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University of the Incarnate Word

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

Today and every day that follows, be sure and take time to cultivate relationships with your classmates and professors. You will find that the network of people you create through these relationships is invaluable to you as a man and student. Make sure to pray to God and give thanks for the struggles you will face throughout your college experience. It is important that you attend church services as well. An education is effective when coupled with a good heart and soul. I know there will be times when workloads seem to pile high, but know that on the other side of that workload is the pride that comes from achieving what so few in your family have. Your education is a key to opportunities beyond your wildest imagination. Never compromise those opportunities for temporary foolish gain. Embrace the people that will help you become a productive member of society and never let go of them. Understand that criticism may sting temporarily but the lasting benefits of receiving wise criticism are immeasurable. Always smile and greet people with that smile. Keep a great attitude about change because change is inevitable. Develop a passion for people and working hard.

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PAY ATTENTION IN MATH!! If you dont, its like learning how to walk again. Frustrating and mentally mind boggling! If you remember anything make sure its math and how to write your paper in MLA or APA format. All of this will eventually come in handy. Start saving up quarters for washing clothes over the weekend and printing countless papers in the library before class. Dont think for one second you are done with scholorship hunting because you are just getting started. You will get and endless amount of text messages from Mom and Dad telling you to search, search, search! While we are talking about money, you better swallow your pride about shopping at Wal-Mart. It really becomes your one-stop-shop for clothes and most importantly value packs of Ramen Noodles! Yummy! Really try to get your homework done before away games because when your on the bus and around all your teamates its the last thing you want to do. But, knowing you, you will procrastinate no matter what. Softball is just begining. You will play atleast 50 games a season. It will be hard juggling both so party only when necessary!

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I have learned that with excellent planning, organization, and time management, college can actually be fun, other than stressful and too much to handle. My college experience has been a success so far, and I am loving every minute of it. My planner is my special tool that comes in so much handy. I write all homework assignments and things that need to get done. This helps me prevent procrastination and allows me to stay on top of my education game. I am currently at 3.5 GPA and learned from my composition class that language is living, and from our President the sky is the limit. One particular meaningful experience that I gained was learning how to sew. In my interest to become a fashion designer, finally sewing was unexplainable and completely satisfying to me. Apparel is my favorite course. I also made two new friends whom I share each college day with. They are a blast and bring me happiness simply because they are just like me. Every lesson and experience gained is beyond valuable; I am developing into a more open minded and responsible adult. They bring me closer to accomplish my dreams and goals.

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As a parent one of the most challenging things about sending your beloved children off to school, is knowing that they will be safe, have fun, and acquire the knowledge that will enable them to go off into the world and be successful. This is easier said than done when it comes to selecting the perfect college. It is common for students to choose a school which their parents want them to attend, or even to choose a school which a friend or significant other is attending. This decision is one of the most important that the parent and student will ever choose. When choosing a college you must take into consideration your aspirations for the future. Once you have a major in mind pick a school whose program for that major looks interesting, challenging, and most of all is attainable.Once you are in the college that most fits you remember to take it seriously. College is one of the most amazing experiences of a persons life, and studying it away will lead to regrets later. Make friends, leave drama in highschool, and make sure that your college years are something you will want to remember forever.

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If I had the opportunity to return to my senior high school year, I would definitely prepare myself for college by being well informed of my options. I come from a first generation family, with that being said I did not have the full understanding of what to expect after high school. Both of parents are from Mexico and did not attend high school. I do have older sibling but they did not take the next step in attending college. So I was left to fend for myself and try to get as much information as possible with the limited resources I did had. Now being a junior in college and having expierenced life, I would have talked to more counselors even if it meant begging for an appiontment. I would carefully read my financial aid agreements, especially when accepting student loans. And applied for more scholarships since I would have probably qualified due to my grades and situation. I have always appreciated what my parents did to try to provide the best education for me. And tremendously value the hard work and sacrafices I have done in order to continue with my education and prosper in my career.

