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Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg

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

Pass GO. Collect $200. Go directly to College. DO NOT HESITATE! Pick a Major that reflects your personality and will help you grow as an individual AND as a productive member of society in todays world. Leave behind more than what you came in with. Aquire any resources that will transform your dream into a reality (e.g. grants, scholarships, loans, etc.). Enroll in a work/study program to show how important your education means to yourself and others. Limit your exspenses and roll any leftover funds into furthering your education. Try to get the most out of the least. Use your education aquired as a way of giving back for what you have received. Set future goals, ahead of you in life, that will help you to stay on track throughout your education and beyond. Use your education to better yourself, your fellow man, your country and your world. Be the best YOU you can be. Mainly, always love yourself and what you want to do in life. Make your education work for others besides yourself. Use your Degree as the key to open the doors of possibilities, and that will leave an imprint on the world around you.

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Even though I have had a grim and strenuous past; arduous events are the tests of our resilience and how we choose to move forward. I will not be a victim again, nor will I be yet another that sits and watches passively. These occurrences have changed me forever and directly affected those around me. My intention is to continue to cause effect and change, but from here on out t will be done positively versus the havoc I have endured. I cannot honestly name a more eye opening and heart wrenching experience than having the person that you once viewed as your best friend and loved unconditionally as your biggest fear and threat. I was naive and idealistic in regards to domestic violence and the judicial system. It is my goal and mission to help make change and deliver the level of compassion, humanity and legal allegiance that I was denied and once believed in without hesitation. For that, I deem myself as lucky. Luck is by chance and change is by choice. I wouldn?t change who I am and that is due to what I have endured. The key is to learn and not repeat mistakes twice.

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If I could give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to think carefully before choosing a college. I knew that I wanted to go to college, but I wasn't sure what course of study I was interested in. I would tell myself to consider going to community college first, while I was still trying to figure out what I wanted. I ended up changing colleges and majors several times, which has cost me alot of extra tuition. If I had gone to community college first, I could have saved myself tuition expenses by taking my general education courses there, while I was trying to figure out what specific major I wanted. After attending a four year college, I ended up back at community college to get an associates degree in paralegal studies. I could have saved myself the time and expense had I started at the community college. Moving away to college is a big step, and when I was a high school senior, I really wasn't ready for it yet. I should have started in community college. That is what I would tell myself if I could go back.

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College will be a time of growth for you. Time will stand still as you build relationships and find your wings as an adult. It’s the first time you’ll be on your own and the path you choose to walk will shape the career you walk away with. Having been to college at three different points in my life I have learned a lot of lessons. My first experience boiled down to a $20,000 bar tab. The second was an extreme challenge while working fulltime but a healthy reminder of what I had taken for granted years before. Now 36 years old I have returned again to see a real degree through to the end and finally know the most important lesson of all. College isn’t about the beer, the sorority, the meal plan or the party. College isn’t even about the degree. It’s about education. It’s about learning and using your new knowledge to go out and improve your piece of the world. If you are not learning with passion, you are wasting your money and your time. Knowledge is power and I implore you to go out and grab your share!

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When you are in high school, teachers and advisors tell students that they need courses like geometry and life management, but really they don?t. Instead of taking geometry, my senior year, I should have taken courses like College Algebra or any AP course. Secondly, I would advise myself to take the AP exams. Although many do not transfer into the Universities, some do. It?s worth the $60.00 and risking it, rather than ignoring the test and taking that same class for $300.00. Also, your freshman year is usually a repeat of those same high school courses, so it?s better to get credit ahead of time, rather than taking an easy A. Finally, work hard and save up so that you don?t have to work as much while you?re in college. College is expensive and it?s hard to be a full time student and work 20+ hours a week outside of school. It?s smarter to save up as much as you can while in high school, instead of waiting till right before. It?s best to build that mentality while in high school so you can be better prepared.

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Time management is very important. As a college student, one of the best things that one can do is learn how to manage their time efficently. They are only twenty-four hours in a day and one must use those hours time wisely. One should set up daily study time and daily homework time. Effort is very important in college. One should go the extra mile in order to succeed. Don't just take the easy way out and just do the minium amount required for your classes. Work even harder and put more time and effort into all that you do. It pays off because one gets better grades and your professors are more likely to help you out when they see how much effort you put into your work. It also helps you grow and become more skilled in that area of study. Remember this: succeeding in college requires a lot of hard work, patience, strength, will power and time. The college journey may have some bumps in the roads at time but it is worth it! So keep going. Don't give up even when there are bumps in the road.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to relax and stop worrying about how everything would turn out. I would tell myself that everything would be just fine and that college is not as big of a deal as everybody makes it out to be. If you just keep studying like you are doing now in high school and doing your best, you won't have any trouble. I would encourage myself to stand up for what I believe in now in preparation for doing the same in college. I would remind myself to take projects one step at a time and to practice managing my time wisely in preparation for the numerous class projects that are all due in the same week. I would tell myself to take make time for exercise and to eat healthy foods so that my body will be at its best for class. Lastly, I would tell myself to keep God first and to spend time daily in His Word, the Bible because no matter what happens, God will always be with me, and he will take care of my needs.

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The number one thing I would tell my high school self "do not procrastinate!" School is only as hard as you make it. Stay focused on the bigger picture. Try and maintain a balance between school and your social life. It's ok to go out and have fun but remember what's important for your future. The sacrifices you make in college will pay dividends in real life. Do you want to party now or do you want to be able to take vacations to the Bahamas later? Join a study group or try to make friends with kids that are interested in the same subjects as you. And again, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! Putting things off will make you feel overwhelmed and more likely to give up. Stay on top of your work and things won't seem as difficult. College can be fun if you take the right steps and stay disciplined. College is also a part of growing up and you will be forced to make tough choices. Don't be scared to do what you know is right for you and your future. Always be asking yourself "how can I do better?"

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If I could go back, I would tell myself not to be so intimidated by the financial burden of the school you are dying to attend. Don't worry about the impact your leaving will have on your family; they love you and want to see you succeed. Don't take that year off to evaluate if you really want what you think you do, and work to save money. You won't. You'll get caught up in a world that seems great, but believe me, the greatness of it fades fast. You will waste money dropping out of a school that you justified for yourself, only to find yourself years later settling on the only school you can afford. Follow your dreams no matter what the cost; the real world experience you'll get outside of school is important, but you have the rest of your life for that. Nothing will ever take away the regret you'll feel for not having grabbed life by the horns and going after what you really wanted. You are an intelligent and independent young woman...dive in and don't be scared!

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As a high school senior i was not very motivated. I knew that I wanted to go to college but I did not try very hard to get into any. Do not just do the bare minimum to get by is the first thing that I would have told myself. Challenge yourself to do what you dont think you can. It will better prepare you for the challenges of college work. Do not be afraid to ask for help or to hear negative criticism. Take the negative and turn into a positive and just work on improving what you were critiqued on. People that give you bad criticism are not trying to break you down, they are trying to help you improve. The most important thing i would tell myself is to not be afraid. Yes when you go to college you are basically on your own, but it is not that hard if you just relax take a step back and evaluate your decision and establish how far you want to go in life. Reach for the stars!

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