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University of Maryland, Baltimore

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

I find it very important that the student feel comfortable in their learning environment and it is at the same level they are regarding their decision on a major. In this I am referring to community college to the undecided versus the large four-year school. The community college environment is much more comfortable usually for those who are undecided, still finding themselves as adults and finding what excites them about learning. I had the pleasure of completing my prerequisites at two community colleges and it was great. The benefits are the reduced tuition, smaller classes, accessability to faculty. Once the student has chosen a major then search out the affordable schools that match their personality. When the environment matches the students personality the learning will increase because they feel they are immersed in a community of their peers. Returning to school at the age of thirty helped me realize how important all of the above concerns actually are to a student. The main goal should be maximizing your education and goal satisfaction and minimizing the cost and length by staying focused and motivated.

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You live near MC - a great community college. Go to it! They will give you a full scholarship because your grades are so high (huge savings). Just because you can get in to any school doesn't mean you should. Yes, your fellow honor students/professors have a prejudice against MC students, but who cares? The professors at MC are the same professors who teach at the surrounding private universities. All professors are NOT the same, and their teaching style WILL affect your grades, so use ratemyprofessor.com when choosing classes (but this applies to even the four year universities). Take advantage of study groups/tutoring, and if you have questions, then ask the professor during their office hours. Start studying early - you absolutely cannot procrastinate in college! Finally, study hard for the first test of a class because most science/math classes become more difficult as the course progresses; it is much easier getting an A on the first exam than getting an A in later exams, plus most of the material builds on the first exam's materials. If all else fails, Mega Millions numbers on 12/13/13 are 19/24/26/27/70/MB12.

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I have a bit of a different perspective than most that may be applying for this scholarship. Attending University of Maryland for a Bachelor of Nursing degree is my second undergraduate degree. So, having been removed from high school for quite sometime and attending a university closer to home for my first degree gives me great perspective this time around. My first degree being from a big 10 university is priceless. My advice to myself would be to buckle down and try to find a balance between having a social life and academics. Focus, don't be afraid to stay true to yourself. It's okay to make a mistake here and there, you have so much life to look forward to, it's not the end of the world. The most important thing would be don't rush to graduate. I was so focused on graduating in 4 years, instead of taking the opportunity to change my major, I graduated with a degree I wasn't happy, which subsequently led me to where I am now. My most important advice would be don't be afraid to be who you are, you're a great person. Be confident.

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"Don't take short-cuts!" Is the first thing I would say to myself if I had the ability to go back in time. Looking for ways to scrape by and avoiding challenges had only robbed me of the tremendous opportunities that were presented to me year after year in high school and college. Perhaps the one thing I regret was not grabbing my education by the 'horns'. My mother's dream was to come to America so that her children would have a future. My family fled from communist Russia in 1989 despite the risk of severe persecution and punishment. My mother said that she would risk death while fighting to taste freedom than remain as a slave to the Russian communist government. The new 'promise land' was not without its challenges, but after settling in I became relaxed and lackadaisical. Looking back I see that I had a spectacular buffet of ample choices that were garnished with challenge and sprinkled with hard work. I only wish that I could have learned sooner that you reap a copious harvest with a full hearted investment.

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Keep in touch with your friends from high school, they will always have your back for you. Remember to always do your reading no matter how painful it will be. There will always be professors who have it out for you, just do their work and in twelve weeks you will be rid of them. Take every opportunity that presents itself; work on that internship, go skydiving, join the sailing club. The people you will meet on these adventures will most likely become your friends for life. Listen to your TA when they tell you their office hours, even if you don't go for classwork help they can give you great guidance on how to ace the final. most of all enjoy yourself. You will realize quickly money, friends, coursework, school, work, and family never seem to be able to exist together. SO always be able to laugh and enjoy what ever you are working on.

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To be honest, I would tell my "past self" to think extremely hard about attending college. I consider myself a very business oriented individual. Seeing as how many loans that I have accumulated through the years of college it would have potentially been more profitable to open a business and jump directly into the world of Business. But the future is always unknown so I have no idea if my business would have sunk or floated to bankruptcy or wealth. Given my current knowledge and experience, I have learned while attending college. I would tell my past self to attend college, however keep in mind that hard work, diligence, and above all else. Be honest with yourself along the way. College is in investment on your future so you must work hard at it.

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Overall, my college experience has taught me to think on a broader scale. Whether it's interacting with students in a classroom and students in the oline classroom, I was introduced to the different perspectives of thought from people of various cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. Since I am a Sociology major, I enjoyed hearing others' thoughts concerning human behavior. The professors pushed me to excel and to share my ideas as well. This helped me to become more confident in the information that was being taught and it showed them how well I processed the information given. I believe that the classes that I've taken so far have left me prepared me for the field that I want to enter and have given me a stepping stone to build upon.

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In order to have life satisfaction and to be able to function as a valuable member of the medical team a high level of education is essential. In order to gain respect from colleagues and team members a college diploma is a necessity. As a single parent struggling to make ends meet education will enable me to earn more income to support my family.

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Take all the help you can get. Doing the process of making the transition to college you need to surround yourself with people who have your best intrest at heart. Keep focused , because nothing is more important then your education. Without it you'll be no where.

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My advise is to first find a college that have your major. Another important issue is also the cost of education and financial aid the school is willing to award the student. Overall the real reason of attending college is to graduate on tiime and successfully.

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