The day I arrived at Annunciation Elementary School, I knew my experience would be special. This particular semester opened my eyes and changed my life forever. When I arrived at this inner city school in Denver I was immediately greeted by cheerful Kindergartners with so much love to give. These bright, vibrant children were eager to learn. I soon realized their life at home was a struggle. Many of these precious children would go without food from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. Every so often a child would come to school exhausted after being awake all night from gun shots outside their home. This experience Regis University provided altered my life forever. After witnessing the love these students have to give even with the hardships they endure on a daily basis has inspired me to give back to those less fortunate. The Regis University motto is "Men and Women in Service of Others." This ideal is emphasized in just about every class taken at Regis. The professors emphasize giving to those less fortunate by providing and often times requiring community service. The community service aspect Regis promotes and encourages of its students has made it a valuable institution to attend.
The best advice that I can give to students and their parents regarding finding the right college is to determine what career you want to pursue. Regis offers wonderful opportunities for my major, however there are also some programs that are not offered. Therefore, that should be the first determinant. Finances should be taken into consideration but realize that financial aid will often balance out fairly equally among schools regardless of the initial cost of tuition. Secondly, it is important to realize if you want to stay in state or attend an out of state college. Any particular interests that the student has, should be taken into consideration including if they plan to be part of a certain club, private university, band, study abroad opportunities or a particular athletic team. Once these basic considerations are made it is a lot easier to narrow down the college of your choice. These considerations are very important to the individual to help make the transition a little easier and will significantly reduce the potential options of college destinations. If you are unable to find a college that meets all of these requirements, figure out your priorities and rule out schools in that order.
Preparing to go to college is a stressful, exciting time for all students. With graduation and collegiate freedom looming in your immediate future it is sometimes hard to concentrate on the important details in preparing for ultimate success in college. I wish I had prepared better for college by saving more money and applying for more scholarships. Writing scholarship essays is a dreaded mundane activity for all high school seniors but I cannot stress the importance of applying to these scholarships enough. Too many of my friends in college have taken high interest loans that will hinder their saving abilities after college. It is too easy to get stressed about the humongous amounts of money college entails and remain paralyzed by this stress, I encourage all seniors to face this stress head on devout this energy instead on researching scholarships. Socially, transitioning to college is very frightening. I would tell all seniors not to worry about making friends or fitting in; even if you struggled to make friends in high school college offers a fresh start to all. Not to sound clich?, but seniors, remember you can do this, give it your best and you will succeed!
If the opportunity arose to go back in time to give myself advice as a high school senior, armed with the knowledge and experience I have today, there are a few things I would advise: 1. Organization is extremely important! Regardless of the task, the class, or even the assignment, maintaining an organized system will help facilitate learning by making finding documents easier, notes will be located faster, and you will always know what lies ahead. 2. Apply for scholarships. Everyone wants to believe that they are super-heroes, that they can do it all on their own. I/you can't. Applying for scholarships will help relieve your stress because you won't have to worry about working to cover bills while in school. Applying for scholarships would also facilitate your learning because you will have more time to spend studying. 3. Just get it done. Whatever arises- get it done! Homework- get it done! Studying- get it done! Rest- very importantly get it done! Exercise- get it done! You will have opportunities to go to school, but why waste time and money? Following these three somewhat easy pieces of advice will make it easier. Just get it done!
My entire paradigm of the value of education in my life has changed because of my first 18 months in college. Some professors have been able to initiate my interest in areas such as Freirean Pedagogy that I would have never explored had it not been for my contact with these professsors. Other professors have helped me realize that I can accomplish my hopes and dreams for life. My English professor is showing me outside of the classroom where my writing abilities are, and is reassuring me that I can one day soon accomplish my childhood dream of being a published author. My Spanish professor has illuminated me to the fact that simply my interest in foreign-language acquisition and etymological linguistics qualifies me for my dream of studying near-extinct or long-dead languages. Most importantly, I have discovered how to research things that interest me, whether or not that knowledge relates to my classes and will help me get a good grade. My college experience has shown me that even though the world can be a scary place, I am acquiring the tools necessary to navegate this Odyssey successfully, and to live a happy and successful life.
