Not only have I learned valuable skills for my intended major and carreer, but I have learned incredible life lessons from the people around me. Coming from living in my own quiet room, I have learned the value of living with other girls in a dorm - women who can keep me accountable as well as help shape and mold who I am. I hav come to value the wise mentors who I call my professors. These honorable instructors teach more than what is on the syllabus; they impart wisdom, character, and practical advice I can take with me after all the exams are finished. I have learned how better relate to people from different backgrounds (and cultures, for I go to an International school). I have learned how to manage my time, homework, job, money, grades, and relationships more efficiently. Though I have learned how to live on my own and make my own decisions, I have also learned that I am still in the need to humble myself and ask for wisdom from knowledgeable, older people. What better place than to learn how to live in this world than the college I have been placed in.
I would tell myself to not be so uptight, and be more open to making friends. I have a tendency to not make friends easily, but in college, making friends is easy if you try hard enough. Also, I would tell myself that college life is nothing to be afraid of. "Don't be afraid to leave home. Your parents are only two hours away," I would say, "you can call them any time you need to." Another important thing I would tell myself is to be openminded, but never to compromise on my values. Be open to learning about other cultures, and don't assume you know everything, and that how you do things is the right way. But over all, I would tell myself to be willing to let loose, but remember: you are paying to go to school, you're paying to learn.
I would tell myself to make sure that I look at colleges of different sizes, locations, and type. Don't box yourself into one catagory. Relax and enjoy the next four years. God is in control, and He will lead you where you are supposed to be. Have some fun, study hard, but remember that there are times to say, "Forget you, homework. I need to play." Just don't say it very often. Homework's important. And make sure that you at least talk to your roommate(s) before your first semester starts, so at least they aren't complete strangers. Oh, and don't forget to take a LOUD alarm clock. You know that you can sleep through just about anything, and being late for class is a BAD idea.
In just one semester, Columbia International University has drastically changed my life. My entire college experience in general has been phenomenal! College has helped me improve who I am, and to begin making healthy habits for life. Also, my mind has been challenged, which enables me to think beyond the box. It has been so valuable attending college, because it is a great way to begin taking my first steps into being on my own in the world. The friendships I have made are so valuable, and the education I am getting will not just help me get a job like everyone else, but it will help me as I set out to change the world.
I would tell myself to make a better effort at getting to know new people. Stop worrying about my highschool friends and trust that they will be around when I come home on breaks. I would tell myself to really reach out and be social with the girls on my hall and get to know them faster. I would also tell myself to calm down about the classes because they aren't as difficult as I previously worried about. Lastly, I would tell myself to be more open with the idea of a different major. Then I could enter college with the expectation of being a bit uncertain about my major and know that it's okay!
What I have gotten out of my college experience has been immeasurable. As a senior adult student who was severely depressed and on disability it was theraputic to attend school. The whole experience has been invaluable and I do believe, saved my life. I've not only expanded my horizons academically, I am learning new job skills, new social skills, new coping skills, I've made new friends, re-established confidence and self-esteem. I now feel that I can contribute to the world and make a difference. Attending my college has been a healing and educational experience for me.
The most valuable lesson I have learned attending college and being around academia is that: Now I know that I don't know. Once a person (especially a young person) has admitted this simple truth to themselves they are open to learn about any new viewpoint, idea and concept. One does not have to embrace all the new material they have learned as correct, but it will never hurt someone to get a new viewpoint, after all, the world is only what we perceive it to be.
If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself not to consider any other school but CIU. I would tell myself that grades really are important and that I need to learn how to open up and trust people. College will run much smoother if I learn to let people in , instead of keeping everyone out. Also, studying in college is important, so learn how to do that before I desperately need it.
Start saving your money...NOW. Learn how to manage your time, it is SO important. Having a good study habit is the key to good grades.