College of Southern Maryland Top Questions

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


“Hey Stephanie, I want to talk to you! Yes you-the one sitting by yourself. Why are you sitting way over there? Are you afraid people won’t like you? They will think you're unlikable just because you aren’t popular? You have to give people a chance. After all, the past is behind us now, but you can take what you want to the future with you. College-heck the rest of life- is about the future, and self-discovery. Figure out who you want to be, what you want to do, and where you want to go by who you like to be around. That’s how you find yourself. Not by hiding from people-including yourself. Show up, participate, have fun and be social. Don’t be shy; you have as much to offer as anyone else.” This is the conversation I would have with my high school senior self. It would be a monologue, more than a dialogue. My younger self wouldn’t have enough courage to talk to a confident, older me. The older me who finally realized that living means throwing yourself into life, rather than waiting for it to invite you in.


As a high school counselor, I would encourage myself to pick a college where you feel you belong. No matter the obstacles that life throws at you, do what makes you happy. Choose a college that will allow you to progress in your learning. Challenge yourself. Anything that comes easy isnt rewarding. While you are in school, always balance your school work with social activties. Its important to get out and have fun sometimes. Overwhelming yourself with work can cause you to become depress, which can lead to negative results in the classroom. Keep a balance. Make friends and relationships, as they can be convenient when needed. As a college student stay positive and keep your options open. Enjoy the experience of being independent and have fun.


Do what feels right and go with your gut instinct; even if it means going against the grain. Mistakes build character and are part of the continuous learning process. Stand tall and firm, speak clearly. Be kind and courteous. Do well with others and live for the moment, but do not forget to plan for the future. Idiot-proof everything. School is a recreation to life, not a requirement. It is there to enhance your daily living. The grind is one of the most important tools in your arsenal of success. Never understimate the power of hard work and determination. Build on hobbies and dreams that people share with you. Do not forget to ask for help when you need it, because you will need it. Be humble. Learning by teaching is the best way to enter into advanced concepts. Beat your own drum and do not be afraid to take risks. Aspire to inspire. Most importantly, BE YOURSELF.


If I could, I would tell myself not to let my social life interfere with my studies. I would tell myself not to fall in love and get engaged while in college due to the possibility and likelihood of it failing and affecting my academic performance. I would say read the course syllabus over and over again and know exactly what I need to do in order to earn an A for the course. Most importantly, I would tell myself never give up no matter how frustrating things can be. I've proven I'm capable of getting good grades now, and with that I would pass everything I've learned about academic success to my high school self, even going back to Freshman year, in order to build a stronger foundation for better study habits.


As a high school senior you should apply for every scholarship you qualify for. As a student in attempt to enter college there is so much competition for each scholarship. After attempting to recieve a single scholarship, you will be very suprised by the amount of scholarships you do not recieve. Each scholarship is hard to come by and without finance you will not be able to do the things you would like to in college. In your best efforts do well in high school and do everything in your best effort to enjoy college.


One of the most important things about college that I notice everyone fails in is mathmatics. The majority of high school students do not average well in this subject; however, if this subject is more enforced and made exciting, students will adhere to this subject. With this being said, I would have to go back in time and tell myself to stay alert and pay attention in Algebra II. Also, stay goal and task orietened. Those are two necessary qualities in college life that most never achieve.


My number one piece of advice to myself as a high school senior would be to make sure that you dedicate an extra hour outside of every class you have to study, read material, or go over notes. This would best benefit an incoming freshmen because I can promise any person that a high school student does not follow those study habits. College is so different from high school or any other schooling because no one is forcing you to attend and classes range from an hour and a half to nearly three hours. And during that time you are mainly taking notes, so outside of class is when a student needs to re-read the notes and analyze them him/herself. If you don't look over your notes, then you won't be as prepared as you should to answer short questions on a test. So I would definately tell myself to set aside a couple hours a week just to look over notes taken during class.


If I could go back and give myself some advice to what I should do for college, I would make sure I knew that the unexpected is only a second away and that saving up scholarships would be a fantastic idea. You never know what the future holds and what problems may arise to hamper your goals and dreams. I knew that I would go to a community college for a few semesters then transfer to a four year college to get a Bachelors of Photography, but I did not know that my family and I would have to move causing a larger financial strain on us. Even though I was looking for the right college during my senior year, I did not know that it would be out of state. So, if I was given the opportunity to go back and talk to myself, if even for an instant, I would make sure that I knew to prepare for the unexpected and to make sure that there is always a safety net ready to catch me.


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If I could go back and see myself as a college senior, I would tell myself to make sure your in as many school activities as you can. Surround yourself and get involved with people that you can benefit greatly from. Keep your head in the books because it will all payoff in the end. The real world is a whole nother place outside of school.


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know what you want to do. not only what makes you happy, but, what will give you the best chance for survival in a struggling economy. take education seriously. the decisions you make now will effect the rest of your life. when I was in high school, it was all about working hard and making a living for yourself and your family. it still is, but education and having a degree or certification is more important than ever. also, weigh all your options. do your research and know what your getting into. college is the stepping stone to your future.


