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University of California-Riverside

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

1. This is a commuter college. If you live in the dorms, prepare to have the place to yourself and maybe a handful of other people during the weekends. 2. If you don't have a car, get a friend with a car. Riverside is a great campus for explorers, and you can't get to LA, Big Bear, Anaheim, San Diego on the bus (well you can, it'll just take a million transfers) 3. Those people sitting on couches in the quad talking to people who walk by on their way to class? Yeah, that's our Greek row. Sure, we don't have a real Greek row with the big houses and all, but hey, it just cuts down on the campus population separation and makes all of us at UCR be one big happy family. 4. A-I Dining Hall food is better than Lothian. Scotty's makes the best sandwiches.No wait, Sub Station does. Idk, you can try them both. 5. Don't walk by yourself at night. Walk in groups when it gets dark and/or you walk past Chicago/University. In fact, don't go past Chicago/University on foot whether it's day or night. Again, look at #2 if you want to explore. 6. Take advantage of the Student Rec Center and their outdoor recreation programs. If you're going to the beach/slopes/camping, take a look at their rental equipment. They're cheap. 7. The Botanical Gardens are lovely. 8. You're not an official Highlander until you've hiked the C. Watch out if you're taking the Big Springs route. There's a crazy guy with long hair and no shirt who bugs hikers. 9. You can get fined if you pick the fruit off the trees. However, the kumquats are delicious. 10. Don't miss Block Party/Heat/Spring Splash- they're worth it. 11. In my four years at UCR, I've only see skunks, coyotes, foxes, owls, and bats ON CAMPUS but I've only heard about East Lothian being closed due to mountain lions prowling around (and that bit of info was from UCPD). Keep an eye out for the wildlife :) 12. If you like skateboarding, there's always a group of skaters near the belltower performing tricks. 13. The safest place to be during a big earthquake is in the entomology research center (it's fortified against earthquakes b/c they can't afford to have their experimental bugs break loose if a window breaks or something) 14. Most of your teachers won't know how to use the computer equipment. Be patient with them :) 15. The Denny's in the UV closes from 2am-4am for some reason, so avoid that place if you have the late night munchies.

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Dear furure college students, As a second year college student, their are a few things I would advise to the incoming freshman. Before applying to universities, I would suggest visit and really take the time to research the top three schools you are considering. Find out the school's grad programs, how many graduated students find jobs after graduation, and really discover how well Professor's and TA's are their to assist you with any problems you may encounter. I would suggest to the incoming freshman, make the most of your first year. Dont think just because you are in a university that your success stops their, keep studying hard, and keep looking beyond to the career you want to reach. Study hard and look at each class as a step closer to recieveing your dream job. Classes are hard, but taking the time to enjoy each class, allows you to really learn and achieve outstanding grades. Last but not least I suggest to live on campus your first year, you will find more friends, better study groups and be connected with all the events in your school. I wish you the best possible college years. Sincerly, Annmarie Barrera

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The school you attend will help determine the jobs that will be available to you, who your friends will be, even where you?ll live and work after college. To begin your quest for the right college, request for brochures and dates of information sessions of schools you may want to attend. The only way to rule a school out is to get information on it. You should factor in location, faculty credentials, major/course offerings, and most importantly your own aspirations. Allow yourself to be selfish while making a decision that will affect you during and beyond the next four years. Part of your college experience includes being engaged in the learning process, but also being able to break out of your comfort zone by getting involved with fellow students, faculty and staff beyond the classroom walls. Make the most of your college experience by surrounding yourself with a support system of good friends. Being involved in co-curricular activities outside the classroom will enrich your college experience by allowing you to engage with fellow students to talk about academics, career goals, common life, experiences, challenges, differences, and commonalities. Sign up for clubs and activities that seem potentially interesting.

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College is the most important period in a young adults life. The decision of which college to attend should be solely based on the students decision with the aid of their parents. The process should be taken seriously with a professional manner. The decision should be based on which college would give the student the best college experience as well as the best outcome after obtaining their degree. In order for the student to have the best college experience, they should find the college that has the best dorming environment and options, campus and classroom atmosphere, and extra-curricular activities outside of the classrooms. The student should also find a very diverse college which would open the students eyes to different lifestyles and ethics. The decision should also be based on finding the college that would result in the best possible future. The student should research which college offers the best education with the top professors that have the most efficient teaching abilities. These two factors should be the focal points when deciding the right college to attend and making the most of their college experience because this important period in their lives should not be taken as a joke.

