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University of Wisconsin-Stout

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

My advice to prospective students and parents when looking at potential colleges would be to ask the following five questions. 1) Is it close enough to home that the student can come home for holidays and emergencies, yet far enough away that they will not be coming home every weekend? 2) Does the university offer an academic curriculum that enriches the students' learning both during school and after? 3) Is there a variety of extra-curricular activites offered that interest the student? 4) Are the academic buildings in close proximity to where the student will be living? 5) Did the counselors, students, and faculty we met with on tours give us a positive impression? If the answer to all of the above is YES, then that university is definitely a place to consider. Above all, to make the most of your college experience, you have to make it your home. Be involved - this is the best way to meet the people who will become your lifelong friends. Take pride in your campus community - attend athletic events, sit in on a lecture, explore the community. Get to know your professors, too - do all this and you will fit right in!

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At my school I have had the pleasure of meeting new people; professors and peers and members of the community all. Though I am a non-traditional student and I have bounced from school to school throughout the past few years, at my current university I found the right fit for me. And if the satisfaction of those who I have made the acquaintance of is any indicator, I am not alone in this feeling. I think that one of the most important lessons I have picked up is that everyone one meets is going through some sort of difficulty or has had problems that are complex and difficult to solve. Noone should be underestimated. If an education is what prepares you for the future then it must certainly also prepare one for working in the service of others. University of Wisconsin -Stout has been there to prepare me and given me chances. Chances and opportunities like setting high goals for myself and pursuing them in academics, extra-curricular activities, long-lasting personal relationships and more. I'm proud to be a representative of UW-Stout and a product of the quality education system of the United States of America.

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Parents and students should never follow a crowd but look at the students individual needs. That is what I did and it is the very reason I am succeeding and will graduate even though it will take me five years. I am a student with severe learning (dyslexic) and medical disabilities where I often need a lighter load or a tutor. I specifically picked Stout University because of their large special needs staff that goes all the way to help stuents succeed and I was impressed by all their volunteer organizations. It's not always just about academics but how one gives back to society. At Stout University, I was able to spend my last three January interns in Mississippi cleaning up Hurrican Katrina and now I was elected to the college Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity. This January I will be going with my college band to preform in Germany plus earn study abroad credits at the same time. This is just some of the opportunities. I encourage future students to take a good look at everything a college has to offer not just academics alone. I say, reach out to others, take the risk! GOOD LUCK

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What I have gotten out of my college experience is responsibility is the keyword. Attending college is a big step and it prepares you for your next school and the outside world. Out of my college experience I have seen how certain schools will help you along the way and how some may not. My college experience teaches me to take reponsibility for my own actions because nobody controls you but you. Also, when it comes to going to class because some classes could be held at the "crack of dawn" but having a schedule and disciplining yourself to go to sleep at certain times shows that you are taking responsibility and that you care about your academics. Attending college has been valuable to me because I have accomplished alot through all my struggles . I was the first of my familyto graduate high school and will make history when I graduate college in December. It's valuable to me because attending college is something very constructive and i'm doing it all on my own having to apply for loans but I love school and my degrees will bring me big money once I get out into the real world.

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In order to find the right college for you or your child it is best to tour the campus for the ones you are interested in and see how they feel to the prospective student and see that it fits their needs and wants. After you have selected a college to attend I highly recommend getting involved in extra curricular activities such as the Inter-Residence Hall Association or a club that is related to your program. Being involved on campus helps provide yourself with valuable tools to help yourself and others through college and after college. By being involved you learn how to appropriately manage your time which is a vital skill to have for the rest of your life. You also learn to be more people oriented and work well with others which working with others is something that comes up often in the workplace. Another helpfull asset to being involved is making connections. You never know if somone you know can help you land your dream job by them knowing the right people. Make sure to stay focused on your studies and don't take on too much which can be easy to do for some.

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My college experience so far has taught me to be open minded and embrace diversity. I am learning to sharpen my mental tools and be prepared for anything that comes my way. College has been valuable to me because it is allowing me to get the education and training that I need to make a better life for myself and my young daughter. It is giving me confidence in my abilities to do well at whatever career I choose to pursue. I have met interesting people and had intelligent conversations that I would not have the opportunity to participate in, and I have joined in community activities that I never would even have known about if it were not for college. College is giving me skills I will need when I join the work community, such as working in a team, public speaking, following directions and meeting deadlines. I am learning to not only work well under pressure, but to thrive under it. As a young person, I could not see the value of this experience, but as an adult, my eyes are wide open to the possibilities that I have opened up for myself by continuing my education.

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There’s so much I would have loved to know, most of all I wish I knew how much challenging and applying myself would have paid off. Many of the classes I took in high school were exceptionally easy. The material wasn’t challenging it just came in enormous quantities. I wasn’t the kind of person that chose easy classes for the purpose of having a relaxing time; I took quite a few honors and AP courses. What I really should have done is put more time into my schoolwork and less time working or socializing. I’ve come to understand the importance of really challenging my limits, and how that can lead to growth and self-actualization. Many peers in High School recommended easy courses solely because they didn’t need to apply themselves, and it was lazy. If you’re offered free public schooling, you are obligated to make the most of it. A message Grade school administrators tried passing on, but many students didn’t listen. If I could go back to my High School self I would I would tell him my experiences and struggles. Knowing what it could do, I would have worked harder.

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Cost, learning environment, and job placement are, to me, the most important offerings a school can provide. After all, you're there to learn your desired profession, and attain a job in that field. If the school cannot meet you at least 50% of the way in helping you achieve those things, then its not worth the cost. My school was an exellent learning environment, and I consider myself ahead of the average graduate in my field, but I had a pretty difficult time finding a satifactory job. That shouldn't be the case. When visiting schools, ask them a lot of questions about what they do to help you get a job, and be critical about there answers. Don't just assume that a 96% placement rating means that they offer a lot of help. That percentage might only reflect the quality of students the school recieves. My school was competive acedemically, the quality of students on campus provided the school with a good placement rating. The ideal situation is that regaurdless of the students, your school provides you with numberous placement opportunities.

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If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would be able to give myself a lot of great advice! First of all, I will admit that I was very unsure of what I would be doing in college; I was indecisive of which major to declare, and for that matter, which school to attend. There was a multitude of issues concerning me, such as living in the dormitories, getting along with my roommate, what classes to take, etc. Now, having experienced my first semester of college, all those feelings of uncertainty seem worlds away. I could tell myself that living in the dorms is one of the best aspects about attending a university. There are hundreds of other people to meet, and friendships to gain. I would let my old self know that having a roommate will be fun; after all, they are the first friend you make! Finally, I could say that not you do not have to have your entire future planned out just to attend college. There is a wealth of opportunities waiting to be discovered, you just have to start with figuring out what your interests are and the rest is history.

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The first priority is to figure out which schools have the program that the student wants to go into. Then you find all the colleges that apply to that program and choose from there. Certain schools are stronger in some areas and weak in others so reasearch will help. If the student is undecided I recomend attending a local college at first to save money while they figure out what they want. Then they can go off to a bigger school. I also recomend not choosing a school that the students friends are going to. Or don't let that be the only reason they choose that school. You make so many new friends that you might not end up hanging out with the high school friends at all. When you first arrive there are so many activities to attend where you can get to know your classmates and floormates for the year. Getting out there and not being shy, while still being yourself, is the biggest recommendation I have for incoming students. Just have fun and don't stress out! College is about starting over almost and living your life the way YOU want to live it.

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