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Madison Area Technical College

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

My college experience so far has been a challenging one but a big personal accomplishment. I have attended Sierra College since 2007 and really enjoyed my experience there. I went into it my first year, being newly diagnosed with narcolepsy. This is a sleeping condition that causes excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty focusing for extended periods of time and also an inability to drive. With college classes being mostly lecture based, I found myself dosing off in class and it very difficult to keep up with the lessons. I feel I have grown and learned a number of techniques to help me be successful in such a challenging environment such as bringing a recorder to my classes and recording my lectures, and use of public transportation to get to and from school each day. I feel like I have really proved to myself through these past years of college, that if I put my mind to it, I can overcome any obstacle in life and continue to do great things. That is why my goal at the end of my education is help other students realize this early in their lives by becoming an early childhood special education teacher. Thank You

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If I could talk to my senior self, I'd tell her about the importance of making connections in college. Whether these connections are simply forming friendships or making classroom/lab partners, these people are the ones that will help you grow. Don't hold yourself back and meet people. There are people in your classes struggling alongside you. It's okay to admit confusion outloud, many students might be too afraid to interject in class that they're confused. This will only help you learn better. As peers, you will be able to help one another understand. It's okay to reach out first. Having the courage to admit that you're lost and need help is already it's own achievement. Professors are always willing to help. You have to let them know that you're confused. It's hard for them to have the ability to ask each individual and make sure they understand each concept. Don't fake it to make it! You deserve to understand and learn. College is expensive. Don't sell yourself short by barely passing each course. You attended college to ensure your education, not to be discouraged by a challenging course.

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I would tell myself to not worry. Do not get ahead of yourself, and live in today. There is a song by Baz Luhrman called Sunscreen that is inspiring, and although they are not my words, I think this song's lyrics sum up EVERYTHING i wish I could have heard then. I give great thanks to this song, and when I am down, I listen to it: "Dont worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday." .... "Dont feel guilty if you dont know what to do with your life...the most interesting people I know didnt know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still dont."..."Accept certain inalienable truths, price will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do youll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

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I would tell myself that I shouldn't have slacked off the past four years. I should have been excited for the future instead of dreading the responsibilities. I would also tell myself to pick up more hours at work while I still had time and less stress because very soon and without any warning I would have to support myself without much help of my unemployed father and his foreclosed house payments. I would tell my high school self that life is fun but it isn't something to waste. Spending spare time without productiveness is a waste. It seems that as I've gotten older the spare time is now fewer and far between. I wish I would have better prepared my self for this life transition instead of diving into it head first. I would have told myself to not apply to art school because it isn't really my niche. However, I would encourage myself for the future . I'd let me know that although things become harder, the feeling of achievement feels so much better. The feeling of being independent and succeeding my goals is a very intense and beautiful feeling.

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Shauna, all your life you had to struggle with poverty and school, and you never thought you could make it out of high school with a C average or better. I am here to tell you now, hold your head up high, leave the past behind and the best way to show those who didnt believe in you, is to achieve your goals. Nothing can stand in your way, you will graduate and attend college. College life is more stressful but easier to deal with. You have more people by your side to help you reach your goals. You have classmates and staff persons who will have your back during any hard times you face. In college, since your instructors actually work with you one on one and give you the much needed attention and work with you to get a better understanding of exactly what your learning. They have many different programs and activites going on everyday to get students better involved with one another. In college, Shauna, you will be able to prove to yourself as well as others, that no matter what, you WILL make it and achieve your goals! For you and your son!

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If I were able to go back in time and talk to my senior year self, the first thing I would tell myself to calm down a little. During my senior year of high school, I felt so anxious for college and wanting to leave my hometown that I began having a bit of an "attitude" towards things I felt were routine and boring. Not only that, but I began missing out on some potentially great experiences by spending less time with people who, at that point, I thought I was tired of. Now that I'm in college, I love coming home, and spending time with those people I had doubts about. I should have realized that, when those people didn't get sick of my attitude and still stuck around, they were being the best kind of "loyal" to me. Besides that, I would also warn myself to save money more wisely; every cent in college counts. Lastly, and somberly, I would tell myself to let the teachers that really meant something to me know that they were special. I never thought about how I'd feel if I lost one that changed my life until it happened.

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I would say to myself, self this it what you need to do. First narrow down some career goals and likes then do a search in the by the following process to obtain insight on the desired fields: 1. Consult the following people and places for information on your fields of interest; a counselor at your high school or preffered selection of colleges, library sources, and any local or near by businesses and person's with experience in your fields of interest for insight into your interest of study to narrow down what fits me more. 2. I would say apply this same effort to gain knowlege on programs that offer free money to pay for education and prevent taking out loan that could put a strain on your life financially but in the intrum bring about a result of other hardships which could set you back for a great number of years. 3. I would say to myself, self get in this game for the long hall and don't give up until you achieve all of your desired goal's. PJ's Letter To Self For Goals and Achievement.

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When graduating from High School commencement speeches often declare, "go out and do great things” when in reality, we need to do average things first. But in order to do "average things" we still have to work hard and stay on track. College is a transition; there is no one that will check to see if you have studied for your exam, or anyone to check if you finished your homework, you must do this on your own. Take the time to study, really understand your education, and take your time in college seriously. However, get involved! Life experience in college is time that you will never be able to get back. Getting involved allows you to figure out who you really are as a person, find your interests, and maybe even make a difference. There are many average things to be accomplished in your life, many which will seem pointless, but each is a stepping-stone in our story. Accomplish the "average things" and you will set the foundation to do all of the "great things" that you want to strive for.

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Joy, I am you 29 years after you have graduated and I need you to listen. There is plenty of time for you to party, but there is only now for you to make positive choices for your future. The world is not the same place that it is now. Jobs are not as plentiful and to get a quality education early will help you to ensure that you will have a future free financial worries and empowered. Go into MATC and speak to a career counselor, look into what you want to persue. MATC is a really good school to start at, but make sure that you can transfer your credits to an accredited college and that you will be able to obtain your goals with the least amount of debt. You will want to look into financial aid options that your school offers and begin to apply for scholarships your junior year of high school. I will tell you also that the me that is you now waited and I would give anything to go back to you and have started after this adventure. Good Luck. I hope this finds your future well.

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Listen: you're going to be rejected by UW Madison and end up going to a tech school and living on your own. Yeah, I know, you didn't expect that, but you're rapidly going to learn life isn't expected. You're also going to get over the idea of being a librarian--things happen, plans change, you will too. You're going to be ridiculously lonely when you first move in to your place, alone--don't panic or be sad, you'll make friends quickly. The people who were important to you will remain important. Don't worry too much about money, you're not going to lose your determination to do what you want in spite of it. Be persistant filing paperwork, the people at MATC are stilling figuring out how to be like a 4 year school. I don't have all the answers, kid, I'm stilling figuring a hell of a lot out, but I do feel safe saying we'll be fine. You're going to learn life is a piece of art we're charged with making ourselves, and I think you're well prepared to forge your own creation.

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