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University of St Thomas-Saint Paul

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

Figure out your life goals, and what are you passionate in. Learn to apply yourself even when you are not challenged in school. Even though highschool classes do not challenge you, make sure that you don't recieve anything less than an A in any class. If you recieve all A's, you will recieve financial support, and not make your parents go through financial hell to pay for you. Dont let your mistake and laziness cost your parents their hard earned money. Develop a passion for personal improvement. Learn from all your mistakes instead of making the same mistakes over and over again. Learn to love reading. There is a lot of studys that show that reading is directly correlated to income. The average millionaire reads much more than the typical person. Work more than 40hrs a week and save as much as possible. School comes very easy to you so make sure to save a lot of money for college. You dont need a lot of friends. They will distract you from personal development and your life goals. Always challenge yourself and aim to be the best in evertyhing you do because thats how you become succesful

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If I had the omniscient power to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself five things. First, engage others intellectually. Make an effort to develop concise arguments based on reason. Always remember to attack the idea, not the person. Second, ask yourself the tough questions. Develop your values, find out what is important to you, and realize your beliefs. Do these while understanding other person?s positions, all while not compromising your own. Third, diversify your collegiate experience. Join a club you would normally have no interest in, or go to an event you normally would not see yourself attending. You never know what you might find. Third, seek leadership positions and guide yourself and your peers. No better experience and confidence can come from executing your own strategic planning. Lastly, and most importantly, get off campus. There is a whole world outside the boundaries of your campus. Go seek out new places, cultures, and relationships. Understand the realities of the world, and how your studies apply to those facts. Never take yourself too seriously.

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Realize that transitioning to college life is a once in a lifetime experience. Know that even though you are away from your parents and guardians, it is now your own responsibility to do things for yourself. This is the time to manage your life the way you want it to be. Plan to live on campus (or at least near campus) the first year for the smoothest transition to becoming a college student. That closeness to the campus will help in connecting with others as well as building a community among your peers. Some phone numbers to put into your cell phone are the emergency line at school, public service, the tech desk/office, and your parents. You'll never know when those phone numbers will come in handy. Also, make sure to go to college with an open mind, to enhance the learning experience ahead. Learn to ask questions (even stupid ones) to let others know that you're interested. Make sure to visit your professor's office hours to create a well balanced student-teacher connection. Lastly, enjoy these years ahead, because they will probably be the best 4 (or more) years of your adult life.

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My college experience has been quite a journey. First, starting out in California at a community college felt like going to high school all over again. It was hard overcoming passing classes because you become accustomed to the enviroment which you grew up in not knowing any new responsibilities and testing yourself. After completing my general education courses and taking a leave absence to work, I realized how important it is for recently graduating high school students to actually move out of their parents home and live in the dorms to really experience what college is all about. Including to this, I also think that it is very important for the student to move away from their comfort zone to experience who they really are and all the new and amazing people you meet from all over the country and different parts of the world. It wasn't until I moved away from California to Minnesota that I realized how valuable my college experience is to learn about who I am and what I really want in life. I think that college experience defines who you really are and tests what your capabilities are.

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I would tell future students that it is very important to do your research before selecting a school. It is extremely important to find a school that you feel comfortable at because you will have to be there for the next four years of your life! Take time to visit the schools you think you will like, talk to some of the professors, take a tour and ask the tour guide about specific aspects of the school that you know will be important to you. Make sure the school has a great program for the major of your choice. I would tell parents that the most important thing to offer child is support throughout their years in college. This doesn't just mean financial support. Whenever your child needs you, make sure you are there without being judgmental or overbearing. Even though it is difficult to maintain a close relationshipt with your child once they start college, they still need your guidance more than they would ever admit. Also, even though a school may seem to be out of your price range, dont let that hold you back. There are grants, scholarships, and financial aid that will help you out!

