Worst day ever: I got a big fat “no” from my dream school. And boy, did I cry. I was top of my class, president of the student body, a big fish in the pond. I thought I had the world on a string and was sitting on a rainbow, and this letter of denial just crushed me. I told my parents I didn’t want to go to college anymore and that my life was over. In the end, going to my second choice was the best decision for me. I am so happy at Marist College with the education I am receiving and the friends I have made. So what I would’ve loved to tell high school senior me was that you are not the best of the best, there are always going to people who are better than you, but this should only encourage you to strive to be even better. And when things don’t work out it just means to try again or choose another path. College is for maturing, growing as an individual, and learning from others and you must be open minded in order to do so.
Although the point of attending college is for the education, everyone knows how integral the friends and memories are to the experience. When I arrived at Marist, my only option for friends was to meet new people because no one from my high school was coming with me. I was very excited about this, until the first few days of school. In the beginning, it was very awkward for everyone. Despite how uncomfortable I felt, I decided to put myself out there in attempts to meet new people. After doing this for a few weeks, I developed a great group of friends that I loved to spend time with and have dinner with. If I could go back to senior year, I would tell myself that it takes effort to find friends and build relationships, but in the end it is worth it.
I would first tell myself that money doesn't just appear out of thin air, it is so important to be smart with your money and plan ahead. I should have been saving the money I made instead of spending it on unneccessary food, clothes, and video games. Had I realized the financial mountain that I would have to climb attending college, I would have applied for scholorships and saved a portion of every paycheck I recieved.
Another important idea that I would reiterate to myself would be to relax, college isn't scary! It is filled with fun memories and great people. Making new friends in college isn't hard, most colleges are very accommodating towards freshman and host many meet-and-greet events. While I felt alone and scared I failed to realize that all of the other freshman were in the same position as me. Even if the idea of making new friends scares you, you'll always have your friends and family at home to help you through anything.
The first thing I would say to 17 year old Denise is "be proud of everything you have accomplished academically and athletically." My college experiences have been both positive and negative, and it wouldn't be fair to address the negative components only. As a senior I had the opportunity and drive to become salutatorian and captain of my cheerleading team. While transitioning into college I have struggled in both categories that I normally excel in. I began to think that my goals and dreams died. My advice to myself would be to keep striving to be great, and remember that I was put in this situation because I am capable of taking the world by storm if I am willing to work hard. I stopped being optimistic and that has changed my outlook on life as well as my capability to get back up and try again like the 17 year old Denise would. I would tell myself be prepared for the mental and physical breakdowns and know that they will make you stronger in every aspect of my life. Last but not least, I would tell denise to keep her dream alive no matter what.
Don't take high school for granted. Take every opportunity to have fun and hang out with your friends, because soon you will have new friends in a new place. Don't wait until August to realize that you are all leaving and going to a different town, a different state, a different environment. Have absolutely as much fun as you can and don't regret anything. Go crazy. Hug your friends. Hug your mom. Give everyone who is going to forget you after high school a reason to remember you by being the nicest person you can be. College will be fun, and amazing and exciting, but it will also be a lot harder than high school. Don't get Netflix. Don't go to the vending machine at midnight. The freshman fifteen is real. Don't lose your favorite stuffed animal right before college because you will be devastated, but it won't be the end of the world. But you will make amazing friends, have amazing experiences, and become a better and more mature person by going, so make the most of it.
Take a deep breath: you will survive. I know high school is tough; it's bound to be! You have gone through standardized testing, social cliques, first kisses, first dates, finding your niche, late nights, and the occasional mental breakdown. Because of all you've been through, I understand that the idea of college is daunting and you do all you can to avoid the subject when anyone brings it up. This is all I want you to know: you will be fine!
The transition into college is going to be a tough one just like any other transitions you've faced. Being away from home is the toughest part but you will soon make this new school your second home. You're also entering a new crop of unknown faces but you will find your support system. College is NOT high school. Do not be afraid of not wearing the right thing or not saying the right thing either because college is where you learn to make mistakes. Most importantly, college is where you learn to turn mistakes into learning experiences. This transition will take time but it is the best transition yet. Be confident.
