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Lakeland Community College

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

Dear Me, This upcoming semester will be stressful...relax! Nobody in the lunchroom is interested in whether your blouse matches your skirt. Did I say skirt? Beware and be strong, for college is a sea of denim. Don't be self-conscious--be comfortable with yourself and who you are. Yes, study hard, but don't allow it to flood and control every thought, emotion, or waking moment. Study when it's time to study, and play when it's time to play. However, do not be alarmed when you find yourself (because you will) reciting the names of bones and their processes, foramen, and tubercles in the twilight hours of your sleep. Always make friends with your professors, make eye contact during the lecture, and smile! Don't bother with a notebook: filler paper works just fine for lecture notes because you will need to rewrite them anyway. Oh, forget the bookbag, it's not worth it. Lugging a notebook or two, with a few books, is much easier and saves a trip to the chiropractor. Sincerely yours... P.S. Please go to bed on time... it is hard sitting through a four-hour class when sleep deprived.

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Focusing on what I could have done differently during my high school years, I've realized that I made a lot of mistakes. Knowing what I know now I would have taken advantage of the 'leaf' assistant. I would have applied myself in my studies more instead of focusing on a paycheck. I would have asked more questions during class instead of being a standoff student. I would have participated in more community service because every time I did I enjoyed myself. I would have 'dressed to impress' everyday. I would have read more during high school if I knew what I know now. I would have kept my notes more organized and would have participated in more student group activities. I would have conitued in sports and applied myself to the fullest, even if I wasn't the best. I would have composed another fundraiser and worked harder on my Skills USA competition projects. I would have taken more time to apply for scholarships so that my college education, my dreams, and my career would be less of a financial crisis and instead a blessing. I would have done a lot of things differently during my high school years.

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Expand your horizons and don't be afraid to do something outside your comfort zone. There are many great opportunities awaiting but you need to take action. Don't expect the life you've always wanted to be handed to you. If you do not have enough financial resources to get to your dream school, consider the alternative. No college is permanent so you can work really hard at a smaller, less expensive school, and get scholarships or save money to transfer to your ideal school. Some colleges focus on careers and programs to get you hired right after graduated, these are great but don't be pressured. If you are undecided, college is also about finding yourself in the world. It is about learning how to interact with different people, growing on an interpersonal level, and then matching up a career once you've done the first two. Research schools in and out before attending. Do not be afraid to ask for help, as these decisions are difficult. Get involved with activites on campus or in the local community once you're there and the transition will be much more enjoyable. Use the college's resources!

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My first three semesters in college have offered me with extremely novel experiences, and have caused me to form a new, eye-opening perspective on not only education, but life in general. Making the transition from the routine and shelter of high school to the college atmosphere, where schedules and classes can be chosen to your particular career path and interests was new and somewhat overwhelming - but very exciting. If I were to go back in time and speak with my high-school senior self, I would advise myself to open my eyes and my mind, and allow myself to take in every new experience I possibly could. I would encourage myself to work even harder during my senior year; reminding myself that good habits form early, and being determined to succeed and work to my potential during my last year of high school would provide an even more solid foundation for my college education. I would let myself know that hard work and a strong drive to acheive paired with an open mind to take in new experiences is a key for not only transition, but long-lasting success.

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As I began this journey as a single mother deciding to go back to school I wished that someone would of told me not to give up on myself as a person and to continue my education as far as it would allow me to go. As a recovering addict of 35 years old I wish that someone would of told me that there are resources out there that cold be utilized, if needed, that would help someone if they were confused, felt alone, or just simply needed an ear to listen. I think that kids today need to be aware of the many options that life holds for them. Good or Bad. I think that we need to teach kids today that they are resposible for the choices they make and that all choices good or bad come with consequences. I also wish someone would of told me that my bad choices could follow me well into my thirties and still hold bad consquences. It is important, I feel, that we allow the kids of today to know both sides of the stories. Not everyone can do it right the first time, but second chances are just that.

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If I could talk to myself as a Senior in high school, based on what I now know about life, I woud encourage myself to go to further my education. When I was in high school I did not apply myself at all. Now, I regret it. I would tell myself that I am a smart person, and am worthy of more than being stuck in a blue-collar job for the rest of my life. I would highlight my talents and tell myself that college isn't as difficult, nor as intimidating as I assume it to be. I would tell myself that I am capable of finishing college and doing it well. I would tell myself that I am destined to be a great writer and that I am more than capable of even winning literature prizes if I apply myself. I would convince myself not to be afraid and tell myself that I would regret not going to college if I didn't do. I would say that if I did go to college, I would love myself far better for it. I am worthy of greatness, and I do deserve it.

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Some words of advice I would've told myself would be keep going. At times I wanted to fail or drop out of my courses because they seemed too hard to accomplish and I thought I wasn't ready. If I had been more supportive of myself and actually was proud of what I was doing, I could have pushed through my Associate's Degree with a higher GPA and been able to qualify for more financial support in the later years. Also, instead of taking time off from school to work full-time, I would have told myself to go back immediately after High School instead of taking a semester off. During High School I thought I was missing out on growing up because I spent so much time at college instead of around people my age, and I wish I hadn't resented my family so much for pushing me to do it. Looking back now, I realize that I got a gift not many people get to experience by getting two free years of education and my Associate's Degree.

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"Don't give up." This advice given to me by the dean of the business department at the two year college I most recently attended when we both knew my time there was almost over and some did not want me there. Thinking back to my senior year transitioning into college if someone would have said that to me then I believe it would have saved me ten years. This was a time when everything and everyone starts to pull away so I pulled away from myself. "You are going to graduate no matter what anyone tries to tell you. You are already accepted at the college you want to go to. You are going to get a very good scholarship. You are worth it and you can do this. It looks scary but you are already there; take the next step." It shocks her when she sees the scar on the side of my head. She knows but can not understand. "It gets better. Just look up. Do whatever it is. Don't give up."

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If i had the chance to go back in time it is currently my senior year of high school I am enjoying all the so called "lasts" you experience while also looking forward to my future plans and successes. I would want to remind myself planning is essential to get through college, especially finances and being comfortable in the sittuatuation you choose to put yourself in. I know your enjoying this time, but please do not procrastinate planning for your future. You defineitly have to pick the right school for YOU! your the most imporatant priority, making sure your happy. Researching grants, scholarships and loans is huge too. Make sure you have a checklist it will definitely be helping on paving your pathway to success.

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If I could go back in time as a high school senior and give myself advice it would be to stay focused and keep pushing towards positive things and also to finish college. The reason why I would tell myself these things is because I love college..But the some students go to college for different reasons and take it as a joke. Well I dont..U can go and have fun but at the same time you got to take care of business..Im focused on my grades and to complete my classes , so that I am able to receive my degree..If I was still in high school and know the things I know now it would just be to study and take care business..

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