Don't be afraid of attending a four year college or university. If that is what you want to do, do it. Go talk to a financial aide advisor, they will help you figure out the cost. I know you are being encouraged to work and attend a community college, then transfer to the university but life changes and it could take you ten years to finish that four year degree. And don't think about getting married or having children until you are satisfied with your academic and professional achievements. It is hard to pursue your dreams when you have others to satisfy. Focus on yourself and make your dreams come true.
Make sure that you visit the college and speak to at least 10 students about the school to get a good overall opinion of the school.
I would advise myself to enroll in dual enrollment at the local college. This will cut the cost of college and the length on college down to almost 3/4. Take as many college tours and ask the most invasive questions to every admissions person you meet. It's better to know everything about the school than go in blind. Get in contact with your friends that graduated the year before; ask them questions about the college they attend and the clubs they are in. Find out the benefits of the different clubs and organizations. If you have any time left, get a part time job and save every dime. Last but not least, apply for every scholarship, even if you think they don't apply to you. Never be lazy and never procrastinate.
I would tell myself to believe. Believe that anything is possible if the work is put in. There are so many people that will tell you no; that you're not good enough. It is up to you, or me, to prove them wrong. Keep your head down and allow things to fall into place. Everything will happen for you not because you force it, but because it is meant to be. Always believe that. Once you overcome being your own worst enemy, you will be unstoppable. Forget about the past. Living in the past will not prepare you for the future. The present is what you have, make the most of it. Study hard but don't forget to smile. After all, it is a blessing that you have the oppertunity to learn. Speaking of learning, learn something new each day. Believe that you can change the world with your passion. Passion is the one thing that will get you through college. Believe that at graduation your passion will grow brighter than the day you stepped on to campus. Believe that you can change the world, and you will.
As a high school senior I was more of a social light than a book worm. My time was spent going out with friends, dating and working. In hindsight, there are many things that I would do differently. My priorities would be much different and my course load would have been much harder. Instead of focusing on taking the easiest classes possible to have more time for "extra-curricular activities, I would have taken classes to challenge myself. My high school years were fun but as a working adult trying to pursue my education, more time spent studying then would have made classes now, easier to understand and less frustration trying to grasp concepts I should have already known. Our past does help to make us stronger and wiser. I would say that my experience has taught me to promote learning to my children. Things are not always easy but the hard work and effort do pay off. My advice consists of strong support, a lending hand, positive reinforcement for a job done to the best of my ability and an encouraging vision of what my future may entail.
The first thing I would tell my highschool self would be to not bite off more than you can chew. In high school I did not put a lot of effort into my studies and still made pretty good grades so I automatically assumed that college would be a breeze and wouldn't have to worry about what everybody else was telling me. My freshman year of college I decided it was a great idea to take on six classes, boy was I mistaken because I failed all but two. I have learned to listen to my advisors, have patience, and take everything a day at a time. My journey has not been easy and I am still suffering the repricussions but I am a better student and person.
First of all I would tell myself to start college sooner than later. I wanted to work and make money as soon as I graduated high school so I put college on the back burner. I expected college to be beyond my reach, too expensive, not smart enough, takes too long. Now I realized that all the money, time and brain power I have spent on college was well worth it. Would I have liked to have gone sooner? Yes, but I can't change the past, all I can do is prepare the best I know how for the future. You don't realize that time gets away from you and before you know it, it's been 5 years since you graduated high school and you're expected to be adult. Make the time to prepare for the future!
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