James Madison University Top Questions

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


If I could go back in time, I would tell my self to get involved in extracurricular activities and in organizations that were helping people. I would also tell myself to volunteer more and help my community. I have learned that while helping others, I was also helping myself to become a better person. It helped me realize what makes me happy and matters to me the most. I would also tell myself to lead a healthy lifestyle. I found it to be very easy to develop bad eating habits. I quite often would grab an unhealthy snack from a vending machine as my lunch, rather than going to a dining hall to eat a nutritious meal. Perhaps the most important piece of advice I could give myself is finding balance in my academic and social life. I was very overwhelmed by the workload in the first two years in college. I wasn't thinking about how stress was effecting my health and my academic performance as well. Now, I find exercising to be essential part of doing well in school.


It appears this deadline has passed...Crazier things have happened To go back and talk to senior-year me, the biggest thing I would speak on is to stay true to yourself. Yes, college is the perfect place to find yourself, but that doesn't require you becoming someone/something you aren't in order to find the true you. I'm not saying to not try new things, but there is no need to put yourself in situations that are largely unecessary. Also, college prepares you for the next chapter (the real world) exponentially more than high school prepares you for the next level (college). Recognize this. Realize that the adversity you face and the manner in which you handle it can serve as a template for further difficulties in life. Next, deadlines are a very real thing. If you are late, you are late. No high school sympathy will be shown. Again, just another example of how college is preparing us for life in the real world. And finally, as my dad would say, "have fun, but be smart."


I would tell myself not to be as afraid as I was. College is so much different than high school and so much better. College is where you will meet your life long friends and do not get so caught up in staying connected with home. Go into college with an open mind and do not turn back. Emerse yourself into everything that you do and never ever cry during high school because it's too difficult.


I remember when I was a senior thinking, "no one will know me in college and I can be who ever I want." I think while this is true, it is not advise one should follow. High school teaches you so much about yourself. I learned which subjects I excel in and which I should avoid. I learned so much about people and how they will treat you. High school teaches you social cuew that will help you later in life. If I went into college as a totally new person I would feel as though I were forgetting all that high school taught me. The cliche be yourself is really the best option. College is a time where you meet new people and learn even more about yourself. For instance I kow that I am outgoing and quirky. This was not all that applealing in high school becuase I wasnt as laid back enough for the "popular kids." But if I decided to stop being me in college I would not have found my best friends who are just as quirky and outgoing as I am!


I would tell myself to start researching colleges a lot earlier, and to plan things out better. I would spend more time calculating what dual enrollment classes and AP scores would tranfer for college credit. I would also pick a major even if I wasn't 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} sure that was what I wanted to major in for the rest of my college career, just so I had a goal to work towards and I knew what classes I should schedule for the first semseter. I would tell myself to truly enjoy the time I had left in high scool and to treasure every momen I had with my family.


If I could go back and give my high school self some advice, I would have a lot to tell him. First of all, college isn't as strenuous as people say it is. Sure the classes are a little harder, but the main thing you need to focus on is time management. This is something that I really didn't take as seriously as I should have my first semester. You can do well in any class if you just set aside the time to not only do the work, but actually understand the work you're doing. Help is never a bad thing; if you need help go to your professor's office hours or find a tutor. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Also, while school is still very important, so is your social life. Find time to be active and hang out with friends. That's the real challenge, trying to be social and getting involved while also acceling in school. Once you learn the balance between these two things, college will be easier to handle. These are the key points of advice I would give myself as a senior in high school.


I'm sure many people would say their primary goal in college is 'to get a degree', but with our vast and amazing access to knowledge, we have the ability to get an education with the click of a mouse. One thing attending college has taught me is that it is more important to learn than it is to get a degree. An education is more than sitting in a classroom and reading a textbook... an education teaches you why it is important to learn. As a musician, I can easily learn how to play the violin outside of college, but being in college inspires me to push my limits and to become a better musician than I ever thought possible. Most importantly, it has taught me that I can do anything with enough hard work and dedication. An education is more than what is in a classroom; it is about applying this knowledge to better yourself as a person. Education taught me that learning is the key to understanding your potential.


I would tell myself to go to summer school to build up college credits before I graduated high school.


