. If I could...

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If I could go back in time and advice my own self about transitioning from high school to college I would totally do it. The best advice that I would give myself is to value my education alot more. We often take for granted all the opportunities that we are given in high school. Not knowing what we want to do for the rest of our lives or not wanting to attend college is some of the reasons why students including myself don't appreciate the free services offered out our local highschools. One thing to remember is that we are not always going to live off of our parents or siblings one day we will have to grow up and move on with our lives and whenever that time comes and you decide that going to college is path you are wanting to take don't look at yourself in the mirror one day and regret not taking that extra math class or that anatomy elective you were being offered in highschool. Think that you are being blessed for having opportunities to be successful in your life that other children around the world don't have. Consider yourself lucky.

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To students looking for the right college I would like start of saying that the single most important thing to picking a college is being prepared. Make sure to be involved in anything you can at school and always work to keep your grades top notch. If you do this you have that many more colleges to pick from. When you begin to look at colleges forget what your friends are doing, they should be irrelevant when it comes to picking colleges because their needs from college may be 180 degrees different than yours. Also try not to worry about the cost to much because it might sway your decision in the wrong direction, when in the end, you will be more than able to pay your debts. However, if you took your highschool days very seriously this WON'T be problem. If you are one of the lucky ones who knows exactly what they want then choosing a major isn't a problem but, if you aren't, don't be discouraged just take it easy your first year and see whats out there. I hate to use such a cliche but the the possibilities are literally endless.

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The advice I'd give if I were able to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior would be to take college more serious. Most people do not realize how serious college is until they drop out and never attend school again. College is not cheap and when you pay for it out of your own pocket, you realize what priorities are important to you most. I'd also inform myself about the importance of applying for scholarships and the stress it would relieve myself from if I weren't so lazy as a high school student. Also, when attending college I'd tell myself it's not always appropriate to put off work that could be done ahead of time because you never know when assignments can pile up along with projects and test within a few days. The pressure of being on your own may seem new but letting outside influences overwhelm what's the important task is not worth the risk of being sent back home under the roof of your parents. As a high school senior, stay focuesed on your goal and don't be afraid to ask for help from anyone.

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This is your last year in high school Emma! You look at everything as if it is easy to do right now and trust ME it is compared to college life, no rent due every month, no bills, and you don't look at groccery shopping as a way to spoil yourself! Who would have ever thought that you would even learn how to cook, mom can't even believe it! Emma, just remember to keep your dreams alive and strive for all you believe and love to do. Don't give up on yourself or put yourself on hold for others or life. Life has never pushed 'pause' to allow you to take a break from everything. Follow your heart in everything that you do, at times you will feel like your dreams are unreacheable and people will doubt you. Remember the key is in yourself. When you reach that dream you want you will find that you are following your heart to fulfill the career that fits you! Right now you don't know it but you pushed your dream out to fit life! Life has twists and turns, ups and downs, keep on believing in yourself!

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If I could go back in time and give myself advice when I was a senior in high school, I would tell myself that college is not at all like high school is. There is some advantages and some disadvantages. I would tell myself that I need to get prepared for a different life that's a lot harder than high school is. You need to get prepared to study and practice your instrument every night. You need to get financially prepared to pay tuition and books. You need to stop goofing around right now and start being serious about school. If you screw around in college than there's no going to the principals office or anything, there's no second chances. If you want to get anywhere in life you need to do well in college, I know you can you just have to tell yourself to do it Chris. The most important thing of all is that you need to just start being mature and be serious about college it's the most important thing right now. It's only hard if you make it hard I know you can do it. So go get 'em tiger!

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There are some critical points that need to be addressed when looking for the right college. The main concern would be the avalabilty of the classes you need to obtain your goal of a degree. My advice would be to meet with professors and advisors before making a choice as well as looking into what the everyday students say not just the ambassadors that are selected to promote the school. They are there to tell you all the good but in times forget to mention the bad. Question everything and know everything there is to know about a school and its workings. Just because tuition may be cheaper does not mean the school is going to have what you need. Find what you need and then make a decision. As for making the most of your college experience, find a balace between work and study. Make the grade and make friends, they will both help you in your college life and social life and make it an easier ride for you. Enjoy your college experience to the fullest you only have it once.

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