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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 and give my younger self advice, I would say to always trust my gut and keep calm. This may seem like a cliche phrase and that it's actually not in refernce to my stomach, but it's a way of trusting ones' instincts. My experiences involving TU have allowed me to understand the importance of my "gut feelings". It may sound weird as an approach to ones life, but it can be very helpful. On my first visit to TU my gut told me that this is where I belonged, that this place felt right. To this day I know thats true, there is something about the campus and the evironment that makes me feel like I'm at home. Along with telling me I'm in the right place my gut has allowed me to recongnize when something isn't right, either with a situation or a person, and trusting myself to fix it. I have also learned that nothing is worth stressing yourself over, and that if you stay calm you can get more done. This may not seem like the most inovative advice, but it has definitly helped me.

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Dear me at 17, you are about to embark on the biggest adventure of your life. You should take some fun courses and decide what you want to be before committing to a major that you may decide later you do not like. You know what you want to do with your future fifteen years from now, take the time to make sure you can get there without losing yourself in the process. You can only learn so much at a time, but you can do it if you pick the right things for you. Also, I know you want to be as involved at college as you were in high school. I know you think you know how to balance personal life, family, work, school, play, and extra-curricular activities, but you need to think twice before you sign up for everything single thing that comes your way. I know you are passionate and I know you care about everything, but if things are worth doing they are worth doing well. Take time to do things well instead of spreading yourself too thin. Your happiness is important too. All the best, me at 20

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I would give myself the advise of not worrying about money. Although money does mean a lot, especially with college in mind, it doesn't mean everything. So i would tell myself not to work as hard as to forget to study for classes, even if you come from a semi-poor family. I know its hard to try to live like the slightly more rich kids, but it's worse trying to live with a low GPA due to lack of concentration. I would remind myself that i am going to college for a reason, to obtain a degree not a part-time job. I would also tell myself that its not high school, it is not easy. College is a struggle everyday. You should never assume you have free time, because studying plays a big role in college. But overall, i would tell myself to buy an agenda. It is so easy to forget everything that is going on for each class, especially when you only have those classes twice a week. Take time to make time to finish everything, that way you know exactly what you have to complete each day to stay on track.

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If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to buckle down and take the harder classes. I know so many students that were admitted to a university with 50 or more credits already under their belt. They earned every single one through AP and IB tests because they buckled down and took the harder classes. I really enjoyed my high school years. I enjoyed getting to spend close personal time with my friends and feeling like I could do whatever I wanted. I know that I had the time to do that because I took classes that were too easy for me and I breezed right through them. Looking back, I know that I would rather have that time now, but I don't have the credits to cover my general education classes like my friends do. They get to have fun, only taking the classes that they enjoy while I have to tac on extra courses every semester. I miss out on a lot of opportunities in college just because I was lazy back then. Trust me, a lot of college fun happens out of the classroom. Don't miss it!

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Knowing what I now know about my college experience, and if I couldgo back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would first tell my self that college is serious business, and it is not easy. On that same note, I would add that college is also the best experience. The whole point of college is to prepare yourself academically and realistically for a future career, so going to college just to have a good time is not the objective. Having a good time comes with the hard work and dedication to studying and making good grades. There were plenty of times my friends invited me to join with their fun activity and I declined because I had an exam the next day; but, it pays off. I had my share of wonderful memories already. Another thing I would add is to be careful how you spend your money. It would be extremely wise to save it throughout the year, then use the money saved to purchase textbooks, etc for the following semester. College is truly a wonderful experience if you do it right.

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I would tell myself to keep an open mind. I had always had a vision in my head about what my college experience would be like- the dorm and the awesome roomate, the being away from home and the newfound freedom, the crazy hard classes and all-nighters in the library. But when my experience did not completely add up to my image, I was a little upset. It took me a while to realize that my experience and dreams weren't going to be what I had thought, but instead I could make them anew. From that point, I began to see the benefits to still living at home, and having one foot in the adult life with keeping a job and maintaining good grades in college. I didn't need a dorm and on-campus life to have an amazing first year of college. I was able to have just as good of an experience, if not better, than I had ever imagined. All it took was an open mind and a fresh look on things. So I would tell my senior self to prepare for the greatest first step into my adult life- college at TU!

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I would tell myself to check out more schools, and to try and focus more on getting outside scholarships! TU gave me the best scholarships for their price, but I didn't shop around colleges as much as I should have, especially because I ended up switching majors in my Freshman year, and TU doesn't have a very well-rounded English program. Moreover, I would let myself know that it is really important to know about your money situation---for example, I lost my Federal Work Study for this coming year, my Junior year, because I wasn't on top of getting my FAFSA completed and submitted. Also, don't be afraid to look for outside scholarships! You don't always get them, but putting in that extra work might get you a few extra hundred dollars, and while that doesn't seem like a lot now, it'll be a lot after paying off a bunch of student loans. I would also tell myself that it is alright to look at schools in my own state. Change is good, but remember your family is important, too.

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Take action NOW! Do not put off appling for any scholarship for a single second. Scholarships will keep you from ever stressing about what is a loan, how long until you have to pay it back, or where do i even apply for a loan. Make sure to get in contact with the school early so they know you. Make an effort to go on college tours so that your sure that you like the surroundings and the area. Don't limit yourself to in-state schools because of money. Broaden your horizens and look for places even over seas. Find a good hobby that you can do in your free time and people that share that hobby so that you dont go insane. Visit or keep in touch with your family members because they will always be there for you. Don't let your job stres you out to the point that you can't or sleep at night because it wil only hurt you in the long run. develop a study habit while your in high school so that to will just pass on when your in college. Lastly treat each day as a new experience.

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Do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today. It may seem like right now the most important thing in life is to socialize with friends and to have a good time, but I assure you that it is not. A few more years of hard work will put you in a position to succeed both professionally and personally. Life happens, and no matter what your intentions may be for the future, you may not be afforded the opportunity to accomplish your goals. Take advantage of the time you have now as a young man because I assure you, responsibilities will only increase as you get older. It is much easier to achieve any academic goals you may have as a young man graduating from high school than it is going back to school later in life, with a family to support. Do your best in everything that you attempt. Be thankful for any opportunities that may present themselves to you. Most of all, know that a life lived without challenge is a life that will not live up to its full potential.

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I woild love to have the opportunity to go back and talk to my high school self. I would tell the young me to start learning how to study. I may have been able to breeze through high school by only studying the day before a test, but it doesnt work like that in college. College life is not all about the work, there is plenty of time to have fun and make memories, but learning how to properly sit down and devote a few hours a day to work on homework or study for a test would have made my first two years of college much less stressful. I would also tell highschool me to figure out what I really want to do with my life. I thaught i wanted to go to meddical school, but i was not aware of the course work that is required fr that path. After two years in the wrong major, I am under pressure to finish my degree on time. I would tell my self that college is going to be stressful, there is no way around it, but it is also where you will develope into who you want to be.

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