Santa Clara University Top Questions

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

Dean

If I could go back in time and talk to my past high school senior aged self I would tell him to start absolutely everything college related as early as possible. Honestly, to accurately answer the question I would go back as far as I could and tell whether it be me or my parents to start as soon as possible. There were many things even going into high school that would have been helpful to know; things such as that your Grade Point Average matters as far back as freshman year, college tours are a must at an early age to know what to shoot for, the importance of truely being well rounded. Most importantly if there was only one piece of advice I could give it's this: getting into college is not as easy as it seems, working hard and harder than you expect; but if not even more important than all that good grades of As with sprinkled in Bs is not enough anymore to get into a good college. These are the things I wish I had known and constantly tell parents of friends to watch out for, the process is lifelong.

shayan

I would give myself the advice of having having balance with academics, social life, and extracurricular activities. It is important to have a balance in life because it builds a healthy environment. Academics is significant because basically determines your future. One must have strong academics in order to do be awarded with a great career. Having a social life is another factor of having a balanced life because one must be able to social and have friends to have fun in college. It is great to go out and have a great time with friends to relax the mind and to enjoy. Extracurriculat activities is the last important part of having a balanced life because a person needs time for him or her self. Personally, I like to do martial arts and do volunteer work. My problem was that I was stressing too much about college applications, that I did not have enough time to even think about my extracurricular activities. Having a balance with academics, social life, and extracurriculat activites creates a healthy lifestyle, and is the best advice I would give myself about making the transition to college.

Kaitlyn

Relax, don't worry about jobs or majors. You'll be able to learn about yourself, and it's perfectly acceptable to make the decision later on. You'll be amazed at how things will just fall into place. You made the right decision, even though it might seem a little too close to home, this is where you need to be. Doors are going to open, and a wealth of opportunities is going to be available to you. Don't be afraid; try out every single one of them! Break out of your comfort zone. That's where you're going to learn the most. It might seem hard, but I know you can do it. College is the place to discover yourself and become a more well-rounded person, so get out there!

Laura

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I might not have had the same "freshman" experience if I was aware of certain information. I would not want to go back and talk to myself as a high school senior because then I would miss out on the experiential learning of college. I would want my senior self to go into college with an open heart and mind, making decisions based on her own judgment and not focusing on advice from my future self. It is important to be independent because college prepares us for the rest of our lives. It is the time to make mistakes, friendships, and memories. I would never deprive myself of the chance to experience life as a blank slate, free from marks, ready to discover.

Amanda

Don't turn your back on what you really want to learn. Just because you may be smart does not mean you are responsible for going into scientific fields. Don't worry about money, or what people will think. You're heart is in reading, writing, and Ancient Studies. Listen to your heart.

Katlyn

I would tell myself how important sleep is when you get to college, and that it is always best to set a bed time (a time when no matter how much homework you have or no matter who wants to hang out, you will be in bed) everyday and always stick to it. I would also tell myself how important breakfast is and that it should not be a rushed meal. I would tell myself that you will not have the energy to do your homework or go to classes if you do not eat a good healthy breakfast. Another important thing that I have learned and that I wish I knew at the start of my college life is that during the school year, if you want to hang out with friends, you better make sure you do your studying with them, because there is not enough time in the day to have a social life and to study.

Victoria

I would definitely tell myself that college requires much more self discipline because unlike high school, you are on your own. There are lots of things you need to keep up with and teachers will not always necessarily be reminding you of things. It's good to have a good work ethic and stick to it. Moreover, there will be many distractions and its up to you to make the decision of whether or not they will affect you.

Casandra

If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would tell myself to go directly to a four year university and to not bother with a junior college. I would explain to myself how the junior college will end up being more expensive due to the fact that after you transfer to a four year university, there are still certain classes that must be completed only at that university – thus you are completing freshman/sophomore classes while also trying to compete to get into your junior/senior classes. This entire process will set you behind years due to poor counseling from the junior college. The degree that should have taken four years to complete will end up taking you six years all because of the junior college.

