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University of South Alabama

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

When choosing a school and academic program, make sure to visit on campus during a school semester. Ask questions regarding your program, requirements, and what listed classes are actively taught. Speak with students about the school. During your college career, meet with advisors at least once a semester whether you "need" to or not. Speak to your professors often and keep in contact with ones in your program. Speak up during classes when you have questions. Professors take note of who is showing they are trying. Make sure as soon as you sense a problem to speak to your professor. Visit them during thier office hours. Visit your campus library. It will be useful to be able to navigate the stacks. Use all student services available to you - tutoring, computer labs and counseling services. Keep track of your schedule and homework. Plan time in your schedule for homework - more than one session for large projects you are likely to get them done without conflicts between classes. Make sure to plan time for fun. Make the most of your experience - take classes with variety, join clubs or groups that spark interest. Broaden your horizons. give yourself opportunity to spread your wings.

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When searching for the 'right' institution, students need to have thoroughly thought about their interests and what they want to acheive or experience while at college. Students need to be aware of campus involvement, job and intern opportunities offered through the school, and what kind of students attend the institution. The best ways to obtain this information is to visit various campuses, research the information offered by the institutions, and talk to students who attend or have recently attened the school. Parents should consult with their children and help them organize their information and opinions without pressuring them into making a decision too quickly. If the student is competent enough to have a good idea of what is best for them, the parents should respect his/her opinions and decisions. To get the most out of their college experience, students have to get involved in some extracurricular activity, whether it be sports-, greek-, honor society-, organization-, or volunteer-related. They also need to be able to recognize their limits in studying, socializing, and committing. All-in-all, student should be responsible but enjoy their experience with everything they do.

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Your almost out of high school, one of the most important rites of passage in society. You will soon be on a college campus with a great deal of freedom and enjoyment, but also more responsibilities. At this time in your life you will be responsible for every decision and every opportunity you consider. Along with education comes picking a major and career, many upcoming freshmen enroll with their mission of being the next doctor, engineer, or lawyer set in their mind; however it is alright to be undecided your first year, explore your options. College is imagined in the social light rather than the educational aspect in the eyes of high school students. The social events such as football games are fun and memorable, but joining different organizations is just as fulfilling in enjoying your free time. My early years of college I was not as active in organizations as I should have been and it became apart of my regrets. On true beginning of being an adult meet as many good friends as possible. Mainly, through all the excitement and chaos of college keep in mind the reason why your there and experience college to the fullest. .

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If I could go back in time and lecture myself about college life I'd tell myself how it's much more exciting, how it's much more difficult, and how it's diversified than high school. Though I do not live on campus, campus involvement is not limited to just the preps and jocks. Various groups are formed for a diversity of students who want to become more involved. Their activities range from local card games to intermural sports to community service. There's just about a club for each individual attending college. Club activities, however, do not count towards your final grade. In high school I never really had to study to make good grades. That all changed after my first exam in college. I'd tell myself countless hours of study sessions wil be necessary! Group sessions are helpful! Finally, I would tell myself about the diversity of the school. There were only an finite amounts of clicks you could observe. In college, the amount surpasses my ability to count! So it's impossible to be lonely in college! The more friends you have in the upcoming years will reflect your (my) academic performance!

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On the edge of embarking on this new adventure of college - the commencement of your adult life, allow yourself time to stop and really consider who you are and what your purpose is in this life. Be sure to make wise decisions about the future; decisions which are truly your own - not your parents, friends, or other advisors. Take into consideration not only the things at which you excel, but more importantly, the things for which you have a passion. For it is passion more than ability that will carry you through the rest of your life. Do keep yourself in balance, however. Do not allow the emotions of the moment to override the wisdom and intelligence that have gotten you to this point in your life. Enjoy college. Be involved in student activites, build life-long relationships, but do not ruin your chances of success with a lack of judgment or a moment of weakness. From this point on, every decision you make will effect not only your future, but the future of those around you. Be aware of your uniqueness; you were created with a special purpose in mind - it's up to you to live it!

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Attend the tours and meetings, rather than just send the student. Get involved. Learn not just about the fraternities , but also about orgainizations that are just as much fun and rewarding. Remember the real reason you are at college. Make sure the careerchoice you have in mind matches, in that the university offers a full program in that area. Remember not to overload your schedule because we hve to work . Overloading will cause you to not do as well as you could have done. Be sure to check a variety of colleges, as opposed to famous name schools. When I was in the search process, I visited a university that advertised a chemical engineering program. They also had a great music program that I loved. After a few meetings, I learned that the engineering program would really only be equivilant to two years. I would still have had to go elsewhere to get education to the fullest extent in my field. Music was my passion, but not my career choice. Keep in mind what you want at the end of a four year education. In closing, make decisions for the rest of your life, not just today.

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College has been the best and most important experience of my life so far. It has allowed me to experience what it is like to be on my own and how to be independent and responsible. Socially college has allowed me to interact and learn from people of different backgrounds and cultures that have different customs and values. Also I have been able to make social connection with professors which is has helped me through college and I believe will help me in my professional career. The most important social connections I have made though are with my friends. The friends I am making now will be lifelong friends that will be a great support system throughout my life. After starting college I feel I better understand what is going on in the world around me. It has allowed me to grow and mature into a confident adult and has given me the tools and support I need to succeed. The experiences I have had in college are invaluable for it has taught me life lessons and has given me lifelong connections. College has been an essential stepping stone for me from being a teenager to being an adult.

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As a senior, you live as a princess who has dreams and aspirations for what the future is holding in the palm of its hand. You are dreaming of college life and a future filled with a career, travel and family. Although you are working a small part-time job, your parents are making sure there is a need for nothing. Soon after high school, your dreams will quickly become reality as you are shuffled into a dorm room and into a new life. Unfortunately, with your new found freedom also comes an abundance of bad choices. These choices will lead you into being a single mother, 200 miles from home, without that desired college education. Although the pilgrimage through being a single mother was hard, it is not one you would want to choose. Please remember that you can offer your children and family so much more if your quest for that college education becomes fulfilled. I read a quote once that said, "may the dreams of your past be the reality of your future." The dreams of that princess in the past can and will be the reality of your future if you just hang on.

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If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say to spend more time with friends. The last year of high school is supposed to be the most memorable, and looking back, that is the one thing I regret. I only focused on my future and did not pay attention to the present, so most of my friends disappeared. Friends are the ones who will carry me through the tough semesters of late night studying and stressful exams. I would also tell myself that high school really is nothing like college; it simply does not compare. All the worrying I had in high school was minuscule. There is so much information to learn, and everything builds. Cramming will not cut it. I must be consistent with studying and develop a time efficient schedule. But I would also be encouraging to my senior self. I would say that the classes I was taking in high school will prepare me well for the courses I am taking now in college. Going away for college is overrated, and I will actually thank myself for staying home and becoming closer with my family.

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From personal experience, I attended the University of Alabama (large state college) my freshman year and was miserable. The classes were large and impersonable and the student body was very wealthy and not very friendly. Whenever I arrived at University of South Alabama, I felt more at home because of the smaller and more close knit campus life. My advice for future students attending college is to spend the night or weekend at the college you are considering and "be the student." Attend a class, eat in the dining area, and become apart of that college for a short time. The only way to know that the college is for you is to experience it first hand. Whenever you finally chose your college, just remember to breathe. The professor are human beings and have personal lives just like you. The best thing I have ever done is to actually talk to my professor if I need help. And trying not to be cliche', join a club or organization and meet different people. College can be wonderful if you take advantage of all the oppurtunities available.

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