You are about to enter the best four years of your life to date. Note, however, that what you get out of college is a measurable reflection of what you put into it. Your brain power and work ethic will be challenged, but overcoming these challenges will make way for countless opportunities. Your social skills and social awareness will be tested, but stay true to your ethics and morals while keeping an open mind to what others have to offer, and you will emerge with some of the most important friendships you will ever develop. Be driven, be focused, and keep your goals at the forefront of your decision-making. However, do not be so driven that you isolate yourself, do not be so focused that you forego chances to expand, and always understand that goals will inevitably shift and grow. A common phrase you may hear is “Work smarter, not harder.” Bullshit. Work smart, work hard. Know that without making a proactive effort to exercise the reaches of your intelligence and work as hard as you can, you cheat yourself of reaching your true potential. Challenge convention, dare to be better, know your limitations, and then break through them.
Be grateful for the time you have in college. I am not only referring to college in general and how fast it goes by, but rather take advantage of the hour of free time you have and instead of taking a nap, do something productive. One thing I regret about my first year as a college student is that I wish I could have been more involved around campus. Yes, I joined many clubs and organizations, but I also could have attended more events that were being run by other organizations. I am not saying to become more involved only so you can improve your resume, but instead so you can look back on college and know you took advantage of every opportunity you were given. Choosing a major in college not only depends on what courses you excel in, but also what you enjoy doing. Being involved in a diverse array of activities allows you to see what you enjoy doing and what you don't. Finally don't stress. Stress is inevitable in college, but if you know you are making the most of your time at school, you can not do anything, so just enjoy it.
Nervous may not be the proper word to describe how I felt about transitioning from high school to college. More particularly, I felt uncertain about my capabilities of doing well academically and adapting well to the different environment. I was sure that I would make friends, but I was not certain how long it would take me to get settled. Do not let your fear, nervousness or uneasiness prohibit you from enjoying the process of transitioning. You only get one chance at a ' high school to college transition.' Embrace the excitement, awkwardness, nerves and novelty of adapting to a new period in your life. It sounds weird and almost impossible, but it is important to accept the change because you will experience change for the rest of your life. Your ability to enjoy diversity and variation now will greatly influence how you respond to changes in your work environment, living conditions, and more. Embrace the change, because will always be constant.
You’re afraid, I know. You’ve lived in the same small town your whole life. You’ve had the same core group of friends since you were 11. And now you’re leaving all that behind, and you are terrified.
It’s ok to be terrified.
But it’s not ok to let that hold you back.
It’s not ok to get to college and turn your new friends into your old ones, or your new routine into your old one. This is the start of something great, something beautiful, something completely new: this is the start of you.
Not you as your parents want you to be. Not you as you think your teachers expect you to be. Not you who wants to blend in with the crowd. This is the time to show them—the world—who you really are, in the purest, most wholesome sense of the word.
So don’t hold back. No regrets. Take the risks to meet new people, do new things, and live your life the way you want to, because this is the time to be unapologetically YOU.
Take control of your fear, and let it propel you into greatness.
After one horrible exam, I went to my professor's office. This professor, whom I admired greatly, said something that almost made me cry.
“You’re a freshman. You shouldn’t even be in my class.”
“But I love Organic Chemistry!”
“Yeah, well you would have loved it next year.”
I talked to a student who'd had him before. “Was he saying he didn’t want me in his class?”
She didn’t think so. Except for that exam, I was doing well. He probably meant I was already advanced for my level so I shouldn’t despair setbacks.
What this incident showed me is how unexpectedly vulnerable my self-confidence became at college. Away from home and my secure friend group, I was challenged in ways I’d never imagined. When I didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped, I looked to people around me for indication whether this was normal or I was a failure. Suddenly I trusted their judgment more than my own.
My advice to my high school self is this: Stay positive. Prove doubters wrong. Only you know what you’re truly capable of. Now is the time to let it shine.
