San Diego Mesa College Top Questions

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


Describing my four years of high school as a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. I learned so much about what it takes to be a good student as time went on, but my senior year could have been better if I had known then what I know now. The work that someone puts in during high school, especially during senior year, prepares that person for the next level in our educational life, which is college. The advice I would give myself as a high school senior is: to be successful in college, you need a good foundation, such as developing good study habits, remembering what you have learned in high school, and take that with you to college. As a college freshman, I know what it means to make sacrifices and commit to learning as much as I can. In order to do so, discipline and determination is very important. If you stay focused on learning, and remain committed, you will be on your way to a successful college experience, and also a successful life ahead. Give your best effort; it will all be worth it when you finish college and embark on the career of your dreams!


I would advice myself that scholarships are very important. Apply for scholarships and save your money because college is expensive. But after you graduate, it's all worth it. Don't apply to colleges that your friends are attending because that is not always in your best instrest. Enjoy senior year. Don't take your high school education for granted. Be thankful for all your teachers and the great ampount of help you get. You can become very close to some teachers. They are the ones that guide you through the entire year. In college you have help, but sometimes its uncomfortable because you don't have the same relationship.


For years I have wished that I could go back and giving an inspiring pep talk to that senior in high school getting ready to make some 'choice' decisions regarding her education. I would start by saying that it is more than okay to start your education in community college to save money, but be sure to make the absolute most of it, choose electives wisely and prepare a college plan early so that you can transfer in two years. The most important lesson I would give myself, though, would be to grow in Love early on. Love, I have realized, is the key to being a successful student, worker, and overall individual. Learn to love, instead of loathe, your coursework. Love your job and all the opportunities that it affords you. I would tell myself that being overwhelmed is the ultimate strengthening course of life and that each step of the education process can be an empowering journey and should be treated as such. Most importantly I would tell myself to love and be gentle, not only with those around you, but with yourself. Life and college are exactly what you make it, so make it count.


I would tell my 18 year old self that the opportunity to go to school and work towards your goals is incredibly valuable. You are about to enter a very important chapter in your life - keep your head on straight. I am a single mother to a 5 year old girl, Jayden, who looks up to me for any and everything. The advice that I would give Jayden and myself 5 years ago - always set goals. Set them high and achieve them. No matter what obstacles come your way thrive to be the best you can be. Without a degree or work experience, it was very difficult to find a job that paid enough to support myself and my child. This is why I am so eager to continue my education and obtain a degree. I know that money is not the most important thing, but I often dream about a life without struggle and I know that getting my education is one of the only things left for me to do to get myself there. With this award I will be able to acheive my goals and learn more about what I am passionate about.


If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to begin looking and applying for scholarships, and to have more realistic expectations about what I want to do with my future. I would tell myself that I need to take school more seriously, but that it's okay to have a little bit of rest and relaxation from time to time. I would tell myself not to worry about the workload; that it's not nearly as bad as everybody makes it seem to be. Most of all, I would tell myself that there's nothing to worry about; I'm going to be just fine.


Dear younger me, Listen: You will go to college, and you will study theater. But not yet. When you finally leave that wretched minefield called "home" this summer, you'll take the first of many grueling minimum wage service jobs. You'll lose some of those jobs, you'll lose apartments, and with no family or safety net, you'll be homeless for months on end. You'll bounce from city to city. You'll eat a lot of dumpstered bagels, and walk miles in ragged shoes to stutter, "Are you hiring?" to pitying counter staff. Somewhere inside, a stubborn light will flicker. You'll be low, desperate, and humiliated. But not broken. At the magic age of 24, the gates of financial aid will swing open for you. Go to San Diego, for the hell of it. Throw yourself into your theater classes at Mesa. "It's only community college," others will sneer. But on the Mesa stage, you will find your voice. In 2014, you'll be accepted to a Directing BFA program in Chicago. You survived your home life, ok? You got this. No finances, no safety net, no time for self-doubt. Now, jump.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior about college it would go something like this: "Ryan, listen to me. I know you come from a family that cannot afford to send you to college and you don't feel like you're ready for it anyways. That's okay. Go through with your decision to join the Marines. The experiences and friendships you will gain will be invaluable. You will discover who you are and grow into becoming a man. But when you get out of the Marines you need to have a plan. Follow your passion for fitness and go to school right away. Pursue a degree in kinesiology and become a strength and conditioning coach. Don't wait because if you do you will be 30 years old by the time you graduate and unhappy with where you are in life. Be ambitious, work hard, get straight A's like I know you are capable of doing and go after your goals with everything you've got. Success doesn't come to those who wait, it comes to those who go after it. So go after it!"


