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University of New Haven

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

Dear Karla, Right now you are a senior, however not too long from now you will be a college student. There are a few important things that you must know about college life. The first is that college can be challenging, confusing, busy, and requires independence. Just like high school there will be group assignments as well as individual. Teachers schedule exams, homework, and papers, but in college these professors will not always remind you of the due dates and they will expect a lot from you. Even though they expect more from you they also want to see you success. Like stated before the work in college is challenging and there are more requirements than high school. My advice to you is to study frequently, constantly check deadlines, communicate with professors, and put 110% into every assignment. Even though grades are important throughout college, a social life is just as important. The best memories of college will not be found in textbook or essays. Joining clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities will not only allow you to meet new people, but will give you a stress reliever outlet. I know you will do well if you follow these guidelines.

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With all of the knowledge that I know now about the college experience, I would go back in time to high school senior and give myself, a high school senior, some advice about the future. I would tell myself that when entrering college, be sure not to panick. That is one important thing. Many first year college students tend to become very anxious, and worried as they are transitioning into college. I would tell myself not to panick, because after learning from experience, things always come into place and everything gets figured out as each semester goes by. We all learn short cuts and different ways of organizing our plans by new experiences. Also, getting involved on campus is a good way to freely express myself whether it's through sports, art, or helping others. I would also reccommend living off campus, because financially it saves alot. Living off campus helps with less distraction towards studying, leading to being more focused into my studies. I would tell myself to have my future career goals figured out by sophmore year, so I can be sure of which courses to take and start my internship, rather than waiting last minute towards graduation.

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First I would suggest that students determine which area of study interests them most and find a college that demonstrates excellence in that field. Parents and students should determine whether the college or university offers paid research and internships in this field of study. Both parents and students should review the credentials of the teaching faculty, including the percentage of Ph.D.s and tenured faculty. Parents and students should determine what kind of reputation the school has and determine how competitive the school is. Students should ask current students of the college how many hours of homework they have a night and whether or not they are happy with the college. Next, parents and students should review the size of the campus. Does the student want to attend a big university or a smaller one? I would urge both parents and students to research the average class size of the college and student to faculty ratio to determine whether these numbers meet expectations. Parents and students should visit the campus together to take a tour, meet with an admissions adviser, and ask any and all the questions they might have.

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By attending my community college I have been able to finish all of my general education courses while saving money and focusing on my community service. I love that I have been able to make close relationships with my professors, and now have developed a better work ethic, taking pride in my classes. I am working to my full potential and experiencing my future career first hand. My campus is lucky to be incredibly diverse with a refugee resettlement program in the city which alows the college to have a wonderful Cross Cultural offices providing services for ESOL(english to speakers of other languages) students. I have been involved with this office throughout my enrollment, volunteering as an english conversation partner and a member of the Cultural Exchange club. We won several awards last year including the Campus Compact President's award and being unanimously elected as this year's president of the club. All of these incredible experiences have helped inspire me and fuel my drive for going on to double major in Linguistics and Anthropology minoring in TESOL at the school I am transferring to in the fall.

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I realize that my first week at the University of New Haven was nothing like I expected. Being a commuter, I hardly knew anybody and envied those moving into dorms. I thought I could not fit into this new world…but it took less than a week for my opinion to change. The friends I have made are so friendly and always make me feel welcome. Furthermore, my commitments to the school newspaper, Mock Trial Team, and volunteer group have helped me express my passions for political journalism and charitable services. My college experiences have also helped me gain confidence while speaking. On the day I was scheduled to make a presentation, for example, I woke up with a violent cold and a lost voice. Yet, I received applause from the entire class and was congratulated on my ability to give a presentation despite my sickness. This really taught me how to be confident in myself, even if things do not always go as planned. Overall, my college experiences at the University of New Haven have been extremely rewarding. I expect the next four years to be equal to, if not better than what I have already experienced.

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I would recommend that the student put together a list of about 10 schools together that they're interested in. Then, the student should go online to get more information. Most schools have their clubs, sports teams, and organizations listed online, along with all of the different majors. Those are important factors when making a decision of what school you want to attend. The people you meet through sports and clubs will be your friends; you share an interest, and it's good to know people outside of your major. Your friends make the college experience better. I recommend the student selects a school with 2 majors that interest them. Some people change their major, so it's good to have a fallback at the school you're already attending. Financial aid is important. The less money you have to pay back, the better. I would recommend a smaller school over a larger school; students receive more individual attention, and it makes learning easier when you feel you can communicate with your professors if you need help. I like being able to go and talk to my teachers outside of class if I need to or want to.

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College experiences include parites and hanging out with classmates who become friends along the way. Although that is fun, as the years go by I learned there is more to a college experience. Networking with teachers, finding out the resouces the school offers, learning time management with balancing class, study time, and fun. Most people in college never talk about the other important things I mentioned that they learn and experience until after they graduate. However, I have learned while being in college. College is valuable to me because there is no other options for me to pursue my career goals. I have to graduate to move forward with my life as an OBGYN. I have no parents (they are dead), no family memebers who can help me pay for school, I never realized how important college is until now. I feel like the value of college and me graduating is matter of life and death, moving forward or being left behind. The Value is priceless, worth more than anything in the world to me, it gives me drive to continue my education, it's eminent because if I do not graduate I will have no furtue in this life.

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In my two years at the University of New Haven I have learned the responsibilities of handling and balancing money throughout the year. That is absolutely the most valuable thing any student will learn to tackle in this school, whether it is situations that involves loans, meal plans, or the money in the person's pocket. Each student learns to create a budget for themself for the year. The second most important thing is learning to focus on my GPA. The grades are very important while attending college because it determines if someone can get more help with financial aid and with tuition rising every year it is imparitive that each student can get as much help possible. Taking out loans every year is a great short term possibility, but in the long run it will come back and haunt the student with interest rates putting them in debt over $30,000 in their sophmore year. Personally, I am one of those victims and refuse to take out another loan. Grades are very helpful when it comes to situations like that, and if they don't reach certain expectations then students are stuck with no degree and a huge debt.

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When choosing your college you should research your choice course of study and visit your choice colleges. One of the most important thing to remember is that you are never stuck at the first college you end up attending. If you research a course of study but can't decide if it's right for you, you can still attend a college with that field. If you find out that even after researching it and even attending classes in that field that you aren't satisfied with it, you can transfer to a different college. Another important thing to remember when choosing a school is what size community you're comfortable with. Visiting schools is a great way to determine how big a school's community is without guessing. By visiting colleges and taking campus tours you can get a feel for class sizes, ask important questions about workloads and get a feel for things like distance to classes and even such simple things like weather and school policy about different weather conditions. Visiting the school is also a good way to see how the students are enjoying themselves, smiling faces are a great sign!

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Attending the University of New Haven was the best choice I have ever made. The education that I have received is phenomenal. As a Fire Science Administration major, having teachers that have been involved in the fire service is amazing. I have learned a lot that I would have never learned if I did not attend school. I have learned life skills that I will keep with me forever. As a firefighter, we learn the basics in Firefighting School, but I now have the upper hand by attending school. I have learned stuff that is not taught in Firefighting School. I am jumpstarting my career through University of New Haven. I want to excel in my career and be all that I can be, but the financial side of college is not good. I want to further my education as far as I can, but without money, there is no hope. I know my college experience is far from over and there are many opportunities ahead. I strive to be the best I can be, but without the financial aspect of school, I cannot shine. Firefighting is an amazing career, but I want to challenge myself with excelling in school.

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