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University of Houston-Victoria

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

I began my studies at Evergreen in the fall of 2009. Drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the class, I started pursing my own educational dreams with the year-long program Awakening the Dreamer, Pursing the Dream. In a flurry of self-discovery and eye-opening new ideas, I danced my way through 5 Rhythms, dabbled in mythology and the ideas of Joseph Campbell, researched Shakespearean comedy, read extensively on leadership and the environment, shelved tapes at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library for community service, and grappled with the ideas of Integral Consciousness. I received exceptional evaluations from my faculty, describing my intense commitment to the program and the consistent high-quality of the work I turned in. In the fall of 2010, I dove into Visual Vocabularies, which perfectly united my passions for art and literature. I eagerly devoured the works of Kafka, Carver and Nabokov, crafting critical literary analyses which received high praise. I threw myself into the art portion of the class with equal abandon, experimenting with new mediums and ideas, and incorporating drawing, painting, text, video and fabric. My faculty commented on my dedication, willingness to challenge myself and take risks, and promising talent.

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In 2008, I graduated college with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and joined the fitness profession. During my experience in this vocation, I learned that my influence was limited. This limitation has driven my desire to become a Registered Nurse. I am sure that the biggest benefit that I received from my college experience is the opportunity to explore. In college I did not find out exactly what I wanted to be in just a few classes, but ultimately I found out from my experience. College allowed me to meet other people and interact in a way that prepared me for the workforce. I don’t feel that college is necessary for everyone; however I do believe that in college one will learn many valuable skills and knowledge that will take you further in life. If I had not attended college the first time then I would not have discovered the idea of nursing. Attending college helps you outline your options. Experience allows you the freedom to decide while observing qualified professionals. The end result of going to college is abundant opportunities for questions and an open base for student and teacher communication!

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College is a learning expedition, not something you simply pass through, but an active commitment toward a more knowledgeable future. As an Education major, I am making my journey toward becoming a teacher. It is the valuable skills I have acquired through college, that will help me to be the best teacher that I can be. In college, I have not only learned valuable life-skills and the information I will need to achieve my goals, but I have discovered the ability to help others realize their goals. Initially, I learned the subject matter that I will teach, but more importantly, I learned that you can never know everything there is to know about anything, so you should always seek more knowledge. Furthermore, I have learned important communication skills to help me reach out to my future students and their families. I have learned many things throughout college, and I will learn so many more, but the most important thing is this: each person can make a positive difference to the world. I have learned that I can make a difference and have made it my goal to make a difference in the life of every person that I can.

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I once herd an allegory of a frog and a swan. The frog who lives in a water well resembled ignorance, but the swan on the other hand lives across a great ocean whom of which resemble knowledge. The story ends with the swan professing her knowledge of the world to the ignorant frog. The frog who has lived his whole life in this well and learning nothing outside of it could not believe the vastness of the swans’ capacity of knowledge. Therefore, the frog rejected all the swans’ knowledge and continued to live his life. For me the college experience is alike the swan, who brought about vast oceans of profound knowledge before the frog. This has enabled me to reexamine the world around me to see past my previous thoughts so I can further my knowledge. College has become so valuable because it has given my previous ignorant conscience state a reason to search for knowledge outside myself. The value of this new profound knowledge has given me every reason to continue my education no matter what may interfere. Knowledge is the greatest gift that mankind has been bestowed with and it must be utilized.

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The gift of EDUCATION The greatest accomplishment is to know you’re a step closer to your future aspiration. It was a very overwhelming feeling, being able to go through with what you promised yourself you would. I came to this community college with intention of getting my Associates than transferring to the school of my dreams. I have had the great opportunity, to meet with wonderful Professors, and create relationships with people who have the same goals as me. This experience has given me the chance to appreciate the education system, shows how fortunate we are to be able to learn. It is an unexplainable feeling to know you are the first in your generation to receive a degree in something others believed you never could. It is a very gracious, satisfaction that shows you can make it on your own. The fierce competition and the economy crashing, should make you exceed for more, not give up. Education is not only being able to receive the knowledge, but knowing what to do once you’ve received it. All I need is a chance to prove myself that my existence will improve a better community.