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I’ve experienced my greatest life lesson in college. Surprisingly, it was not obtained in the months dedicated towards acing Accounting. I’m the youngest in my family, the “baby”, always chasing after my siblings achievements. I never could grasp a hold of my own life because I followed comfortable paths my siblings set for me. I accepted the fact that I was “the baby”, never stepping outside of my comfort zone. I always planned on attending my sister’s college when I realized I did not have to follow in her footsteps. Why couldn’t I make my own? Within a week, I decided to attend a college seven hours away. I didn’t know one single person, however, I was an individual, not someone’s little sister, FINALLY! Independence made me realize how strong a woman I am. College forced me to step out of my comfort zone. It was the best decision I ever made. I, and I alone have the ability to achieve anything I want. I’ve never been happier and more confident in my abilities. My college experience gave me invaluable insight. I control my life, I can confront adventure, I will grow.

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Life gets rocky, but that's not something you don't know already. Obviously you know that perseverance allows hard work to have a greater meaning and purpose for life, but realize that continues on through college. Obviously you know that drama exists, but do you know that it will continue to exist even though college is all about maturation? I want you to recognize that college IS about changing, and maturing and finally growing into that person that you have always wished you could be. But, I also want to tell you that all the changes, all the differences between high school and college that seem as though they could knock you off your path, those changes are the ones you have to ebb and flow with. Fighting with the changes, giving up against the challenges and difficulties, that's when you'll lose your path. What I'm here to tell you is that if you surrender to the change, and work with the challenges to make you stronger, you'll make it through anything. You're strong now, but get stronger. Work harder, study longer, maintain relationships that mean the most to you; you'll make it.

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In my modest opinion, there are several main criteria to alike to take into careful consideration. First off, the parent or student should attempt to get some type of feel for what it is the student wants to pursue upon the completion of college. Also think about whether the future college student works best in small class environments or not, and the overall environment of the school. Find a college that fits the mold. It is important to lay to think about life after of college before diving right into it, otherwise it may be like getting in a car with no destination in mind with inflating gas prices. Next, it would be recommended that the parent or student decide whether it would be best for the student to stay near home, or if it would be permissable for the student to leave the state. From there comes the financial aspect of college. How much financial aid can the student get for attending a particular school? Can the student pay for school and still have money left to enjoy life? How easy is it for that student to find a job around campus? Touring options in person is also key.

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I remember my first time coming home since moving into my dorm room. Corn fields lined the highway, and my hometown of West Concord, Minnesota: population 836 was visible in the distance. I could not believe how much I had missed the local gas station, the familiar streets, and two block long Main Street. As a small town girl, part of me will always embrace seeing the friendly face of someone I know anyway I turned, and the summers spent as a lifeguard knowing almost every child and family that came swimming by name. To go from crumbling brick-fronted buildings to skyscrapers in St. Paul and a population of 836 to nearly 300,000 was a vast change. But, it was a change that has proved to be worthwhile. College has opened so many doors and presented new opportunities to me. I have met new people, ridden public transportation in the "big city," and gained independence in almost every way possible. I cannot begin to explain how valuable this is to me. I have new experiences I would not trade for anything, but I have recently come to the realization that there really is no place like home.

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I would tell myself to learn time management skills, because it is very important when you do not have parents guiding you and you are completely on your own. I would suggest getting a job on campus right away in order to get used to managing money and time. This way, I would get used to working and not feel like it is a burden. Getting involved in the clubs and activites that you will encourage your faith and be uplifting to you as a person is very important. You will meet people who are interested in the same things as you and you will be able to build Christian relationships. I would suggest not drinking or abusing drugs because they distract from academics, making good friendships, and creating a strong faith. Abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and drugs has been incredibly rewarding for me during my first semester. I suggest setting a specific limit per day for Internet usage because it can be such a waste of time and a huge distraction. I would suggest praying and reading the Bible everyday to have a centerpoint to come back to within the change and chaos that comes with college.

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