The biggest life lesson I gained from college are wanting great things for your life is the ultimate priority. The agenda is to construct plans or options for anything that comes in my way especially when the best and worst come at me. Be prepared and not rely to one alternative because it is all about taking risks and willing to accept transition. Be someone where later generations can look up to and the ability to do anything possible to thrive in the future. Be grateful that you chose to continue to further your education given the chance to compete, achieve and overcome challenges. You will not trade this special memory for anything in the world. These favorable moments will not happen overnight but it can and will happen. You need to refuse to wait those incredible opportunities and the best step to do so is chasing those dreams. Do not stress about the minor things because problems are temporary, quitting, however, lasts forever. As you grow older, you will be content. You are not alone trying to figure out what my path should be. Everything will fall into place and enjoy every minute of it.
As the daughter of a domestic violence surviving mother, a Latina, and a woman, I never mused on the possibility of attending college. I had small dreams because I felt myself incompetent as a woman and a Latina. If I could go back in time and advise a younger me during senior year of high school, I would simply urge myself to dream big without boundaries. Then I would prompt myself to connect with people who could guide and mentor me as I reach my potential. In order to dream big I would need to explore my options, and I would suggest a younger me, to do just that. Once reaching a decision as to what field of study I would like to go into, I would advise myself to get in contact with people who have an expert's knowledge in the field of my choice. Decision making is a much lighter rock to turn when you understand what will happen once you put it down. A mentor could help you understand that. Presently, I have executed both of these points. However, had I known them earlier, my education would have been a much smoother ride.
High school sucks. I know you're unhappy with the community you're surrounded by. Do you think having the perfect group of friends is asking for too much? It is, unless you venture out from the internet and out of your parents' house. You're a shy kid right now, but going out of your comfort zone to meet new people and forge friendships will truly be satisfying. I promise. Go to De Anza and attend that first Students for Justice club meeting. You will love what every opportunity has to offer afterwards. The club members are understanding, thoughtful and supportive enough to be the community that you've been searching for. Individually, they're far from perfect, but as a group, you're all like-minded and driven enough to achieve the same goals in your future campaigns. You'll be making the most out of your community college experience. So, High School Senior Me, take a deep breathe and forgive. Let go of the past, experience what the world has to offer you in the present, and build a prosperous future for yourself.
The biggest change that I would make if I were to go back would be to plan for college a lot sooner, because you never know what you will be hit with financially down the road. For example, I just recently was hit with a car $3500.00 car repair bill, which took a pretty good chunk of what I could have used to pay for college. Also as high school senior you are more worried about what is going to happen on a day to day basis, like taking tests and senior ball, rather than looking further down the road. Which leads me to my next piece of advice I would give myself, which would be to do the research on possible universities I would want to attend to get a better idea on how much it would actually cost. Overall even though I would't be able to pick the best college for myself at the time, due to being undeclared, it would have given me a better idea of how much financial aid to look for. In order to be one step ahead and less stressed, you had better plan out your finances sooner rather than later.
Me to myself: Don't worry about what other people think of you. That's not punk rock at all. Speaking of punk rock, listen to more of it and start a band. Also, play, write, read, and listen to as much music as you can to finish that demo tape you've wanted to write since you first picked up a guitar. Do it now because you have time. Also, get a job as soon as possible becase having money is helpful. Make sure you try to get experience working with kids so that you can become a camp counselor when you turn 21. Learn about good music schools outside of California because once you leave the state, you will truly be able to live your life as an individual. Also, I want you to understand all of the cliches people throw at you. You are a good person, you are smart, and good looking and confident. Just remember that indtead of hating yourself because it is true. I know you won't believe me and it'll take a while to understand but just keep it in mind and don't let it go to your head, buddy.
First of all, remember that your education is all about you. If possible, remove all other people as variables. Don't choose to stay home because you want to be close to just one person. There are amazing people to be met anywhere in the world and you can always reunite with friends to share your new experiences. Most importantly, don't fear the cost. There is money available to everyone. The government and other organizations want to help you strive. You'll get help as long as you earn it and go out to look for it. Still, remember to save as much as you can. As scary as it is to have to decide what to study, where to live, and how to pay for it (among other things) you're going to love it. What you're about to gain from college will change you in ways you won't realize now. You'll lose some things but gain so many others. College is full of trade offs. Be open to anything and everything. Have fun and make the best of this opportunity.
"Kristen, your future is created by the decisions you make now. To create your future you must follow your dream of becoming a successful movie editor. I spent a year just talking about my dream but never pursuing it. I found ways to blame everyone but myself for my dreams not happening. It was easier to blame others because its took away my responsibility to myself. It took me time to realize that I was failing myself by not doing everything in my power to make my dream a reality. Your life is controlled by the decisions you make so you must not make bad ones in fear of where a good one might take you. To try and fail is better then being afraid to even pursue your dream in the first place. Kristen, don't be afraid of what you know you want."
Knowing what I know now, how much work goes into finding the right school and being able to afford school, I would definitely tell myself to put a lot more effort into researching schools, financial aid, scholarships, get a real head start. I am now 22, having spent three years at a community college, waiting until last minute to research and apply for financial aid because I was accepted to a school in France but can't afford it without outside assistance. I would also tell myself to stop procrastinating and get a jump start on looking for Universities, because, with the economy now, and with how many schools are not accepting incoming freshmen and transfers, I should have had this stuff done long ago.
Do not wait to go to college. Go now, take care of your future now. You will have so much more accomplished by the time you are my age if you take the time to go and get your nursing degree now. College life is not hard, you just have to manage your time between work and school to make sure you get your homework done. I know you can do it. You have the drive, you just need to stop thinking you are not smart enough because you are. Don't let it take you as long as it took me to realize that. You are smart enough and you are worth it. And it's not hard at all to adjust to more school work and making new friends. You have been doing that same thing the past 12 years. Take the plunge!
I would advise myself to think everything through entirely and think about what I actually want to do with my life so I can accurately prepare a plan for college classes. The college social life is not much different than high school life, so I do not think I could give much advice other than telling myself to realize that a lot of the people I am "friends" with, are just people that I have gone to high school with. Basically do not get too attached to everyone. But in terms of school I would tell myself not to procrasitnate with anything.