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to procrastinate and study more for the SATs. Procrastination is something that always gives you stress at the end time and is soemthing that can accompany you in your college years. Another thing I would tell myself is to take more advanced classes to challenge myself so that I will be ready for the college courses that I will have to take later on. The Last thing I would tell myself is to manage my time more efficiently and try to be more organized.


College classes can be tough. The grades that you make that first semester will follow you all throughout your four years and onto graduate school. Do your best, but if you mess up, and you know that it is becuase you are not trying hard, or other commitments such as work/family prevent you from doing better, then step back, take only one class at a time if you need to, be the best that you can be in that class, and do not take a full load again until you are ready to be serious and give it your all in all your classes. At 18 you truly have your whole life ahead of you, it is ok to take your time and do it right the first time. You will learn more, develop your creative and thinking side more, but most important you will truly enjoy this wonderful life experiance more and be more prepared to end up in a career you will be happy in.


First off I would be telling myself that life has its rollercoasters. You could experience from one thing, but forget to take it in as a lesson learned. Life does not always happen as you plan along, its happens while you are busy. Appreciate the things in life that are taken for granted. Pursue your goals to the fullest, knowing that anything can be accomplished. Make the extra effort to study hard for your major. Get a mentor and learn from what experiences they had. Make challenges for yourself and never give up. Remember that each obstacle that you come across, will make you a stronger person.


I would tell myself: Give up the next four years of your life and get through college ASAP. Do not procrastinate or put this off. Go to a counselor right now and ask for help and direction. Get involved in as many activities as you can. Get to know your classmates and fellow students, you never know which connection you make now could help you in your career later. Do not be afraid to ask for help from someone who has been in your shoes before you. Apply for every scholarship possible. The only one that can hurt your chances at success is you. Believe you are capable of more than you give yourself credit for. Put some time into studying so you actually learn something. Choose a major you have some interest in and not just one you think will make you the most money. Put the effort into getting the grade you think you deserve. Remember to enjoy this time in your life because I guarantee you will miss it. Leave no experience undone now so you will have no regrets later.


In high school i did not do as well as i know i could have. I know that line is overly used but in my case its true. My problem is that i tend to procrastinate, i know its not good and it dosent help me academically and its something that i am trying to change about myself. In high school i procrastinated to the last minute and ended up turning in sloppy work, not that it wasent good because i usually got B's or C+'s but it just wasent great and as i look at back at my work i realize that it was not my full potential and i could have done way better. So my advice to myself would be dont procrastinate and reach your full potential. There are so many opportunities i could have taken a chance of and because of my scraping by to pass my classes i could not take those opportunities. My brother and my sister are in high school now and i tell them not to make the same mistakes as me and to put their best efforts in their schoolwork so they can have more opportunities to succeed.


To pay attention, in class plan for the future. Get good grades, and think about college which is something i didnt do. I never thought about college. Try the hardest i could to make sure i was able to get into any college i wanted too.


There are many things that I would tell myself in senior year of high school, one would be to make sure that I would have taken my ACTs, another would have been to apply to more colleges. I also would tell myself to focus more in excelling, and not just pass by the bare minimum. I would tell myself that going to a farther college from home, and staying in dorms would be one of the best experiences in my life. I would tell myself that things happen for a reason, and focusing on myself and my studies would actually work to the best of my benefit. I also would tell myself to apply for scholarships, since most of time scholarships go unclaimed, and that money could be used to progress my education. Also, that leaving home, friends, and family would be difficult, but would gear me up to becoming a stronger and independent woman.