Dear Senior Kayla,
4 Advance Placement classes, The Common Application, and decisions. I know what you're going through. It seems that your whole life you've been working to get into the best college, and the time is getting closer and closer. Don't stress. I promise you that you will get into the school that is meant for you. The tears that you shed last night because of the amount of anxiety are not worth it. You don't need to spend hours on end in the library. Study hard and do well, but take time to enjoy the little things in life. This is the last year you'll spend time with your family. Although the nagging seems never-ending, there will be a time when you miss Mom's singing in the morning to wake you up and of course, her food. Use this last year at home to grow and mature; Learn how to iron a shirt and cook a meal in a microwave. In the end, be happy. You'll have time to stress about academics and make lifelong friends when you're in college. Trust me.
If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would remind myself what I truly wanted from a college. I truly wanted a place where I could earn a phenomenal education and succeed in finding a job after graduation. Lehigh is the perfect environment to do just that. Priorities are key when looking for a place to study for the next four years. Education should remain the highest priority as you make your decision of where to go, but location, atmosphere, and culture should not be overlooked. If a student does not feel comfortable on his campus, he will not succeed as well as he could elsewhere. These types of these are also extremely important in making a college choice. If I could go back, I would remind myself of my top priorities.
The most important thing I would say to my high school self is learn to develop good study habits. In high school, the level of academic difficulty is not nearly as high as it is in college, especially since I came from a high schoool that was not that academically rigourous. It was easy to get high grades without studying too much and thats why I struggled to adjust to the academics in my first semester. Another piece of advice I would give is to definitely try and meet as many people as I can within my first semester. It becomes harder after that because people form their own groups and you have to make more of an effor later on. Freshman year, everyone is on the same boat as you and noone knows anybody. Remember that you can completely change how you want yourself to be preceived by others because nobody knows you. If you were known to be shy and conserved in high school, you can completely turn that around in college. Lastly, learn to keep a good balance between acadamics and your social life. You are given a lot of new freedom so learn to be responsible.
If I could go back in time and be able to talkt to myself as highschool senior, I would give my self the encouragement needed and the certaintity that everything will be okay. I would tell my self that college has been a great experience so far, and that instead of being nervous about it I should be excited to attend college. In addition, I would inform myself about the many liberties that living on capus gives you as well as the responsabilities that one has to assume as an adult. I would tell my self about all the amazing people I have met so far and also about the great trachers and professors that have helped me on I needed their help. I used to think that college would be really difficult because I would not have anyone to rely on when I needed help, but I was wrong.
Learn to love learning and writing, and make sure that you apply to as many scholarships as you can. Start applying to colleges as early as possible, and be sure to get advice from a lot of different people to decide whether or not your applications will be effective. Nothing is ever "good enough"- make it perfect. Most importantly, never stop working on what is important to you, that is, do something constructive every day. Even if it's as simple as organizing your college choices into a list, adding a sentence or to to your essay, or sending some emails, it's all the little things that count toward eventual success.
Looking back on it, I would tell my past self to take himself less seriously. Don't try to impress colleges, embrace the ones that accept you for being you. I would tell him not to stress out about not getting into the top schools that he's always dreamed of going to because in reality how would he know where he wants to go? While everybody else was trying to make their essays sound extremely deep, he shoud be focusing on writing about his passions instead of writing about what he thought they wanted to hear.
I would tell him to really enjoy all the moments he has with his friends. High school will be the last place where you can talk and make jokes in class and it will be the last place where you will recognize everybody around you. Don't take those friends for granted because next year, you won't see them on a regular basis. Just remember that they are the people that got you where you are now.
Just enjoy yourself because college is just one step closer to adulthood. Get your work done, then focus on being a kid.
You'll love college, just remember to try slightly harder on those APs, because you didn't do nearly as bad on that physics one thatn you thought, and please remember to be even more outgoing than you are now.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself during my senior year about college life I would tell myself, "Keep Drawing so you can become a better artist; apply for many scholarships no matter how discouraging it is that you might not be selected, join school programs and get involved in what is happening around the campus, and please whatever happens don’t stop drawing even if the people around you think your college major won’t get you anywhere”. I would also tell myself " Continue pursuring your passion in art animation and you might just leave an impression on this world, become the next Walt Disney and allow art to leave an impression on us all"
I would urge myself to not stress out as much. In high school I always put my academics above other things and thus missed out on what would have been very rewarding social experiences. It is important to know that your grades do not define you as a person nor do they denote how skilled of a worker you will be. Getting practical real-life experiences such as internships or working at your local off-campus restaurant will prove to be far more beneficial because it teaches you how to interact with people and behave in a work environment. The sooner you are exposed to scenarios that mock real life, then the better. I would urge high school students or anyone who worries about engaging in extracurriculars for fear of it negatively impacting your grades to not make getting an A in every class their top priority. That's not to say that you should not try to do well... Always try to do your best! As long as you put in your utmost effort, you will find the experience of trying to balance academia with other priorities very rewarding.
