As a recent graduate of high school, one thing I can mention about senior year is that it is very important to keep up with the pace! In other words, it is important to manage your time. Senior year is a very exciting and eventful time; however; you do not want any distractions to get in the way of deadlines, applications, classes, etc. As an expected graduate, you want to be able to walk down the aisle on graduation day knowing that you have accomplished all that you possibly can. Remember, you represent your high school wherever you go or wherever you put your name on an application. To that extent, be mindful of how to be the best student you can be. Do not worry about where your friends are going to college or what they are studying - you must stay true to yourself in order to find the right path after high school. You want to sustain a good relationship with your teachers, principal, and advisors because those are the people you will be asking references from. Ultimately, enjoy your senior year while it lasts and at the same time, stay focused on things that matter the most!
I was raised by a controlling father who taught me that the only two places in this world I need to be familiar with are school and home. Although this kept me out of trouble, it limited my development socially because I only interacted with people I was already acquainted with. Thus, whenever I’m forced outside of my comfort zone in social situations, I’m extremely shy. It wasn’t until I entered college that I realized how great an effect this lifestyle had on me. College is more than just a place to further one’s education—it provides many opportunities to network with people from all walks of life. The social aspect of college life has been extremely challenging for me because of my shyness. I’ve realized that there are so many walls I have to break down. If I could give myself advice as a high school senior, I would tell myself to start preparing for this transition early by stepping outside of my comfort zone and actively placing myself in new social situations. If I had had this head-start at breaking my shyness, it would have lightened the burden on my shoulders now.
Knowing what I now know about college life, I would go back in time to when I was a high school senior and tell myself one simple word: BREATHE. I have been a straight A student all my life and was worried that I would not be able to remain a straight A student in college. This concern came about at the beginning of my senior year when I spoke to students who had graduated in the past about what they think of college. From asking various people, I realized I was receiving the same answer from most: ?College is so much harder than high school.? This reaction made me apprehensive about my college experience. Now as a second semester freshman at Pace University, I can honestly say college is not as scary as I had assumed. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself, ?College is not as terribly difficult as everyone is making it seem. It is an excellent time to take advantage of the many opportunities you are offered. Just continue your good study habits and remain organized and focused. As long as your motives are clear from the start, you cannot go wrong.?
There are two aspects out of my college experience that has made it extremely valuable for me to attend. I've had many great job positions and I majored in something that I didn't think existed, but has opened my eyes tremendously. There is no doubt that if I did not attend Pace, I would still be a terrible writer, which means that I wouldn't feel confident writing this right now, I wouldn't have gotten all of the experience I got from my employment opportunities, and I wouldn't have learned about the silent racism, sexism, and classism that occurs throughout the world. Many Women's Studies courses that I've taken so far have no doubt changed my life; the most life changing class had to be a course that discussed child marriage, female genital mutilation, child soldiers, child sex trafficking and so on. Because of these courses that I've stumbled upon out of the blue, I strive to make this world a better place for people, especially those in undeveloped countries. I am also a Psychology major and Pace is definitely preparing me to be a Psychology Graduate student.
If I was granted the opportunity to go back in time and meet the ?High School? Moises, I would give him helpful advice that will make the transformation of a typical High School senior to a hard working College student, an enjoyable smooth ride. I would make him understand that true learning doesn?t come from memorizing things; it comes from understanding why things occur, like chemical reactions. I would tell him helpful study techniques for he can develop strong studying habits. I would teach him how to manage his time effectively, to avoid assignment build up. To use his gym membership, his love for sketching, and poetry to relieve any stress that occurs throughout the semester. To not be afraid to meet new people when he enters college, for he is entering a new world filled with professionals and students who are trying to achieve their goals. I will prepare him mentally for the inevitable intimidating transition from being a teenager, to becoming an adult. And finally to assure ?High School? Moises, that everything is going to be better than expected.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that adaptation is one of the stepping stones in life that should be viewed as an exciting opportunity rather than a cause of anxiety. In the weeks prior to my transition to college, I had a great deal of anxiety about being taken out of my "comfort zone." I was very involved in my high school and my community, and had a close network or friends and colleagues that I could look to for advice and guidance. I thought that once I moved to college, I would lose these relationships. I believe that the idea of "starting over" is a major cause of fear for college bound students. However, it should be looked at in a positive light. Having a "clean slate" is an exciting opportunity. The relationships you create throughout high school will stick with you throughout adjusting to college, and will help guide you in adjusting to a new chapter in life. Adapting to change is part of life. It is simply a chance to create the person you want to be in the world.
First and foremost, relax. Transferring is always an option. Secondly, make sure your name and your face are known once you've gotten in. Be loud and clear about what you want from the school and you WILL find your way of getting it. Like many things in life, your college career is what you make it out to be. Do not surround yourself with a toxic lifestyle, but feel free to dapple into things you've never explored. Among other things, college is about finding out who you are. Not about what career you will have, but about what type of person you'll become. Parents, let go now! Say goodbye to your loved ones and let them explore life for what it can really be. Let them make their mistakes and let them come crying to you for your help. Be accepting and don't reprimand. You don't any longer have the right to command their every move. Naturally they'll just rebel. You do, however, have the right to bestow your opinions and experiences on to them. This is their life now. Let them explore it. If you limit them now, it will only amplify later.
Know thyself. It seems a bit redundant and oversimplified- but really that's the key. What do you want to do with your life? is the one that usually drives the decision making process. But also you should consider- what kind of people do you enjoy hanging out with? What kind of environment do you want to live in for the next 4 years of your life? What kind of things are important to your life? Not everybody knows what they "want to be when they grow up" (many never figure it out)- but this is the time to go with gut feelings. Most know what they want when they see it- few things are as recognizable as the places in which you fit. If you are a city person and want to live a fast lifestyle- that is a serious consideration. If sports and athletics are very important to you- that is important as well. If you are in a prestiguous program, but live some place you hate and dont fit in- the 4 years probably will be difficult. Life goals and aspirations should be top considerations- but remember too that the little things make up life.
There is no right college. Everybody has their own reasons for going to the college of their choice. Some go to the far away to live in freedom away from their family. Some kids choose colleges based on their major disregarding on how the campus looks or how far it is from home. Choosing a college is hard work you just have to ask yourself what do you want in a college? Big campus? Far? Close? In the heart of metropolis? I honestly couldn't tell you how to pick the right college. You just have to make a list of all the things that important for you and search the web for a college that matches your criteria. After you have found the "right" college, it?s smooth sailing afterwards. College is the time in your life when you learn to prioritize. Do you study tonight for the Chem text or do you go to your Janes birthday party. The habits you pick up in college can carry on to your career life and even family life. Everything is good as long as it is in moderation and you don't lose focus of your first goal, your education.
For the students, I would recommend that they don't stress out too much about finding the "perfect" college. Make sure you make the decision based on where you want to go and not solely on what your parents want. If you find that you don't like it, you can always transfer. It won't be the end of the world. Enjoy the rest of your high school years and don't let getting into the right college stop you from that. College isn't everything. It's important, but so is life. It's not completely about the grades. As long as you do what you love in life, while being able to support yourself, you've succeeded. Success is not merely getting the degree. Several people who graduate end up working in areas not even related to what their degrees were. Your parents just want what is best for you by making sure you're getting an education, but don't be afraid to do what you love. As for the parents, let your children be who they were meant to be. They know you care, but let them have the freedom of pursuing what they love.