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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?

If I was given the chance to give advice for college to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to reach out for help and look at the way I study. Transitioning into a new environment with difficult classes and an untreated learning disability made it difficult for me to establish effective study habits. During my first year, I didn't figure out that college was a lot tougher than high school until it was too late. My first semester grades were so terrible, I'm surprised I wasn't put on academic probation. After having good grades in high school, I was incredibly ashamed when my academic advisor contacted me and asked if I needed help. I didn't realize until the end of second semester that I would have to change my study habits and receive help for my learning disability, if I wanted to do better in school. Since then, my grades have significantly improved but it's been difficult to obtain my desired GPA with my Freshman grades weighing everything else down. If I could go back, the one thing I would tell myself is to seek help in any way possible.

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The most important piece of advice I could give you is to be open and outgoing to new things. You will encounter people with different outlooks on life and you need to be able to see things from their perspective. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Everyone is in the same situation so you are all in it together. Establish a comfort zone and continue to push the limits on that zone. By getting involved in several different groups or activities, you will have plenty of chances to meet new people and make new friends. Remember that you are going to school to get an education. Making friends and experiencing new things are important, but your studies must come first. Don't be scared to ask questions and ask for help. Figure out a study schedule and stick to it so you can always get your homework done. Know that your years in college will influence the rest of your life so make good decisions. Your family will always be there whenever you need help but you need to learn to become an individual. After you graduate it's time for the real world, so enjoy yourself.

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Ryan, take the time to realize what you want in life because it will make the next 4 years, the best you've ever had. Reflect on what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. Take some time to research a field your interested and ask general questions to a professional in that field about their work. Think about your moral values that were instilled by your parents and how important they truly are when deciding on a university. These are the factors that should make up your choice in a university because everything else will come naturally. Knowing what you enjoy doing will help decide on a school that offers YOUR kind of program, but the key is to find the school that also gives you the impression of upholding moral virtue. In the end you made the right decision in choosing the University of St. Thomas. As a catholic institution they provide both the religious and moral values that you are looking for in a university. This, along with their well-known academic programs will allow you to form life-long friendships and guide you to a long fulfilling career.

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If I could go back to high school and talk to myself as a senior, some things I would discuss are dorm life, academic work load and independence. I feel that these things are a big part that should be known to transition into college life. When I arrived at the Univeristy of St. Thomas, dorm life was something so different to me. I felt at first lonely, and uncomfortable and was unhappy with not having privacy to myself. But, I later figured out how to manage school work to have my alone time. Also, I looked at dorm life positively and by talking to people, getting to know them, they immediately became my new family. Another factor that is pretty major is the academic part. I must say it is no longer high school. The thinking level is so much higher and each student is solely responsible for their work and the professors take no slack or excuses. Managing your time to study and get help is a big part and it affects free time and personal health as well. Lastly, independence here in college is amazing because it lets you learn on your own and discover new things.

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I had always regreted my years in high school, because I was never a commited student. As I grew matured and started my own family had I realized what I had missed out on the opportunies of post secondary education and the relationships I could of had with my teachers in high school, especially my senior teachers. Most importantly, life involves how much you make so therefore you can take care of your family. As well as what interest you to learn are the two facts I should have known before entering college. The transition was tough, but if you knew those two answers than you should be good. The teachers in your senior year are the most important tools, because they will answer all your questions and will be very great references for colleges. Knowing what you want to become and knowing all the answers to finishing college as fast as possible can save you money. Volunteering will look great in resumes as well as joining groups and after school activites. These are what I should have asked myself in my senior year to be a completely satisfied current student.

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My college experience has been amazing. As a kid, my family struggled with an array of disadvantages ranging from domestic violence to extreme poverty, therefore, I had never envisioned my self going to college, let alone attending such a prestigious university like The University of St. Thomas. In the past ten years, I have attempted to earn my degree at five different schools and it has been a very long road of maturity and self-discovery. In the first three schools I only lasted a semester in each. It wasn't until I applied to go to a local community college where I decided I was ready for this. I attended this particular community college for three years, part time and earned a cumulative GPA of 3.94. I then transferred to the University of St. Thomas where I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 GPA, which earned me a spot on the Dean's List. Everyday I walk to class on their beautiful campus, I remind myself of how lucky I am to even have the opportunity to attend this school. Next May I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college.

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Mitch you have what it takes to be a good and successful person, make sure that you live up to that potential everyday. You also need to take advantage of every opportunity that high school offers. Mitch listen to your teachers, especially Mrs. Dimock, she knows a lot about life, she is a wonderful person, and she is trying to prepare you for college. Mitch don't be in such a hurry to graduate from high school as it has been a wonderful experience for you and has prepared you well for college. Breathe in every bit of knowledge that you can and live high school life to its fullest. Next year will be full of challenges and obstacles that you must solve on your own. Being independent is great but it does not come without its challenges. The transition to college life is very difficult and sometimes I wish I could go back to the simple life and let my parents take care of me. Growing up is hard, fun, rewarding, and exciting. Meeting new friends is great, but it takes time to bulid relationships. Take time to smell the roses!!! Live, laugh, and have fun!!

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Transitions are not easy. It will take time to get used to living away from home. But remember, there are dozens of freshmen on this campus that will be going through the same thing. Be active on campus from the beginning. You'll meet people and feel less homesick. However, do not try to compare your high school experiences with your college experiences. They are two different places with different people. If you are always comparing your college experiences to your high school experiences, it's like you never really left high school. Other people who did not go to your high school feel left out when you always talk about your former experiences. Do not wear your iPod earbuds all the time. It discourages people from talking to you and getting to know you. It also excludes you from the feel of the campus. You chose to come to this university- embrace all parts of it! You never know who you'll run into on campus or what helpful things you might overhear- like where the free shirts are being handed out. If you do ever feel alone, home is always a phone call away.

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If I could go back and have a discussion with myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to learn better time management skills. College is all about organizing your time and knowing how to focus on many different things at once. This means that you must learn to be responsible and make the right choices to keep up in classes. With excess free time in college from a more spread out class schedule, you may think that you need to participate in other activities that will only hinder you in reaching your goals and school deadlines. These activities may create distractions, which could cause you to fall behind in class and have your grades suffer shortly after. You should learn to be devoted to the real reason you are attending college: for school. Although, you should not be so devoted to class work that you do not see the light of day. I would instead advise you to have a healthy balance of these fun yet distracting activities and your studies. This will be the only way you can truly experience college life AND do well in your studies as the same time.

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I would explain the importance of financial stability. Although, I've been injected with such notions my entire life and here I am, going into my sophomore year, applying for a $5000 scholarship, hoping desperately.... desperately, it becomes mine. Like most youth in today's culture, I understand the importance of financial security, however, experiencing hardship firsthand is what has led me to a deeper understanding and appreciation of l'argent. This chat may be a little paradoxical. I'd also like to tell myself not to worry and RELEASE MY INHIBITIONS! Life is infinitesimal and there is infinite beauty to be found in it! I would hate for something like the price of my Daniel Wellington watch or Michael Kors shoes to keep me from enjoying existence. I must also be grateful for my suffering because it is what truly leads to joy. There is no way to know whether or not I am happy, content, euphoric, enlightened, or accomplished if I lack notion of the opposite, and why harbor such radiant feelings if I am unable to appreciate them? To senior me, I simply say: Live

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