I am currently in my last semester at the community college here in Southern Maryland. Early on in my high school career I knew that finding the funds to attend a university would be difficult. I planned to go to community college for my associates degree and then transfer to a four-year school. Even with this knowledge I never gave up on my studies. I took AP english courses all through high school and even challeneged myself during my senior year and took AP psychology. I graduated with a 3.2 GPA and was on the merit roll all four years. If I had to go back in time and give my senior self some advice it would be not to settle. I did well in school so I could have found a way to pay for my education. I had it in my head that I was going to community college because I couldnt afford anything else. Looking back now I think it would have been nice to actually go away and experience a true college lifestyle rather then attending the community college and feeling as if Im simply working a second job.


I would tell myself to be more serious and not to take school as easy or as a joke.


I would tell myself to not worry about the other colleges that I want to go to. That College of Southern Maryland is a great college for two years and then transfer to the college I want to go to. Also I would tell myself to study and take time to make sure I am able to get into the classes that I need to graduate and make sure I am ready for college. I would also make sure I would meet with the adviser earlier and make sure everything was ready for my fall semester.


If I could go back in time I would first tell myself that figuring college out is like trying to figure out what you want for dinner. You have to take the time to explore colleges, their activities, and teachers. Don't wait till the last moment. Really look into the schools and find if they offer everything that you need in order to be as successful as possible. That is whats makes a college for you.


Now that I have experienced college life, on campus and off campus, I would go tell Senior Tiffani to stay focused and study hard. During the transition, you think that you can still study and learn the same way you did in high school. You believe that you can relax all semester and finally work hard once final exams come around. Professors do not let you know if you are not doing well, that is your own responsibility. Unlike high school, your professors do not have an obligation to help you pass. Another big thing I would tell Senior Tiffani is to avoid procrastination at all cost, it simply adds stress that is avoidable. The most important advice that I would give Senior Tiffani is to always put 100% effort into everything you do. The higher the GPA, the better things will be.


If I could go back to when I was a high school senior, first of all I would tell myself the obvious: that college is VERY different from high school. First, there is no make-up work that you can turn in at the last minute, so that your grade will be boosted. Also, there is rarely any extra credit given in college courses. In high school, students and teachers are more likely to have a relationship; teachers are usually more considerate and concerned about you graduating. However, in college, professors do not care if you show up to class or if your assignments are turned in on time. Professors figure that if you truly care about your education, then you would take responsibility for yourself. In college you pick and choose when to take classes; you can go any time of the day, instead of going to school for the same 7 hour time period, like in high school. The very last thing that I would tell myself if I could go back in time would be "Be prepared. College is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work. But you are ready. You can do it."


I would go back and tell myself that it is ok to have doubts and to think about what pathway or career you have in mind. College is a time to discover yourself and find out where you want to go in life, so don't stress out if you're not sure what you want to do. Think carefully about what school you're looking towards entering. If you're independent, organized, and manage time effectively then you can choose any college. However, if you're not confident in those categories, a smaller college might be best. Smaller colleges help you through the transition phase and help get you on your feet. Finally, be careful of distractions. Clubs, teams, and organizations are great to look into and join but give yourself a buffering time in which you focus on your schoolwork before trying to get too involved. It may distract you and your grades may suffer. Also, try to reach out and find some friends in classes to help you if you do not understand the material or just need some help; but be careful about who you choose. Friends can become more of a hindrance than a help.


The first thing i would have done was started talking to college advisors before my senior year.The next thing would have been to tell myself ,i made it this far whats a few more years ,Im still young enough .I would have told myself it will be alot harder going back when your older and have a lot more obligations .Anything thats worth having is worth working for.Patience and trust in myself to do the best i can.


If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, the advice I would gave myself was start applying for school as soon as school started. I would of told my self to play a sport so I can try to make a highlight tape so I can try to get an scholarship. I would of told myself apply for a school Im comfortable going to stay in it,stay focused and grind it out because the sooner you finish,the sooner you can start your career.


Well Chasity, I know that you planned and argued with mommy about going to Marymount University, but that's not going to happen; you will be attending CSM. Don't look like that! It actually isn't like you thought it would be- boring, and high schoolish. Since you applied for an on-campus job over the summer, you were hired by the Student Activities coordinator. As a staff member, you know everything that is happening on campus, so, many times you are participate inthe activities and programs that are offered to the staff and students alike. As for the students: people are people and they believe they are entitled to their way of life. Since that is the case, there will be many things that you are going to come face to face with but I encourage you to stand firm in the Word of God, letting nothing move you. The work load here isn't overwhelming- just keep your priorities in line. You get a 4.0 anyways for the fall semester--without stressing or sweating so keep it like that. Oh yea-APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!!!! Stop being lazy; you're talented and smart, so get that money!


When I was a high school senior, I was also participating in my college's duel-enrollment program, which allowed me to take my remaining first period English class then attend the local community college and gain college credits. The best advice I wish I could tell myself based on what I know now would be to use better handwriting when taking notes! I am always in such a rush to get all the notes I can that it can be difficult to read what I wrote down. Further advice that I would give myself is to continue doing exactly what I have been doing; with the exception of working on slight procrastination habits.


