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Grand Rapids Community College

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

I would tell myself that going to a vocational school for my Airframe and Powerplant certification would be a waste of time. It would be a much greater benefit to apply for more scholarships and attend Grand Valley State University or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. If I could go back in time and tell myself all of this, I believe that my life would be significantly better off. A major benefit of hind sight is that I get to experience things one way, while thinking about how life would be different had I decided to go another route. Overall, I think that I have learned very valuable life lessons with the route I have taken. I know that I would not be where I am today had I been informed via hind sight of my choices and results since I graduated high school. I would finish off telling my high school senior self that, while I may get further ahead in life by not going to a vocational school, I will miss out on great friendships, a decent job, and some sense of stability.

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The advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be to not care what anybody thinks of you. In college, I've learned that nobody cares about your popularity. It's all just a high school game. When you get into the real world, does it really matter? Don't think of yourself as too good to talk to certain people. We're all humans, we just choose different ways to present who we are to the world. I would tell myself to study harder, it'll be worth it when you get to college. It might have scored myself a higher ACT score. And most definitely, apply for those scholarships. Nobody really understands how beneficial they really are. It's the effort and lack of motivation that people don't want to put into them. If I had that chance, I would redo my whole senior year of high school knowing what I know now. All that time we fought to be better than one another wasn't worth it. Being higher up on the popularity scale didn't mean anything. It's what you make of your life in college now that's important.

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Dear High School Senior Me, You can cry, but just a little bit on your graduation day. Be proud of yourself for making it this far, but just know that it only goes up from here. You're officially in the big leagues. You don't realize this, but the decisions your make after today will effect you for the rest of your life. Please, no matter how tempting, do NOT post all the dramaties of your life on Facebook. You're too mature for that now. There's no time for cliques and bullying in college. Also, it's so sweet how you think you're going to marry your boyfriend, but you're probably not-- break up with him ASAP. It's also time to stop defying your parents. Those silly rules and curfews you hated will be understood in about 5 years. You're going to need them in a lot more ways than you think you will. Lastly, past Me, I'd like to tell you not to worry too much, but worry a little. Because that small amount of fear is what will drive the passion out of you that you'll need. Love, YourFutureSelf

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As a college junnior, looking back one might say that they would tell their high school senior self that they should party less or something along those lines. I never took any liking to those "typpical" college activities. To me it was about making friends and finding the people I knew I could trust and lean on. However, I wouldn't give just that one piece of advice. Friends are everything to me, but what would have really helped me get through is if I would have applied for more scholarships and found a job to get money for school. I'm in a lot of debt right now and I feel bad that my parents still have to support me. I want to support myself but the classes I take are super expensive as an art major. Not only do I have to pay for my classes but all the art supplies as well, and it adds up really fast. If I could take away the debt from myself and my parents it would be a great blessing, that is why I would give my high school self advice to apply for scholorships, get a job, & save up money.

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The simple answer would be to say that I am only getting a higher education to put me above others in our society, but it is truely more than that. During my freshman year at CMU I was really able to figure out who I am as a person since I was exposed to completely new people. I went to CMU without any friends from my hometown and landed in unfamiliar territory. I was able to find out my true personality and figure out who I am as a student. Students should also join organization, clubs, and sports because it really helped me get to know people. I would have stayed at CMU, but I needed to save on cash. GRCC has been great as well, I've met many nice people and its a nice small campus. It just isn't quite the same without the dorm experience especially since I am, once again, living at home. Overall I would say, if you have the money to go to a university then I would say you will get a ton more out of it than at GRCC. Otherwise get the requirements done and then go to a university.

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I would have told myself to be more outgoing and to try a lot harder in my art classes. Also, to apply for more scholarships. I would have tried being more outgoing because I came into college being really shy, and it took me about half a year to break out of that. If I would have started being more outgoing in high school, I would have probably made more friends right away and participated more in class. I would have tried harder in art classes so that I don't suck at drawing right now. Knowing all different types of art forms comes in handy at Kendall, because you need to take drawing and painting and printmaking as well, even though my major is photography. And since I didn't apply for more scholarships, I'm making up for it now and filling this out so I have a chance at getting more money. Kendall is not cheap and every little bit counts! I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider me for this scholarship, even though Kendall was not on the list of schools. Thank you!

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I would tell myself to trust the advice of those with more life experience than myself at that point. This is because, although I was accepted into what is considered a prestigious Art program at Western Michigan University, I ended up wasting my time and money. All I had in mind was to escape my hometown and to be on my own. I had no idea how complicated college can turn out to be, and I also had no idea how much it would cost me in the long run. I ended up changing my major to several different things, and was still confused until about a year ago. I ended up being over $20,000.00 in debt from loans that I could have prevented by going to a community college in the first place. I came so close to joining the military in order to help pay for my education, but in the end, I realized that it was not for me. There are so many trials I could have avoided if I had stopped to think about the details. Hindsight is always 20/20 and tough to accept, but I intend it to make me wiser.

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So, little me, you're graduating in a couple of weeks. That's a big deal. You're on your way to the rest of your life! I know exactly what you're feeling at this moment; you're scared and excited, you have no idea whether life on your own sounds like a great adventure or a terrifying Stephen King novel about to take a dark turn. I know that life in high school must've seemed the like the high point of our life, but let me reassure you those days are still on the horizon, little me. Right now college is a daunting thing, and no doubt you'll go through some hardships and stumble a bit, but hey, I'll let you know if I ever found someone who had a smooth first year at college. So what do we do when times get rough? We fight our way through it. That's just who we are. Biggest point of mine, don't worry about what you can't change. Push through it, find a way to make yourself flexible, rise to the challenge. You're gonna go places, kid. See you in a few years.

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If I were a high school senior the first piece of advice I would give myself is make a plan and figure out ways to stay on track with that plan. High school seniors focus way to much on the dances like homecoming and prom. Don't ever forget to stay focused and keep running on the trail that is life. I am not saying that you shouldn't have fun your senior year. I am simply making a realization that you have to work hard your senior year. Listen to anything your high school teachers are willing to say and do to get you ready for college. I remember my senior English teacher Miss. Koole. She said if you want to go to college dont just do the work understand why and what you want to get out of the work. I realize now what she meant by this. She was saying to her students that reading and writing are easy, however putting the effort forth is a testiment to learning and understanding the material. Have fun your senior year however work hard for it also.

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If i could go back in time i would not change what i did but i would want to be smarter about some of the choices i made. I could be smarter by telling myself what i know now. That is i wish i would have tried harder like i do now in college. I would have also told myself that i am worth the time and i should never let anybody get in my way. I would say that everybody gets nervous about something you just need to be nervous for a minute and then let it all go. I would have told myself that it's like talking in front of a big crowd, when you'r backstage pace, get nervous. Once you get in front of the crowd show no weakness, even thought you may be nervous let it go and let the spotlight shine on you. Embrace what you have and dont take anything you have for granted. Its all been said before but it all works. Everyperson that has said something important has made it big so trust in them and most of all trust in yourself.

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