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Vanguard University of Southern California

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

Get involved on campus! Go to all new student activities and hang out with a variety of different people to make friends. However, set aside ample time to study. Take professors advice and study the suggested amount! It's easy to get lost in all the social activities and stay up late with your new friends while living on campus, but don't forget about the real reason you're there: academics! Friends and involvements make your time more memorable and significant, but a better education for a career is your goal. Don't waste you or your parents money, make achievable goals for yourself. In college, people are much more willing to hear your story, your point of view, it doesn't matter so much any more your "stereotype" such as geek, jock, cheerleader, band member, etc. Therefore listen to others and formulate your own individual opinions, participate in group discussions. In addition, working on campus has been a great experience. You get to know a lot of new faces, as well as have an opportunity to be an on-campus leader. College gives you a time to step out as individual, so take advantage of it!

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I could list hundreds of different things I have gotten from my college experience such as the ability to wake up early enough to get to the shower first, or the knowledge that a fire alarm at three in the morning is not unusual. However, the most significant thing I have gotten from my college experience is truly realizing how important education is. It may seem cliché to say I have learned to love learning, but that is the truth. To most is it a simple idea: knowledge is power. Yet, seeing it from inside the walls of my campus gave me some perspective on it. The strength that comes with knowledge has become so clear to me; I have encountered professors, staff members, and students who use what they have learned in intelligent and beneficial ways around the world. My appreciation for knowledge and my enthusiasm for education increases with every semester. Now, I can discuss topics with my friends that previous to college I never knew existed. Thinking about all the new things I will learn next semester is so exciting because when I learn something and internalize it, no one can take that away from me.

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My advice to parents about finding the right college is ultimately to let their child make the choice about where they attend school. Parents, you are there to support your child in the decisions they make. It is important to make sure your child has all the information available to them about schools and the programs and majors they offer. It is also important to be there for your child for help and advice when they are searching and selecting the college of their choice, but it is imperative that you give them the freedom to choose their college and simply support them with whatever school they choose. My advice to students would be to choose a college that has the best program for the major you are interested in. It's important to know all of the information about the schools you are looking into before you make a decision. Once you start college, the best advice I could give you is to make it count! Work hard, have fun, build long lasting friendships and relationships, and dont let the years pass you by without truly taking the time to enjoy every aspect of your college experience.

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I believe that Vanguard University presents a great opportunity to not only gain a quality education, but to also grow in my spiritual walk with God and be part of a passionate student community. The qualifications that I receive will help equip me, and the relationships that are built will challenge me and be life lasting. One thing that stands out to me about Vanguard University is the mission and purpose of the school. I am so excited for the opportunity to be involved in an educational experience that is founded on God and is concerned with developing and strengthening faith, while teaching necessary skills and knowledge. There is such a challenging environment where I can excel and do everything with excellence. The Student Body Government that exists seems like an incredible opportunity to be involved, and I would love the opportunity to be a part of a social justice group, specifically in the area of human trafficking.Above all, I value an education from Vanguard University because of all Vanguard has to offer academically, spiritually, and as an overall community.

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Time is valuable; it’s something you can never get back. In saying that, learning to allocate and balance your time is an imperative thing you should do. Procrastination can get the best of you and if you’re not organize e.g. homework, studying, projects, etc. it can all catch up eventually and leave you overwhelmed. That also goes for doing stuff at the last minute. If you know you have a project or research report paper due in a couple weeks or months, don’t wait until the last minute to do so. It can cause unnecessary stress and professors will know if you rushed on your assignments, its evident in what you turn in. When given the assignments, its best to start working on them little by little every day. Being in college is totally different than high school. Meaning you are accountable for everything you do; turning in homework, taking notes effectively, studying effectively, and asking for someone’s notes if you’re absent. Not only is college a great experience, it’s a place that determines what type of future you will have. Make decisions wisely and make the best of it.

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I, like many others my age, thought I knew everything about life during my last year of high school. Thinking I was prepared for all the obstacles that living a truly adult life would bring, I soon realized that I was only prepared for a miniscule amount of what the future really held in store. At the age of eighteen I chose to attend Shasta College, a community college in my area. I had been offered scholarships to certain schools and had received acceptance letters from a few universities as well, but I was not quite ready for that...considering that, at the time, my major was undeclared. Now, at nineteen (going on twenty), I am about to graduate with my AA in humanities at Shasta College and move on to Sacramento State to get my BA in journalism and communications. Going to college made me realize what I wanted to do with my life. I discovered just how crucial receiving an education is. With the current state of our economy it is especially crucial. Overall, I could not be more grateful for my choice to attend college and what it has done for me in the long run.

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My high school self never gave much consideration to college. At the age of 15, I was advised to leave the world of education behind by my high school counselor. He claimed that "some people just weren't meant for an education". I believed him and gave up any hope of higher learning... or of any sort of academic education at all. I dropped out of school and dove headfirst into a full time job. Looking back, I wish I could have told my younger self that no one is incapable of learning. That everyone and anyone is 'meant' for an education, if they are lucky enough to have one offered to them. I would have told her that no one person, besides herself, could judge her abilities with any true conviction. Chiefly, I would have explained to her that she was capable of ANYTHING that she put her mind to, as long as she was willing to put some real effort towards that goal. Despite the setbacks I encountered after leaving high school early, I have proven that I am indeed very capable of an education. High grades and my newfound love of learning have made that quite clear.

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To the parents and students who are trying to find the "right college" I would say keep your eyes, ears, mind, and heart open. I use the word "open" because very often, when looking at our future, we bring along with us our own ideas that may or may not be rooted in reality. Being open to the opportunities that lie ahead is key to making the most of our college experience. It is during this crucial time. Parents - your son or daughter will be leaving home, may not in a physical and literal sense, but nonetheless will be away from you. For you parents, you should strive to think the best of your adult child and always encourage him/her. We, the students will have enough to think about without your constant reminders of right and wrong. And for you students, remember things may not always be as they seem and the one thing that you can be sure of is yourself. During the college experience, who you are will be questioned, proded, and poked in ways that you may have never experienced before; so take hold of this opportunity to discover you dreams and go for them.

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If I could hop into a time machine and go back to High School I would first go with right mindset. Starting my freshman year I was all about the social aspect of high school, hanging out with friends and flirting with boys. My focus was nowhere near getting an education. It reflected on my transcript. My sophmore year wasnt much different. My junior i started realizing that I needed to get into college and put a little more pep in my step. My senior I really kicked it into gear. But througout my high school career I never gave 100 percent. That's the number one advice I would give to high school self. Always give your 100 percent in everything you do whether it be school or sports. Dont worry what others think or say of you because you need to realize that your not in school for them. In the end you will probably never see them again till your college reunion and what will you have to say for your self then. High school prepares you for college, and collge prepares you for the the rest of your life. Think of high school as a cornerstone.

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Some advice that I would give parents/students on selecting the right college would honestly go with what you feel good about. What I mean is that college is not just about going to some big name school for the popularity of it. For example, at my high school everyone wanted to go to USC or UCLA just becuase they are popular schools. Yet, once I really started looking at all of my options I found that maybe a smaller school would be a better fit for me. It's all about what you want out of your college experience. Some want to go to college to find themselves and experience fraternities and or sororities; I personally did not want to engage in that type of lifestyle, I wanted a more laid-back "homey" feeling at my college choice. So, in my personal opinion it is best to figure out what you want from a college in deciding where to go. What types of things each university has such as sports teams, clubs, extracurricular activities, majors and local social life. I am personally very happy I chose a small school insead of a big one.

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