CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Top Questions

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

Neal

I'd tell myself to be myself, wear what you want and have fun. Also tell myself to relax aand be more confident I was too tentative in social situations. I would also tell myself to please focus a lot more in all my classes and to focus solely on life after high school which would of been college. If I could talk to myself back then I would of saved 8 years of finding myself. It took me 8 years to finally discover what I wanted to do as a career which is being a Parole/Probation Officer. I could of saved myself a lot of grief and money lost. I've definitely learned a lot of lessons but if I could I would surely go back to my high school self and maybe improved my life.

Lisa

I would tell myself to remain calm, and that there is nothing wrong with admitting that a certain choice (or major) was wrong for me. When I entered college I was so afraid of switching majors, due to the fact that I might not stay focused, that I let a bad major choice ruin my GPA. I was always taught to not switch my major, because it was considered "unfocused and irresponsible", and to stick with what I picked. After academic counseling sessions I gathered up the confidence I needed to finally switch majors, and I have been just as focused and driven as I was when I started. Thanks to my switch, I was able to bring my overall GPA back up to a 3.2 from a 2.6, with a 3.7 major GPA. Now I am happier with my work and workload, enjoy learning what I am being taught and look forward to graduating soon with my Bachelors' of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

ryan

I took 15+ years between high school and college. In that time I've worked had two kids and struggled through. I would tell myself that I should have got clean at an earlier age instead of actively trying to destroy myself in front of those around me. It is hard at this age to balance work, marriage and kids with school to be successful at all four areas.

helene

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.

Jose

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.

cassandra

I would advise myself that things are going to get hard and I am going to be faced with obstacles but how I handle those obstables will make me the person I desire to be. I would say that education is priceless and is something that noone can take away from you. I would say that in the future the world will demand higher education professionals and if I am up for the challenge I will soar like the eagle I am. I would tell myself that being in the national honor society is just the start and I will become a Ronald E. Mcnair Scholar, travel and conduct research. There will be experiences and cultural knowledge that will broden my horizons and allow me to become a lifelong scholar

Tatiana

I would of told myself to do more dual enrollment classes so I could of saved myself money and I could of started the Dental Hygiene Program right out of high school.

Bianca

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.

rebecca

Upon reflection of my years in high school, it is safe to say that I would tell myself an innumerable amount of things. First and foremost, I would prepare myself for the financial readiness of balancing my finances without having to work full-time. I would have also created a savings account throughout my high school years, if in fact I ever needed it to pay for any and all expenses related to college. Also, I would have made various visits to the college, becoming familiar with the setting and people who both worked and taught at the college. I would have looked further into the programs offered, clubs open, and sports teams available to students. As a high school senior, I should have been a mentor to younger students at the high school- enriching them with as much information and becoming a resource for them if ever needed. I wished I would’ve spread awareness not only about my college, but attending college in general and the importance of setting it as a future aspiration.

Stephanie

Hello Stephanie. As a High School senior, I strongly advise you to take all of your classes and professors seriously. Do well in your classes and take extraccuricular activites and sports. Get to know your school; know its history and explore the options it offers for you. If there is something you think you do not like, go for it! Give it a try because once you do, you will be certain that it is not for you. Most importantly, take Advanced Placement courses if offered; if you do, you can have the option of skipping a few required courses because you already took them in High School! Language courses are also good to take! You can skip this in college and leave room for more exploration, if possible. Again, I highly recommend that you explore your options and continue to do so once you get to college. It will be a great reward for you and from you.

Amber

I would tell myself to buckle down and stick with my first college choice. I did not like my first college and therefore threw away a full ride scholarship to school to go somewhere else. In all honesty, where I transfered to was no better then where I came from and it even took me longer to get my associates degree. I'm extremely disappointed in myself for throwing away such a great opportunity. Now I am in debt from student loans. If I could I would show my 18 year old self my Sallie Mae loans. I know for a fact I would be angry with myself. Dispite my debt, I am still committed to getting by BA.

Stephanie

The advice I would give myself would be to be more independent. I would tell myself to start asking questions and handling things on your own becuase in college you are the person who is responsible for everything. You have to put effort in to achieve the results. I know in highschool I received alot of help from my family, teachers and friends but the college life doesn't take you by the hand. Also college is a time for staying focused on goals and what you want to be later on in life. Partying is okay but don't leave work until the night before it is due. You will be completly exhausted! The best advice I'd give myself though would be to not schedule any classes until around 9:00am because having to wake up early for an 8:00am math class was the worst decision. I know myself and I'm not a morning person, what was I thinking. Oh and mom was right eat breakfast!

Gareth

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.

