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Motlow State Community College

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

Naturally, as most people would start, I would say that it is important to study as hard as you can, to really focus on making the grade, to be sure to make time for community service, and to start filling out scholarship applications as early as possible. And, naturally, as most high school students would do, the old me would brush aside any and all advice that anybody (including myself) would give him. See, while hindsight is always 20/20, nobody can really see anything for themselves in the future tense that isn't biased by what they want and what they fear. My foresight and performance was always cripplingly biased by my high school philosophy of "a person's potential is what they *could* do, it's what they actually do, because, left to their own devices, what they actually do is all that will ever get done." This meant to me that if I'm too lazy to study harder, that means I won't study harder, and therefore the advice to study harder is invalid. I guess, then, I would try to convince the old me that motivation comes from the inside and is one's potential.

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During my senior year, I was not aware of all the opportunities out there. Now, being in college and experiencing a new environment and visiting universities, I realize I could have done much more to prepare myself. I would tell myself to not be afraid to ask questions in the classroom, because that is where it all starts. When I did not ask questions or stay after class to make sure I was clear about the subject at hand, I fell behind, resulting in not doing my best. I would also tell myself to take the ACT as many times possible and study before the test. Also, I would fill out the fafsa and scholarships earlier. Another important thing to do is explore Universities and set up meetings. Finally, the most important thing I would tell myself is to not give up. I believe giving up is the worst thing a student can do. Things may get tough, but the all-nighters and long study sessions will all be worth it in the end when walking across the stage to get the college diploma that may have taken several years, but will pay off for the next 50 years.

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I attend Motlow State Community College located in Smyrna, TN for my freshman year in college. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior student I would tell myself that, I should take my work more serious, and rather then just enjoying the benefits of my last year in high school, I have a future to look forward to. I would tell myself that my education is going to take me to more serious places I should be rather then going places such as McDonald's. I realize now I should have been more sensible. Although I became a victim of the "senior sickness" everyone tends to get which consists of slacking off in school and occassionally cutting class, I have bigger dreams to be more successful and I need to have that drive now, because unlike high school teachers, most college professors could careless if you pass or fail their class. I would also tell myself that if I kept my grades up, I could possibly have gotten a full scholarship to the college of my dreams, but now I'm just trying to make the most of what I have.

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Looking back, the best advice I could give myself would be to embrace college rather than despising it. Making the change from high school to college is not easy, but it does not have to be an arduous experience either. Instead of looking at the negative aspects of going to college such as leaving family and friends and living on my own, I should start focusing on the positive aspects of going to college. Leaving my friends and family is saddening, but I can look forward to making new friends from other cities, states and even countries; I will be enriched as a person by learning about their different lives, customs and cultures. The classroom should not be the only place where I am educated in life. The idea of living on my own was a scary thought, but I would tell myself to take this opportunity to be independent. I cannot always depend on my parents or others; I should be able to rely on myself for any troubles that occur in my life. I should be embracing college and looking forward to my new experiences.

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If I was able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I'd tell myself to practice better study habits. I've never had a hard time with school work, but college assignments are different and not nearly as easy as high school ones. Also, I would point out that while the few scholarships that I have did cover my tuition, filling out more applications wouldn't be a bad idea. While it seems like I was filling the applications out in vain, there are some out there that I would have been capable of attaining had I put more effort into it. Most importantly, family comes first. College life is a huge change and while friends become a more prominent part of my life, I seem to be forgetting my family in the mix of things. They will be there for me when I'm discouraged from the amount of homework I have, as well as when I'm ecstatic about my high test grades. These issues could have improved my first semester of college, but I understand more now that I've learned the hard way.

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If I could go back to high school to interview a high school senior there would be many things I would say about the college life and transition around you. I learned the hard way that college is needed to advance in any career now a days. I also learned that once you walk across the stage everything begins to move fast. If you dont have everything in order by the last month of high school it will be to late to rush things to get in order. I have learned that when your not in school and the people you hang out with or associate with on a regular basis are, you will feel left out alot . I would also tell myself that no matter your GPA or anything there is alot of free money out there that you should go after. I would also tell myself to buckle down and stay focus now beacuse if I dont get serious now it will carry over even after I graduate. In conclusion I would tell myself that the transition can be fun but it is a serious process and needs to be handled correctly.

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Hello Jacob, I?m your future self so let me get to the point. I know you, I know that you haven?t had the proper motivations from dad, and mom is always working. You never understood that now is the time, right now is where we make the future. Putting half your foot in the door will not make you a success. I wasted over four years of our life, and in that time I lost some of your knowledge and age making it more difficult to catch your dream. This life is of misery and now you have a chance to save it. Now that I have your attention this is what I need you to do for the good of us. Continue your schooling and enroll right now. I?ve spent years relearning the things we thought we?d never use. We don?t care about money its? the life style we need. Trust me I?ve had money but it has killed me making it. You know in your heart what you want to become. Don?t run in circles looking for it, act now and take it. You only get one chance make it count.

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I wish I knew then what I know now. I thought my senior year was all about fun and the celebration of the end of a journey. So if I could go back to a little over a year ago I would give myself advice no one else could give. First of all I would tell myself to look for every scholarship available. I guess I assumed that scholarships would simply find me, but I was wrong, I had to look for them. The next thing I would tell myself is to prepare for college. Prepare for the work, time, and dedication you put into those four years. High school may seem difficult, but college is definitely a step up. The final thing I would tell myself is to relax. Often times I would find myself stressing out over deadline and applications. If I had just relaxed and given myself an adequate amount of time to complete things I may have found myself a calmer graduate.

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Although I did very well in high school and my senior year, I would tell myself to work harder. I would tell myself to strive for better grades and a higher GPA. I would tell myself to get involved in more school organizations and volunteer some of my free time to help my community or the needy. I would also have told myself to go ahead and get a job, that way I could have more working experience for when I was older. I would have also told myself to enjoy my time as a high school student because college is a new experience. Even though I only go to a community college, there are alot more decisions I have to make. I also have to work harder to keep up my GPA so that I can continue receiving financial aid. I wouldn't change very much about my high school days, but I defnitely wish I worked a little harder.

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What would I say to a young me? How could I get through to an individual who was not ready to take life seriously? Well I guess the best way is to show him my monthly bank statement. I would encourage him to follow his heart and his love for basketball. I would remind him of all the great teachers and coaches that helped him get through to this point. Remind him that without them who knows what would happen to us. I would hope to light a fire in his heart to provide the same kind of support and knowledge for others. I would speak to him about the struggles to improve your life while raising a family. Most importantly I would speak to him about his ability to be a great leader, and without an education his ability to make a difference, as a leader is wasted.

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