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University of Wyoming

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

If I could speak to myself as a high school senior, I would encourage myself to keep an open mind about the upcoming changes that inevitably accompany the transition to college. My expectations for my freshman year of college were simply too narrow: I desired college to be a continuation of high school, both academically and socially. Had I realized beforehand that college is intended to be a time for personal growth through a variety of new experiences, I would have been far more successful and satisfied as a freshman in college. A second, related piece of advice that I would give myself is to be willing to explore new academic subjects and participate in new activities. Although a student?s principal goal is to graduate efficiently, this should not prevent anyone from taking interesting classes, even if these classes do not contribute directly to graduation requirements. Likewise, high school activities do not need to define students? activities once they arrive at college. In summary, I would tell myself to take change in stride and be open to new experiences after arriving at college. Following this advice would certainly be beneficial to any student ready to transition into postsecondary education.

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No student can make the right choice about where to go to college because there is no right choice. The length of this survey shows that there are too many individual categories and perspectives concerning what is "good" or "bad" about a given school to make one solid judgement about where to go. No matter what school a student chooses in the end, they can always make the most of the experience. This means that a student does two things durring their (undergraduate) stay at school. First they must suceed academically, and secondly, they must suceed in enjoying the activities and opportunities around them, which I wish I was doing more of. When these two things are done in balance, a student is making the most of their time. It is critical for parents to be involved in the process. Mine refused despite my willingness and abilty to suceed in school and I hope that no one else has to endure what I did my first few months. Parents, support your students by giving them the emotional and financial support they need. Security at home is essential for allowing a student to flourish in a new and sometimes strange enviornment.

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I have been on both sides of the college life: graduating with an AS degree from a community college and now attending a university. The community college life in Powell, WY was a blast! I had an awesome roommate and my classes, although I had quite a few, were easy. Between horse judging trips, the gym, the dorms, and a little town in Montana, my girlfriends and I had the time of our lives! These are what I will remember as “the good ‘ol days” of college. Unfortunately this college was only good for two years so I transferred to the University of Wyoming. Because I switched my major to Engineering, my classes are tremendously more difficult. Thus, my free-time has dwindled to almost nothing. I'm not hanging out with friends anymore, I'm studying with them. This, however, has proved to be more entertaining than expected. I have learned more of what it means to be diligent and how to persevere: traits of character I will benefit from down the road. My college experience has not only taught me the skills and knowledge I need to join the workforce, but the work ethic to succeed.

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Going to college is a big step and an exciting adventure. Here is some advice to make the most of your time. As a student, there are tons of free resources available to you that you should take advantage of like resume help, financial counseling, gym access and the list goes on. Another thing that will help you out a ton is to be purposeful about the classes you choose to fulfill your degree requirements. Meeting regularly with your advisor, at least once every term is key to finishing as soon as possible, which in turn protects your bank account. Getting free money for school will save you from a lot of stress. Spend several hours a week looking for and applying for scholarships. Another thing I would recommend is get involved with the community either through intramural sports or through volunteering. It will help in getting scholarships and will look good to future employers. School is important but if you don’t have a social life then you aren’t experiencing college to the fullest. You are young and your life is just beginning so don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun.

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The best way to determine which institution or college that is right for you is to first off visit the ones that you are interested in several times. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the campus and the environment that is sets itself in. After that take the opportunity to interact and meet with admission counselors, professors, and other faculty that work at the institutions that can tell you more about the professional side of the school and what it has to offer. On top of that it is crucial to find some time to interact with current students and ask them the questions that you really want answered. This is where you are going to find the "real" answers that you are looking for on a non-bias scale. To make the most of your college experience you need to GET INVOLVED!! It is proven that students who are involved on their campuses have a higher GPA, are more likely to graduate, and form those lifetime friendships. On top of that being involved allows you to explore the world around you and learn practical skills that you can use to help you in your future career.

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I have found that college is not teaching you material that you will necessarily utilize in the future; however, what college teaches you is how to have an analytical mind at approaching a problem. College may be expensive, but it is a lifelong investment that gives individuals skills to future their life. Not only does an individual become knowledgeable in the areas of their interests, it also broadens their studies so that a person can become a well-rounded individual. One of the most interesting things about attending college shows you that people never are too old to keep learning. Any given class may have students that are older than your parents. In such an economically difficult time in society, attempting to have a secured job or the ability to easily find a job generally requires education beyond high school. What I am mostly taking away from college is a certificate that will allow me to find a secure career that will provide for my future family and me. This experience has been valuable to me because I know I will do whatever it takes to pay for my education.

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If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to take more Advance Program classes. This would be very helpful because taking AP classes in high school prepare you a significant amount more than regular classes, for college. By taking AP classes in high school, it really helps your study habits. The transition from high school to college becomes much easier because you are more aware of the work load and how to study and be successfull in harder classes. It also helps students to organize their time with school work and social time. Being social is an important part of college; however, it is also important to know who you are as a person. Knowing and loving yourself before you get to college will help tremendously. If you love yourself you will be more confident and in turn more active within the school, helping you to meet friends who support and love you. Happiness comes from within and if you aren't happy with yourself, it doesn't matter where you are or who you are surrounded by, you won't be happy until you love yourself.

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I would tell myself to not be afraid to get involved with campus activities. It's a great way to meet new people and to break out of a high school shell. Most people are experiening the same things you are, especially freshman and new students. A great way to make new friends is to get to know your dorm neighbors. They want to meet new people and to make friends just like you do. Don't be timid or afraid to talk to people in class. Make friends with the people you sit by. If you do you can organized study groups and you can have someone to talk about lecture material. People are understanding about the transition from high school to college and are very encouraging in joining on campus organizations and even participating in sponsored events such as concerts, carnivals, movie nights, etc... Also even though some classes require more reading and participation, one key element is to attend class. That's probably the most crucial part of college. Just because you don't have a strict schedule like high school doesn't mean you can skip whenever you feel like it. Don't slack off.

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I have been fortunate enough to travel beyond my small town and expand my horizons through college goals and dreams. I believe that it was my strong will that got me in college. My plan in life is to experience the world and be captivated with the understanding of its nations’ cultures while viewing the natives’ ideas through their own eyes. I am determined to gain new insight by exploring what the world has to offer outside of my one time comfort zone of a small town. I wish to blend my thoughts of freedom, peace, and opportunity with others with the hope of organizing groups that will further promote balance in the world. I believe that in this world, when we understand each other and no longer see separation then we will be able to be one with each other and we will be able to work with one another to create a common peace of mind. I would like to take my experiences and knowledge with me to areas where I can make the greatest contributions and impact, such as, working in the United Nations to bring forth principles of hope, peace, and purpose again to our world.

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If I had just one chance to speak to myself as a high-school senior, I would have several pieces of advice. First, I would advise myself to be prepared for everything ahead of time. Rushing to finish things at the very last minute is always hard, but it could easily be avoided by just staying on top of things like applications, registration deadlines, and fees. I would tell my younger self to stay on top of these kinds of things, because it would greatly reduce the stress of my first few months of college. Of course, my advice would not end there. I would also tell myself to stay organized, and to save all of my assignments. Organization is a key skill, especially when living on a college campus. There are so many things to keep track of, I would tell myself that I would definitely need to stay organized in order to remember it all! Most of all though, I would remind myself to have fun, and to stay relaxed throughout my first few college semesters. While it is important to stay on top of homework and assignments, ir's also important to relax and be yourself!

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