I don't regret the decisions I have made, otherwise I wouldn't have learned what I have, but it would have made things easier had I decided differently. One important thing I wish I could go back and tell myself is to take Advanced Placement classes more seriously. As difficult as those classes are, getting a good score on the AP exams is more beneficial then I thought. I was able to get college credit because of my AP score, but had I taken my tests more seriously I could've done more. I could have even started my first year of college as a sophomore. There isn't much I've learned about the transition. I believe that because of my experience with AP classes, my college courses aren't much more difficult, but I do advise college freshman to take their studies seriously. In many of your classes your final is your grade; there are no homework assignments to keep your grade safe. I guess my overall message is to not take college lightly, and to not take your education for granted. I wish that I had tried my hardest in school to do better in college.


I would have given my self the advice of looking more into going to a college vs taking so much time off to try and find out what I would have like to do in life.


If I went back to talk to myself in my senior year, I would tell myself that you need to file for financial aid and scholarships sooner so that you had less money to pay back on college.


If i could go back to high school and talk myself through i would give myself the advice of try harded, never look back, and remember you can only trust very few people in life. The reason for this advice is because i never put 100% of my effort into school work cause i felt i knew it all. I was a very easy going person and would give the world to somebody who need help or even said they did even if they really didnt. In high school as a senior you should never look at the should haves, could haves, and would haves you just need to accept what is given to you with a smile. Knowing all of this now it has made my college life much easier and my work life i dont let people take advantage of me and i look at all the good i did for the day not my faults. The best advice i was given was Learn from your faults so they dont get repeted.


If I could go back in time to advise myself as a high school senior I would have preached to apply to schools offering to waive application fees in order to determine possible grant opportunities and to determine what university I would like to transfer to sooner. I attended community college early and full time my senior year and worked full time as well. I wish I had picked a university to transfer to during my senior year because picking a university now is stressful due to anxiously approaching deadlines. However knowing what to look forward to and anticipate now makes the applications for scholarships and schools all the more worthwhile when I apply. I have learned to narrow down options and focus on prime opportunities at schools in order to make sure all of my credits transfer. I am currently looking forward to transferring to the University of Maryland into the Criminal Justice program.


Looking back now, I would tell the high school senior Teonna to research my interests more thoroughly. In researching my interests more I would have been able to narrow my degree choices down and choose schools accordingly. I chose my school for all of the wrong reasons. If I knew more money was available and when to look for money I would have pursued it. Although my school has proven to suit my life and needs, I wish I would have atleast considered other options. I definitely would have paid attention to detail in the classroom as well. I passed my courses easily without much effort and in college it catches up with you.


If I could possibly return to my senior year of high school, I would tell myself that I need to try to study much more intently and not fully depend on my teacher for understanding. I would inspire myself to refrain from procrastination and word vigorously to achieve my goals.


If i were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, already knowing what i know now about college life and making the transition. I would not give myself to much advise because i feel that everything happens for a reason, and it is somtimes better to learn things through experience rather then be told the future. Yet, I would tell myself three things. I would first tell myself that it is ok to start out in a smaller less flashy college, and to look at it as steping stones to where I will be in the future. I would then tell myself to not listen to what other people say about college, you make college what you want it to be. Lastly i would make shore i tell myself to not stress out so much. Insted just have faith that everything will work out, because as long as I do my best and stay focused on my priorities, I will saprize my self of how far I will make it.


I would definately advise myself to go to a two year institution first so save money, especially in this economy right now. Being in $50,000 debt is not a fun thing. So get all of your prerequisites out of the way first and save your money!


I would have to tell myself: "It will be a wise choice taking a gap year after moving back to the states because things have changed there in the past four years. After living in England it will be easier for you to reaccustom yourself to living in America before going to college. Your accomplishments of becoming an eagle scout will prove to be one of your strongest attributes, as will your experiences living as a military dependant all over the world. The classes are not all that more difficult than high school, the concept of getting your work done in the expected format doesn't change a bit. Money will be your worst enemy, mom and dad can cover community college tuition and will let you stay home, but they'll live in a rural place where internet is only available from satellite, which is expensive and unaffordable so you're going to have make do without the internet. No matter how tough life gets, how many meals you have to skip to buy gas to get to class, or whether you can afford internet access at home or not, just remember to do what you can to succeed.


Where would I start? Well for starters I would tell myself to pay to my class work. That can never be stressed enough to entering freshmen. You are not in the public school systems anymoe you are in a place where literally time is money. Fo every hour you spend in a classroom is being paid for out of your pocket and if not your persay than your parents. Keep your grades up so you can qualify for any and every scholarship available out there. And on that note, pay extremely close attention during the finicial aide process of filling out student loans and your FAFSA. Don't be so quick to put it off on your parents, just because they are the ones who will be paying back the loans while you're in school. May copies of the loan papers and actually read & re-read the documents till you get a full understanding of what you and you parents are agreeing to because if something were to happen to them altimattly you are the one responsible for paying back those loans no matter what your inital ageement between your parents were. In the end prepare for any & everything!