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Rochester Community and Technical College

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

If I went back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself two things: be more active and apply for scholarships. In all four years, I participated in band. Towards the end of my high school career, I took an interest in the drama department. After going back in time, I would tell myself to take part in the drama department right away as a freshman. I would also recommend that I take part in volleyball, which I enjoyed playing in junior high. Not only would it have broadened my social circle, but it also would have allowed me more opportunity for financial aid. This leads to the second thing I would tell myself: apply for all scholarships. Back then, I knew that college wasn't cheap. Like every other high school student, I expected my family to pay for most of it, and I didn't feel the need to apply for a lot of scholarships. Now that I am going back to school, I don't have them to fall back on. If I would have applied for more scholarships the first time around, I would have less student loan.

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If I were able to talk to my high school senior self, I would first tell myself, "Whatever you do, try not to procrastinate and try to be eficient." This is because my first year of college was tough! High school did not prepare me for college at all. In high school, I didn't have to show up to every class or always listen to what the teacher saying because it was fairly easy. But miss one college class and you could've missed the biggest lecture of the course. I'd also tell myself, "If life gets hard, just remember it goes on. Nothing lasts forever." This is just for a reminder for myself so that when life does get hard, I remember to focus my negative energy and try to make it positive by working harder and knowing it will all be better soon. I tell myself that sometimes when I get caught up in all of the things that I'm doing that everyday feels the same. This helps my mind calm down and helps me think outside the box and more about the important things in life to me.

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If I were to return to talk to myself, as a high school senior, I would recommend to go to school when I'm ready. It will do you no good to blindly choose a major at whatever school will take you. Go and experience the world in order to develope a reason to want to go to school because, you will be a different person when you are truly prepared. Once you have hindsite to what life is like without an education, you will truly appreciate knowledge and seek it out. When you are prepared for the challenge, you will perform with your whole mind and heart. When you are ready, you will have the maturity to approach college with a goal that you believe and with the passion that makes people great. You will appreciate your professors and they will respect you and your opinions. You will go to school not as a student, but as a leader! All you have to do is go to school when YOU are ready.

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Money, it's the force that drives much of the world. Managing money is a key skill that should be learned before gallavanting off to college and its drastically increased freedoms. But with these freedom, comes great responsibility. It is critically important to not only establish a budget, but to watch and record spending in all aspects of life. Those three dollar Starbuck's coffees and dollar-fifty gatorades drain your account without much warning. Once the semester starts and any amount of financial aid is recieved, use your statements, income, and outflow all to determine a monthly budget. Using a bank that uses online access to individual accounts is a great help in seeing a visual of your savings, as well as a spending report. Sticking to this monthly budget will not only keep you out of debt, but establish great credit strageties for the rest of your life.

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If I could go back in time and give myself advice about college life, I would tell myself that the groups that were found in high school are gone in college. Some other advice that I would give myself is to do all the homework assignments even when their no required. If I had done all the work and tried a little harder on the assignments then I would have better understood what it was that the teacher was teaching. The last thing that I would advize myself would be to ask questions in class. Most proffessors give extra credit to the people who speek up ion class. I just never had the emotional strength to speek up. I was always woried that people would laugh at my questions and judge me before they knew me. College students are nicer than high school students and they don't judge because most of them have the same questions that you ask.

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I have always loved to do everything that I posssibly could. My most important advice would be to not take on too much at once. I love to do music and theater, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Keeping care of yourself first and foremost is very curcial to staying healthy physically and mentally. If things are getting out of hand, take a break and step back. Being realistic in what one person can do is a great step. Work ahead at every possible given moment. This gives you more time to have fun and goof around. When there isn't time to enjoy life, then that takes the fun experience out of college. Remember to work hard, time manage your activities, and most importanly, have fun.

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Don’t fear the future. Make the most of the opportunity that is presented to you. Study hard but make time to have fun. You only get one chance to do it right but have fun doing it.

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