I don’t have much time, so let me be straight with you about some things that will save you future grief. Let’s talk about the facts first. You grew up in the Rockies; were from a single-parent-home and one of many bullied, smelly-poor-fat-kids. Your mom died of cancer when you were eleven, you moved in with your legal guardians, then in with your father, then across the country to Door County, Wisconsin back with your aunt and uncle. You will go to college at BSU in August, and in November, your dad will also pass and soon thereafter, the grandmother that raised you.
As an eighteen-year-old your tribe is mostly gone. You’ve seen your fair share of loss and it’s complicated and shaken your adolescence. Never let anyone convince you that you are broken.
You are whole.
You will graduate twice with honors just because you wanted to, not because anyone pushed you to do it. You will be independent, published, loving, and proud. You will make a commitment to lifelong learning and sustainable happiness. Go through these years with humility, independence, dignity, love for yourself, and inspired tenacity.
Don't decide on a major unless you are 100% certain what you want to do. Give yourself at least a year to get general education classes out of the way so that you don't "waste" credits on a class that you won't need for a degree if you switch majors. College is a great experience, but you don't want to spend the first 3 years switching to 5 different majors until realizing what you want to do with a career.
I have gotten a lot of experiences out of going to college. I have recently transferred to BSU from Concordia College because I couldn't afford the high tuition costs anymore and they didn't have a very good physical therapy program there. So transferring has been quite an experience in itself, making me more independent and more prone to ask questions when I don't know what to do. Before I transferred, college helped make me more independent from my mother. I finally had to fill out paper work for myself and do everything on my own without her help. I lived in the dorms at Concordia the last year and a half, and in doing that helped me become an adult and start doing things on my own. It was like that middle step from moving out of your parent's house into your own house minus paying all the monthly bills. So in doing that really helped me and now I am living in my own place paying my own monthly bills and I think it was good timing and I feel like I'm ready to be more independent.
I have grown in knowledge about health in the world around me. My communication skills have benefited from coursework and presentations. Required to take liberal education credits in various fields, I was encouraged and found that I enjoyed learning about topics I would never had studied without the requirements. My networking and professional qualities have multiplied and have taken me in directions that I hadn't thought of prior to college. I recommend college to anyone!
While attending Bemidji State University, I have become more independent and I have became aware of who I want to be as a person. Being here, I have found myself and a passion that I want to carry throughout my life. The Mass Communications department at Bemidji State has given me so many opportunities to express who I am. I get to be on the local radio station every Thursday, and when I'm on there, everyone is listening to me. I love that aspect about being a Mass Communications major. I have gotten so much out of Bemidji State in a semester, that I cannot wait what else the professors can throw at me. Bemidji State has been worth every penny.
Without my college education I would not have provided with the many different opportunities that I have had, including working in corrections, working with students of all backgrounds in the education system, and working in a unique partial inpatient setting for youth. I thank my college education for that, but also for providing me with a chance to meet new people, network with others who have similar interests and gain a more realistic view of life. College also taught me the value of different literature, writing skills, speaking skills, studying skills and diligence. Allowing myself the chance to attend college and ultimately graduating from college has brought me awareness of the importance of imparting these skills to my children and the children I may work with. Without an education you begin to limit your opportunities and a chance at finding and maintaining a successful career, but more than that, a person without a college education loses out on social, physical and mental experiences that college can provide.
Like a storm hitting you initally, college can feel overwhelming. You have to really learn to stand on your own to feet as a newly freed young adult and a lot of the time people don't fully grasp the reason they're at college. I know I was blown away the first few weeks of school, I was 16 years old and a new mother starting PSEO. It was in a word, terrifying. I'm now a sophmore and I've got the flow of this storm tucked under my belt. My experiences are amazing with new people, teachers that know their stuff and are blunt, and the atmosphere. The freedom and depending on yourself, pushing yourself is what counts. You need to learn that valueable lesson or you're never going to make it. College teaches you to be your own person and find your own way, whether it be through mistakes. You realize that there is so much more that just your "small town," that you're used too. College is also become a necessity in our times, and being a single mother? I work hard knowing it will make both our lives easier in the future.
