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University of Southern Mississippi

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

I would tell myself to be prepared for the responsibility of living on your own and maintaining a balance between academics, social life, and overall health. I would tell myself to really listen to and appreciate advice given about organization, time management, networking, determination, and focus. I would tell myself to not be afraid of asking questions and seeking help from professors, friends, tutors, advisors, and mentors. Failure to ask questions can result in getting behind in your studies which creates a dominoe effect as the difficulty level of your studies increases. I would tell myself that while it is okay to enjoy some relaxation time or social time, do not let it occupy your entire day. Time is precious, and you never realize how quickly time disappears until you are juggling work, school, health, extracurricular obligations, and friends all at the same time. I would stress to myself how easy it can be to get stuck in a poor routine of procrastination and laziness and how important it is to seek outside help and motivation if this happens. Utilizing all of your resources is very important. Happiness lies in organization, balance, and doing the best that I possibly can.

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I have learned a lot from the time that I was a high school senior through serendipitous mistakes and hard fought success. If I could go back in time and give advice to myself, it would be an oratorical speech that would challenge great speakers like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. I believe that anyone would deliver a helpful and profound speech to themselves, in hopes of improving their future. Furthermore, I believe that I would advise myself on the same things anyone else would about the future obstacles, laughable mistakes, and personal victories that are made when transitioning into college. After giving my advice, there would be six key statements that i'd want the goofy high school kid to receive: 1) Tough times don’t last but tough people do. 2) Believe in yourself and stay encouraged. 3) Apply for more scholarships (CampusDiscovery.com). 4) Don’t change your major. 5) Volunteering is fun. 6) 09/04/2012 at 12 p.m. duck! (Joke on myself). In conclusion, traveling to the past to give myself advice about college would be very helpful but the inability is also what makes life fun and builds character.

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The most important thing to remember when choosing a college is that it will not be anything like high school. Some of the major distinguishing factors include living without your family, classes at strange hours, and generally going about your day without supervision. There are some really wonderful things about college, like classmates who are actually interested in the class material, and an immense lack of drama, but there is a great deal of responsibility that goes with this that some students find hard to adapt to, especially after being used to having their days heavily scheduled with extracurricular activities. Many get lightheaded from all the freedom and party or skip classes so often that they flunk out and have to return home. To avoid this, it is important to realize that you are the one responsible for getting to class on time, for cleaning your dorm room, for knowing when to turn down a party when you have a big exam the next morning. Yes you can go out and party or stay up as late as you want, but remember how that is going to affect your academic performance. You did come here to learn, after all.

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If i could travel back in time and talk to myself about college life and making the transition i would have to talk to myself about not procrastinating on deadlines, slap yourself to stay awake, and always follow directions. The first thing i would say is "Get with the program you slowpoke!", because college is no where near in comparison with high school life. The pace is just about the same as a speeding train. Secondly, i would have to slap my younger self a few times to get him into staying awake during class lectures. One of the most important things in college is to completely pay attention in class. Although you might forget to do your homework, but during testing you will remember an absolutely crucial fact and you will thank the heavens you were awake when the teacher said it. Lastly, ALWAYS follow directions. Knowledge is nothing without knowing what you are supposed to do with it. You could be the smartest person in the world, but look stupid if the directions were not followed. Ultimately, these three topics are what i feel the most important ones to talk to myself about.

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Reurning to school has given me the opportunity to learn and update my skills as a Graphic Designer all the while making new friendships, learn new technology and working closely with professional teachers. I enjoy the campus life very much as far as the administrative staff goes there is plenty of interaction with them we can meet with our advisors at any time and it is a comfortable atmosphere in each of the classes I have attended. Getting around it easy as our campus is only 5 miles wide and all of the studios and classrooms are located near each one of our classes. Dining on campus is great there is a great selection of foods to choose from , the library and tutorial areas enhance with our studies, the student to student assistance is more comfortable when they ( the tutor) can relate and help. We have an outdoor biology lab with wonderful plants. Overseas studies had to be one of my favorite offerings at this school, the chance to studie aborad and earn credits, I can't wait to go. Mosty I love the opportunity to have an actual art show and work on my senior project excites me.