It's not about being "cool," it's about being yourself and finding what makes you happy. This is the best advice I could have given to me impressionable, confused high school senior self. It took me too long into my transition into college to realize that it does not matter if you fit in with the "cool crowd," but that you surround yourself with the people and activities that make you happy. Find others with similar interests, and form relationships with them, as they will help you grow into a happier version of yourself. I would also advise myself to more thorougly consider employment opportunities in certain fields before choosing a major. If I went back, I would choose a more practical major than communications, like math or business where there are more higher-income employment opportunities.
If I were to go back to when I was a high school senior and tell myself one thing, I would tell myself to work extremely hard. In college you can be easily persuaded to socialize, go out with your friends and pretty much do anything besides your work. However having experienced my first year in college, I would advise myself that I have to have self-motivation and the will power to say no whenever I think about not doing school work. It seems okay to do everything that everyone else is doing however because of my major, biomedical sciences, I cannot allow myself to fall behind because it is important for my future academic and professional career to do well in school and try my hardest. Lastly, I would tell myself that missing an event with your friends a few times or not hanging out with your friends as often is worth it when you see your hard work paying off when you get your grades. My future is more imporant than anything that I might feel like I'm missing out on.
Stay true to yourself and do not ever give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself without question. Sometimes life gets hard, but do not let it ever doubt yourself. You know who you are and what you are capable of doing. Stand proud, even if you have to stand alone. You've got the world in your hands, do not let is slip; hang on tight and strive for your dreams. You have so much potential and have come so far on your own. But, do not be afraid of asking for help. Do whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams that will make you happy. Study hard, but don't forget to have fun. Put yourself out there; take a chance.
Love your better self,
At 38 years old, I have a wife, two children, a beautiful home and I wear a tie to work every day. By all standards, we look like the perfect family and we are with one exception. I work 60-70 hours per week and rarely am able to spend time with my family. I am present for the family pictures and summer trips to the beach but I am missing the everyday lives of my growing children.
The reason I work so hard is because I spend my post-high school years “playing it by ear” and waiting to “see what happens. I spent years with no clear focus or path for success. I had planned to go to school during this time but with a young marriage and suddenly a child on the way, I needed to jump into a career to support my growing family.
Damion, twenty years younger, you have every opportunity to make solid choices for your future, to make a plan and not be distracted. The most important thing you can do is focus on getting your degree so that you can build a strong foundation for your life and for your family.
Don't talk - just listen. You're not ready to go to college. I know Mom and Dad have drilled it into your head that people who take a year off are losers, but guess what: you need a break. Go hitchhike out west or live with your sister in London for a year. You're 18 years old and you're starting to crack from real and imagined pressures - if you go to the safety school you got into, it's going to end badly. Trust me; I've been there.
Oh, and all those people you think are so important? That girl you're so nuts for? Forget them. People change. They'll change, and you'll change, and in two years you'll have more in common with complete strangers than with this bunch.
Your life is about to get interesting whether you heed my advice or not, but if I were you and could do it all again - I'd take the year. Go have some adventures.
Dear High School Danielle,
Breathe! Everything is going to be alright! Living away from home, saying goodbye to High School friends, and ending a relationship with your first love are not the end; they are the beginning of a brand new chapter in your life. A chapter where you are the star, and are able to control your destiny. Transitions are always difficult, but the one you are about to make will forever change you in a beautiful way. You will meet new friends (some who will become friends for life), take academic courses with professors who will inspire you, and be a part of a tight-knit community on campus that will encourage you to better the lives of others. As FDR once said, "there is nothing to fear, but fear itself." There is an entire world of opportunity awaiting you at Marist. One of the reasons why you have been successful so far is your tenacity, and the fact you never give up once you set your mind to something. I can promise you that type of drive will guarantee your success at Marist College. Good luck, although I know you won't need it!
I would tell myself to pick Siena (like I originally did) and stay there. I absolutely loved that school and I'd even be willing to choose a different major just so I could go back and choose to stay there. I love that school so much.
