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Centralia College

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

I would say, "Brianna, take this seriously." I didn't understand that by taking an advanced placement world history class my sophmore year, I could have been receiving credits that I am now paying to get. I knew such advantages were available. However I didn't quite understand that the choice to really pay attention and complete all my homework and reading could have changed my credit needs and class schedule as a freshman in college. This actually goes for all advanced placement classes I took. I would talk some sense into the social and theatre obsessed me. Not that having a social life or being fully dedicated something like theatre isn't important or worth it, I would just stress the need for a balance. The importance of a balanced schedule and the overall benifits of keeping a high GPA and taking pride in the classes I was taking, along with the information and oppurtunity I was being given would be at the top of my 'me' advice session. Mostly because the decisions I was making then, when it involved studying and being responsible for my own learning, are still affecting me and my education today.

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When you are given the oppertunity to take part in the Running Start program, given the chance to earn both college and high school credits beginning your junior year, choosing to do it will be the best choice you ever made. Your only expenses are class fees and books, if you begin your junior year you can walk away with your diploma and AA by the end of your senior year, you have more flexibility to work part time since you will not be in class as long as high school and starting your transition out of high school first with a community college and then to a university helps make the transition so much easier and smoother. You can still participate in any high school activities just as well as the college, and you will truely regret not taking advantage of the oppertunity while you have the chance. If you choose to wait until you graduate, Centralia College is still a great place to begin your jouney into the "real world", helping you figure out where you want to be and what you have to do to get there, while at the same time being affordable.

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Money, paperwork, and planning. What does this have to do with the college life? You hear adults talk about it, but I'll tell you, or, I guess me why it's so important. Money, money money. Save all the money you can! Tuition is a big blow to your bank account, so make sure to hold back on spending, because every little bit counts and can add up to a lot. Pick up the extra hours at work, and monitor spending habits to keep yourself on track. Eat at home while you can so that you don't spend so much on fast food. And try for scholarships! Along the lines of scholarships, apply for all of them that you can. Get them done early in case something additional is needed, and keep all important papers organized. Turn all of your applications as early as possible. Keeping yourself organized will help, like making a folder for all of your college related paperwork. Plan out your trips to the library or whatever else needs to be planned, like living and transportation. All in all, just keep your head clear and don't get overwhelmed.

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I would have to talk to myself in 10th Grade. I would say, Oh honey, don't give up now. Let me tell you what I've seen, it gets so much better, so different. See all these cliques now? They won't be around soon. See all your peers that just don't care? I know its frustrating now, but soon you'll find so many people who care as much as you do about grades, people who actually achieve grades as high as you do, you'll find study partners, you'll find people as eager as you are! Start planning now, because its not up to anyone but you. No one but you to decide your classes, no one but you to make your advising appts., no one but you to fill out the financial aid paperwork. Oh....and that orientation class? Take it! It will take you around campus, meet the important people and depts. at the school, and give you the chance to have any question answered you may have. Start soon, use the people you know there already, be pro-active, and ALWAYS trust yourself that you deserve this and you can do this.

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The advice I would give myself if I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior would be to not hold back. Use the oppertunity of going to college to reach out and grab hold of all different types of oppurtunites. There is so very much to be offered at college and you really have to step out and reach for it. I would tell myself also to not lose sight of who you are and embrass it fully. Once you step out of that high school and onto the college campus it doesn't matter any more what you did in high school, it matters who you are. People aren't going to say to you "Oh you were a homecoming queen." or "You had a great game last night" You will no longer be what you do, but you will have the chance to be truley who you want to be and grown in that. The last thing I would tell myself is college isn't as easy has high school, you gotta work kid.

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Ok, now let's think about this. What do I want to do with my life and what opportunties does the world offer? Too many people are trying to direct my future, but it is my future. I should really go to a two-year colllege to experience some of the opportunites. I could work nationally or internationally. What would fulfill my desires, to be creative, heal people, find a cure for a debillitating disease, build bridges, help third world countries be self sustaining? You know if I received an higher education I would be self sufficient instead of relying on people, in addition to helping people better themselves. I would be making a difference in the world, depending on my choice, and not be a burden on the government and the people. That is what I am going to do, go for the diploma and not the direction of the pessimists.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a High School Senior, I would tell myself to not be nervous, to be less shy, and get involved in more community activity. I would tell myself not to be nervous, because college is amazing. There are amazing people, amazing teachers, and beautiful campuses. Don't be shy, because people are a lot more excepting in college than they are in high school. I would tell myself to get involved in more community activity, because it looks good on you're applications. Most important, i'd tell myself to enjoy what I have at the moment, because if I think High School is difficult, I have no idea how easy I have it. So breathe, work hard, & enjoy what is suppose to be the best year of my life so far, because soon life is going to be busy, busy, busy.

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I would advise myself to not be afraid to take chances and study harder. That what I initially wanted to do with my life is actually what I should have aimed for in the first place. I would tell myself that not everyone is going to go and talk behind your back and if they do so what? I know whats true and thats all that matters, if they are a real friend then they would know to come and talk to me about it.

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