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University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

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

Never surrender your personal integrity. Somewhere along the line, a large segment of the population has received and embraced the message that it is acceptable to be dishonest, to not tell the truth, and to succeed at any cost. The rational that many individuals present to justify such shameless behavior is: If everyone else is cheating, stealing, plagiarizing or lying, then it is not a level playing field if you do not engage in those activities as well. The lack of personal integrity directly and precariously sabotages our society and devalues us as individuals. Ultimately, these transgressions pass back to us in the form of increasted costs. More importantly, it threatens the very foundation our nation was fashioned upon; namely, truth, honor, and fairness for all. We cannot help ourselves and others attain a better life if we do not first and foremost hold ourselves to a high standard. Life is not always fair, but continually taking the easy way can become a malicious habit extending into graduate school, jobs, and relationships. The temptations are great and we cannot legislate morality, therefore, we must as individuals hold fast to "honesty before advantage" and make a better world for all.

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Anticipate your needs on all levels. After four years your will not want to look back and regret your progress, or lack there of, and attribute it to something you may have over looked while selecting a school. I am looking back on the last three years of college and I realize now that I needed to travel further away from my high school. Too many familiar faces provided a quick comfort zone that proved counter-productive in my interpersonel development. Had I anticipated this and travelled further from home I would have been forced to extend my social network, possibly opening layers of my character that have so far been unrealized. Also, "you are who you associate with". Never have I regretted meeting and socializing with any of my friends through the years, but there is something to be said for keeping a well diverse group of friends. The personal benefits will develop when you can cross analyze many points of view on the same topic. Considering a situation with a diverse range of individuals allows you to develop your own educated view point. Never limitting yourself to a single group will benefit all with your crosscultural view points.

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Attending college has taught me many different things. Most obvious is the learning I have done in the classroom. I have learned better research methods, study habits, and note taking skills over the past three years. I have learned that professors and other professionals are willing to help if you ask them for it. This is important for networking, which I have learned is the most effective job search method. Being a part of Rotaract and living with other people has taught me a lot about leadership, organization, and teamwork. I have worked with people with opposing views and have had to make compromises to accomplish our goals. I have lived with people who come from different backgrounds and different skills. These have taught me that I am a leader and I am good at seeing people?s strengths and drawing on them to make sure everything runs smoothly, no matter the situation. It has been valuable for me to attend because I have learned a lot about who I really am and now appreciate the way I was brought up. I am now confident to stand up for myself and go after what I want for the future.

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I would recommend to Evan the high school senior that he should enjoy his final year of high school by getting involved in student activities and clubs. It is the best year of school and by getting involved in different groups, you meet new people and develop your social skills. This is a huge advantage when you go off to college where there are so many different people from a variety of backgrounds. Yet another suggestion is to learn how to use your time. While in high school you go from class to class without really having to think too much about it. College on the other hand takes planning, organizing and following through on your daily schedule. I guess the right term is to learn time management skills. Yet another suggestion would be to not room with a friend, but be assigned a room with a complete stranger. This will force you to learn to live with someone you do not know and may keep your relationship with your current friend intact. Finally, try and work a part-time job so you have a few dollars in your pocket. Mom and Dad are paying enough already. Enjoy college Evan.

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You never really know if it's thr right school until you get there and start classes. I know this can be frustrating but this is why making the most informed choice possible is so important. You need to find out what is important to you in a school, campus, and student body. Don't forget, while the class quality is important, you are also making yourself a part of a pre-existing community. Talk to as many current students and faculty as possible; preferably those in your chosen field of study. Once you are at the school you have chosen, get involved! Even on the smallest campuses, there are ways to meet new, interesting people. Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you and they will only help you on your endevors. Try to stay away from people who just want to be there to party. Parties are fun and I don't suggest avoiding them entirely but you still want to make it to your sophomore year. Pay attention to when your classes are and try to sign up for ones that meet your ideal studying schedule and social calendar. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

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The best advice i can give to both parents and students about finding the right college and its experiences is to take advantage of all options and resources. If there are any schools your interested in you should apply to all of them no matter what even if you dont think you can afford them or its too far from home , you never know what will happen until you make an effort. Student should also search for schools that have activites they would be interested in because thats apart of the college experience. Also both parents and students should plan ahead financially because there are a lot of unexpected cost of being a college student from things like curriculum support fees to health insurance and miscellanious expenseces like food, they residential food does get tiring after awhile. Remember college is a time for experiences and learning to be on your own so try to chose a school that has a little distance from home but is close enough where you can still make it home when your in the mood for a home cooked meal which mostlikely you will crave after a while.

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Don't stress out about what life will be like as a college student. The reality is that its just another stage of life, and it certainly is no more drastic than the change from middle school to high school. Your peers will be more mature than they were in 9th grade and they will be going through the same life change. In high school you teachers may not have recognized your individual motivations and talents, but your college professors will respect you as an accomplished adult with a purpose in life. Over the next four years of college they will come to see you more as a peer and less of a student. Although immense, the freedom you will obtain must be respected for what it is. The authentic freedom gained from college is the ability to tell the world who you really are. Your college experience will act as a pencil sharperner for your life. Depending on how you manage yourself you'll emerge as a fully defined pencil ready for a specific task or a piece of wood dulled by improper use. Work hard but enjoy college as is and everything will fall into place.

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College in 200 words...impossible. College is an experience like no other. Picking which college is right for you is stressful; but if you put in the effort, the outcome will be great. When you're visiting colleges, take tours, look at the dorms, walk around the library, go to a class, and try the food! The biggest piece of advice I can give is to get opinions about the school from attending students. They can tell you information that admissions directors or tour guides wouldn't normally tell you. While at college, get your work done, and then have fun! As a current student, I can't tell you how many people choose to party every night and not do any work; they have already failed out of college. If you want to get a good job, you have to have good grades! This is your CAREER that you are studying for, so you need to make the most of it. Lastly, during college a student should try and get a job that relates to their major. Professors definitely recognize this, and it makes college a little easier if you learn while working in the real world!

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Attending college has been the best experience of my life. As a child I always hoped to pursue higher education and Thankfully through the support of friends and family I?ve have achieved that success. I?ve found through my college experience that I have a real calling to language arts and writing. Working with my professors and classmates I have learned to look at the world in a completely different perspective. To analytically look at every situation and make conscious educated decisions, hopefully leading to vocational success. I?ve learned about so many interesting fields that were never before within my grasp. Through the guidance of the faculty, I have come one step closer to my ultimate goal; to become a college professor in rhetorical theory and to pass on the wonderful knowledge I?ve learned to the next generation of youth enrolled in higher education. I have attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for four years and plan to enroll in the upcoming fall 2010 semester for graduate studies in the professional writing field if finances permit.

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The main advice I would offer is to find out what your interests are. Many students attend business schools or may major in a business field because they think a career in that field will be the most lucrative. However, sometimes these students find themselves performing poorly in school because they did not choose a college or major that matches their interests or goals in life. After finding a college that will allow you to explore your interests, I would recommend getting involved in campus activities, such as clubs, plays, or other special events. Not only could you meet many friends from these activities, but you could learn a lot and gain lifelong memories. Study habits are extremely important in college. You must learn not to procrasinate, as it could result in a large amount of assignments due at the end of the semester. It is also best to study in groups, as engaging in discussion about the subject will help you to absorb the information better. The best college advice to remember: learn a lot, make yourself a better person, and have a great time!

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