If I could talk to my high school self I would tell myself to attend community college directly after graduation in order to save money and reduce time at an expensive university. I would tell myself about all of the scholarship and grant opportunities and encourage myself to get a job that reimburses tuition payments. If I had known these things I would not have been so hesitant to enter college. As it is I am now 32 years old and just now finishing up my bachelor's degree this year. I was smart enough to attend college after high school but I assumed that because my family was poor I could not afford to attend.


Allison, You are about to experience more change in one year than you have in all 18 combined. Please savor and love your hometown. You're moving to Virginia right after graduation and soon, you're going to long for the familiar streets of Linwood, New Jersey. Don't take the familiarty you're surrounded with for granted. It disappears all at once. You worry that you'll never make friends as great as the ones you have now, but I promise: you are going to gain so much and lose nothing. Don't forget that cute girl with the short hair you see at the Charlottesville send-off luncheon in June. You are going to laugh about it after you've met officially, become best friends and much later, fallen in love. Don't hesitate to love her. Your parents are dealing with it and she's so worth it. The bottom line is, don't get hung up on what you've lost with change. Embrace what you gain. PS: I don't think anything I could say could prepare you to watch Erin lose her brother. Spend a little time appreciating Shaun Sless while you can.


If I could give myself one piece of advice, it would be to crave. Crave everything. Everything and anything that brings you joy, calm, peace of mind, energy, adrenaline, and every emotion you seek to fulfil daily. College is about discovering what you love, not discovering who you are. You’re eighteen now, and when you graduate you will be twenty-two. You will still have no idea who you are when you are graduating from college. However, if you wake up every day unafraid to crave those adventures and experiences you love, not even allowing yourself a second to be scared or question your abilities, you will walk across that stage on graduation day and feel more than confident that you know who you are; you will feel free. So, yes, while you’re at school you’ll need to buckle down sometimes and make the grades and go to class. But always remember, you will never get another chance like this. College will be hard, it will challenge you, and it will change you. But if you wake up every morning craving the newness that comes with those changes, you will never regret any of it.


I didn’t like high school because I thought it was not an efficient use of my time for how little I was learning in the vast amount of time. If I knew college was so great, I probably would have been happier knowing hope was near. I am already a pretty independent person, so I did not have any trouble transitioning away from home. I also did not have a hard time with the extra homework and time management problems because I went to a rigorous private school that assigned much more busy homework. Overall, if I could give a message to myself senior year, all I could say is just hang in there. The light is near. Just try to enjoy those last moments of "childhood." Time will fly after that stage.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first and most important thing I would tell myself is to focus on what I want to do and not to be afraid to be myself. I attended an extremely small high school (graduating class of 19), and it was very easy to be excluded and very easy to learn how to conform in order to avoid being excluded. Since attending JMU, I have realized that it's okay to have my own opinions and to love who I am as a person. I realized that it's okay to do my own thing. As silly as this sounds, it was a huge revelation for me and who I have become since high school. I would also tell myself to start forming better study habits and stop procrastination before I got to college. As valedictorian of my class, I breezed through high school and was shocked when I came to college and realized that I couldn't do the same. Overall I am extremely pleased with the college experience I have had thus far!


There is nothing I’d like more than to be able to travel back in time and tell myself so many things. Especially when it comes to school. I feel like I’ve done so many errors and now there’s no way I can fix them. Although if I had such opportunity, I would tell myself not to waste time more than anything! To focus in school and to pay attention in my classes. I wasted too much time doing other things rather than studying. I would tell myself all the things I went through and the consequences that came with them. I would tell me all the other choices I had and how it would have benefited me. More than anything I would make me understand the importance of applying to scholarships and doing well in my tests. I would not leave until I knew I had fully understood and make sure that from there on, I would only make good choices that would lead me to a future full of success and very few failures. That would be one of the best gifts I could ever give myself.


Stop thinking you aren't good enough to follow your dreams. You are smart enough and completely capable and you can do it. Yes it will be hard and require a lot of studying and yes you will be broke and hungry but in the end it will all be worth it. I wish I hadn't waited to start chasing my dreams because I would have been able to start making a difference in the world that much sooner. If I had gone to college straight out of high school I could be out there working my dream career, making a difference, helping fight to protect what I love: the unadulterated natural world. I could be saving endangered species and protecting sensitive habitats. Read "Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations" by Eric Dinerstein. It is what inspired me to finally go back to school and go after my dreams. And then make it happen! Don't wait! Don't doubt yourself. You can do it and you can do it now.


