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University of Nebraska at Kearney

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

During high school I was painfully introverted; if I walked out into the world with this perspective on life I doubt I would have made anything of myself. Throughout college I’ve come to understand people better. Not through psychology classes, but from the structure of the classrooms in all subjects. As I took classes I found that a majority of teachers respond to students in a pleasant manor. Teachers seemed excited that they were there, reveling in the thought of sharing their own knowledge with a passion that inspires intrigue. Students were for the most part pleasant, not conniving and prone to exclusion of others. The college experience forces people to act kindly. It might have something to do with the wish not to feel excluded themselves; they only interact with each other a few hours a week and want to be liked. In any case seeing that college students were not as negative as high school children I really came out of my shell. I have become more open to others and have made many friends because of it. I feel more alive because I am a social being now who can still respect the value of solitude.

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No matter what, put yourself out there. Be brave, let your personality shine through and meet as many people as you possibly can. Remember who you are and don't let attempts to fit in change the person you are meant to be. Prop your door open, especially the first week, so others in your building know you are an open person and want to meet them. Bring multiple, stackable crates for organization purposes. Communicate openly with your roommate, nothing gets solved if you both bottle up issues that can be easily sorted out. Also understand that you each need your space sometimes, and respect that. Within the first week, get into a comfortable routine and stick to it so you don't become overwhelmed or get behind. Call Mom and Dad, they miss you and as busy as you might be, you will miss them too. Write letters to friends and family, because keeping those connections is important and getting mail brightens any day. Never let someone get you down, and remember that even though not every day is good, there is good in every day and you are so incredibly blessed to be where you are. Keep smiling.

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If I could give my high school self advice, I would say to get ahead on reading assignments and dedicate as much time towards my studies during the week as possible, in order to have weekends mostly free for socializing with peers. I would also share that college is much more beneficial when you have an open mind to any and all information that is new to me. Absorb as much information as possible, but ask a lot of questions. Make the professor go into detail and challenge them to truly expand the knowledge the class. Also, when the opportunity to speak in class arises, participate. Spark discussions and debates, but do not shoot down the opposition. Appreciate and respect their point of view, but do the same for your own. This is an opportunity to explore uncharted territory for yourself and others, so take advantage of that. My last piece of advice would be to take any and all classes that spark my interest. You never know what conversation might change your future, so take advantage of having control of your class schedule! Small decisions cause big changes!

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Reflecting on what I have learned from the past two years at my current college, I would have plenty of advice to give myself as a high school senior. I would tell myself that choosing Early Childhood Education was the right major choice, even though they may not be the highest paying careers. You will realize this, your first semester when you observe a three year old boy, Logan, whose parents have recently split up and acts out in the classroom. This will hit home to you, when you reflect on how you acted out when your parents split up when you were his age. Your fear of not seeing your friends from high school who were able to go away will be subsided when you see them every day during your breaks and visit them when you are able to. You will make friends at college despite the slacker stigma it has. These friends will help you grow and learn more about yourself in one semester than you ever thought you would. And lastly, remember that although attending your Community College wasn't your first college choice it will be turn out to be the right one.

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The first thing I recieved from college was a since of responsibility. It was no longer up to my mother to asisst me with selecting courses. It became my sole responsibilty to show up for class to learn the materials to pass. It became my responsibility to reach out to my teachers if I am not grasping the information being taught, outside of class. I have become responsible to pay for my school and pursue a job to be able to afford my tuition. Also, I am responsible to get material and textbooks for courses work. It has been very valuable for me to attend school because I have learned so much information. The general education erquirements allow me to learn material that I never experienced in high school courses or that I may not Know much in. It has been valuable to attend because I know when I graduate I will be able to find a great job in my field of study, that I can not without any college experience. I will have many job fields I can go into with accounting and not be "stuck" in a position and unhappy that I had potential that I wasted.

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As anyone would say, what are your interests? I really enjoy music and playing different instruments, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney was the best for a small, affordable, social, and focus based school that caught my eye. However, if you're not sure what to study, I personally would go to a small accredited community college in your area to get some general studies out of the way to buy you more time to think and discern what you want to do with your future. Once you find a school you like, a great way to get started is meeting new people, (if you're living in the dorms this is quite benneficial), get involved with different activities and student organizations, join a fraternity or sorority, and just have fun. But most importantly keep the focus on academics. Isn't that the reason why you're there? Trust me, there's nothing more important than keeping your grades up. I sometimes struggle with them, but I try hard, and do the best I can (as cliche as that sounds). I hope that you find what you're looking for, and Good Luck!!!

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College has been an eye opener for me. College has helped me figure out who I am as a person and decide how I am going to make a difference in today's society. I have learned that College is not just a place I can go to listen to lectures and meet new friends. However, it is a place that I can go to begin opening doors towards wonderful opportunities. I believe that the knowledge I have and will gain from taking College classes will show others the value that a College education has on your life. You can go places and do things that you would not have been able to do otherwise. A College education is a very valuable tool to have because it shows employers that you are dedicated, responsible, and willing to challenge yourself in many ways in order to be successful. College has provided me with the necessary skills needed in order to face the future and begin planning the rest of my life. Truly understanding the value that College offers students is complex, but helps others become more prepared for what the future holds.

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My college experience has been a lot of fun. Being an athlete has its perks but I wouldn't go to college any differently. I feel that athletics keeps me focused on school work and keeps me in the classroom. I first started attending college at a junior college in Colorado. The junior college helped me so much with getting a feel for college and knocking out numerous general studies credits. Transfering to UNK has been great. I have been able to jump right into my upper level courses and am looking forward to receiving my Bachelors degree. It is tough right now because I am in a degree that requires a lot of work and time. But I feel confident that I will be successful in getting a degree in Construction Managment. I look forward to my time remaining at the University of Nebraska Kearney not only as a student but as a baseball player. I wouldn't do anything differently in the road I have taken to accomplish a proper amount of higher education. College isn't what you see in movies and TV. I Think it is better.

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If I could go back and talk to my high school senior self, I would tell myself not to panic. In the months, weeks, and days before starting college, I panicked a lot. I panicked about anything and everything that I could. My biggest worry was that I would not be able to keep up with the school work in college along with working a part time job. In high school, my teachers always piled on assignment after assignment, and would say something like, "When in college you will need to know how to balance all of the school work your professors throw at you". That statement always made me worry. I knew that in college we wouldn't have the same calsses everyday, so I thought my school work was going to be even bigger and harder than it was in high school. Now that I am in college, I know that since we don't spend a whole day in classes, unlike high school, we have that extra time to spend working a job and doing homework assignments. I actually enjoy the college life, and there really was no reason for me to panic.

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I was ranked in the top ten percent of my class. I completed Algebra I in eight grade and didn't realize this class would count in my high school classes. I would have tried harder in eigth grade because this class lowered my GPA. I spend the four years working to correct my score and finally built my GPA to a 4.0. I regret making a late decision to attend Kearney becasue by the time I applied for admission, I was too late for university scholarships. I had to work an extra job to help with my funding for college. I took the ACT test 3 times as a senior. Looking back I wish I would have taken this test once as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, follwed by four times as a senior. I wish colleges would not base everything on the ACT as it is only one score to test a person's aptitude. I learned early you need to finish what you start. I became an Eagle Scout when I was a freshman. I have been able to use these skills to built my leadership from high school into college. My advice is academics first!

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