Education is an opportunity, a blessing, and the gift you will give to your life, family, career and the world. Do not stop at the minimum or take the easy way out when the going becomes difficult. Just getting by will never be enough for you. Growth is an essential and sometimes painful process to become better spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. The benefit you will provide comes in reaching your full potential and then teaching others how to reach their potential. Many will come to you seeking answers to life problems. Study harder than required to complete your degree. Fill your mind with the best answers you will find. Prepare to share your knowledge with a world hungering for truth. Do not be afraid to share yourself, your ideas, and your failures with those you will encounter. It is in your failures that many will find the way to avoid the pitfalls of life. Lift up your eyes and mind beyond your own petty imaginings and ego. Pursue opportunities to love others through service as it will bring you greater joy than all the accolades you dream of achieving. Your motto becomes: Touching each life, one at a time.
I think to find the right college to fit you, lots of college visits need to be arranged. Visit big and small schools, state and private schools, metropolitan and rural schools. You won't know how you like it unless you visit. I think college tours and the life in the day of a student are excellent resources that should be used because they illustrate the true environment of the college. And the students can give insite to what campus life, professors, the workload, the area are all about. I think to make the most of a college experience, you have to be open and willing. Attend the orientation workshops and activites, I highly recommend living on campus or in a house with fellow students because it will help you adjust with the rest of the incoming class while gaining knowledge from upperclassmen. Be social, join a club, go out and party and explore your new life, but don't forget why you are there, to get ahead, gain knowlegde, fulfill a dream and enter the working world with what empolyers love, experience. Get an internship and do research, try and make the most of it all while having fun.
The best thing to do is to find a college that will foster growth both towards finding the most fitting area of study and also towards a future career. When I started college, I had a very vague idea of what area I would like to study. The college I attend takes pride in their very well-rounded and varied core curriculum, which ended up being a wonderful help to me as well as thier small class sizes and intimate atmosphere. I was able to explore different areas of study while fulfilling my core credits, and the teachers were very available to help advise me. Or, if your student has a specific career in mind, be sure that you look for a school that offers a strong program, and especially one that offers help finding internships or other ways of gaining real experience in the desired field. Be sure to visit the campuses of the schools you are considering and do things such as talk to professors, sit in on classes, etc. Most importantly, make sure it is a school that offers an environment in which the student feels confident that they can trive mentally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually,
The best advice I could give myself if I were once again a high school senior would be to focus more on job shadowing prior to entering college. As a teenager, it is very difficult to determine a career or professional discipline if you have never been exposed to anything but a minimum wage paying job. Sometimes, an entry level position can indeed lead one to have a greater understanding about their career objective, even if it is to gain an awareness of what one does not wish to do for the remainder of their working years. However, it would be advantageous if high school students would either complete a co-op program offered through their educational institution or else be ambitious enough to seek an internship in a specific working environment they believe would be rewarding. Were high schoolers able to apply the above advice, they may be able to prevent wasted expenditures on an educational degree that they thought they would find stimulating, only to realize that the career field of their choice was not at all what they imagined it to be upon graduation and subsequent entrance into the workforce.
Having grown up in a town of roughly 8,000 people and 2 hours from anything the world often seemed small. Peoples' lives revolved around that town and making a living. They focused on their families, friends, and retirement. Many of my classmates concentrated on sports and graduating with that golden 4.0. All of these things are respectable goals, but attending a college in a city of 2.5 million people changes the way the world looks and feels. The thousands of faces seen every day rushing from point A to point B and back again made me realize how large this world truly is. It threw in my face the fact that most of my accomplishments to date were insignificant in the scope of life. This revealation coupled with a college built around morals and helping the world altered my perspective on what it means to truly live and be happy during this crazy thing we call life. My college experienced changed me for the better. It showed me that I share this world with 7 billion other people and a life well lived comes from works of service, because when you change the world you change yourself.