The funny part about going to college is you leave home thinking you know everything and you come back reveling in the joy of knowing you know absolutely nothing. The past two and a half years have been this beautiful mess of making choices and overanalyzing those choices and taking the good from each of them. You find out what you are truly made of when you have to find your way out of interesting situations. And if I had given myself any type of advice I may have been too cautious. I may have held back instead of running full speed into this gigantic gaping hole of the unknown in which I somehow found myself. However, there are two things I wish someone would have told me before I made the big move. Hug mom a little bit tighter before bed tonight. And on a completely different note, avoid the breakfast casserole at D-Hall.


All my senior self could say about herself was that she was a failure as a person and I couldn't be successful in college. Students get it stuck in their mind that no matter what they do, college will be hard and it will be impossible to finish. Stop hating yourself. That is the fact. College isn't all those things you thought so stop doubting yourself and just love yourself and love what you do. College is not make there to cry, it is there to make you see that you are a fantastic person who will find people who will love you unconditionally. You learn to live with others. That comes quickly. Becoming skilled in your area-- that takes a little more time. Finding the meaning to life--well, that comes later, but the mean time you will answer a lot more important questions and discover things you never had before. To my senior self: You haven't seen anything yet.


I would tell myself to be prepared. There are many clubs to join, so get involved, and there are many parties, but do not go overboard. There is also a lot of people to meet, so be open and outgoing. Basically, there is a lot that happens in college, so just be involved and make the decisions that will help you in the long run.


Don't stress too much. You are going to be fine. You know good and well that you're going to be stressed, so take it easy. Don't take on too much all at once. You need to pace yourself and not worry so much. You will always work hard. It is part of who you are so don't beat yourself up about a few bad grades. It will all turn out in the end. You're going to do great and everybody will tell you so. Oh, and don't procratinate and try to write important things down.


Knowing the kind of information I know now, I would tell my old self to focus on becoming a better test taker. I would also tell my high school senior self to read a lot of literature. Ever since taking the SATs, I found that I lacked adequate reading skills and ever since devoted my time to doing just that. I have read an impressive 30 books and novels since then, on a wide variety of topics, ranging from relationships, personal development, social sciences, fiction, and American classics, such as This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. I believed my reading skills are now at the level which is adequate of a college student and I feel a lot better about myself. I guess I could say that reading saved me from the hectic external world and has allowed me to focus on the essentials. So if I were to give one advice to my naïve and unworldly self, I would say it is to read plenty.


I would tell my high school self to get into the nursing program that the high school offered. He might not do it because he was picked on a lot and would probably balk at the chance to get picked on even more for doing something that differed from gender norms, but I would have tried my hardest to convince him to toughen up and at least do a year of it. For admittance to college, I would tell him that his first roommate will be tough to deal with but that he will get through it. And even though he plays hockey and is an all around terrible person by cheating on his girlfriend, you'll find great friends throughout the hall who you'll have for years to come. Most of all I would tell him that confidence comes from within, not externally and you have to fake it until you make it, no matter what the subject matter!


I graduated highschool 13 years ago. Yeah, it's been awhile. I would give myself a good smack! I had the world at my fingertips. I didn't have to worry about paying for college because my parents could afford it. I ended up being blessed with a wonderful "surprise" at 21 years old: News that I was going to become a mother. I would tell myself: Monica, don't take anything for granted. Life can change in a matter of seconds. Don't slack off, work hard now so you can play even harder later. School is cool. Making friends isn't always going to be easy. Keep your circle small with those who will enrich your goals. Listen to your parents, they're right about 99{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the time. Life isn't easy. If it was, the payoff of working hard wouldn't be as gratifying. Don't let having a child at an early age stop you from all your goals. Use it as motivation and to teach by example. Do something to make your child proud. Never give up! Have fun, but know your limit. You aren't missing out on much.


