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University of New England

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

High school was not the high-point of my life. I had a lot of misconceptions about who I was, what I wanted, and what life was about. Going to college opened up a new world, and if I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would remind myself that high school is not a defining time of life. When I began my college search as a senior, I wanted to study English and become a teacher. My plan changed when I decided I disliked my English class so much that I couldn't stand to study English anymore. If I could go back and talk to myself, I would remind myself not to judge every book by those few covers--that college would be an experience separate from high school. The love of English would still run in my veins. As a senior, I was stuck in a world where I believed that I would always be the loner I was then. The University of New England attracts many students, some of whom are similar in interests and hobbies to myself moreso than my high school peers. In colege, I made friends and became much happier.

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Dear Sarah, The college life isn't so bad. I know you have said over and over you'd like to attend community college for a few years and be done because you don't want to be in big classes and leave your family and friends, but please hear me out and reconsider. Choose a small school, for example, The University of New England in Portland, Maine. Only about 100 students dorm , so everyone is close. Having to adapt to new people, screaming girls, the party life, broken hearts, and drama may seem difficult and easier to stay out of, but you learn to make do with what you have. As for classes, although you do have to study harder and the professors don't really care if you go to class or not, it isn't really too bad. If you pick a major you know you'll enjoy and go into class wih confidence, saying "I can do this and I'll love it!" you will succeed. Ten percent of life is what happens and ninety percent is how you react to it. Enjoy what you are doing and the rest will fall into place. From, Yourself

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To find the right college the student needs to know what exactly they want out of school and what kind of person they are. If the student goes a college that is compatible with their academic, social, and extracurricular goals then they are already making a great choice for themselves. The parents need to support their childs choice in school and get to know the school as much as they can. If the parent can support their child then both will have a good experience throughout the college experience. To make the most of the college experience the student should join extracurriculars the they enjoy, not just ones that will look good on a resume. This way the student is guarenteed to have fun and hopefully do something good for the community and school. The main thing to really getting the most out of college is to relax. Don't stress too much and learn to balance fun and academics. If the student can balance those two things then they are guarenteed to have a great college experience.

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Catherine, I am here to talk to you about your future. You need to go to the college of your dreams, not where someone else wants you to go. Though UNE is a great school there is not as much opprotunity as some other schools. It has always been your dream to study abroad and you should make that dream a reality. If you academic advisor says that it's impossible, don't take that as an answer! Fight for what you want in life or people are going to take away your dreams. Go into college with your head up and your heart in dentistry. You need to stay motivated to reach new levels of success. If your friends are distracting you and you need some alone time to study go to the library or a quiet area. I know it is hard when everyone around you is going out or having fun but just remind yourself that you are in college to learn and to become a professional in your field of study. It is always good to take a break and have fun with your friends but you need to always remember why you are at school.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior I would tell myself to have an open-mind and be more outgoing. College can be a stressful transition but going into everything with and open-mind and postive attitude only helps to ease yourself through the change. Roomates can get on your nerves but you just look at them like siblings. You may not like the situation all the time but you are stuck with them for the year. You have to make the best of what you are presented with. Being outgoing helps you to make more friends which assists in building a strong support system. This is helpful when you are hit with the bouts of homesickness or your struggling with a class or just want to hang out. It may be a scary change but the indepence and responsiblities can be pretty fun. It is the first major step towards the "adult life" but it it worth the troubles. Take in the good times and the bad, learn from your mistakes. and enjoy the time while it lasts because it flies by.

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Most of all think of what you can afford. A lot of people have the outlook of that they are gonna be in debt anyway so they will just go for the gold, but really you should think affordably. Think in-state schools or even schools that are known for their scholarships. Before you pick a school it is also nice to go on a tour of the campus but also to go on a tour that isn't done by a tour guide because you want to see the real side of your future school instead of the pretty packaged one that will be served to you. After you have picked your school and once you get there, understand that at first it will be a little hard to make friends because everyone might be a little overwhelmed just like yourself, get in touch with a counselor to make the transition easier. My biggest advice on how to make the most of your colege experience is to find that happy medium between school work and a social life, to understand it's a give and take and there is nothing wrong with doing homework.

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Think back to the story you learned about as a child called "The Tortoise and The Hair." Slow and steady wins the race. You are going to be tempted to just go go go and never stop. Just focus and do your best and everything will work out the way it is supposed to. Set good, strong goals and stick to them. Layout your school schedule at the beginning of every semester. After a while it will become hard to be persistent in planning but it will benefit you in the long run. I promise. I heard a quote by C. S. Lewis which said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” If you want to have an effect on others, then you will have to learn how to incorporate this into who you are as an individual. In order to have true integrity you will have to make a commitment to do the right thing simply because it is the right choice. When it is sought with this intent it is easy to do the right thing at all times because it will become habit. Work hard but have fun.

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If I could go back to give my high self advice about college life, I would tell myself to look into different types of majors and careers before committing to one specific life. I would also tell myself to not settle for a school that you think you might like because the chances are you probably won't like it. It's best to attend the school you have a good gut feeling about. I would also tell myself not to leave things to the last minute especially the application process. Also, college life is a lot different from high school life because there is a lot more freedom. I would advise my high school self not to take advantage of the freedom because no one is going to be there to make sure you have your priorities straight. The only person thats looking out for your best interest is you and you make all the decisions, so if you feel you shouldn't do something then don't do it. Lastly, I would advise not to give in to Peer Pressure with anything!

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to prepare to work hard. College is not just a fun time, but it requires hours of studying a homework. I thought high school was hard because I took a few AP classes. I now know that high school is a breeze compared to the classes in college. It may be because I am a medical biology student, but I get hours of homework a night, and I often lose hours of sleep due to my studies. When everyone describes college students as broke and tired, they were not over exaggerating. Because of the work load, I get less sleep than I did in high school, and because I cannot work as much as a did in high school, I have less money as well. But I will also tell my high school self that, even with the hardships, college is so much better than high school. I would tell myself that it does get better, and that college will be the best years of my life.

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When it comes to choosing the right college it is important to check out the campus first hand and talk to the people that are there. Must students will share the good and the bad aspects of their campus so you get a good whole picture of what the college is like. While at college there are three important things to do to make the most of it, make friends, get active, and go to class. Friends are great support group for everything, from dealing with classes, having fun, and distressing. Being active on and around campus is great for building you're resume and gaining experience, but also great for finding friends and feeling good about yourself. Most important go to class. To many people forget the importance of maintaining grades that they end up failing out, and that is the worst thing that can happen. It also takes away from the fun of the college experience if you have to worry about class work that you missed.

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