If I could hop in Doc Brown's DeLorean and give my high school self a piece of advice it would be to take my education more seriously. When I graduated from high school in 2005, I thought that it would be best to take some time off from school and begin working. My mind set was, "If I could save money for my eduation first, it would be easier for me to pay for my expenses". I began working that summer I graduated. I lost sight of how important it is to have a college eduation . I looked at my friends and saw how most of them had already graduated from two year colleges and were either moving on to a four year or even moving on to a new job, I realized I had to go back. Now I feel old. When I look around me in the classroom and the average age is 18, it makes me feel like I wasted my time. If I would have just gone straight to college from high school I would have my four year degree already and would be working in the field I am truly passionate about.
Remember you can reinvent yourself, and don't let that opportunity pass you by. Especially if you're the only one from your high school going, no one will know what you were like. Put an effort in to be the person you've aspired to be the past couple years. A remember, just because you found Marist because a specific major doesn't mean it's not a big deal if you decide to switch from that original major. Have girlfriends, boyfriends aren't vitally important so be sure to keep your girlfriends close. But most importantly, have fun, stay focused with your coursework, but still remember to have fun. It's that cliche "once in a lifetime," kind of opportunity, so enjoy it.
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would advise to enjoy the present time. College can be stressful when you have to make a decision on what you are "supposed" to do the rest of your life, and I would tell myself not to worry and that everything will work out in the end. College is all about finding yourself and enjoying your youth. I would tell my high school self to focus on enjoying the little things in life.
I would tell myself that you need to wake up and start taking your classes and your school work seriously because nobody is going to care if you flunk out; college has a very real impact on your career moving forward and the decisions that you make now will have consequences, both positive and negative, in the future.
I have been at Marist for not even five months and I have accomplished more than I ever imagined I would in an entire year. I have written beyond 20 papers, studied for about 30 exams, got involved in more than 5 activities, and made friends who I believe I will have for the rest of my life. College is funny. Before entering I though I knew exactly what I wanted. I was confident despite everyone telling me you will change your ideas over the course of four years. Already, I have questioned what I though I knew, and have realized I didn't really know and still do not know what my future holds. But, I guess that's the beauty of college isn't it? My answer: yes.
Attending college has made me feel like a better example to my children. I dropped out of high school to raise them and it makes me happy to be able to show them a better outlook on education. I have also become a much more self-confident, not only in my school work but also in everyday life. While attending college I have met many interesting people and made many new friends. Going back to school after twelve years has been challenging but I have enjoyed it for the most part. I do, however, look forward to getting some sleep after I graduate.
The best thing that I have gotten out of my college experience is my real world experience. I will graduate with the ability to fully immerse myself in the working world without anxiety about what I will encounter. I will have the experience of already working in a classroom, since I am a Biology Education major, and I will fully understand how to best apply my teaching skills to a real classroom. I will begin my career ahead of my peers who have graduated from other schools, and that will translate into the classrooms that I teach in by benefitting my students. My school has taught me how to cater to every kind of student that I will encounter in order to give them the best education possible. I am fully confident that I am getting an education that will most benefit me, and the students that I teach.
Marist reawaked my sense of worth as a writer and student. I had been out of school for a year, silently deliberating over whether or not to return (I had done two years at a community college at that point), and I wasn't sure where to apply. I'll admit it: getting accepted to such a prestigious school bolstered my ego.
On an aesthetic note, Marist is beautiful! Getting to surround myself with its expansive buildings and lush landscape is a joy - when I graduate, I plan on returning here to take advantage of our library. I'm in it right now as I type this, and it always facilitiates learning for its students, alumni, and even faculty.
Some of my classes have demanded that I participate in group work. I'm not a fan of group projects; but arguably, group discussions/projects are valuable, and not only because they foster the convergence of ideas. If you tend to be overbearing, you have to learn to temper your creative fire and acknowledge the ideas of your partners. If you lean more towards the non-aggressive end of the spectrum, you get to practice being more firm about being heard.
