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University of Oregon

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

Chicken Pot Pie: A Recipe for College Success Ingredients: For Crust: An Important Surrounding and Decision 3 cups of starting the process early, examine options and don?t get overwhelmed ? cup of figuring out whether the environment cultivates extracurricular activities 3 teaspoons of finding out what the average class size and student to teacher ratio 4 tablespoons of checking out financial options, many opportunities exist 2 cups of encouraging campus visits, the best way to fully explore any college ? cup of examining crime rates, safety is key, know what resources are available 1 cup of seeing how learning is presented, interdisciplinary course work allows for a variety of ways to learn For Filling: Making the Most of the Experience 4 cups of getting involved, college is what one makes it 2 teaspoons of including extracurricular activities and nonacademic pursuits ? cup of creating study groups, maintain contacts for research projects 2 ? cups realizing that self-motivation is essential to succeed ? tablespoon of taking courses that link academic with personal enjoyment 1 cup of realizing that deciding one?s major isn?t essential the very first day Directions: Preheat oven to 425 Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy the flavor of success!

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I would start by asking myself a few questions: Why are you going to school and this school in particular? What /Who do you want to be in five years? How do you get there? Take the time to research the certification and experience needed to follow your dreams. Going to college allows you follow your dreams. Investigate your school; try to learn about its lifestyle, academic standing, accessibilty, and personality. Does this school get you to where you want to go; if so great, if not then keep looking. College will be a time of intense personal and intellectual growth. Participate in the experience - join clubs, student government, be interactive in class, TRY TO LEARN THE MATERIAL. Give it your best shot because you want to learn everything that you can; grades will take care of themselves. Be grateful everyday, this may be one of the best experiences in your life. Don't miss it. Develop a relationship with fellow classmates, the faculty and the staff at your school. They are probably caring people and they maybe helpful to you even later, after college. Try to contribute to the history and influence of the school. Make a difference.

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I encourage students and parents to visit the campuses of different schools that are of interest. Being on campus and experiencing different events as well as everyday life can really make a difference in finding the college with the best fit. To students specifically, I would encourage each of you to make the decision for yourself--don't let anyone else pick the college that you will have to live with for the next four years. Choose the one that fits you best, because you want to go there. To parents, once your child has chosen a college, invest yourself in it; buy clothing and window stickers to support of your child's decision (as well as verbally support it). Once again to the students, get involved with anything that interests you once you're there. You never know what you'll learn outside the classroom. I'd say a majority of the learning that prepares you for "real life" actually happens in other settings (work, extra-curricular activities, etc). Take advantage of all the variety of experiences you have available in college, because there aren't many other places you'll get to have that at your finger tips.

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Pick a college that you are going to feel comfortable at. Diversity is important, but there are going to be very few schools that are truly as diverse as they claim. Finding a college with people that are like minded is important. For example, I made the mistake of going to a politically charged school when talking about politics in public settings makes me uncomfortable. Try to find a good, well rounded school instead of a great specialized school. Unless you are one of very few people, your major will change. It is easier, and more beneficial to you, to be able to switch from one great department to another great department. Again, this was one I learned through experience. I started as a music student but changed to math, and it was just luck (and a well rounded school) that both departments were excellent. When you get to college, try different activities. This is the only time in your life where experimentation with classes and hobbies will be encouraged. Take advantage of that, because you never know if that new rock climbing class will change your world. And if it doesn't? You wasted nothing in trying.

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The University of Oregon has been a catalyst to much personal growth. Over the past year and a half, I have grown as a daughter, friend, student, critical thinker, and world citizen because of my time at Oregon. Oregon's academic environment is one of optimism and progress and the curriculum is challenging and forward thinking. At the U of O, I have the academic support to write a paper on the Cambodian genocide for an honors thesis or create a video about a local farmer struggling to make ends meet. Professors make sure our focus is not on the five blocks of campus, rather the world beyond--the ever-changing world our lesson plans help us explore and inspire us to change. The most valuable thing I've gained from my time at Oregon is an open mind. Because the student body is so rich in diversity with people of different backgrounds, religions, lifestyles, sexual orientation and life philosophies, I have found myself more attentive to thoughts differing from my own. I've learned tolerance--the key to peace and compassion. No amount of tuition dollars can be placed on these incredible life lessons.