If i could write a letter to myself my first day of high school i would give myself five pieces of advice. My first piece of advice would be to study. Study hard, study often, and never think you do not need to because you always do. Second you should not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes it may be embarassing and you feel like everyone is looking down on you, but the teachers don't mind and they can help you do better then you ever thought you would. My third piece of advice would be get involved. Join Student Government, join a sport, join as many clubs as you possibly can. You will meet more people, and it will make your high school experience that much more fun. Fourth i would say stick with ROTC. The people will be your friends even after you leave and it will help establish a lot of good values for life on down the road. The fifth and final piece of advice i would give to myself is have fun. It goes by much faster then you think and one day you'll be sitting there wondering where time went.
If I could go back to my senior year and have a talk with myself with the knowledge I have obtained from college and from simply living life and enduring its' experiences there is one thing I'd tell myself, “go to college and obtain an education in order to have a career; don't go to college to earn a degree simply to get a job.” There is a difference between a job and a career. A job is where you go to make ends meet, a place you receive a salary, and a place you go in order to survive. A career is somewhere you go because you want to, and as Confucius said, “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I would say to myself, “Get an education and use the education that you receive to live your dream because if you go to college without a dream and you are there just to earn a degree to get a job then in the end you will be working at someone else's business building their dream that could have been your own to begin with."
I do not have any advice to give myself at that point, if I could go back and talk to myself as a freshman in highschool I would tell myself to do better at school. I graduated and went straight into the army, I didn't have a plan, I didn't start higher education until I was 23. What I learned throughout my early adulthood prepared me for college, it is honestly one of the easiest things I've done; I enjoy it and it sure beats anything I was doing. The fact is I did not do well in high school, talking to my senior self would accomplish absolutly nothing. So if that was all I could do I probably would just tell myself not to get an apartment with that guy Steve; now if I could talk to myself as a freshman I would kick some sense into me. I would tell myself to buckle down and do better in school.
The advice that I would give my High School self would be; Go to College RIGHT after high school. It's definitely more of a challenge when you have full-time work, bills, house payments, family to support and the motivation to get back into the educational mindset. This allows you to start in the career path a lot sooner than if you wait, you have more time to ramp up, make more money, increase your retirement, all the things that will lack if you put your educaiton on hold. Transition straight into college from High School; Don't wait!!
In college, all anybody expects from you is the bare minimum requirements. Students and faculty alike talk about things like going to class and studying for tests as if they are great achievements, not the obvious facts of life that they have been for you.
Do not get lulled into a false sense of security. You are well prepared for this, and very smart, but just because others seem to expect you to be lazy does not mean that you can get away with being lazy.
Don't just stick with the things familiar to you, like science or marching band. Explore new subjects and clubs. Don't worry about thinking you'll be bad at something, because you know won't unless you try. College is a about learning, and what's the point of learning if you don't learn something new? Try things you never would have considered in high school, like swing dancing or who knows what else. And most importantly, don't forget to wake up each morning!
Knowing what I know now about college life and making transition, I would advise myself to take advantage of every class meeting by being there on time and ready to understand all that is being given. Ultimately, you learn that being able to achieve this goal starts with the preparation and the process of going into each class meeting. Master your every class meeting and you master your education. If you truely commit, the true reward in the end is witnessed through other areas of your life outside of your education life.
