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Western Kentucky University

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

Spend a generous portion of your time with your family. I can see you carry pain in your heart; you need to forgive, make this a priority. Unforgiveness is destructive and crippling. Be content in the soil that you were born into and turn your concern toward your neighbor. Perpetually, labor for the good of all and do not loose heart. To sustain this, you will need help along the way and you cannot do this without prayer. God is the source; simply ask Him to guide you. The Lord promises, those who care for the needs others will not go without. So, take time to carefully examine your priorities in life and adjust them accordingly. Build your life upon what is important and all things will fall into place; in this way, you cannot go wrong. Life is a gift. I must share with you, to live in such this way is not easy, but it is worthwhile. Give of who you are, teach by example, build upon truth. In conclusion, do not be shy of faith, hope, and love, for we are all in need of these. Thank you, in advance, for reading my essay.

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The first piece of advice I would give myself as a senior would be to start on scholarship applications as soon as possible. I waited until it seemed like all the deadlines to everything had already passed, making me feel trapped. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Take time to explore. Definitely schedule college visits to as many places as you think you might want to apply. You might not know what you want now, but you should feel confident that you're making the right choice about the college you're going to attend when your college search is over. Once you find out what you want to do, don't give up. Don't back down from an opportunity to follow your dreams because you think you can't afford it. If your really want it, find a way, because you can. Above everything else, get involved in the campus community and enjoy the experience. College is more than going to class. It's also about making a lasting social network and finding yourself; don't forget that and you'll be gold.

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I have learned a lot from attending Saint Petersburg College. Being homeschooled from 1st-11th Grade, when I started dual-enrolling for my senior year, it was really exciting for me to head to my first "school" experience. In college life you are really expected to propell yourself into your academic studies, where as I had always had my mom to push me. Though I have learned immensly from my professors, I found myself settling for an A when I knew I could do much better. When you only have one teacher focused on only you, they get to know what you're capable of, and can push you past what you think you can do. Attending college has been of great value to me I have learned so much in the 3 semesters I have spent here. This knowledge will definately benefit me later in life. Even in classes that I thought would have nothing to do with my future career, I've found useful information to benefit my life. I've learned to push myself farther than I thought possible, and have even made a few friends. I'm really enjoying it!

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College is definitely a whole lot different than high school. I think mainly because you're allowed more freedom than in high school. But also because I can finally sit in a classroom with mature people and learn all I want, which was actually quite difficult in high school. But when you think of college, you think of time to grow up and experience new things; you think of getting out of your parents' house and living on your own. I, however, chose a different route and decided to stay living at home while attending college. While my parents aren't very strict, I feel like I have still yet to experience the living on my own (which I believe is where most of the growing up takes place) and taking on more responsibilities. But, of the college that I've seen so far, I have learned to take on some more responsibilities in going to class and doing well. The most valuable part of it all is that everything I learn here at college will be very helpful in becoming a successful member of my community now and in the future.

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To get the most out of your college experience I feel that it's very important to carefully choose your college. Personally, my dream is to eventually attend an art school and recieve a Bachelor's degree there. One of my professors once told me to "go all the way" and not to "settle" for something mediocre. I think that was probably some of the best advice given to me. He told me to try as hard as I can to earn the money I needed to go to a good school. I believe that as hard as I've worked since then has definitely paid off, but I also always keep in mind that being relaxed and focusing on my social life is the only way I'll stay sane. Stressing over school 24/7 leads to lower grades and headaches. I take the time I need for my personal artwork and relationships as well. I believe that during college people begin to know themselves better. Confidence in yourself is impossible to achieve with your head in the books all of the time. You have to have all of the ingredients to make the best of your college career.

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If I could go back as a senior I would tell myself to not take everything for granted. I would be mainly focused and study strictly more on school and been a better balanced student. The key is not be caught up in any disruptences in life such as: girls, texting, football and basketball games, work, church, video games, the internet, talking on the phone too late, and etc. I mean all those things are fine if you don't abuse them and you manage time pretty well. When I was a senior in school I was nominated as most-popular, I was on the coming home court for three straight years, I won best dressed, I worked two jobs, had plenty of friends, went to church, and also had a steady girlfriend. The transition you have to make is to learn how to balance time for school, friends, church, work, or any other activity you have outside of school. If I could've told myself this when I was in high school coming from an college student then I would've took college a bit more seriously than my teachers told me in high school.

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My advice is if your child already knows what they would be interested in for a major then picking a school based off of that particular major would be a wise choice. Taking college tours is one of the most helpful descision makers out there. When you take a tour of a prospect school at the end you can almost tell whether or not you would picture yourself being there. As for making the most of your college experience joining organiziations that you are passionate about or getting out of your comfort zone to try new things and meet new people are very helpful ways to make the most out of the college years. There are thousands of people on a campus and by being open-minded it will be easy to make friends. You learn so much about your school when you attend different functions put on by different groups that it makes you more aware of what is actually on your campus. College is in fact what you make of it so although it can be difficult it can also be some of the most memorable years in your life.

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I have gotten many experiences out of my college career so far. I've learned how diversity in our society is so important, recieved a more social life, completing tasks on my own, and how to deal with real world problems. Diversity never occurred to me how important it was until I came to Western. I applied for a RA position and that was the majority of the questions in the interview. I've always been a social person but I have gained more experience in college. I attended campus activities as well as clubs. I met so many people and I had fun doing it. Completing tasks on my own was one of my biggest fears. I was afraid to do it myself. Being at a University made me have to. This tought me alot and how much I can accomplish on my own. Now, I've had finacial problems since I got to college. I've ended up oweing money every semester and that right there gave me a taste of the real world. Having problems that are difficult to solve. These qualies right there are why it has been valuable to attend college.

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When I was a high school senior all I cared about was playing football. I thought that is what I was going to do in college, so I didnt study and take my education very serious. Then one game during my senior season, I suffered a career ending knee injury. This devastated me to the point of depression because I could no longer do what I loved and all my dreams were now gone. I decided to go to college anyway because that's what people said was the right thing to do, I wasn't so sure. My first semester was tough, I really didn't know how to study. After my first semester I told myself that I would strive for success and be the very best student that I possibly could, so I did. It wasn't easy but I worked very hard and now I have a master's degree and I am working on my doctorate degree. If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would explain to myself that sports is not everything, education is much more important and preparing yourself for life through education is vital.

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If someone had told me while in high school to see my obstacles as a test and use them as a learning experience, I think my outlook on applying to colleges would have been far less trying. After applying to three choice colleges, hoping to be admitted to all three I was only accepted to one, the back-up college. After feeling sorry for myself for too long I went to my parents for advice, I was tired of feeling so put down. They told me to reapply, what would it hurt? I agreed with them but I was afraid of the results. A few months after I applied again, I kept telling myself not to think about it. The beginning of July I was starting to get excited about the University I had been accepted to. On July 24 my life took a different route, I was admitted to BYU-Hawaii my first choice. Bringing this back to high school, I wish that I would have known you don't always get what you want. Sometimes you have to try again, while other times you have to be grateful and accept the outcome of what has been given.

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