Caitlin

My advice to myself would be, don't worry. Don't stress. I have every skill possibly needed to help the next year fall into place. I would tell myself that I am a great dancer, and to stop worrying because yes, I am good enough to be in a college dance program. I would tell myself to not worry about what I want to do for the rest of my life, because there are almost limitless options of classes to take and areas to explore, and that yes, there is enough time to figure all of that out. Don't worry about how to new friends, because everyone will be trying to make new friends too, and life has taught me how to be open and connect with people. I would want myself to know that yes, I can handle college. I am ready for it. I can handle the academics, the independence, and everything else that comes with it. Do not worry. You can do it.

Yesenia

I would tell myself to keep going in life because there is so much to learn.

heather

just be open to making friends, talk to other students about what to bring- actually I really was pretty well prepared except for not bringing a few sports equipment and having some trouble hooking up my printer etc. just keep studying hard and get help if you need it

Kimberly

Don't be scared about the first few weeks of college. Everyone is in the same boat as you are, everyone is super friendly, and things seem to just fall into place. If you have roommate problems, know that there is more to your social life than being best friends with your roommate and that you will find amazing, life long friends elsewhere. And never take an eight a.m. on tues/thurs! :)

Stefani

Dear Self, Here is some advice for you to take with you to college now that you are officially a high school graduate. Congratulations, by the way! First, don't take yourself too seriously. What do I mean by this? Don't be afraid to try something new and, dare I say, to fail. College is a safe place for you to investigate yourself, discover new passions, and reinvent old passions. Revel in this opportunity. Second, make a concerted effort to spend fifty percent of your time outside of your comfort zone. This goes along with the first piece of advice, but it reiterates just how important it is to experiment. I received this advice after I graduated, and looking back I wished I had had this advice when I said "No" to getting involved in a committee or "Maybe next time" when asked to join a team. The point is to live in the moment, even if it is unfamiliar, because in the end, your life will be that more enriched having had the experience than to have not experienced it at all. Lastly, laugh a lot and carry this advice with you throughout life. You'll be great!

Dimitri

College can be a difficult transition no matter what kind of person you are (introvert, extrovert, high energy, low energy, etc.). I happen to be a fairly extroverted person, able to make friends really easily. That being said, it definitely was an interesting transitional period for me. I was so used to being over-involved: doing practically everything in high school. I personally made the decision to not involve myself with anything other than focusing on academics and my social life during my freshman year. It was very hard for me to like being at the college I chose, simply because I wasn't making myself do everything I was used to. Going back in time, I would allow myself to be apart of those things that I had been used to at that point, and not be scared of how it would have affected my grades. Inevitably, I probably would have done much better academically freshman year, if I had focused on doing more than just schoolwork and becoming bored with it.

Elisa

Too personal to share.

Briana

Looking back on high school, there are a lot of things I wish I did differently during the college search process. If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to actually research colleges and look into what students have to say about the schools. I would also look into a wider variety of schools and ask people what they wish they had done when looking for colleges. I would tell myself to utilize my high school and familial resources in order to make an informed decision. I would also advise myself to visit more campuses and to get a better feel for the varieties of campus lifestyles. Instead of taking a backseat in the college search process, it's imperative to get engaged and find out information such as financial aid, study abroad programs, and social life. I would also tell myself that I should consider schools where I received an academic scholarship in order to save money for my family and other siblings in college. When deciding which college to go to, I made many typical yet foolish mistakes but luckily my choice led me to a stimulating and welcoming university.

Eppaminondas

Experience as much as you can. Any place of higher learning you go to will have a world of opportunities outside of your courses. Take advantage of that, don't try to pick and chose them by your major either, just find things that interest you and go for it. Find internships, clubs, sports, volunteering opportunities, anything you can to get your hands dirty and experience all college has to offer. You'll meet people that will lead you onto other adventures and experiences and make friendships along the way. Those people and contacts you make will add richness and depth to your college experience, cherish them. You have four years to make the most out of it; don’t waste a single moment of it. Nobody ever graduated from college saying they wish they slept more.

