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Arizona Christian University

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

I graduated early in 2012 as a high school junior. If I can rewind time to my junior year in high school I would tell myself not to graduate early. I would explain that by graduating I would lose all my scholarship opportunities I had previously enrolled in. Without scholarship opportunities I had no resources to fund my future schooling limiting my choices. If I can just speak to myself for five minutes I would save my parents and myself stress over the future cost of education. By graduating early I lost eligibility to many financial opportunities I was not aware of. Furthermore, I would remind myself that not to worry of what it is expected of me but to follow the career path I love. To make the transition smoother I would tell myself not to be so shy and to make friendships in college. Most importantly I would advise myself that college is about making new friendships and making studying fun. Lastly, I would remind myself to appreciate sleep more because all nighter studying are the norm to study adequately!

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First of all, college is not the same as high school. I know that you "know" that, but trust me, it's a completely different world. The best thing that you can do right now is to erase all expectations you have of what university will be like. That way, anything that comes to you will be an unexpected surprise, and will neither fulfill nor fall short of any preconceived notions you have of what it will be like. This will help you to make the most of your college years. Another thing you should keep in mind is that, for the most part, friends will not just find you - go out and find them! To have friends, you need to be a friend. So don't get upset when you're not connecting with people when all you've done is sit in your dorm. Also, don't slack off in your classes. Remember, you're at college to learn. Sometimes, the most effective way to do that is to put some assignments on the side burner - just don't forget about them or it will burn you! Finally, have fun! This is an exciting time - cherish each moment.

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Dear me, Finishing up high school will be fun-filled times with friends and family, so be sure to enjoy that. It marks the beginning of growing up but it won't be immediate changes. College classes begin just like high school only they go twice as fast. Each semester, just look at your own degree planner before meeting with advisors to have an idea of what classes you want. You know you want to go into Physical Therapy so push towards that because unlike most people, this dream isn't going to change. Look for financial aid anywhere you can, some people can get paid to go to college (you are not some of those people). Make as many connections as you can, meet people with a solid handshake and look them in the eyes. If they say to get in touch with them, do it within 24 hours. Push through the tough classes and don't think that just because friends and roommates slack off and sleep through classes you can too. That's not how you work and it will come back to haunt you. Focus on your goal the whole way through.

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The biggest issue I have run into is effective use of time. It's about what good habits you form, and when you form them. Mainly, I would tell myself to get into the habit of laying out daily, weekly, monthly, and semesterly schedules in order to get into the habit of using my time wisely. From there, I would tell me to limit my work on any subject or task to one hour at a time, to prevent burnout. This would also help to get multiple tasks at least partially done each day, instead of finishing some, but getting way behind on others. Of course, I would also tell me to take the advice of my parents, since that is what has gotten me this far, I would want to make sure I did it again. So pretty much, advice to my high school self: 1) Plan my schedule, 2) Set specific time limits, 3) Try to get done with "todays work" before playing, 4) Take breaks and naps when I need it, not after an hour of inefficient studying, and 4) Listen to my parents, cause that's what I have done and it has worked out splendidly.

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Picking your major is important. Deciding and narrowing it down to the one you will use for the rest of your life is even more important. If you just decide what to major in based on what others say or jobs you may receive, you will never be happy with what you will do in the future. The One who has the most say in what you pursue with your education is your Heavenly Father. Spend time with Him. Let Him speak to you. Failing to listen and let Him work results in a tradgedy. He knows what is best for you. You do not need to worry if you place it in His hands and let Him work through you. Do not be so caught up with school that you forget to spend time with God. He puts everything in place. It is hard to balance your time which is the most important thing once in school. When you are used to not doing anything besides hanging out and talking to friends all the time, it makes it difficult to transition to a full-time school schedule. Prioritize your time. You know what has to be done. Do it.

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I know you cant wait to get out of the house and move into the dorms and start your college life. You should, because it is pretty awesome! However, independence comes at a price. Don't slack on your grades that last semester, just do the boring busy work and get those A's because B's will only get you so much. Start saving anything and everything you can and be prepared to work your tail off in order to pay all the bills that are coming. It is going to be hard and you might cry a few times when everything seems like it is falling apart, but keep your chin up because this is only going to make you stronger. Keep working hard now and be ready to work harder after graduation, but it is worth every late night shift and every month you go by without being able to get new stuff or go out. The freedom you will have and knowing that you are able to take care of yourself is the most rewarding feeling you can have. Keep going and do everything you can now to make the ride a bit easier later.

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Four years of my life were shaped in the same building with halls and classrooms I knew so well. Now the place seems a blur in my memory, and I realize something went wrong. High school was the time where I was told “enjoy it while you can.” Instead of seeing the value in that statement, I chose to rebel, and seek my own desires of the moment. As an education major at a university now, I wish I had found the value of that time I spent in high school. The experiences I wished to pass where major events that should have contributed to shaping me into a better person. The impact I could have had on friends, I now will not see again. I had the potential to learn from the experiences of each person who crossed my path during my high school years. If I could go back to high school I would enjoy the moment. I would tell myself not worry about the future or become anxious about the unknown, but find the blessings in the moment along with the lesson it holds, for the moment soon will pass.

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If I could say anything to myself two years ago when I graduated from high school, I wouldn’t say anything. Not one word. Not because my life is absent from stains; there are plenty of those. Retrospectively, I despised having my first heart-wrenching breakup last summer, the “freshman 15”, an obvious vacancy of close friends my first year of college, and a myriad of other obstacles. Yet we all contend with challenges; they are unavoidable; ineludible. Even if I were to warn myself about my mistakes, I would still encounter them. From them, I’ve learned how to say “I’m sorry” and mean it. From them, it is evident I need forgiveness and grace. From them, I’ve been humbled. From them, I have just begun to learn what it is to be human. Therefore, as strenuous and ironic as life is at times, I would not change my experiences, the pleasant and the pungent, for anything. Plus, if I knew the outcomes of the events in my life, major and minor, what would be the point of faith?

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If I was able to go back and speak with my high school senior self, I would tell myself two very important things. First of all, I would explain that I should not feel entitled to anything in this life. Relationships and material items are a blessing; we do not deserve them. In order to have relationships in college, I need to show people that I care, and make them feel comfortable around me. It is not everyone else’s responsibility to cater to my emotional needs. I will receive that once I have shown that I can be a caring friend and serve others when they need it the most. Secondly, I would tell myself that I still have so much to learn. The knowledge I possessed in high school was so limited, and a wise thing to do would be to surround myself with people that have had more life experience than I have had. That way, they will be able to pour their wisdom into me, and I would be able to realize that I need to learn what they have to teach me.

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Zech, I know as a senior, you have this pride of being on the top. Having this arragence, and this self righteous can be a great feeling at the moment, but I want to you to be prepared on what lies ahead. You wont always be at the top. You'll be going to a school, where most of the people their, are older then you, with more knoledge and experience. Don't go into school with a proud hardend heart, but go in with a humble one. Look at no one less then you, but look at every one as greater then you. Be willing to serve the people around you, and have a heart of humility toward everyone. Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you. Give a helping hand to those in need. Be a light in peoples lives that one would be attracted to. Give 100% on your homework, and your spitual life, and live a life with a love for your self. Accept your past for what it is, because it is NOW apart of you, and learn to love you self, so you can love GOD.

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