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Kent State University at Kent

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

After gaining a familiarity with the transition of going to college and the life that comes with it, there’s some advice i could give to myself. The first portion of advice is the most straightforward advice, that is to never give up. It can be simple to just get so overwhelmed by the new environment of college and the expectations placed on you that quitting seems like an easy option. Though now i know from my past experiences that giving up can make everything worse. Due to those unforeseeable consequences i have newfound realization of the importance of trying my best and a brand new belief that i can handle more than what i thought i could. Another piece of advice thats helpful for my past self to hear is to not let every moment pass by. All the change that happens when going out into the world, i forgot how to enjoy the little things that happened when in college. Always focused on just school work and yes thats the point for going to college but when i ignored the happy moments i missed out on occasions that could have added to the positive experience in college.

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As I look back on my last year of high school, I remember being very confused about this whole college issue; not knowing where to apply, what courses to take, and what to major in. If I were to travel back in time, telling myself to listen to my parents and to apply to the university closest to me would be a priority, and explaining to myself that scholarships are a lot more important than I made them out to be would come to be a close second. After that discussion, I would introduce myself to the joys of AP classes inorder to convince myself that taking more science and math AP classes would be very much worth the money and time took studying, for any caring field that I was looking into would all require even more intense courses in college. I would assure myself that nursing is really the career for me, that pre-medicinal studies will also be an option, and that my interest in psychology can be satisfied by taking up a minor in psychology. Once I have completed my mission of advice-giving, I would repeat everything once more and emphasize the difficulty of college.

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Dear Elizabeth, I would like to give you some advice about college life. First, I want to assure you your choice to continue your education after high school is a great decision. Second, I want you to meet with your counselor and/or mentor and narrow down your strengths and weaknesses relative to your hobbies, personality, and intelligence. Finally, once you have narrowed your choices, I want you to shadow the professional(s) in the appropriate field(s) of study. This will confirm you are on the right career path. Don’t forget to ask a ton of questions! After all, everyone has a story. As a college student, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I graduated with a Bachelors degree and 3 yrs later I have decided to pursue a 2 yr degree in Physical Therapy Assisting. Several student loans later, I wish I would have researched all the possibilities. As a 17 yr old, you must feel a lot of pressure from your peers and the adults in your life, to rush into such a major life choice but I promise that if you take the time to research your interests you will do great! Sincerely-Me

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If I had the opportunity to go back in time and give advice to my high school self I would have many things to say. I would start by telling myself that it is extremely important to study even in high school level classes. These classes are where you learn the basic information that you will build on in college level courses, so when you study in high school it is important that you take the time to learn the information instead of memorizing and then forgetting the information the day after the exam. Also by studying in high school you learn what methods of studying work best for you. Next I would tell myself to take advantage of all the classes offered in high school. I always enjoyed and had an easy time with math in high school so, i've I declared myself a math major. I would advise myself to diversify myself however and spend some extra time in language courses or english courses. These classes will make the required first year courses in college easier, and having the ability to write a well written essay or summary is extremely important in college for any major.

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Throughout high school I was always told to study and focus on my grades, so I was fully prepared for the SATs and I had a strong GPA to apply with. Although these numbers are a vital aspect of applying to any university, I wish I had focused less on my academic work. Studies are incredibly important and should most certainly not be slacked upon, but high school is also an experience. If I could go back and tell my high school self anything, I would tell myself to get involved and take advantage of all the opportunities high school had to offer. The importance of getting involved is so overseen because of the publicity of grades and scores that we forget about the experience. I wish I would have tried out for a play or attended almost every sporting event that I could instead of spending that night studying and worrying about all the work I had to do. High school was my opportunity to step outside of my shell, to be adventurous and try something new, but I failed at experiencing that opportunity. Do not wait until your senior year like I did, instead get involved early.

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Attending San Jacinto College has given me a broader view of the oppertunities that are available to me if I successfully complete their requirements. With the knowledge and experience I have gained from the instructors at San Jac I feel signifacntly empowered to complete difficult tasks in my work environment as well as in my everyday life. I am greatful for the flexibilty of the school and its courses because they have truly made it easier for me to attend and attempt to complete my degree in a hybrid course scenario (50% in class, 50% online). As a full time employee, mother and fulltime student I have found that I do better with these type of classes so it has been greatly beneficial for my situation. I can't wait to finish my degree so that I am able to gain my title and promotion at work as well as being able to provide my family with a brighter future that without my education they would not have. By completing my A.A.S I feel encouraged to continue on to my Bachelor's degree and hopefully make a diffence in many of the perils that our country faces everyday.

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Taking My Own Advice My name is Teiana Whitehead, you in 18 years. Whatever your passion is now, trust me, in the future there’s a way to become financially successful doing just that. First it’s best to have some idea of a major field of study, and what type of college you’re interested in. Next, you should meet with your high school counselor at the beginning of the school year to determine the prerequisites the college requires for admissions. Join some peer groups, or volunteer in some community services, which would really look good on your college application. Not only will it look good but it could be your free ticket in, with scholarships and grant. I know that sounds like a little extra work, but I know from experience it’s a lot more exciting than writing essays (laughing). Again, I will tell you the most important way to succeed in life and to have a career doing what you love to do is to go to college! Go ahead and have a great time in high school and please don’t skip your Government class. College is our key! Love you! Sincerely, You

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High school me, let me tell you. Stop keeping yourself awake at night. Stop visualizing failure for sub-par assignments and loss of friendship from bickering or drama between peers. There’s so much going for you at this very moment that’s dormant for your future that you don’t even notice, even though it’s hard for you to see past a Friday night. These breaths you’re taking, tears you’re shedding, and steps you’re making toward success are only the baby steps. In college, you're can start feeling the chain lift of your life slowly inch up the hill, with every club you join and every status position you gain, you only get closer to your dream of that successful life you've had pictured since you were young. Relax and take a deep breath. The transition into college life is everything but scary. There's exhilarating responsibility to gain, knowledge beyond your imagination, and time to visualize everything you're going to be. The light only gets bigger and brighter, and I promise you’ll be one big shining star. I can promise this because you’re here to write this letter.

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If i could go back in time to give myself advice about the college life i am experiencing, i would have a very long conversation with myself. I would advise myself not to go for the business field like i first planned because i will end up majoring in French. I would advise myself that college is awsome but i need to keep focusing on my english grammar because there will be plenty of scholarship application that i must write, thus i must develope a stronger vocabulary. I would tell myself to speak with my closest friend, whom i recently lost through drug overdose, to stop using drugs because we would end up being roommates and that he also ends up being my personal english and math tutor. I would tell myself that despite being homeless in the middle of my high school year and sleeping in my car until my freshman year in college, life works out pretty great because i would end up traveling abroad and winning a scholarship due to my work well done. I would tell myself to keep believing because the college i chose is surprisingly amazing due to the one on one counseling.

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Some make choosing a college sound like the most important decision of your life. In some ways, it is. You can't be afraid to apply to schools that are Ivy-League, private, or extremely selective. The effort of applying to good schools, out of state schools, and exclusive schools may be intimidating, but in ten years, or even just one or two, you could be thanking yourself and everyone who helped you get into that school of your dreams; or you could be regretting not taking a chance. Choosing a major is important in college selection. You should research majors available across America, and all related majors. When you find one that suits you, or jumps out at you, then you can start selecting a school. Not all schools have the same majors; some won't even have the one you're looking for. That is why it's important not to be intimidated. There is support out there for everyone; even if your friends or family can't help, someone else can. College is what you make it. You can turn a new leaf, or better yourself in some way. Everyone's expirience is different.

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