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Arizona Christian University

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

Dear highschool graduate, after conquering your world you’re at the bottom of the foodchain again. It’s not as bad as it seems. Life happens, but you’ll find that things usually work themselves out. There will be distractions, good and bad. You may get lower grades than before, but what’s important is that you give it your all. Take my advice: get things done right away -procrastination is not your friend! Structure, organization and goals will help you succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help -faculty actually wants to help you! Stand tall and be uniquely you! Everyone else is in their self-discovery stage too; conversation and debate are good! Find what YOU believe, not just what you were taught in school or raised on. Meet people! Befriend the “weird”. Venture to know people from different cliques. Remember, take time to do things you love; enjoy every moment, take it all in. Smell flowers, enjoy sunshine, stargaze. This will relieve stress and empower you to face lifes challenges. Eat healthy. Exercise. Sleep well. Your health is really important! In everything, aim for excellence. Smile. And above all, don’t worry…you can do this!

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Dear high school self, Do not be intimidated by the realization that as a college student you are now responsible for making your dreams a reality. Have a teachable spirit. Be eager to learn something new about life from every professor, student, and staff member you meet, even if their beliefs are different from yours. During those times when homework seems overwhelming, remember your goals and do not let fears of failing keep you from persevering. The only way to fail is to give up. Get to know your professors and discover what they expect from you. Always treat your professors with the utmost respect and build relationships with them by being on time to class, listening attentively during lectures, and honoring them in your conversations outside of the classroom as well. This is not to say that you won't have days when you are late for class because you woke up late and had difficulty finding a parking spot, or that you won't occasionally say things you regret. As a college student, you risk making mistakes, but as the author and journalist Pamela Druckerman said, "To grow up without risk is to risk not growing up."

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Appreciate the process. The stress of applying to college and trying to figure out how to pay for college; the nervousness surrounding your first week at school, meeting people, syllabus-shock--it all gets to you. However, in-between pulling all-nighters, working to pay for school, and nights of only getting 3 hours of sleep, college is the best experience I've ever had. You will make friends for life here; you will learn excellent skills for life here; you will grow and you will change more than you know and it will all be fantastic. So enjoy it. Be responsible and wise with your time--take good care of yourself--and use every opportunity to learn and enjoy everything you can from this short experience. Appreciate the people that surround you; learn from them, encourage them and allow them to encourage you. Don't take your classes or professors for granted--be humble enough to learn from them and find joy in learning new things and applying them in real life. College doesn't last forever, but soak it up and allow it to be springboard to launch you into life once you graduate.

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Trevor, I know you're a senior in highschool and you may think you know everything. Please know this: Life will continue to change, so don't ever stop growing and learning from your experiences. Keep a journal and write in it every so often. Also, read a book instead of watching TV, it will benefit you immensely. Also, you don't have to be afraid to step outside of you comfort zone. Talk to people, say hello to a stranger, ask them how their day is going. Be human and show love and compassion; never fear and worry. Also, you will have more responsibilites, so find a mentor and visit with him every so often. Stay on course, do what you need to do, but chase your dreams! Make new friends! Remember that you do matter, and you are here for a reason! Find your purpose and pursue it with all your heart! Remember that your parents love you unconditionally. Ask them before you do anything drastic. Have faith through tough times. Most of all enjoy the ride and discover yourself. College is an amazing journey if you make it so! You are blessed with such an amazing opportunity.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior in high school, the advice I would give myself on college life would generally be based on better preparation. In other words, I did not feel very prepared to enter college when I graduated high school. I have struggled with my learning disability since I was in middle school, and the transition to college seemed very difficult. I knew the work would be harder, and I knew there was more of a demand to keep up with the other students academically. The advice I would have given myelf would have been to maintain better confidence and to grow deeper especially in my faith in Jesus Christ. From what college has taught me, I have learned the importance of striving for success not only as a student but as an individual. If I had known these traits when I was still in high school, I would have entered college with more confidence. With more confidence, the fears I had of entering college with my learning disability would have not bothered me. College has educated me in many ways. It has been my biggest stage of growth!