"Listen, I have only one request, now, that im already here; Do not get marry; later, they will be times when you will regret it . You will have small set backs, but if you so want to continue with your made plans. Let me burst your bubble, you will have a baby while being in college; it's going to be hard but not impossible. Keep at it, pay close attention in class and take notes, trust me they will come handy. Talk to your professor about your health condition. It will be a risky pregnancy. Some will understand other not so much. Make sure you get the right classes, anyone can make a simple mistake that can cause you to lose valueable time and a "W" . People make mistakes, yes, even advisors. I know this is all ackward for you; But believe me; for, I've been here and there before".


My senior year in high school and freshman year in college were the two hardest years of my life. The Air Force moved my family from Alabama to Virginia my senior year; It was really hard for me to adjust, and prepare for college especially since I am the first child in my family to go to college. I applied/ was accepted to two schools: my first choice, University of Alabama, and my father's choice, James Madison University. Unfortuantely my father forced me to go to JMU, which made me very depressed and it ultimately effected my GPA. Eventually, I learned to love JMU, but it took a long time. If I could go back in time and give myself advice, I would first say things will get better. I would say embrace your circumstance, study hard, and take general education classes at community college during the summer. I would also tell myself to SAVE your money! Other than that, I would not change anything. All of my bad experiences were eventually followed by good times, and those lessons made me who I am today. Who knows, maybe the wisdom i've gained will help benefit someone's future.


The biggest piece of advice I would give myself is to relax. I have had extremely bad anxiety my entire life. Going away to school was such a hard transition for me because I would get so worked up over the littlest things. Tests were unbearable. I put so much pressure on myself to do well that I would freak out before taking exams or even going to class. Stress has caused me to lose many hours of sleep and miss out of fun bonding experiences with my hall mates. If I could tell myself not to stress so much, I would have had a much more enjoyable freshman year. Even though I ended the year with excellent grades, I wish I would’ve spent a little more time relaxing rather than stressing about things I couldn’t control. I really want to be a role model for high school students so I can tell them that everything is going to be okay and that worrying will not solve anything. This scholarship would give me one less stress to have to deal with so I hope I will be blessed with this reward.


My name is Stephanie Scott. I once decided school was a waste of time and not for me. I dropped out of high school before my senior prom thinking I was free. I was shy three credits of graduating. I lost my job and having no education in 2008. Two months later, I went back to school and graduated in 2009. I was motivated and determined. The same month of graduation, I went to school to be an X-Ray Tech and graduated with a 3.89 GPA in 2010. After graduation and employment, I enrolled back in school to be a Surgical Technician. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and made a speech at our graduation in 2011. Four years had passed but I made up for the wasted time. I had now known the feeling of accomplishment two times graduated. I currently hold two certification in surgical technology. I recently postponed my outstanding job to continue my education further. If I could go back I would say dont change a thing I am a non- stopping train for education. I hope one day to make a stop at real estate, accounting, or maybe more. Psalms 28:7


If I were to talk to my former high school self, I would probably tell her that it gets better. I would tell her that she does not know everything there is to know, and that the mistakes of her past will not define who she is today. In high school, I would have never dreamed that I would become the person that I am today. Although I could tell my former self these things, I do not think she would be at a place to hear them. Throughout life, people develop and grow the most when they experience things for themselves. I think that is the biggest life lesson I have learned. When times were difficult and hard to make it through, I would not change any of it because without those experiences I would not be the same person I am now. To put it simply, I would tell my former high school self that you are gonna make it, just take life one day at a time.


The first advice I would give myself is that extra work and studies would be needed to get good grades and succeed in the university. Unlike in high schools, professors in the university just lecture and require the students to do all the work and research. As a result, several topics could be covered in just one lecture of one hour requiring lots of input from the students. Secondly, determination and consistency in studies are vital keys to success. For instance, at the start of the semester, chemistry was the most challenging subject. As a matter of fact, some students dropped out of this course and to many it appeared to be a very difficult and almost impossible subject to pass. However, with extra dedication and efforts put into this subject including attending extra tutorials, as well as visiting the professor’s office for clarification really helped me to succeed with an A- in this subject. In addition, I would always ensure that I have a schedule of study plan and make sure that I try to adhere to this schedule.


