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University of North Carolina Wilmington

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

High school senior self, I need you to take the time to visit your advisor and talk to them about how the transition between high school and college works. Without their help, you will get lost and push deadlines back or miss out on golden opportunities. Learn how to navigate the internet for scholarships and work diligently on applying for said scholarships in a timely fashion. Talk to businesses in the community to see if they have scholarships or grants available and see how to receive them. Make sure to take every day as a chance to give service and to learn something new. My most important advice is to not procrastinate. It is the worst self-handicap you can do to yourself. I've learned that through the years it is better to complete assignments or tasks ahead of time so that if you make a mistake, you can fix it easily and not rush in the last few hours.

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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 try everything. Even though some things seem uncool or stupid, it would be fun to atleast try it once before judging it. Get more involved. Everyone says, "get involved," but no one ever takes them seriously. There are so many things that I should of tried to get involved on campus my freshman year. Getting involved allows you to make the right friends, who like to have fun on campus and not just party all the time. Lastly, be prepared for a little more free time in college. Even though, you are a full time student, does not mean that your busy all the time. If you learn how to use your time wisely with school work, you'll have extra time to get involved and socialize. Make sure you have fun. You only go to college once, so make sure you study hard and play hard.

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If I was able to go back in time, and talk to myself about college during my senior year, I would tell myself to get going. During high school, I had a lot going for me; I never had to crack a book to get the good grades, I did not study for my SAT's, I procrastinated all the time. I would tell myself that I needed to start taking out the books even though I did not need to and stop procrastinating before I had to learn the hard way. I would have told myself that school mattered more than friends because I have not talked to half the people I knew in high school, and the friends you make in college understand when you have something to do for school. I would make myself understand that I will be able to be completely myself, have great friends, and do well at school all at the same time, but I will have to keep my head straight and focus on what needs to be done.

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You should pick a college that has several different academic departments that interest you because no matter how determined you may be about your major when you begin your college career, it is likely that you will change your mind and you want a selection of majors that will allow you to find something else to excel in. Once you get to college, make as many friends as you can, stay in touch, go to extracurricular activities, or join clubs, and go to sporting events. Even getting a job in the town will help build your social life. College is a big place to help build your network of friends and acquaintances and the relationships you make (and keep) will help you throughout life. The last thing is, just live your life. As you go through your career at a university you will learn many life lessons along with your academic studies. College is character-building.

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The transition to college from high school was extremely difficult for me. I was very homesick and felt very alone. I had no friends there and did not know a single person. Now, I have some of the best friends I've ever had and barely miss home at all. If I could go back in time as a high school senior I would tell myself not to worry about making friends in college. The first semester will be your hardest, but after that everything will be great. You are not the only person that feels the way you do. The most important piece of advice I could give myself is to reach out to others and step out of my box. Don't just sit in your room all the time. Go out and get involved with different organizations and clubs around campus. Form study groups and make an effort to get to know different kinds of people. I am not pomising it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

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If I were able to talk to myself a year ago, I would have told myself that I had better learn how to cook and that UNC-W is the school that I should shoot for, not the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I also would have told myself that I shouldn't be spending my money, but that I should instead be putting it all in the bank and not spending it all by eating off campus everyday, which was unnecessary. I could have kept that money in the bank and I would have been making at least a little bit of interest of off it, which I have learned at this point that any little bit can help a lot. I would have told myself to work hard in school, even though it was senior year, and to work hard at my job to earn all the money I could, and to work hard on my truck, because I've learned that having a vehicle at college would have allowed me to get a job.

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The advice I would give myself when I was starting as a senior in high school, I would say start filling out college applications now to meet the deadlines. Start looking into your major more to make sure that's what you really want. Go on college tours to get the feel of how college campus life would be. If you apply for financial aid waviers for like ACT Test and College Applications get as many as you can. Take Act Test over if you feel you can do much better than you did. Go ask your teachers and other staff for college recommandation letters, tha'llt help you get more college acceptance letters. Also do your very best on your school work, and do lots of studying for test. Keep a great GPA because the college will determine if they would like you to attend their schooling programs. The main thing is to stay organized and responsible.

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Finding the right college is all about matching the school to your personality. I have a twin sister who goes to ECU. She loves her school and I love my school, but we both hate the other person's school. We have different personalities and lifestyles. Any school can be a party school, so that's not what i'm saying. I'm comfortable with our smaller (but not too small) campus and I love the town and the beach. The town has a lot of options for eating and shopping; my sister's town seems boring to me. Obviously the school must have something to do with your chosen career path, but when I first chose my school I did not know what my major would be yet. I chose my school because I visited and fell in love with the campus. The student will know which campus fits their personality best. They just need to visit different campuses to find out.

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One of the most important steps for parents and students to do when finding the right college is to visit the campuses that the student is interested in attending. They should do a lot of research on the campus life and the surrounding areas to find out if it is what they are looking for. Parents need to support their child?s decision in the school they chose and not encourage them to go elsewhere. In order for students to make the most their college experience, they need to find a balance between their academic studies and their social life. Too much of one or the other can sometimes lead to various stresses. Once a student finds this balance, they will truly be able to enjoy college the way they should be enjoying college. Students should always keep in mind their life long goals and should pursue a career that they will love.

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My college experience has given me maturity and knowledge. I believe that the knowledge I have gained in college has given me the ability to make better and more informed choices about my life. It has given me direction and inspiration in life it led me to the criminal justice field and has opened me up to the line of work I now pursue. Without college I would still be stuck waitressing in a small town, instead I have relocated to a bigger city with more possibilities. It even allowed me to relocate to an area with a four year university were I can continue to further my knowledge by completing my Bachelors degree and hopefully one day, if time and money permit, my Masters. College has been valuable for me to attend because I have been able to improve my quality of life and put dreams within my reach.

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