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University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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

Finding the right college is truly important both academically and socially. Although the main focus should be on academics, it is important that the student favors the social environment that he or she will be learning in. College years are some of the most influencial years and have a huge impact on self confidence needed to continue after a degree is obtained. The college experience is about growing into a young adult with other people who have the same goals and dreams as you do. The college experience is about learning responisibility and maintaining the freedom responsibly. All of these things are essential along with working towards a rewarding future. My advice to parents would be to allow your student to seek out what is important to them in a learning environment while enjoying the atmosphere around them. Students, find a place where you can be yourself and grow. Do not be afraid of new challenges, because just chosing to go to college is a huge accomplishment. Make new friends, even if they do not dress like you or have the same hobbies. The true college experience is about learning not only your field, but about yourself! Dont be nervous!

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Dear Larissa, You have no idea what you are about to get yourself into! College life is nothing like anything you have experienced. You are about to gain a whole new perspective to life and discover a you, you never knew you were capable of being. The transition into college is frightening and exciting at the same time. With new found freedom, you will make mistakes, which in time will become lessons learned. This freedom comes with responsibilities and intelligence that you must learn to accept and use resourcefully. Do not hesitate participating in things that challenge you and make you uncomfortable. It is through these activities that you will grow as an individual and reach your full potential. College is a whole different ball game in comparison to high school. In high school, good grades came with little to no effort at all. Unfortunately, that is not the case in college. You must work for your grades. I can promise it will get difficult and you will want to give up. Stand tall, keep pushing forward. Trust in God, he knows exactly what he is doing. Enjoy college but don’t lose sight of the reason you are there.

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The advice that I would give myself is to accept that college life is a different world from the high school setting. It offers the student independence from parents rules and family obligations such as chores. The college life allows the student to grow and mature into that young adult because the student has so many decisions to make. The college life can be a good or bad experience based on the choices that the student makes such as whether to stay in the dorm and study or go out and party with friends. The college student needs to be well-balanced and a quick decision maker. The student has to know where to go and how to talk to people about the different majors, community involvement, and other available events such as greek life. Overall, the student has to know how to plan ahead and keep organizers such as calendars so that deadlines for test, work, job requirements, and other events are not missed. The college student needs to find time to do volunteer work, which is something that I missed out on during my undergrad years. College life is a different world that goes beyond 8 hours .

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I would advise parents that they should never pressure their children into choosing a school or major. This time in our lives is crucial, and extremely beneficial to the rest of our lives. When parents force their ideas or opinions on their children, the students generally do not do as well in school, and become unhappy. Parents should allow the students to search for themselves, and guide them by sharing wisdom. These four years allow the students to develop into adulthood. While it is not the end of the world if the students decide they want to go in a completely different direction than they have been going for the past years, it will save them a lot of time and money if they would have just explored their options and decided for themselves. In the case of students, the only advice I have is to enjoy themselves. We will have careers for the rest of our lives, and it is too much pressure to consider school as their career for the moment being. While schoolwork is especially crucial to being successful, it is more necessary to keep yourself happy and form a strong sense of self.

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I feel the first thing you need to remember when choosing a college is to be true to yourself. Choose a particular university because you want to, try not to let others influence you but be open to suggestions. Second, I recommend visiting as many colleges as possible. Even if you feel that the chances of you choosing that school are very slim, you have nothing to loose by visiting the college and seeing what it has to offer. Last, take plenty of time in choosing your university. This is one of the most important decisions you will make, therefore it deserves some thought. Once you start your college career my number one suggestion is to TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Do not make the mistake of messing up your first semester. Once you are settled into the college, make the best of the experience. You should meet new people; participate in programs such as clubs, sports, and anything else the school might have to offer. College should be a positive experience, not just because you will get a better job once you?re finished but because college has so much more to offer than just diploma.

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If I can just go back in time and think about the most important things that I want to do and learn about college life. As a high school senior, I was almost aware of what my future would be and what major I'm going to study once I start entering to college as a freshman. Going to college is like experiencing your own personality such as meeting new people, knowing some extracurricular activities, information about college courses, meetings, conferences, rooms in which students need to take their classes at, and most important of all understanding who you are. Attending college is not about going to their classes to further their education, it's about expanding your knowledge and know exactly what is going on in the college environment. As I come to my conclusion, being in the college life can help students like me to achieve our goals in order to do our best and become good educators while studying inside and outside the college environment. I can simply see myself going one step ahead into earning a degree and can finally be able to find a career that I've always dreamed of.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior with the present knowledge that I have about college life, I would advise myself to escape from adherence to the constraint of responsibility. I’m glad to currently be in the process of getting a Degree; however, I am regretful of my decision to attend the University nearly 20 miles away from home. I felt obliged to not worry my parents and the anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to support myself, had I gone elsewhere. Consequently, I feel confined from life-learning exposures and opportunities because nothing happens in Lafayette and no one amazingly famous comes by for a brief visitation. Community activity in the city and even on campus is minimal and people, though friendly and kind, live day to day with firm beliefs and traditions that bore me to the bone. I was terribly unaware of how the matters surrounding my source of education could somehow depress me but now, I recognize that the most practical decisions does not always result in the best outcome. If I could go back, I’d tell myself to just let go and live.

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So far in my college career, I've gotten the opportunity to learn about my strengths and weaknesses as well as my interests. As far as I can see college has been a place where I can express myself while searching to find who I really am. For example, I have found that I really enjoy volunteering and making a difference in the community through an organization at my university called AmeriCorps. I got the opportunity to tutor at risk youths, build ramps and railings for the handicapped and elderly, and complete more than 450 hours of community service on various volunteer efforts. I would have never thought that I would achieve so much through this organization while balancing a full time course load of school work. Attending college has be a valuable opportunity for me because I'm getting to see what's out there. That is to say that I'm being exposed to valuable resources and people that can lead me to success in life. My aspiration is to become a physician and college is helping me build the foundation that I'll need to progress in my academic and career journey.

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Please! You’ve got to listen . I know things seem impossible right now. I know you're homeless because of your Mothers alcoholism, but leaving school is just going to make things worse for you. It is going to send you into a life you never wanted for yourself. Trust me please, I have been there. I know how incredibly difficult your life will be if you don’t finish high school and go on to college. You will marry way too young; and have four beautiful daughters, but your marriage will be very abusive. You will have low paying jobs, and your beautiful little girls will suffer from it. By the time you get the chance to go to college you will be forty years old. Being legally blind and taking care of your girls while trying to earn your degree will be completely exhausting. You are going to look back and wish with all your heart you had stayed in school, and earned your degree. Leaving school now may seem like your only option, but I don’t think you realize that your only option is to stay in school. Do it for yourself and for your girls.

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The best advice that I could give to students is to enjoy all that college has to offer. Try and take a bunch of different courses and broaden your horizon. I would also suggest taking your time during the college experience and really enjoy it. I am personally starting my fourth year of college this fall and have two years left to go with my Nursing Clinical process. It is, and can be really difficult to finish any college program on time, especially in just four years. The college programs are very competitive. There will always be struggles and maybe even some small setbacks, but it is all in the way you deal with them. It is very important to stay positive and not lose focus on the fact that it will all be worth it in the end. Yes, it will get stressful, but is all apart of the test to see if you can make it in the real world. And once you continue to fight, and not give up, you have passed the test! I am learning that as I continue through the process, and I cannot wait until I finally achieve my dream to help others.

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