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North Hennepin Community College

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

The best piece of advice I’ve received is, “When nothing goes right, go left”. At the beginning of my first semester in college I struggled with balancing my new academic obligations as well adjusting to a new routine and making new friends. I told one of my good friends at another university about my problems and she gave me this life changing piece of advice. This is the advice I would tell myself as a high school senior; when everything around you seems to be falling apart and nothing is working out, go a new direction and try something else, because there’s reason your way isn’t working. Like every high school student I fell victim to the stress of exams and, despite copious amounts of studying, I could not grasp certain concepts on my own. At this point I would give myself the advice “When nothing goes right, go left”, because it’s obvious that my own way isn’t working and I need to try something else. Looking back now, I think of many situations throughout my senior year that this advice could have helped me make the best out of what life handed me.

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Emily, it's hard to talk to you as a high school senior, considering you never made it that far, but let's talk hypathetically for a minute, or maybe even go back to 10th grade, when you felt it necessary to drop out. The first thing you need to do is have yourself some fun. Join a sport, get back into speech, you always loved speech competitions and you know you're good at it. Let's say it's your senior year. First of all woohoo! Congratulations, you made it, and now you're only one year away from starting out college. Remember just a few simple things: 1. Most people are in the same boat you are, so make them your friends, not your enemies. 2. Money will come to you once you get your degree, there is absolutely no rush to get a full time job and become that responsible adult you always wanted to be, get scholarships, get loans, do what you want to do. 3. Volunteer at the animal shelter like you always wanted to. 3. Accept mom and dad's help whenever it's offered. Last but never least. Always kiss them goodbye.

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I have gotten a lot of life knowledge out of the college experience. I've been able to grow as a person and as an adult and I feel as if I have matured a great deal since I've begun college. I've also learned how to interact with others professionally. The most recent lesson I've learned from college is the campus life and what it is like to live with someone besides your family. It puts life in a new perspective for you. It has been valuable to attend because I know that I am getting an education which is a big deal, especially for my family. My parents immigrated to the U.S. and did not receive a high school or college diploma so it is very important for me, and my siblings, to get an education. I think it is also been valuable because without these college years I would be missing out on a chunk of life that I believe that everyone should be able to experience. I believe that people should be able to interact with professors and students as I do in and outside a classroom right now.

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From my college experience, I believe I gained a better sense of understanding, maturity and responsibility. I regained myself in a sense. At Fresno City College, Im enrolled in an African American program called the IDILE program. Im just so greatful to be in it. IDILE focuses on the education of black students and helps us with our education our first year of college and wants to see black students succeed. Were given IDILE instructors who are there for us each day and guide us in the right direction and we are even given a mentor who meets with us and keeps us on the straight and narrow path. Its such a great opportunity to see your own people care about your future and doin everything in their will to see you rise to the top. So my college experience has been amazing, thanks to this wonderful program. Without IDILE i would just be another teen statistic, just in college and not actully knowing where I want to go and making sure that i get there.

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I am currently attending Edison state college and it is my junior year. I am very thankful to be in college right now with a full ride scholarship. I have been going to college on a scholarship and grants, and without it I probably would not be as close to my degree as I am today. I am the first out of Five children to attend college and hope for my sister and brothers to follow me one day. I was just accepted into nursing school at Nova Southeastern University and I am excited to start this January. College can be very hard if you let it but it can also be fun. I have grown up a lot because of college and have learned to be on my own. I have learned how to study and to speak out in class and never hold a question in. I am very competitive when it comes to grades, I try to have the highest grade and try to keep my GPA no lower than a 3.0. Over all I like to expand my knowledge and learn new things. I like to help people and also inspire people.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say many things. First, I would tell myself to take all of my senior classes as a PSEO student and get as many general in as I could. The cost of four years of education at a nice university is unbelievable! PSEO is all free and it would take one whole year off of my loan in the long run. Also, I would tell myself to practice learning by myself apart from homework. If its spanish that I'm learning at that time, I would suggest getting a computer CD and taking extra time to learn off of that too. Independant learning is extremely important in college. Finally, I would tell myself to start looking for scholarships as a senior. There are so many scholarships out there for high school seniors and college is really expensive, so I would definately start looking now.

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What I have gotten out of my college experience is quite valuable for my future. I have truly understood the responsibility I must take to make decisions for myself and meeting the deadlines for my assignments. I am really grasping the idea that college is nothing like high school. What I am understanding is that I am paying for my classes and if I were to skip the class or choose to miss it, I would be losing the money I paid. I have been using the skills I have learned in college and applying them into my real world experiences such as my job, and providing room to help my family. College is so valuable to attend for it is the first page in your life novel, and the experiences that go along with it only improve the person that you are.

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If I could turn back in time, I will tell myself in my high school senior make sure to do the research career choices, and apply for as much scholarship available. You do not want to waste your money on career choice you do not like. Think about, do you want a career that allows you to make your rich? Or a career that you can love doing for the rest of your life? Or maybe both, working a job that you love and make your rich? Just remember, College is expense and it is no longer free. When you get into college, know as many people you can. Its does not mean go out and go to party without doing homework. Its meeting the right people that will help you reach your goal, wither it is the professor or classmate.

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My advice to myself as a high school senior would be: -Take chemistry, calculus, and physics. These classes are a great basis for understanding the same college courses. -Try your hardest. Good grades will help you get into the colleges you want and need to get the best education. -Learn how YOU need to study, so that when you go to college you already know how. -Be ready to learn, this education you are paying for and so you only want to take these classes once.

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I would tell myself to take the opportunity to get a higher education sooner instead of later. I chose to go the employment route and have worked for the same employer for the past 21 years. With the changes in the ecoonomy and in the job market it is imperative you have a degree to get a better job. Employers can now pick and choose and even though work experience counts for alot having a degree is very important.

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