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Diablo Valley College

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

Dear me as a high school senior, Here?s some advice as you go to college. As soon as you get there, make an appointment with an academic counselor and meet with one before every semester to ensure you?re on the right path. Feel free to add ?fun? classes, but don?t eliminate the general education courses. Get to know your instructors; they are your allies. Speak up in class. By doing so, you will become more comfortable and confident speaking in front of groups, you will learn the material more easily and you will make a favorable impression on your instructors. Be friendly towards your classmates. Knowing your classmates helps you look forward to attending class and provides good study partners. Participate in extracurricular activities. It will help you meet people, make friends and feel a greater connection to your school. Take this once in a lifetime opportunity to add diversity to your life by trying new things and getting outside your comfort zone. Lastly, yet importantly, STAY IN SCHOOL. Once you leave, life has a way of taking you in a different direction making it very difficult to return. Soak up everything you can and have fun!

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college, I would change some, but not all, things. First, I would tell myself that being in high school is the perfect time to try new things--to experiment with different fields in order to find what I am truly interested in and passionate about. Discovering my passion would lead to a definite major which would have made my class schedule and college planning a whole lot less stressful. Plus, college work takes up a lot of time; it becomes more of a time to focus on becoming an adult with endless responsiblities. Another piece of advice for transitioning into college would be to stay extremely organizes and self-motivated. College provides all students with the freedom to attend or not attend class, to study or not. It makes punishment for not working hard, much less apparent. However, in order to achieve in college and in life, I found it crucial to find a sense of self-motivation within myself and to be completely determined and organized. Only I can do the work to succeed in my life.

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As a high school senior, college seems like a load of stress and competition. But I have learned college is about self-exploration. Don't concern yourself with what you think you should be studying, or with what degree will earn you a high-paying job. Choose classes that pique your interest and challenge yourself in areas you feel are beyond your competence level. Although you will learn tons of new information about the world in college, you will learn even more about yourself. It seems daunting to have so many choices and career paths open to you, but look at this as an opportunity to redefine yourself and your interests. College is not your enemy as an evaluation of your success or lack thereof, but the means for trying new things. College is an unfamiliar and foreign environment; so explore. It's never too late to discover a new path in terms of careers and yourself. Just because you were the shy girl in high school doesn't mean you can't become a leader in college. Grasp every opportunity to challenge and learn more about yourself. Most importantly, remember to have fun.

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I would strongly advice myself to be more confident and outgoing. I would tell myself to translate those two qualities in the form of community service, volunteer work and leadership roles which not only look good on the college applications but are just beneficial in general. I would tell myself to get in the habit of reading at least five books a month solely because one gets smarter after each page. I would try to convince my younger self by stating the I have not performed at my optimal level yet because of my inability to do lots of reading. If I plant this seed and establish a good habit during the high school years, it would have a lot of contribution to my successful future including my performance in college. I would also advice myself to get work experience early on, in the form of internships and even talking to people working in the field I am majoring in. With internships, I will get a good glimpse of the working environment and from the people in field I can be enriched with their useful infield experiences which would be beneficial to me when I start working.

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Have you ever sat in bed after a long day and contemplated what you did? That's how I feel about high school. If I had the opportunity to give my highschool self a bit of advice, there are a three things I would pinpoint. First is to excel in school, knowledge is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Graduating in the top of your class can provide numerous opportunities for your college experince and recognition for all future endeavors. Second is to be involved and leed your peers at all times. As a graduate embarking on my journey to complete my Girl Scout Gold Award, I have been exposed to how much of a difference it can make in your community when you take action and make your town a better place. I wish I had showed this trait through all of highschool rather than just beginning to grasp it towards the end. Lastly, I would tell myself to stay active. With a healthy lifestyle everything else you aspire to do will fall into place. If Freshman13 year old Danae Daviess knew these things, she would be excelling even faster than she is now. Reach for the stars.