Jonathan

If i were to go back in time, i would advise myself to never give up. Being a high school athlete i got injured very badly my junior year, that i never thought i would be able to play in college, so i lost sight of my athletism as well. I would advice myself not to think that college isn't the right move for me because if i was to start as soon as i got out of high school i would have already been in my career i'm trying to pursure, which is nursing.

Stephanie

The best advice I could give my high school self is something I've really always known: get off your lazy butt, get to work, and pursue what you really want. I slacked off big-time senior year because I knew I could get away with it. Now I wish I could go back and get the highest average I was capable of. My transition into college has really made me realize how important it is to have a strong work ethic and make something of yourself. I now realize that if I want to go places in life, it's not going to just fall into my lap. I wish I could go back to last year and tell myself to get a jumpstart.

Carlene

Never give up

Stephanie

I think one of the most important things that I missed out on when I went to college because of my expectations was the idea that I actually had a lot of freedom. Freedom to do what I wanted without Mom and Dad, yeah, but more importantly, the freedom to do things I had been afraid of before, like finding my own church, starting a youth bible study group, making friends with people who weren't my "type". High school can restrict a person so much, and it fit me into a little 'this is what people want me to be' box that I had a hard time breaking out of when I went to college. I didn't fully embrace my independence because of the fear of trying something new. If it were possible, I wish I could go back in time and say "Little Me, you are what you make of yourself, not what others make of you. Grab onto what you want and don't let go, not for ANYONE. Live your passion and walk by integrity. Oh, and no matter what you do, STAY AWAY from frat parties."

Rimsha

Keep your eyes open: there is more to life than you imagine. Life will not revolve around the social group you sit with at lunch, nor will it concern with your status. Your grades and academic success will speak for you, both in your college and social life. Strive for excellence, and success will open its doors for you. Don't chase after success; have success chase you. Concentrate on your work, remain career-orientated, and you will become what you can be.

Courtnei

As I sit here in my dorm room in Zamelek, a small island inside of Cairo, Egypt, I can only say that this is the most important and valuable experience I have gotten out of my college experience. Yes, they have provided a relatively inexpensive, in comparison to other schools, way of receiving my education, as well as a plethora of unforgettable experiences. But the opportunity to study abroad in Egypt during this winter semester of January 2011 has to be the most amazing experience John Jay could have bestowed upon me. I've only been here a week, but I have not only gotten lost in several different directions on one small island, but I have also climbed down into the tombs of the Great Pyramids of Giza. I look forward to cementing this trip with trips to Alexandria, Luxor and even a bazaar. Truly, this is the most valuable thing John Jay has given me, and I honeslty thank them and the professors who assisted me in applying for this program.

Janet

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.

carolin

College provided me with different insights in life and academically. I learned how to think outside of the box. The education in High School was easily given to the students. However, college students have to exert more effort into their education in order to achieve their degree. There were times when college was challenging academeically which only led me to grow and choose different routes in order to achieve my degree. College provided me with a sense of independence and choice in my education. Moreover, college is vaulable to attend in order to grow as a person both professionally and personally.

Rebekah

I would have begun applying for colleges and scholarships earlier so I could have spent more time writing scholarships. I would also check on the legal age to take out a loan in my state instead of finding out a few weeks before I was supposed to go to New York that neither I nor my mother qualified to take out a student loan. I think I also should have spent more time writing my application essay; even though I was accepted, I recently read my essay again an couldn't believe I'd written something that bad. I think that, when applying to college, the most important thing to do is to give yourself plenty of time to do everything and to make sure you know all that you can about the process.

Samantha

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!"

Deanna

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would have a lot of things to say. First, I would tell myself that the teachers make college seem so intimidating when in actuality, it's not. College is fun for the most part, and that's what high school teachers should talk about just as much as they talk about working hard. It's a lot of work at times, but it's very different from high school. You have way more independence. The proffesors sometimes don't even know your name. You can be just a number to them. But, you're in college for yourself, for your education, not anybody else's. If you work hard in high school, it will definetly pay off in college, especially if you were lucky enough to gain AP Credits.

Emily

If I could go back and talk to myself before I went to college I would have alot to say. I would let myself know that its ok to ask for help because at John Jay there are so many people willing to help. I would have definitly encouraged myself to apply for more scholarships. I would tell myself that I am going to do really well and not to worry because worrying won't help. That I will do so well, it will feel great and things will change for the better. I would warn myself about the teachers who werent so great and let myself know to make some of the important connections that I made alot sooner. I would still tell myself to wait the three yeas Iwaited because I belive that my life experience has helped me so much and given me the drive I needed to do well. There is alot I would change but there is no much I would not. I truly believe that John Jay College was the best choice for me, I don't believe that I would have recieved the support I have recieved at this school from anywhere else.