Make sure you go to the library and actually study. Do not assume that you will know everything. College is not high school, college is a whole new level and it is going to require a lot more work than you put in during high school. Also, get involved in. You are going to miss out on a lot of experiences if you are afraid to try new things and meet new people.


I would tell myself to take a step back, really think about what I want to do for the rest of my life, and research my career path thoroughly. I've always been one to "go with the flow" and just adapt to whatever comes my way. I wish I would have paid more attention to what I wanted to be when I grew up. I care so much about people that, looking back, the choice should have been clear- to major in healthcare. I think that in high-school, I wanted to be my own person so much that I shut out the idea of following in my mothers footsteps and becoming a nurse. Now that it's so hard to go back, I would tell myself that majoring in business will not give me the ability to be passionate about my work. So think about what truly makes you happy because you'll be doing this for the rest of your life.


I would tell myself, don't try to be an adult to fast. That I shouldn't be in a hurry to move in, for college is only the stepping stone to adulthood. I would also tell myself, that experieces in college are one in a lifetime, and that I should grab every single one that comes my way. Last but not least, stay true to who I am, because sometimes jump and sometimes you fall, and with very experince use the knowledge gained because it will only make you stronger.


During my 4 years at First Colonial High School, my experience was usually anything but a dull moment. I’ll just say that I was not your average girl who really carried herself with “grace & poise.” I was actually the chick who always did what she wanted, had no regard for authority & known as the “crazy party girl.” Ages 16 to 18 were the worst of my teenage years, partying & getting in trouble. Over the years, I always found myself learning things the hard way. Looking back, I probably might have done a few things differently: like tell myself to have more respect for others, lose the attitude & inform myself that being 18 doesn’t mean I know everything. Other than that, I probably would not have changed much else. Had I not gone through all of the difficulties, I would have never learned from my adolescent behavior. Nor would I be where I am today, a proud JMU Duke, finally applying myself to be successful. Even though high school really is one of the worst parts of growing up; once you reach college, your experience truly becomes, whatever you make of it.


Go to college as soon as possible and do not quit until you are done! It is really hard going back at an older age because by then you usually have a family and life that you have to rearrange in order to fit college in. Don't wait, life is too short and you will regret waiting...


The excitement of being on your own, having freedom and being independent is as great as you thought, however, it comes with a lot of responsibility. No one will push you to do well, you are your own motivator. Exams are not simply memorize your notes as you did in high school. Professors create exams for you to apply your understanding of what you learned, memorizing notes or quizzes will not help you pass; you must understand the content given to you and how to apply it. Balancing a social life and school can seem daunting, but it can be done, just do not let the freedom of a social life and no curfew interfere with classes. Skipping classes is not like in high school, you usually cannot make up the work or turn it in late. In short, to be ready for this transition realize you are now in charge and the responsibilty of doing well relies solely on yourself, and no one else. It is not a walk in the park, it is hard work and determination, but it is so rewarding finding that major you love.


If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that I need to work hard on applying for scholarships and really try my best to find money. I would tell myself that I need to take my grades seriously and apply myself in everything I do. I would tell myself that I need to really enjoy my last year in high school because everything changes after. I would tell myself to be more gratefull for everything I have and all the quality time I have with my friends and family because you're going to miss it a lot later. Finally, I would tell myself that things are going to be more difficult but that in the end everything is worthit; everything will turn out ok in the end.


Dear Senior-year Shannon, Breathe. Too often, you have wild visions about how crazy and stressful and hectic college will be. Now that I'm here, I wish I could tell you to relax--that everything will be okay in college. You will make friends, you will have professors you like, you will find time to do homework, and you will have the time of your life. You will have experiences so different from high school, just like you thought, but you will also have similar experiences that you will be able to relate to, I promise. So take a deep breath, relax. Enjoy your remaining time in high school and take in the fun of the last few months with your friends. Do not overthink college--as much as you love it, it will love you back. Remember to breathe! Love, College Shannon


I like to think of myself as the kind of person who believes that past experiences, both good and bad have shaped me to be the person I am today. I also try not to dwell on those mistakes in the past, but learn from them to benefit me in the present and future. That being said, if I could go back in time and talk to myself then, I would offer myself several pieces of advise. First, keep in better contact with good friends from high school. Good friends are hard to come by and too often different schools and states hurt or cause relationships to falter. Second, stick with a field of study that you are passionate about and do whatever you can to succeed in that. Many college students go to school unsure of what to study or focus on, but make a list of things that make you happy, you are good at, and can see yourself doing in the future. Lastly, apply for more scholarships. College debt is not fun and can really make the future more difficult.


