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University of Northern Iowa

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What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I would have known that student involvement is a major determining factor of your perception of college. When I started my first year, I only had a few friends from high school. It was really difficult for me to have the entire college experience without meeting new people. As the semester went on, I decided to join an organization, TOMS UNI campus team. The following semester I applied for a job at the campus bakery. Just with these two added activities, I have met numerous new people. I plan to volunteer next year to become even more involved.

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I wish I would have had better study habits, and had better notetaking skills before making the transition to college life. It would have also been beneficial to have been more knowledable about correctly citing informaton in research papers. The most imortant piece of information I would like to pass on would be developing good time management skills and having good organization. Knowing what has to be done, and when it has to be completed by plays a huge role in good organization, which then also helps with time management.

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I wish I had known about other financial options before I came to school. I wish that counselors had prepared me better for the financial aspect of college. Student loan debt is a huge burden that seems to haunt me daily. A significant portion of my paycheck goes to student loan payments every month and it would have been nice to really know all the options. Scholarship and grant applications are time consuming, but it would have been wonderful to have those options available to me when I was getting my bachelor's degree.

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I wish I had known to keep my dorm room door open. It is the best way to meet people. Knocking at a closed door to meet your neighbor is intimidating and most people won't do that. It is easy to pock your head into an open door, introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation. I also wish I had known to take initiative to get to know people and not let shyness get the best of me. Most college students want to get to know others, they are simply waiting for someone else to make the first move.

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It is the best year ever to make new relationships and the best time to get good grades, because once you establish a GPA it is pretty hard to move up or down from it. Freshman year is the most important year to get a good GPA so you can start high and maintain it throughout college. I started my Freshman year with a 3.5 and average between a 3.58-3.44

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I wish I had known more about opportunities for scholarships. However, when I applied for one scholarship, the committee for that scholarship recommended me for another scholarship that I had not applied for. I ended up receiving both scholarships, so I am very grateful to the faculty at this university.

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I wish I knew how to be more outgoing. I have missed out on a lot of opportunities to meet new people. I decided to sit in my room with my girlfriend and have bonding. I don't regret the boding, but I do regret that I only have two friends that I hang out with now. I am a junior.

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I wish I would have known how much I would like it here. I went to the University of Iowa my first semester and did not fit in. There is always someone smiling at you while you pass here in contrast to UI where I found it hard to meet friends (because of large class sizes).

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I wish I would have known everything about financial aid. I wish I would have known that there is no air conditioning in the dorm rooms. I wish I would have known about the professors and classes. I wish I would have known all about the campus.

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Going to a University, I thought that I'd be just another kid on campus. However, it surprised me how easily you can get a reputation and how often you see the same people. I also didn't expect the courses to be so difficult.

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