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Indiana University-East

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

A sense of self identity. Before I enrolled into community college, I thought I was ready to experience the extraneous and difficult aspects of college life. I ignorantly thought community college was going to be a walk in the park, for it was only a small stepping stone for my quest to enroll at a university. Unbeknownst to my assumption I was clearly mistaken. From the 2 years I have spent here in community college, I have learned that nothing is handed to you, hard work is always rewarded and sleepless nights and numerous amounts of studying is the norm, for an average college student, regardless if they are enrolled in community college or a university. Lack of preparation and punctuation will not be tolerated, and you will fail if you do not take school seriously. Attending school does not only increase one’s life opportunities, but the lessons you learn of being a successful student prepares you for life. Attending school itself is a valuable life experience itself. College has allowed me to truly locate my self-identity and to realize at a young age that no matter how ignorant I may, I must always remember to work hard.

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I would say spend a significant amount of time meditating or reflecting on what kind of life you want to have, and what is important to you. Think in terms of what fulfills and satisfies you, or makes you feel complete. Fulfillment and satisfaction in life are what truly matter. As the old saying goes, "Do what you love, the money will follow". Don't be discouraged if you are not sure, it is perfectly OK to pursue a general college education until you have a better idea of what you would like to do as a profession. Realize that it is now common to enjoy more than one career, so even if you choose something you are later not happy with, you can always change. Use the resources at your college or university to get a better idea of what path will fulfill and satisfy you. Find mentors or advisors on campus that can help you find your calling and your true path. Be confident and move forward and do not be afraid to fail. Many of the greatest success stories of humankind began with failure - it is the tenacity to continue that determines success.

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The most important thing I have learned over the past five years is that it is extremely important to know your priorities and keep them straight. I began working at the same time I began my college career in order to get through school without being in debt. I've worked hard and excelled at both my job and academic standing. The problem with this scenario is that I sacrificed my own sanity to get that far. By the end, I was burnt out and had overextended myself to the point where I was too stressed out with my many obligations to be able to fully connect to either area of my life. I decided that my education was supposed to be the point in the entire task, and somewhere along the way, I lost sight of that. Working along the way is not a bad decision, especially if it is connected to your long term career goals, but it is also important to take things slowly and allow yourself the time to relax and enjoy the experience. Student loans are not all bad. Paying for most of your college expenses is great, but know when to accept help.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself three important things, which are the following: to not be afraid of the future since there are so many wonderful things that will happen in it, to keep close to the friends that matter since they are the ones that will stand with a person for life, and lastly, to never let mistakes stop an individual from achieving success. Looking back, I can still see that scared high schooler I used to be in 2010. As a freshman in college, I made mistakes and often feared for the future because I was not sure what would happen. As I have gotten older, however, I have begun to see firsthand how those mistakes shaped me into the twenty-year old girl I am today. In addition, I have also come to have a stronger relationship with three of my friends as a result of being forced to lean on them when I felt like I was not strong enough to get through a problem. Knowing what I do now, I honestly believe in the quote "never give up" because it really is true.

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I've wanted to go to college my whole life. It was everything I ever dreamed about, and I have hinged my entire future and existence on college. Attending college has taught me not only about science and history and math, but it has also opened my eyes to my own character. I have learned who I am from my years in college. I know now that I am a history buff. I didn't know that before. I also learned that if I really want something, I have the determination and perserverance to obtain it. I have always known that college would not be a walk in the park by any means, but I have learned that I don't mind it. I like the hard work and I like the challenge. Most importantly, college has given me the most valuable gift possible: hope for the future. It has given me a future to look forward to, and a career that I am excited to begin. I love college, and desperately hope that I am able to continue and finish it so I can start my career and get my life on track. Thank you for this opportunity.

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Dear Self, I know you're thinking, in a scattered way, about going to college and even have a plan to do so. But one thing you don't know right now is that your head and heart are not in the right place at this time. You need to make an adjustment in that area, because I have seen the potential you have and what you will finally end up doing once you get your act together. It's a challenging but exciting change going from high school to college, but you are going to be so successful! The sky is the limit for you, and God has BIG plans for your life! Don't put them off. Switch gears in your mind, and pursue your dreams. They are more possible than you know now. Don't put it off. Keep going to the end, and show yourself what you're made of. You will soon have a child who watches every more you make, and she needs you. Soon it will be just you two, and she needs you! Go for it, shoot for the stars, and keep God in the center of your life. Love, Self.

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I will start off by saying that 200 words cannot capture the magnitude of information I wish I could pass onto my high school self (I spent 46 words on this so I can account for the inauspicious brevity of my answer, I apologize for this.) First things first, be educated ABOUT college before you apply for college. I had very little help/support regarding how to pay for school and it has ruined me financially. Other things: be diligent, develop a thicker skin, channel your strengths into everything you do, eat better, don't forget to laugh, ad infinitum.

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I recieved my CNA at NWTC and was able to find a job to support myself and now want to continue my education. I am currently getting job experience working at a nursing home and would like to get my bachelor degree in science of nursing. College is very important because in order to get a job these days you need to be educated and certified or have a degree. It is valuble to attend not only because of the job security, but it shows that you are hard working and it gives you the tools you need to be sucessful in your life and career.

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I have learned that you are never too old to go back to school. There are many older students at my college. This has made me very comfortable in my return to school. There is a lot of encouragement from the younger students as well. They are eager to tell you that you belong just as much as they do. I have recommended that my best friend go back to college, and she has enrolled this fall. So far, she is having a good experience as well.

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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 take my classes more seriously. I would want myself to get the highest GPA possible and work hard to get as many scholarships as possible. I would also tell myself to take more college credit classes, even though I did take 2, I wish I would have taken more, because they definitely paid off.

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