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I look at the me in blue; graduation cap, with the tassle hanging in front of the left of my face, Senior Exhibition Meritorious Medal hanging on top of my gold chord. Touching the gold chord, I would ask myself how such a flimsy material could represent the unsurmountable sum of tear jerking nights I spent in front of a computer in my room alone, writing papers--always Times New Roman font, double-spaced, name, date, period, and teacher in the right hand corner. Or the elation that couldn't keep me from calling my mom after seeing an A beside every one of my teachers' names, even the AP ones, that bumped my GPA up to a 4.33. My voice would falter, preparing myself for the news that college material wasn't difficult, but the environment I would be thrown in was; A place that I was most confident in, would become one of a blunted impact. Streaming ideas, math equations, concepts, would not greet me in such a way that they used to. "For the first time in your life, Avangeline, you won't have other people to inspire you. You'll have to inspire yourself."

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If I could speak with myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to get together with my peers for study groups whenever I feel like I?m slipping in a class. Especially with my most difficult college classes like Economics, Critical Thinking, and Calculus, I knew the best thing for me would be to work with other students to analyze problems, understand answers, and make great friends. Working with others not only allowed me to gain a lot as far as my classes went, but it also allowed me to learn other people?s stories and begin to take advantage of my own life. I?ve met students who?ve gone through drug addiction, financial woes, dyslexia, and family conflicts; meeting them has brought me to appreciate my life so much more. Considering that I now receive mostly A's on my transcript, I believe I've made a very dramatic turn in college for the best. Nowadays, I couldn't be any prouder to show my parents my report card as opposed to trying to hide them during my senior year of high school, a feeling I owe to my experience with study groups in college.

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High school is not the finish line. After three high schools, it is difficult to find the courage to make another set of new friends, the spirit to root for another football team, the motivation to work hard and strive for your best. You graduated middle of your class, without friends, and with that nagging feeling that you could have done better. The good thing is, no matter how untrue it may have felt at the time, you are not defined by your high school career. In fact, it's just the beginning. College is a time of self-discovery. You will meet other people, and join the clubs they tell you about. You will find classes that interest you, and professors who challenge you. You'll try green tea for the first time, and join the group on that weekend ski trip. What starts out as a "filler" class will become your passion, and you'll be surprised to find that you have a knack for learning Russian. In fact, you have a knack for a lot of things. But most importantly, you'll realize the value of hard work, and once again be inspired to reach your goals.

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Remembering myself as a high school senior, i was a very dedicated student. I kept my focus close and my goals closere. That characteristic stayed with me to this present day. High School consisted of minimal homework assignments and reading novels that were 100-200 pages. The tests that were given to us hardly had an effect on our grade. We could have easily brought our grade up by any homework assignments or in class essays. College on the other hand is the complete opposite. Majority of the time, college students are not given homework handouts. Instead we are given a syllabus at the beginning of the school year which informs the student on any upcoming exams which would be given based on the specific chapters that are listed. It is up to the student in how well they are able to organzie their study time and to prepare for the exams. In order to pass your class, constant reading and studying is a must. If i had known what the college expectations were during my transition period, i would have read much more to train myself for what was coming.

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Jonathan, don't be afraid to jump in, get your feet wet and get a college education! Life is not about acquiring material goods or making more money than your fellow neighbor. Money is one of many by-products of discovering your unique gifts, putting those gifts into action and hence serving the greater good of the universe. The best way for you to discover these gifts and make them a part your being is through a higher education. You see Jonathan, human beings run on three major instincts as a means of survival. Our social instincts tell us we want to be a part of something greater than ourselves, security instincts say to acquire as much money as we can and our sexual instincts dictate that we need to be wanted in order to be happy. While these instincts are good as we could not survive without them they can also be harmful to us and the ones we love. The only way to ensure these instincts do not run amuck is for you to find your higher purpose through an education and give it back to the world. This is not my theory Jonathan, it's my experience.

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