I would tell myself that freshman year is a year where mistakes are inevitable. Don't expect to have perfect grades or 8 hours of sleep every night just because that is what you experienced throughout high school. It is going to be a stressful time but just know that everyone is on your side and wants to see you succeed. The most important advice I can give is: Know and use your resources. Teachers, RA's, TA's, coaches, tutors, there are so many people who are willing to help make your experience better and it is up to you to find those resources and take full advantage of their help! There are so many opportunities available to better yourself like tutoring, resume workshops, job fairs, and mock interviews to name a few. Check your schools website often, and keep an eye on bullitens and e-mails that have these announcements.
Take the college admissions process very seriously and put more effort into it than you think you need to. Switching schools is a pain that no one wants to go through, so make sure you get it right the first time by putting time into thinking about where you want to go. Visting colleges before you make your decision is entirely worth the trip, because no matter how good or bad a college seems on a brochure, it can be completely different once you're there and really inside the campus life. Once you really are sure you have a lock on the few schools that are a match for you, tailor your application to those schools to not only show your strengths as a student but also your strengths as an individual; if anything, colleges now want someone unique and more than just a "good student." The more they feel like they know you off your application, the better impression you'll make on them. And, of course, remember to enjoy yourself once you're actually in college- education, while important, should never make you miserable.
Exploring the possibilities of higher education is always a beneficial investment. Taking the time to discover avenues of aid and opportunity will present a tremendously helpful hand when trying to alleviate the stresses of college life once you’ve enrolled. When you find information that you weren’t exactly looking for, this research becomes an extremely resourceful entity that brings you closer to your goals down the road. More often then not, the more I investigated, the more I discovered how to get the financial aid and academic help I needed in order to continue working towards my dreams.
Well, for one thing I am glad that I decided to go away to college; so far it has been a great experience. However, there were many things I wish I knew before leaving for school. Speaking to my High School self, I would tell her to not be so worried about creating a new image for myself. When people go away to school, they want be this amazing person they were not in high school, but it is perfectly fine to be yourself. Also, I would tell her to take her AP tests more seriously because they give you credits you will need to matriculate through school. I wouild tell her try not to rush into or be gullible there, friends will come and go just like high school, but to remember you are there for an education, firstly. Trying to make new friends is a given, but it is your childhood friends and family who will always be there. Respect and dont take your parents for granted because they will be paying for your education and only want you to succeed. I would tell her to be patient and be open to everyting college life brings.
If I could go back I would tell myself to be open to change. I always look back to my first semester and think of how I wasted it too busy being the same person I was in high school. The great thing about college is the fact that it changes you. I moved to the other side of the country and thought it was going to be the exact same, and when it wasn't I hid out in my room studying and not making friends. College is really what you make of it and you cant spend your whole time stuck in your ways. I think I've change my major about two times officially and about a dozen in my head. Its opened up great opertunities that I would have never choosen back in high school. My strongest words of advice would be to try everything, odds are your going to like some new things.
Knowing what I know now about the transition from high school into college, I would advise myself not to worry too much about making friends and taking new classes. One of the biggest things I have realized is that, as a freshman, everyone is in the same boat as me and we are all new to college. Everyone wants to make friends and fit in, so there will rarely be a time when a person doesn’t want to talk to you because they want to find new friends too. Another point I have noticed is that, in my particular case, the college classes I am taking are not extremely more difficult compared to my classes in high school, as I thought they would be. Instead the classes have a little more work and require a little more time and effort outside of class on my own, but are completely able to handle as a freshman. I would therefore tell myself not too worry as much about the difficulties in the transition and instead just be very excited to start this new chapter in my life.
If I could go back in time, there is one piece of advice that I would like to give myself. I would tell myself not to focus so strongly on "what I want to do with the rest of my life". It is important to try out a variety of classes in order to see what you like. Sometimes, students at Lehigh feel pressured to join the Business or Engineering schools just so they can get a job after college. However, they end up finding that this might not be the right profession for them years after they graduate from college. The most important thing about academics in college is to find what you enjoy. As long as you find a degree in the field you enjoy and you have the drive to find experiences in this field along the way, there is no need to worry about what your future plans may be. Students spend so much time stressing about finding "the right job" or a job that will pay them a lot of money. They waste the precious years of college worrying about the future instead of enjoying the present, which is much more important.
