The transition from a small high school where everyone is familiar to a large college with five campuses can be intimidating; not to mention the unpronounceable names of classes required to take for your major. I, like many of my classmates, slowly began doubting myself. "If the valedictorian from the graduating class before me just dropped out of college because of 'bad teachers', how am I going to go to college a succeed?" I asked myself. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would remind my self that I am an individual, and my goal is different than anyone else and no one can achieve my goal but me. I would remind myself that teachers are humans too and, just like I did in high school, if I get to know my teachers and ask for help when I need it they will be glad to help. Professors like to see their students succeed and I will do exactly that if I try. I would constantly remind myself of a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, "Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was."
If I could go back and tell my high school senior self about college, I would tell myself that college is an ongoing challenge. I would tell myself about how hard it is to learn the material and test well on it. I would also advice myself to read the text books ahead of time so I could have a better understanding what the class and lectures are about beforehand. However, the best piece of advice I would tell myself is to work ahead and never procrastinate on anything. Once you fall behind it’s hard to get out of the route without making yourself sick staying up so late. The hardest thing to prepare my former self is to tell him that hanging out with friends is much different than it is in high school. I would say, seeing your friends is not an everyday event. It is actually a treat and privilege to find time to socialize with your good friends. The last piece of advice I would give myself, is to work hard in everything that you do and never get discourage from a failure. And finally try not to stress. It’s a waste of time.
I took a year off after high school, and worked for an attorney. Not having a vehicle to drive the twenty miles to work, I took two city buses to get to my job. I saved up enough money to go to the junior college the next year. I lived on my own, so I needed the money to pay my bills while I went to school and played volleyball. The following semester, I worked locally in order to save money so that I could go back to the junior college in the fall and play volleyball again. I would not have changed what I did, it's the next part that I would have changed. I received a full ride scholarhsip for volleyball to the University of San Diego. I squandered this gift by not taking the academics seriously. I was asked to leave after the year was over. I learned a very hard lesson. When given a gift, use it to the fullest. If given the opportunity today, I would enjoy every moment of that scholarship, and know that with my goal now of becoming a paralegal, I would complete the program. That would show my gratitude!
If I could go back in time and teach my high school senior self a thing or two about college life, I would say "Don't procrastinate." Waiting until the last minute in college causes failing grades as opposed to in high school when teachers let you turn in things late. Deadlines are made for a reason, and that goes for tuition and other fees as well. As a high school senior, teachers always told you to "take notes if you want" but I never understood the importance of notes until i started college. I would tell myself to take as many notes as possible and that notes could only help, never hurt. An important piece of information I would tell myself as a high school senior would be to make sure you are always on time. College classes are held at a certain time, so make sure you are there on time. I would tell myself that there is no such thing as tardies in college. Your professor might allow you to miss one class and after that it is a failing grade for you. That is no fun, and is in no way a great start to college.
Learning will be fun! As you grow up you will understand the importance of your education. Earn your degree now so you can excell later in life. No you will never need to know every aspect of algebra, but you do need to learn how to learn - that is why you are learning algebra! Stop fighting the system and become an important part of it, you do matter! Relationships, jobs, and your fantastic looks will change - sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Never spend a day of your life upset because of something you can not control, you will forget these issues. Always look for the best in people and situations, laugh as often as you can, and remember that life is short. When you become older, have fantastic memories to reflect upon and desires to motivate you. Always have a dog in your life and know that you will out live each one of them, it is part of living. Drive a car that makes you happy and proud! Only eat things that are wonderful! Have fun, it is your life, good luck!
If I could go back to old me and speak to myself as a senior in high school I would say, "Study for the SAT's and focus on your GPA more." In high school I had a good amount of friends and a decent GPA of about a 3.0. Had I know that increasing my SAT scores and getting higher would have qualified me for more scholarships and opened up more colleges I would have really tried harder in high school. Before you graduate the pressure is on to say good-bye to old friends and teachers to go into "The Real World" in reality we live in the real world and it shouldn't be used as something to scare us. During our teenage years we are emotional and highly influenced by small things, so the normal pressures made me just want to get through senior and graduate. The biggest misconception in high school was college was a big and different new world. It can be fun and exciting and new but if it was told to as just another year it would have made things easier. Just starting over like middle to high school.
My number one piece of advice to myself as a high school senior would be to focus as much as I could on my academics so I could obtain my educational goals faster. I happened to be the common high school senior who caught the "senioritis" bug and admittedly slacked off during not only my senior, but also junior, years. I fell so far behind that I could not even walk with my class and had to take courses at the local community college in order to earn my diploma. Now, although I am only 26, I would sit my younger self down and say, "Listen. I know what is best for you and I know what you are capable of. Don't let the distractions of insignificant things hinder your progress. All you have to do is focus enough to graduate on time, and even take dual-courses while still in high school, and you will not regret it. You can be 22 and have completed a Bachelor's degree, or you can be 26 and have two years to go. I know you'll make up your own mind, but please just take heed to this advice."
I would say don’t do it. Don’t run in the first race of the year injured. Running in that meet caused me to fracture 10 bones in my foot .The the damage goes much further than the physical. Little did I know that my over-eager attitude would lead to my downfall? That Injury caused me to spiral out of control and led to virtually every mistake I have made. If I could have avoided the injury I could have avoided everything else. I ended up getting hooked on drugs, used women and got kicked out of my house. When I finally met the love of my love she left me because of my mental state. It caused me to lose everything. The 2 years since then I've still been struggling to regain my foothold and fix the mess I caused. Getting back into school and paying for it is the last step. I have made my amends, kicked the habits and reconciled. Now it’s time I get back on the track, stay healthy make good grades and mentor those around me from making the same mistakes I did. I am ready to do good.
I truly wish I could go back in time and talk to myself in high school. Honestly, I wish I could go back to a high school freshman. There are so many opportunities out there for scholarships that I could have gotten if I had applied myself in high school. I would tell myself not to skip class, study, and do my assignments. I would tell myself that college is not like high school, and there are no second chances. Once you lose your financial aid, all costs come out of your pocket. I would tell myself to focus now, because the choices you make right now will affect your future more than you can possibly imagine. I would tell myself that because of those choices, I am now struggling to make ends meet, and pay for my classes. I would tell myself to imagine what it's like to work full-time, be 21 years old, and not even be half-way done with your degree. I would ask myself, how does that make your feel? This is now my reality - I would tell myself that life is not a game.
You remember when you parents used to push you in grade school to "try your hardest" and "do your best", because education is the most important thing you will ever have. I personally used to just let those words go in one ear and out the other. After graduating high school and taking that first baby step to registering for classes in college, I thought it was going to be a breeze! No one was marking attendence and calling your parents if you skipped class, you didn't have teachers watching your every move. Well I wish I could go back to high school and tell myself that if you just buckle down, forget about the freedom, the friends and the fun of college life, for just a short time, you will be able to experience that stuff after you finish college (and you will actually have the money to do so!) But NO! I am here, 22 years old, still taking classes, when I could have been done by now. I now know what to tell my daughter when she makes that hard transition.