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North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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

Breathe. Just breathe in- then hang on for the ride. That?s what I would say if I could talk to myself as a high school senior. At that point in my life, it had felt like the entire world was at my finger tips and if I made a wrong move, I would drop it. Thankfully, I have found out since then that the world is not so fragile. Life is exciting, and it's not as difficult to make the right choices as I was told. If I could go back two years, I would tell myself to ask for advice before choosing and then worrying about everyone else and use that information to make a smart choice. College life, and life in general, is about what you do, and not something to be anxious of because you will make what you want to out of it. If you desire good friends that will last a life time, join a club and stick with it. If you want to do well in your classes, form study groups and talk to your teachers. Hang in there, relax a little, and enjoy as much of it as you can!

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The first piece of advice that I would give to my highschool self would be to always look for new things to try. Doing this would allow you to network with faculty, other students at higher academic levels than yourself, and discover lifelong friends that share similar interests with you. Another word of advice that I would give myself would be to get out and exercise frequently. There have been times when I wanted to go to the gym, could've gone to the gym, but instead chose to lay around and be lazy. Exercise has been to proven to enhance academic performance and is a great way to relieve stress from the body. A third piece of advice that I would give is to remain strong in my faith. SInce I came to college, the number of times that I have attended church on the weekends steadily declined until I stopped going at all. I would tell my high school self to ignore the impulses to skip church so that I may have faith as a go-to option when all else fails.

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The one thing that I would say if I was to go back and time and talk to myself as a high school senior would be to "trust the process. " There have been so many times in my life where I have unecessarily stressed over every single detail. So often, we waste away our time worrying that we forget that life goes on and it's far better to just enjoy the ride. I have no regret for the decisions I have made or the goals I have reached, but I feel that the road to get where I am now did not require the worry and stress that I put upon it. The best part about this concept of going back in time to correct mistakes is that for me, it is somewhat of a reality. My sister is coming to college next year and I take pride in having the opportunity to be a role model for her, support her, and show her that "This is life, enjoy it because everything is going to be okay." Being there for someone else means everything to me and at the end of the day what more could I ask for.

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If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to spend more time with my family. Looking back, that is one of the things that I regret most. Instead of going out every weekend and spending all of my free time with friends, I wish I would have spent more time with my parents. Now that I am in college, they are one of the things that I miss most. When I'm sick, hungry, or stressed my parents are the ones that I wish were here. Going out and having fun, those are all options in college, but going out to dinner with mom and dad, not so much. In highschool, something that was very important to me was having a good group of friends and making sure that they accepted me. I wish I could go back and tell myself to stop being so immature and to stop picking friends over my family. I wish I could tell myself to go to the movies with Dad or to go shopping with Mom. I wish I could tell myself how important family is. I wish I could tell myself how much I regret it now.

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Finding the right college was the most difficult decision I ever had to make in my life. It was a time for stress, a time for thought, and a time for cooperation. The best part about being a college student is that you are not restricted to one school; there are so many colleges to choose from that are located in your own state! If the first college you pick is not the perfect fit, then, try another one! That is the beauty of receiving a college education. As a student, it is best to study hard, but take advantage of the opportunities available on campus. Try new things that you would have never tried and live life to its fullest by making goals for your future. Parents; allow your student to find the passion that lies within them. Support them in anything that they wish to pursue, but provide comfort and advice when they ask for it. College is an enriching experience for both the parent and the student, so cooperate and make a future together!

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I have only one thing to say to my high school self: DON'T BE LAZY. You can't always glide by in life. If you want real success, you must work hard for it. No one wil magically come along and fix your mistakes and grades. Your school provides you with the tools and facilities for sucess, but only you can se them to your benefit. Don't put off that homework assignment to hang out with your friend, because the deadline approaches quickly and you may miss it. Do what you can now so you can have fun later without worrying about bad grades. If you procrastonate and gof off, you WILL regret it. Yet again, you are on your own. No one to remind you. Make a plan and stick to it religiously. I can't count how many times I would have done infinitely better had I acknowleged the fact that I needed help and gotten it. You can't do it on your own, or if you could, you are one in a million. I would reassure myself that I can do it, but must always work for my success.

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College isn't all that you see in the T.V. shows and movies. You don't instantly meet your best friends, or the new person that you will eventually marry. Everyone won't love you or get along. You might be friends with someone for the first couple of days and then never talk to them again. I was so nervous to be going to a school that I wasn't even sure I would like and without any of my best friends. I would tell myself to be outgoing. Don't be afraid to talk to that random stranger in the elevator; they could become your next roommate. Everyone is as nervous and wanting to make friends as I was. I just didn't realize that until after I had talked to several people, and we shared experiences. It is okay to be sad and to not have the greatest time ever at first. It takes a little while to find your niche. That maybe be a month or a whole year, but just be patient. Take advantage of every opportunity; you never know which one might change your life.

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Entering college, my biggest concern was the future. I didn't want to struggle financially my entire life, so my sole motivation was to get a good paying job. I started in a major that would ensure that job. If I could go back, I would tell myself to stop worrying about money and do what I love. The classes and the major aren't as important as expanding language and knowledge and wisdom in life. I tried for three years in a major I hated, beating my head against the wall every lecture, ensuring myself it would be worth it someday. I had no idea about the freedom and joy I would feel the day I decided to change majors and do what I was always good at. We have to accept the minds, the talents that we have and not try to force ourselves into someone else's ideal. The career will come. The future will come. The important thing is doing something that you enjoy so much you will shine and you will push yourself and love every minute of it.

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The advice that I would have gave myself would be to first decide what I wanted to do with my life. Exactly what kind of career I want to pursue and which would have a job available. To minimize cost I would have attended a two year community college and got my basic courses out of the way.These two years should have given me enough time to think about a career and take some electives and test the waters. I would have told myself to look for more scholarships and fianacial assistance for school. I I would have told myself to do more research on the universities that I had interest in and see which one the best fit for me. Also look out for cost that I did not need while attending college. I would have told myself this is an experience of a life time and to go for it because, you never know what you can become. One thing I did tell myself was that this was a chance to help my family, myself ,and the world with my contribution to my education.

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"It may seem easy now but it gets harder." This is one of the most heard things for a high school senior getting ready to take on college. I took those words with a grain of salt. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would definitely try to understand why things get harder. One thing that will be a hard transition is all students is study habits. Learn to study! You may read that material once and be able to ace that test of basic recall but test are not that easy in college. You must read to understand that information and be able to apply it. Not only should you be able to apply it to coordinating situations but you should be able to take that lesson and apply it to problem solving techniques in your day to day life. College is fun and there are a lot of activities that can distract you but you have to focus on the goals and dreams you have set for yourself. Keep your eye on the prize and try your best!

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