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University of Tulsa

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

As I ponder the subtle nuggets of advice I would relay to my past self, I realize that information abounds. Thoughts flood my mind concerning sleep habits, friendships, self-talk, and free time. First and foremost, the importance of others remains paramount. One cannot succeed on his or her own and must maintain a respect for others. Begin building this habit now as it take a lifetime to master and people will respect you more for it. Secondly, simpletons accumulate knowledge and regurgitate information while scholars gather knowledge, analyze it, and use it to obtain wisdom through experience. Do not allow yourself to become lazy and seek amusement when so much of the world stagnates due to lack of discovery. Finally, actively participate in beneficial hobbies, activities, and social circles. Those one surrounds himself or herself with offer the most influence; either positive or negative. Choose the healthy friends and activities and watch how incredible life becomes. Time one spends earning his or her degree can be a rewardingly fun opportunity. Nonetheless, remember the importance of the active verb "earn." Much of the world assigns an inappropriate and unneeded stigma to the "college experience." Have fun, but earn your future.

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It is not always about the name. While College/Univeristy notoriety often indicates a prestigious environment or strong athletic program, students should take the time to do personal research. There are several very important factors that should be explored in the seardh for "The Perfect Fit" college experience. First, you need to ask yourself some honest, probing questions. What pursuits are most important to me? Am I emotionally and physically mature enough to succeed in an environment that is academically rigorous? Are there geographical locations where I am happier or healthier? Am I more acedemically driven, or socially driven? Do I value personal interaction or thrive on independence? Your academic success is just as important as your physical and emotional health and all three are intertwined. Looking carefully at these questions can help you determine what school is most appropriate for you in every respect. Not everyone is cut out for the autonomy of a large state school in the same way that not everyone is equipped for the Ivy Leagues. Remember when chosing your school that college is about succeeding to the best of your ability and the right institution will enable you to do just that.

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Trust who you are and explore who you want to become. College life is a slap in the face of different cultures, crazy parties, challenging academics, and the opportunity to make many new friends. Understand that college is different than high school in that everyone is facing the biggest decisions of their lives: choosing a major/career, making lifelong friends, and possibly meeting their future spouses. There are many opportunities for mistakes and shaping your character and success in life. Eighteen years have been spent respecting parents' rules and values and although those have now become your own core values and expectations for your life, college allows the exploration of why you believe these things and reshaping personal beliefs through the many experiences offered at university. Stick to your gut when making those big decisions mentioned above; through the course of your life those core values of respect for yourself and others have not failed you and college can be a place to refine and reshape your expectations for what you want for your own future by means of experiences and the many role models within your group of peers. You are you. Discover why. Explore what more you want.

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College is much more than drinking and dating girls like many seem to think. It is instead a place to grow individually, socially, and intellectually on dramatic levels. It is a place where lifelong friends are made and opportunities to experience the world through study abroad and internships present themselves. Looking back on my life as a senior in high school, I was very naive growing up in a small conservative town. Looking back, my expectations coming into college were far too high. Yes, college is incredible. But it is incredible in much more diverse ways than I had originally thought. It is important to have an understanding that the transition at first is a difficult process. That transition only helps you grow as a person. I would also impart on my younger self the idea that experience far exceeds expectations. Do not obstain from doing something just because you expect it to be a bad experience. I missed many opportunities to both learn something new and meet new people as a result. I now understand that experiencing new things, new people, and new cultures has helped me grow tremendously. The University of Tulsa has blessed me in many ways.

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As an international transfer student from Canada, I felt at home in my first year of university. However, since transferring to The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma as a sophomore in Fall 2011, I feel as though I have grown and learned so much. Attending college here in Tulsa has taught me many skills that are long-lasting. Given recent research that reveals that college students often leave college without having learned much more than when they entered, I consider myself forutnate to have had such a positive experience in the past few months. I have learned how to interact with people from other cultures and of other nationalities, I have had my professors challenge me academically, and I have participated in an athletics program that demands the maximum from me every single day. While these sound like romantic concepts, they are not easy to achieve on a daily basis. The support that my professors, peers, and coaches have provided me is what makes life at TU enjoyable and profitable. I have no doubts that, looking back, I will count these years as some of the most positive of my life, and I am thankful to spend them at TU.

