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Houston Community College

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

I would tell my-self to stop worrying about fitting in and being cool and trying to impress people Ill never see again. I would tell my self to fix my priorities, peer presure is an overcomable obstacle. Just be happy; no one, no thing, no amount of knowledge can bring you happiness, it comes from within. Dont beat your-self up, better things come your way. Seize the opportunities that are slapping you in the face! Take control of your life because no one else is looking out for you. Be yourself, everyone is insecure of them selves aswell. Dont stop dreaming, keep working for those goals. Make real connections with people, doesnt have to be the cool kids. Be real with your self and those around you. All these things are great things to say to my past self to try to reconcile any missed steps or opportunities but I think the most important thing I would tell my self would be: Make mom and dad proud, you wont have them for too long. Whatever happens just know they were never dissapointed in you. -Your friend, Jacob

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My advice to college bound high sdhool seniors would be to stay at home and continue to live with your parents for at least 1-2 more years while taking many of the entry level college courses. I would suggest that a student should complete all of the "core" classes and possibly complete an Associate Degree program prior to moving on to a large four years college for a Bachelors degree. There are many reasons for this advice. First of all college life is expensive. Even when living in a dorm you have boarding expenses, additional computer/communication expenses like internet access and telephone lines. Secondly, it is very difficult to have a good paying job and stay focused on success in the classroom concurrently. Third is the fact that change is stressful and going away to college is stressful. I would suggest staying at home if possible and get accustomed to college life without the trials and tribulations of being in a new city with strangers and new distractions. I have been told at Freshman orientations that as many as 61% of Freshman do not make it to the Sophomore year. I believe it is for the reasons mentioned.

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If I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, the monologue would go something like this: "1) Do not take more than one writing class per semester. 2) Make sure you choose close friends who will prioritize studying and making good grades. 3) All the parties are the same. If you go to one per term, you should be 'good.' 4) Your instructors are hard because they are preparing you for life, not because they hate you. 5) Help other people understand material you have learned ; it will give you a greater understanding and ability to apply the knowledge for yourself. 6) Having brand new textbooks doesn't make your learning experience better than having used books, so save your money (or buy them from Amazon.com). 7) Keep your textbooks - especially those specific to your major (you WILL need them again). 8) If you don't know, ASK SOMEBODY! Questions can be your best friends. 9) Manage your behavior and be a good steward of your time - college is neither forever nor free. And 10) The number one rule is: Studies first, extra-curricular activities second, jobs third, and social life LAST!"

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"Andrea, it is 2am you need to get off the phone and go to bed. You have to catch the bus at 6:10 am." If i would have broken the habit of staying up late way before college it would have definently soothen the groggy mornings of having to make it to 8 o'clock psychology. "Andrea your assignment is due first thing Monday morning, do not plan to go to the mall and movies this weekend." Procrastination! The little devil that sat on my shoulder throughout my senior year and into my first semester in college. I learned, after bad academic feedback, time and effort perfects quality. If I was granted the opportunity to re-do my senior year, i would transform myself into a "Super Senior"; the epitome of being prompt, responsible, and cautious. "Note to self, remember mommy and daddy will no longer beable to bail me out once i am in college." The biggest piece of advice I would have given myself was to make sure i always handled my business. Once I exited high school, then crossed the threshold of college, my parents were no longer my problem solvers, it was completely my responsibility.

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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 life and making the transition, I would say, remain focused and persistent. Attending college is a fun experience, but there are a lot of distractions. If as a senior you are able to remain focused on your goals, and have a strong sense of self-discipline, then it will make college 50% less stressful. It is easy to get caught up in other people and activities instead of remaining focused on why you are there, how you plan to succeed, and accomplishing the goals you have set for the next four or five years. In addition, persistence is the remaining 50% of college. College is a big change from high school. For one thing, the work load is heavier, and you will face a lot of challenges, whether they are exams, financial, or even family issues. There will be times when you question whether all this hard work is worth the time and energy, you may even want to quit some days, but keep moving. Keep working hard. Keep believing. You will accomplish more than you think.

