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College of Southern Idaho

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

I would tell myself that no matter what disadvatages you THINK you have, nothing is going to stop you from doing exacly what you want to in this world. I've been told all my life that I have a learning disability and cannot learn the same ways "normal" kids learn. As long as I can remeber, I have been in "learning" classes known to my friends as "Sped" classes. You can imagine how impacting being labeled "less than the rest" influenced my self-esteem, self-respect, and educational goals. I tried not to let it bother me that I wasn't as sufficient as the rest of the students but no matter how hard I tried I would still feel incapable of fitting in. Now, four years after being told you will never be as smart as the rest, I maintain a 3.4 GPA, have obtained an Associates in Science for Outdoor Education, never used the learning center help provided by Colorado Mountain College, and have traveled and actively helped in third-world countries throughout Central America. So don't worry Senior in high school Kyle, because you will see soon enough what you can achieve.

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the easiest thing you can do to help yourself out is to apply for scholarships. the only thing you give up when applying for a scholarship is your time; time that is more significant to you than you can imagine. if you neglect the opportunities that are out in the world you will find life more difficult than it is easy. working your way through college is not fun or without stress; it takes a toll on you to juggle school and work at the same time. so if you really want to help yourself you will apply for as many scholarships as you can because the fruits of your labor will blossom into rewards far exceeding your greatest expectations. a scholarship will help you transition from high school to college life with less stress and more enthusiasm towards you education. if a scholarship does only one thing for you it will provide you with the means for you to achieve your dreams and aspirations of becoming the person you want to become in life. only you can decide your own destiny wheter you choose to take charge of it is up to you.

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Life changes so much the first year you move out and start your own life. In many ways college is a frightening experience, the insecurities of meeting people, the awkwardness of the first day in a new dorm, but at the same time, college can be a wonderful place full of excitement, and freedom, where a person can define who they are as an individual. Looking back now at my senior year of high school, I realize how iindependent I was. I felt like I could do everything on my own. I did not need help. And although I applaud myself now, I know that I could have made greater leaps if I would have sought the correct help. It?s okay to ask questions if a person is unsure of how to apply for financial aid, and it?s okay to not know what your major is. If you do know, never let someone say you cannot achieve it. We are all entitled to our own dreams and no one has the authority to tell us otherwise. High school seniors, college is the best experience you could ever have. Be sure in yourself, and everything will fall into place.

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Self, I’d like to warn you about the new adventure we’re embarking on. I have been in college for almost three years and it has been fun, but we definitely haven’t made it easy. For starters, we are a people pleaser which does nothing but bring us down. We can’t go to school for dad, although she is our mother we have different interests, and just because we’re the youngest doesn’t mean we should let our siblings live through us. On this note we shouldn’t close ourselves off from outside opinions just remember they are opinions. Even though our family is important to us moving away from home is a great idea to learn to rely on ourselves. Second, if we don’t start producing a better way to study and actually retain the information we are going to have a rough awakening to college life. For some reason, we never grasped the idea that everything was building on itself; we just studied enough to pass and graduate. Third, don’t be afraid to gain a new social circle. College is a time to have fun, don’t wait to find that out.

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"Go to school to do something you know you will enjoy doing for the rest of your life. The opinion of others, your idea of what is expected of you, and even money won't matter in the long run, as long as you can wake up each morning (at least most mornings) excited to go to work. Life will be easier if you find something you are passionate about and you just do the heck out of it. You may be going to the wrong school or be studying the wrong program or you may even be in school for the wrong reasons if you cannot identify what will make you happy (set goals) and then clearly identify a path to achieve those goals. I do not like using the term goals here, though, because I am not talking about material possessions and things. I am talking about achievments, accomplishments, career etc. If you think making money is a good goal, and you are majoring in economics to achieve that goal and no other reason, you are destined for unhappiness. Like I said, find something that makes you happy and do the heck out of it."

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Fernando Now: "Look you need to save money instead of buying school clothes, take the hand-me-downs." Fernando Then: "But I gotta look good for college." Fernando Now: "What really matters is that you take it seriously and study hard instead of focusing on apperance. Oh, and those college credits that you watched other kids take since their sophomore year those come in handy!" FT: "But I never thought that I'd ever go to college let alone make it through high school, since it took me a while to get my life in order and figure out my priorities." FN: "Yeah you think that was a struggle, how hard do you think your life would be now if you didn't finsh school and decide to continue with college?" FT: "Wow I'm glad that I went to summer school, and took college credits senior year to get this far!" FN: "In the end you know that it will be difficlut to finsh school but it's one of the most importatant things in life. Even though your family won't understand or support your efforts to get an education."

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When I was a high school senior, like many others, I knew some of my hopes and dreams but did not know how I wanted to fit them into the world. Because I was so pressured to attend school just for the sake of attending school, I did not do very well in the beginning. My lack of direction led me to exactly where I was going: nowhere - and it wasn't cheap either! If I could go back in time and save my high school senior self from making the same mistake, I would say, "Spend your high school years getting to truly know yourself. Be active with your interests, whether it's through school clubs or on your own. When you get to experience shaping your goals into reality you will have a clearer idea and stronger motivation to where you want to be. If you're struggling, don't be afraid to ask for help and if you change your mind what direction you want to go in, don't give yourself a hard time about it. We are all always growing and continue to do so after college, so don't stress and enjoy the experience!"

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If I could go back in time to my senior year in high school, and knowing what I know now, I would have done a lot of things differently. When enter college I didn't have good study habits. Most of the time while in high school I would complete my homework in school before going home. I was working and making sure that I was at home before my younger siblings came home from school. In college you can't do that, you have to study and sometime for hours at a time. I have never done that before so I was totally lost to studying. Also during my senior year in high school I would have taken some PSEO classes, then at least I would have had an idea of what to expect as far as class structure. Entering college for the first time and walking into a classroom of over an hundred was a scary and intimidating feeling. I would have visited colleges as a senior to prepare myself for my new adventure as a freshmen in college. Those are the things that I would have done differently as a High School Senior.

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The best advice I can offer would be to think things through and take your time making this huge decision. I did not know what I wanted to do and let my desire to run away from home in the quickest and easiest way possible motivate my choice. My parents did not attend college and wanted me to attend a church ran private school, so I did not have the help necessary to make this important decision. I did not scout college campuses or the cities and towns they were located in. I did not include quality of life with quality of education in my search. My first semester in college was rough. I went to the same school as some friends from high school, but the town where the university was located had nothing to offer. I ended up leaving college after my first semester and moved back home. When searching for a college, patience is key. Moving away from home is hard, harder than I ever imagined it would be. Had I chosen a location where I could stand to live, it could have been an easier transition.

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It has now been thirteen years since I graduated from high school and regret not attending college sooner. If I could travel back in time and give myself some much needed advice I would recommend that I patch things up with my parents and to stay focused on my education and not so much about getting a job and getting my own place. What I have learned over the past 13 years are life changing expierences, which are not all bad when I look back on them, but could have been avoided if I was better focused. The first piece of advice that I would start off with would be to reconcile with my parents. As soon as I graduated from high school I had to move out. Because of that I was too focused on getting a job and not continueing with school. The second piece of advice I would give myself would be to talk to a counselor at the college and ask for their advice on which classes I should take. Even if a person doesn't have a clear vision, general education classes are just as good.

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