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Raritan Valley Community College

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

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that while college art classes so far have proven to be no more difficult for me than high school classes in that I do not have to put in much effort to gain an exceptional grade, there is little personal satisfaction in not applying myself to my best ability. I want to learn. I want to take these classes because I want to better my artistic ability. I would tell myself first of all to put my tendency to procrastinate behind me as soon as possible and to focus, then work on time management because they are important skills that regrettably, I lacked. I would make myself understand why I am really taking classes, doing homework and slaving over projects. It is not for the grade; not for the pass that will eventually lead to a diploma which, when boiled down to its base, is just that. It is about becoming a better artist and learning to reach my full potential. I would make sure my past self remembers that when the work piles up and it seems so harmless to simply take the easy way out.

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School may not come easy to you, but that does not mean that you won't find success in school. It is hard work to adopt good study habits but once you take the time to do well, you will do well. Your expectations of yourself should be higher because you are smarter than you know. Whenever you take a class you should view it as an opportunity to challenge yourself. Do the best that you possibley can, and if you fall short there are always resources that you can take advantage off. There is no shame in asking for help because it means that you are smart enough to know when you need assistance and that you are brave enough to say "I need help". Half of the battle when it comes to college is attending all of your classes. As long as you are present and activly paying attention in all of your courses then you are half way to success. Openly communicating your goals and intentions to your professors or love ones will help to motivate you in achieving your goals. It can also make it much more exciting when you succeed. Carpe Diem.

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As a college student, I would love the chance to tell a younger version of myself about my experience. Since I cannot do that, I have gone back to my former high school and spoke to current students there in hopes that they will have an advantage in college. If I could go back, I would tell my younger self to focus more on classes. I put in enough effort to pass my classes and rarely any more. I wish I could tell myself how difficult this would make my life in college, where I have needed to learn how to study correctly and have needed to put in more effort than ever before. I have heard that in high school the effort needed is an 80/20 split; 80 percent in class, 20 percent out of class. In college that ratio is flipped. To get good grades I have been spending 80 percent of my effort out of class to study and work on assignments, while the other 20 percent is in class taking notes and learning from the professor. I have adjusted well, though I truly wish I could tell my younger self to focus more in class.

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Going to college is a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. It's probably the best time to explore new subjects that might interest you because once you start working and have a family you probably won't have the time to do it. You might be tempted to hurry your way through college so that you can begin to earn money more quickly, but you should take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand your mind in ways you haven't done before. You're going to meet new friends and you might be tempted to spend more time socializing than you should. Try to keep a good balance, and remember that your job right now is to learn as much as you can. Maybe you need to work while you're in school to support yourself. If that's the case, be careful that you don't burn out. It's OK to take a year or two more to graduate. Better to do that than to settle for less than the best work you're capable of because you've stretched yourself too thin.

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Open your textbook. You aren’t really doing this now and you are getting by with A’s and B’s. Congratulations. This won’t last forever. The textbook and notes are your best friends. Use them wisely. You will be a commuter. The parking lot fills up fast so the earlier the class the better. Also, you’ll be able to beat the New York City commuter traffic on I-78. You hate the idea of commuting. Always remind yourself that you’re saving money, making friends, and learning great work ethic. You will love it later. In college there are no excuses. Homework, papers, and tests all have a due date. Class starts at a specific time…get there before the professor locks the door. You are solely responsible for your grade no one else is. You’ll find that in life there are no excuses. This is the beginning of your life. Have fun. This is important. Stress can be the biggest downfall on a person’s physical and mental state. Make sure you find time to let loose.

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Wow, knowing what I know now would have changed a lot. I'm now 32 and just returned to school. I was very intimidated by the thought of college when I was 18. Now that I finally built up the confidence to go it's not so bad. I never thought I could do it. Knowing what I know now and looking back it would have been so easy to attend college. Now I am rasing two children ages eight and four. I'm a class mom for the second grade and a cub scout leader. I attend classes at a community college and take care of my boys. Wow, would things have been easy when all there was to worry about was going to class. So I would have told myself back then to go for it, dont be scared it's not that bad. With any will power and self determination you can do anything you set your mind to do. Follow your dreams and dont be affraid.....what do you have to loose??

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Never be afraid to get involved. Involving yourself in school, the community, etc. will only help you build skills, experience new things, and meet new people. This is what life is all about. Always push yourself, for there is no limit. College is not a scary place. It is a place where you are able to start fresh, build character, and be everything you can be. Do not let one moment go by that you feel you will regret. Take chances. You may tell yourself that it is not worth it in the end, but how will you know if you never try. There is no such thing as "messing up", however, there is such a thing called "learning from mistakes and not allowing them to bring you down". You will only be as great as your make yourself. Knowing this now, walk into college your first day with every bit of confidence. You deserve it.

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I would tell myself earnestly ,"It gets better than this." As a miserable high school senior, those words would have meant the world to me. I graduated high school with a terrible GPA and dreaded the community college it had doomed me to. If high school was a horrific holding pen filled with cruel kids, Raritan Valley Community College was someone opening the gate. The freedom of the classes, the different cultures, and the clean slate changed my life. I'm graduating this spring with a 3.7 GPA and new outlook on education in general. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, with good friends, and a dream of becoming a high school English teacher, I hope that someday I CAN have the chance to tell a kid like me, "It gets better than this."

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I would tell myself to open up, and experiance college with an open mind. The transition from highschool life to college is day and night. You should never pass by an optertunity to experiance somthing new. Meet as many people as you can with an open mind. Join clubs and team, do your school work, and of course let loose and have a fun time. Always leave time for your school work but dont over do yourself. Make sure you set up a nap schedule, leaving time for class, work, and exercise. But most of all, keep and open mind. Freshman year of college is the best and most stressfull time of your young life so take it for all that its worth. Dont look back and regret something you passed by.

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If I was able to go back in time and have a conversation with my senior self I would advise myself to not jump into decisions, to dapple in different classes before getting too caught up in one major. I would also tell myself to take everything one day at a time, to ask for help when needed, and to have fun but to keep focus. I would also tell myself to make friends, remember that school comes first, and that homework is necessary. I would also remind myself to just do my best and to take the bad with the good, that in the end it will be okay.

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