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You have integrity. It is so much that it could be a physical item, and be given to others by the pound. You lost interest in academics for lack of money. I warn you, DON’T! You will find the money for your first semester, and focus that massive integrity on learning. You will fall in love with books three months before your senior year ends. In fact, the first book you will read from cover to cover will be the Hunger Games. You will finish the entire trilogy in four days, and check out a new book every other day for the remainder of the year. Fall in love with books sooner! College is about reading textbooks, and loving to read will make college fun. Writing, the one subject that you believe is useless. In college you will write essays for everything; in addition, how you write is how you speak, so improve it! Buy a grammar book, and never stop reading it. You will always make mistakes; English requires time and patience to learn. The sooner you begin to improve, the easier things can be in the future. You are a genius, so do not give up.

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Dear younger self, If for some miraculous reason this is able to reach you, I wish for you remember what I am about to tell you. In order to get into a proper college or university, you must start doing scholarships! I know it's difficult for you to be motivated, but in order to get a proper education and have fewer worries, this is a huge must! Followed by volunteering and starting to develop a proper study schedule, so that you learn how to manage time better. Speaking of studying, this is something that is unavoidable, college is definitely not like high school. If you are not able to grasp something, you must attend tutorials and practice at home so that you have a better understanding of what you are doing. Unlike high school, no one is going to look after you, you are in charge of yourself. You cannot be a baby and you need to take total responsibility. You might be afraid of what the future holds for you, but no worries! Most people are the same as you. Keep your chin up, remember growing up is a difficult thing to do and it will take time.

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Find fun in everything you do and do everything with passion. I would remind myself to stay focused on what really matters to me and not get easily discouraged by obstacles. Too often I see people focusing on paths only to make others happy or to gain materialistic objects. As a young person it's easy to lose sight of the things that truly make you happy. I would tell myself to find what makes me happy and focus my studies that will lead me to a career path that I will enjoy, because otherwise I could end up making my college career take longer than I want it to. The transition from high school to college means more responsibility and to be mature about the choices I make. because they can and will stay with me throughout my college career, whether that be personal friend choices, grades or they way I behave . You are always interviewing whether you know it or not and so you want to make sure people see the person you really are and the person you realyl want to be. Always stay true to your morals and beliefs while having fun as well.

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Coming to college was not only the smartest thing I ever did, and it has taught me so much more than just things that books can teach. In high school, I wasnt living in a realistic world and had no idea about the rude awakening I would receive when transitioning to college. I never went to class and never studied, but somehow graduated school with a 2.8 due to authority figures letting me get away with anything I wanted. I thought life was a party and there was nowhere better to party than at a college campus. I got into the University of Houston and was ecstatic, but not prepared. I ended up failing my first yearand not only that, I also failed myself, and worst of all, my family. I would tell the high school me that the best feeling in the world is getting an A in a class. That themost amazing thing a parent can say is how proud of you they are and thats only possible with discipline and responsibility. It feels amazing to know that you deserve the amazing grades you make and know that youre going to do something great with your life.

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It's time for you to wake up. Sure you don't drink or do drugs, for now, but just you wait... college life is a slippery slope full of distractions ready to push you down. Parties, alcohol, and drugs; it's an intoxicating atmosphere, which promises to make you feel better and have fun. The scariest thing about that though, is that it will follow through on that promise. At least momentarily it will, and you'll have the time of your life. Where will you be after the buzz has worn off though? I'll tell you. You will be laying in bed, skipping another week of classes, and hating yourself. That is where you will be unless you wake up now. High school classes are easy, yeah I know, but who cares. Learn to study, learn to say no to distractions, and put some actual time and effort into achieving your true potential. Most importantly, pick up a pen and begin writing poetry like you did when you were young. You have no idea how therapeutic it will be, and how much better you will feel. Wake up, because today is the day you change.

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