Chloe

Given the chance to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give the advice to truly work hard and not waste my time. It is not a secret that college takes a whole new level of work ethic, but there is no doubt that working hard in high school can help you prepare yourself. So many times senior year is taken as a year off to have fun, but I would give the advice that it is a time to further my education as well as prepare myself for what is to come: college courses. Senior year should be taken as a time to create study habits and a strong work ethic so that freshman year of college is not too much of a shock. Knowing what I know now after starting my first year of college, this advice would have been very useful.

Peter

Honestly, that the first month will hit you like a bowling ball and you'll feel that you don't belong. It's the first time you're living on your own and you know almost no one on campus, and all of the people you know have gone off on their own ways as well. But then by the end of the year you're complaining that you have to go back home.

jessica

As time gets closer to high school graduation a mix of feelings come into me. I did'nt know what I felt, at the same time I was full of joy but I had a sentation of fear. As the oldest in my family im the one who takes the lead, as the first one in my family to attend college im the first to show them my success. Back at high school as a student questions come up in mind especially when our parents can't help us. Now that im at college my advise will be to get as much help as possible from counselors to help me select the best school that will fit with me finacially, my school is expensive and now its hard to keep on going having my parents pressured to pay. Also, I will seek advise from a counselor to help me select my career or at least get some ideas of many other careers that I dont know about. A big advice will be to apply for as much scholarships as possible to feel comfortable with supplies. As a high school student it would be helpful to talk to current college students.

Junior

I could go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself a lot of advices about college. The biggest advice I would give myself would be for myself to choose a major that will helps me land a respectable job after two years of college. This would not necessarily be major that my future career will be in but a major to help while I’m still in school. There are several reasons of why I would give myself that advice. First reason would be because after high school one life becomes more expensive even if one is not paying for college for themselves. The second reason is because most college students who come from low income family needs to have a job while in college to help themselves and their family. And the last reason would be because sometime financial aid is not enough sometime to pay for school.

Lakreshea

I walk through the bright red double doors leading me to the blue painted hallways filled with students. I see my high school self sitting on the floor uninterested in what’s going around her but what the message on her phone says. I go and seat next her and introduce myself as the college girl she will become. I tell her all about the exciting things she will encounter and I watch as her face lights up with excitement. Hating to ruin her happiness, I tell her about some of the hardships as well. “But don’t worry this is why I’m here”. I tell her. “I came back to give you advice so you know what to do differently. First thing is when you get there start looking for jobs early and also start saving your money now, you’ll need it trust me. Secondly, Procrastination is not your friend. It may seem like a good idea at the moment but it’s not. Get your work done. Also become involved everything because the friends you make then will turn into lifelong relationships”. And with that last piece of advice I vanish bringing myself back to reality.

marcia

Do not be afraid to do what you like. You have so much time as a college freshman, so take a risk and do not be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there. I wish I would have stopped beleiving that I had to get straight A's still and just took the time to discover myself. I eventually did this later on in my college career but I wish I would have had this mentality just starting out in college. Yes your time in college is limited, but you also have a lot of time in your first year to find out what you like to do and what kind of people you look up to. Take the time, do not be afraid to fail because it will all be worth it in the end.

Arielle

If I had a chance to go back in time and talk to myself I would definitely tell myself to take AP science courses before going to a 4 year University being that our science department is challenging without the backround knowledge that AP classes provide I had to work extra hard to maintain my place in my science classes to remain at a competitive level. I would also try and help prepare myself with the transition from highschool to college by keeping good study habits, keep a solid sleep schedule, be more involved in on campus activities such as sports or clubs. The transition from highschool to college is not only challenging academically but morally as well. I would just reccommend to my younger self to stay true to what you believe in but at the same time be willing to try new things and be outgoing in the university enviornment. Meanwhile still sticking to what you truly believe in. Because that is what makes you who you are.