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Parents and students take advantage of opportunities of what colleges are offering from student life, leadership opportunities, and the values of the University and the people within it. Choosing a college should not be a rushed decision take your time to make the best choice. Go on a campus tour and spend a day with a friend or leader to shawdow at school. Talk to any student or faculty member to get a feel of how the people are at the University. Make sure the major that you are interested is offered at the University you will attend. See what leadership opportunities are offered for the student. Make sure that whatever University you decide to attend that the University can help you not only get a degree but can help you grow as a person and an individual. Every University is here to give you an education, but it is the lessons learned outside of the classroom that makes a college expereince. The best advice I can leave with you is to look at each University and make a decison is to see what college will give you the best opportunity to succed in the work force and in life.

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Location! Location! Location! Location is so crucial to your overal happiness and experience. Location determines what sort of lifestyle you lead when not in class. Although class is the reason you're going to college, you learn just as much if not more about yourself and life outside of the classroom. Decide what types of things are important to you in a city. Regardless of what school you choose to attend for academic reasons, if you fail to put yourself somewhere that you're going to be happy then you've really missed out on the college experience. On that note, getting the most out of your college experience is easy. Take as many classes as you can without overworking yourself, and GO TO CLASS! Half of the work is just going to class. Electives are great things! It gives you the opportunity to learn something of you're choice. Don't go home every weekend! Spend time with friends and live a healthy social life...this is the only way to come into your own. Find things that you're passionate about, and get involved in those things. Work, Learn, and Have Fun! Welcome to College!

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When trying to decide which college is right for you, you need to look at what each college has to offer. If you already know what you would like to major in then I suggest you look for the college that has a really good program for you. Also you need to decide on the size of the university, because when taking freshman corses, the smaller the school the more personable you will be with the teacher. Location is very important, especially in the education field because the teachers will be constantly relating everything to that state. Also students will sometimes get the opportunity to go out to say the schools in the area, and experience teaching first hand. The people you meet in the field will possibly help you on later in life when you are ready to start your career. I do strongly believe that when looking at which college to attend you need to first figure out what you want when it comes down to the key elements. Those elements are location, SAT/ACT scores, student population/size of the school, and your field of study. Lastly, remember to get involved and meet new people.

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I would advise parents and students to look around and not settle for the nearest school. Find the school that best suits you even if it half way across the country. The best thing to do is follow your heart and see where it leads you. I would also advise students to have a good time at college, make friends and have fun but to also work hard at school. Learn to balance work and play. This will allow the student to have a great time and have amazing friends and memories for a lifetime, but will also lead to amazing opportunities after college with good grades as well. Remember, grades are not everyhthing it is also important to get involved to meet new people which can open thousands of doors for you. Likewise, get to know your professors, this can help with your grades and later in your education these professors can write recommendations or references for you. This way professors know more about you as a person and not just as a name and grade in the classroom. They can vouch for you character and your work ethic, which are very important for careers and graduate education.

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Looking back on the begining of this school year, I remember how anxious I was as a freshman in college. I remember thinking to myself what am I going to do about friends?, are people going to like me?, what are classes going to be like?, and so much more. Now when I think about these thoughts I feel relieved. I can honestly say that I have had the most fun, met the nicest people, had the most success, and over all had the most amazing experience as a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi. My college experience at this university was exactly what I wanted it to be and more when I thought about college as a high school student. I met so many different people as well as experienced different professors and classes that will help me in the long run. I also learned what it meant to be school spirited. Before I attended Southern Miss I didn't have much school spirit, but attending the many sports events and student activites at Southern Miss changed that quickly for me. I would really just have to say that this college experience truly and honestly made me happy.

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