Parkland College Top Questions

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


Dear Miigan, You have had a tough run of it, but that's okay because you are finally getting yourself sorted out and on your way to true independance. Instead of desperately trying to live-up to other people's expectations of what you should be and how fast you should do it, take your time and figure out who you are first. Don't let other people define you. Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life is tough choice, takes a lot of time, and only you should be making it - after all you are going to be living your life. If you allow someone to live vicariously though you or try to be something for someone, you are ultimately setting yourself up for failure. Just be true to yourself and you'll figure it out. On your way to it: work at lots of different jobs, meet lots of people, travel if you can with your foreign lanugage class (or any other opportunity that gets you away), volunteer with children and the elderly, read science fiction once in a while instead of constantly reading text books (trust me, you'll love Blade Runner).


Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, the advice that I would give myself, if I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, would be in regards to the many challenges that I have overcome as well as the ones that I am still facing today. In other words, there are many professors out there that think differently about students with learning disabilities and see them as a burden to their classroom. However, some professors and faculty are compassionate and will go out of their way to assist you. For instance, I am privileged to have wonderful support from the staff at the Parkland Disabilities Services as they influenced me in becoming a stronger and successful college student. Overall, in the end, there are many challenges in which you will face but if you work hard and believe in yourself, than anything is possible. Your journey can only be what you make of it, so defend your rights as a student and prove others wrong that anyone can accomplish their goals, even you.


The best advice I would give to myself is take all the math courses as possible, start looking into colleges early, visit the campus, and pick the career that makes you must happiest than choicing one that you'll make a lot of money in. I realize now everything I didn't do or take in high school is really reflexing on my future now. Being a year out of school and 20 years old I finally know what I really want to do with my life I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals and want to save their lives. I would rather deal with animals who can't speak than to try to handle humans who can through a bottle of pills at me being a Pharmacist. The best advice is do what makes you must happy because money is everything.


As a high school senior I told myself, "work before play." If I could go back in time to my senior year of high school which would be in the year 2004, I would remind myself of that crucial phrase. I would tell myself that second chances are not always given, so give it all that you have on your first try. Always put your best foot forward, because you are stepping into a very "adult" world. There is very little room for mistakes and those would be mistakes that will cost you not only your money but also your time. Entering into college takes commitment, dedication, and much responsibility. You alone are responsible for making good grades, maintaining a high GPA and setting your own personal and educational goals. Prioritize your commitments. Study hard. Get in the habit of doing so. Make it a vital part of your everyday living. You will get out of college what you put into it. Get involved with student activities. Take time for yourself to recharge because it is possible to get burnt out. Always keep a positive attitude and learn from your mistakes. Ask for help when needed, someone will be wiling!


I still live with my parents, so I have not had the "college shock" that many people face. However, going to a large community college has opened my eyes to diversity- cultural, racial, religious, etc. If I had to choose one thing to say to myself as a high school senior, it would be "Figure out who you are, and be confident in that!" Too many students have not established an identity and are looking EVERYWHERE to find out who they are, only to be confused when either every place seems enticing or when every place makes them uncomfortable. I can see myself as a high school senior, telling myself, "I can PICK who I want to be when I get to college! I can be high maintenance, or do I want to be a farm girl? Should I be a geek or pretend I don't care." I confused myself when I wasn't confident in "myself."


If I could go back and give my High School self advice it would be to take a year of school to decided what I want to study and ensure I complete a Bachelors Degree. when ready. I was undecided with that I wanted to do as a profession out of high school. When the post secondary program that I had applied to didn't accept me I continued to take another program that did for the sole reason because I felt I should be at a post secondary institution. I ended up dropping out a semester and a half later only to obtain an associates degree years later. Being where I am in life now, taking a year off school to decide what I wanted to pursue and then obtain my degree would have helped me to progress to where I want to be in my career now. I would also suggest taking a year off to myself high school self because high school and college are two very different experiences. Living on my own for a year and preparing myself for the life style of a college student would have been very beneficial for me.


Going back in time and talking to myself as a high school senior, I would advise myself to do better my whole senior year. After I got accepted into Parkland College, I had the "I don't care" attitude because I knew I was already accepted into a college. I would go back and tell myself to try harder in all my classes even if they were considered "blow off classes". I would also prepare myself for the transition from high school to college by visiting a college campus and getting the feel of how a college works. I would advise myself to talk to some college students to get their views on the transition from high school to college so i'd be prepared. I would also advise myself to communicate with my high school advisor better and more often. I would talk to her about my college choices and fields of study.


I think the one thing I would say is start taking the general courses first before you take classes specific to your major because you never know if you are ever going to change your major. I would also say don't be shy. Start talking to your classmates, join some clubs, don't just worry about school and getting a job. You have your whole life ahead of you and you need to be able to make future business connections and you never know who knows who. TRY SOMETHING NEW!! If there is a class that sounds interesting but you don't know anything about it don't be scared to try new things. You never know if you are going to like that subject area in you never know it could possibly turn into your major and your job in the future. The last thing would be is to be yourself. You don't have to act like someone your not. Your new friends will love you for who you are and now how your acting. HAVE FUN AT COLLEGE!!!


If I could go back in time and talk to myself in senior year, I would first advise myself to seriously think about and decide what I really want to do in my future. Many highschool students and college students live without setting their ultimate goals in their lives, and I was no exception. Praying with tears every weekends, I now finally have a goal and this is motivating me to challenge myself to achieve this goal. If I found this goal earlier, I could've motivate myself more and look for colleges that fit me the best, not those that have prestigious names, financial support, or friends. When seniors can set their goals earlier, the environment and experiences provided by the colleges would be the first characteritics that I would look for when I'm searching for the right college. Enthusiastic professors, life-like experiences, and vigorous club activities will cause more students to become more passionate and to learn more about achieving their goals. Since these students are more likely to have the students who have the same interest, I will be more motivated and become more enthusiastic with those who share the same dreams.


I would tell myself to do more research as far as education after Parkland College so that any worrying that takes place would simply be about getting assignments turned in on time and learning the material. I would also say to not procrastinate on assignments and split large tasks into smaller ones. The longer you wait to complete a task, the more difficult it becomes. Make all the friends you can while in college as well. Not only is maintaining a healthy social life important, but your friends may be able to help you out whenever you least expect it or vice versa. Lastly, don't stress about the small stuff since it might not be as bad as you think if looked at in a different perspective.


When I was a high school senior, I was afraid to attend college. My parents couldn't help me at all financially, and I applied for dozens of scholarships. I finally ended up at the University of Tulsa, a small private college in Oklahoma, with a lot of scholarships. When the recession hit, my parents' credit rating went down and I had no one to cosign on my loans for the remaining balance. Government aid helped a little, but nowhere near enough. I began attending Parkland Community College this year, and I'm so glad I did. Here, people like me understand the value of a dollar and an education. Even though some of my friends from high school are embarrased to speak with me because I went to community college, I know it was the best decision for me and my family. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to be embarrased to go to community college for the first two years of my education. Not only would I have found a better fit for myself earlier; I would have fewer student loans today.