My advice to the high school senior me would be to utilize the people around you. Where in high school it may be easy to do homework, projects and study all by yourself; College does not afford you those same luxuries and at some point you are going to need help. Your parents, as lame and boring as you may think they are, were once college students themselves and may be cool enough to remember what the inverse square root of cosine is, or at least may be able to help you put together your schedule. Also, I stand firmly that college students need to help one another out, if you need help in a class, ask the person sitting next to you, and return the favor. Professors are also great assets, they don't have the plague and they are not going to think you are a nerd because you came to their office. If you take your own time to talk to them, your professor will know you care about the class and is likely to try and make sure you succeed. You are never alone in the college world, ask and you shall recieve.


I would tell myself to enjoy reading and using my imagination. I would say to myself "pay more attention in class and less on being the class clown". I tell myself how important good grades were to maximize my chance of getting through college by reducing stress. I would also tell myself to work on my organization as it is very important to be organized in college.


When I was a high school senior I thought I honestly ruled the world. I was untouchable and could get all the help I wanted. Teachers were there to babysit and not to direct me. They held my hand thru everything which was good and bad. In college you do not get that opportunity. It is up to you, yourself, and I to make sure work is done and deadlines are met. There is no one holding your hand extending the deadline because the dog ate your homework. I took a lot of that for granted and because of that it has taken me longer to complete just and Associates Degree. I would explain to myself that with college you have to be self-motivated and not dependent on someone else. Also, not to put work and life before a college education! Thats the best advice I could give myself.


If only there were a time machine, I would jump in and push the button that would rewind to my senior year in high school. As a college freshman it was a huge eye-opening and challenging experience to transfer from my familiar high school routine, to the complex lifestyle of college. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would provide myself with some tips on how to survive college. My first suggestion would be to make plans and goals for the future. It?s important to start college with dreams that you wish to accomplish. These ambitions will inspire and encourage you to continue when the journey to success becomes difficult. My next tip would be to get to know a counselor well during the beginning of the semester, don?t wait for them to find you. Counselors offer useful information on scholarship opportunities, how to get involved on campus, and are also a great source for motivation and confidence. Overall transitioning from high school to college is not as daunting as it may seem. With preparation and advice along the way it can be some of the best years of one?s life.


It's time to grow up. Now is not the time to let fear take control and leave room for failure or missed opportunities. You are in control now. No one will be there to wake you up in the morning for school. No one will be there to make you breakfast and give you lunch money. No one will ground you for getting a bad grade or for cutting class. Take responsibilty. Make plans, set goals, and accomplish all that you can with what you are given. Just know that change can be good or bad; learn to adapt. Study harder, pay attention more, and sign up for classes you intend to follow through with (you can withdraw only so many times). Time management is important, especially when trying to cram in a social life. Following these makes for a timely graduation, because you know you will be ready to move on to something new after four years. Don't give up because you will regret it. It's not that hard, it doesn't take that long, and once you're done you don't have to do it again. It's all up to you now.


If I could go back and become a senior again, I would be so greatful. Being in college has matured me so much and I wish I knew then what I know now. I would tell myself to take school seriously. I am there to learn, not to use it as just a social experience. Dont get caught up in all the drama and giving yourself a certain appeal because it is soon all forgotten. I would encourage myself to participate more in school activities such as yearbook or even Track. I also would have told myself to be honest with my self instead of being so scared of what everyone thinks. With being in college now and coming to the point of getting a degree that will decide my future, I wish I would have given more thought to my future then. I would tell myself that this is the year I need to start preparing myself for the college life, but also keep in mind that this is also my last year of high school. I would tell myself not to rush through it but cherish it for what it is.