Don't be lazy! Wow, if I only knew that in high school. Everything in college revolves around being an organized person. That means from waking up on time for all your classes, budeting time for homework and leisure, or staying fit by hitting the gym occassionally. I didn't realize how much of a difference living on my own and making my own decision would be. I wish that I had started to become more of a responsible individual in high school so that the transition would be relatively smooth. In high school I used to wait around until opportunities were handed to me. In college, I've learned that you need to pursue everything yourself because in the end you are responsible for your own success. Therefore if you don't put the work in, don't expect a reward. Decision making goes hand in hand with being a responsible student. You need to make so many important decision in college that if you are not confident in what you choose, it could set you back a while. In the end, don't forget to set aside time for yourself so you don't go crazy with work!


Well, I didn't decide to go to an actually university I chose to go the other route and go a technical school because I knew what i wanted to do specifically. I would do everything different from what I know now though. I would probably have taken a year off to save up money to be ready for school. I would tell myself to have stayed put in the town I live now and find a school closer to where I live and not have been so stuck on moving away to live with a now ex bestfriend. The good thing is that I'm still young and can always start back over at a different place!


I was lucky. My transition of moving to college was not extremely difficult for me, but the workload had me doing a double take. I have always been an A/B student, so I figured college would be the same way. While I am doing great and loving my classes, it requires much more work that I would have expected as high school was sort of a breeze for me. The advice I'd give to myself would be, "expect difficulty, but enjoy every minute of lectures, labs, and just the subject in general." In high school we were pressured to do well to get the grades to be able to attend the college of our choice; however, in college it is much different. I can actually take the time to thoroughly learn the material and enjoy having that knowledge, rather than stressing over it. I would tell myself to soak it all in and actually learn the material before freaking out over the tests. I wish I had known that before coming to college. As for leaving home, enjoy it. While it's great to come home for break, it's sometimes better to be at school.


College life is so much more than the movies and television shows make it out to be. The media plays it up to be a glamorous and easy, but it is far from that. There are great things that happen and there are glamorous parts, but it actually takes work in order to become the educated self you want to be. It is also a lot different than high school. You must study. You must pay attention. You must want to be there. Had I known what a difference there was going to be in study skills needed, I would have sought out the help of the Graduation Club that is offered at JMU from the very beginning. Lastly, I would have taken advantage of the office hours of professors. I would use them for the knowledge and caring that they so freely offer. In the realm of personality, I would have just been myself. I would have learned to love me for me, and not cared as much about what others thought.


Do things for yourself. Moving away from home and going to college seems to be the American dream, however leaving home isn't always a good thing. Keep an open mind and do not base your decision on those around you. Going to a college in your hometown will not make anyone look down on you. Coming from such a tight knit family, leaving home for the first time will not be easy, but try to keep an open mind through the entire process. You are good enough to attend any school you want to, just stay focused and try your best. Try not to stress over the finacial aspects of going to a school (especially one away from home). The numbers will look big and you will feel stressed out but just stay positive, everything will work out.


If I was given the opportunity to speak with my high-school self I would tell myself, first and foremost, not to feel less than for attending a community college. One person's needs are not the same as another's and so their college paths should not be either. Instead, I would tell myself to do what works best for me, fits my morals, and allows me to accomplish all that I have hoped for. If attending a community college allows me to do so it is something to be proud of. Secondly, I would remind myself that while college has become my priority there are other elements of my life that require attention. Without time spent with my family, contributions to my community, contact with the outdoors and opportunities for creative expression, I will find that my overall well-being will suffer, which will ultimately affect my work. Finally, I would tell myself that while student activities are beneficial for the skills they build, taking on too much responsibility as a club officer will leave little time to study. Like all freedoms and responsibilities that come with college life, it needs to exist in balance with the others.


