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Wingate University

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

Transiting into college can be the worst or best time of your life, depending on how you feel about it. Upperclassman college students plant horrible images of freshman year into young minds but really, freshman year is the most important and unforgettable time in becoming acquainted with your school. First off, stop worrying about making new friends; everyone is in the same position as you, do not forget that! When you finally make your first friends, those friendships are for life. Some friendships and that old flame from high school will end, but it?s OK., those new friends will be right there with you. Second, get involved! Rather it is clubs, campus jobs, or greek life, getting involved is a great way to meet people and become associated in the community. However, do not forget about your schoolwork; it comes first! College isn?t high school; you actually have to study and you can?t procrastinate! Do anything to get organized; buy a planner and set goals such as the President?s list. The most important advice though is not to get overwhelmed. Everything will happen so fast at first but it calms down, trust me.

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Let your children decide on their own college they wish to attend. Letting students make their own decisions helps them to become more independent and more willing to succeed if they are able to decide on the college they wish to attend. As of finding the right college, students should know whether or not they wish to attend a large university with more students' or a smaller university where there is more guidance and assistance for the students' if it is needed. Also students' and parents' should know how far the university is away from home. Some student's want to move far away and some want to remain close. The geographical location of a college should be important when deciding because that may determine how happy a child is at that particuluar university. It is important to hav e a social life and get involved on campus, but academics is the real reason why people attend college. It is fun to party and be social and is imporatnt for getting to know fellow students', but students' need to find a balance betweeen social life and academics. College is an exciting time and is a time of growth and learning.

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When choosing your college, be sure to make the time to include studies and balance work and personal life, accordingly. This is because going to college is to be considered a fulltime job, with part-time work options, and family as a secondary emphasis. The payoff, after graduation of each term, will be the time that can be devoted to adding work hours to your schedule, and extra family or extra-curricular activities. Should you find yourself leaning towards a different career path after a few semesters, check in with a college advisor or career counselor to find the best alternatives to your college coursework. You may find that your interests grow, with more time in school, and that is ok, but never give up. Remember that tutors are always available to help you when you get stuck, and do not be afraid to ask for help. Develop study teams to bounce off ideas or study strategies. Seek out internships in your field to gain a working perspective of the field you wish to work in. College is enjoyable in so many ways, and is the platform for the rest of your life, if you let it be.

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The decision to go to college is a large one. So far I have spent 5 semesters at college and it has been the best time of my life. I love college! I hope that all students could experience college the way I have. I think that choosing the school right for you is what shapes your experience at college. With that in mind, there are many things that should be considered when making the decision on where to go. Counselors in high schools consistently harp on the educational aspects which are very important. It is important to know that the college you choose has your major, the class size you desire, the minors you like, among other academic details. Athletics also play into some decision making. If you desire a football team and a lot of school spirit, it is important to keep that in mind when choosing the campus to attend. I also am a firm believer that you need to choose the school that YOU want. I have found and encountered many students who are attending school for their parents and as such their experience has been far from enjoyable. Ultimately, think, and make your own decision.

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As an upcoming college freshman, I was excited; no one could steal this excitement from me. I could not have been more ready, until I was about ten minutes from Wingate University. There are many thoughts going through my head at this point. The biggest questions I am asking myself are, “Am I going to make any friends at this place,” “What if I do not get along with my roommates?” I only have one word of advice, be yourself! You are going to be in the same position as everyone else; no one has friends at this point and everyone has the first-year jitters. If you are yourself, you will quickly find friends and your roommate(s) will appreciate your identity. Finding your identity during college is a journey in itself, but it all comes easy when you are yourself. Learning to be yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and everyone around you. No one wants to hide behind a mask and feel suffocated. Love yourself for who you are and embrace it! The truth is, the real you is better than the fake you. The first-year jitters are normal, just be yourself!

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If I could go back and tell myself one thing during my senior year, it would be dont take time for granted. Every senior spends their year complaining about how they are ready to be out of school, but truthfully you will wish you had just one more year when this year comes to an end. You will miss all of your friends and the memories that you made, the clubs that you were apart of, and the people that you might never see again. Something that you also need to do in this precious time is learn to manage your time in college this is HUGE. Learn how to study, what study skills work best for you and how you can make the best grades possible. Responsability is also one of the things that you will find to challange you the most, this is key in college because you have to make the responsable decision to do your homework at night and to wake up for school in the morning because your parents arent gonna be there to force you to do it. And most importantly just remember to be you and dont let anyone make you change.

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Don't question or second guess your ability to survive in college. You're smart and you always have been. Don't give up on college, your dreams, or yourself. Trouble doesn't last always and the end of your storm is coming soon. You'll get your chance to prove yourself to everyone who said you couldn't make it. Never lose hope and don't lose your faith because sometimes it takes being broken completely down to be built back up. Don't worry about momma and the little ones, they will be just fine. It's time to start living for yourself and chasing after what you really want. The family will always be behind you, every step of the way. Not everyone understands where you came from, so learn how to hold your head up and keep a smile on your face. Things always seem better when you're smiling. Love yourself and things will fall into place. You'll find your place in the world and you'll love it. And the biggest thing... Always do what's best for you and sometimes it's the most painful thing to do.

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Tricia, do not worry about your mom and dad wanting you to go to college right after high school. At this moment, you are not mature enough to decide what you want to study and you lack the confidence needed to survive in the adult world. Focus on getting a good job that will help you grow up and become confident in yourself. When you do get to college, expect a bit of the same thing as grade school. The main difference is you get more freedom, and you decide when to do homework. This will be a good and bad thing. Stick to doing your homework as soon as you can, like you have done before. You will also need to learn how to study well and accept that writing essays are unavoidable. If you do not do well in a class, take it in perspective of the whole picture. Also, try to stick to one major. Changing majors will affect your scholarships and you lose money that way. May I suggest something that will teach elementary children? Trust me, you will love it more than chemistry.

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Brochures and websites are great and very helpful, and structured, guided campus tours are a great way to "meet" a school. But you are selecting the place you will spend the next 4 (or more?) years of your life--that's a long time to select a school just off one "date" together. Take the time and effort to really get to know the people--talk to students in your possible department, visit with a professor or sit in on a class. Even better--see if there is a student willing to host you for a weekend. Certainly select a school that meets your academic, financial, and location requirements, but also trust your gut and how you feel. The school I graduated from was not my first choice--as it turns out, I hated my first choice after visiting but quickly knew I belonged at my school. After spending some time there, it felt like home. One more thing Mom and Dad--be sure to let go of the reigns; your opinion is very important, but you are not the one shopping for a school.

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I would tell myself a lot, actually. I would say that I'm about to have a wonderful experience and I should embrace it. I should allow it to happen instead of trying to avoid certain parts of it. I should be outgoing and open. I should face my shyness head on. I should forget about people judging me and just have a good time. I'd tell myself that drama exists but finding good friends can get you through anything. I'd tell myself to give people more chances. I'd tell myself to bring more photos with me. Not having my friends and family around me in some sort of way was a bad idea. I would tell myself to expect change. Just because I'm gone doesn't mean everyone else's lives just stop. I would remind myself that I'll sleep enough when I'm dead, because getting my normal eight hours just isn't going to happen again. Overall I'd recommend that I push myself in every part of life, because that's what you're supposed to do in college--stretch, shape, and form your true self.

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