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I have learned how to tackle the problems that we face everyday and to be more responsible. Being an internaional student I was heartbroken when I started my college career because my friends would not believe that I could achieve higher education. However, my parents always motivated me, believed in me, and sent me to the US to achieve the higher education. Being a new student in college I was scared to cope up with other brillient students who spoke english fluently. However, my college experience turned out to be my best experience with the assistance from my teachers and through my utter hardwork. Probably the best part that I have gotten out of my college experience is that how easy the study can be if a person studies on a regular basis, goes to the class regularly, and never procrastinates the assigned work. Also, I loved the experience I had in my college with my teachers. Every teacher I had just loved me and recommended me for several awards. I know that if I work hard, I can achieve anything. And I have proved that to myself by transferring with an electrical engineering major with a 4.0 GPA.

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When I first arrived here, I thought I was going to be an economics or business major. I was a shy, quiet, and depressed person with few friends. I studied "heady" subjects like political science, philosophy, sociology, and psychology. A short year turned everything around. I took a freshman seminar with a wonderfully engaging, manic, and witty poetry professor named George Moore who played bass for Allen Ginsberg's band and taught us of Arthur Rimbaud. He wanted us to be ourselves no matter the cost -- no, he forced it. Even those who resisted initially eventually broke down and we transformed ourselves from largely lost and nervous freshman into, by the end of class, a confident pack of brothers and sisters slinging poetry in the auditorium. That class changed my life. It was after that I became hungry for the arts and started to draw, act, dance, sing and play music. I then declared a Theater Arts major and auditioned for two major plays. I sometimes look back on even just that short year and marvel how different a person I could be now. I love my friends, I love my classes, I love my professors.

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The best advice I could give parents and students about finding the right college is looking at more than the student population, the dorm room space, the men to women ratio, or the average class size. Everything about college needs to be taken with a grain of salt because there is no such thing as the perfect college. A student must make the college perfect for their specific needs. My college is criticized for its small residence hall space and average class size. However, I found many positives to the University of Oregon. For example, because of its large population we are offered endless course opportunities. I have never had a boring or unwanted class. Also, there are so many campus sponsored activities that it is hard to keep track of which one is going on when. Professors are almost always available when you need them and they encourage you to contact them if help is needed. Students and parents should look deeper into college facts and not be afraid to ask questions that are left unanswered because it could make the difference between choosing the right college and the not-so-right college.

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It is ideal to choose a school where you personally feel the most comfortable. You shouldn't choose a college or university simply based on what major will give you the best job or make the most money. Instead, choose a college or university that has a major that you are personally interested in. Even if you want to major in something unique like art or dance or literature, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed. People may tell you to major in something very practical like business or journalism, but college is really the time in your life to try something new. It's not necessarily about what is the most practical, but instead it's about what you personally want to do. In the end, you will find that college is a place to experiement and find something that you are passionate about. It is completely understandable if you are having financial difficulties, but I would encourage students to move away to college instead of staying in a hometown. Don't stay in your hometown if you don't have to, and DO NOT stay because of a boyfriend/girlfriend. This is your chance to see something new.

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Going to college is a great thing that it happens to me. I was so fortunate to have a chance to be a university student since none of us my generation in my family did go to college except me. Like many people who do not know much about school, life and career, and what to choose between those choices especially coming here as an immigrant, I realized that school is a great place for me to learn, to earn an education, to build my career, and it holds my future. The critical things I have to answer are the two questions ?What do I want to choose, school, life or career?? and ?What do I want to become?? These questions are the keys of what I am doing right now. I want to be an accountant. University of Oregon is such a friendly, nice, beautiful campus. The Charles Lundquist school of Business is a great school specifically in accounting, the professors are so wonderful, knowledgeable, helpful and great individuals, and school is equipped with computers, labs and activity rooms available to students. Graduated students have jobs almost right after college. That is the answer for me, for my life.

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