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University of Florida

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

My college experience has been extremely valuable to me because of the study habits obtained, the head start gained toward my future career goals, and the many opportunities afforded to expand my relational skills. Taking college level courses in conjunction with a full high school schedule has taught me organizational skills, time management techniques, and the ability to effectively meet requirements and deadlines. The dual-credit courses I have taken have provided an acceleration of my education by allowing me to complete several college requirements in advance of attending a university, preparing me for upper-level coursework, and ultimately contributing to an early entrance into my career field. Attending a variety of classes has provided the opportunity to develop valuable human relations. I have learned to effectively communicate with fellow students and professors of diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, sufficiently adapt to different environments and situations, and continually work to understand and meet the requirements of various educators. The benefits of my early college experience are numerous. I have gained meticulous study habits, sufficient preparation for further academic pursuits, and outstanding people skills necessary for my future success.

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The best college is where you can grow to become the person you're ment to be, a place to find your self and your furture path. That place needs diversity, not only in the knowlegde the shcool provides , but in the people working their and in the students. Furthermore, you need a place that is a great study enviroment, incourages healthy eating, and has facilities/ activities to expand who you are. College is suppose to be a turning point in your life where you're not your mothers little boy or girl anymore, but a person in your own right. Also, you need to make the most of your college life! Learn a new skill, from enginering to scubba diving. College is suppose to be hard, but with a dash of fun in it as well. Here is the chance to learn things you could never have amagined, be put through amazing challenges, and create a expnasion of the world you call 'self'. Its an exciting adventure, but you need to go out and find those adventures. College is all about the expeience, if you only study, you may end up understanding knowlege, but nothing about life.

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First of all, while searching for the best college, the student needs to consider his/her educational and career goals and seek a college that provides top-notch programs in the areas in which he/she houses especial interest. The student and parents also need to consider their financial standing and research the amount of financial aid a school is ready to provide. In addition, the student should evaluate the pros and cons of the school?s location. Finally, the student would want to ensure that the college offers ample opportunities to get involved in the community, while providing a variety of leadership, research, and extracurricular opportunities. From my experience, one should make the most of their time in college by making every effort to utilize all of the learning resources offered - attending classes, completing readings and assignments, and performing as best they can on exams. The student should also strive to participate in organizations/activities that will help them delve into their interests, to network, and to make them a more competitive applicant for a future job or graduate program. At the same time, they should take advantage of extracurricular activities so they can relax and have some fun.

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Research all the information you can about all the college choices, including tuition/housing/textbook/meal plan/other assortive fees; compare that price to scholarship awards and determine how much you'll need to pay out-of-pocket. Finances tend to play a large role in the selection process, especially if deciding between public/private or in-state/out-of-state. If possible, take a campus tour of the top choices; otherwise, scouring the university's website usually produces a wealth of information. Some colleges allow a prospective new-student to "shadow" someone already attending the university; doing this will help the high school student experience firsthand what a "day in the life of" is like on that particular campus. Other things to consider are the university's reputation (party school? high academic focus?), the number of students attending (big vs. small school), number of options (majors, minors, clubs, dorms), city area around campus (safe? are there things to do off-campus?), and the amount of diversity. Cater to the student's individual personality. As for making the most of the college experience, it is up to the student to get involved in various activities and balance those with coursework.

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It's important to realize that college is a lifestyle not a class. One should experience the life of a prospective college before choosing that college. Had I been accepted to my first choice of academic institutions I would have missed a much richer and fullfilling extracurricular experience. The relevance of a school's academic standing is also variable to a student's career goals. As a student who plans to attend grad school, I have learned to place less emphasis on the academic standing of my undergraduate university because my undergraduate degree will be trumped by a masters degree or PhD. I also suggest that the social atmosphere is an important factor in choosing a college. Perhaps socializing in itself is not significant, but social networks lead to career networks and support groups. Hence, a positive social atmosphere may lead to better grades, learning experiences, and career situations in the future. Finally, I will point out what parents try to hide - college is not just about work. College provides the best chance of your life to experience new people and activities - don't neglect extracurricular experiences. Sports, parties, and campus life can be just as important as academics.

