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Lake Tahoe Community College

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

Francesca, I know you can't wait to graduate and be done with school, but please, I urge you to take your future education seriously. I know you want to experience life and don't really care much for college, but one day, you will regret not pursuing your education fully. You are so young, intelligent and full of potential and you shouldn't let it go to waste. I understand you haven't the faintest idea of what you want to do with your life, but once you begin college, you will be able to explore so many different options until you finally choose what you love the most. I have a feeling you'll be drawn to philosophy, nutrition and health (just a hunch). Also, there is a balance - you will still be able to experience life and even travel while in school - there are some really amazing study abroad programs. Please just keep an open heart and mind, because there is so much you don't know and won't know, until you delve deep into your education. You will love it, trust me. Love, Future Francesca

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First and foremost, don’t forget that you have a dream to become a great musician. Your mom says throw music away, your friend says pick a real career—even the school counsellors tell you not to waste your affinity for academics. However, you must believe in yourself; don’t compromise your dreams for others’ words. That said, you shouldn’t feel like you have to go off to a four-year college right away. Indecision has left you with few options—fine. Don’t just pick one because everybody else is leaving and you want to leave home, too. Slow down; do your first couple years at the community college if you have to. It’s better than leaving home then feeling like you aren’t where you’re supposed to be. All in all, don’t let self-doubt or fear of the unknown render you unable to move forward. You have a strong drive and the passion to succeed, so don’t give up on yourself before you even try. Just remember that for every person that says you can’t, there’s someone else cheering you on.

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If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior, one of the most important pieces of information would be to enjoy each and every day to the fullest. I have noticed that time seems to fly by in college; whether that is because classes only last for twelve weeks or because my schedule is so much different than it was in high school, I do not know. With the quarter system, classes are over before you know it. This is nice in one sense because it gives you the opportunity to take many different classes. Also, if you are taking a class you do not enjoy (and trust me, you will), you don't have long to suffer with it. On the other hand, you always have to stay on top of assignments and essays because otherwise you will fall way behind. I would recommend that you make sure and take a well-balanced quarter with required classes and electives you have fun in. While the main purpose of college is to gain an education, it is also just as important that you enjoy the experience.

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I would tell myself a couple of things. First, don't go to a community college. People say that it makes the college transition easier, but I've found that it's not. When you pick a 4-year university that you want to transfer to, you have to figure out which classes at one institution match with which classes at the other institution. For me, that's quite difficult. Second, I would let myself know that there is a considerable amount more of studying required for college classes then high school classes. That fact is common sense, but I don't think high school students are aware of just how much more studying is actually involved. I know that I underestimated it and struggled my first semester of college because of that.

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