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University of Tulsa

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

"Self, even though you really like chemistry and math, the idea of majoring in chemical engineering because it involves both subjects is a bad idea. The combination makes for a inexplicably boring major that just isn't right for you. Now, on the other hand, remember how much you hated biology during your junior year? Well, you actually really like it, you just weren't ready for it then. Just wait until you get to college, and you'll know it's the right subject for you. So heed my warning, and don't waste your freshman year mired in something you don't love. On that topic, I know you dread the possibility of being labeled a quitter. Well, loosen up. There are so many things going on in college that you might end up in a class, major, or job that's not right for you. Don't be afraid to just say no once in a while. Believe me, there is nothing worse than knowing full well that you are somewhere you don't really belong. Lastly, if you ever find yourself being pressured into something bad, just stay true to yourself and everyone will respect you.

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College is different. It’s huge! You don’t see the same people throughout the year. You won’t have the same teachers and the people in your classes will change every term. My advice is to start getting comfortable talking to people. Learn how to get know them in a short period of time, because in college, you won’t have four years to weed out friends and enemies (not that you’ll gain enemies, you probably won’t). This alone will significantly help. When you get sick, (like you do for a week every winter) you'll have someone to lend you notes (assuming you make friends with people who care for notes). This will also help you because communication with the instructors is a huge part in doing well. Quit being scared to ask questions because you think you’ll sound stupid. It’s better to sound stupid than be lost. With this comes answering questions. It’s good to be noticed in class. If you know the answer to a question or have something smart to say, speak up. Anyway, you’re a smart girl, keep doing what you’re doing, just stop being so shy!

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I would tell them to really choose a college that fits them. I would recommend you make a list of things that you definately want at your college and a list of things you would like. When you visit colleges, keep that list with you and score each one. The professors, classes, and statistics are important, but the students are the life of a campus. If you see energetic people, you will get energy from them. You create relationships with the next generation going into the work field - great connections to have! Once you are at the college you pick, meet as many people as you can in the first week. Make little mental notes to remember their names. If you are able to introduce people to each other, it makes other people attracted to you. Yes, it is scary, but it pays off. Also, college is a place to have fun and try new things. I would suggest trying something you have never done before, such as an art class, intramurals, or going to a play. Going through greek rush is another idea. Even if you do not join, it is a great way to meet people.

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If I could go back and talk to my high school self, first and foremost I would tell myself to enjoy my freshman year of college because it goes by so fast. I would say that I shouldn't be afraid to try new things and talk to new people because part of the fun of college is making friends, discovering who you are, and becoming a well rounded individual. I would say participate in that dance competition and play on that intramural volleyball team, even though you have are terrible at it and it might be embarrassing, because those are the memories about college that you will hold onto for the rest of your life. You will remember that time you got hit in the face with the volleyball and your friends laughed with you about how uncoordinated you were, but you won't remember the hours spent studying for your economics test. Not to say that academics aren't important, because they are. You go to college to learn and to prepare yourself for a career you'll hopefully love, but it's ok to reward yourself with a little fun once in a while too.

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Whenever you go off to college you won't initially realize this but you're going somewhere where you know no one. Don't let this discourage yourself. You will be extremely lonely at first but don't let this put you down. There are plenty of students here that you will learn to not only like, but love. Make sure that everytime you have an opportunity to go somewhere and meet new people and just have fun, then go out and do it. It is important to manage your time and know what time is for studying and what time is for fun, but I know that you have already learned how to manage your time well. I want you to embrace the culture and people of this new school and realize that they are a lot like you. You don't have to change yourself in order to make friends. Instead, you should stay yourself and find the people who are attracted to your personailty. Also, don't forget to get involved with christian organizations because they will essentially be your favorite part about college because they are a great group of people. Have fun, don't stress.

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The first thing I would tell the high school version of me is that as she transitions from high school into college, she should pursue her interests and make plans; dream. I would tell her to think about the future and take it seriously, but to not be afraid of it! My first two years of college have helped me with learning how not to live in fear. There are countless times in life where we are motivated by fear, and it does nothing but limits us and keeps us from becoming the person we aspire to be. We are afraid of doing poorly on our work, afraid of the future, and afraid of what others think. I have spent too much of my life worrying about pleasing others at the expense of my own happiness. I would tell her not to live like that. The last thing that I would tell her is to be thankful for everything, even upsetting experiences. Our responses determine the effect that they have on us, and they help shape who we are. I have learned that even sad times can instill compassion and joy in our hearts, bringing us happiness and fulfillment.

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The most important part of the college search is finding a good fit. Take the time to narrow down what qualities are important to you, both generally and as they apply specifically to colleges. Some of those qualities involve the typical questions: Do you prefer urban or rural? Would you like to be close to home or as far away as possible? What activities would you like to try? What is my price range? But, if you spend forever looking for the perfect match to all these criteria, you will never go to college. The best way to find a good fit is visit and stay overnight at a college. Experience the atmosphere first hand, because that, more than anything else,will affect the level of your college experience. Once in college, key into the reasons for choosing it, but don't hesitate to get out of the box a bit. College is the perfect place to discover who you are without the binds of high school reputations and parental overbearing. So, tune into yourself (not the peer pressure) and get involved on campus doing what fits YOU!

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would first tell myself that the transition from a small California high school to a university in Olkahoma is going to be one of the hardest things you will ever have to endour. In the beginning it will be tough not knowing people, but as long as you keep swallowing your fears and putting yourself out there, people will invite you in and you will make great friends. The second thing I would tell myself is to never forget that school comes first. It can be hard to balance school and a social life, especially when there are a lot of fun activities and parties to attend, but you must always remember that your parents are putting a lot of their hard earned money into your education and are giving you the opportunity of a life time, so you cannot afford to let school work become a second priority; you cannot afford fail. And finally, I would tell myself to enjoy the experience, because, ultimately, college is going to have one of the biggest impacts on your life.

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When I began at TU, I wanted to learn why ankles swell when they are injured. My passion was to serve people. In the past 4 years I have learned what causes swelling along with many other processes and functions that operate in the human body. Outside of classes, I've learned that service can take as many forms as can be imagined. From baking brownies for a friend who is stressed about a test to taking a student without a car to the grocery store, many times service is simply an awareness of the people around me and a few minutes to show that they matter. Learning to be aware of people's needs is made easier on campus by living our lives together. In Athletic Training I have found a profession that combines these 2 passions. I work with people to help them recover from injury and have the opportunity to become a part of their lives. One of my teammates is my best friend and my professors are my mentors. College is hard, and at times seems it will never end, but I know what is important to me and that I can touch people's lives.

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From my college experience I have gained a new sense of independence. Living on campus has given me a new found freedom from my parents, which is said to be necessary to develop into a mature adult. I am now able to make decisions concerning when I do my homework, what time I go to bed, where I eat my meals, what I do with my spare time, and what kind of part-time job I have. These small things have definitely had a large impact on my time management and my future goals. Thanks to this new independence I have found significant value in my education. I realize that without a college education it will be much more difficult for me to obtain my goals. I am constantly told that life is much easier the smarter you are. Though I don't agree with this statement fully, I do agree that knowledge is a fundamental key to success. As I have entered the college world as an independent woman, I have not only gained scholastic knowledge, but knowledge of the world. This gain in knowledge may seem difficult now, but will pay off in the end.

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