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University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

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

Going back in time to when I was a senior in high school, I was extremely nervous about starting college. I was still immature in some ways, and did not know what to expect. Now that I am going into my 3rd and last year of college, I would give the advice to my past self to apply for more scholarships. I haven't recieved one, and my family and I have been struggling with money lately. I am trying to find a job so I am able to pay off all of my loans when I graduate, but it is not as easy as some people think. Many people get things handed to them so it can be frustrating at times. I would tell my past self to apply for more scholarships and also to simply relax and tell yourself it will be fine. I have grown up a lot, and have become more responsible. I have made friends for life, and have the most caring people to help me along the way. I can't tell my future right now, but I know if I work hard for what I want then maybe I will get just that.

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Embrace change. Change is the only constant. You will encounter change in every area of your life. You will change- psychologically, physically, and even your personality will probably change! Your friends will change. Count on it! You will change where you live so many times. You will change who you hang out with, what you like to do, and what your priorities are. You will probably change religions. You will change majors, jobs, and careers. Embrace change. Accept it as a normal, healthy part of life. Be flexible with your plans and goals for the future. If your goals are causing you too much anxiety, or your inability to achieve them is driving you into cynicism or depression, change your goals! You will change, and your interests will change with you. Change can be hard to adjust to, but if you do it intentionally, it will make you so much happier. And if it doesn't, just change again! I promise you will find something that makes you happy.

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When you are looking for a college that best suits you, think about a few things before you start your search. Determine how far you'd like to go, whether it's close to home, far from home, or in between. Then think about the size of the school, are you comfortable with being in a lecture hall full of 300 people? After that you can limit your choices. Then the best thing you can do is visit the school! You'll know the second you set foot on campus if it is your dream school. When you are visiting, picture yourself as a student, if it feels right, it is! Once you are a student, the best way to make the most of your experience is to first of all, live on campus to make life long friends. Then be sure to focus on studies and get involved but still be able to go out and socialize. The friends you meet in college often become friends of a life time. Great grades, good friends, and a positive atmosphere make the most out of the college experience!

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Assuming I could go back and speak to myself at 18, there are many things that I could and would tell my high school self. Most important would be to realize that who I was then is not who I will be in 10 years. To take each experience, good or bad, and chalk it up to a life experience and understand that it will make me be a better person. To finish school sooner rather than later; I hate thinking some days that "I wish I would have done this 5 years ago...". I would tell myself to live in the dorm room; get the full college experience. Use and abuse the free gym memberships and activities; they don't happen in your adult life. And above all, to pick those professor's brain's apart. Use them for the wealth of knowledge that they are. Take the harder classes in spite of the challenge that they may be; you will probably learn more from them than any other class. Make new friends of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds; don't become a lemming.

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I think it is very important that individuals visit the college for a weekend to experience what the university has to offer. It is important to attend the campus tours because not only will you see the campus, but you will also be able to learn from a current student what it is like to attend the college. They will be able to give you a better sense of the quality of the school and environment better than any website or flier. Students are very open and willing to give criticism on the school they go to without hesitation. Staying for the weekend will give you the opportunity to visit classes, meet professors, see campus life, and meet people who will give you a general sense if the college is right or not for you as a prospective student. I think the most important thing overall, however, is your gut feeling. Like all things in life, one has to trust themselves, becasue they are the only one who will truly know what is right for them.

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Christian, dont procrastinate with your college check list. You planed on applying to scholarship, buying your dorm room things, and applying to your favorite college. Everything has a deadline an you have to be serious about becasue time will definitely fly by before you know it. Please do a major soul searching when thinking about the career that you want to do because you really don't want to waste your time in a program that doesn't fit the values you want in a career. Also stay focus at all cost because there many temptation that can pull you away from studying your exam. College is a place where your going to find the real you. You are going to be in the integrity test that will test the value your parents gave to. It your choice to either focus on school or just throw everything away and not care about anything. Your parents are not there to guide you on your joureny through college. Just remember Life Is How YOU Make It!!!!

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College, more than anything I've learned calculus or anthropology, has helped to teach me what I'm really capable of, and that following what I want to do, no matter how difficult it will be, is better than settling for less. In coming to this school, I faced an extreme financial burden, and scraping by has become an enormous test; I also applied for a major that didn't interest me because I thought that in the future my true dream would be unmanagable and a dream that I could never make true. But within the first month of being here, my outlook changed so quickly. I am now not only doing what I love, but I'm double majoring with and intended minor before graduation, and financing my education, though the hardest thing I've ever done, is an investment that I will treasure for the rest of my life. The education here is a treasure beyond anything; but what has been of the utmost importance to me is what I've learned about myself.

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One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I can give parents and students when finding the right college, is to really get a feal of the atmosphere. The best thing you can do is plan your own trip, try and see that university how it really is, by not going on scheduled tours, and by understanding how a "normal" day really feels. Sure, cost and quality are important things when deciding where to further your education, but if you're not comfortable in the university's environment it's going to be difficult to put your nose to the grinder when you need to get the work done. You won't be at your highest level of performance, and your grades and health will suffer. So, in earnest, the greatest piece of advice I can give to parents and future students is, go off the beaten path. Spend a few days at your university, and try to blend in to the daily life. Be comfortable where you are, your nerves and your mind will thank you for it.

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Dear Keara, Hey love! It is I, 22 year old you! You're going to college soon, and as someone who has been to college already I have a few things I want to tell you. First, don't go to a university off the bat! Dad will be paying a large amount for it, so go to a 2-year college first! Trust me! It will be A LOT cheaper! Secondly, if you do go to a 4-year university your first year will be challenging and exciting! Don't be scared, you'll make tons of friends and your grades will be good! The second year will be a ball of stress though. DO NOT ROOM with your future best friends, at the end of the 2nd year you won't be friends any more! Go to class everyday, and don't get caught up in EVERY event the school have. Work now, party later! Remember that! Find a job in town ASAP, you'll need the extra money! Just have fun and be safe! When you want to give up don't! So finish this last year of HS up well. Love you! - Keara

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If i were able to go back and give my high school self advice, i would tell myself that the small stuff doesnt matter. In high school every aspect of your life seems like such a big deal, but when one looks back on it you relize that you were focusing on the things that were not important. I would tell myself to focus on school, because it really does matter. When you are in college you are always going to wish that you tried harder in high school and didn't spend all of your time worrying about things that would seem so irrelevant after high school. However, the biggest thing i would tell myself is to worry about yourself and your goals, and not what other people are doing. As much as people in high school try to focus on what others are doing. i think that focusing on myself and my goals would have helped me a lot in high school, and ultimitly would have better prepared me for the transition into college.

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