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American River College

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

Hey Hannah, get out of that dorm room!College is about more than academic studies: it’s an opportunity to collaborate with professors and peers from a wide range of perspectives and experiences.One such method of collaboration is research. I'm eager to be part of a university research tradition, learning from professors who make innovative discoveries, and moving from reading about research ideas to exploring them hands-on. This connects with my goal of studying Neuroscience at the graduate level, to which undergraduate research and mentors are invaluable.Amidst exciting academic discovery, a challenge anticipated in my first year at college is moving from a small school/small town to a large university. I am excited to join a diverse community where I can learn from and with others, and want to create an academic/social support network to enhance learning and creativity. However, developing social relationships can be difficult in a new place. My plan is to become involved on campus through student organizations, for example, by joining Theatre and the Honors Program. This extra-curricular involvement will give me the opportunity to continue my academic and artistic passions while getting to know other passionate, creative students.

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If time permitted me to travel, back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would advise myself of what I know. I would say, "As anticipated as you are to enter college, make sure you study enough to earn the grades that will easily permit you to enter a university/college that accepts your credentials." I would tell myself to pay close attention to the SATs and focus on my weakness in Mathematics; practice makes perfect. Stay focused on the academic and athletic criteria of the college you want to get into. Make sure you are aware of what you want to major in because many go into college with an open mind and choke up when they must choose a major. Always stay as alert as possible during your Advanced Placement English exam and do your best. Remember what Mr. Madin always said, "It does not matter how hard you prepped for this exam, what matters is how unbelievable the outcome of your writing will be." If you follow his advice and mine, you are surely to do well. Promise me one thing, you will not under any circumstances regret your choices.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing I would tell myself is what I REALLY want to study. As a high school senior, I thought I wanted to study physics, then music. But now, I am certain that I want to study software development, beyond the shadow of a doubt. The main mistake I made was taking so many unnecessary classes at my local junior college and earning an associate’s degree in music. You would think earning an associate’s degree would be a good thing, but in reality, it is now holding me back. Because I have a degree and lots of units, the school has cut off my priority registration and it is nearly impossible to get into classes I need to study computer science and transfer to a university. I would stress to myself the importance of only taking classes I need to transfer and nothing more. Learning has always been my passion. I love to absorb as much knowledge as possible, and that’s why I loved community college, but all of that should be done after I have achieved my main goal.

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I am much more likely to remember someone’s name if I write it down or read it. For this reason, I am going to write my advice in letter form so if my high school self did read this, she would retain it. This letter would probably be posted to her wall and looked at every day.. Dear Samantha, The summer after high school will be tough. You will loose friends. Do not be afraid to be alone. You learn more if you are. Taking the public bus isn’t so bad. When you feel anger toward the world because you don’t have a car, remember the thousands of dollars you and your parents are saving. You also will meet cute boys on the bus :). Eat your vegetables and wear your sunscreen. You are beautiful, smart, and kind. So many great things will happen for you. Be grateful for your family. These next few years will be some of the best of your lives. No pressure, though, because your 30s, 40s, and 50s might be just as great :) It all depends on how you choose to look at life. Lastly, take pictures of every moment, and laugh everyday.

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I'd tell myself to take it all in strides. That the bigger tasks are made from bundles of smaller tasks you're allowed to fail sometimes. Even science is self correcting. So when something happens to you that's terrible, it's going to get easier everyday as long as you focus on the tasks. When you go to class, don't feel sorry for yourself. Just learn. You take yourself out of that terrible situation so that the only you that exists while your in that classroom is the student. You don't know anyone except who's in the room, and the only problems you have in the world is remembering the material and getting assignments done on time. It's hard to compartmentalize sometimes. But when you can look back and say I did this. When you can say that you did it even though all those terrible things happened. It's one of the best feelings you'll ever have. Don't be afraid to fail sometimes, even science is self correcting.There's no hurry to grow up or any flaw in growing old. The ugly things are beautiful too in a different scope.

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If I could go back in time to talk with my high school senior-self, I would tell myself that I made the right decision. Coming to the end of my senior year in high school, I really didn't believe I was ready to move away and be truly on my own yet. I attended a prestigious college-prepratory high school in Sacramento and witnessed so many of my classmates getting accepted into prestigious-expensive colleges. Upon reacting to this, I knew I didn't have that kind of money to spend, especially when I didn't know what I really wanted to do with my life. The answer-- communtiy college! Of course I was sad to realize that most of my friends were moving off to enjoy the "perks" of living the dorm life, but I came to find that I would survive. Therefore, I would tell my high school self that putting aside the trivial college freedom in regards to finding yourself is worth the wait. I made the right decision; I wasn't quite ready yet, and that's perfectly fine. To me, the wait(community college) was definitely worth the wait.

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I believe you need to never give up no matter what obstacles you may come across. When coming to a big campus it could be hard to get used to as well as knowing all the teachers are not the same and everyone works differently and it is not like high school in any shape or form. Anytime you have a question in or outside of class ask, it does not hurt even if you feel like it may be a dumb question. Always look into way of helping your college and see all services that are provided at all times. Always talk to your fellow classmates and never show shyness, just confidence. Walk around the campus and explore your options and see where everything is located, as that can help you with helping the next student who is in need of help just like you. Never hesitate to go talk to your instructors and dont cheat because it just results in making you look ignorant and like you have a lack of knowledge. Always take your work with pride and never wait until the last minute to get something done. Always stay on top of your work.

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If I could back to when I was a high school senior I would tell myself to study hard and get good grades. Also try out for some of the school sports and other extracurricular activities, things that a college might look for. Try to look for colleges that might appeal to you and work out for you. Do not worry about what degree you need to take, but keep up with studying and get good grades. About transitioning in from high school life to college life know that you have family, teachers, friends, etc there for you to give you help. Always ask for help since that will help you learn and grow and be able to get you closer to goal of achieving what you might want, such as becoming fully independent and able to take of yourself. Also to be thankful for what you may have and the people who are around you and support you for they will always be there for you in your time of need. Most importantly try to have fun through this and try not to stress too much about things that you may not be able to change at the moment.

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If I could go back to my high school days and have a little chat with myself, I would definetely tell myself to look at the big picture and not just at the here and now. I would tell myself that it is okay to have fun and want to hangout with your friends but someday you will have to get out of your parents house and support yourself and get a career going for yourself. I would also suggest that I start buckling down on my grades and really start paying attention in these classes because in your college years you can refer back to some of these courses and it won't be as hard for you. I would also say that it is very important to value your education right now instead of treat it as something that your doing for somebody else; your college years are coming soon and you are going to need to be responsible enough to go to your class lectures on your own. The last thing that I would say is to start looking into some colleges and talking to some counselors so that you can have information that will help you.

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I would probably tell myself that even though my desire was to stay at Natomas Charter with all of my friends, it would be in my best interest to leave in my last semester and transfer to another high school in the area. The graduation requirements for Natomas Charter asked that all students pass math classes through Algebra 2. Most other high schools only required Algebra 1, and I was stuck somewhere after my first semester in Geometry. The fact that I did not recieve my diploma really weighed heavy in my mind, and still does to this day. If I did not personally know the hiring manager at Raley's who already knew me as a hard worker, I doubt I would have gotten hired at any other job. I would tell my past self that whatever I do in high school WILL affect my future, and I will thus regret my past actions for the rest of my life. Seeing how far I've come through community college, I am proud of who I am, yet wish I did not have to worry about the diploma thing as I apply to other universities.

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