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In high school, one could realistically get straight A's in one's classes while not taking your classes or assignments very seriously. Given that, I would advise myself to take everything you are challenged with at the university level with a complete serious state of mind. The completion of assignments and readings hold a fundamental importance in your higher-learning. Moreover, I would advise my younger self to meet challenges head on and to never be intimidated by any assignments or individuals because it is important to practice and facilitate a mentality that will help accomplish one's endeavors and academic/career goals. Furthermore, I would advise my younger self to capitilize on every single opporuntity that crosses your path. For example, to not wait until your junior or senior year to get involved in research at your institution, but to get involved as a freshman or sophomore because those connections you make with professors will hold tremondous weight when seeking other research or career opportunities. Speaking of an early involvement, I would also advise to get involved in clubs of a particular interest to you because that is a phenomenal way to meet your future colleagues and friends.

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Students and parents should look for a college that has a broad, focused, educational background willing to accomodate a student's needs, however, it must possess characteristics and attention of a strong, yet small, school. Find a reputable school that one can be proud of and possibly send future generations of their children. Although education is the most imprtant facet of finding a university/college, consider the campus life, extra-curricular activities, facilities, safety, and alumni of the school. Ask current students of their experiences and opinions of the shcool, not merely what the ads and brochures boast of their school, and attend a few lectures to see exactly what to expect from your future alma mater. Definitely spend a night or two in the dorms to get a feel of the campus. Do not decide on a school because of friends, or a significant other because there should be no obstructions in considering future education. Carefully compare each university's location, price, atmosphere, and educational prospects, and consider both child and parent's opinion on the school. Parents should not feel price as an issue, and students should feel that parent's are acting in their best interest.

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As relatively well-to-do students, or Americans in general, we tend to take many things for granted, such as education. While the equality of educational systems is debatable, the fact remains that by law all students are guaranteed an education. In studying history and third-world countries, it becomes apparent that education is the most powerful gift that can be endowed to another human being. Education opens endless possibilities, and in such a fast-paced , rapidly expanding country, a college education is most invaluable. In this day and age a college education is almost mandatory, as more and more companies look to college graduates rather than mere high school graduates. Yet, while college may only seem like a mere ticket to a bettter life, it has offered many more enlightments to the individual as well. To say college is enlightening is an understatement. The sudden explosion of people; different ideas and cultures all flowing throughout the campus, have taught and shown me things that mere textbooks could never do. Meeting people with stories and backgrounds you never knew existed, and learning tolerance and acceptance of diversity, are all part of what makes the college experience so great.

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At UCR, I have gained a valuable understanding of what it means to be educated. For example, the Medical Scholars Program, has given me opportunities that are unique to this campus. I have shadowed doctors in clinics, set up presentations, host banquets, and attend specialized study sessions for my hardest courses. My time at UCR has strengthened my desire to become a doctor, but more importantly encouraged me to become involved and look for ways to better my community. Working in the Riverside Community Hospital with Clinical Care Extenders, traveling to Nicaragua with Global Medical Training, mentoring students, and touring community clinics with Community Health Systems, has opened my eyes to the medical attention our communities need. I realize now that an education is more than getting good grades, it is about becoming aware and involved in the community. I believe that UCR?s diverse population and passionate students have brought my attention to community and worldwide issues. UCR is an amazing campus, with amazing people, who show me everyday what it means to be part of this generation. A new generation that has hope for change, and are not afraid to take action and make it happen ourselves.

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As a UCR undergraduate student, I have learned how to laugh. Through centering my energy towards wisdom and spirit rather than outwardly setbacks, I shine. My father passed away from cancer when I was fourteen; his love that he furnished into my life withered. Trapped within my own misery, I detested myself and felt worthless. My loneliness swelled with a pulse of being misunderstood and disoriented. However, being a UCR student has served as my advancement to master my life through education, self-discovery, character, and purpose. I digest and apply the curriculum I learn into situations outside the classroom, such as the global studies and fresh, philosophical lifestyles. Studying Environmental Science and Public Policy, hoping to regulate the poor living conditions of animals in factory farms, stimulate me. I am honored to be a UCR Highlander in that it has been my escape and self-learning process; I acknowledge that I am still growing into an enlightened individual. Here, I am refining the confidence of trusting my principles and judgments. Possessing a peace of mind by living consciously has lit my laughter that has been concealed. The woman I have become is the person I’ve longed to meet.

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While attending the University of California Riverside, I finally understood the importance of a sound education. As a person, it is essential to always be ?learning.? Learning will open doors and develop your frame of reference to successfully execute life?s obstacles. Through learning, you will acquire a sound education; the skill that will allow you to be competitive in our advanced world. Most importantly, stay focused; be able overcome the socio-economic barrier that sets you back because the taste of success will only be that much more meaningful. The best advice you could?ve given me as a financially struggling high school student that was the truth: obtaining a sound education makes you a marketable human and greatly increases your potential in obtaining your goals; the time you invest now in your education will pay dividends in the future. California?s k-12 education is a weeding out system. Although you?ve been placed in a disadvantaged situation that at times makes learning an unbearable burden, it?s important that you strive to the best of your ability so that one day you can contribute to the ?gradual evolution of human institutions? that President Kennedy once spoke of.

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