STEPHANIE

Dear Stephanie, As a woman growing up and living in the 21st century, there are unlimited options and opportunities waiting out there in the world outside of school. Don't be so stuck on thinking that you must only plan one path and having to stick to it. Allow resources and experiences to shape what you believe and to inspire your future choices. Most importantly, do something for yourself. You've always made decisions to please others, putting yourself second. During senior year, you still strived for good grades even though you knew that it didn't matter much in regards to college acceptance. You wanted to get scholarships to pay for college. After graduating high school, you chose to attend college close to home so that you can save the family money by living at home. Instead of joining clubs and sororites/fraternities, you chose to work after school so that you can help pay for your education. Everything you've chosen to do, you've chosen to do it with others in mind. Find something you want to do soley based on the reason that it's because you want it.

Megan

I would say that it's okay to not be 100% sure of everything. Every school has its flaw as does every major. Some poeple find that perfect fit the moment they step on the school grounds, and some don't find it until sophomore year. Either way, use the college finding process and your college experiences as a guide. Learn all that you can in different areas and not just your concentration. If you find psychology interesting, take it because that opportunity might not come again. The transition is what you make of it. I was shy going in and have really blosssomed socially because I was proactive in getting involved. Playing on a team or joining a club is the fastest way to meet people with your same interests. But in all the chaos, don't forget who you are. It's so easy to change yourself to fit the new "cool" at your college, but it's even better when people are different. Varying ideas and backgrounds make your experience that much greater. Beginning your new netwrok of friends can be daunting, but once you have found a good set, it's worth it.

Samantha

The one thing that I would advise myself to do all over again would be to take school work more seriously. The effects that studying have on your grades may not be much in high school but in college, you have to study in order to make the cut. I would have made better grades and been a better student if I would have put in the effort in high school. The difference in the complexity of the work in college compared to high school is very significant and professors in college are not like high school teachers, you don't get a break when you fail a test or when you don't get the work done on time.

Stacy

The best advice I could give myself is to get disciplined. After high school, you're on your own. Professors are not like high school teachers or your parents. If you're not on time, you don't get to come to class at all. The second piece of advice I would give myself is to stop procrastinating. Getting homework done on time is key to being successful in college. Although these are the most important things to realize, the last piece of advice I would give myself is to have fun. The only way you can get through college is if you enjoy being there. Pick a major that you actually like, because that's what you'll be doing for the rest of your life. You'll realize that if you like being in your classes and care about the topics you have to write about, your grades will be fantastic compared to a topic you care nothing about. So, don't let the stress get to you about college. It is a big change in your life, but if you take my advice you'll be just fine.

Justine

I would tell myself to not procrastinate on anything. To start everything as early as I can or am able to. Also to get to know more about my fellow classmates and start little study sessions. Ask for help when I need it and not hesitate to ask because the question sounds silly to me. To have a planner with me at all times to write down the homework, due dates, and exam dates as well, so that I could be organized and not miss anything. Last but not least to get more involved, like join a club or donate my blood. If I knew this from the start the transition from high school to college would be smoother and stress free.

Gerardo

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior in High School I would probably tell myself to be more self-confident. As a senior in High School I constantly worried about not being able to live through the first semester of college because I honestly believed that it would be too hard for me to handle. I was worried that I was not fully prepared for the college life and that I would not fit in. If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would tell myself to relax and believe in myself. There is nothing to really worry about, as I ended up doing really good. The transition was faster that I could have ever imagined, thanks to my new friends that were going through the same transition as I was. I actually felt more prepared than a lot of students here. As a senior, the only thing to worry about is enjoying the last year of High School and everything will be fine if you have the right mentality. The best thing to do is be optimistic and of course build that self-confidence that I lack.

