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University of Central Arkansas

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What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I would have known what the real world was like. As a high school student, I was not prepared for college like a student should be. Your under strict supervision, then bam.....You have freedom to choose whether you go or not. I think students now days, need to have more opportunities to take college classes in high school and need to be taught more responsibility. College is not easy, and extremely hard if you go into it with a carefree attitude. Its very IMPORTANT. Im 30 years old and discovering that!

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I wish that I would have known not to be solely focused on the details of my school work EVERY hour of EVERY day. Though my work load has increased and I still maintain my GPA, I have managed to be more relaxed, sleep more soundly, and be overall more content in my second year at the university. A valuable skill for any new college student is to learn to put down their school worries when appropriate and leave them there to be picked back up when prudent. Quality of life is increased as one puts their mind at ease.

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I wish I had known how to take care of myself. My parents are both retired military and I have been supported, and sheltered. Most of the time I went home at least three or four times a week, receiving gas and spending money as well as tuition from my parents. Now, as a sophmore in college, I have decided its time I try to support myself and act like an adult. I will be getting a job, renting an apartment, buying my own food, and paying for my tuition and books. Its overwhelming, the prospect of being independent.

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I wish I had known just how hard the transition from high school life to college life was going to be. I still catch myself thinking like high school student and it irks me sometimes because it is time to grow up and get on with a college life. Also, it would have been nice to know that some programs that you participated in high school (JROTC, for example) were not going to be just as easy to get into at college. I was in JROTC for four years and I don't qualify for it in college.

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Before coming to UCA I wish I had known many things. Mainly, I wish that my high school counselors would have explained in more detail how things in college work. I wish I had known how to register for my classes, where I can go if I need help academically, and how quickly the classes would move. I wish I had known that missing one day of college is the equivalent of missing an entire week of high school. I also wish I would have been more familiar with campus.

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It's not as hard as it seems. I think one of my major worries was that coming from a smaller school it'd be harder for me to make good grades. My first semester I managed a 3.4 and I had a lot of experiences and had a lot of fun. Now I am in a sorority and I am still managing good grades. It really doesn't matter what school you came from, you can still do well in college. I think the summer before UCA would have been a lot more carefree if I'd known this.

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I wish I had known more people before coming to this school. While the community at UCA is very friendly and helpful, people still tend to stay in their own groups. It's easy to make friends at first, but when you try to branch out it proves to be a little more difficult, because everyone already has their own friends that they hang out with. Meeting new people is easy, but becoming friends with them is another situation entirely.

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I wish I had had a better understanding of the financial processes and how aid was disbursed. I hadn't done much worrying or research about money situations during college and wish I had found a job before school actually started.

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I wish I had known that I could clep out of more classes. Also, I wanted to take several courses that I was interested in but not serious about, but I cannot take those courses without all kinds of prerequisites.

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I wish I had known that there were so many fees. I know that is how it is at all schools, but I was dumb and didn't know that originally. They are always raising the fees and the costs to attend this school.

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