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CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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

Not everything in life will go as you plan, but a sense of direction is not always essential- despite unanimous claims. The transition from high school to college is a peculiar crossroad of self-discovery and awareness- a paradoxical predicament. Your immediate decision will determine your life-long path… at this age of immaturity where the quest for the long-awaited independence and adventure of adulthood sparks the glimmer in your eye. Goal-orientation strives for a single culmination. Like a horse guided by blinkers, you only see the path onward in one dimension, one direction; all other possibilities cease to exist. College will never be about passing an exam, to pass a class, to get that diploma, to land a job that buys the material wealth defined by “success”. Favor knowledge and intellect itself as a conscientious member of the planet. There will be academic pressure from parents, and pressure for a prestigious place in society from peers and the rest of the universe. But, pleasing others creates a visceral burden and a state of complacence. It is NOT a lack of motivation, but motivation into a new realm of possibilities that makes a cultured and well-rounded being.

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My college experience has equipped me with many valuable tools that has allowed me to be successful in my career. College is the one form of education that allows you to challenge (your thinking) what you are being taught while you are being taught. It allows you to broaden your view as you are now driven to conduct research to determine to find out the best answer to the solution. This research and level of thinking is what jobs today label as "critical think skills" which is very valuable for everyone in their career. This skill set that I learned has allowed me to analyze problems and determine the best possible solution. Attending college has not only made me intelligent, but it has also allowed me the opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals. Communicating and interacting with people of different ethnicities and background is crucial in today's society. The student body at John Jay College is very diverse, and this diversity has allowed me the ability to look past the differences and see the individual for who they are. This ability to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds has become my strong point in my career.

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Interestingly enough, I would advise myself alot of the same things my elders advised me to do when I was a high school senior. This includes, going to college immediately after high school, studying for and taking the SATs, and saving money whenever possible. However, with what I know now, I would also provide information and resources involving the application process and how to find funding for college. Though these resources were out there when I was a high school senior, for whatever reason I did not access them. Also, being the first in my family to go to college, I did not have an example to follow and mostly felt lost when it came time to applying for scholarships and filling out financial aid forms among other things. Therefore it would also be important to give my high school self motivational or inspirational stories from people who have struggled to earn what they have achieved and know that it is possible to reach your goals if you are truly dedicated and persistant. I would tell myself about Antonia Pantoja whose story of struggle and achievement for the benefit of the latin community is as compelling as it is inspiring.

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Currently a freshman, I would tell myself that there are a lot of things to adjust to when attending college. One being the fact that you won't be surrounded by a group of friends like in high school, you are now on your own. Two "YOU NEED TO MAKE THE FERRY", living in Staten Island & attending college in Manhattan has its perks and disadvantages. Starbucks being on every corner is one thing but if you do not catch the ferry you will be a half hour late for class. Another word of advice would be that there is a lot of responsibility involved in attending college, you will experience deadlines and expectations to be prepared for class with your text books. I would tell myself that the major difference between attending college and high school is that your professors only know what you notify them of. They don't ask you "where's you paper?" like teachers did, they grade what they've received and don't worry about you. So you must notify them of any difficulties you're having or makeups you are interested in. Last but not least I would tell myself "Enjoy College!"

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Going to college is taking another step on the ladder of success. Some people get over whelmed adjusting to a new environment while others adapt easily. Transitions are never easy and one should always have a support system like your family, friends, classmates who can help you when probleems arise. My advice to high school senior's make sure your up to date on your school work. If a professor gives an assignment make sure it is done and its ready to be handed in on time because you will have tons of work to do. Make sure you help your classmates because they will be times you will need their assistance. As the saying goes "no man is an island". So help your fellow classmates. Dont be afraid to confront issues that are bothering you. If you have to be assertive "BE ASSERTIVE". If you have problems with a teacher go and speak to the Chair of the department. Every department has a chair. If the chair of the department is not helpful go and speak to a DEAN. Colleges are very expensive and you will be paying for your education. Make sure they provide the services you need.

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If i could go back in time, the advice that i would give would be endless . The First thing I would tell myself is to take more college-accredited courses. Reason Being, I would have a higher number of college acceptance letters If I had taken classes such as AP English, AP Spanish, AVID and so on. The Second Thing I would tell myself, Is to not get lazy when it comes to filling out college applications because it will have bad results such as: not getting accepted to the colleges you want , Getting accepted to the colleges you don't want, or even not getting accepted to college at all!. The Third Thing I would Tell myself is the fact that college is NOTHING like high school, in college you're on your own, if you don't understand something you have to go your own way on trying to understand it. The fourth thing i will tell myself is to really take advantage of scholarships, grants, and programs that colleges have to offer. So that way you don't miss out on colleges that are offering great opportunities. Finally, go for your dreams, that's what matters most.

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I will tell past myself; don’t feel like a burden on your mom’s income. The last thing you want is to be away from your college degree pursuit. I should know I am you. I regret the path of ‘how I’ after decades of laborious employments; lead myself to realize that without your college degree, your pride and yourself worth is as good as the state minimum wage. I know you are going thru a rough time deciding on what to do but your life would be better if you could obtain these degrees at an early age. You need to talk with admission about CUNY colleges because it is one of the most affordable universities in the nation. Furthermore, they will guide thru your financial needs and options for that college. However, continue looking for web sites like Campus discovery for assistance in obtaining scholarships. This is to help divert the cost associated with college. I know it is a lot of work but you are smart and like to complete everything you start without worries of your financial situation. So, try what I have told you now and I will continue it in our future self.

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If i was giving another chance to go back in high school, there will a lot of changes i will have to make. First i came from another country so English is not my first language but my third one. In that case, I will have to consider the advise gave by my english teacher in Cameroon , she always told us to learn english for life not for points or for grades, but to learn for life. It's took me time to realize that she was right, when i found myself in United States. And i start to think about her with all the regret, but that was to late because i did not listen to her. Going back now, i will listen carefully to all my professors and try to learn each course, memorize them for life without a joke, because there are some courses are keep coming back in College and you notice that you have forgotten everything. Some examples as maths and history of the world. And you feel embarrassed when the teacher talks about World War I and II and you don't have anything to say about , unable to answer questions , you feel diminish.

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As a high school senior you are overwhelmed with everything life throws your way, especially school. Classes become harder, time seems to run out, prom is around the corner, and if you?re lucky you?ll be turning the big ?1-8?. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have so much to say. First, I would tell myself if I thought that high school was hard, think twice because it doesn?t come close to college. You have to make a 360 degree adjustment. You must learn how to use time effectively; also know that there?s a time for play and a time for seriousness. Secondly, your professor will not constantly remind you of when assignments are due. You are given a syllabus after that you are considered an adult not a child. You must know when assignments are due and hand them in on time. Lastly, if you?re the first generation in your family to graduate from high school, as I am. Don?t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has been there before. You?re not the first or last to ask them!

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Even if I tried to imagine myself as a high school senior it wouldn't be possible because that was not the case for me. I only made it to a junior in high school. I was very foolish back then and school was not my first priority. But if I could go back in time and taklk to myself I would tell myself to cherish everything I am learning now (in high school) because the information that is being taught in high school will come back to haunt me in college. If I fail to retain any of this information it will bite me in the rear in the long run. Being able to complete my four years in college will not be possible if I am unable to retain the information provided. I would feel hopeless and begin to lose hope and confidence in myself which is a barrier towards achieving one's goal. Everything being taught in high school is just a glimpse of what college life is like and if you can't deal with it in high school how are you going to deal with it in college. Retain information taught because it's essential.

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