It's August of 2002 and I am getting ready to start my senior year of high school. Presently, I've been granted the opportunity to go back in time and give myself some advice for successfully preparing for college. The most important advice I can give is about perseverance.
Perseverance is defined as "steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement". To be successful in all endeavors in life, whether they be for school, work, or encounters with others, perseverance is what helps you push through. Don't ever give up on your dreams, goals, or ambitions. When you strive for the best, even if it seems all odds are against you, perseverance will get you to where you want to be. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/perseverance, 2011)
I could tell you to study harder, to take advanced classes, to take your senior year the most serious, or to start applying to colleges now, but in order to complete any of the prior mentioned, perseverance will not only help you accomplish those things, but will see you through anything throughout the rest of your life.
Take the opportunity you were given to attend the community college free! If not, in your future I see many struggles with finances. I see physical abuse. I see mental abuse. I see loneliness. I see confusion. I see turmoil within yourself. After 10 years of trying to figure out how to "escape", you will. But you will realize you need more education. Because looks alone are not going to carry you through the rest of your life. You need knowledge! You need to understand Math. You need to know how to keep a checkbook and avoid unnessasary overdraft fees. You need to be able to shine in that interview then pass the test to actually get the job! There will come a wonderful day when your world is more beautiful because you have survived but you will still long for the pride of a college education. And yet again, finances are limited, and you must work to survive. So go to college, avoid some unnecessary pain. LEARN. So you will feel like standing tall! Even though you were not taught college is important. It is! Go Forth! Conquer! Learn and Earn!
Love Always, Sabrina
Prepare for life in advance. You could never be too early in your preparation process. Prioritize your obligations. You do not need to be experienced with everything. Just be an expert at a couple of things and work hard to perfect your skills in these areas.
I would first advise myself to develop good time management skills because those are extremely important in college. I would also suggest to review material before my class or lecture and go to office hours as often as possible even if I think I understand everything; practice really helps important concepts to sink in. I would have also told myself to take more AP classes during high school because even if I wouldn't have received a high enough score to test out of the class in college it's really helpful to have seen the material before. Finally, I would have started working earlier in high school and I would have set aside money for college because tuition is extrememly expensive and it's very stressful to figure out how I'm going to pay for school each year as tuition costs rise.
I always was and always will be an extremely hard worker. By the time I graduated high school, I already had thirty-seven college credits. Lehigh University accepted me for the spring semester, so I would have had to take the fall semester off or enrolled at another school. Because from an academic standing Lehigh was well above my other choices (Richmond and Wisconsin), I chose to take an internship for a semester and then attend Lehigh in the Spring. That was a mistake. Knowing what I know now, I would highly encourage students to only start college in the Fall. Not only was everyone's click of friends already created by the time I joined campus, but I had missed rush, which at a large Greek school like Lehigh is equal to social suicide. That being said, I do not know if I could said I would have prefered being at another school because although getting set in took far longer because I started in the middle of the school year, my later years were some of the best times of my life. Lehigh does balance academic success and a pretty epic social scene quite nicely.
I can't say that I know as much about the "college process" as I would like, but I do think there is information I could tell my younger self. First, I would encourage myself to go with the major that I really wanted--not the one I had chosen to please my parents. Second, I would say it's a good idea to apply for as many scholarships as possible! I think I was lazy (and foolish) to not apply for them even when I was just in community college. I may not win the scholarship, but at least I will know that I tried. Third and lastly, I would admit that college seems daunting, but I don't need to be nervous and it'll be more fun than I expected.
Take advantage of every opportunity and make every connection you can. You may not get the chance to experience things twice in your life and passing up a chance is a missed opportunity. Additionally, you never know when you will cross paths with someone from your past. Establishing and maintaining good business relationships will be extremely helpful in the future. Most importantly always remeber to enjoy what your work. If your work life is grind you won't apply yourself. Enjoyig your work is the biggest step toward success you can take.
