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Howard Community College

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

Dont' be impatient. Learning where the comfiest study spots are, how to register for classes and which chemistry lab instructor to avoid at all costs takes time. It's not a race to feel at home, let yourself go at your own pace Get the grades you want regardless of the course instructor. You are guaranteed to have some professors you cannot stand. Go to class, do your work, and don't let their teaching style dictate what you achieve in that course. And find a tutor for goodness sake. The learning assistance center is there for a reason. Friends--don't worry about finding them, but do sign up for classes and activities you truly enjoy. It's in those places you will find people you connect with. Folders, folders, folders! Go to a summer school supply sale and buy at least twenty of them--and get colorful! Trust me, organizing the hundreds of papers you will receive into those folders will save your sanity! Finally, eat your fruits and vegetables and go to sleep before 2 am at least four times a week. Your body will thank you, and so will you in the long run.

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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 stay focused on my goals. College life provides many new experiences that will enrich my life. It is important, however, to make sure that those experiences do not deter me from accomplishing my objective: a degree. The best way to do this is to write down my goals, map out the steps that will be the plan to accomplish those goals, and re-evaluate my progress daily. I should align myself with three types of people: ones who have already accomplished what I am seeking to do; peers with similar goals as mine; and people whom I can help attain what I have already accomplished. The first group will serve as guides, mentoring me along my path. They can help me if I get off course. The second group serves as support, challenging me as we move forward together. The last group will serve as motivation, encouraging me to lead by example. It is important for students to focus on their goals. If I follow this advice, I will be sure to succeed in college.

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My transition to higher education was delayed by a number of years. As a result, I have found it easier to apply myself in school, but less comfortable in the classrooms themselves due to the differences in age and experience between myself and my classmates. I have also struggled to make a living without a college degree, and continue to struggle to support my family as I work towards achieving one. If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to go to college right away. There have been many dreams I have had to put aside since then in the interest of survival. I may well appreciate my education better as an older student, but the struggles to get here could have been avoided. I would also advise myself to become immersed in the social aspects of college. I never got the chance to join a sorority or paticipate in campus activities, for by the time I got to school, I had a family to support. I would tell myself that these could be the best years of my life, if only I take that first step and enroll right away.

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If I knew in high school what I know now, I would have agreed to going to community college prior to transferring. When I was a senior I wanted to go to a 4-year university, but my parents insisted I attend HCC. Even though I got excepted to their honors program, I thought that the classes would not be too challenging or that there would not be a lot to do around campus. I would tell myself that I was wrong. There is plenty to do and it is a great place to meet people who are in the same situation as yourself. The classes are actually very challenging but the teachers help you a lot more than they would have in a 4-year school with lectures of students in the hundreds. I learned that the transition is easier to a community college as I have seen many people who went off to 4-year schools right away and have found themselves in sticky situations not knowing how to handle partying and studying. I would tell myself I made a good choice in taking a small step first before the big one next year.

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If given the opportunity to go back and talk to myself as a senior in high school, the conversation would be seemingly endless. The most enriching advice I would give myself would be to fill out tons of scholarship applications. After my first year in college, the expense of college quickly piled up. From books to labs fees, to general tuition, the cost of education is rising yearly. With that said, it is wise to apply for money to pay for an education by filling out applications. Although, my mother constantly bugged me about filling out scholarships, I routinely ignored her stating, ?I was on vacation?. Knowing what I know now, I would have advised myself to apply for at least two scholarship applications a week. I attended a workshop during the summer which informed me how to apply for scholarships. Through this workshop a meet a lady who financed her entire education with private scholarships. In turn this motivated me to do the same and follow in her footsteps.

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If I could go back in time and speak to myself as a high school senior, I would emphasize the importance of focusing on the end goal as well as the little steps along the way. When I was a senior I had my heart set on going to my dream school and I was not open to any other possibilities; while I still want to end up at my dream school eventually, I now realize how important stepping back and considering my options objectively is. While going to my dream school would have provided me with more opportunities for internships and allowed me to have a "college experience", my current school allows me to attend without incurring large amounts of debt and has an excellent academic program. This thinking would have helped me make other good decisions in my senior year from academics, to friendship, to my health. I was in a huge hurry to grow up and get on with my adult life as a senior, and I should have taken some time to think about my decisions.

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I would tell myself to keep in mind what my life could be like after college. After high school I decided to skip college and go straight into the working world. Though I was able to get a professional job as a Real Estate Appraiser and purchase my own house at 18, I was not satisfied with what I had accomplished. I was successful, but I was not happy. Having a job just to make money won't make you happy in the long run. College is the perfect (and maybe the only) opportunity to learn about something you are actually interested in so that when you graduate, you can work in a field that interests you. Knowing now that after graduation I can work in the field of alternative energy and have a positive impact on my environement I wish I had accepted college sooner. College is necessary for rounding out your education and making sure you achieve a goal you will want to work with the rest of your life.

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When you transfer into college make sure that you have your degree program mapped out. What I mean by this, is that you should have a schedule of how many credits, and what specific classes you are going to take each semester so that you keep a good balance of credits each semester. I personally did not do the best job of this and now I am taking over 18 credits so that I can graduate on time. Having a mapped out plan creates peace of mind as a student because you have exact direction throughout your collge life. Also, interacting with teachers and going to office hours whenever you can creates good communication which can help you out towards the end of the semester as they are more willing to help students who show interest and dedication in their course.

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The advice i would give myself would be to always stay focus on your school work and try to aim higher than B's. I also would get as much help as i could. Make sure i study for evey test or quiz. It's much more work then you have to do then in high school. It's more on your own when it comes to some of the classwork that you are doing. I would tell myself to not give up on work saying, " I can't do this", but telling myself i can do this work to boast my confidence to being successful in school. One of the most important thing to tell myself is to always do homework and essay's when you get them because sometimes when you don't have enough time to do them, the harder it is to try and complete them in the smaller time before it is due.

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Hanifah, college is not as hard as you think. I'm not going to lie, it is not as easy as high school but there are way too many helpful resources around campus to help with any issue that you may have. College is fun. You get to make your own schedule and choose the time of day you want to go to class. If you are a late sleeper, go to class in the afternoon or evening. If you are a morning person, take the early classes. Just make sure you register for your classes as early as possible to get the classes and times that you really want. Don't be afraid to ask questions in your classes; the professors really encourage this. Choose a field of study that you are really going to enjoy that way you won't get bored in your classes. Good luck!

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