-Umm, what is going on? -Calm down. You don't need to freak out. -I think I can when I am talking and looking at my ownself. -Don't worry. I am you just a year from now. -Well, how did you get here? -How I got here isn't important. What's important is what I have to say. You have been stressing yourself out about moving away for college. You're worried about losing your family and friends when you leave. I am here to tell you that you shouldn't be. The absence of your family is easy to forget about when you are busy with homework and cheerleading practices. It is inevitable that you will miss them, but their random phone calls and continuous love will always be there to fall back on. True friends are going to be there when you come home. If you do lose friends, they did not care enough and were not good friends to have anyway. The transition will not be easy, but it forces you to mature for the better. -So it's not as bad as I am making it out to be? -No. It's way easier.
Take a deep breath and stop worrying so much, you are going to be fine. You are about to embark on a journey that will change your life. I'm not going to lie, its going to be a bit scary. You're going to meet new people, do new things, and have the time of your life. These people you are going to meet are going to become the best friends you could ask for. They are going to begin to shape you into the person that you want to be. All of the new experiences, are going to be so much fun and you'll laugh until you cry. The classes are going to be hard and you are going to have to study. There is only so much a teacher can do, the rest is up to you. However, don't get discouraged, Joshua 1:9 says that the Lord your God will be with you always. Make each and everyday count, there will never be another one like it. Make good friends, they will stick by you through everything. Don't strive for perfection, but rather do your very best. Finally, trust God and pray constantly.
I would give myself as a high school senior more than two hundred words of advice. Therefore, my advice is limited on this page. When I was a senior in high school, I was very specific on what type of college I wanted to go to and what I wanted to major in. I would have told myself to stop trying so hard to find the "right school" and start looking at all schools. I would tell myself to start looking at every school instead of narrowing down the list. I say that because the school I am at now was far from my list. It did not meet my standards I wanted in a school. My excuses were, it is too close to home and I know too many that go to school here. It did not seem like the right choice at the time. Now that I am at North Greenville University I know it is the right school for me and I wish I could go back in time when I was a senior and tell myself to stop wasting all that time worrying about where I should not go instead of where I should go.
To find the right college, first figure out what type of learner you are and what type of atmosphere to you want to be in. Do you want a small school or big school? In the country or city? Private or public? Then you need to find one that has the classes and/or major that you want. Find a school that is strong in the field you want to study. Also, find a school that can offer financial aid where you need it. Then, visit, visit, visit. Visiting schools helps you get a feel for what it will be like and definitely makes your decision easier. After you have chosen your school, to make the most out of your college experience have fun. College is a great time to find lifelong friends and have a good time. But make sure to manage your time wisely and organize your time. Make sure you have the proper balance of school work and social time. College is an amazing experience and it can greatly prepare you for the future if you put effort into it.
Cameron Joseph Ventura as a senior in high school looks much different than the Cameron who is writing this essay. The younger edition of me, standing roughly twenty pounds heaver and face more naked, could theoretically gain greatly from a brief conversation with present day me. I would simply remind myself of the importance of remaining true to what I believe is right. I have not made any giant mistakes that I greatly regret, yet there have been times within the past that I have let myself hold back from what I should have fought for, as well as other times where I have let my atmosphere and desires lead me into being far too passionate about what I should have let go. I would like to believe that a simple admonition would be enough to encourage me to stand true to what is noble, and let that guide those around to pattern what is excellent, rather than allowing the less honorable to set the stage for how those around choose to exist.
Given the opportunity to give advice to myself (in my high school senior year) about the transition into college life, I would make sure that I was well equipped with time management skills and the ability to balance course work with on-campus college community life and service to others. Stepping closer towards independence does take some training. Living on campus, verses being at home, really brings out your personal areas of strengths and and your areas of weaknesses. I would have more discussions with other kids already in college (that I knew and looked up to) to find out exactly what some of the pitfalls could be and the best ways they found to deal with them. Also, I would tell myself that even though it is my senior year, it is not a year just to celebrate, but a year that is going to have a direct impact on my first year of college and that each day should be taken very seriously as I head out on my path towards my future.
Three simple words make up the advice I would give myself: Don't be afraid! First, don't be afraid to be yourself. When you just be who you are (with roommates, classmates, and teachers), people feel more comfortable around you and are more likely to build a friendship with you. Next, don't be afraid of other people! Sometimes the easiest way to fail in college, both socially and academically, is to be afraid to speak up, talk to people, ask and answer questions in class, or communicate with professors. But don't be afraid! You will learn and make strong connections with others faster if you just speak freely and be open and honest with those around you. Lastly, don't be afraid to learn and grow! College is all about learning, growing, and maturing, so don't be afraid to hit the ground running; study hard, interact in class, and do it from day one. But above all, don't be afraid! Face your fears and risk success! It's worth it!
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as I was beginning the stressful journey of filling out college applications, I would tell myself to relax a little. I would tell myself to not stress as much about my college decision and to just choose the college that I felt was the best fit for me. As a high school senior, I was so worried I would pick the wrong school and not be able to make a smooth transition from high school to college. In the long run, I could have saved myself from a a lot of stress. I ended up choosing the college I felt was best for me, and it worked out perfectly. The transition was easier than i expected. and it was very easy to get involved and make new friends. I could not have picked a better university to attend, and I would not change that "stressful" college decision I made as a high school senior. In the end, everything will work out and you will end up in the college that is right for you.
Perhaps the most amazing thing that I have experienced thus far at North Greenville is simply the brotherhood that has formed in my house. I live in a house on campus with 8 other house mates, and so far it has been an awesome experience. We all have similar interests and we love to hang out with each other. The two best things about our house is our Monday night Bible study and our ability to work out problems amongst the housemates. Our Bible studies bring us closer together and help us learn more about Christ's love at the same time. Just a few days ago, one of our housemates seemed like he was just mad at the world and everyone in it. We finally all sat down with and talked it out, and haven't had any problems since then. So sure, college is all about furthering education, but being in a house full of Christian brothers will both help me be successful in studying and forming friendships that will last a lifetime.
I would advise students to know what they are looking for in a school before the actually start to visit schools. Any school sounds get when you are hearing the perspective that that the representatives what you to hear. Know how far from home is too far or too close. If possible, know what you want to major in. Also, know how comfortable you would be in large school versus a small school setting. Ask yourself if you want professors that will know your name or if you like the feel of a crowd. Finally, when you do visit a campus, talk to students who aren't official representatives. Ask them about the cafeteria food, about their professors and about dorm life. If possible find someone in the major that you are considering and ask them about the program. You may consider visiting without making an official visit through the admissions office, they will only show you the positives things instead talk to actual students.