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Clearwater Christian College

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

I recently retired after serving 16 years as a law enforcement officer and decided to go back to school after 19 years. Since starting back on January 12, 2011, I realize that it's not easy. There is a lot of hard work that is involved however, I wouldn't change the experience for anything in the world. I have been surrounded by an awesome group of Professors and young people alike who have embrassed me as a true family member. When you find yourself starting anew after so many years, you often wonder what college life is going to be like. Though it has been a challenge, it takes somewhat of a load off my back when it comes to the stress of starting anew, when the people around you embrass and welcome you with a sincere heart. For so many years I have encouraged, motivated and even inspired those younger than I, but now the shoe is on the other foot. They are encouraging, motivating and even inspiring me to stay the course. You are never to old to learn, to be inspired nor to dream. That's what has made my experience in college most valuable.

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I would advise myself to challenge myself in every subject. I would tell myself to develop a studying method, and actually learn the material not just study to pass the test. I would tell myself to stay ahead on all assignments and not procrastinate, because it leads to unnecessary stress. I would start saving every extra dollar I had, and apply for as many scholarships as possible. I would tell myself to figure out what major my heart was telling me to pursue, and narrow down my school options that offer my major. I would tell myself that waiting to the last minute to chose a college and fill out scholarships, results in missed deadlines and just randomly choosing a college and not even being sure if they offer your major. I would emphasis the importants of my grades regardless of the class, they will be looked at. I would tell myself to actually study for the ACT, not just go take it. The grade is very important and is always looked at. I would tell myself to take all the dual enrollment classes offered in high school that would benefit my major.

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The time has come. High school is over and college is creeping up on you. Are you ready? Having already experienced some of college life, there are a just a few basic things that will help you start right. First of all, be ready to apply yourself academically. Don't be satisfied with average grades. Work hard and make a good name for yourself. Secondly, don't be afraid to ask for help. Just because you are almost in college does not mean that you are able to make every decision all by yourself. Make sure you have mature family, friends, or advisors to be able to discuss things with. There's a reason for the statement, "Two heads are better than one." Finally, use your time wisely! Make sure you have a system that allows you to get what needs to be done done in time. You will be miserable if you wait until the night before a test to begin studying. If you are diligent in your work, chances are that you will still have plenty of time to play that video game or go shopping once you are finished. Work. Learn. Have fun. Don't worry.

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If I were speaking to myself as a high school student, I would be sure to warn of the academic distincitons of college life and the difficulties they present. While the college format is more enjoyable in some respects, it definitely is a new learning experience that any high school student could use some pointers on. One of the major differences between college and high school is the amount of time the assignments consume. It is vital to know when exactly everything is due so that you can begin your preparations with enough time to do a good job. You will not be reminded constantly of your assingments and doing them the night before gets harder and harder to do. Taking time to write each of your assignments on a calender is a valuable and efficient way to keep track of everything. Be sure to pay attention and take notes in class as it will save you from having to cram for exams. You will for certain have some very late nights studying and working on projects, but just know that they are necessary and are part of the college experience.

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If I could go back and give my high school self advice i would begin by telling her that she really needs to focus more on her school work. I know that school is difficult for a high school student but it will pay off in the end when she enters college. She will feel more prepared to do the work that is assigned. Studying hard will also bring about a higher GPA which will help in receiving scholarships. Do not take the SAT lightly it is also important in getting into college and getting the financial aid that is needed. I would tell her to begin thinking about her future plans early and know exactly what she wants to do as a career before entering school. This will help in saving time and money from studying the things that does not interest her. She should speak to a college guidance counselor early about what major she is interested in so that she knows and is prepared for what is ahead. i would let her know that college will be difficult but it is a great experience and a very rewarding feeling of acomplishment so work hard

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Matt, listen up, this is future Matt talking, and you have a lot to learn. First of all, you did alright. You got a good grasp of the English language, and your'e steps toward learning Spanish have really helped in your two upcoming trips to south of the border. Good job on the reading, you would be suprised how many friends I have at college right now who have never read a book just for fun! And playing football was not a mistake or a waste of time, those lessons learned will last a lifetime... Secondly, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING! You need to get involved more! Try volunteering, even if it's just for once a month at a homeless shelter or cleaning local parks. Don't waste your weekends on all those stupid video games, do something productive with your time! Also, you are too young to be set in your ways already, try new stuff! Take a dancing class, try Shakespeare, pluck a few notes on a guitar, learn to surf at the beach instead of just being lazy in the sun. Go out of your way, you never know WHAT you will discover!

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Take some college courses while you are in high school. It is cheaper and you will get the experience of being taught by college professors. Also, make a schedule to follow; if you must divert from it, make sure that it is only once in a while. Furthermore, make sure that you are getting the appropriate amount of sleep so that you are able to effective throughout the day. Do not feel as if you have to choose a mojr right away. If you have to change it's ok. Try taking different classes about things that interest you while you are a freshman and sophomore. Ask people what they like and do not like about their major's. It's good to get other's opinions especially if you are not really sure about what you want to study. Work as much as possible to help pay for school so that you will not have to get out loans. Try your hardest; try not to compare yourself to your peers. Most people do not learn the same. If you are having trouble with something, do not be afraid to ask for help. You should try to get an internship.

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If traveling back through time to my high school self would not create a paradox and destroy the world as we know it, then I would tell myself three things. 1) Don't be afraid of the unknown. I remember how I would shy away from applications of all kinds, ranging from jobs to scholarships. It's okay to put yourself out there and let people know what you can do. 2) Don't follow the crowd. If you know something is right, but others don't understand your point of view then forget the others! Stick with what you know to be true. It will be, at times, a very lonely road. But you must remember that even though you're out on your own, you are never going through life by yourself. Lastly, 3) Listen and obey your parents judgement. They really do know great tips and hints about life. Don't be stubborn wanting to do your own thing because it will often times result in heartache. This is a quote I'd like to leave my younger self "You can do whatever you want, so long as you are willing to receive the consequences. "

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College is a great place to learn and grow, and it will certainly throw life experiences your way that you never will have imagined. This being said the most important thing to learn, going into your first year, is the people you choose to spend your time with will, without a doubt, affect the way you make choices. They will warp or shape how you react to these situations you will be placed in, and they will discourage or motivate you for scholarly acheivement. I know you think you know exactly why you're going to school and just HOW MUCH you will work on your education, but the truth is your success at this college will be directly related to those you choose to spend the majority of your time with. A concept hard to assimilate is that you can actually choose your friends and decide FOR YOURSELF what kind of a man you will become. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and have fun, but decide now what your FIRST PRIORITY will be, in your new and suprising world, that is Clearwater Christian College.

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The main thing that I advise is to manage you time well! Once you get into college, it is much easier to let your grades slide because you didn't finish an assignment due to a lack time management. It is essential to balance the time spent having fun with the time spent studying. Time management is essential to success in college. While it is important to have fun, you need to make sure that you finish your work on time, and it is best to finish your work early because that allows you to have fun without the thought of assignments being due in the back of your head, ruining your night of fun because of stress. The other thing that I would advise is to make sure that you get plenty of rest. It is very easy to allow yourself to stay up extremely late. Don't do it! When you stay up late, it is harder to focus on your studies and to do well in your classes. Also, the student who gets plenty of rest will often be healthier and do better in his area of study than those who don't get enough rest.

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