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Butler Community College

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

Hindsight is a funny thing. When looking back on some of my ill-advised educational choices, I sometimes fancy myself as the keynote speaker at my high school graduation. The auditorium is bubbling with the inexperience of youth. I impart these young scholars with tidbits of my wisdom about the college transition. In my mind the speech often reads in this fashion: Graduates, your transition to college will also be a transition to adulthood. Think of the next four years as a lifelong learning excursion; surround yourself with diversity, and you will be rich with experience. The classroom is a place where friendships are forged and opinions about the world will be formed. You will be faced with many challenges, most of all the temptation to procrastinate. Heed my warning; you will save yourself grief by doing your homework in a timely fashion. Use your electives to take some courses that interest you. I personally enjoyed ballroom dancing. And, like the flame of the burnt out candle, your brilliance will fade if you burn the candle at both ends. Take time to ask questions and pace yourself in this journey. Finally have fun; acumen is as important as the diploma.

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Dear Self: You think now that your future is going to be bright and rosy in the hands of some man who might want to marry you and take care of you the rest of your life. WRONG! The fact that you are practically a straight-A student and have loads of skills and talents seems to count for nothing. I don't understand why neither you nor any of the influential people in your life have such low expectations for you. You are only 18 and have so much life ahead of you. Forget about being someone's office assistant or wife. Reach deep inside yourself and resurrect the dreams of greatness that you had when you were a little girl! Remember those? You wanted to be a doctor, astronaut, researcher... As you go through college, you will find out all kinds of things about yourself and the world you live in. It will take years of hard work and self-denial but nothing like the years of regret and trying to make up for lost time you will have if you give up on yourself. Now take flight--here's lookin' at YOU, kid!

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I'm a high school senior! Wow! I've made it this far, and I can't wait to pursue a higher education. It all starts by getting my degree, right? Yes. I've decided that I want to become an elementary teacher! I love children, and I want to make a difference and an impact upon the children I teach. But, this all starts with getting the proper education that I need to teach them properly. I need to give myself some advice about what college will be like for me. This isn't going to be a piece of cake. I'm going to need to apply myself to the best of my ability, both on and off my college campus. If I want to do academically well, I'm going to study persistantly, even if it means sacrificing other activities that I love-spending time with my friends, talking hours and hours over the phone, etc. Even though obvious, I've been told that it's vitally important to attend each of my classes. This will help to improve my grades and will also allow me to get to know my fellow classmates. I can't wait!

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High school is different than college in many ways. For example, you have more time in your classes, less strict teachers and the feeling of being responisble for yourself. If I were to go back to my senior self and give advice about college, I would have to say that organization, determination and reliance is the key. Organization is important, because you have to rely on yourself to manage your grades to know where you stand GPA wise, manage time for working on homework as well as work and your social life. Secondly, determination is part of the proces because you have to want a better life for yourself. College is hard and it takes alot of patience and determination to get through the schooling. Reliance is also important, because you have to rely on yourself as an individual to better your future. The only person holding yourself back in America, is you. America is a land of oppurtunity, rely on yourself to be the best you can be and shoot for the stars.

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I would tell myself that even though living at home for another couple of years while attending college didn't sound like a lot of fun when the opportunity for independence was calling , that it would have been the best choice. Having opted for the independence, I waited for twenty years until my children were grown to pursue my education, while trying to pay a mortgage, utilities as well as tuition, and on one income (the highschool sweetheart moved on) and I missed out on twenty years of marketable skills and financial stability, all because I didn't have the patience for the task when the support was readily available. I am still determined to reach my goal at this point, but sure could have saved myself a lot of heartache and headaches by seizing the opportunity back when it was all but handed to me on a silver platter!

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Going back I would tell myself that college is going to be an amazing experience. The first few weeks away from family will be tough but making new friends will help and then you'll never want to go back home. If you thought high school finals were hard think again. Be prepared to study for weeks on just one final or even just a test. Do not put off studying because even if you could do that in high school you won't be able to in college. Make lots of friends, get to know your teachers and go to every school event that you can. Parties, drinking and drugs don't help you get anywhere and with out them you can still have an awesome time. Discover who you really are and don't let anyone bring you down. College will teach you the good and the bad sides of life but if you keep going it will get better.

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To the answer the question, I would tell myself a couple different things. The most important being to always set high standards for your self and to never give up on my goal of being a nurse or any goals for that matter. Secondly, I would tell myself to stay well organized; when it comes to assignments due dates , preparing for test, and even personal day to day things that need to be done. Also, I would tell myself to learn how to manage time and money well. Lastly, I would say to myself, ?life as a college will be stressful at times. weather its because of that hard assignment question or those dreadful final weeks, but never forget why your attending college in the first place.?

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Well, if I could go back to my former self in high school, I think I would tell the young man that #1 don't worry that you don't know what you want to do with your life, that's what college is about. #2, I would tell the guy that going to class is essential, this WILL directly impact your grades and that I don't care how many people have told you this I'm telling you again. #3, most importantly, HAVE FUN. This is a time of your life that will never come around again. Make every moment count, make good friends, go to parties, date, break-up, LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!!! (Very important, since I am a pretty shy guy)

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If I could talk to myself as a senior in high school my advice to myself would be to not wait so long to go back. I would tell myself to make sure I lead my children to college as well. I was a parent of 2 boys as a senior in high school so my life was already a challange but I have always taken responsibility for myself and my choices and going back to school is a reflection of that. I went back to better my life and that of my kids and to be that example for them. I wouldn't change much but I was afraid of going back for a long time and I now know it is well worth the work.

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I would have told myself that the more you pay attention and try your very best the better you will do in college. Everything in life you have to work at including college so don't expect people to give you a masters degree. Help yourself and don't look down on people because you don't agree with their school outlooks. Try your very best and you will get through anything you want. Don't give up just because things get hard or are not going your way. People have to live life that includes you.

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