My college experience is one to rememeber. I enjoyed my last three years here to the fullest and am very excited to complete my final year here at Marist. It has been such a valuable experience to attend Marist because I believe I received my best potential learning experience here as well as a well balanced college life. Social life as well as athletic events are fun and great to be apart of. I really enjoyed my time here at Marist and if I could do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat. I am pretty jealous of the freshmen here and I hope they learn to love it just as much as I did.
I have learned alot about myself and how to live on my own while managing my own time. Marist has given me control of my life, and gives me opportunities to do whatever I choose to do to make something of my life.
When looking at my college experience and seeing how far I have come, I truly feel blessed because it has and/or will open doors as a pursue my education further. As i look back on the things i have done so far, i feel as though college has given me a beter standing as far as interpreting or comprehending select materials. I also have been able to network with many people to further see the career path i am looking to move towards. One of the main reasons I feel college has been very valuable to attend, is due to the fact that college not only keeps your mind functioning in a learning aspect, but it also helps you gain other knowledge of things you will learn further along in life such as the career that is choosen or maybe even daily life experiences. College has and is changing my life for the better, with out I would no have aken the leaps that i did, if it were not for the people around me to support as well as push me to do better.
Marist was a small school that prepared me well for my time at UMass Amherst. However I did not feel that I could go far enough with my major in Biology. Marist allowed me to select two minors (Business and Environmental Science). With my background in a broad range of sciences and in business, I was well prepared to enter UMass as a student in the field of water resource management. I am truly excited to be on this journey to make myself a more rounded and ecologically minded individual!
When I first entered Marist College my freshman year in 2009 everything in my life changed. I now had to find a way to live in two different worlds at the same time: my home and my "home away from home". It was probably the scariest step that I've taken. I remember crying for weeks straight thinking I would never make it, I would find no friends, and the work would just be too much for me to handle. Not too long after, I found myself sitting in class and understanding. I was learning more than I ever had before and most of all I was enjoying it. I found myself opening up and putting my fear aside and before long I attained a wonderful group of friends who supports me as much as those from home. In less than one year I had learned the most important lesson of my life. From Marist I took the idea that anyone truly can do what they put their mind to and you'll never be alone. Moreover, I know that my education is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from me, it's with me forever.
I don't think I would have advised myself any differently. I have worked really hard to get my associates and bachelors. I suppose I would have researched scholarships due to my financial need. It has been a struggle to live on my own while paying for school and now financial aid is unavailable to me.
First off, trust your instincts. When you visit the school that is right for you , you'll know it. The decision is scary, but it's totally worth it. When making the choice of which college to attend, think about your values and morals. Think about what you really want, and what you need to get back from the school you attend. Also think about what you can give back to that school in return. Make this decision for you. Do not make it based on where your parents want you to go, or where your friends are going to school. This decision is about what is right for you.
Family: Mom, Dad, Christie, Paige. Growing up I have had great relationships with my parents and sisters. Every summer my family and I would go up to our boat on the St. Lawrence river. Sometimes it was challenging because as I became older I had a push and pull of wanting to be with my friends more, and my family less. I would complain and give them a hard time. This only resulted in a weekend where my parents struggled to not scream at me; as I look back I deserved that. The biggest thing that I learned coming into college was the value of family. By senior year I was always gone, and it didn't bother me because I knew they were there. I would still wake up and see them, answering their "dumb" questions. But the morning I woke up in my dorm room, my family wasn't there. And I realized my most memorable relationships were with them. The annoying questions I normally dreaded would have sounded like music to me that morning. If I could tell myself one thing it would be: treasure every moment with your family because they are the ones who matter.
I would first tell myself to take more AP classes in high school. You don't realize this but AP classes really do help and give you a grasp of how a college class runs. Also, if you pass the placement test you get those credits so you can focus more on your major. I would also tell myself to stay at school as much as you can to really make lasting friendships, get involved in your school, and get the most of of your four years of college because they go by extremely fast!