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There comes a point in every individual's life when they question their purpose. Philosophers over the ages have argued about the meaning of life and offered steps in attaining knowledge about what an individual's particular journey may be to their purpose. In today's society though there are numerous ways for one to realize their purpose, in my opinion no one way is more certain of coming to this realization than attending college. Attending college has not only shaped me for success in the future but has also taught me the true meaning of the word success. College has been valuable to me because it has showed me that success should not be based solely on accomplishments but should reflect a broader view of an individual that portrays William Menniger essential qualities. According to William Menniger, the qualities to success are sincerity, integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, and charity. An individual must recognize these traits within themselves in order for them to be a successful. Each individual must bring these characteristics and attributes to their daily life while impacting those around in the same way to truly merit the title of a successful person whether college student or otherwise.

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Dear High School Erin, I know you are anxious about which colleges will be accepting you, especially the University of Florida. Do not be overly concerned and believe in all the hard work you put into high school. As the AP and dual enrollment classes remain difficult, just keep pressing on until the end. In college, you will be ahead of the game after receiving these credits. Upon arrival at UF, you will be overwhelmed. However, confusion regarding courses and bus schedules will not last forever. Your first relationship is going to be more complicated than imagined, but you need to find that balance between friends, boyfriends and school work. Living with room mates will be quite an experience. However, when you have problems with them, confront them. Pretending like nothing happened will only encourage worse situations in the future. Although you will love some classes, you will despise others. Both types of settings are advantageous to you, so try to appreciate what you are gaining from them. Overall, make sure you enter college with an open mind. Once you have, countless adventures will come your way. Good Luck, College Erin P.S. Try Mochi Frozen Yogurt! It's delicious!

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From attending the University of Florida I have gained so much value and had several truly life changing experiences. I can't imagine attending a different university. I feel personally invested in UF and compelled to encourage others to get involved on campus. I have gained a group of lifetime friends from being an ambassador for the business college. I have developed my interpersonal skills through various leadership positions on campus. These skills are directly transferable to my future job. From joining a professional business fraternity, I have gained a sense of professionalism by polishing my interior and exterior qualities. I have also had the rewarding opportunity to give back the University of Florida through volunteering and being involved. By being a mentor to undergraduate students and helping them reach their goals, I feel that I haved gained the personal gratification of knowing that I have made a positive impact on the lives of others. Being a student at UF has been like any other endeavor I have undertaken in life, you get back what you put into it. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to attend such a dynamic university and to have met contagiously motivated people.

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Try things, take chances, make mistakes, and travel at every chance you get. Be proactive, explore program options - discover dual degree programs, double major requirements, and post-baccalaureate opportunities. Do not become fixated on doing "what your parents want" or "what will pay well". If you want to be an archaeologist, go be one! Your friends will be your friends no matter what. Do your best to not become bogged down in messy relationships or greek life drama; it may seem important at the time, but your academics should come first because they are your future. Do what feels right to you - if you dont feel prepared to take an upper level course, dont take it, take the pre-requisite first. Do not let the advisors or registar bully you into taking more classes or credits than you feel capable of. Most importantly, build connections with professors you like, who teach courses you find engaging and become involved in their research. Go to football games, go on roadtrips, maximize the availability of cultural and enviromental interactions available to you. Finally, try the $3 Krishna lunch BEFORE your senior year and most importantly, go on the study abroad to Ethiopia.

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College is completely different from high school! You have to be focused in college because no one is going to remind you of your responsibilities. You are basically depending on yourself. Only you and you alone can hold yourself back. There are plenty of distractions to break your focus. Some happen to include partying , dating and your social life. Just remember if you aren't going to do anything else, you are going to complete your academic requirements. Campus organizations are essential to college life. In organizations, you can meet new friends and potential study partners. Networking is a great way to expand your variety of friends and to share common interest with others. There are plenty of different organizations on campus for just about every interest. Don't be afraid to get off your butt and meet new people! Remember to financially savvy. Very very very crucial. You do not want to waste money on things you don't really need. College is expensive and every dime counts. College students don't complain about being broke for no reason. There's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself but be smart about it. College teaches you be to responsible for yourself.

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