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Pensacola State College

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

Jessica, the best decision is only the one that feels right; whatever 'makes sense' about an opportunity doesn't guarantee it will make you happy. Never accept fear as a motivator to finish your education: in the end, your parents' acceptance and the money they have put out are not as important as how you will ultimately choose to live your life. You are a good person with beautiful ideas. Accept yourself first and then consider the guidance of others with caution. As fortunate as I have been thus far, by now I have been in and out of college with more attempted credits and earned. I harbor intense guilt and shame for not acting on what I thought was right, but what others thought was right for me. I can now say that the English language may be my talent, but illustration is and always was my passion. The immense investment that college education is should be made with a surer grip on the self. The financing and emotional fulfillment (as well as support) will neatly fall into place thereafter. Jessica, let education enhance what is already your passion; desperately digging for a new one hasn't worked.

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Knowing what I know now, I would definitely tell my high school senior self that the "parents or advisors will handle it for me" mentality doesn't work in college. Procrastination will burry you when you get to college. There is always a deadline coming up and you can't just sit around and wait till just before a deadline to do something in college. Also, you have to study, study, and study. College professors don't always assign homework or other things to promote outside-of-class study, so it is up to you to make sure you understand everything and practice it outside of class. Study groups are a great way to help with that. Don't be afraid to ask your professor for help outside of class as well. College professors are much more busy than high school teachers and they don't have enough time to make sure each students understands everything by themselves. You need to approach them if you need help so that they know and can help. Finally, always go to class. Unless you have a good reason to miss class, go to every class or it will come back and hurt you.

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Don’t trust those who seem trustworthy at first meeting. They may seem sweet but that doesn’t mean that they really are. Choose your friends carefully and take your time. Remember not to get distracted by the opposite sex! You come to college to get a higher education, not to find a future mate. If you find one while you are there, that’s great. However, it is not what you are searching for. Don’t let the attitudes of others toward you change your attitude. Keep a positive outlook. Many around you will not want to be at college, which will oftentimes mean that they will be depressed and even angry with the world. That’s their problem, not yours. Don’t take it personally. Don’t let the busyness of life interfere with making phone calls to your family. If you’re homesick, call them. It will relieve it somewhat. Oh, and remember what college is about. Number one: studying. But number two is just having fun. If you’re stressed out by school or simply brain-fried from studying, take a friend and enjoy yourself for an hour or so. It will help you so much!

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Mistakes bring wisdom, and there is only one thing I would relay to myself as a high school senior: FOCUS. I graduated high school with goals of doing 2 years for my RN and becoming an independent young nurse. I eventually started dating a man who turned abusive and I dropped out of school to leave him and returned home. After a while I moved back and received my NCMA at a different school and tried to re-enroll at the previous school and finish my RN. What I did not know was because I dropped out, I was not eligible for the financial aid that I was qualified for; and even though I tried to appeal my case, the school felt that I was still at risk of dropping out again despite explaining my situation and having more stability. I would have to pay for school out of pocket. I have redefined the word focus in my life. If I could give myself advice as a high school senior I would explain the importance of establishing myself in a career, transitioning from high school to real life is a big step and only you are responsible for staying focused.

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If I could talk to myself when I was a senior in high school, the theme of my discussion would be of realizing my potential. Growing up by the beach, life's responsibilities could easily be set aside for the white sands and surf. I would stress to myself that the beach will be there long after I am gone. My decision to join the Army would not change. My experiences as an Infantryman opened my eyes to a vast and wonderful world. These experiences helped me in the classroom, allowing me to be more aware of the importance of what I am trying to accomplish. I would make sure to outine the different avenues to search for the vast number of scholarships, grants, and loans available to me. Coming out of high school the first time, I did not research or actively look for ways to pay for college, aside from the military. Finally, a great deal of effort and time would be spent on the importance of studying and taking effective notes. Complete notes and providing yourself with ample time to study are vital steps to college success.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to apply to the all of the universities I was interested in (USC, University of Puget Sound, and Nevada) and major in Accounting. I chose to attend a community college and never obtained my degree. I didn't realize the importance of getting my degree before all of life's obligations began accumulating. I wanted to go to a four year university but I didn't. I was anxious to move out on my own and begin working. I didn't understand how, at 18, it was the optimal time to attend school because I didn't have a house payment or bills or a family to support. As I have lived, I have found a love of accounting and business which is why I am back in school working to obtain my bachelor's degree in accounting. Looking back I should have taken the opportunity to obtain my degree and that is what I would tell myself. "Apply to a university and get your degree in accounting NOW. Don't wait. It will be much harder in 20 years."

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So far my college experience has benefited me in so many ways. It should be an experience everyone should go through so they can benefit from it and grow. I had a severe anxiety disorder when I started college. It was almost impossible to sit in my biology I class without freaking out. When I started in the art program at Pensacola State College my teachers came at me with a more relaxed approach. By talking with them and immersing myself in my art I have almost completely overcome my anxiety disorder. I could have gone to the doctor to get drugs to treat my anxiety, or seen a therapist every once in a while, but at Pensacola State College I have learned how to overcome anxiety and just relax! College is a great thing, and not only have I learned from it, but my own mental health and well-being have benefited. I now look forward to my future, meeting new people, and accelerating in life. I want to go on to do bigger and better things. I want to help change other's lives because college has changed mine.

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Do not jump straight in with the idea you know everything and the direction you wish to go. Take the first year to do your core and then decide the major. Do not be afraid of the campus, professors, registration, or of anything! Everyone there is to help you. This isn't high school where you are required by law to attend. This is where people who want to succeed go. They attend out of desire, not out of obligation. My question to you, do you want to just be another number or do you want to matter? Community college is a good way to go. It's inexpensive and when you complete your Associate's degree it can transfer to a 4 year college as your first two years already completed. At half the price! It's the same classes, just a different location and price tag. And the job market today isn't so much of what school you went to, but if you completed school, the degree you sought, and what you have gotten out of it to apply and benefit your employeer. Good luck, and remember to breathe!

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Dear me - Wake. Up. When everyone starts talking about college in the fall, don't ignore them because it's not something you want to think about. College is serious, so put on your big girl panties and seriously think about it - don't just apply to one college because all of your friends are going there and you're scared to go somewhere alone. You won't be alone, you'll make new friends. As for college itself - deep breath. It's not actually as bad as it seems. Yes, you'll be confused at first, but you'll get it figured out. MEET WITH YOUR COUNCILOR. These people are here to help you, dummy. They can actually make things easier for you - you don't need to run around like a chicken with its neck cut off trying to figure out your class schedule. Ask questions, even if you don't know what to ask. Just ASK. This will save you tons of heartache in the future. Last but not least - don't wear that sweatshirt. You know the one I'm talking about. And chin up - you'll do fine.

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As a young child I was always very excited about learning new thing.I did not continous my learning.I would go in time.I would tell myself that you got to keep going.There is so much out their for you to know. I would push myself so ,and to get it through my thick head ,that there is so much in life when you have knowledge.The word knowledge mean that you can take control of your life.I would tell myself, look at how many poeples that you can help.Look at all of your friend peers family member that have gone astray.Look get that education that you need.With knowledge you can over come that fear that someone put in you.With knowledge I fear no man,that rise up against me. I had so manys thing taking from me,in high school.What education gave me noone can take my knowledge.Education have unleash the fire that with in me.I can talk to greatest or the smallest.I learn how to share what I know.I tell myself with the right education,I can give back to my peers.

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