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University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

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

My advice to parents and students would be to do what feels right. Safety, is of course a huge issue, and all campuses and urban cities have their fair share of crime, but preparing yourself for the worst and hoping for the best is a great way to start off. Learning tactics to be safe is very important when starting a new chapter of your life in a new place. I started school undecided and UC had an amazing program in place called Learning Communities. This helped me find what I really wanted to do, while giving me, basically instant friends in our group of about 20. Other schools had similar programs but none like ours. These are things that I would look for in a school, guidance, helpful upperclassman, and of course a beautiful campus. Another inticment about UC, was the distance from home, about an hour. This has helped me adjust but feel safe as well. When I visited UC I had a gut feeling I would like it, although my parents were not happy about the location; But I went for it, and four years later I am happily starting my Masters in Social Work.

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If could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say, don't allow your outside pressures to take time away from your studying. You are struggling to work and go to school and don't have the proper time management skills to succeed in college. You need to utilize the learning center for tutoring. Geometry in high school is not your strong point and don't ashamed to tell others that you need help. If you focus on your weak areas, you can graduate from high school with a 3.0 or better. You need apply for scholarships for college because student loans should be used in moderation. Give back to the community to help the youth and guide them in the right direction in life. Melvinia, don't associate with people who are not on the same path as you are because as grandmother said, "Birds of a feather flock together and if they aren't helping to stop hanging with them." In conclusion, if I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would use my time wisely, seek help with assignments, give back to the community, and seek positive individuals like myself.

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When choosing the best college for a family member or yourself dont look for just the fun of the college. think about whether or not this college will place you in the best path of your career, while at the same time offering you a well lit and friendly environment. consider the professor ratings and the class sizes as well. look to see whether the school has diversity and other statistical information about the school. never go by a bochure or a commercial. do further research on the school to make sure this is the place that will offer the best educational journey for you. although school is about learning, it is also about the money so you want to make sure not only that you pick a school that you can afford and that offers financial assistance but a school that is worth investing thousands of dollars in to. over all a university can sound amazing from the outside world but in order to get first hand experience take college tours and always apply at different universities just in case one turns you down. get involved in the campus life and make friends.

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Start with what will make you happy. If you are academically driven, find a school where you can focus. If you have strong morals, find a school where students and faculty value your beliefs. Try not to feel pressure. Sit with your family and decide what your goals are. Are you looking for a good paying job? Are you looking for challenges in character and integrity? Are you looking for companionship? When you find that school, be satisfied, but only to a point. Many students get to school and become overwhelmed and/or lose focus. Try making friends and getting involved in school curriculars that focus on your goals. Focus is important in every respect. As you enter the adult world responsibility no longer lingers over your present. Everything you do has an impact on your future from here on out. Try to be creative and friendly! Be open to new ideas but also conservative to your beliefs. And finally, please, please, please, don't worry about having fun! No matter where you end up, if you are doing what you love, fun will find you! Good luck!!

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My advice for any person about to embark on any new experience, particularly college, sounds simple, but is far more challenging than it first seems: Have an open mind and heart; you will witness more beauty in the world than imaginable. Once you have formed your beliefs, have conviction in them. Encourage yourself to grow and change, but do not conform to the status quo. Do not do the easy thing. Do the difficult thing. Work hard. Laugh. Meet new people, and learn about them. Discover how diverse the human population truly is. It is our diversity that unites us. Do not assume you know a person until you have had a completely honest conversation with them. Listen. Read thought provoking books. Liberate yourself by learning. Be inspired. Do not rely on anyone to teach you. Actively pursue your education, in and outside the classroom. Love. You only have one life, do not live it for anyone else. Think critically, establish an informed opinion, and find the strength from within to be your own person. Above all, you must live your life for yourself.

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Looking for the right college can bring upon lots of stress and can become a hassle. However these fears can be placed behind you when you simply bring careful planning into the matter. One of the first things that you want to examine is the cost; sit down with your child and organize a financial plan that will fit your budget. School counselors can help in determing what necessary steps needed to be taken but you first want to have your limit written down. Secondly have your child list some of the factors that are important to them such as activities, small class room lectures, close social networks, available dorms, and so on. Make sure to combine the financial plan along with the personal preference list and begin to point out the critical pieces by concluding which factors are more important than the others. By this time you should have a list of choices you will consider, ordered from most desired to least desired. When this process is complete, make sure to apply for financial aid so that you and your child dont have to worry about coverage.

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I went to a small, private high school. I had great relationships with my teachers, and I knew I could depend on them for any kind of help. Before starting college, I had no idea of the level of independence that would be involved. Professors handle sometimes as many as 400 students in one class, and the individual attention I had become accustomed to was not something I found at a large university. If I could talk to my "high school self" I would remind myself not to be afraid to ask for help from professors, to make myself known to them, and to learn to use all available resources (books, internet, etc.) to learn and grasp difficult concepts. I would inform myself that it is a "jump" from high school to college, but one that is possible and will make you a better time manager. I had to learn to introduce myself to professors, not be afraid to contact them, and to work my hardest to impress them with my work. In the end, I learned that I didn't have to rely on individual help everytime, and that I have the ability to be a more independent learner.

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If I could go back and prepare myself for college I would of provided myself with better test taking strategies and to remember to take more than the minium amount of credit hours each quarter. As a second year senior and looking back at my freshman year till now I wish I knew more test taking strategies to become more efficient and a stronger test taker. I only made B's and C's on tests in high school, but managed to get A's because of homework and turning in a folder. Whereas, in college I needed a strong rapport with tests to get a higher GPA. I felt that I struggled and became more frustrated than actually enjoying my college career. Secondly, I wished I would of took more credit hours than the minium or requested by the college. I am in my second year of being a senior because I need more credit hours and need more credits hours that will increase my GPA. I feel that not being knowledgeable about these two preparations for college has me curious if I will graduate this June. I am strong, independent, and eagered to tackle my goal.

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I was an amazing high school athlete, basketball and track were my two main sports and I expected them to get me into college. In-fact I had a handful of full-ride scholarships to different caliber schools but they all flew out the window when we discovered that my heart condition was going to prevent me from playing college athletics. When I learned how expensive college, textbooks, the social aspect and food were that?s when I knew I should have paid more attention on my academic high school career than basketball. Now I was still a very good student, 3.1gpa, year round sports, and held two jobs, I thought I was a well rounded person. I did not look for scholarships, grants or any type of money because I had an athletic career. Now I know that that aspect of college (looking for money) is important and will help a student and parents out tremendously, going back and talking to myself as a senior I would tell myself to look for scholarship money and grants even if you did have full-ride scholarships because you never know what will happen.

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The advice I would give myself as a high school senior is the number one thing I need to remember is SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. I need to save all the money from working over the summer for my college expenses. It is very expensive to purchase books and live on off campus housing without having any money saved up. Also to apply for scholarships that I qualify for early as possible and to apply for as many as I can. I would tell myself as well to make sure I know what my major will be because this will help me while applying for scholarships and being able to apply for some that are based on my major. Another advice I really needed to know as a high school senior is to maybe think about going to a community college first if my grades weren't the best because if I spend 2 years at a community college and get my GPA up I could have transferred to the University of Cincinnati and recieved scholarship money for having an excellent GPA from that college. These advices would have made my life easier in college and provided more help financially.

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