Rosemary

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.

sarah

The adivce I would give to my high school self is simply not to wait. Don't be afraid to make a decison about university. Sure the transition can be rough, however the transition later in life, once you've taken on real life adult responsibilites, is much more difficult.

Jose

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.

Veronica

If I could go back in time & talk to myself as a high school senior, the advice I would give myself is to be a more self centered & organized person. Learn how to be punctual & on time with projects, papers & any other work from school. Alos, I would tell myself research colleges with an open mind & explore the various majors, programs & the background of the college I may wish to attend. maybe i might have missed something very unusual or unique about as certain university. Look for what specific areas Im interested in & then apply for those colleges. Most importantly, be very time wise managable. Be able to manage how much time I am going to be able to put into college homework, studying & then work with my personal life. Maybe I might have to work part time & school might have to be shifted to work with my schedule. Lastly, get ready to enjoy myself & live college life to the fullest.

Shanae

Be prepared and work hard because the work you do in highschool can pay off when you go to college.

Romeo

I would tell my high self to go to Albany and not listen to my mother. I would tell him to follow his heart and his dream and go to Albany. I would also tell him to never take second best but to choose the best college. I would tell him to do better on those SATs to get better scholarships. I would tell him to study psychology because thats what he is going to like in the future.

Margarita

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.

Deborah

It has been over 30 years since I graduated from high school. Knowing what I know now,I would have concentrated more on my education. and would have received the degree early enough to be able to have the career I have always wanted. Although I do not regret what I have achieved, Served in the military, having a wonderful daughter, grandchildren, I believe that by continuing my college education earlier,it would have greatly improved my life, my children and grandchildren's lives.

Marie

Dear Marie, I am writing to you five years later at $40,000 in debt. I was able make this one opportunity to reach out to us to prevent the five years of no direction in our college career. First let me start off by saying that our high school advisors can never really tell us where we?re going to be and what we?re going to do later in life. There are always going to be people that try to bring us down, but ignore them and persevere. Secondly, take as many opportunities as we can to learn more about ourselves and what we truly desire to make our educational career more worthwhile. To put it simple terms, college is an experience to find our place in life. Use all our resources to obtain direction in what we?re most passionate about. And lastly, apply for as many scholarships as possible because we both learned that no one pays our bills and it is only up to us to change our future. Love always, Me

Tibizy

I wish that I took all of my classes more seriously and didn't settle for just barely passing because now I have to get use to studying and that is something that I have never done.

Julissa

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!

Vonyke

I would tell myself that College is not at all like High School. Yes I do have a lot of freedom but their are still consequences that comes along with the freedom. I would advise myself to work hard because the work does not get any easier and that I should also get as much help in subjects I do not know so that when it is time to attend college I would not really have any problems with the class. I would also advise myself to start asking questions in class. When you don't ask questions that is when things get more difficult and I would not know how to catch up after it has gone far into the class. The teachers are their to help you not to hurt you. I would tell myself to look into more scholarships because then my mother would not have to scrape in order to pay my tuition or for the books that I would need. With these advices I think I would become a better student and I would accomplish more in college. Although it would still be hard, the transition would have been easier.

Kershima

Do not take any time off go straigt to college upon high scholl graduation. It will be worth it!

Emmy

Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, the advice I would give myself is to always keep my mind focused on my responsibilities. I must always sty punctual with school assignments because once you fall behind in some type of class work, it becomes more difficult to catch up as time passes by since more work piles up. Also, the school offers a lot of services, whether it's academic-related or extra-curricular, I should take advantage of them to have a better college experience. Many of my questions can be answered if I search for it in the services offered in the school and also the extra-curricular services can help improve my personal college experience by providing leisure time besides only studying and doing class work. Overall, the college experience is something that I have learned from in all the aspects of my life.

Sara

Stay with your parents as long as you can! It's hard to work full time to pay rent and bills while attending classes full time. Get all the general courses done at a community college, it will be cheaper in the long run, because you can transfer those credits to the school you ultimately want to attend.

Andrew

i would tell myself to try harder to win more scholarships, and to take more college credit classes. i would also tell myself to think more about what type of career i want and to follow my passion instead of my backup. lastly, i would say to try and dorm away from home.

carolina

If I would have the amazing chance to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, i would definitly advice myself to first of all enjoy my last days in there. the second advice i would give to myself is to spend more time in after school prograams for english, in order to help improve my language skills since college essays are way harder than those made in high school. Those would be the advises i would myself.

Alejandra

If I was able to go back in time in give myself an advice for college it would to study hard. I would also tell myself that no matter what happens never give up on your dreams and always tried the best or a little more than the best you can because at the end every effort and all the hard work will pay off. I would tell myself not to let people put me down to stand high and fight for what I believe is right.

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