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Dear Senior Self, Don?t settle for the kind of work ethic you were able to get away with in High School: work harder, challenge yourself every day, look above and beyond the things in front of you for learning opportunities; never settle for less than your absolute best. Call your mom at least twice a week; this is very important. Know that you can always speak up and take responsibility for your own education. Search for scholarships once a week, you own it to yourself to accept as little debt as possible. If something scares you, push yourself in that direction, lean into challenges and trust that gut instinct. Go to every school play, go to every game, and go to every concert. Go through fraternity rush; just for the heck of it. If there are fountains on campus you must run through them. Experience everything. Buy warm socks for cold dorm rooms?rugs, lamps, and art are also helpful. Remember to eat and take your vitamins! Sometimes sleep is a completely valid choice. Ask questions. Make and keep friends; it?s very important. Remember to thank those that support you. Trust in yourself. Love, College Self

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Choosing a college stressful and confusing for me, as it probably is for you now. In choosing the college I would attend out of my four remaining choices, the question that I found myself asking was "who do I want to become?" Needless to say, this is a difficult question to answer for a young adult, who may find answering the question "who am I now?" hard enough. But I believe that to answer this question and choose a school based upon it, you must contemplate the abstract as well as the concrete. Though I did consider major choices, clubs, activities, size, facilities, and location... I chose my college by looking at the big picture. I felt that I could belong there and matter, that I could be challenged and leave with valuable experiences, and that it could set me on the right path to becoming that person I wanted to be (both in an intellectual and character sense). Even if that inner vision we have of our future selves changes over time, the right school be welcoming and flexible, perhaps even cause us to reflect and reach new realizations. (But remember... there can be more than one right choice.)

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Finding the right college is a lot like pretending to be psychic, you do a lot staring into the crystal ball. However, the more you study your options, the more you realize what you like about certain schools and what you dislike. Often, people forget what a good education is: an investment. Whenever you make an investment you study all of the companies numbers, earnings statements, and most importantly future outlook. Looking at a college should be treated no differently, in fact it will most likely be the biggest investment of your life. You must find the right balance between price and quality, this is particularly important if you know what your course of study will be. If you find that your degree in a certain major will be more prestigous coming from X school than Y school, you might want to pay the extra price for the good school with a better program. The biggest reason that students find themselves out of college and without a degree is because they did not do their reserach. College is an interesting time, take advantage of every opportunity you see, starting with the application.

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The best advice I would have to say is, apply for scholarships before you attend college. When I was in high school I had no one explain to me about the opportunity of scholarships. Now that I am in college I realize how there are organizations available that enjoy supporting students and their intended dreams. Applying for scholarships before you attend college is less stressful than trying to accomplish this task while attending college. Another piece of advice I would give myself is to not slack off during high school especially during your senior year. Reason being is because your senior year is the most crucial year. It affects your possibilities of attending a prestige college. Becoming involved in extracurricular activities teaches a person how to time manage, become responsible, and develop leadership skills. All these are excellent skills to acquire and present them while in college. Overall, try to get the most out of high school in terms of academics especially because college high school credited classes are being offered. These are some of the major things I would tell myself.

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As a college student I know that college is very different form high school. If I could travel back to my senior year in high school, I would tell myself to get physically and emotionally ready for college first because it will be tough. Unlike high school students, college students have to pay for their tuitions; therefore, college students worry about financial issues, and they spend a lot of time, which could be used for studying, working to get money for school. Therefore, I would advice myself to study as hard as I could to get a high score in ACT and SAT because with high score I would be able to receive more scholarships. In addition, because materials to learn in college is overwhelming, I would tell myself that I have to focus in class, study at home, and get all homework done on time when i am in college to keep up with everyone. In addition; I need to get used to group study. And finally I would tell myself to get involved in the activities of school, volunteer doing public services, and try to improve my leadership skill because those things are important for future jobs.

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