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Arizona Christian University

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

Life changed at a blink of an eye from going to being a highschool student to living life on my own and attending university. All I could think about was living on my own out from my parents rule, but there was more to that. The life change was having to make all my own decisions, and that those tchoices map out the path on which I took. There have been some decisions that could have been prevented. For that reason, the advicie that I would give myself before making the transaction would be taking the time to listening to the elders around me. The first ones that I would listen to would be my parents, then my grandparents, and then the elders of the church. They have lived this life longer than I have; therefore, they would have a better idea of what to do when it came to moving out. They would also have general advise about day-to-day living that would lead up to becoming my dream. Now, I listen to them, and what a blessing it is!

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As a high school senior, I maintain a 3.5 G.P.A. while playing sports throughout the year and doing concurrent enrollment at Rose State College. I applied to go to college at Oklahoma State University during the summer and was accepted late August. When I graduate in May 2014, I will be starting off in my second semester as a freshman at Oklahoma State University with 18 credit hours. If I could go back in time, I would tell my high school self to spend about 90% of my time searching for more scholarships. I would also tell my high school self to work harder in the college classes, instead of making a B in English Comp 1 & College Algebra! The transition was easy because I was mentally prepared but I would tell myself not to let my age hinder me from working as hard as the older people in the college classes. Basically, to not let the excuse of me being a high school senior hinder me from making an A in my college classes.

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Dear 16-year-old Self, I know you have big dreams and aspirations. I see your heart for the nations of the world and the poor. These are good dreams, and will become a part of who you will be in the future, yes. I know you don't want to go to college. But think about the sheer privilege and example you will set for those in nations where education is not available. Becoming learned is not about the letter or the degree. It is about the skills you will take to bless other people in the world. If there is one thing you possess uniquely because of your upbringing, it is this: Americans are not the center of the universe, but they do look at the world through a lens of optimistic entreprenuership. This is a skill you can only learn from those who have gone before you. Humble yourself, and open your heart to learning. God will make a way for you to attend, but it will be worth it. With Love, Your 22-year old Self

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Dear Self, Many new things will occur for you in the next few months. Transitioning from high school to college is not as fun or easy as society portrays it. College is hard - it is not high school. You will have to really work to get good grades. But, if you put your mind to it, you can do it! The first thing you need to plan to do is be organized. This is a major part of getting good grades. Write down when assignments are due, and do not procrastinate. Go to class, take notes, and establish good sleeping habits. These are very important for your success in college. College will be a time of stress and craziness. But, don't forget to have fun while you study and put forth an effort in your classes. Don't be overcome by all that stress. Enjoy your college years, because these will be the best times of your life! Have fun, relax, and study, study, study! Sincerely, Me

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If I could go back to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would advise myself to pick up some better study habits. Instead of just glancing over notes, perhaps reading chapters that were assigned and answering chapter questions. I would also advise myself to improve my time management skills, in order to maximize study time while also getting a healthy amount of sleep. But most importantly, I would advise myself to get ready to be tested. In high school, there are times when you are tested; but when it gets to college those tests are far more consequencial. Such as missing a lecture, in college that one day of lecture you miss is the equivalent of a weeks worth of work within a high school setting. It is inevitable to have life occur, and you miss one day of class; but do not let it be a reoccuring thing as you will fall behind and have a very difficult time catching back up.

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I want you to know that even though this school was not your first choice, you will do more growing here than you would have anywhere else. Do not get caught up in frivolous things, be purposeful and meaningful with your time, but also do not forget the importance of friendship. You are going to make a lot of friends, you do not need to put on an act so that they will like you. Also, there is no need to be scoping out the boys, God has the perfect man picked out for you, and you will save yourself a lot of heartache and embarrassment if you just trust Him. Lastly, and this is extremely imortant so pay attention, hold on to that dream you have of working internationally. Do not compromise because it seems hard or impossible. It is possible. Pick a major that will get you there, and go for it. Trust me, do not be afraid, and most of all, trust God with everything and chase after Him.

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If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing I would tell myself would be to enjoy the last year of highschool as much as possible, it does not last forever! As far as college is concerened, I would notify myself that there is so much to be learned, and that in order to enjoy it the most, I should act as an intellectual sponge. By that, I mean that I need to soak up as much information as I can because information is a valuable tool in college, and in life as a whole. I would tell myself to be happy, and to never let anyone deter me from my dreams; without them, I would have absolutely nothing. Most importantly, I would tell myself that in order to have a successful college experince, I must love. Love people, love life, and love education. I feel like I've done my best in college thus far, and I can only hope to continue that trend.

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Think of what you love most and what you would pay to do for the rest of your life. No need to think too extravagantly, simplicity is key. Work to your strengths and seek to maximize those. Don't let your preconceptions of money and power let you lose sight of what is important. In fact, here is the recipe for all that is important in life: faith and family. Outside of these, all else pales in comparison. Success and happiness aren't the end goals, to know and serve God is. With this in mind, seek to place yourself where you are able to do this best. Surround yourself with people who will support you in that endeavor, and do not lose sleep over the one's who don't. Lastly, enjoy all that college has to offer. Challenge yourself, but stay within yourself. Get excited about outrageous ideas and share them with others. Set goals and crush them.

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Dear high school me, You're going to see a whole lot of stuff. Here are ten things to remember: 1. Nothing is as bad as it seems. 2. Friends struggle. Don't give up. 3. Apply for scholarships before college. 4. The first guy to tell you that he loves you is not the one to settle with. 5. You're going to meet a guy that listens to all your problems. He'll be important later. 6. Your parents are always right. 7. Keep God at the center of your life. 8. Listen to the still, small voice. 9. Your younger siblings are watching your every move. 10. You're going to make mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over it. Learn from it. I have no idea if you plan to listen, but that's all right. Because, in the end, you do figure it out. God brings you through. You turn out all right. Sincerly, You from the future

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Sometimes college doesn't go as you planned. I attended two other schools and took a two-year break before I ended up at Southwestern. I switched majors and minors three or four times and it has taken me longer to graduate than I intended. But don't be in a rush for these days to be over. Learn as much as you possibly can and learn how to help others and get outside yourself. You never know how many lives you may impact along the way. It may be cliche to say "stop and smell the roses," but it seems that in this case it applies. Stop. Enjoy yourself, but not so much that you miss opportunities to help others or learn. Keep plugging away, because this is the time in your life that will shape you more than any other.

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