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Collin County Community College District

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

Dear Barbara, I am so proud of you for graduating high school and all the hard work you put into passing your classes. I want to let you know that you are smart enough to go to university however continuing your education at a local community college is a smart understandable decision. One thing you shouldn’t be ashamed of is your good grades. You studied so hard for them and deserve them, forget about others using you for your academic achievements, you’ll make real friends in college. Speaking of college here is a little advice; first do your research before registering for classes. You’ll want to take a look at Ratemyprofessor.com and also ask around campus for opinions on certain professors; it will help in avoiding disorganized and poor quality instructors. Next you should spend some time looking for used or rentable books online and at bookstores, use the campus bookstore as a last resort. When faced with a challenge ask for help from your professors. Your professors are there to help you all you have to do is speak up, don’t be afraid. Good luck! Sincerely, You - a 2014 Collin College Graduate

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"Hey Addie, what's up?" "Woah, are you me?" "Yeah, from the future. I'm supposed to give you advice on college." "We're in college?" "Didn't think we'd make it huh?" "Honestly, after we went to the hospital I didn't think we'd graduate high school." "Yeah, well we made it through that, albeit after a few weeks of goofing off and one tattoo later. Anyways about that advice..." "Where'd we get into?" "Community College, we took a break after the hospital thing. We needed it." "Are you kidding me? That's so embarassing. God I feel like such a loser." "That's the first thing you need to stop doing. Stop beating yourself up. That's what got us in the hospital in the first place, remember? College can be difficult, but it's much easier if you take care of yourself mentally. There are lots of people who care, and colleges even have resources for students struggling with depression. Take advantage of that. A positive mind is the first step in setting yourself up for success, and in college people understand that." "I guess that makes sense." "Anything else?" "Did the tattoo hurt?"

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My college experiences have given me opportunities to not only prove to myself what I have or should have achieved during my youth, but also shown me how much the young take education for granted. It has deepened my resolve to strive for perfection and lead by example. The experiences have been a gift. A gift much like an opportunity to look through a window and see things and learn things from a different vantage point that the youth have not begun to master. I have a unique position to not only learn from my professors but also help to teach the fresh faces that have only begun to see the world the way it truly is. There is a special place in my heart for the professors that give unselfishly of themselves to teach. I cannot bring myself to merely coast through the curriculum, but push myself to a higher standard. It is difficult to lead a family and pursue an education that is twenty years behind course. But the effort is invaluable to me and the ones that I pass it down to. My learning experiences are the measure of the soul to deepen the breadth of discovery.

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I have serveral pieces of advice to give my past self. First, to borrow a phrase from Douglas Adams: Don't panic. There is no reason to work yourself into a giant bundle of nerves over this new experience, and in the end it will do nothing but cause you to lose sleep and hurt your performance in class. Second, just because you assume you have a good memory does not mean you do not need to note in class. There is no earthly way you can remember each event over the course of one-hundred years in America's history, and noting is essential to success. Third, mathematics are important. Just because you assume you want to be a writer someday does not mean math is unimportant. It not only lets you pass the college entrance test, but allows you to calculate your expected GPA, and balance a checkbook when you exit college. Fourth, and one of the most important: Do no be afraid to have fun. This is will be the best time of your life, and stressing over grades and assignments will not only bring down your performance, but your fun as well. Good luck, past-self!

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As a non-traditional student who has returned to school after twenty-seven years, this experience has opened my intellectual eyes. I learned that there is so much more to my world than I could have ever dreamed. My history classes taught me of our countries early years while at the same time my government classes showed me our Nations trend for the future. My art class exposed me to the art and artist of the past and present and taught me how to appreciate every piece with my interpretive eye. These experiences cannot be achieved anywhere else in the world except in college, at an institution that is based upon the exact words of higher education. Each and every book that I have read has opened a whole new exciting world to me. Even though I’m a student, I’m also a mother. As my children were growing up I always told them they could be anything they wanted to be, they just had to want it bad enough. I decided to take my own advice and follow my dreams of becoming an archaeologist. Going to college has literally changed the course of my life forever!

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I want to give all high-school students an advice before going into college. first, do not worry about money, fill out your fafsa if necesary and that will help you get a load of you back. Second, when you are trying to decide where to study, do not go by "what my friends are going to go to" it is very important that you concentrate on yourself. dont worry about other friends and where they are going to school. distractions can become your worst enemy. Third, give yourself enought time for school. do not take extra credits if you think you are going to be pressured. remember that exam week can become really stressfull. we all deal with jobs, friends, family, sports, homeworks and some extra things but you have to remember that without school you wont go ant farther. so give it the importance that it dicerves. And last, organize yourself, try to make the correct decitions. it is alwayse good to have a ggod relationship with your teachers that way you feel more confident with then and they will help you with anything you need, dont be a extranger.

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If I were able go back in time and talk to myself I would definitely convince myself to do more research. I would research everything from the price of education to the quality of the education including student activities. I would also advise myself to ask as many questions as I can when I attend the school tour. I had a chance to visit my school twice and both times I wasn't really "wild" about it the way I was when they first contacted me. I decided to attend anyway and waisted about $28,000 ($9,500 in loans not including the interest). After my first semester went by I was miserable. Everything the school said that they had to offer was only half true. When school came to stop I had decided to attend a community college back home. Going to a community college was the best decision I had made that concerned my education. Even though it didn't have all the activities a university would have it was still great. I figured out that I wanted to pursue a Pharmacy career. If I could do it all over again I would definitely do more research.

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If I were a high school senior and could do it all over again, I would definitely make some changes to the choices I made as far as attending college. I started out at Tyler Junior College my first semester, and due to the fact that I didn't put enough of my time and energy into researching this school and what was important to me, I ended up hating it and moved back home to go to community college. One of the most important things you can do is to make a list of things you are looking for in a college, because if you are going to put so much work into getting there and basically spend your life savings there, you mind as well enjoy it. Things you may be looking for would include a certain type of sport, a public vs. private school, small or large. Another thing is apply for scholarships like crazy! Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. To my gained knowledge over the past semester, the more people you may annoy, the more questions you get answered. Most importantly though, DON'T settle!! Find the college that fits you the best!

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Having been homeschooled all my life, I had no concept of what college life would be like when I enrolled at my community college. I was equivalent in age to a high school senior and I was terrified of the unknown, but somehow I found the courage to enroll despite my fear that I would fail. If I could talk to myself at that time, this is what I would say: "Don't be afraid. College is where you will find the freedom to be yourself and learn what it means to be an adult, because your classes will test your sense of responsibility just as much as they test what you know. Don't be ashamed to ask for help understanding your lessons; we all need help sometimes, and we pay forward those who help us by helping others in kind. Talk to your professors about anything and everything -- these are the people who will show you what you are capable of, and who will encourage you to be your best possible self. You can't control where you have started, but you choose your own path and your own destination now. Do not fear the untrod road."

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My senior year was my biggest regret. I was a National Honor Society student who was in denial. I did not want to be considered smart or intellectual. I wanted to blend in and be a part of the "it" crowd. While many students with my GPA were gladly submitting college applications and hoping for the best schools, I was hoping that I would be invited to the coolest Prom after-party. If I could go back in time I would tell myself to wake up. I had set myself on a course for a belated education. I was so set on "living life" I went to college for two weeks and then withdrew to "take a year off." That year turned into twelve. At the age of thirty, I returned to college and I have been working to get my education at a stage in life where there are more hurdles. If I could, I would tell myself to be proud of my abilities and educational accomplishments. The one thing in life that can never be taken away is knowledge. Education is the door to every opportunity you can dream. If you put off your education, life takes over.

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