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Grand Rapids Community College

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

If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would advise myself on these three things for the college life. First of all, pay attention in class. When you pay attention in class you are more likely to succed in the class and on any tests that you may have. Second, do whatever it takes to successfully graduate. This meaning work hard on every class and think of eachone as your only chance for graduation. Finally, balance your life. You need to be able to balance your school life with your social life and personal life. Doing this will keep you stable and successfull. When it becomes unblanced something will suffer, usually your school work. For this finaly point you mainly have to prioritize everything that you have going on in your life. There would be many more tid-bits of advice I would give myself but I think that these three are the most important for me.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would make sure that I encouraged myself to get to know more people in my community and even outside of my community. When I got to college I was, in a sense, overwhelmed with all the different types of people I was around and interacting with , which was really hard at times. I struggled my first semester when trying to connect with people, because I was only used to my own group of friends and family. I feel like I missed out a lot when it came to getting to know people, being involved in college clubs and rallies, and even in classroom discussions because I was afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I know now that if I had worked harder to be involved in my community and outside of my community I would have felt more comfortable my first semester in being open to everything and everyone around me.

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Chris, focus first on school, and second on social life. There is no harder thing to build than a strong and worth while work ethic, and nothing more valuable in the long run. Work hard at working hard. Make sure you explore. There are so many things available in so many places. Even if they weren't what you were expecting, they may have something to offer. Try to form relationships with your professors. Their friendships will not only help them open up to you, but will also help you open up to them, and make the learning experience go that much smoother. Also, down the road they may be delighted to hear from you and offer futher assistance, if needed, as a favor rather than as an assignment. A marvelous thing to have is a brilliant friend. (Then, so I knew I was serious, I'd give myself a nice cold bottle of Yoohoo chocolate drink, because I know I'd like it.)

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Honestly, there isn't really anything I would tell myself. As a High School Senior I was already taking so many college classes as well as taking classes outside of High School to be an Emergency Medical Technition that I didn't have much of a normal Senior year. I was looking past High School and tried taking as many opportunites as possible to set me up for college. I was already use to the work load. On top of the College and EMT classes I was also very involved in church and worked. I already knew what it was like to balance multiple things at once. In fact, having to still be in High School was more a nuisence. So once I graduated nothing really changed for me. Because I set my self up so well my Senior year, the transition into college was so much easier for me than my peers. I knew what it was like to already have many responsiblites and how to balance them.

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I went into college with an open mind and a mature outlook. I didn't absorb much of the "high school" personality that many girls that age do. Going back in time and talking to myself during that age, I'm not sure that advice would be the right word. If anything, it would be a shoulder to lean on and a reminder that soon enough I would be with people of my trade. I would be with people who wanted me around and wanted my opinion. High school didn't settle well in my stomach, and I was ready for the next step; anything would have been better. The transition was easy and it felt so right. The advice that I needed 3 years ago was to just keep my chin up. Keep looking forward and that there truly are better things to come. Better things beyond what can been seen now. And best of all, better things will happen than could ever be imagined.

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I would advise my past self to study harder, longer, and do better in the ACT tests to get scholarships to pay for college tuition. There is one thing especially I should warn to my past self is NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ANY CLASS THAT YOU TAKE IN COLLEGE NO MATTER HOW EASY IT SOUNDS, LOOKS, OR FEELS IT'S OK TO SLACK OFF, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE, HIT everything assignment, H.W., project, quiz/test with a bullseye (meaning ace everything to get A's). College is a whole another playing field compared to high school and even more insult to injury is you'll be paying for taking those classes. Therefore, you got one chance to obtain A's in your classes to save money. If not, it'll be trial and error that'll will hurt your college GPA A LOT!!!! making it difficult to transfer to other colleges that require at least a mininum GPA of 3.5.

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My first piece of advice would be to take a variety of classes, no matter if I had known my major or not. Everyone needs to be well-rounded individuals, and taking a few out-of-the-box classes would not hurt. Secondly, I would definitely take a few classes on my own, without friends that you know too well, so that you get your own sense of independency. When you're on your own, you are your own person, with no expectancies of any kind, and you can be and do how ever you feel. Finally, I would tell myself to try to stay happy, no matter how high the stress levels may be. This is a new chapter in life and all you can do is try your best, live with no regrets, and just think that no matter how bad a situation may be, it could always be worse. It could always be worse.

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I would tell myself to think it through: what I want to do; where I want to go; just because your dead-set on a certain thing doesn't mean you should close your mind off to other options. Sometimes the first choice isn't always the right one; sometimes the second or third option is the best. Also when choosing a major look at all your options; the first one might seem like it gives you everything; but there are other ones that can be just as fulfiiling, and they might give you better opportunities. When making your decisions about schools and majors just remember to check out every opportunity and that they don't have to be what you originally planned; they just have to "fit" ; if you do that then you'll find the right one.

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That college is not an impossible feat to accomplish, and you should not fear failure. If you take each assignment individually and apply yourself you will succeed. You can do this, and do it well. You are intelligent and disciplined in spite what you may think about being homeschooled through high school. You have an unnecessary fear of being in a classroom with students and a professor because you don't know what to expect, but trust me, the peers around you are dealing with similar assignments and class schedules just like you. If you choose to attend college directly after highschool instead of waiting eight years, it will be that much sooner before you will have the security of a career and income that you desire.

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I have gotten a lot out of my college experience so far. I have learned how to become indepent in a way that now I know I can rely on myself to get things done. I have also gained so much confidence in myself that I didn't even know I could have before I started college. I'm not afraid to try new things now, and I can make friends a lot easier then I use to. I know this experience will last me a long time, and I am grateful for it. I is very valuable to attend college, not only for the education factor but also for the social factor. I am very excited to learn all the new things I have so far in college, and I can't wait to graduate and then continue on to get my masters and become a successful teacher.

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