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“Cathy, this is older and wiser Cathy. Don’t let our parents tell you not to go to college. I can see your potential from my vantage point, and I know you are going to need it. Finish college while you are young. You give your all to everything you do, so getting married and having children will consume you. Now you can devote 100% of your time to studying, but a job and family will compete for that time. You're in such a hurry to work, but consider college your profession. Don't let me hear you say you can't afford college. Work at finding scholarships now, and reap the benefits later. Even though you don't know it at eighteen, I can see your potential to develop good study habits, manage your time well, and carry a full load each semester. Trust me: you will end up taking a much harder road, so apply that energy and talent into college. I love how you use a color-coded calendar; apply that same organizational skill to college. Cathy, believe in yourself and strive to accomplish what God knows you can do if you lean on Him.”

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I still remember the shock I felt after graduating from high school. I couldn?t believe the four greatest years of my life just come to an end in one little ceremony. And I really had no clue what I was in for next. Simply put, college blew me away. The friends I had spent every waking moment with had all gone their own ways. I hadn?t worked to my potential in high school so unlike them, I had to go to a community college. Still, I was expected to do everything they were doing. I had to register for my own classes, buy rather expensive books, and write essays for English 101 that were A LOT longer than any I?d ever written in my life. At one point I stopped to ask myself, "is it really worth it?" It took me few months to realize it, but the answer was a resounding "yes." College is absolutely necessary in order for me to attain the kind of future I had always envisioned for myself. In just a year I learned to the book deals are online, procrastination is the enemy, and best of all, I learned true perseverance.

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Attending college has given me the chance to learn about subjects that I would never have studied on my own. I have really enjoyed learning about history, art, biology, chemistry, mathematics, government, and economics. I have learned that the world is so very interesting and complicated. The classes I have taken have enhanced my understanding of the history of our world and of the different peoples populating it. This understanding has made me less likely to judge the situations and the people I encounter in terms of black and white, right and wrong, because I know that the truth is so much more complicated than absolutes. Because of the knowledge and understanding I have gained, I feel so much more confident in my interactions with others. I now have more fatih in my ability to successfully navigate my way through the intricate maze of this world in which we live. Although I am still in the process of completing my degree, I know that I will persevere and this awareness fills me with a great sense of pride.

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I would advise myself to be more acquanted with real college life. For example make myself aware that in College I am completely responsible of my actions and, as such, be more organized and plan my career objectives more carefully. I would also underline the imortance that the apparent 'freedom' also carries a lot of resposibilitie,s mostly in the social area. I also would alert myself about what real professional life will look like. If I believe my teachers are tough, that is nothing compared with my job duties and responsibilities in the workplace. College might be a dangerous place if I can't balance the apparent freedom with the responsibilities and duties of college life: there are no second chances, I can't "make up" my GPA if I slip over one semester. I would also ask lots of questioons to my professors, either in class or out of class; this a great benefit that also carries the message that I am genuinly interested in pursuing a sucessful profewssional career.

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I have a sense of accomplishment that I have long dreamt of. Having a bachelor’s degree is a positive step to job security. My self esteem is high and I have built high level of confidence. I will use the skills learned to volunteer and render help the society. I feel great and fulfilled because I can take care of myself after my education. I have great memories and have made lots of friends during my academic life. I am very fortunate to experience different people from different cultures. I have respect for all and value other cultures now. Going to school has been valuable because it has broadened my knowledge. It will allow me to earn valuable skills and with a college degree many doors of opportunities will open for me. It is a virtue to go to college honestly. I will be able to get promotions, raises and opportunities for better positions. With a good job, I will be able to pay off the loans I borrowed towards my education.

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