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Urbana University

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

When looking for a college, it is important to find the school that will fit the student the most. Of course, that includes things like athletics, educational content, and financial aid. Every student is different and not every school will work for one student. So it is important to apply to as many schools as possible. Once a student is attending his or her desired institute, he or she should get involved with activities that interest him or her. It is also very important to find friends. Friends should be from all types and standings. One should not limit one's self to a certain ethnic, cultural, or social group. It is also very important for students to get to know the faculty and staff on campus. Being well-known is a huge benefit. Students should also remember that family should still be involved in order to gain a more enjoyable college experience. Also, parents should remember that college is a time for students to make choices on their own and a time for students to start building their independent lives. One of the most important things to keep in mind when looking for and attending college is, have fun!

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Whenever a person exits their comfort zone into unfamiliar territory they have to decide how they will react. Sometimes it is easy to take it all in and find yourself just observing from a distance. One of the most valuable experiences I had was when I decided that instead of being the one who sat back and watched, I would dive in head first. I decided that I wouldn't let my shyness keep me from potentially great firendships. I wouldn't let challenging assignments overwelm me, and i would invite new experiences. (Although trying Monday's broccoli surprise was not one of those new experiences.) The first couple days of classes I decided to be myself, only more extroverted. I found that smiling and introducing myself helped me to make friends and form study groups more easily. Although I would prefer to do activities in small groups I shose to attend larger functions and become involved in discussions. I found that through my choice to become involved I developed my own voice amoungst the larger group of voices and that it could be clear and strong. My college exprerience has given me a chance to become who I am.

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I have learned that people will not baby you for the rest of your life. That is to say that since I have started college I have had to do things for myself that in high school the teacher would have done. Also, I have learned that I do not HAVE to do things alone. For the longest time I studied by myself, mainly because all my friends in high school were a year younger, but recently I have joined a study group and have watched my grade rise. Even though some classes have been difficult I have persevered. I believe college has been valuable to attend mainly because I will be the first person in my family to graduate college. Even though both of my parents have good paying jobs, I have aunts and uncle who did not go to college and I have watched them struggle. My mother is the oldest of five (5) sisters and their father did not push them to attend college. Some of them have been lucky but others have not. I am not afraid of being penniless but if I every have a family, I do not want to put them through that.

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The advice I would give parents about finding the right college for their student is really simple. I would tell them three things. The first is to let your child decide where he or she wants to attend school. Don't force a school on them. The second is to try go to all the schools your child wants to attend. The third is to support your child no matter what. It is so much easier for a student to feel confident in their decisions if their parents support them. The advice I would give to students is very much like the advice I would give to the parents. I would tell them three things. The first thing I would tell them is to explore all of their options. It is easy to make the correct decision if all of the options are explored. The second thing I would tell them is to always feel like they are good enough. How will the person know if they never try. The last thing I would say is to learn as much as they can and live each day as if they would never get a chance to learn again.

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In high school, I didn't really no much about the importants of school and never really took thought about what it is that I wanted to do in life. Know one really told me about the importants of going to college and being patient and not in a rush to go after the high paying dead end jobs with benfits, in some warehouse house or factory. So if I were to go back in time and give myself some advice, I would first tell myself that I am 24, and all the mistakes that I made. I would tell myself to keep GOD first and school my number one priorite. I would tell myself to not be caught up in make money and being flashy to show like im living a life style that im really not. Instead, keep your credit good, dont live above your means. work a job while in school but save, learn about investments, and get in school for business. Most importantly to change up the friends that I hang around and start hanging out with the nerds. And plan to get married after college.

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Through the course of my college experience I have gained vast amounts of knowlege, but not restricted to academia alone. I have developed strong interpersonal relationships which I find to be rewarding. I have developed and understanding and respect for people of other ethnic backgrounds, something I did not acquire where I grew up as I was not subjected to people of differing ethnicities. I have been able to squash many of my misunderstanding and stereotypes about the world in which I live. Lastly, I have learned a great deal of material relevant to my intended field, however I believe that to take a backseat to the aforementioned knowledge. Being here had made me a better, more understanding, open-minded, well-rounded person. When students come here the professors take each one under their wing and mold them into these great individuals and I am glad and proud to have experienced it.

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I would tell myself to stay on the same track and keep studying and keep staying AWAY from partying and doing the right thing. Keep up with your school work because its not worth $22,000 dollars a year to fail and drop out, then have to pay off all of the student loans you had to take out because you were not granted any good scholarships or grants because your father made "sufficient" income. Do not join the golf team because the athletic department is terrible. Just keep studying hard like you do and hope somehow, that it will pay off and you might be lucky enough to receive some scholarship or grant to help you pay for books and gas for commuting. Oh, and if you still decide to join the golf team then hold on to your wallet all the way back from your georgia spring break trip because if you don't, then it will come up "missing" and you do not want to deal with the hassel of all of that.

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I would like to tell parents to let your children ultimitely decide where they want to go to college. It is the biggest decision of their life and they need to figure out for themselves where they feel their future is more secure. Make sure that they are making the right decision, but let them be the decider and you be the guide. Make sure your child is getting involved in on-campus activities and that they are getting out doing something instead of just going to class. Students, make sure you choose the right school that best fits your personality and where you will be 110% focused on your academic studies. This is your whole life and make good friends to make sure you stay on track. Get involved to familiarize yourself with the campus and faculty. It will be the best decision you will make at your college.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself in high school as a senior I would tell myself to study and focus alot harder on my classes. I would tell myself this because if i would of studied harder in high school my college classes might of not been as hard as they were in the beginning. Also I would tell myself to go visit more colleges and universitys to make sure I pick the right one for me. I would tell myself this because if you don't find a college you feel comfortable at you will not be happy their. I would also tell myself to let the high school drama go because when you go off to college it is all behind you and none of it matters anymore. Most of all I would tell myself to enjoy the good times because you never know when it may be your last and to be thankful for everything!!

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Attending college has allowed me to broaden my horizons and begin to prepare for my future career. I have made new friends, had a chance to experience new things and better understand myself through the classes I have taken. I have spent the last year in the University's Royal Blues Band and working with the Drama department, these experiences are completely different from the same activities I did in high school. I am becoming a more independent person and feel more confident in myself. The college experience is helping me grow as a person and allowing me to explore many new facets of life. I am very happy to be the person I am right now and look forward to evolving into a strong teacher in the future.

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