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I know you do not need my advice. You already have a well thought out and carefully scrutinized plan outlining your entire future. Nevertheless, there are a few things I think you should know. First, college is not four more years of high school. College is a journey characterized largely by freedom of choice. With freedom comes enormous responsibility and some of your carefully made plans will fail. For this reason- be flexible. Second, you do not have to decide the rest of your life today. You may take classes and meet people that change your perspective in everyway. Things you never knew will become important to you. For this reason- be open. Finally, although it is good to have a plan and stick to it, do not forget to take a few risks along the way. Sometimes it is possible to be so careful and so organized that you miss out on some of life?s most precious moments. For this reason- be brave. You are ready and focused, just do not get lulled into thinking you know everything. College, and life, are full of the unexpected and will require courage, an open heart and a flexible mind.

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To Cassie: College is right around the corner. Hanging out with friends and waiting for graduation is not the only important thing. Don't feel bad when you don't finish the application progress for the Air Force Academy, there are other schools out there and you will find one that makes you feel welcome. I know Momma is bugging and pushing you about applying to more schools and looking for scholarships which gets annoying but she only does it because she loves you and cares about your future. One day your going to realize everything she says is true. Forget all the boys. They can break your heart but they can never take away you education and your future career. It's only high school and you have your whole life for love! Cassie, learn better study habits! Procrastinating is not going to help you through college. Turn off the TV and study, study, study! Study now, play later. Don't work too hard and too many hours, your continuing school to further you education and gain a career. And finally, Cassie, don't be afraid to ask for help. From An Older and Wiser Cassandra

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You are about to be catapulted into reality and it will take years to realize what just happened. Remember that much of what happens this year “matters” and yet has absolutely no barring on your fate. You are destined for great experience if you make it happen. You have all the tools to find yourself and your purpose. You already know all the secrets of the universe. Now you get to live it. Do not let our social frame mold you; you are too good for that. Reconnect with nature: ocean and forest. Read! Read! Read! You will always be able to express yourself with music. Don’t pursue it academically. You have other interests; explore for a while. Find what makes you happy and cultivate it. Surround yourself with positive people and you will see happiness in action. You will know love. You will see how society has truly been formed. While much attention is now focused on you conforming in some way to that mold, you will find a way to work with, instead of against. Question consciousness! And don’t waste your time being unhappy. You are responsible for your happiness! No excuses!

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With college came a new perspective to ?school?. Because I never suffered severely with grades, there was no ?wake-up call? when I entered college. Rather, the specific event of freshman year was a realization of the forte I had either always possessed or gained inadvertently through high school classes. That being said, I have two pieces of advice to give to the seventeen-year-old me. First, know how to recognize potential. It is a tough feat to find what makes you tick and what gives you wings, but is well worth-the-while. If you have a grasp on how much potential you have, as clich? as it sounds, you can hurdle any obstacle. My second piece of advice is to be a leader. In every aspect you can, choose to lead. Whoever said, ?stay with the herd? was probably also a sheep getting an average education and falling through the cracks. Though simple and sincere, guiding your education in the right direction could be one of the more important things in a person?s life, so why not do it right? These few suggestions are crucial to college life and I wish I had recognized them earlier..

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If I had the chance to win the lottery or go back in time to knock some sense into myself in high school, I would go back in time. I would tell myself to apply to every school I could, and concentrate more in submitting my essays. I graduated cum lade but I only applied to three schools. I would go back in time as an advisor and be on myself about dealines and important dates of scholarships, and apply for any and every scholarship that I was eligible for. I would stress that finishing college and maybe taking summer classes would advance my graduation date and be able to reach my goals more quickly. Financial aid is crucial process and must be admitted early in the year for review of funds needed. I would definitely encourage myself to complete my FAFSA early and never give up on completing college even if situations occur that might delay completion. I would advise myself as an advisor that college isn't like high school. Yeah you can walk in late or not go to your class, but who are you really hurting. Your grade drops and you end up prolonging your graduation.

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