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McHenry County College

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

As a freshman in college and on my own for the first time, I quickly forgot about my values, commitment to my studies, and the intelligent young woman I had become. Instead, I traded it all for a sorority, frequent parties, and all- night ?cram sessions? during finals. My 3.5 GPA quickly plummeted and I was forced to move back home and start over at a community college. This taught me that college is not everything that is appears to be on TV, movies, or word of mouth from older friends. College is about a deep commitment to education and discovering who you are and who you want to become. I would have advised myself not to lose sight of who I am or my dreams. There will always be parties, tests to be taken, and distractions from studying, but the opportunity to receive a college education happens once in a lifetime and should be top priority. Sure, high school prepared me for the entrance exams and term papers, but it took hitting ?rock bottom? and a fresh start to remind myself not to lose sight of who I am and my dream of becoming a special education teacher.

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Assuming that I could go back in time to speak with myself as a high school senior I would have to tell myself not to put off getting financial help. I was told when entering MCC that holding off on loans and things of that nature was a good idea but now I'm starting to think that maybe I should have just started off getting government help. Another thing that I would tell myself would have to be that college really is not the same as high school. Its not overly harder but it is different in the way that everything operates. I was told before entering that college would be a lot more relaxed and now I know why. People are not more comfortable with the fact that they are in fact adults now, they just do not care enough to hound after anyone about work that needs to be done. College life is very different as well, being an adult wont really change how people think just what they say to explain their actions. Going to MCC is not too big a change, going to a larger place would be better, like a university.

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Ok! Colleen, I only have a couple of minutes so let me lay it out for you. Either take action now and adress your fears of writting , or wait till your 35 . If you wait till your 35, you will have missed several job and educational opportunites and you will not be the nurse you dreamed of being. It's not worth it to wait. So, I know you are already registered for a full load of classes. Due yourself a favor don't take such a full load . Get rid of chemistry for your first semester to allow yourself more time to work on your writting. Get a tutor! The college your going to attend has a learning center with tutors available at no additional cost to you. What ever it takes work through your writting fears. Don't let it hold you back. GO FOR IT! As a matter of fact anytime you are struggling or need help in a subject reach out and get that help. . The person you hurt most by Lastly there is destined to be other areas of study and life in which you may need guidence.

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I would give myself , two pieces of advice. I would first let myself know that it is very important to get the best grades you can possibly get and to study as hard as you can. I would make sure that I acknowledge that it is important not to take and drop classes, if you are going to take the class finish it with the best grade you can, dropping classes ruins your GPA. The next thing I would tell myself is to take a variety of classes, and if and when you decide that what you started out going to school for is not waht you seem to like, change it. Don't continue on, just because it is what mom or dad wants you too, cause if you don't like it now, you will absolutely hate it when you actually get a job doing whatever that career is. Then you will go back to school late in life to try and do something you really love. Take the time now why you are young and figure out your passion what you really love, and that is what you should be doing as a Career. Do That!

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If I was able to go back in time to just over a year ago I would tell my past self to do a lot of things differently. First of all I would tell myself to apply to all the colleges that I desperatly wanted to get into and pick the one that I wanted to go to. No matter the cost. Just do the extra work and apply for scholarship because in the long run I would have been happier with that decision and being at a four year university. I would have also told myself to take the tests and quizes more seriously. In high school there was so much graded homework and other assignments. Now the only thing that the teachers grade are tests and the occasional quizes. Not being the best test taker I wish that I would have told myself this and had time to practice my skills earlier. Maybe I could have found a way to overcome my test anxiety. In the end I am glad how things turned out because I appreciate my education and I know I will get to a four year university soon enough.

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If I could go back and time and talk to myself as a senior in high school the first thing I would do is slap myself in the head and tell myself to WAKE UP! I would tell myself to not settle for going to a community college when all along I knew that a four year university is what I really wanted. I would remind myself to not to let others have such an influence on my decisions and that I need to to do what is best for me. I'd also advise to apply early, not wait to the last minute and make myself promise to schedule college visits. I would explain to myself how it feels to be left behind at home when all my friends have gone away to their dream schools. I would tell myself that if I didnt take the steps to find the right school for me now I would regret it later and just create more work for myself later on. After lecturing and talking some sense into myself, I would give myself a hug and tell I can do this and I owe it to myself to do this.

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If I could go back and talk to myself when I was a high school senior, I would first tell her not to go to college yet. I had gone with washy intentions, and after my parents left me and the store I worked at closed down, I sank into a depression and failed out. I would explain to myself how important credit is, and how long it can blemish your ability and cost to make a loan. I would try and talk myself into getting help for my depression sooner than I did. Since I'm time traveling, I'd then make a quick stop at 26 year-old-me. I'd visit myself while I was sitting at my computer late one night, deciding if I would be able to squeek by in my attempt to try going back to college. I'd tell myself not to be scared, and that I would not just squeek by, but rather excel with straight A's, and I would enjoy every day I had class. I would tell myself about how good it feels to walk through the hallways with a goal and intention.

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As I sit across from myself as a high school senior, the last year and a half slowly replays in my mind. After gathering my thoughts I begin my advice by saying that college is never going to come to you, you must go to college. I realize now that all this time I was waiting for something to miraculously happen in my life, for an education and career to just pop up. My older brother recently told me that I need to spread my wings, that if I do I have the ability to fly so high and get so far. I would share this with myself as a senior because I needed that inspiration. I needed to hear that in order to get far in life it starts with me and no one is going to lift me off the ground but myself. Knowing all of that in high school would have been the extra push I needed to get motivated and look at college as a stepping stone to great things I know I can accomplish in life.

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Having a child my senior year of high school worried me about how I was going to advance to college. I focused more on what I thought was going to be hard and how much of a struggle I was going to go through. I was wrong. If I had the chance to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that life is so much better than I ever expected. College is great and there is so much help. I would tell myself not to worry and to keep following my dreams because although having a baby is a lot of work, it is also the most rewarding gift and going to college is an amazing experience. I would also say college opens up many doors and helps those with kids and offers many different types of courses. Lastly, I would say that everything is possible, to focus on the positives, and to never give up because life is GREAT and I can get through anything.

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Looking back at the all the things I stressed and worried about senior year makes me laugh a little at myself. If I was able to go back in time, I would calm myself down by explaining about the upcoming college life. College is hard work, but is very manageable with dedication and focus. What I needed to know at the time was if I worked hard till the end of the year I would be prepared for the work load in college. Like most kids senior year, I slacked towards the end of the school year. When I got to college it was a slap in the face to learn how to manage my time. In high school I would always do things last minute, the night before. To prepare myself for college, I would tell myself to get in the habit of doing my work as it is assigned. Overall I would tell myself not to be afraid, because college is just another step in my life to brighten my future

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