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University of Northern Iowa

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

I have learned that college is vital in preparing us for out of school life. College shapes us to be structured, it prepares us for professional and personal testing/ and quizzes life throws at us. I have learned to organize my life accordingly and prioritize what is most important in that certain moment. College provides us with the opportunity to socialize with other people who are goal oriented and driven to success because most students that attend school understand that a higher education level is essential in this modern day living. We are surrounded in college by professors who have already overcame many obstacles’ and through their experience, they tutor and help guide us to achieve the same, if not more. So far, college has been a very positive and inspirational experience, because it has taught me to want more, more education, more knowledge, more understanding and most of all it has taught me to believe that doors and opportunities can be opened to reach my personal dream and desire of helping others. College is significantly valuable, because it provides us with unlimited knowledge; and knowledge is power.

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The most important part of choosing the right college is deciding what you want to study before you actually start college. A lot of students start going to college and just wander aimlessly for a few years and then randomly pick a major because they can't stay undecided anymore. In the end, they waste a lot of valuable time and money on taking unnecessary classes and their overall GPA and college experience suffers as a result. However, if you start college with a concrete goal in mind then it is a lot easier to stay focused and get involved in campus activities, which greatly contribute to the overall college experience. College isn't all about classes and grades, it's about the people you meet and the way these people affect you. Every year spent in college is a huge step towards becoming self-sufficient, and the people around you are the ones that have the greatest influence on who and what you become after college. Therefore, chose your path wisely and involve yourself only with those that you want to be associated with. The rest will take care of itself, as life usually tends to unfold that way.

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In order to pick the right college, you must make several college visits. Have your son or daughter sit in on classes, attend events, sleep in the dorms, visit fraternities/sororities, etc. Sometimes the college that seems to be the right fit actually isn't. One visit doesn't help because everyone puts on their best act and provides a one-sided sales pitch. Don't always utilize "official" campus visits. Get in touch with a friend, relative, or alumn from your child's school and see if they will provide you with a real tour. Education is the point of going to college, so make sure the atmosphere is best suited towards academics. It is very frustrating when a student isn't able to talk to their professor, get into the right classes, or receive proper instruction/aid. Therefore, ask around and see what the professors, library, and other academic centers are like. Check out princetonreview.com and see all the rankings that the institution received. Also, visit ratemyprofessor.com to see what the students think of their own college and its teachers. Never be satisfied with a school sponsored campus visit.

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Looking back, I would have plenty of helpful advice to give myself as a high school senior. I would advise myself to start becoming more independent before college with varoius tasks, such as preparing meals, doing laundry, and purchasing everything with my own money. Additionally, I would advise myself to create a budget, clip coupons, and moniter whether or not my purchases are necessary. A great way to save money is to take advantage of the grab-and-go dining services on campus. They are nice bec ause I can grab extra items when I get a meal there, and it just comes out of my dining plan. I would also advise myself to become more independent in other ways, such as learning to be away from family and friends. I made several trips home the first few months of college, but quickly realized I was wasting money on gas, missing out on campus activities and exploring my college town. I would advise myself to embrace the separation, though it may be difficult at first. Although I would have much more advice for myself as a high school senior, I feel this advice is some of the most important.

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I looked at a lot of great colleges with great programs, but UNI was the place that felt most "like home." My greatest piece of advice when looking at colleges is look for a place where you feel comfortable. Search for a school that puts students first, that has opportunities for growth and development, and one that stresses the importance of building students into strong, influential leaders. When visiting on college visits, make it a point to talk to current students and get their perspective on college life. Ask questions on campus tours, meet with an admissions counselor, and eat in the dining center. As parents, it is important to look beyond the cost of an education and view it as an investment in your student's future. In my opinion, after three years at UNI as an out-of-state student, that there is no price you can place on a quality education. I am thankful that my parents allowed me to make the decision of where I wanted to go to college and remained supportive as I began my schooling there. Supportive parents made my transition from high school to college easy!

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Hello Matthew, I have some very important advice you need to live by. First of all always attend class, and try your best to be prompt. Allow yourself time inbetween classes when scheduling to give yourself time to prepare for exams for expample. Try and schedule your classes in the morning while you are most alert, most importantly get a day planner and use it. To simplifiy life as soon as you get your books read them. This will allow you to be familiar and more confident for the up comming lectures, also you will be able to participate better in class. Do your homework right away, this will relieve so much stress, putting things off only will result in bad things. Get to know your professors, they are people too and it is much easier to get help from someone who likes you. Respect everyone you incounter and don't be judgemental, you will find you have much to learn and you never know who has the answers. Time management is the key to success in school. Life is a balance remember the your Faith, Family, and friends come first. By the way they are all rooting for you.

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I would tell parents to try not to give their children too many preconceptions about what they should do after high school and to try to help them become aware of as many of the opportunities available to them as possible. Students shouldn't feel like there is a certain university that they will probably end up attending or a certain path they will probably end up taking in life. They shouldn't feel pressure to attend college at all. If college is their choice, I would tell students to take their time finding a college and deciding a major. College doesn't necessarily have to start immediately after high school. It's better to have a clear idea of what you want out of your college education before you dive in. You could end up spinning your wheels, wasting time and tuition money, because you didn't really know yourself and your goals before you started. Of course, once the decision has been made and you're at your chosen college working toward your chosen degree, remember that nothing is set in stone. If you're unhappy with the path you're on, you can always change it.

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From my college experience here at the University of Northern Iowa has been one I will remember. This is because it has been good so far. There is so many things to participate in. There are clubs for just about anything, homecoming is so fun to participate in with all of the great traditions, the events that the student body government puts on are always fun to attend. Living here on campus has been a blast. The class room settings also have been something that I really thought would be different coming into college. At frist I thought I was going to have classes that were all 100 plus students, but I found out that most class sizes are around 60 people. The teachers have been very helpful and you learn a lot if you apply yourself. This school has been a great valuable for me to attend because of how much there is to do. Everything on campus that you do you are always learning. The classes have helped me become someone who is hard working and knows what they want. It has givien me a lot of knowledge so far that I can take out to the realworld.

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As a senior in high school, I was terrified to come to college. I was terrified I would never speak to my high school friends again. I was terrified my classes would get much harder and I would not be able to keep up. I was terrified I would not like college and not make friends. After starting college, I realized how I could not have been more wrong. Everything I expected to happen did not happen, in fact I had opposite results. I love college. I find my classes more challenging, but since they are more difficult I work harder and get more out of them. I have made a lot of new friends and keep in touch with my old ones. I have become involved in various organizations on campus. I am even going to travel abroad to Germany this summer. In other words, my high school senior self could not have been more wrong about college. If I could go back, I would tell myself, "worry less and enjoy senior year because it was great one. College will be a eye-opening, enriching, and exciting experience that you will love. Don't be scared, enjoy the ride."

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I have gained a lot more knowledge through my college experience, instead of learning about the same subject in Highschool the transition I made to college led me to more intrest in the classes that I have tooken in my college courses. Unlike the Highschool courses, college is flexible and I feel independent with just have a couple classes a day and then going home to study. The transition made helped me feel more grown up and instead of being tied down and being told what to do by the teachers in highschool, the professors in the college courses made it easier for me to help fit in with the class and I can be on the same pace as everyone else. It has been valuable for me to attend college, without my college experiece I wouldn't know what to do with my life. The experience helped me choose a major that I would like to pursue without having second thoughts about what to do with my life. College has helped me out with getting my life straightned out and what dreams I want to pursue to become sucessful without college I would be where I am today.

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