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Jefferson State Community College

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

RING! RING! The classroom doors open and all seniors rush to the gym for the first pep rally of the year. The last year ever of high school and my mind lingers nowhere in the perimeter of the classroom. A year and a half later, I sit reminiscing on the immaturity of my thought process of my senior year. Assuming that I could go back to my first day of my senior year and give advice to myself, I would have plenty to say. I would advise myself to focus on school a little more than the cute boy sitting behind me in science. Education is a precious gift that should be valued. I would beg myself to see that it is important to work hard in everything I do. I would also remind myself that nothing worthwhile is easy or free. It takes hard work to reach the goals that we treasure most. I would also advise taking the ACT, SAT and financial aid processes seriously. Growing up is intimidating. Learning to study hard and have help from adults is something that I would repeatedly remind myself of during my senior year. Lastly, work hard, but have fun!

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I would tell myself to forget about the boy and stay in college! I would tell myself to quit procrastinating and get my application in on time to the school of my choice, University of Florida. Though I didn't know what I wanted to do at the time, I regret not staying in school and experiencing college life. The classes, friends, football games, etc. I am pretty sure my life would be totally different had I stayed in college. I might have been able to begin my dream career earlier in life. I might be financial secure by now. But, instead, I am 31 years old and I don't have much to show for my accomplishments. Which is one of the reasons I am back in school. I want to set a positive example for my daughter as well as gain knowledge that will help me in my real estate career. For me, it's no so much about money, but instead it's about knowledge and education. I never want to stop learning. Being educated and always learning something new is what keeps life interesting; otherwise, life gets stale and mundane, and I don't want that.

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I would tell myself not to worry so much. College is a lot more fun and interesting than people make it sound. Yes, it can be stressful, and it is a lot of hard work, but it is more than worth it. You will learn a lot about yourself as a person. Your views on some things will change, and that's okay. You will meet a lot of different people, some of whom will challenge you and others who will become amazing friends. You will have some incredible, unforgettable teachers who will help you learn, who will shape your views, and teach you things about life beyond just what's in your textbooks. However, you will also have some teachers that aren't so great, but it's okay, you'll still pass thier classes. Just work hard, and you'll make it. Don't be afraid to try new things. Don't pass up opportunities because they scare you. If you say yes, you just might find that it will be one of the best decisions you've ever made. Start studying for Scholars Bowl now, please. You might could've helped me earn more tropies that way!

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Since returning to school in January 2010 I have found my college experience to be very enjoyable. I had been considering a return to school for many years, and felt that now with my children older and almost ready to start college themselves was a good time for me to do so. Although intimidated initially and not at all sure what to expect, I have found that the years of experience I have gained whether from work, family, friends, or society has allowed me to be more prepared as a student. Meeting other adults just like me returning to college after a long absence and building friendships. The value in returning to college serves two purposes for me: first, I am continuing my education because that is what I wanted to do, not only will it provide me with growth but also the advantages to be successful professionally; second, I want to be an example for my children, as they get ready to enter college, to show them that if one wants something bad enough and with hard work and dedication one will achieve.

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I graduated high school in 1995 and only completed a year of community college before dropping out. I have just recently returned at 31 years of age. If I could revisit my 18-year old self I would advise myself that the transition to college life is a lot easier at 18 than at 31. The reasons I did not go away to college and summerse myself in that life because at that age I was scared. However I have learned that the value of an education earned in those years supercedes the sacrifices it takes if waiting til one is older. After ten years experience in the corporate world, I have learned that having a degree presents itself with better opportunities than without. Also, when I was 18 I didn't have a house payment, utilities payments and a 40-hour work week to contend with on top of attending class and studying. I would explain all this to myself and give the encouragement that I needed at that time to overcome the fears and worries that held me back from completing a four-year degree.

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I would give myself the advice to do everything to the full extent that i can. Give my all in everything that i do. From playing football as a senior when you know your team isnt the greatest but that its your last year and you have to give it your all. In the classroom that i give it all to pull out the grades even higher than i did and study with all my mite to get what i deserve doing all i did through school. Getting more involved into activites outside of school more than i did already. Making sure that i didnt make any bad decisions and changes somethings in my life that would have a better turn out if i didnt do. Making sure that i keep in good touch and a great realtionship with all my friends, family, teachers and above all GOD! Make sure that i knew then what i know now that God is in control of everything and my life has turned out the way that he wanted it to and if something was going to happen that was bad he would always be there with me throught everything.

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I was excited to move away to college and ready to be away from my family and classmates. I chose a school that was 4 hours away. I looked at the good side of the school. It was an hour from the beach. I was jazzed to go. However, I didn't talk to students who attended that school. Once I received a scholarship, I was set. That was a major mistake on my part. Three weeks into the semester, I was drowning. I had to take 17 credits or lose my scholarship.I'm not a very outgoing person. I stayed isolated in my dorm room for 2 weeks before I was allowed to come home. Once I came back, I took the rest of the semester off then started at community college. I had wasted time and money because I didn?t look at all sides of the school. Now that I?m ready to transfer to a school that I am really ready to attend, I can't afford a full year of schooling. I am frantically searching for scholarships to cover the money that I squandered since I made an ill-informed decision 2 years ago.

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If I were a High School senior again, I would make certain that I applied for many colleges and many scholarships and not procrastinate. I highly suggest not procrastinating on homework or doing well on the SAT and ACT either. Look into High School extra-curricular programs as they DO help colleges make decisions for your acceptance. A college education is very expensive and having the money is the most important thing, making sure that you are funded for college will help you not stress as much while you are attending college and that WILL make it easier to achieve good grades. Know that moving far-away from home to attend college can be very emotional and can affect your decision to attend a full 4 years; so, be willing to be away from home for very extensive amounts of time. Don't take going to college as a joke, it is crucial to prepare and apply for, I would even suggest getting ready for college your junior year of High School; if I could go back in time, I would.

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The advice I would gove my highschool self about college life and making the transition would to be to actually go through with following your dreams as opposed to going along with where you were pressured into going. My origin intent for college was to study at the University of Montevallo where I felt like I would truly discovered what I wanted to be and would be able to mature into the adult I knew I was inevitably becoming. Due to financial set backs and the pressure from my parents to stay at home and save money on student loan debt, I made the decision to stay behind and do as I was advised. It was my own fault; I have no one else to blame but myself. I would advise my past self to work harder on getting scholarships. Now I actively volunteer and do things for my community to give myself a better chance at scholarship opportunities. I am finally taking control of my own life: i should have done this in high school.

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High school is just a stepping stone into life. People make such a big deal about high school and ones social stature. I have learned now that this is completely irrelevant. I was so focused about where I stand in the social order in high school I lost focus on what really matters. I would tell myself to better prepare myself for college by learning better study habits, and focusing on important issues in life like money mangement and self efficientcy. I would tell myself to do better in the area of time management, as this proves to be one of my biggest faults in college. This is not to say one should not have a good time in high school. There is nothing more important than to make good, honest friends. My final message is that it does not matter if you were team captain of the football team in high school, its irrelevant in college. The people that you laughed at in high school, will be your boss in the near future!

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