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In August, Fusion identified five recent high school graduates embarking on their freshmen year of college. They had never been to a college lecture, never lived in a dorm and never partied at a frat. Each month, we checked in with our Freshmen Five, covering everything from dorm food (not as good as Mom's cooking) to campus sexual assault.

Now, first semester is over, campus maps and nerves have given way to new friendships and big life goals, and it's time to bid our seasoned co-eds adieu.

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Here, in our final installment, the students look back at their first semester and take stock of where they want to go. Bon voyage, Freshmen Five!

For earlier installments in this series, click on the following links.

Part 1: Fusion's Freshmen Five tell us what college is really like

Part 2: Fusion's Freshmen Five update us on how college is going

Part 3: Fusion's Freshmen Five offer advice on applying to college

Part 4: Fusion's Freshmen Five talk Ferguson, campus sexual assault

1. Cece, 19

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

School: American University, Washington, District of Columbia

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(Andy Dubbin/Fusion)

Current goal for the future: Either a physician's assistant program or grad school for a masters degree in psychology, with the aim of counseling or something along those lines.

"I'm definitely glad [I'm at college.] I will say, though, one thing I have trouble fathoming…I feel like, in this day and age, you need a college education in order to, I suppose, be successful. But on the other hand, there's no guarantee of success and I struggle with the amount of money it is and how horribly unfair it is because I know a lot of people who can't afford it. But beyond that, I'm definitely happy I'm here."

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2. Denis, 20

Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia

School: Montgomery College, Takoma Park, Maryland

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(Andy Dubbin/Fusion)

Current goal for the future: Explore different jobs and environments, and try moving someplace new. Work in a management position in the field of nursing.

"I thought it was going to be crazy and that I wasn't gong to do as well as I wanted, but at the end of the day, I got a good GPA. It feels good and I've made a lot of friends. Every day is a different day."

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3. Elmu, 19

Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia

School: George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

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(Andy Dubbin/Fusion)

Current goal for the future: Work in the public sector, in foreign service.

"Coming to college has been awesome. We're not going to be able to see ourselves get jobs until four years from now, but it's still great because you make good connections. But the money, oh my god…For me, [college] is definitely about financial security. A little about intellectual growth, but more financial security."

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4. Maria, 18

Hometown: Staten Island, New York

School: College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York

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(Andy Dubbin/Fusion)

Current goal for the future: Potentially learning nursing, depending on whether that major is too competitive. Finishing a masters degree and getting a good intern position. Staying on Staten Island for awhile to get used to the real world and then maybe going to the city because there's more variety there.

"I like it. It was something new. I guess it will pay off in the future. I don't know how the future is going to be, but I just take it one step at a time."

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5. Sarena, 18

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

School: Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia

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(Andy Dubbin/Fusion)

Current goal for the future: Grad school in California, maybe. A doctor or a midwife, depending on how major classes go.

"People say college is so hard, but if you study and do the right things, it's not as hard as people make it out to be. I recommend it to anyone. I grew up in three months. I feel educated already in a totally different way than in high school."

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Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.