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Wayne State University

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

Finding the right college begins with deciding what's important to you. For me, it was proximity of the school to where I wanted to be, which was in the Metro-Detroit area; availability of the program I was interested in; and cost of tuition. Other important factors might be housing, extra-curricular activities, and financial aid. When you decide what's important, you can then find what school has the most of the qualities you're looking for and is the best fit. To make the most of your college experience, get involved! Every year I've tried something new, a program, a group, whatever, and I haven't regretted it. I've made friends and had many interesting experiences. From choir, to alternative spring break, from a student society for African students to the school newspaper, I've done so many cool things that have made my time more worthwhile. I don't think my college experience would be so great if I had done nothing but gone to class.

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My college experience is great. I have learned that your professors are there for one thing. They are there to help you get the education that you need to achieve your goals. In high school your teachers tend to become friends with you. During my experience at Wayne County Community College, some professors were the same way. I believe that was due to the smaller class sizes that allowed them to interact with each student individually. From my college experience, I have also realized the importance of getting an education. Without an education it is have to be financially stable. Many people are living from pay check to pay check due them not being able to make enough money to survive. If we continue to educate ourselves we will obtain degrees and be able to get into careers that will allow us to become financially stable. Knowing that there are greater things to come is the reason that I value my education. Education is the key to success.

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My first piece of advice to students is to pick a school that they really want to go to, and for parents to let them choose a school that they want, not that parents want, or can afford. If you are at a school that was not your first choice, or that you are unhappy with, then it may affect your abilities, and you won't be as happy. I would also advise students to go to the websites of their prospective schools, and get as much information as they can about the academic programs at that school, and to request or download information. It would also be helpful to attend at least one year on-campus, not at home, to get the feel of the dorm life. It is a fun experience, and it also teaches you how to tolerate others, and helps you adjust better to living on your own one day. My most important suggestion, though, like I said earlier would be to choose a school that you really want to go to. This way, you will get the full college experience.

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Attending college taught me how to study. I was totally immersed in my program and became great friends with some of the other students in my program. I had to work very hard to keep my spot in the program. It taught me to act, think, and behave as a nurse. When I graduated and became part of the workforce, I was already on my way to truly being a nurse. After being a student for a few semesters, I participated in student clubs, became more social and outgoing, and became confident and comfortable in my own skin. High school did not do this for me. Being responsible for your own learning and life helps define who you are. I would never trade my time in college. It helped make me the person that I am today. It also has allowed me to have the confidence to return to school on a different career path. This time, it will help my family become financially stable. I could not imagine raising my family without my educational background.

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Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me” pretty much sums up a lot of what to know and feel about college. “I know it’s tough when you break up after 7 months…all I can say is pain like that is fast and rare…And oh you got so much going for you going right, but I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night, tonight's the bonfire rally, but you're staying home instead because if you fail Algebra, Mom and Dad will kill you dead…” Those words need to be remember in college as well, don’t hold yourself back because of someone else; if it’s meant to be then it’ll find its way with both of you reaching your goals. In addition remember, it is perfectly fine to change your mind a million times. There are so many new experiences you are going to have, you might be scared or nervous but have faith that everything will work out the way God has planned for you because at the end of the day all that matters is how happy you are with yourself.

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I have learned how to make a complete set of Residential and Commercial Blue prints by learning the newest Auto Cad programs. Now I am able to complete a percise set of blue prints occording to OSHA standards and all state laws. I have chosen this field to provide everyone with better homes, for families accross the United States. I have also learned through the Architectural field mechanical drafting, electrical drafting, and are newest environmental. Now that I have the experience i'm interested in Industrial Engineering because i can adapt into all the fields of engineering and have been accepted to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. My college experience has instrumental value not just for me but to everyone. Can you immagine a home or a work place that is so energy efficient it would only cost 1/4th of your energy bill. That would be huge and also protecting the enviroment with little to no pollution.

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Find a student(s) at the college or University that you're interested in attending. Students tend to give honest feed back about college life (classes, social life, professors...) than a faculty member. Secondly, remember that a good majority of Universitys and Colleges have beautiful landscape, so don't that be a fact that determines your enrollment. Lastly, learn how to manage your time. Be willing to meet and network with people who may not look like you. And most importantly, learn how to schmooze. I'm not talking about telling the Prof. He/She has nice shoes! NO, you need to sit toward the front of the class and nod your head to let the Prof. know you understand them and that you're paying attention. Even if you know the answer to a question, ask it anyway! Let the Prof. get to know your face and name. It helps, at least at Wayne State University, boost your grade from a B+ to an A! Good Luck!!

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Never listen to others' opinions about the university you plan to attend. This is something you have to figure out on your own. Do not take classes that fit around your schedule, rather, take classes that have good professors who challenge you. Talk to different advisors about requirements and career choices because they don't know your needs, only you do. Take advantage of all the free events on campus and volunteer and research opportunities. Get to know people from different backgrounds because once you leave college, you will never have the same opportunity to learn so much. Argue with students that have opposing views and understand their presented perspective. Post books on craigslist and search for textbooks to purchase on the website to avoid overpriced books. Keep an open mind. Be yourself. Be true to yourself and you never know where the path will lead you.

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Finding the right college for yourself is not exactly an easy task. It should be well analyzed and thought out. Personally, I did not put too much effort into determining where I wanted to attend school; which I believe was not smart on my behalf. Luckily, I did end up at a good university that I am learning at and still able to enjoy myself. For those considering universities, they should become familiar with the city; what goes on around the campus, crime, social life, etc. This individual should also consider how strong the school is in their planned area of study. If you are planning on majoring in the business field, why would you be attending a university that is strong in the medical field? Take good time to get to know the college that interests you. After all, it will be a place that you will be spending a lot of time at, why not make it worthwhile?

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The focus of college is obviously academics and preparation for the future. However, there is one thing unique to the college experience that can spur great personal growth: the opportunity to interact with people from virtually any and all background. My greatest advice for new students is to look for other students on campus who are not like you... maybe they don't look like you, maybe they don't believe what you believe. Seek them out, and begin a friendship. You will find your life become richer, and the world will suddenly become a very small place. You will not only learn about points of view and lifestyles you never knew about before, but you will also learn that deep down we are all very much the same. It will change the way you think about virtually everything. It will open great windows for you in your future. Embrace it!

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