I would have to say that in order to become a successful college student you will have to learn to be very discipline amongst your peers and even yourself. I noticed so many college students showing up to a test or quiz on a Monday morning looking like they could pass as the Grim Reaper for Halloween. They have no discipline to buckle down and study. Then, they have the nerve to ask the professor if they could take the test another day and still get full credit. Some students might have the full intension of studying for a situation like this, but end up getting talked into going out and consuming alcohol all weekend by their peers. In high school you have people like your parents and, more often than not, even your teachers constantly pushing you to finish your school work. College doesn?t work like that. You are now your own person, your own driving force and your own self. Your parents won?t always be there to ask if you?ve done your homework, and your college professors won?t be willing to help you if you aren?t willing to help yourself.


When I was still in high school, I was ignorant and careless. I was still able to get by with average grades but it wasn't good enough to get into a good university and at that time I had no sympathy. Senior year came along and just then I realized that I wanted to get into an ivy league university. I joined several clubs, got into the Associated Student Body and played sports at the varsity level. However, I was missing a key ingredient. Amazing grades. I was stuck with a handsome list of clubs and sports but my grades were definately not up to par. I have always wanted to go back to my freshman year in order to tell myself to simply care. I would have told myself to look up the necessary information on how to succeed. I would have told myself to put down the car keys and study for once. I would have told myself to become aware and to think. I always blamed my friends for not helping me when really, I was the problem. I know now that it takes genuine time and dedication to succeed. That's all I needed.


I would tell myself to just try to get through school and worry about the other aspects of life afterwards. I would also tell myself that although relationships may seem important (both friendships and otherwise), school should come first always. I learned my lesson the hard way and I took a year off after I graduated high school. I worked two jobs and I am positive that it helped me mature and I gained a lot from the experience; however, now I am a bit behind in school and it has been a constant frustration. I think it's important to continue your education and go through the process of attending college out of high school (whether it be a 2 or 4 year institution). I was fearful because I was unsure of what I wanted to major in, yet after taking different courses you begin to see what your interests are.


The advice I have for high school seniors is probably very unconventional. My experience in high school was very tough. I got terrible grades and eventually dropped out of school for almost a year. Eventually, I got my GED. Then I even went back and finished high school. What was particularly interesting about my situation was that, once I returned to high school, I managed to stay on the honor roll the whole time. As a college student, I maintain a 3.95 GPA. Given the rollercoaster of an academic track record I have, my advice is as follows: Don't let your past become your future. Make your mistakes before college. Take time to gather self motivation, it will carry you much further than doing something because you are "supposed to."


Get everything done as early as possible and have the big things planned out. Get some help from a few particular places and whip your parents into gear (so you can become independent of them sooner).


If I could go back in time and give myself advice as a high school student, I would pass on the advice that going above and beyond the cirriculum would be to the best of my benefit. In college it is expected that we are spending excess time on our projects and homework and that we are not procrastinating on our assignments. To push ourselves beyond what is expected by our teachers, we are allowing our brains to expand and grow. Also, we become more responsible and open-minded because we are allowing our minds to view the project from all different angles and points of view. In high school, students tend to be one-minded and straight to the point. They like to finish their projects quickly and at the last minute just to get them out of the way and to be done with them. They do not put effort into their assignments and only see what the question/problem asks them to see. By starting to see beyond the problem in high school, it would save a lot of trouble and adjustments in the students studying habits for when they get to college.


As a senior in high school, my biggest problem was procrasinating. I procrasinating in all aspects of my life. If I could go back and give myself advice, I would tell myself to stop procrasinating on everything. I would also tell myself to stay focus during the entire year. I would apply to colleges earlier. I also would take the SAT's more than once. As a senior I would also advise myself to be more involved in the programs that occured at my school. My biggest regret of high school was quitting basketball as a senior, therefore I would advise myself to stick with it. Lastly I would advise myself to stay take my senior year more seriously.


