Starting from behind: Going to college sometimes means catching up

This is my last semester at Normandale Community College, where I am going to be the first in my family to graduate with an associate degree.

Next year, I plan to continue my studies at the University of Minnesota. I have a B average, but getting here hasn’t been easy for me.

College has taught me to believe in myself

“Women want to learn to become leaders, but they don’t call themselves leaders.”

When I heard a speaker say this at a recent conference, I saw myself as I was in high school: Ambitious without recognizing it, hard-working but not confident enough to go after leadership jobs. College has changed me.

Letter to my high-school self: There's no coasting in college

I regret to inform you that despite what you think, you do not have it all figured out.

Sure, you’re a good writer. And your 3.5 GPA isn’t too shabby. Sure, you’re going to graduate high school with honors and get a full-tuition scholarship.

A roommate taught me to see beyond differences

When I first made my way into my dorm room at the start of my freshman year, I saw four lofted beds, and I began to get worried.

There’s no way I could have three roommates, yet there were four names on the door, and mine was one. Later, I learned that the university had run out of dorm rooms and put the overflow – including me – into what had once been student lounges.

I’d heard stories about roommate problems. How would four of us ever get along?

Adjusting to College

For high school seniors, May is the time to choose a college and start making plans for next fall. From roommates to classes, the adjustment can be a challenge.

This month, ThreeSixty writers offer lessons they’ve learned about making the jump to college without falling on their faces.

Teens making "conservative" college choices in struggling economy

High school senior Andi Akpe wanted to spend his next four years at a racially diverse college, but then the economy crashed.

“I personally just really wanted to go to a college that had, you know, flavor! But with the price of tuition going up and everything, I knew my focus would have to be on the cost,” Akpe said.

College students' love advice to teens: Love can wait

With Valentine’s Day this month, love, crushes, and relationships are on the minds of many teenagers. Teen dating can sure get complicated, so luckily, college students at the University of Minnesota were willing to share their dating experiences and advice for their younger peers.

When asked what advice they would give their 16-year old selves if they had the chance, there were a variety of different answers. One recurring theme in the students’ advice was commitment. But their advice about commitment probably isn’t what you’d expect.

Some college admissions checking Facebook

College Application? Check. ACT score? Check. College essay? Check. Recommendations? Check. Facebook page? Check?

It’s college application time and as seniors put their final touches on their applications, a new report is showing that they may have one more thing to worry about – their social networking pages.

Your Turn -- Teens advise the new president on what youth need

September’s Your Turn writing contest asked teens to give their opinion on what the next president could do for American youth. Here is a collection of the advice they have for President Barack Obama.

September Your Turn -- essay highlights

Several of September’s essays contained illuminating points about what teenagers care about right now. We liked them so much that we put together a list of their quotes.

I want Barack Obama to open the border for three reasons. First, most of the Latinos want jobs. Second they want a life that Mexico can’t give us. Third, Latinos are not criminals; we just want a better life for our kids such as education, jobs, and things like that. — Luis Pacheco, 14, Harding High School

September Your Turn contest winners

More than 120 students around the Twin Cities submitted essays to September’s Your Turn on what they would tell the presidential candidates about how they can help American youth. The responses were incredibly diverse and ranged from calls to end the war in Iraq, a solution to teen homelessness, and a request for an iPhone.
The winners this month were Global Warming by Rachel Mosca, Dear Mr. President by Claire Mahoney, Senority means nothing by Matteo Alampi, Hopes for the future by Chris Ulrich, and Asking Barack Obama to lower gas prices by Mai Der Yang

Young Republican and Democratic activists share desire for change

For most students, a typical day consists of school, parties and hanging out with friends. Travis Symoniak, a senior at the University of St. Thomas, wakes up every morning and goes to his job as executive director of Minnesota College Republicans.

On evenings and weekends he’s out knocking on doors and helping with campaigns as a volunteer. “I’m kind of a geek in politics,” says 20-year-old Symoniak. He helps out candidates running for office across Minnesota. Some days he’s coordinating a campaign; other days he’s planning an upcoming event and organizing volunteers to pass out campaign literature.

Political parties and campaigns rely on young activists like Symoniak, people with the time and energy for the relentless demands of long campaigns.

Countdown to College: Got FAFSA?

After your school applications are finished, there is still another important application to fill out; the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Otherwise known as the FAFSA.

Using your parents’ tax information and a simple questionnaire, the FAFSA is crucial in helping determine the amount of aid you’ll receive from your college and outside sources or at the very least the way to a loan with a cheaper interest rates. Although it may seem frightening and tedious, there have been significant changes to the FAFSA that help promote ease of use.

FAFSA Online is the site for online filing of the FAFSA. The online FAFSA is easier to follow, more secure, and faster for making deadlines. Instead of taking two weeks for processing like with the traditional paper application, the online FAFSA takes up to three business days!

Countdown to college: Show me the money

How you pay for college is a giant factor in deciding which college is for you. The high cost of an education can seem overwhelming, and the best way to rid this feeling is through scholarships.

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Cameras and cops work to keep campuses safe

With video cameras, early-alert systems and increased patrols, Minnesota college campuses have tightened security in the wake of the killings at Virginia Tech.

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Figuring out the magic formula -- then rejecting it

This summer as I was about to start my first term of college, I stumbled across an e-mail I sent freshman year that showed I was willing to do anything to get into Yale University. As I read the e-mail, I remembered the brutal path called the application process and laughed at my initial mindset.

Countdown to College

Join St. Paul senior Matt Smith as he makes his way through the hoops of applying for college.

Journalism in junior high - from reacting to reporting

Today as I led the class, {{I found myself struggling}} to capture the attention of these 7th and 8th graders. I couldn’t keep them from talking to each other. I couldn’t give them definite answers to their questions. I felt like I was losing ground with them.

I told myself, “Boy, this is going to be hard.”

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