If I were to go back in time to talk to myself asa high school senior here is what I would say. First I would tell myself that college life is not easy as high school life and to prepare myself more by studying harder, reading more, asking for help, appyling for more scholarships, getting better grades, etc. I would also tell myself to search more for colleges that provide financial help for me so I can get a better education. I would advice myself to become more mature emotionallly and physically so I will be more prepared and ready for school. Another thing I would do is make myself more confident so I will feel less insecure about myself and my abilities. Finally, the last part of advice I would give myself is to keep my head up and to choose the right major of my choice so I can follow my dreams and never settle for less and give up.
If I could go back and talked to myself as a senior I would have told myself to connect my community service activities more directly to my major. I would have told myself to take advantage of school activities and resources, through work-study, volunteering, and school projects, that would give me skills in m planned college major. I would have convinced myself that this would make my resume stronger as a college freshman and give me the ability to actually apply for college level internships in my career interest and college major as a college freshman. I would have talked myself into a college level freshman writing class over my summer before college even if the class was not for college credit. Taking the course would have made me that much more prepared for my first year. I might have talked to myself about considering spending a few weeks out of my summer before college actually living on a college campus to help get prepared for campus life.
The beautiful and unfortunate thing about the college experience is that while there is a lot to be learned about life, it can only truly be appreciated once experienced. That being said, rather than advice about college I think a few words of encouragement would be the best thing that Present Me would be able to offer to Past Me. These words of encouragement are simple: don't sweat it!
Going into college I was excited but also very scared that I would not be able to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, or worse, that I would fail at ever getting my life together. Surely enough without realizing it, each class I took and each friend and teacher I met, brought me from wandering aimlessly to walking a direct path. What Present Me would love to tell Past Me is just the reassurance that I will pull through the rough times ahead and that the best is yet to come!
Having completed a year and half of college I know some things I wish I had known as a high school student. The first thing I would tell my high school self is to take a chance. Often friends stick together and matriculate to the same college. Don?t just follow the crowd. College is all about being your own person and the first way to show yourself you can do this is by picking the college you want to attend. The second thing I would tell myself is school is important but so is having fun. You are at college to learn, this is true, but you are there to learn more then what is in your textbooks. Going out and getting involved is how you learn the life skills you cannot learn in the classroom. The third thing I would tell myself is don?t be afraid to talk to the professors because they want to help you get the most out of your college experience. Getting as much as you can out of that daunting tuition bill is most important of all. No one wants all those loans without great memories to help make them more bearable.
I would advise my high school that college is all about time management and allowing yourself to be open to new types of people and activities
I would tell myself to not stress so much about what people think. I spent so much time trying to please my parents, my friends from high school, and my new friends in college. I would tell myself to be open and friendly. Do not worry what people say about you because their words are useless. I would tell myself to re-consider playing a college sport. I would summarize my advice in a simple phrase: be confident, be strong, be yourself.
Don't worry so much. You will make an easy transition, because you chose a school that represents you and your goals in life. you will be able to fit in because people will see who you are and recognize the positive traits about you. Marist is a good school that will do its best to make sure you are a comfortable freshman. you will realize that dorm life is more comfortable than not, once you get over sharing a bathroom with your entire floor. you will enjoy the hustle and bustle of people moving around you, and won't be annoyed by the noise because it will comfort you to know that you are a part of the college life that you always wanted.
College isn't as difficult as high school, in fact, it is much easier because you have more time and freedom to do the work without feeling too pressured. As long as you stay focused and do the work, then you will have no problems getting satisfactory grades. You have to remember that you are no longer in high school and the professors won't make you do the work if you are late. As an adult, you have your own responsibilities to get things done and hand it in on time. The professor is there to help you with anything you need, but you have to get to class by yourself and do the work when it is due. You must also remember that you are not alone, every other person on campus is new to the school or was new, they don't know any one and is experiencing the same things. Make friends so you can get through it together.
The biggest advice that I would give myself is to simply not be afraid. I would tell myself to be outgoing because everyone going away to college is feeling the same feelings, nervous, excited, anxious. The first few weeks is where you will probably make friends that are going to last a lifetime. So don't be afraid; be outgoing, go for it!
I'd go back and say that I'm on the right path. I have made wise choices so far, and I don't want to change anything. I have made awesome friends, with a healthy lifestyle that is drug and alcohol free. I would tell myself to keep up the good job of not giving in to peer pressure. Everyone is alright with it.
