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University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

The professors usually know their subject area well but many of them are undesirable due to poor teaching skills or boringness. Many don't seem to be very inviting to students who need help. Almost none of the professors make an effort to get grades to students in a timely fashion. The school's inclement weather policy is notoriously negligent. Only a record-breaking snow storm will keep students from having to navigate the icy sidewalks and stairs to attend class. The school sits on a hill, with many sloping paths and stairs that make navigatation difficult for the disabled.

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Before I came to college, I wish I had known how much my life goals would change. I started as a biology major wanting to be a veterinarian but will be graduating with a degree in psychology, certification in elementary education and the hope of studying school counseling in graduate school. I also wish I had known how much effort I needed to put into studying and how much more organized I needed to be. Over the past few years I have developed strategies conducive to learning that would have been very helpful in the beginning.

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I wish I had known what the theatre program at the school was really like. The people can be very exclusive and they live in a bubble-like environment in the theatre building. The program is split between tech and acting. I am an actor but the major cuts you off from really doing anything else at school. I chose the middle option, BA in theatre studies. Unfortunately, it is heavily tech based and the department will not allow you to take many of the upper-level acting classes, which is very discouraging to me.

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When a school assigns credit hours to a class, they stand for hours of hard work taken out of your time. I wish I had known that I need to go back to my room after classes and re-read my notes and practice extra work in order to completely grasp the concepts my professors taught that day. By adjusting and realizing this fact, I'm beginning to put the credit hours to good use and really make the most out of my time. Quality is truly better than quantity when it comes to the time I devote to classes.

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The beginner level courses, such as Biology and Chemistry, are very tough. They are this way, because they are "weed-out" courses, where they separate the focused, determined students from the rest. I wish I knew that freshmen year was very important, because it is harder to raise your GPA later in the game if you don't do well earlier. There is also many honors programs with great benefits that I wish I knew about so I could apply for them.

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I wish I had known how badly the teacher just want to help you. At the school I transfered from, teachers just wanted you to get by, they didn't care how well you did. At UMBC all the teacher have so much time dedicated to helping us so that we understand and can pass. I wish I had known this because I was unaware of the office hours that the teachers and teachers assistants provided and would have taken advantage of them sooner.

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I wish I was more knowledgable about the criteria for their scholarships. I would have spent more time studying for the SAT's if I had known it was predominately based on the SAT. I also wish I knew that UMBC does not have a business school and does not place much emphasis on business related areas. Rather, the university uses most of its resourses (career center, internships) to help those in scientific research.

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I wish I had known that the campus is very quiet on the weekends. Many people go home and my dorm is usually left empty and boring. Therefore I am forced to either go home or visit another college. I also wish I had known that the unlimited meal plan was not fully unlimited. I get four meals per day which is better then most but I can only use one per meal period or I lose it so it's not all unlimited.

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I wish that I would have know more about what the professors expect of you. The professors are easily accessible during office hours but they also have so many students to serve to. More often then not I find that material covered in the textbooks and what is presented in class do not correlate and this causes me much difficulty in succeeding.

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I wish I would've have been a little more prepared in regards to academic work. This school strives to make it's students the best at their field, but with that comes a lot of academically challenging work. So I wish I would've have been a little more prepared for that.

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