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University of Southern Indiana

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

Attending Jefferson Davis Community College has been extremely valuabe to my life. Going to a small college is so rewarding to your educational experience and teacher/student relationships are much easier to develop. When I began going to college at Jefferson Davis, I was unsure of what direction my life was going in, I was a waitress at a restaurant in my hometown and did not have much confidence of being able to afford to go back to college. A friend of mine heard that there were art scholarships that were available to students, I applied, and succeded. Recieving a hands on, small classroom education helped me to really have the confidence that i was looking for in life. I began to thrive to learn more on every subject. One of my favorite classess was Ethics, my instructor was amazing and really made the class exciting and made learning a journey and not something that should be of dread. My life has completely turned around since I started Jefferson Davis; I am now employed at a printing company and love my job, also I started teaching a homeschool art class. Attending Jefferson Davis really enstilled the confidence that I needed.

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From my experience as an athlete(XC/TRACK), school spirit award winner in high school, energetic, excited, enthusiastic person, I need a place where I can expend those characterestic in the most productive and enjoyable manner. I need a school that has a lot of school spirit with fun activities and events to indulge in rather than parties, drugs and ALCOHOL! the Activities Program Board (APB) tries to produce things for students to do, but with an unmotivated community, it's hard for them to be successful at providing those needs to me. My advice for those in search of an enjoyable and productive college experience is to do your research. Talk to people who attend your prospective school. Find out what the community is like. Is it unmotivated, lacking in school spirit and morral, with few options for entertainment other than partying? Or is it the opposite? Although it may seem that entertainment is my biggest focus in college, accademics are a main priority as well. I must have both, in order to get the most out of the college life. Another thing for athletes: make sure your sport is funded by the university. I'm looking into transferring.

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I would advise both parents and students to listen to eachother and really work together to make the best decision possible for the student, both educationally and financially. Parents should guide their student but not completely control the decision process. The student needs to make a confident decision about the college they will attend because without that confidence, his or her college experience will not be the best it can be. Whether a student is going for journalism or health administration the student must be confident that they can better themselves and achieve their goals all while taking in the college experience, which is an exciting time in there life where they are molding their future possibilities. At the end of a semsester in economics, my professor asked, "What is your added value?" The question is really taking a look at what a person can bring to the table to differentiate themselves from the rest of the people out there trying to make a name for themselves. When looking for the right college I think it is very important for the student to believe that their choice will bring added value to they have to offer.

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I would encourage students to research prospective colleges/universities. I would encourage exploration of the fields of study offered by each institution, along with exploration of potential career fields. It is very important to select a field of study that you will enjoy. As a high school student, it is very difficult to choose a major without having experience in any real job settings. My advice would be to participate in as many job shadowing opportunities as possible and weigh the pros and cons of each potential profession. This will help you to determine your likes and dislikes about different professions. Once you have determined which career path is best for you, then select a college/university that offers that field of study. As four year universities can be expensive, I would recommend taking pre-requisite courses at a junior college, then transferring to a university. As for making the most of the college experience, I suggest you take this time to explore what life has to offer and what you truly want out of your life and future career. Keep an open mind and discover what is available to you.

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Finding the right college for a new student takes a lot of things in to consideration. The academic goals of the student are a large part of the decision; the school must have the program that the student is interested in. A second, equally important aspect is the student's personality. If a person likes to have intereaction in classes, a smaller college might work best for this type of student. If a person is content with listening to a straight lecture, with little time for questions during class, a larger campus might suit this type of student. The financial situation of the student might help determine the schools that work better. If a student will need to work during school, opportunities for on- and off-campus jobs might be important. Making the most of the college experience requires to open up to new things. Taking classes that don't seem to be directly connected with the program one is taking can let a student find new interests and maybe hobbies. The student's social life also helps make the most of the college experience. College friends can be very important life long friends.

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Please take your time selecting a college. Pick one that allows you to stay focused on your goals. There are many distractions, that include drugs and alcohol, that can deter you from getting the most from your college degree. Staying focused will allow you to rise above the rest and stay ahead of the pack. College should not be easy, if it is too easy, you are probably not learning anything. It is designed to push you to your limits, so that you can overcome even more challenging situations that life has planned down the road. If your professors make a statement that you are not sure is correct, challenge them. They are human and make mistakes like everyone else. You will stand out to them and are much more likely to be noticed by anyone who is paying attention to your academic presence. Read books that are related to your major. Not only are they easier to read than a standard textbook, you can make references to such literature in class. This makes you an appealing study-buddy. Group studying is one of the most effective way to learn everything that you need for a test.

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It is very important to take into consideration several factors before choosing a college. First of all, a student's personality must match the school they go to in order for it to be a comfortable new home and learning environment. For instance, a quiet, shy, introverted person may want to stay closer to home or friends and may want a smaller college atmosphere or at least smaller classes. Secondly, finances are very important. A student should apply to their top choices but keep money in mind in this day and age. A student should do all that is possible to apply for scholarships and probably should pick a college that thinks enough of him or her to offer a scholarship for him or her to go there. That will help with the financial situation, which eases stress, and will boost the student's confidence in him or herself as he or she begins with classes. Thirdly, a student should not just quickly make up his or her mind about a college based solely on location, reputation, or popularity with their high school peers but instead take the time to research other aspects of the college.

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I would advise any student attempting to find the right college for them to consider the following things: distance of the school from home, quality of your education for the price, location of the campus, quality of the school's programs you are interested in studying, and number of students that typically live on campus. Incoming students may think they want to be as far from home as physically possible, which is all well and good, but it's important to be sure that the location of the campus is in a place where the transition from home to college is made as easy as possible. For some people this may mean a campus located near a bustling city with a lot to do, for others it may be a quieter, smaller campus with a more homey feel. Also, it's very important that the school you are considering has a strong program in the area you wish to major. Be sure to ask about the job placement rates for students graduation from the school with degrees in the major you wish to pursue. Finally, just try to get involved at your school and have fun!

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If I could go back in time, a whole eight months, the advice I would give myself would be none at all. I say none at all because if I were to go back and tell myself to do things differently then I would NOT be the person I am today. A great example of this would be when I entered the Berry Plastics Pizza Box Competition through USI. When I entered I was teamed up with three others. What we had to do was come up with a new plastic pizza box and write a business plan of how to implement this new segment of their company. Easier said then done. Throughout the two month competition two members dropped out straining my partner and I to have more responsibilities. We were able to gain two different members but again one dropped out. We ended up losing the competition by only one point to a team who stayed together the entire contest. But what I learned over these two months was three things, people work differently, teams who work together are the ones who will come out first, and growth is made by learning from your mistakes.

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"Minimal effort will never get you into the university of your dreams." As a high shcool senior I was set on the fact that I could get away with doing as little as I had to and still get into the college I wanted. I was right, I applied to the college of my dreams and was accepted. My excitement was at an all time high and I had never felt so proud of myself. When it came time to pay for this expsensive university, I began to realize my dreams of attending were fading. My not so hard work came back to haunt me. I always think about what if. What if I would have applied myself more? Would I have recieved more funds for college? These questions taunt me every single day. If I could give the high school version of me just one piece of advice, it would be to apply all of myself to every thing I do. I would say, put your whole heart into every class and every assignment. Hard work does indeed pay off. Not so hard work will never get you where you want to be, especially when it comes to college.

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