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Wayne State University

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

Steven, You didn’t have your Dad around to help guide you through life so let this be a lesson. College is the key to opening the doors to the next level of success. You are so passionate about music and love to entertain people. You love helping other people and bringing positive energy where ever you go. There are so many endless possibilities you can make in college through networking, communicating, and learning. You can make new friends and surround yourself with successful people, which will benefit your career. Without college education how will you be able to advance your life? How will you be able to take care of yourself and your family? One day you will have to help your family and starting now with college is the right way to go. At 24 years of age I realized I want to continue entertaining people and achieve more. I am deciding to start a fire career so I can support my family and help my community. If I could have started going to school for this when I was 18, I would have a fire-fighting job by now. Don’t wait, LETS GO!

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Dear young, naive Kayla, Don’t take life so seriously. Confidence is key (or the appearance of confidence) even when you’re falling apart inside and about to throw up. Smile more. You will make hundreds, maybe even thousands of mistakes… THEY ARE NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Your high school love will not last. There is not one person on this earth who doesn’t grow into someone new from age 14 to19. Always look at the bright side of things. Being so dismal all the time really brought you down as a person. Go for it. Really spend your time focusing not on high school grades, but finding out who you are and what you’re interested in. Don’t hesitate. Enjoy the sheer simplicity of football games, friends, dances and school spirit while you can. It is truly the best time of your life. Please, please do not eat that sub sandwich from the cafeteria on January 14th. Food poisoning was horrendous. And most importantly…never once doubt yourself. I guess you can say clichés are meant for more than graduation speeches and wedding toasts.

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To be honest, although I know a college education is essential if I am to reach my life goals, I don't believe I have experienced enough of college to fully be able to measure it's value. I've only been enrolled in college for one semester, but I've already started to view my university in a new light. University "life" is very different from High School, it was a great eye opener to the "real" world for me. While studying at the university there is no one to force you to learn, you are forced to take the initiative. You must truly be dedicated in the pursuit of knowledge towards your goal to continue on the right path. Also, being away from home forces you to rely a lot on yourself for many things. I have an awkward family situation that causes me to be turned away from many financial aid offers that I could really use. Winning this scholarship could really help lift some of the burdens of tuition off my family's shoulders. To me, the time I spend in college will be very valuable because it will help me broaden my horizons and grow.

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To recent high school graduates, those atteding college for the first time and their parents I would recommend taking time to think and weigh out all your options before choosing a school to attend. Researching the programs each school has to offer is important, you want to find the school that offers a strong program that holds your interest. Looking at the cost of tuition as well as how often that school raises its tuition costs is also very important. College is very very expensive and you need to be sure taht you get the best value for your money. I believe new college applicants also need to consider their own study habits before applying for schools. If you know that you need silence to study, living in the dorms may not be the best choice for you. If you know you need to have access to the library and other students to get the best value out of your time at school than dorm life maybe for you. Above all your own happiness and satisfaction need to be top considerations in your decision on the right college.

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Every day that you walk through life as if you can hit rewind at any moment, realize that the rewind button you are counting on to be there is being phased out as we speak. That's right, everything you're doing is going on film, and that film is going to be your life. Make each day worthy of being recorded and watched by you one last time with no editing. Whatever happened in the past all happened for a reason. The important thing is to make those experiences, positive or negative, a strictly positive influence on what you do now. And, even more important, don't just know what you need to be doing, do it! Start acting on what you have learned from your life. I was once a high school student with a GPA below 1.5 or something tragically close. That ended with my getting a GED after a few years of not attending school whatsoever. And it had nothing to do with my learning abilities. But once I realized what I wanted to do with my life, I was able to start college with a whole new attitude and believe me, it?s working!

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I would definitely tell myself that I should enjoy every moment learning and try my very best to benefit from everything my teachers/professors were trying to teach me. It seemed like I was always in a rush to take the courses and finish. I looked at college as a "tedious task." I would tell myself to not look at going to college as a chore but to be more actively engaged in my learning process and to be more inquisitive. I would tell myself "Choose a career that you see not only yourself doing for the rest of your life, rather a career where you can't see yourself living without. Don't choose a career that you think would be easy for you, rather choose a career that you know is going to challenge you because challenges are healthy and they help you reach your maximum potential. Be serious about going to college/university and DON'T TAKE TIME OFF; that may set you up for failure. Nothing is ever too hard, if you put your mind to it, you can do it! Where there is a will, there's a way. ENJOY ever minute of it!"

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Listen, high school-me, I'm here to tell you to get your act together and to get off your high horse. I know that you're getting good grades and are basically breezing through high school, but you need to abandon that cocky attitude that you have. That "I'm coasting through high school, I'll do the same in college" attitide. It's a very ignorant way of thinking. You don't even study. I get it, you're smart, but you have to put more effort into your school career, because-take my word for it-college is a completely different ballgame. You CANNOT coast through these college courses, it's not as easy as you think. If you keep going on the way you are now, you WILL fail! You will lose your scholarship and will be on academic probation. I know that I'm being hard on you, but you need to hear this. You're really smart, so start actually applying yourself. Pick up a book. Study. Spend time looking over your notes. If you do this, there will be nothing stopping you from accomplishing your goals. You can do it, kid...trust me.

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After graduating high school, I didn't want to go to college. After a few years, I realized I needed a change in my life. I turned in my application, was accepted, and before I knew it, I was living on campus. Making the decision to go to college was the best decision I've ever made. For those still in high school, the best advice I could give you is to do your absolute best. Take extra time to study for tests. If you're having trouble, have a family member/friend/tutor help you out. To the parents: support your child through their education. Encourage them to do their best. It will help them be more prepared for college, which is a huge step in their lives. Winning this scholarship would be a huge help. I have loans that I will be paying for a long time. I also work very hard at my job, but it's still not enough. On top of tutution, there are books, supplies, rent, and other every day expenses. This money would allow me to ease some of the stress in my life, and not have to constantly worry about money.

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I have been out of school for seven years now and if I could go back I would sit myself down and have a very serious talk. I would let myself know that you only get one life and to not let the little things stress you out. I would tell myself that there are scholarship opportunities and funding out there for students no matter what their background and upbringing. I would tell myself that while community college is a smart stepping stone to a four year university I could have gone away to school if I wanted. I would have told myself I was, in fact, good enough to go to a four year university like my peers. I would encourage my high school self to sign up for college activities, clubs, and volunteer events when I entered college because that's where you meet people and have the best experiences. I would tell my high school self that regardless of my family being non supportive of college that you can still achieve your dreams. Lastly, I would apply to multiple schools for options because settling isn't good enough.

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If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to go to a local two year college in order to save some money for the university. I had hoped for a swimming scholarship, but I was injured during my senior year in high school, and did not do as well as I could have, preventing me from being able to obtain a scholarhip. I would tell myself that Wayne State is a great university, but many of your high school friends will transfer out of it and attend universities that have more parties. I would tell myself to keep my mind focused on studying and ensuring a good career. I would tell myself not to worry so much about going to parties and trying to meet girls. Instead, I should work in my free time so that I may continue to pay my tuition. Also, my parents are going to have extreme financial issues in the coming years. So I would tell myself to save my money, because I will be giving them thousands of dollars of my own money to help pay the bills. Most importantly, I would tell myself that it will all be worth it.

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