Looking back on the start of my college life, there is not much that I would do differently. If I could give advice to myself as a high school senior, it would be to stop wishing away my time in my hometown. I would tell myself that although it is important to open up to new people, make sure to keep in touch with the friends that have always been there for you. I would also tell myself that it's important to learn about things that aren't taught in classes; to pay attention to the surrounding world. My last recommendation would be to not stress as much, to think about things in perspective and to think about mistakes as learning experiences. Other than these minute but important pieces of advice, I think that I would let myself take on the college transition as I did in reality: openly and enthusiastically.


Meet as many people as you can freshmen year. Speak up in class as much as possible (teachers love students that participate). Declare a minor early. Enjoy the ease of living on campus. Enjoy the four years in college, they go faster than you think.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I know now about college, I would tell myself not to waste time. I would tell myself to get started on my higher education as soon as possible because college will be here very quickly. I would have taken dual enrollment classes to help save time and get to my bachelor's degree sooner. I would tell myself that I should have taken high school classes a little more seriously because if I had performed better, I could have gone directly into a university without having to go to a community college to get my GPA up first. I worked toward an Advanced Studies Diploma with a Community Service Award in high school and I held a job along the way as well. I would tell myself not to work and to focus more on my studies, that there will be plenty of time to work in the future and the best way to spend time as a high school senior is definately focusing on your grades.


In the course of human events, it is sometimes undertaken upon oneself to enter into an institution of higher learning. While this arduous task is considered to be of the utmost serious matter, as thy parents will surely remind thyself every semester –if not week, there is to an extent a degree of fun that surrounds this higher institution we call ‘university’. Yet, it is imperative to make known a list of grievances in order to inform thyself of what will happen. First, major in a subject thy is strong in or alas, thy GPA will suffer. Second, roommates can be a blessing, such as hanging out or pigging out together; but they often have an incurable disease of mooching. Third, loud noises will prevent thy from sleep in thy dorm or apartment the last three nights of the week. Fifth, don’t bring everything in thy room from home because thy will only use a quarter of the things. Sixth, don’t eat until thy stomach’s bursting every evening at the all-thy-can-eat buffet because thy will have an unpleasant roundness in the following months. This ‘university’ is filled with adventure and surprises –thy journey awaits.


So far at James Madison University, my experience has been one that I could not have imagined before coming here. It has been mostly a positive experience. I have been challenged intellectually, spiritually, financially, and sometimes even emotionally. These challenges, however, have not discouraged me from pursuing my goals and working hard to attain an education. Attending JMU has been very valuable because at this university, we are not only taugh what we need to know for our major and attended career, but also overall life skills and knowledge through their general education classes, campus activities, presentations, and other opportunities. My experience has been one that I will never forget, but will also draw from for the rest of my life. The only real hardship it poses is that it is a huge financial burden to attend James Madison University, and that adds a stress that puts strain on my education and overall experience.


I have learned that hard work does not always pay off, but that is alright as long as you continually learn. It is very hard to self-motivate, but college is ultimately all about time management and allowing yourself to be your own boss. Knowing that you did your best and that is all you can do is very important in a college environment. College is so far different from high school and students who don't realize that quickly enough really stuggle to get their educational ball rolling. Being at James Madison has taught be how to work with a team of people, through marching band, my professional women's fraternity, and through group classwork. Working as a team is a skill that is necessary and will follow me throughout my life. The world is about team work and working with people that you don't necessarily pick to work with. James Madison has taught me that by working with others and alongside amazing people, anything is possible. Working hard will lead to a great life.


During my time at American University, I have expanded my horizons immensely. My home was like a bubble and my life consisted of suburban culture. In Washington DC, there are no barriers. I am constantly challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I have access to so many opportunities that I feel my time here is too short. Already, I have learned that I can become a leader and I can move away from the crowd. American University allows me to surpass what I thought was my full potential. I am one of the co-chairman of the Greek Programming Broad and I am planning the largest student run event, Greek Week 2011. There is more than 1,000 students and over 50 organizations involved. The website for this event is americangreekweek.com. My career aspirations have developed also. I was given the opportunity to tutor high school students at a charter school and I am grateful for my education and understand the importance of a strong education. The student I tutored had trouble with her there, their, and they're. Now, I want to focus on International Development and education in Latin America.