Michelle

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to relax. My biggest problem is worrying about things I can't change. In high school I always had something to worry about wether it was finding the right dress for prom, the next test on Friday, or which college I should go to. Looking back on it now it all seems quite silly and I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed my senior year. However, I have learned from those experiences and am now trying to use the same advise. I need to relax and not worry so much about college. I know God has a plan I just have to follow.

David

I would put more effort towards the sports that I played. Playing sports was a great deal of fun and it is not nearly as easy in college. It is one thing that I miss a lot about high school.

Denise

For the first time in my life I have been doing what truly makes me happy: pursuing higher education while promoting and encouraging students to do the same. Unfortunately, the reality is that students like me are not expected to go to college and be successful, so every day I am reminded of how incredibly fortunate I am to be at Santa Clara University. Here at Santa Clara, I have made sure to stay involved in activities that will benefit equal opportunities in education for other students; I give campus tours to Latino students about once a month, telling them my story of how I came to be at Santa Clara University and how they can too. Seeing their looks of inspiration has proven to be one of the most positive experiences that I have had. Being here has shown me how much I can achieve for myself—and the sense of self-empowerment is something that everyone deserves to experience. I may not have a college degree yet, but I know that I am making a difference in my community through advocating for issues that I am passionate about, and my involvement will help me in my future career.

Maira

College has been a difficult transition for me especially because I am a first generation student. My parents don't know English very well so most of my life I have had to figure things out on my own. Luckily I was selected to be a part of the Lead program at Santa Clara Univeristy, which is a program that assists first generations students throughout their four years. The program has definitely helped me feel like I belong, but being away from home is still difficult because I am very family orientated. Even though it hasn't been easy, I know I am at the right place in my life right now. This is where I need to be and because of my experience so far, I have become a stronger person. I firmly believe everything will be worth it in the end. Education cannot be replaced. It is too valuable, which is why I have learned to be thankful for the opportunity I have been given to continue with my education at such a great institution. I am a different person in a positive way because of my college experience thus far.

Adesola

College has been a great learning experience that I would not trade for anything else. I have had many experiences that has shaped the person I am today. My college experience has taught me to be independent and organized. I have been taught to make practical decisions and apply what I am being taught in the classroom to real world experiences. Being in college has also changed my views of life. At Santa Clara University, I have been granted the opportunity to see the world through other people's eyes because I have met and made friends from different parts of the world. I have been taught the importance of listening though respecting other people's views without judging. Being in Santa Clara University has emphasized the importance of giving back to the society and I plan on doing more of that as I continue in school and afterwards. My experience so far at college has been more of a blessing because without being in college, I would not have been as informed, educated, socially exposed and active as I am. I am thankful for the opportunity and look forward to a bright future.

Giovanni

Santa Clara University is very respectable institution of higher learning. It is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. And its proffesors are industry leaders and very intelligent. Despite all these great things, I have chosen something else as the most valuable. The most valuable thing I have gotten from SCU is the life long friendships I have made. From the very beggining of freshmen year I have become very close to my group of friends. Due to tough times in our lifes, we have to become close out of necesity. We are alone when we come to college. We have no shoulders to lean on and our families are far away. We make new families at college. My friends have been with me through my good times and the bad times. They have been here for me when i need them and I have been there for me. I love them with all my heart. And I know they will always be in my life.

Cristina

My experience at Santa Clara University has been the most intriguing, inspiring, and insightful times I have ever had. I was lucky to have Rachel, as my first roommate, when I transferred here from College of San Mateo, my sophmore year. She has become my best friend at this institution, and we are now living together in an off campus apartment. We have also met a few friends that we know will continue to be our friends as we delve into the next chapters of our lives- our future careers or even travel plans. Who knows what is in store for us? I might have also met my potential husband by attending this university- as the famous statistic goes, most couples who date at this college get married in the future. I love what I learn here. I love that I get to learn my passions in the arts. I have discovered my love for poetry- this is probably the most enlightening part of my experience. I have been lucky to study what is my passion, and by doing so, find a new side of my talents and character. A new side of me.