I would tell myself to go straight to college and to not allow any distractions delay the process of my long term goal. I would explain to myself how important our big goal is and that if we are to stay focused on what is important the quicker we may achieve it with out any issues. I would also tell myself about how I should apply for as many scholarships and grants that I could put my hands on to make going to a university or college that much easier so that I may stay focused on my studies.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing I would say is make sure you keep an open mind. Within the first year of college, you discover so many new things about yourself and about your peers, so you need to be ready to accept any changes that come your way. It is so important to be friendly and open to those around you, because you never know who may end up being your best friend or neighbor. I would also make sure to emphasize that taking advantage of new opportunities is the best way to acclimate oneself to college. Trying new clubs or activities is a great way to meet new people and learn things about yourself that you wouldn't have otherwise. As a closing note, I would stress to make sure to be yourself, and enjoy life to the fullest - you only go to college once.
At the age of 19, I was already a mother of two sons. I worked full time and as a single mother, struggled to make ends meet. I thought that attending college was a fantasy in my case. When my sons began elementary school, I jumped on the opprotunity to receive an education, not only for securing a better future for my children, but for myself as well. No one thought that I had it in me to succeed in this educational persuit. Since then, I have graduated with a 3.72 GPA, as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and received an Associate of Arts degree. Attending college has given me confidence that I have never felt before. It has given me confidence to succeed and the experience to encourage others who are struggling in life, as I have and still do. I am now persuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Hotel/Restaurant Mgmt and plan to obtain my bachelor degree in the near future. It is simply impossible to put into words the value of attending college. Therefore, I would say the value is in how you perceive it.
College is such an eye-opening experience. It has been extremely valuable to me because it was an environment where I could thrive with the passions and talents I had. In high school, you are expected to be well rounded in all academics. Some talents and passions shine through these years, but none are awarded as they are in college. Throughout my years as an undergraduate, I was able to share interests in the sciences with my peers and professors. I took classes in subjects I was genuinely excited about. I learned from the best people in the field of bioengineering; men and women of various ages with doctorates and projects that improved the lives of others. It was inspiring to see these people at work. Also, I was able to practice my joy of singing with a choral conductor who is world- renowned. I had the ability to sing with students who also shared the talent, and many friendships were made that I will continue to cherish. Overall, college has opened up the opportunities for me to figure out what I love to do, and to pursue it as a career.
While college has taught me many things, my biggest take away is learning to be open to new experiences. Trying new things and putting yourself out there are essential to discovering what you love and ultimately want to do with the rest of your life. It is commonly said that college is, "the best four years of your life." You get to choose how you want to spend those years but to really make the most out of them requires taking some chances.
I love my school a lot. I've learned so much about my major and about other people. English classes have always been difficult for me as essay writing has never been my strong point, but my essay writing skills have improved a lot this semester and my abilitiy to communicate with others has greatly increased. My English instructor, David Gagon, really helped me hone my writing skills. Next semester I'll be taking a communications class. I can't wait to see how much that helps!
My college experience has provided me much more that just learning opprotunities. I am currently working on my second degree (Associates in American Sign Language) which will allow me to get a job interpreting to help put me through graduate school to receive my Masters in Biology (I have a B.S. in Zoology). The different types of schooling (from private high school to a Big Ten University to a community college) have really taught me how to learn at school, get everything I can out of it, still have friends and time to relax, and be able to hold down a job. Now, not only am I attending school to futher my education, I am also in the Army National Guard, which has training and schooling of it's own. While on a completely different level than public, civilian schools, the military still teaches me to be everything that I can be. If I can dream it, it will happen, as long as I do not give myself excuses and work hard.
Through my classes and trying to pay for college I've come to know that no one hands you success on a silver platter, and you have to work hard to succeed. This has been an extremely valuable lesson because I now know what it takes to make it in this world, and I now know you cannot slack off and expect people to be nice, as there are plenty of people out there who can and will do the work. I've also learned the opinions and values of people from all over the world, which will be extremely valuable throughout my remaining years in college and in life.
