I would go back in time to tell my past self that there is so much more than going day to day hoping that life would get better. Once college began I realized that each day that I woke up for class was a better day because not only was I getting a better education but also I was able to breathe another day of life!
My college experience has been a very positive one. I was a homemaker for many years and when I needed to return to work I discovered without a recent college degree it was impossible for me to support myself living in the Pacific Northwest. I was very scared, since I have not been to college for than 20 years, but I started talking online classes from Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Soon, my confidences begin to rise. I took two quarters of online courses. This summer, 2010, I went to full time at Clark on campus and online. I’m planning to transfer the summer of 2011 to a four year college. My future seems a lot brighter, knowing I can earn my bachelors degree.
My college experience thus far has been quite the learning experience. It has really opened my eyes to the many different social aspects of our culture when it comes to working with other people to accomplish goals while pushing myself to my own limits. What I mean by all of that is simply that I am able to be in an environment where people are trying to thrive. I get to work with people on trying to solve problems set before me, but at the same time, I am testing what I am truly capable of in the academic world. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that nothing is impossible if you spend enough time on it, generally speaking. There have been projects and even subjects as a whole that I thought I could never finish or learn; however, once I spent enough time on figuring out the problem I was having, solving it became no issue at all. I feel that school has really prepared me for many things to come in the rest of my life that not many other establishments could have done. In the end, my college will assure my entire future.
If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior the first thing I would tell myself is, "Don't wait so long to go to college." I know I was not ready to go to college right after high school, and I would not have taken it as seriously and be as focused as I am now. I would tell myself not to wait the twelve years that I did. I can see now that I would be in a much better place if I would have only taken a year or two off and then went to college. I thought making money at the time was much more important until I realized my salary and career would only go so far without a degree. I would tell myself the sooner you get a degree the better your quality of life will be. It's never too late to go to college, just make sure you go. I'm thirty-five now, but I'm closer to my degree than I was five years ago when I finanly decided to go.
The advice I would give myself would be "don't feel rushed to choose what you want to major in," and to "focus, study & always remember you are doing this for YOU." I say this because I went to school straight out of high school. I was urged, by someone really close to me, to continue my education at a trade school. I haven't made use of that degree, because after graduating I realized it didn't make me happy.
When I was in school I didn't realize that I had to focus 100%. I was a lot younger then and had a lot more on my mind than studying, although I still always received good grades, I regret not having focused a lot more. If I had, I would have showed my true abilities and gotten even better grades. An education is something that will follow you your entire life. It defines you in many ways, and to many people. Most importantly, it helps you find out who you are, which to me, is one of the stepping stones to becoming truly happy in life.
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