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University of Tulsa

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

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself three very important things about my experiences. First, I would tell myself that it's alright to make mistakes. It is so easy to be afraid of the unknown; however, cowering in fear is not how to handle the challenges in life. You must face them head on with your head held high. Secondly, I would tell myself to be more organized. I expected my senior year to be a breeze, but as it went by I realized that I had to work just as hard, if not even harder, as the years before. So I would definitely remind myself to prepare to spend long hours on the internet looking for as many colleges and scholarships as I could. Lastly, I would advise myself to have fun. I had forgotten, during all this added stress, that senior year was also supposed to be fun. I found myself overworked and underequiped for the challenges that I would have to face, but worrying would not solve any of those problems. This is the advice I would give to myself if I could go back in time as a high school senior.

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Yes college is here to teach us responsibility, to mature, and to prepare us for our careers, but it is so much more than that. College teaches us how to live through LIFE! I have learned through college that it's not always fair, but no matter how unfair it seems I make that smile and keep on pushing because that's life. College has also taught me about friendship. Just because someone isn't in your sorority or where pearls everyday doesn't they aren't worthy of your time. Every person comes with thier own good traits and different walks of life in which we all can learn something from. College has taught me to take the best out of every situation, person, and experience, learn from the bad and grow into a new person. It teaches us to handle life. Many believe it's just something we do to get a fancy job, but have you ever wondered why we take pointless classes? Or why we got a C when you know you deserved an A? College is here to prepare us for the world and what it will deal us. Hopefully we'll gain worldly knowledge.

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To be able to go back in time and give myself advice on the college transition would be one of the greatest gifts that I could ever give myself. Having to live my own from the age of 18 and try to support myself through the end of highschool and college was one hardest things that I've ever had to accomplish. When It comes down to making the money to pay for the roof over your head or taking a little extra time to study and get a better grade on the next test, the roof would win more often than not. That being said, I always tried to do the best I could with the resources and time that I had to work with. Knowing what I know now I would tell myself that taking a job that offers less money but more time for my education greatly outweighs the latter; because while the lower paying job would only allow me more humbling possessions and housing, the potential for a better GPA and greater educational success opens the doors for a future full of possibilities and accomplishments that would be nearly unattainable without it.

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Tour as many campuses as you can! I feel like the best advice I have regarding college selection is to visit as many different types of college campuses and get a sense of student life. Many questions you'll ask yourself about class size, campus involvement, campus sizes, or even type of living situation, can't really be judged unless you have a broad basis of comparison. I had applied to a small private school, a large state school, and a medium sized public school, and after touring each campus I found the environment where I would have all the opportunities and guidance I could need, as well as a high quality of living and positive motivation from my peers. Everyone fits in somewhere, and its extremely important to find out which environment is for you based on experience. My student-led campus tour influenced my decision so much, that now I am a University Ambassador for my school, and I hope to pass on the the fantastic and life changing experiences I've had so that many more students can anticipate the same!

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My advice to my high school senior-self would probably go something like this: "Well, hello there stranger. You've done a lot of things right, but there are definitely some mistakes you need to work out. First of all, going to Chick-Fil-A every Wednesday, even if just to support your best friend who is working there, is a bad idea. Not only are you wasting your hard-earned money, but you're also killing your metabolism and sadly, making Chick-Fil-A hard to enjoy in the future (who would have ever guessed?!). Also, all that stress about what college to choose and what to do with your life- you're going to make the right decision, so stop pulling hairs. You're going to be bald by the time college comes around! Also, learn to study. And do your homework. It's a miracle you've gotten where you are. I bet if you tried a little harder and stopped blaming others, your future would be a lot easier. But I am very proud of you. You haven't died and you're still a fairly nice person. Good job, Kaitlyn. Keep up the good work."

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I do now about college life and making the transition, I would advise myself to take the ACT as many times as possible before I started college. I wasn’t aware of just how important the ACT was until the middle of my senior year in high school and consequently could only fit in two ACT tests before my college and scholarship applications were due. I would tell myself that the more tests I took the more likely I was to get a higher score which would lead to more scholarship money to help pay for college. Also I would teach myself the proper studying techniques to prepare for college level exams. My first exams were some of the worst grades I had ever received in my entire life because I tried to study all the material the day before the test like I had in high school. I would tell myself that it important to set aside time every day a week before the test to study a portion of the material in order to know all of the material well.

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There is nothing better then having certainty in where you are heading in life. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior there would be many things I would like to tell myself. Probably my main advice would be about finaces and fanancial aid. I would suggest to read books about finances and apply it to your life and school. Educating yourself about finances is very important because it will help you understand about saving money and will keep you grounded in times of despreration. My second advice would be figure out avenues on how to pay for college. Educate youself about finacial aid as much as possible. I would recomend to go out of your way to learn how government pell grants work and learn their life span. last but not least Make as many connection that will help you pay for college. for example, visit your high advisor to guide you or even try to go to the college you are planning to attend and ask how financial aid works to gain a better understanding on how things work.

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If I could go back and give myself some insight about college, I would start by saying that it is going to be a lot harder than high school ever was, but I'm going to love everything about the experience. I would continue to advise myself by giving these words: College is going to be the best time of your life, but you need to remember the main part of it, and that is your education. You are paying a large amount of money to be here, so make the most of it and study hard. You will have time for friends, but your homework should be priority. These times/classes are preparing you for your future, so don't waste a single minute. Take advantage of all the study opportunities and help offered to you because they are guaranteed to positively affect your grades. You want to finish with a strong confidence that you are going to succeed in your major and the only way to do that is to take college seriously while learning to balance work and play. You will be fine as long as you never give up. Never, never give up.

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If I could go back to my senior year of high school the first thing I would say to my slef is, "Nick, stop stressing so much because its gonna work out". I would then proceed to give my self advice about some very specific things. I would tell my self that first you should get your FAFSA filed as soon as possible and then begin to search for scholarships. I would remind my self that my brothers will be going to college the proceeding year. I would remind my self it will help my family just as much as it will help me if I get scholarships and grants. Thirdly I would teach my self something about time management. The main thing I would warn my self to look out for is getting caught up in too many conversations on a day when I should be in my dorm room studying. Lastly I would say, "Nick, when you start school, make sure to work together with people as much as possible". Study groups are great and they help you to learn so much faster. Then I would conclude saying again, "don't stress, its gonna work out".

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Erika, I know you want to go far. I know you have big dreams. DON’T GIVE UP. Look around and make sure you breathe. You have done a lot of research on colleges all over the United States. But, you know what? Education is what you make of it. You will go through hard times and you will soar high. Take it in and enjoy yourself. Talk to everyone, smile and soak up anything you can. Never let go of tea, drink, and steep, and read. College is not all parties, don’t worry! You are serious about school but also let your hair down and enjoy a cup at the Coffee house. You will make mistakes, learn from it. Try out for the Vagina monologues and take back your sense of woman. Get to know your professors, they really are human and are so interested in you. It doesn’t matter that you were wait listed at the University of Chicago… education is what you make it to be, no matter where you go, you are your own and you want to learn. That is all that matters. University of Tulsa is full of opportunities, take them!

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