I have recieved some great knowledge in the automotive industry from going to college. They are showing me improve my skills on how to properly diagnose and repair diesel engines. They are also improving my knowledge on how to properly write a resume to find that better career oppurtunity. It is a great responsibility and feeling to know that your future is in your own hands. I actually control how well I do by how much effort I put into my studies. You do not have to be smart, just committed to doing your best.
college has done a lot for me particularly given me a lot of confidence i needed to try new things and help me succeed in life. i also found out that despite my fears i have a natural talent at math and teaching. i was just complememted yesterdayonthe questions i ask in regards to the way math works and my insight to how numbers work. i have more confidence in math now that i have gone back to school then i have had in most other activites i partake in. not to mention the expansions i have made in areas i just enjoy such as psychology and sociology. going back to school has been the best move i think i have made and was a positive step towards self discovery. either way i go on....
A throbbing pain moves through my left should as I furiously click the mouse. I shift my body to the left, trying to relieve the pressure. Glancing at the clock, I notice it reads 10 pm. I blink my eyes and look again. "There is no way it's already so late," I thought. After sitting in front of the computer for three hours, I had completely lost track of time.Still, I wasn’t surprised. Ever since I declared my major as Design several weeks before, I was more motivated than ever to master Photoshop. As a first semester freshmen in a Design class for upperclassmen, I was determined to prove I belonged there.This is an experience only college could offer. While I took art classes in high school and at college-level programs before, this was different. Being surrounded by people in the studio who, like me, were dedicating four years of their life to their passion is something that cannot be replicated. College is about more than education. It’s about engulfing yourself in your studies; making your life not just about the grade, but about the experiences, the accomplishments, and learning about something you love.
As an international student attending in an American college, I must face more difficulties and challenges than most American students. Language, environment, friends, family, schoolwork etc, all these are becoming inseparable parts of my life. These are also the most valuable and unforgettable experiences in my whole life. I came to the United States alone to pursue higher education, to involve this society and world, and to challenge myself. I have to get used to English environment, I have to make new friends with people with different backgrounds, different native languages, different races, and different religions. To be honest, it is very hard for international students, especially from Asian countries, like China where I come from, Japan and Korea, to totally involve into the American college students society. I do have several good American friends, but I still can feel the distance between us. I have to do all the homework in English now, which is a huge task for me during the first several weeks. I am the only child of my family, so sometimes I really miss my parents who miss me at the same time. All these create my the rhapsody of my college life.
College has been the defining experience of my life so far. I grew up in small town East Stroudsburg PA. The town's location an hour from New York City and less than half an hour from northern New Jersey lead to a sharp rise in population during the early part of this decade. Most of my childhood through high school years were marked by isolation, and generally not knowing who I was. Trying out for sports teams and enjoying extracurriculars was difficult because my family didn’t have a car. Entering college I still had no idea who I was or what I enjoyed. I had immense growing pains as I went from involvement in Lehigh's Black Student Union to membership and recently Vice President of Philanthropy in my sorority. Striking out on my own to find my true identity is the story of my college experience. Learning and growing into myself has been more valuable than any class offered at Lehigh. I am ready to take on anything that life after college has to throw at me because I know who I am and what I want out of life. Nothing could be more important than that.
Coming into college, my goal was soley to graduate and get a good job. After my first semester, I quickly realized how much more my school had to offer. From academics to social life, I felt like every person on my campus was encouraging me to succeed. Every professor and student has a constant smile on his or her face and you can tell that they are genuinely happy to be at Lehigh. I prospered more in that first semester than I did my entire life up to that point. The lessons I learned are priceless and will be cherished the rest of my life. I look forward to coming back years later and just watching the awe on peoples' faces as they walk through our campus. It truely is an unbelievable place.
Life is short. While you've heard this time and time again, it is more true than you realize so stop being shy, stop worrying about what others think and just be you! You have good qualities and people will see this. If you think otherwise, you'll hold yourself back and not experience everything that college has to offer. Even though college is about classes and learning, remember that part of it is also about making friends and becoming independent. College friendships are bonds that will last a lifetime. Be who you want to become. Your slate from high school has been wiped clean, no stereotypes or bad nicknames will follow you so be the person you really are or the one that you want to become, not the person you were. Challenge yourself. Don?t just coast through college getting by be pro-active, join clubs, meet people, try new things and even take hard classes. All of these things will increase your overall quality of life and make you a better person in the long run.
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