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DeVry University-Illinois

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

The truth is, young people never take advice from others, even if they have useful experiences to share. However, if I could go back in time and actually listen to what I had to say, I would treasure every word. During senior year, everyone would be talking about the neat universities they were planning on attending, except for me. I would attend a nearby community college. Community colleges are able to provide superb education, with a comparatively small cost. Aside from this, I would tell myself narrow my field of study to something I love doing. Instead of listening to family members talk about the most financially rewarding profession, I would choose an area I wouldn't mind working in for the next few decades. In addition, my ghost from the past would tell me that there is nothing stopping me from attaining what I want. When I was in high school, I worried about whether or not I could afford continuing a college level education. The truth with this, is that there are many opportunties in receiving funds that will help you pay off your degree later in life. I really hope this is one of them.

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College to some can be considered a rite of passage as students grow from an unsure high school student into a well prepared college graduate which leads me to why college is so valuable to attend. As a high schooler, leaving the nest for the first time, college prepares you for what to expect in the real world once you are ready to begin your career. When in school you must meet your teachers' deadline's for papers and if you forget then you cannot receive extra credit such as in high school, you must deal with the consequences. In the real world the same rules apply you are no longer treated like a child and given numerous chances, you must show that you are one of the best and continue to prove that you are a valuable asset to you company and not a liablilty. College prepares you so that students do not feel like they are thrown directly into the fast paced and well driven career environment, but instead gives students the ability to mentally and emotionally prepare theirselves for the challenges soon to come and to work towards making their mark in this world.

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If I could go back in time to my high school years the first thing I would do is tell myself to talk to a counselor and/or college advisor on my very first day of school. I would advise me get to know them and ask them to give me information on everything about college. I would help me to research what opportunities are out there and get some assistance in finding out what career interests me most. I would tell myself to choose living on campus away from home for the best experience. I would tell myself to visit several different colleges and gather as much information about each one before I make my final decision. I would tell myself to visit every website that has scholarship information like campusdiscovery.com. I would advise myself to find a mentor. Someone who is already in college and going through the experience and can give me good advise. I would tell myself to volunteer whenever possible. I would tell myself to study hard and get all A's. I would tell myself to take the ACT and the SAT tests after much preparation for the best score possible.

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As the famous phrase goes “If I knew then what I know now….” would my life have turned out differently? The answer for me is a resounding yes. If I had the opportunity to talk to a younger version of me, knowing what I have been through and learned over the years, I would make some slight changes to better my life. I was a typical high school teenager, just going with the flow. The problem with me was never pushing to strive for the best. Due to this laid back attitude, I had no idea what my goals and dreams were by the time graduation approached. It would take me years from one job to the next, to realize that there is no future without education. This is where the mature me would step in, encouraging the younger me to step out of my comfort zone and be pro active. I’d approach school differently, with some zest and interest, rather than just getting through it for the sake of the grades. I would take advantage of scholarships and opportunities granted to minorities and counselors. My biggest mistake was not having goals at that time, not knowing my worth.

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College is an investment for your future. It is like a garden that has the capability to feed you the rest of your life. If you place time, energy, and determination into your education, such as a garden, it will reward you with the needed sustenance to allow you to flourish as a person. Education is not only an essential tool in life, it is a blessing. Don't ever mistake that the opportunity and ability to learn is a gift that should be seized. While college is unmistakably hard work, you must have enjoyment and balance as part of your life. I encourage you to socialize and make new friends while maintaining responsibility. Learn to be financially savvy. You will be tempted to go down a path of materialism. Understand that your parents worked their entire lives to have what they do now. You cannot expect to reach that same point this soon in life, and going in debt to get there as a short cut is a tremendous and haunting mistake. Good credit is essential. The last piece of advice I can give is don’t be afraid to ask the cute blond out in your math class.

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If I was given the chance to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that with a little bit of discipline and diligence, I could affort to pay for a college education. I would also tell myself that my doubts about not being able to afford college were only mere obstacles in the grand scheme of life. In addition, I would tell myself to ask the assistance of a professional to help me in my planning and that doing so would alleviate incredible amounts of future stress. I would remind myself that I trully have a gift for helping others and that not using it to its full potential would be a crucial mistake. In addition, I would reiterate that time is of the essence and that putting it off will only create more struggles, anxiety, and hardships in the future. It would also be important that I inform my old self that I am very good at planning projects and that planning to go to college would be very similar to the career path I will choose as a project manager. I would simply state "You were made to do this. "

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I have gotten so much from my education; looking back at what I have learned and accomplished is amazing. I have priceless knowledge in the ever changing Science field. I am no longer a follower,now a leader. I could never have gained the confidence I now have with out continuing my education. I was told I would never ge anywhere with "just" a G.E.D.,but I am showing those people that this is my destiny, and nothing will stop me from reaching my dreams to become an R.N. My family is so excited to see me attain my goals. I have become a very positive role model in my two daughters lives. They are young, but are planning their future education from seeing their mother prove you can do anything your heart desires. That is my driving force to dedicate myself to eduction. I would never trade my experiences for the world. It has changed me so much in a positive way. I one day hope to return to my college to be a nurse educator because of the wonderful experiences I have had here. Continuing my education was the best ting I have ever done.

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Study as hard as possible time flies by so fast within a blink of an eye. One thing that parents do not tell you or talk to you about is your credit. Do not apply for several credit cards, because they will haunt you in the future. Make sure when you look into colleges and what you want your degree in be in, make sure it is something that you will want to do in 20 years. Make sure your decision is not just for the moment. Think about everything. Required time away from hom. And hours you will have to work. And what the expectations are for the job. Be sure to do your research make sure you are comfortable with the amount of money that you will make. Also just getting a bachelors degree just isn't good enough make sure you get as much education as you can. To increase the likelyhood you will get the job you want. Try not to have kids early, you want to make sure you can provide from them in all ways. Kids while trying to complete your education will slow you down. There will be plenty of time for that.

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In my opinion, college is valuable in many ways. First and foremost, without a college education, there is really no sure way of making it in this world. Not only that, the education that one learns in college not only helps them in the professional world, but also in everyday life. Courses such as psychology and criminal justice appeal to life outside of the workplace. Learning things such as, why people get angry and how they cope with anger, and why babies act and feel the way they do are all subjects can enhance ourselves as human beings. Being apart of a college community has opened my eyes to a lot of things and has subjected me to a lot of different people from all different aspects of life. Experiences such as learning of different cultures and how the cultures affect the world we live in and meeting people from those cultures are all moments that a priceless. I would encourage anyone to go to college even if they just want the experience. Going to college is something I definitely something I do not regret.

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Do not wait!!!! It is imperative that you have a formal degree from an accredited college to be considered for any growth opportunities in the future. It may seem right now like all you really need is a job; a job that pays the bills and allows for some entertainment. But it is so much more than that. Once you start your family and realize what you really need in life is a career you love and a job you love going to everyday, you will realize you should have gone to college. But, going to college many years after you leave high school is very difficult. As time progresses you will start to forget some of the things you learned in high school that you will need to know again to be successful in college. In addition to that, you will have to take time away from your family to complete the process. Fortunately there are online degree programs available, but you have to be committed to these programs in order to be successful and the online learning environment is not for everyone. Don't delay....go to college today!

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