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What’s up Ronald! What an amazing experience you will soon come to discover; graduating the Police Academy to becoming a father. Advice… Well sorry to tell you but being INGNORANT and INFERRIOR IS NOT COOL. I know, you’re just doing it to fit in. There is no but CUT IT OUT! Anyway you are graduating MAGNA CUM LAUDE. Who are we fooling by talking with a slurred speech Furthermore, No one is perfect, and you need to accept yourself in order for others to accept you. I know you think that you need to be a football player and make a lot of money but your too small and not that good so quit and focus on school. Also, leave Rhonda and momma alone. I know they annoying. They ask too many questions. They do this because they love you more than you love yourself. Contrary to what you think right now, they do understand you. They raised you! They only want the best for you. Don’t be afraid of change. Take risks. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. (You have a couple of really stupid ones coming up.) Remember your perseverance and resilience will inspire you to overcome.

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August You have potential and you are doing good so far with accomlpishing your goals you had set for yourself when you were a freshman. When you get to college there will be 6 skills you need to continue to be a successful student. Preparation, Networking, Note-taking, Studying, Review, and Balance. If you ever feel like you are rushing your future just like you rushed the age of 18 Just remember "You have to crwal before you walk" . Also think about the sacrafices you would have to make when you get to college because you, will be a full time student and working at the same time. Highschool and college is a big transition.You have to be more responsible in college because you're an adult and no one will be there to baby sit you and tell you don't do this and don't do that. Your good communication skills will be an big help in college. It will be easier to interact with people who have the same goals as you and you won't hesitate to ask your professors questions. Almost forgot one thing. You might want to go to bed on time too.

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As a high school senior, I was a disciplined, academic student who always put school first and didn?t allow much time for friends and fun. I didn?t have a problem working hard and getting good grades, yet that?s what I always worried about because I thought colleges were looking for perfection, and I knew I needed to get a good scholarship to go to school. If I were able to go back and talk to myself at that point in time, I would mainly tell myself to relax. I would probably let myself know that the ability to have fun and socialize is a more important aspect to transitioning into college and surviving it. I was already prepared for college with my work ethic, but in order to endure the stress and pressures that come with college, I would need to let my former self know that she needs to loosen up, learn how to make everything fun, and open herself up to letting others in and developing friendships. I would let her that she?d be okay, but if she could learn these things, college and life in general would easier and way more fun.

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The first thing I would say to my senior self is not to worry. People think they have it all together and know what they want to do with their lives - as far as career choice - but most people end up changing their major - and thus - career interest at least twice. When I was a senior, I thought knowing exactly what I want to study would be the only reason why I should even attend any institution for higher education. Little did I know that wasn't the case; I did not have to know myself completely to make a decision such as career choice just yet. Now that I'm one semester in, I can now say with confidence that my list of possible career choices is beginning to narrow - and even having a list in the first place isn't a bad thing, because going to college isn't just about studying the basics of an intended major. This leads to my second, just as valuable piece of advice to my senior self: to let go of high school. Friends, triumphs, defeats - they'll all be memories. Only the great ones will surface into life after high school.

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I would tell myself to not worry about perfection. This life and opportunity of college is about making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. I would tell myself, "You are going to go through some things you never have before, but do not fret. For The Lord will always be there. No matter how dim and how bleak things look, never panic. For help will and always be closer than you think. I could tell you ways in which this experiece of college could be made easier, shortend, simplified, and bring less head and heart ache, but I'm not going to. For what I learned over my 6+ years as an undergraduate didn't always come when life was easy, short and simple. I learned that, it is in the hardest times, the darkest times, we realize who we truly are and to whom we rely on. Simply put, I re-found God in the hardest and the darkest times. When I put my faith in Him, the struggles of this world dont seem so daunting or large anymore. Always remember, God has a plan for you. It is just to complex for you to see right now."

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