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Linn-Benton Community College

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

Knowing myself, I probably wouldn't listen to anything I had to say, however, I would try to convince myself to study more and play less. College is serious bussiness; you get out of it exactly what you put into it in terms of education. If you do not commit yourself, you are not going to succede. The transition from high school to college need not be difficult, if you are prepared; it is not necessary to be a "A" student, but it is necessary to have good mathmatical , science, and writing skills. Without these very basic and fundimental skills, you will "waste time playing catch-up". Time better spent aquiring new skills and knowlege, and oddly enough, "having fun". That's right, having fun; the new "freedoms" that can be explored and enjoyed, can make college life far more enjoyable than high school could ever have been, or ever was. If you have to be here, then you might as well take something with you when you go. Some would call it education, I call it "hope"; hope that you can make good choices about your life to come, for the choices made will dictate the life you lead.

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I wasn't the ideal model of a successful student in high school, good grades were not amongst my list of crowning achievements. I was much more worried about making friends and having fun on the sports fields. When it comes to sitting down and doing my homework, or making schedules to stay on track, I simply didn't do either. Nevertheless, I managed to graduate on time simply due to the understanding that I must. If I could go back in time, I would bring with me a violent reality check. College is not a place for those who don't prioritize their studies above sports and high school buddies. Going back in time, I would convince myself that my current goals were fleeting achievements and would be of minimal significance two years from now. I would remind myself that what I do now sets the tone for the rest of my life and I can either choose the difficult and less traveled path now, or live the challenging and well-worn one for the continuation of my life. Like investing early, the reward is exponentially brilliant or those who are disciplined enough to do it.

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Dear Brianna, Future self here with some advice for you. You'll soon be entering college and it's important to get to know your advisor(s), professors, and fellow students. You also need to know where to find help. The future you learned a hard lesson by not taking school seriously, so do us a favor, cause it isn't as easy as high school was. You must have your priorities figured out or you may fall into a situation you don't want to be in. College will be a very good reality check, so set your priorities and do work! Setting school first is essential but there is a balance between school, work, family, friends, and hobbies. This balance is essential to your health and social life. Don't worry about partying, what people think, or buying all the stuff college stores and other people try to convince you to buy because "you really need it", or "its cool". Focus on yourself, you are in college to set a good foundation for yourself, to get yourself a career. And if you need motivation, think of your horse, she's the reason you need to succeed.

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I would probably advise myself to take a little time off and really figure out what I wanted to do in life. People tell you to run off to university and just figure out your major when you get there. Once upon a time, that may have been good advice, but college is way too expensive now and messing around and losing all that money is a very bad choice. Take some time. Work a minimum wage job so that you can really understand why you don't want to work like that (or find out that you don't mind it!). The internet is an amazing tool that takes the place of that faulty idea of taking loads of classes to find out what you're interested in. Spend some time learning about a host of different topics so that you can narrow down what you want to do with life. Maybe travel if you can. When you first move out, the world is a huge, fantastic, and diverse place that you (usually) have very little experience with. Find out what it has to offer!

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I'd say to myself, Sharon, don't believe your mother saying that your parents can't afford to send you to college. You are smart and there is a lot you can do in this world to pursue what is right for you. Take the time to know your own thoughts and feelings on life, and not just what you think everyone else wants for you. Don't be afraid of change. It is a constant in life and the best thing you can do is learn to roll with it. If you're scared about what to do, be more scared of what you won't do than what you will do. Remember, there will always be a friendly person willing to help you find your way if you just look. It's not about knowing what the outcome will be. You will learn it's about trusting the process and finding out along the way. You just have to take that first step, and then the next step and the next. One step, one moment, one hour, one day at a time for the rest of your life.

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If I could go back, I would tell myself to talk to all the university advisors I can find (academic, financial, personal, etc.) and foster a relationship with my academic advisor. I would encourage myself to not be freaked out about not knowing 'for sure' what it is that I want to do. I have found that few people 'have always' known what they want to do for a career. I would make sure that I understood college exploration is alright, that taking a myriad of classes in different areas is healthy to an extent. I would also encourage myself to not be so stressed out, to relax and enjoy the time and the experience. I would also tell high school senior me to slow down and figure out what I want to do, not what my dad wants me to do. He will not be working for the next 25 years in the career field that I am studying for - I will be working in it and, ultimately, I need to be happy.

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So I would have walked up to the younger me and said "Todd, you might not realize this but you are about to make the decision of your life. Should you continue your education or search for a purpose in life. Well the answer is simple, go to college now and make a better life for yourself. Don't do what I did and throw away 25 yrs of my life before going back to college. I knew what I wanted to do in high school and I am pursuing that now. If you don't do this know, don't wait 25yrs to go back to school. The sooner you go to college, the sooner you can have that life you dream of. I am still searching for that dream life, why because I didn't listen to myself and pursue those dreams at your age. All I ask is that you sit down and think about what you really want and how to get there. You have the tools at hand, use them."

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Yo, highscool me! You're about to face one of the biggest transitions of your life and unfortunately there is no easy way to stay on top of it or safe line to get you out when you're in a pickle. There will be mistakes, lots of them. It will be up to you how you handel them. However, this time around don't focus so much on what you could have done better-focus on what you will do better. Take those mistakes as lessons- don't get hung up on them, move on and make more, because you are learning from the best professor available-life. And always remind yourself, "there's no such thing as failure, only delayed sucess." -John Osborne

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would have told myself to just hand in their and that life is going to get better. I just need to keep my nose in the books. I would say that college life is way different then high school in a good way. I would tell myself that I need to work a little harder on scholorships because that is very important. I would also tell myself that taking classes without my good friends isn't a bad thing but could possibly be the best education plan for college!

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Stick it out even though it seems difficult at the time, it's worth it in the long run. Go to EVERY class lecture because there may be something said during a particular lecture that will make a big difference. Don't be afraid to utilize all the student support services available to you, they can really help.

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