I would have concentrated on academics a bit more while playing varsity hockey and baseball. I found that as a freshman, the transition is difficult enough, but playing two sports and adjusting to college life (a school previously attended) put me in a position where I had to work hard for average grades. Grades and academic work first and play later. The schools provide amble opportunities to play club hockey or ameteur baseball without a great deal of pressure that goes with playing a major college sport.
just make sure you have fun and take time for yourself. dont get too caught up in all the stress of the year. School is there for a reason, and you are here to be a better person. Keep a level head, and remember your purpose. Love you!
I would advise my past self to go take Calculus I over again. I took AP Calculus in highschool, and passed the AP test, but I believe it would have been good for me to retake the class. Starting out in Calculus II as my first college math course on campus was difficult . I may have done better in the class if I had known more what to expect. I have matured in my first semester of college and would have handled the course better to have waited just a semester. I would also advise my past self to not go home as often. My home is only about eighty miles from campus, so I ended up going home quite often. All college freshmen are scared their first semester, I should have stayed in Bemidji and participated in activities.
I sometimes wonder what would be different if I had chosen my top choice of colleges. Concordia College in Moorhead was my top choice, but even with financial aid I could not afford tuition. I would advise my past self to go ahead and spend the extra money for Concordia. I like Bemidji, but I loved Concordia campus when I visited.
Going back to myself as a senior, I would tell myself to not do anything different. I went through a lot of struggles my first year of college. I struggled to balance my personal life and my school life. I struggled to hold onto my identity and struggled with the inevitable changes happening in my life. But sitting here now, after I've done a lot of growing up and changing, I've realized how much I have learned from it all. And because of where I am today - and how wonderful things have been going and how great I feel - I wouldn't change a thing about the past and those struggles. So, I'd tell myself: Go to Bemidji State University. Take each day one at a time, try your absolute best, keep your head up and remember to smile. No matter how hard things get, I can promise you, they'll turn out exactly how they are supposed to and they will turn out great. Every mistake made is just a learning experience to be used in the future. So don't regret anything - just learn from it. In the mean time, be thankful for each day.
As a high school senior, I would tell myself to not worry so much. Life has its way of working out. You will meet great people and form a good life for yourself. Everything will work out here. People are nice, but don't trust everyone. Trust your instincts. Study hard and have fun! Make memories that will last a lifetime!
If I could go back to high school and give myself some advice from what I know now, I would definitely tell myself to look further into the colleges you are choosing. I personally just chose the school I go to without much knowledge on th school and no I know that I don't really want to go here because they don't offer what I would like to do. I would also tell myself to look into the major and decide on what I would like to do as soon as possible and not just go to school not knowing much about what I would like to do. I have learned now that I would like to do something else than what I went to college for in the beginning and now I am transferring, therefore that is the advice I would give myself if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior.
don't take anything for granted. especially time with your family. In college, expect to be pushed to your limited and to work hard. But remember, it is worth it ! Dont forget to take time for yourself, but use it only in moderation. dont get caught up in all the hype, you are here to do great things. have fun, work hard, and enjoy every minute of it!
Dear Laura, May 2009
Hey stranger! You have worked so hard these last four years and that hard work has definitly paid off! You are going to Bemidji State University this fall and I know you're not sure yet if you've made the right decision. The only advice I can give you at this point is: indecision should not rule your life! Weigh the pros and cons, think about your options, and then stick to your choice! Too much time has gone by pushing things aside to think about later. Seize the opportunity while you have it, otherwise it will disappear and who can say if you'll get it back? Sure you'll make mistakes, but thats all part of this wacky ride that is the college experience. JUST DO IT! GO FOR IT! Sometimes crappy advertising does give good advice :). And your major? You still have no idea? Thats totally fine, believe me you'll figure it out. And then its smooth sailing from there! One last thing, friends will come and go, but remember your family will always be there for you.
Well bye younger me!
The advise I would give myself would be to get as much college credit done and over with in high school as I can. Not having to pay for those classes in College would be a huge help and also easy on your pocket book. Also to not be afaid to talk with the teachers, they are there to help you and and are not that scary. Another thing that I would say to myself is to be more active in High school. Get out there and be more involved in your school activites. Attend football, baseball, basketball games and cheer for your team and show school spirit. But the most important thing I would have to tell myself and those attend college soon would be to know who they are and stick up for what they believe in. In college, wether it is with new made friends or in your classes, you will be pushed to the limit about what you belive in and you need to have a back bone and facts that help you out where you stand. Know who is going to be there for you and trust no one but yourself.