Alicia

I thought attending college would be the same motions as high school, where I did the work to recieve a degree and move on. I turned out to be very wrong. Merely feel of attending college, alone, gave me a sense of community I hadn't felt being homeschool from eighth grade through high school. In class I picked up more confidence in speaking up and having a voice, due in great part to an amazing World Civilization teacher who detested silence and indiference in his class and a brilliant speech teacher who encouraged conviction and honesty. Naturally, I've gained book knowledge and insight through my classes I've attended working my way to a doctorate degree. However, it was the people--teachers and students--that shaped the most important benefits of my college experience. Being in college my eyes have been open to lifestyles and people I had closed myself to, given me insight into a world I only half experienced, and shown me love, pain, camaraderie, responsibility, and so much I cannot name it all. Collge has truly made my life better and nearly complete in what I've gained. I wouldn't change a second.

bRITTANY

MY COLEGE EXPERIENCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN BITTER SWEET. THERE WERE TIMES THAT I WANTED TO TRANSFER TO A BIGGER SCHOOL IN LA LIKE USC . FOR THE SIMPLE FACT I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS MISSING OUT ON THE FULL COLLEGE EXPERIENCE AS FAR AS HAVING A SOCIAL LIFE. I HAVE GROWN TO ACCEPT MY INSTITUTION AND ACCEPT THE FACT THAT I WAS HERE FOR A REASON AND I PLAN TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF MY EXPERIENCE AND I PRAY THAT MY TIME HERE WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN WHEN I HAVE A BA FROM SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY UNDER MY BELT. iT HAS BEEN VALUABLE TO ATTEND SCU BECAUSE I GOT A GREAT SCOPE ABOUT WHAT MY VALUES ARE AND WHAT MADE ME HAPPY,THE THINGS I LONGED FOR THAT THE CAMPUS DIDNT PROVIDE WERE WAYS THAT I COULD SEE MY VALUES AND WORK HARD TO LIVE BY THEM AND APPRECIATE THEM WHEN THEY DO COME ALONG. SCU HAS BROUGHT FORTH MANY GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME AS FAR AS GUEST SPEAKERS AND SUPPORTING STAFF THAT I PLAN TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH AND USE AS A RESOURCE EVEN AFTER I GRADUATE.

woly

The first time around i was not really interested in going to college I went just to please others and failed miserably. Now that I'm older and wiser i feel mature enough to handle the stress. I know now that i need to do well to better provide for my family. Simple as that!

Elizabeth

What I have gotten out of my college experience is the hope, training, and skills to make something of myself. I may not be the smartest student or the most talented athlete but I sure am the hardest working student. I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life in high school. That changed drastically when I started my college journey. I attended my classes and really started to apply myself because I was surrounded by people who wanted to be there and work hard as well. The competitive nature in me pushed me to excel and I would never have experienced that without college. I have been able to meet amazing people who are becoming lifelong friends, professors who believe in me and push me to be the best I can be. Hands down college has been the best experience and would recommend it to everyone.

Miranda

Going to college is an experience that I’ll never forget. Being in charge of my individuality and my bed time made me feel in control; but what I’ve learned from my college experience is how to manage having control. I’ve learned that with having control you must manage time wisely, evaluate situations to make good decisions, sacrifice free time to dedicate more time for class/class work, and most importantly do what makes me happy. College as been a valuable experience for me because it has helped me build character, and because of the control it has given me in deciding what is best for my future.

Olivia

Santa Clara University makes learning its central focus and educates the whole person. What I love about Santa Clara University is the Jesuit philosophy foundation and the commitment to caring for the whole person–mind, body, and spirit. This University has made me even more aware of other cultures, religions and issues that face our world today. I feel fortunate and blessed that my parents allowed me to attend this prestigious University and appreciate my education.

