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Washburn University

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

Currently, I’ve obtained a solid 4.0 GPA while participating in the biology club, American Medical Student Association(AMSA), jujitsu club, and undertaking 10+hours of undergraduate research per week studying behavioral neuroscience with my biology professor. While being an active member and treasurer of biology club, I have dedicated approximately 40 hours first semester tutoring biology students in biology-based courses. I also participated in events held by the biology club such as blood drives, a faculty-student picnic, and Earthfest. I’ve partaken in blood drives help by AMSA and was elected treasurer. I began my undergraduate research my first semester of college, undertaking two research topic under the supervision of Dr Paul Nealen. We are currently studying behavioral neural responses of Zebra Finches to different song stimuli. I’m also studying the anticipatory changes of the cardiovascular system in humans prior to moderate exercise. With this topic, I was qualified as a recipient of the Sushak undergraduate research grant. In addition, I spend many hours tutoring students in both biology and chemistry courses. These experiences have made me grow as a person connecting with other students at our college.

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If I could go back in time, I would advise myself to prepare for college by getting rid of all my expectations. In high school, your schedule is made for you, your friends have been near for years, and you have parents and school rules to guide you and discipline you. In college, everything changes. First, you make your own schedule of classes and work. This is a very good thing, especially when you have a variety of classes to choose from or a part-time job that needs your time. Next, your friends from high school move away to other colleges and you begin to see them only once or twice a year. This is why a new college student must break out of their shell and be very involved on campus. The only way to make new friends is by talking and joining in activities with the people around you. The most important thing that changes in the transition to college is discipline. Unless you develop self-control on your own and manage your time, your college experience will not be very pleasant. The way to prepare for college is to expect something totally different from high school.

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I believe if I saved more money for living expenses and extracurricular activities ahead of time, I could spend less time on working and more time on school. I spend 20-30 hour per week working as well as being a collegiate athlete, and taking a full semester. If I didn't need that money for living expenses, I could spend more time studying and become more involved in my college life. It would have been advantageous to myself had I took more college classes in high school-I took a few, but more would've helped me get to graduating college faster. Also, I would've made the decision to not play a collegiate sport. Even though, I'm a scholarshiped athlete, I feel like if I didn't make that decision to be an athlete, then I could spend more time studying aside from practicing, conditioning/weight lifting, traveling for hours, missing class, playing games, etc. I love playing my sport, but it's extremely difficult to maintain a high GPA and play a sport. In conclusion, three things I wish I would've re-assessed are working, playing sports, and better money managagment.

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My first year of college was very difficult and overwhelming. If I could talk to myself as a senior I would first recommend taking a college experience class if offered. Taking this class my second year helped me tremendously and I wish I would have learned how to have good study skills and what to expect on the test before experiencing it and failing. I also would tell myself to be actively involved with the school. If you join a club or sport it will be easier to make the friends you need that will give you the support to succeed. I would also tell myself not to be afraid to talk to the professor privately. Many things got very confusing my first year and it took me awhile to realize that the professors are there to help and will not think my questions are stupid. Study habits are also very important. You will not get the grade you want if you procrastinate. In college they do not accept late work so putting off your social plans will have to happen sometimes and the library will become your new friend. If my studies always come first I will succeed.

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Make the visits. You can't choose a college out of a brochure; after all, those shiny pieces of paper are really on public relations tactics trying to draw you in. But when you are on campus, you can talk to real students and teachers. You will see what you will be around all the time and get a feel of the atmosphere. Also, use your gut. Your instincts are usually a pretty good indicator of what school is right for you. Don't be scared to leave home. Dream big, spread your wings, and fly!!! To make the most of your college experience, you should be involved. Don't overstretch yourself, but pick two or three organizations that you are interested in and be ACTIVE. Don't just pay your dues and get the tshirt. Make sure that you don't put off studying. That is the whole reason you are there!!! Make friends, form study groups, use available campus resources like the library and study cubbies to make the most of your study time. Finally, don't forget to have fun. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. Live it up, but study hard.

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I would tell myself that i would need to make better study habits, because studying in high school does not prepare you for the studying that you will need to do in college. And that you have to stay on top of your hw or else you will get behind and oyou will get overwhelmed and not do very well. Another thing that i would tell myself is to get more involved. This is very important your freshman year so you can meet new people and branch out because some of the people you meet could end up being your best friend. The last thing that i would tell myself is to form a relationship with your teachers and make sure they know who you are. This is important because they can write letters of recommendation for you, and they will be more willing to help you if you speak in class and introduce yourself and make sure that you are not just sitting in the back quiet or sleeping the whole time your in class. Get involved in the lectures and ask manyquestions. Teachers also nominate you for scholorships and groups so they need to know who you are.

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Change is what college is about. It is something that allows you to creavtively, with a lot of studying and knowledge, change from high school to be ready for the real world. Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." This is the motto from which I live by and when picking a University or a college have to keep in mind. What do the students who graduate from the location look like? What are they capable of doing? What products does this campus make? and Do you want to be that product? Not every campus has a well developed, stagnant graduate, this where sound judgement and the ability to specialize your vision of your college career come into play. Knowing how you, as an individual, work and what you need are two things that you have in the front of your mind. Find somewhere where you can feel yourself succeeding, and if you find some place that feels easy, you might take it, only if it fits you also. Lastly, you will find one, you just have to be looking for one. The change will happen, when you least expect it.

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First off, it doesn't have to be about where your friends are going. Think about what you're interested in doing with your life. Find a good, accredited school that suits your needs, and apply. For students who are unsure of what they would like to do, keep in mind that the first few semesters of college will be, for the most part, general electives. As a former "1st-time college student", I highly recommend living on-campus during your first year of college. It is an amazing way to learn more about yourself, and the fastest way to make new, life-long friends. Always have an open mind when it comes to campus activities and taking part in them. Living on your universities campus will also allow you to be closer to your classes for easier access to your professors and facilities, which I believe is very important during your first year. For anyone out there who is not planning to attend college, I urge you to reconsider. No matter what you plan to do with your life, there is a degree out there to help you along your path to success.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to stay focused and enjoy the experience. Even though high school is only a few years, the decisions that you make, can make a great difference in your near future. Give it your all! When it is time for you to walk across the stage to recieve your diploma, it will feel amazing to be able to say, "I did it! I tried my hardest and accomplished something big!" Plan ahead, make sure you are focused on why you are working so hard. It's ok to be undecided on what you want to do, but be prepared for when your ready to start making decisions and plans. Utilize your resources. School counselors, parents, and teachers can help you through out your journey. Ask as many questions as you can, and take notes! You never know when you may need them! Have fun! Try to gain the most out of your high school experience. Volunteer your time, be involved in school activies, and get excited for the future that you have worked towards. You will do great things!

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College, thus far, has been a growth process. Unfortunately, I didn't do as well as I had hoped I would when starting out due to my lack of motivation/ unfortunate circumstances. After feeling sorry for myself for months, I realized that I was desperate for a change and it needed to be a change that would better me as a person. I concluded that my priorities needed to be adjusted which couldn't change until I gained some self-admiration, so I decided to alter my attitude in a positive way. I started to have faith in myself again and once I began to have faith in myself, my priorities worked themselves out and I became ther person I am today - a student who is dedicated to school more than working. See, my entire life has consisted of me trying to prove myself to my parents and help them any way possible (especially since my mom was laid-off in February of this year), but I'm finally beginning to grasp the fact that in order to help others, I really do have to help myself first and college will undoubtedly help me do just that.

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