Just because you got straight A's in high school with almost no effort does not mean you can or should do the same in college--You Will Get B's! Don't freak out if you get a C, it's not the end of the world. Don't take a heavy load your first semester. Leave room for fun and being young. Don't rush love.
Work harder than you think you need to work, and everything will go better for you. Take a time out once and a while, but don't procrastinate too much. Be friendly to everyone you meet, and don't think for a minute you can't do it. Get involved in leadership positions as soon as you can, but don't let them supercede your studies. Trust your parents, and trust yourself, these are your years, use them well.
Definatly take some time off before starting college, especially if you are feeling burned out on the whole education front. Be in the right state of mind when you start college, you need to feel like you want to learn and enter the real world with a career in mind. You can really make or break your future in college so spend some time thinking it over before you jump in.
I know you're really distressed about leaving high school, but I just want to let you know that it'll all turn out great. You're scared that you'll miss out on friends. You're afraid that you'll become homesick and not enjoy the college lifestyle. And, you're also worried you won't be able to succesfully share a room with another girl! But trust me with this one; it doesn't matter that you're the only one from your school going to Bemidji. You're going to love it there!
Bemidji is simply beautiful, in the area, the lake, and within the people. You're going to make a lot of friends and recognize tons of faces all across campus! You're going to collect hundreds of unforgettable memories with your roommate and classmates in just this first year. College is going to be so much fun! Just remember to work hard, and never forget your greatest dream. Of course you'll miss home, but you'll realize how much you love Bemidji when you find yourself excited to go back next year.
Your Future Self
When trying to make the final decision on which college to attend, it's actually very difficult to make a "wrong" choice. Every college will provide the essential goal: an education that can be applied towards the future. The differences that set colleges apart from one another are the fellow students attending and the school's personal impression. Understand that you have the potential to succed no matter where you go. Don't worry about finding the "best" place or the top rated facility - instead, investigate those locations that feel compatable and comfortable. From there, it's the friends you meet and the decisions you make that determine the extent and true value of the college experience.
You need to visit lots of colleges, and really get a feel for where you want to be. Also, look into housing and roommate contracts. Room assignments can play a large factor into your experience. Also, check out colleges that have freshman orientation programs. You meet a lot of people and theres always events planned. Make sure to ask questions, and take pictures when you go on a visit. Also, always pick up a t-shirt from the college you are visiting, that way when you make a choice, you already have a shirt! :)
Look for a college that motivates you to succeed, weather that be through the setting of the college, the learning provided, or the student life. Always look for what will give you the best growth experience to become what you have set out to become and the degree therein.
if you don't know what you want to do with your life take a year to think about it before you go to university, because university is setting you up for the rest of your life. if you don't know what you want then you don't know what to work towards to accomplish your goals and isn't that why your go to university in the first place to make yourself better then you are now?
The enviroment is just as important as the classes offered because you spend more time in the enviroment than in class.
Find that college that feels right and fits your personality. Don't be pressured into making a decision about choosing a college. Make sure it feels like home, because for the next year it will be your home. Try to break away from the traditional campus tours and get a true feel for the school. After a tour, walk around the campus on your own and imagine yourself there everyday. Try not to limit yourself by distance or school size. The perfect school might be across the country or right in your hometown. Again, make sure that the college you choose fits who you are.
Think about the activities that you are interested in and find a school that accomidates those activites.
I would say the most important thing is finding that ballence between a school who's departments are big enough to offer quality classes needed to graduate and small enough to really be able to connect with the professors.
Pick a college that has alot of options as for a degree !
Ask questions! Even if you think they're dumb questions, more than likely you're not the only one who wants to know.
The best advice I can give is to visit the campus you are interested in. Take the tours and hear the talks, but most importantly get a feels for the campus environment. Does it feel to up-tight for you? Or too laid back? Talk to some students who are just walking to class and get the "real info." Your classes, especially the basics for incoming freshman will be essencially the same. If the campus you choose doesn't mesh with your personality then you aren't going to have the best experience possible. Find a place where you feel you belong. Your school is going to be your home for a while, and that's how it should feel, like home.
Definatily take a tour of the campus. Make sure they have what the person wants and also how many people are hired from the school after words. Have fun doing other activities, you are not limited to one thing. For example the OPC (Outdoor program center) is a great feature at our school to get students out and about. They do rock climbing, skiing, sailing, dog sleding, and you name it they probably have done it. There is so many things out there the person just has to find the right one.
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