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University of Massachusetts-Boston

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

When I first applied to this university the one thing that stood out was its diversity. In fact, the school rep that interviewed me was hispanic. I myself am from arab origin with multiple family members living around the world so this diversity was welcoming. My freshmen year at Umass I made some friends with pakistanis, somalis, arabs and numerous students with different origin. I immidiatly felt a sense of belonging. The conversations with all these different type of people were enlightining as I learned about their cultures and attanded their events. The professors were also very diverse , ranging from liberal iranians and indians to conservative westerners. The intellectual level is also high. I love attending lectures and workshops where I feel so much more exposed than what a class room can offer me. There is always a conversation happening, whether its from student clubs who share their thoughts on somethig they feel strongly about or professors sharing their academic work outside of the classroom. I could not have picked a better place to learn and meet all kinds of interesting individuals who inspire you to want to explore the globe.

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The most valuable educational experiences that I have had since entering college have been my study abroads. I was able to study in Greece and in England. I learned more at these places in the short time I was there than I did in my 3 years at my school in the states. They are truly masters of their profession, especially for my major (Ancient Studies/Classical Languages and Archaeology.) The scholars that I have met and been able to interact with have been extremely enlightening both intellectually and emotionally. They reconfirmed time and again my passion and desire for classical studies and ancient history. I have also learned that in order to truly understand other people, cultures, and places one must first understand the history that has influenced them all. These experiences have helped me learn that if more professors showed passion and encouragement while teaching less people would be changing their majors. This is one thing that I will aim to change once I receive a teaching position. If the student sees that their major is worth the work then they will be more apt to pursue it aggressively.

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My college experience has given me insight into a world of diversity that I had never been exposed to before arriving here. The University of Maryland, College Park prides itself on its ethnic, racial, and religious diversity, and rightfully so: The campus is pulsating with different cultures that all thrive together. Students all come together to celebrate cultural holidays, whether they are going to Chabad for a Passover Seder or throwing paint with the Indian student group to celebrate Holi. The genuine joy with which the campus comes together to celebrate its diversity is inspiring, and has fundamentally changed my understanding of where I stand in the world and my community. Now, having experience so many different cultures, I feel more open-minded going into the "real world." I am much more prepared to interact with all sorts of people, because I have gained a cultural sensitivity that I will not lose. It is said that once your mind expands with a new idea, it can never contract; it also holds true that once your heart expands to love another person, you can never go back to where you stood before.

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There are many things I might say to my young self, if given the chance. I might try to convince myself of the importance of a focused goal and of reaching my full academic potential; one I did not even realize existed at the time. As a 31 year old mother of two, with limited resources and a great deal of educational debt, this little speech might have made my current situation a bit less daunting. However, my decision to enter into a speech language pathology program is the culmination of experiences in my life, personal, professional and educational. While my journey to arrive here has not been smooth, it has been those bumps, detours and rest stops where real life has touched me that can not be explained, they must be experienced. If I arrived at this point without experiencing the feeling of helping a child with a disability to succeed or watching the complete change in a child, not only in his speech but his entire being after given speech therapy, I might not feel the passion I do now. If given the chance to speak to my young self, I would simply tell her to regret nothing.

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Knowing what I know now, I would tell my highschool self to, do what you feel once you get there. As a new student, adjusting to a new environment, you should have the freedom and privelage to explore your options before narrowing down your choices. Take your time! As a freshmen, take classes that intrigue you, spark your interest, and that you may find FUN! As a new student, you may feel nervous, insecure, or unsure, but that's normal! You want to make your first year as easy as possible; to get As, to make new friends, to become familiar with your new environment. You want to make your adjustment a breeze. Don't take classes you know you don't like! Its your first year, so have fun! Take classes that interest you and that you know you will succeed in. Do what feels right for you! Do not take others people opinion as your own, because only you know what you want and how you want it. Communicate with your professors, advisors, and faculty! They can be great guidance and help towards what you want. Take apart of the school community; ie. jobs, volunteer, social activities.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, there are many things that I would tell myself. First and foremost, I would assure myself that the college process and the transition will be easier than I have been worrying about. The professors at this school are the most supportive, endeering, and inspiring people who will be eager to help me. Secondly, I would assure myself that I made the right decision in applying to UMass Boston as my first choice school. Although it is a different experience than many other students have because it is a commuter-school, this university allows me to focus on my studies which is my number one priority. I will tell myself that I will step out of my comfort zone by completing internships in different countries and working hard on and off-campus jobs. Throughout my college career, I will go above and beyond to make the most of my studies. Most importantly, I will do this with the love and support from my family and friends. These are the most important people in your life who give you strength and perseverance.

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?That?s not the right way to do it?, ?you can?t do it like that?, ?you must follow the instructions? these are phrases that you?re often heard in high school saying by many teachers. In high school teachers want you to do things in a certain way, they regulate your creativity and freedom but ensure that you will successfully complete the assignment. They hold your hand and guide you step by step until the task is complete, during those times you might feel furious thinking that you have no freedom to do things in your way. College is different, when the professor hand you the assignment you can complete it in any way that make you fell comfortable, however, you?re responsible to ensure that the method that you choose to use will produce an accurate result. You have the freedom to do anything in your way, but that freedom come with a big responsibility. Therefore the only advice that I could offer is for you to master everting that you learn from your teachers and prepare to do it on your own when you reach college. You will make it through if you could do that!

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I got a full scholarship to a State School, but its hard to transfer and to keep up the gpa with bad professors at the state school. I would have been better off to take colleges that had my major and offered a large scholarship but not a full scholarship. In fact with the financial aid which doesn't come till after your accepted I would have been paying way less than what is in the offer letter. It would have been more managable and I would have ended up learning more , taking the courses I needed instead of trying courses to bring up gpa again due to bad Professors and trying to get better lecturers in subjects I don't need ening up paying money on courses I don't need because the lectures at the schoool are not good in my major but are good professors in other subjects. Check schools with majors for you and use Rate my Professor.com for your major . On transerrring you get way LESS scholarship unless you have a high GPA , which is hard when you have bad professors teaching and the tests relect nothing that you have done in the class.

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“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman Senior year, I would need to hear this quote. It means to follow your heart and go with it and everything else will fall into place. I would tell myself to pay attention in senior year to certain topics that interest me, and research to see if I could turn that into a study or profession. The transition between high school and college may be difficult at first. Organization can be key. I would inform myself to stay on task now that you have more freedom in class and to pay attention every step of the way. Make sure to study for every test even if you know beforehand that a professor will drop one test grade. Always attend class, even when you know all the students will not be present. Professors will pay attention to who comes to class, and you may need their assistance at the end of the semester. Keep your head up and never get discouraged.

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Hello, young human male. First of all, financial aid. Watch as many of your friends in college take out two student loans, buy guitars, and then forget about school. Take note of this, as it will help in your academic success. I don't mean to tell you to take mirth in others financial irresponsibility. Just take note of it. Furthermore, stick to one thing and get a degree. It does not matter whether you like it or not, a degree is a degree and you can always go back to school. Study your butt off. Seriously. The reason people get bad grades is not because the instructor is mean or hard to understand. They just didn't study. Learn on your own time. Seriously, it helps a lot to figure out what you want to do. Beef up on your mathematics skills and read a book a month. Last but not least, if you don't like the course you are on, switching majors is always an option. Just keep in mind that moving from major to major means that you will always have to retake prerequisites that you may not like. You are worth it. You can succeed.

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