All Questions for

Western Illinois University

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

Thus far, I've learned that education is what one makes of it. Everyone will have bad teachers, impossible tests, and awful partners for a group project at some point - but that is part of the college experience. One's collegiate success largely depends on the attitude they take on in a given situation. In addition, I've realized that values such as discipline and focus are rare, and they deserve to be utilized to their fullest potential. Academically, college has proved valuable in narrowing my areas of interest and potential jobs. Now, I can focus on one subject area and build my resume accordingly. I've decided to double-major in Spanish and Economics; this way, I can broaden my career opportunities by engaging in international business. At the present, I have a very modest stock portfolio, since my income is very small. I'd like to invest more money, but it's not practical at the moment. I'm confident that I can change this by getting the best education possible and working to my full potential. Although I plan to transfer from Western Illinois University, I've learned much from my experience academically, socially, and professionally.

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My college experience so far has been absolutely amazing. I have learned the importance of friendships, academics, time management, and independence. Friends are the most important thing you can possibly have in this world, especially friendships with relatives. My relationship with my parents has become a lot more valuable to me, realizing I would not be able to attend Western Illinois University without their help. Academics have been extremely important to me throughout my whole life, and it has been valuable for me to attend to live up to my full potential. If you want something greatly enough, it's important to fight for it. Accept every resource given to you, because it will only help out in the end. Time management and independence are huge lessons that I learned so far at school. To be successful, one must manage time properly and spend time on things that are truly important. Not only studying for tests and writing essays, but taking the time to enjoy life, and spend it with people you care about. I have learned so many things from my college experience. I would say I am extremely lucky to have this experience.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have told myself to let go of the reins a little and enjoy the last and only high school senior year. This might not seem as the most "academic" advice with which a student should be bombarded, but it is a true reality check. I spent most of my Fall semester applying for top of the league universities and scholarships, thus, missing out on glorious football games, forever-lasting memories on outtings with friends, etc. The sad part about it is that I was not accepted into any of the applied institutions nor chosen for most of the scholarships I spent time applying. I literally threw my high school senior year experiences away. I would tell myself to not worry about the big top universities, because community college will become my parents wallets' best friend, and a great path unto the university I want to attend. Though I would encourage myself to have fun, I would still cheer me into going for the "A" grade in each class as I was already doing, because good times do not reign over responsibilities and excellent education.

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I suggest visiting campus beforehand and taking both school provided tours and also walking around and interacting on your own. I feel very strongly that the best part of my school can't be taken in on a campus tour, and i assume that is the same with many other institutions. Keeping an open mind about people, especially where they're from and how they were raised will help very much with acclimating to the environment. As far as teachers and classes go, listen to your advisors but make it clear to them what you're interested in and what you would like to learn. Pursue your interests and realise that your time here will be short, so there isnt time to be sedentary, challenge yourself and you will be satisfied. Ask yourself before committing somewhere if this is the best place to give yourself the future you've always wanted, nothing else should factor into where you attend. Be tenacious with an opportunities that are available and give it your all. Remember college is not just about classes but it is the platform on which you should grow up and become who you want to be in the future.

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When looking for the right college, you must look at a variety of different aspects of each school. First and foremost, you must visit the campus and see how the environment makes you feel. When doing my college visits, I knew which college I wanted to attend. On a whim, I visited a different college just for fun. Let's just say that I have now just recently graduated from the college that I was visiting for fun. Visiting the campuses changed my perspective on everything. As soon as I saw this specific college, I knew it was perfect for me. As for making the most out of your college experience, you obviously must work extremely hard. Study, go to class, do your work, and keep up with your assigned reading. If you do these things, your grades will hopefully show for your hard work. But remember... this is college. Working hard and studying is extremely important, but there is also time to have fun and enjoy yourself as well. The best thing I've taken from college are my friends that I met. My best advice is enjoy those four years, because they will end sooner than you think.

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I have gotten a lot out of both my college experiences. At Western Illinois University, I met people from different parts of the state and country. I was raised in a nice suburb of Chicago, where I only knew what it was like to grow up there. When I went to WIU, I met people of different cultural, economical and ethnic backgrounds. I have learned how to be tolerant of others and had the ability to learn about different cultures. Some of my siblings have not had this opportunity and I wish they had. I am now attending a private college which is giving me another opportunity to learn about smaller class sizes and where your professors know your name and get to know you. I think that college is valuable to attend because not only can it teach you tolerance of others and diversity, but also can teach you to be a responsible young adult. Learning to be responsible by managing money, paying your bills and not having someone to remind you to do something is a valuable part of life. Without attending college away from my parents, I am not sure I would have learned this.

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Dear Becki, Today is your first day as a high school senior at Lyons Township high school. Before beginning your final year, I have some advice for you. Work extremely hard this year. Get good grades and re-take the ACT's. When it is time for you to make a decision on what college you want to go to, make the decision for yourself. Don't choose a school just because your friends are attending it; By the end of your Freshman year at college you will have completely different friends anyway. When you make your decision and begin your college career, work extremely hard. Keep in mind that the courses you are taking in college are going to help you after you graduate and begin your career, so it is imporant to listen actively in class. You're going to switch your major and minor a lot, but eventually you will figure out your life goals and pick something that really makes you think. Finally, I'd like to remind you that college is a major change and it may seem unbearable at times, but you will gain strength from the experience. Good Luck! Becki (from the future)

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For the parents, i would tell them to get to know the Schools that their child is considering very well. I know going to college might be a scary thing for a parent , so in order to make sure their child have a good experience they ahve to visit the schools and get to know the environment. Also the parents might want to find a school that is not costly, i know paying for college can be very expensive (becasuse i am going through that currently). They should find an institution that is affordable and that provides their child with a quality education. For the student, i would tell them to find a school that has various activites for new students, because coming into a new school can be difficult but if the school has various activies for new student then it would be a lot easier to make friends. It is alos important to find a school that has a good advbising center for students who are close to graduation. Having a good advisor in college can help you pick the best classes so that you wont waste you time taking classes that are not required for your mjor.

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When I came to Western Illinois University I struggled quite a bit my first year there. Coming to a college university was a completly different experience than I had ever expected. If i could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would advise that it is okay to experince what college has to offer, but you need to keep your priorities straight and realize you are here primarily for your education. I would tell myself to stay focused and practice time management skills before school began. I wish I would have known that college is not comparable to high school, and that it is the real deal. Another bit of advise I would give would be - attend class! it is way to easy to skip class at college, especially as a freshman because most dont have strict attendance policies. In order to get what is necessary out of your classes attendence is a must. Overall I would say that in order to get a positive college experience you need to stay focused, go to class, study hard, have fun and get involved in whatever your university has to offer!

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Graduating High School was probably one of my biggest accomplishments at that time, but entering college made me realize that there are tremendous amount of goals I want to achieve in my life. College is not a game, teachers do not remind you the due dates to assignments and if you forget it only hurts your grade. Some professors will not even announce test dates because it is your duty to keep up with the syllabus that you are given at the beginning of the semester. College classes are no joke when it comes to homework and studying, assignments can not be done in a few hours and studying for tests takes days of preparation. College takes a lot of effort to pass your classes and you work yourself so much harder to get an A in every class, do not leave things for the last minute it only stresses you out and might end up doing the assignment wrong. Last but not least, find study buddies for your hardest classes, it motivates you to do better and studies have shown that when you teach someone you learn more. I cant't tell you its easy, but its worth it.

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