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University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

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

When looking for the right college, it is important to keep in mind the best "fit" for the student. "Fit" can consider several elements including: academics, placement rates, financial aid, student life and housing, student employment, and political climate. Regardless of all of these factors, I would argue that student life and housing is one of the most important components, especially for a first-year student. Through living and learning communities, student organizations, and campus events, students find their "niche" within a college community. This is where they develop a social support system and often life-long friendships. To make the most of the college experience, I encourage students to take advantage of everything that is offered on campus. Within the classroom setting, students can benefit from taking advantage of study groups, study sessions, talking with and getting to know their professors, tutoring services, and study abroad programs. Outside of the classroom, students have many more opportunities to become involved including: student organizations, leadership opportunities, campus events, student government, hall government, and on-campus student employment. To maximize the college experience, fully immerse yourself in the process. A diverse resume will serve well during the job search and in life.

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Carey! I only have two hundred words to prepare you for college and our future this upcoming fall! You will graduate in six years with three majors in Broad-field Social Science, History, and Political Science with international honors society memberships in each one. Upon graduation you will be an awesome long-term substitute teacher for the Wauapaca School District in which the faculty and student body will admire and want to hire you! Two years out of school you will become the Alternative Education-At Risk teacher for Merrill High School that has pushed failing students to graduate high school and go on to college! Without you, they would have failed and dropped out of high school! That’s pretty impressive don’t get me wrong! My advice to you is to enjoy your college experience by attending school functions as much as you can. In your six years at college you attended ZERO school functions. You spent your whole time studying and working forty hours a week which left zero time to enjoy college. College life is one thing I can’t get back and wish I could! Listen closely: Please enjoy college life and take my advice.

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In seeing all that has transpired since my time in highschool I have realized that I could have done quite a few things differently in order to make the transition process smoother. The most obvious of which to myself is how truly important the types of people who you should make your freinds in the first few weeks of college are. Of course you should still be freindly and nice to everyone you meet; however if your newfound friends do not share the same academic goals as yourself then the following semester you may find yourself freindless once again since your first semester friends have all failed out on account of partying too hard. The temptation to go out drinking on weeknights must be avoided since the only thing that will come of it is a morning headache and increased difficulty in your studies. There will be plently of time to party in college, only of course if you properly balance the time spent studying, socalizing, and working effectively. This time managment was something I recieved a crash course in almost too late in my first semester after realizing the pathway I and my new freinds were headed down.

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Finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is all about attitude, energy, and commitment. Without a postive outlook, the college quest can become stressful, painful, and even draining. Approaching the college search with excitement and enthusiasm, on the other hand, can make miles of difference. Both the student and parent must have confidence that the right college for them exists, and they must be willing to search high and low for it (even if it means traveling far away distances or taking dozens of campus tours). The college explorer must learn to embrace the unexpected and go with the flow because not everything will work out the exact way planned. Most of all, the prospective student must take time to choose the college that they personally find most comfortable and appealing so that they can feel at home there and get involved on campus right away. As for making the most of the college experience, students should get involved, meet new people, and find something they are passionate about because college is much more than an education. It's a time to discover one's true self.

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I have put much thought into giving my high school senior advice over the years. I would travel back in time to 1987! "Jody, you think YOU have it all planned out?" First, accept that you need support and guidance in planning for your education. Your guidance counselor is to do more than show you how to fill out your financial aid forms. Your parents do not have the experience with secondary education, the value or the financial responsibility; however, they will need to be involved in your future. There are teachers at this high school that can help you. Do not be afraid to ask for help. This is your future. It is very important to remember if you are not satisfied with how your plans are turning out, review, reflect, and renew your goals. Seek the support for your education goals. In any circumstance, do not lose hope in attending college because of financial circumstances. Keep your eyes on your goals. Keep true to yourself and believe in yourself! You are completing your education for you and the many you will work with and meet in the future! The future isn't so far away.

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“College”? You mean “challenge”. Right now, you’ve got a bad case of Senioritis that’s going to need some heavy TLC in the fall when you head to college. Remember when you started high school and didn’t know anyone? That’s college, but at three times bigger, and way weirder. Remember how easy algebra class was? Not when you’re learning quantitative statistics and measuring the area under a curve in calculus. Most importantly, remember coming home to dinner, completing homework is less than an hour, and then chatting with your friends all night? The dog days are over when you have multiple exams in a single week. Mental preparation isn’t enough to combat the rigors of higher learning. You won’t get to sleep in. You’ll barely see your friends and family. You are going to be hungry all the time . Unless your precious hours are used for work instead of sleeping or studying, you’re going to be completely broke, and in debt. “Why put myself through all that stress?” you’ll ask. “Because,” I’ll respond. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I know you can’t resist a challenge.”

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Leaving my home and entering college life was a complete culture shock. I no longer had my mother doing my laundry, cooking healthy home-cooked meals, or reminding me to be on time for my classes and events. I am now completely independent and having to rely on myself in order to stay on top of my health and my studies. A healthy lifestyle is vital for my school life because it allows me to function properly on day-to-day tasks. Eating, sleeping, and exercising are the key to a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well balanced meal will give me the energy to continue working hard during the day. Proper rest before a long and stressful day at school will give me an extra boost of alertness to stay focused in class. And continuing my exercise will relax and lower my stress level as well as maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. All this can be accomplished by simply organizing my time and making schedules in order to remind me of my top priorities which includes all school related work. And I must also not forget to make good friendships along the way to better my communication skills.

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Choosing what college I wanted to attend was the hardest part of senior year. I would recommend that people get started early on the application process because the earlier you start, the better chance you have of getting into your highest preference. I would also reccomend visiting the schools you've been accepted to before choosing which one to enroll at because sometimes the brochures don't do justice for what the school is actually like. After I visited UW Stevens Point, I realized it was better than what I thought and was the deciding factor in me enrolling. As for the transition from high school to college life isn't as hard as some people make it seem either. I was worried, especially not knowing anyone, about my first day. Leaving the car was the hardest part, but the first week was crutial for me. Not because of getting homesick, but because I met almost all my new friends in the first week and got acquainted with my new environment. In conclusion, I would like to say that students shouldn't be worried, but rather embrace the new experience and make the best of it.

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Shannon, don't worry so much about college, you will get along great with a random roommate and the dorm that you ended in that you think is not cool is the dorm in which you will meet your best friends. Don't stress about deciding a major because you are going to change it. Not everyone has their life planned out before college. You change so much in college that the person you are now is different from the person you will become. Spend time with your family because when you go to college, they won't be there all the time for you. You don't have to worry what others think of you. Be yourself and let your true self-shine instead of conforming to others. Get involved in organizations right away so you get connected with a good group of friends. Start applying for scholarships now because once college starts, you will have less time to apply much needed aid. All in all, trust that your college experience will be the most rewarding, amazing and best experience thus far. You will learn many life lessons and see yourself grow and change in ways unimaginable.

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I would remind myself that I have time to complete all my goals bescause I am young and I have my whole life ahead of me. I would tell myself to be rational and to look at all possible angles before I become narrow minded about my options. I would emphasize the importance of applying for scholarships, grants, and financial aid early as well as becoming involed in as many groups and community service organizations I could find. I would stress the importance of broadening my social circle but not forgetting to keep my current friendships intact. I would also advise myself to look into the availability of employment within the city where the school of my choice was located and transportation options incase I had no vehicle of my own. I would remind myself that life is a journey not a race and that sometimes I have to take baby steps to get to where I want to even if the baby steps seem futile. I would adivise myself to seek many advisors for information about studying abroad options and what it would take to do that. Overall, I would advise myself to be humble.

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