Tia

My college experience thus far has not exactly been picture perfect. My adjustment to college life was rough, and it took me a while to get used to being away from family and friends, but as I continue to spend more time on campus and in my classes, I am finding my place at Santa Clara. I recently enrolled in photography classes, which is a true passion of mine, and I have absolutely loved it. Because of the high levels of technology and quality of professors, my photography skills have greatly improved, not to mention the overall education I am gaining from attending a university. I feel that college is a place to grow, personally and educationally, and my journey attending college, finding my place on campus, and making the best of my college years, has taught me a great deal about who I am as a person and as a student.

Stormey

My college experience has made a big influence in my life. I have been to collage before and I must admit that I have taken it for granite. I have decided to leave school in the past due to drastic changes in my life. I realized at the time of doing so, that this was not the best decision. I want nothing more in life then to return to school and complete the education I am destined for. Being that someone my son can look up to later in life is my dream. I urge my son to go to school everyday. I work to support him and notice that I need to be urging myself to be in school. I have wanted to return to school for the last year. This year, I am making every necessary attempt to return to school and I will overcome any obstacle in my path. I want my son to look at me and know that school is as important as I stress it to be. I have gotten a simple sense of accomplishment during my college experience. That is why I feel it is imperative to return and value my education.

Amber

In college, I have grown up a lot. I have learned how to take care of myself and multi task. I have learned how to have a good time and get my work done, whereas I used to blow off things that I didn't feel like doing, just figuring it would figure itself out. Academically, my writing has improved with the multiple writing classes and papers that I have wrtitten in the past 22 weeks.

Erin

Don't be worried. Go make friends, and don't be judgemental because almost all freshmen will feel as lonely and scared as you do that first semester. You never know what's going on in someone's personal life, so be kind. Also, try new things! Don't be scared of playing basketball on weeknights with the guys, or submitting poetry to the local magazine. It might take some time, but you'll find your niche and your best friends this year. It's not going to be as hard as you think. Remember, life is not all about you. Go serve the community you're a part of, thank everyone that deserves it, and "give honor where honor is due."

Markeda

Dear High School Me, You?ll go through a lot your senior year but STAY FOCUSED! I know, I know, you've heard this a million times over but it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Work hard and don?t settle for less. There will be those around you who will try to hinder your dreams, don?t let them become a distraction. Stay passionate about your goals and don?t loose your enthusiasm for school or life. Remember that you want to change the world! Don?t let your goals become self absorbed; you're in this for your community, your family and yourself. Your goals aren?t just about you, there about the world and guess what? You?re going to change it! Have no doubt in yourself and you will make it. No doubts and no hesitations. All you have to do is go hard, and you'll make it!

Amelia

As a high school senior I did not really know what college I wanted to go to or what I wanted to study. Optimally, I would tell my then self to hurry up and figure it out! I do not think that would have been very helpful, however. I would advise myself to do as much research about the school as I could before and after I made my selection. It really helps to go in knowing everything that is available to you. That way you can take advantage of it! I would also advise myself to not hold on so tightly to my high school friendships. True, I would never want to lose those bonds, but I think with new communication technologies, it makes it easier to stay in touch with old friends rather than forcing yourself to make new ones. College is about exposing yourself to new people and thus discovering a new part of yourself. By letting go, you can grow into yourself. You can always return to your old friends! You'll all be a little different, but your bond will not diminish because of that unless it is for the better.

Rai

In my first year at University, I was so eager to be accepted and included in activities and events that I fell into step with anyone and everyone I met. I trusted people automatically and gave as much as I could to anyone who asked. I forgot myself and, instead, became a character in the mental picture I had of college life. This role I took on and my inability to say no to people and situations threw me into many unpleasant scenarios. I was taken advantage of for help in academics as well as financially. I had no self-protection in mind. I was assaulted due to my inability to see people for who they truly are and to stand up for what I believe in. My advice? Don't let yourself make my mistake. Spend the summer before your first year getting to know yourself and establishing your own beliefs and values. The most important things to have upon entering college are integrity and open-mindedness. Give everyone a chance, but don't let go of your own personality to please others. If you maintain your own image, you'll find pure, honest friendships that last forever.