I would tell myself to relax, you made the best decision of your life! You just need to be confident when getting to school and don't worry about making friends; they will come to you. Also I would say to keep studying like you did in High School and you will be just fine and even stay on the Dean's List!
Do not be scared. Don't hold yourself back from doing what you like in fear of failure. You can handle a big school and the work load. save your money and be prepared to enjoy yourself. Take time to think about what you are interested in because there are certainly going to be opportunities to get involved.
Make the college choice, a choice that fits your needs as a student and how comfortable you feel there.
Students should first research colleges that suit what they like to do best and what will lend itself to a career, not what will make them the most money. After researching and narrowing the search down, visit those schools as sometimes the look and feel of a campus can make you want to stay forever or get back to the car as soon as you can. When you visit them, try to see if you can talk to professors and not just be led along a tour, although the tours are very helpful. Think about location, your intended major, and possible hobbies you want to continue to nourish at school when deciding and apply to at least two schools within your price range and that you can reasonably be accepted to. Once you are at your school do not be afraid to put yourself out there to meet new people, befriend professors, and work at being the best you can be, don't rely on anyone else but know there are people to help you along.
Parents and students often enter the college search process with a neatly prioritized list of requirements: size, location, Greek life, housing, academic breadth...the lists can trail on forever. I know because that's how I started my college search process four years ago. With such systematic criteria, many wonder how they'll decide between colleges with differing pros and cons - or if no school fills all their boxes! The answer is simple: you'll feel it when you see the right one. It's impossible to describe that feeling: chills down your spine, the lightbulb flashing on in your mind, whatever you want to call it - everything just clicks. That's why it's so important to visit all or most of the schools to which you've applied; a school that checks off all of your little boxes may just not meld with your personality once you've set foot on campus. So go ahead, make your lists as a starting point - but remember, "the click" will have the final say!
The student should ask him or herself these questions and find the school that best reflects their answers. Do they like big city life, small towns, or medium size towns? Do they like being in large or small classes? What type of teaching allows them to learn the best? Do they want to be close to home or really far away? Do they like the campus because it is important to visit the school before deciding to go there. What is the area surrounding the school like? Are there places close enough or on campus that will satisfy your needs? How challenging do they want the curriculum at their school to be? Does the school have the major you are interested in pursuing? What type of classes does it offer for that major? If you aren't sure about your major does the school have one or more majors that seem interesting? What type of extracurricular activities does the school offer? How much does it cost to attend the school? What financial aid and scholarships aare offered? To make the most of your experience get involved on campus and make friends. Hang out but also do your school work.
One of the most important things to remember when you are choosing your college is how comfortable you feel there. When you are visiting, look around you and notice the people walking around on campus. Try to schedule some sort of visit to the school, outside your regular tour. As a tour guide, I know that there are certain canned answers you must give while working, mostly for the parents? sakes. However, you should really try to spend a day or stay overnight with a student. This will give you a better perspective on what students do on campus, how a real room actually looks, and how the cafeteria food tastes. Also, you want to choose your college based on academics. Sure, you want to go to college and have the time of your life, but you should not just choose a school because they have ?really awesome parties? or because you heard everyone gets drunk all the time. You are at college to learn about a field that you want to pursue and, unlike your general high school education, you will use what you learn in college in your future. That is the reason why you are attending college.
Find a college that your child or yourself can spend four years with the best learning environment and social situations. At Marist you will find lifelong friends and you will be able to get an education that is one of the best in the U.S.
When someone is preparing to go to college, it is important that they be choosy in their selection. It is one of the most important life changing events of their lives. Compare the price, distance and the availiability of the college.
To me, the most important aspect of finding the right college was how I felt during the initial visit to the school. I believe that most students have a "gut feeling" when they find the right college. As long as all the school fills most of your requirements, such as field of study, tuition costs, size, extra-curricular activities and financial aid, then you need to rely on your "gut". It is very important to feel accepted and welcome not only by other students, but by the faculity and staff. Having that right feeling will make you a stronger, more involved student.
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