Dani, As you approach college, I have a few suggestions. First, change your attitude on learning. Gaining an education should not be considered a chore, but a gift. The World’s knowledge is at your finger tips. You will discover what a beautiful place the world is. It is exciting to look into the unknown and know that you can be a voice for the future. Second, suppress your ego. I do not expect you to give up in striving for excellence, yet concentrate on where you focus your goals. Do some soul searching and discover what make you “tick”. Trying to fit in will make you “cool”, but being around people who don’t understand you can make you feel alone. In searching for yourself, be you and do what makes you feel fulfilled. You will find what values you hold dear and will defend. It will give your life a sense of purpose and meaning. Remember the card you carry. “Your presence is a present to the world.” Make sure you have a voice, and that it is heard. What you do may greatly impact a better tomorrow. What you do for others is never wasted.
My adjustment to college was harsh at first, and it was mainly because of my underdeveloped time management skills. If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would coach myself through how to wisely budget my time between my schoolwork, my family, my job, and my future planning. I would also advise myself that not everyone in college thinks the same way I do. One adjustment I had to make to how I viewed my peers was that every single person on campus has a different worldview. I would tell myself that if I respect everyone for their worldview, I will receive respect in return. In terms of my schoolwork, I would tell myself that since I have already made a financial investment in my education, I should invest my best efforts in my work, and I will get out of a class what I put into it. Finally, I would tell myself to not attend classes for the sole purpose of getting a grade, but to gain application-based knowledge from my classes that I can use in my future endeavors. This is what I would tell myself as a high school senior.
During their senior year of high school, many students don't realize what the coming year is going to bring. For some students, they will finally be done with school and will just work for the rest of their lives. However, a majority of people will decide to go to college. High school seniors often visit many universities to try to get a feel for where they would like to go, but a visit in itself is not enough preparation. If I could go back and talk to myself when I was a senior, I would have told myself to try harder for scholarships, and not just go with the cheapest school. I would have also told myself to prepare for being away from my closest friends and family, because it is a lot harder than you think. I would have prepared myself to let go of some old things, and make new friends and hobbies. The last thing I would have told myself is that college is not what I think will be, so be ready to adjust, work hard, show responsibility, and have fun.
I came from a private school with only 60 people in my graduating class. I would tell myself to get involved in school activities. Just showing up for class and then going home was not very rewarding or fun for that matter. I didn't make many friends or know about what was happening at all other than events in my own little bubble. My second year i got into the Quest Program and AMESS. Quest let me meet people that were in other majors than my own. That allowed me to find study groups, making my classes seem easier. Everyone talks about the college experience, and I only looked at it as getting an education and continuing on with my carrier. But know I see what they were talking about. Meeting new people and geting allow with them is just as important as anything that you would learn in the classroom, because I will have to do that for the rest of my life too.
If I could go back in time and talk with my high school self, knowing what I know now, I would tell myself not to take the easy way out. I would tell me that just because things seem like they may be difficult or scary, that those feelings should not allow you to change your opinion on what you want to do or where you want to go. Things will be changing over the next few years and that's okay. You may think you know what you want to do now, but in a few weeks, months, years, that all could change. Don't allow yourself to miss out on some great experiences just because you feel like it will be to hard or scary. I would tell myself to grab life by the horns and hang on for the ride. Its going to be a wild one filled with lots of ups and downs, but in the end if you follow your heart and dreams it will be worth it in the end.
Relax. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Apply and look into scholarships now. It is so much less stressful to get every college preparation done as soon as possible. When the homework comes, just pace it out and keep a daily planner to help with time management. In fact, really focus on time management this school year. It may sound surprising, but time management is one of the most important aspects to success. Work to achieve the best, not perfection as it is unattainable for all. All anyone expects is the best work possible and they will be proud as long as the proper amount of effort is given. Failure will come; do not let it lead to discouragement. As Thomas Edison said after creating the lightbulb, "I have not failed. I have just found 1,000 ways that do not work."
If I were to go back in time and talk to myself as a high shcool senior, I think the best advice I would have for myself would be to do what makes you happy, and what is going to/ will bring you the most joy. I would tell myself that basing your happiness off of what others think or say or even what they want you to do is no way to live your life. Sure you may make some people unhappy along the way because they don't agree completely with your deciesions but thats ok. I would say to do what you know or think is the best for you and what is going to benifit you the most in the long run. To go back in time and speak with high school me, those are the words of advice I would give myself.
Here is what I would tell myself as a high school senior: "When you are in college, you are going to have more freedom, compared to your time in high school. However, that freedom requires responsibility. You must not abuse it, or you will regret your decisions as you are struggling to finish your work the day before it is due. Procrastination will be your kryptonite, because even if you finish all of your work, you will only be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Also, asking for help does not make you dependent. Try not to worry or struggle for perfection; you are doing this to discover and become who you want to be, not to please others."
First, I would have taken the ACT test. I was homeschooled the last two years of high school and did not realize the importance of taking this test. Second, I would have taken some college classes while attending high school. Thirdly, I would have done more research into the different fields of study offered. I knew I wanted to work in the health field, but I had not studied the different choices that were offered and the actual work that was a part of each field. These things would have allowed me to enter the program that I want to join sooner than I will be able to now.
First of all, don't take more than 1 year off from school. The classes you excelled in while attending high school, will be pretty easy in college if you start right away. If you had particular trouble with a class, i.e. algebra, go ahead and swallow your pride and take the elementary level algebra and work your way up. Get a feel for the teachers before you sign up for a class, either by word of mouth, or communicating directly with the teacher. Go to your teacher when you are having trouble in your studies.