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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 could talk to my former high school self, I would tell her: "Stop worrying so much about planning your future and just live it." I was so focused on the one thing I had wanted to do my entire life that I never stopped to think it might not end up being what I actually went to school for. If I had known then that I would go through 3 majors and 3 different colleges by my junior year, maybe I would have focused more on my general education and would have been forced to think about more than one career choice. I had been told that students changed their majors constantly to figure out what they wanted... I just didn't think it would happen to me. My former self couldn't have been more wrong.

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If I could go back, I would probably have gotten into some AP course, because I was not prepared for college courses as I thought I would be. I should have looked into more careers than thinking I would not change my mind. I would also tell myself that, just because I am given more freedom in college, I shouldn't think that I can settle for just okay. I needed to still work as hard as I did in high school. I thought I was prepared for my first year in college, but I wasn't its completely a different atmosphere than high school. I would just make sure to tell myself not to pretend I know certain material to cut my study time short. I should form a schedule to make sure I don't fall behind.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself not be afraid of the big college world. Yes its hard work and you will struggle at times. But its not all that bad. I would tell myself that everything will be ok. I would also tell myself to keep following my dreams and to never give up hope. You can do anything you set your mind to, big or small. Never let somebody tell you that you cant do something. Because you can! I would also tell myself that during the transition into college to talk to anyone. You are going to school with all new faces and that can be very scary. But just talk to your fellow classmates. They are in the same postition as you. Relax.

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If I could go back to my high school senior self, I would tell myself a few things. I would say to spend more time with friends, because they will be gone soon and nothing will ever be the same. I would say to apply for more scholarships, because financial aid is only out to get you. I would say to appreciate time with family more, because before you know it, you will be on your own and you will miss them. More advice for my former self would be to call my cousins more. As you age, you tend to forget that your family members also age. My last piece of advice would be to enjoy every single moment of senior year, because even though it sounds cliché, it will be over before you know it.

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After all is said and done, I would tell myself to just be me, don’t change anything. You are where you are because of where you have been. You will gain confidence because you have been riculed and you will have direction because you have felt lost. People underestimate direction in college, but I have found it will give you the desire to work for your future . High school is a learning experience, don’t forget the lessons you learned there. College will be the same, but once you know who you are, all the rest becomes achieveable. College is going to be really hard at times, but you have made it through harder. I’m not promising that it will be easy, just that it will be worth it.

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The most important piece of advice for you is this: Don't stress out about the coming changes. The coming changes will be fun and enjoyable, more so than you think at the moment! The challenges will be beneficial for you to grow in your character and your knowledge, better equipping you for the days ahead. While you will enjoy the learning, the second piece of advice is this: there will be a fair amount of homework. In order to academically excel, you will need to put a lot of time into your studies. While this advice seems to contradict, both parts are necessary for you to be prepared and to succeed in this transition and in the transitions to come.

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I would tel l myself to take more college prepatory classes and concentrate on technology. I would make sure I learned proper note taking and study habits. I would want to make sure I applied early for financial aid and spent more time learning to manage my finances to enable me to be successful in college the first time. I would advise myself to not only concentrate on advanced computer technologies but to double major in business management to be more successful in the business world, and to not give up until I completed at least a Masters Degree as that seems to be what everyone wants in their employees in the computer field.

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Being content with my current life, I would bypass the standard 'study hard, get good grades' advice, and tell myself to embrace my passions. I was a great musician in high school--I would tell my past self to throw myself into that, to block out popularity, to experiment with my interests, to find myself while I still could. I would say that AP classes weren't all that important, that I had nothing to prove anybody. Most importantly, I would tell myself to 'trim the fat' so to speak, to hone the ability to sit down at a table or desk and work on something I'm passionate about, and embrace it wholeheartedly.

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The type of advise I would give myself, would be to never procrastante, study as hard as I can, always take notes and review them. It's a hard habit to get out of, and it really hurts you in college. Always give everything your all, and never underestamate yourself. And just because you're mentally and physically tired of all the essays, homework, and projects doesn't mean giving up is an option, it's just another little mental push to continue, it means that weakness is leaving, and hard work is moving in!

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It seems so much better than the structured high school process. I like college freedom and hopefully in the future I will be dealing with more educated/talented instructors. So far the learning is fun, informative. The hours are what I want them to be and I hope to build from my education the skills that I will need to help me make a nice comfortable living in the future. I hope I will be able to contribute to the future technologies that will assist in our daily lives.

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