If I was given the opportunity to go back and give my high school senior self some words of wisdom about life after high school, I would tell myself to take better care of myself in regards to health and school work. Once you leave high school and enter college, it is up to you to take the fate of your education into your own hands. No one will be there to constantly remind you that your English Literature paper on Beowulf is due tomorrow morning. At the same time, you need to start paying attention to your health. Procrastinating assignments to the night before they're due may have been essential in high school, but all those nights will take a toll on your body. Make sure you are drinking the right amounts of water daily and taking your iron tablets because going to the hospital again is not fun. Lastly, enjoy the time you have left with your friends. After high school, your friend count will dwindle so make sure you are cherishing the little time you have left. You will have the rest of your life to grow up, so live for right here and right now.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would emphasize many characteristics that are needed to excel in maximizing every benefit of the education provided to me. By joining the armed services outside of high school, and not having the opportunity to attend college until the age of 27, I encountered many different transitions most students do not typically face. If this were to still be the case after traveling in time, I would explain how difficult it will be to continue education after such a long lapse, and that determination and concentration are crucial to success. In addition, I would explain the importance of community and campus involvement, and be able to give examples of how I have been able to make a difference in not just my life, but the lives of others, and how truly rewarding that can be. By advocating these principles I believe I would be further instilling that the values I carry within are essential to my overall achievement.


The most important advice I would have given myself is to not stress over school. Don't get me wrong, school is very important. You are going to college to figure out what type of person you are. Take chances and make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes. One thing I want you to focus on, is managing your time.


I remember my senior year in high school, the year I had to make a decision as an adult for my future. I remembered one particular teacher, it was my English teacher. During class, she would repeat herself numerous times and said ?go get your education, get free money and pursue your career." I ignored her message until I found out that I would not be able to attend the University of my Dreams. I did not have the financial needs to cover my tuition and books. I do not regret making my decision, I am currently attending a community college and I learned a valuable lesson from my decision. The advice I would give myself is to not wait for the last minute but to plan everything early, apply for scholarships and apply for financial aid. And if I would get rejected and not win the scholarship that I applied for, all I need to do is keep my chin held high and look forward to other opportunities. Although there may be challenges along the way, education is an important part of life.


I would tell myself not to wait so log and go right to college and not to mess around. life would be so much easier not to have to go to school in your 30s.


When i was in high school, i did not study that much i would feel confident with the material but i believe if i did study just a little more I would have gotten better grades. I did not do bad my last year of high school but my grades could have been higher than what I had. The problem i have had in college is with the studying of my classes. College is so much different that high school, because the teachers are not bugging or pushing you to get the work done. I was used to the help of my teachers wanting me to succed and my college professors just come to class teach and some of them do not even know your name. I have gotten used to that but everything is a work in progress. If I had known that before, i would have started since high school just to get a head start with getting used to a new way to study and get good grades.


If I could go back and give myself advice as a senior in High School, I feel that I would tell myself to be prepared. I would tell myself that college is going to be an illuminating and unforgetable experience. However I will definitely need to work on responsiblity and studying habits. I would tell myself that College is nothing like High School, college is not just about earning the best grades and having the coolest friends. college is about your future, get ready because you are going to have the greastest opportunity of your life and that is to choose your future. You can be who ever you like. You dreamed of this as a child and now you can make your dreams goals. I would encourage myself to apply for scholarships because working 40 hours a week during the summer can be a hastle. I would also tell myself that all the volunteer and community service was not only fun and gratifying but it will help you to be a better person. Be prepared and never lose faith because math class is going to be real challenge to pass.


Even if it takes a little more effort than you thought it would, do it right. Taking classes and giving just enough effort to get by will be of no service to you or anyone else in the future. Give it all you?ve got, and become well rounded and educated. Race, religion and gender will not hold you back if you use your smarts and get a good, solid education. Don?t let anyone?s words or attitudes toward you and your goals discourage you. Find someone who has been there and model them. Attitude is everything. Do not doubt or second guess yourself. Know that you can do anything you put your mind, energy and dedication to. Everything and everyone else will fall in place if you put your focus in the right area at the right time, and the right time is now!


be alert in class and take notes. go home and review the materials right away and don't postpone it till exams time. have fun and enjoy the rest of the day when you finish your homework early :-)