Santa Monica College Top Questions

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


I'd grab my shoulders, look myself in the eyes and tell myself, "Start caring about education. study for your classes, read books, be curious and make research. Don't be so self-conscious. Don't get discouraged so easily. Don't be so afraid. Don't worry about what other people are thinking if you answered wrong in class or if they think if it's stupid. No, you didn't make a spectacle of yourself when you made a mistake and no one is holding a microscope over you. Don't beat yourself up. Realize that nobody is perfect. It isn't such a cruel world out there. You need to get over yourself and start caring. This is for your future. You want to make money? Then care about being succesful in life. You'll want everything. It's not just college that's hard. It's after that too. It's the real world. The working world, the minimum paid job and you'll have a lot of bills. It won't be easy living alone. You will make it easier for yourself if you just care about your education.


Its important to understand as a high school senior that college is meant to be both a rewarding and challenging experience. Many students focus either too much socializating or studying their textbooks, but a true college experience is a balance of both. Throughout my college journey , I have had the most rewarding experineces in overcoming obstacles I feared I could never defeat. I would tell myself as well as other high school seniors not to start college with fear but with fire in their hearts. College is a time for one to challenge themselves and try new things in order to truly understand what they can do and who they want to be. College is about finding yourself and pushing yourself to make a difference in the world.


I would tell myself to have more extracurriculars. As corny and cliche as this sounds, it is undeniably true for me. I had the academic aspect of the college application, I had many APs and solid grades. But my outside of school activities were lacking, and I believe that's what led to all my rejection letters. In addition, I would tell myself to work harder, and to dedicate more time to studying in order to get my GPA above the 4.0 mark. Because college admissions is getting increasingly competitive, candidates need to be more and more amazing, and that was something I failed to achieve.


Latest trends and what's popular really doesn't matter at all in a decade from now. The cool kids aren't the popular ones, the cool kids are the ones with unique minds and ideas. They're the people you have lasting friendships with. You don't need drugs and alcohol to have a good time. You should enjoy your senior year, you shouldn't have to waste these couple years caring what other people think because they don't really care what happens to you. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, high school is just a tiny step. You want to know you made the right choices and have no regrets during that short fragment of your life.


"Education is the movement from darkness to lightness." That quote was from the great Allan Bloom. Being a senior in high school comes with new responsibilties for the big transition to college. Having fun at grad night for your hard work and of course graduation is high light of the year but, being focus and staying focus is the key to success. The obstacles you will face will be challenging but, the reward is much greater. During your senior year be as active as possible. This helps for th high demand of being active on campus, along with all the academic load. Also staying connected with your counselors is the most important part of having a sucessful college experience. Be true to yourself and your future career.


Dear Kevin Payumo of 2012, First off, try your best to stay away from being an independent student. Socialize more, study with people because you never have to be on your own. I made the mistake in my first year of college of not taking advantage of my resources. I always thought that I could do everything on my own and any problem I had I would eventually figure out. This was true but its unnecessary and I could have optimized my learning by learning with others. Secondly, I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career and didn't decide until summer of 2013. Try taking as many AP classes as possible so when you do decide, you will be ahead in college. Try your best to at least pass the classes and achieving 4s on AP tests. Truthfully, those objectives are not difficult and what made it seem hard is taking homework forgranted. In college, no one forces you to do homework, in fact, you never really get rewarded for doing it. However it's the only real practice you receive and might as well take advantage of it while benefits are at its peak.


Don't worry about where you go to college whether it is a community college or four year university! Everything will turn out for the best! You have to make the best of what you have in life and you have to focus on the present; not the past nor the future! Sometimes you may not understand why something unexpected and/or unwanted happens in your life, but trust me when I say it will all make sense in time. Don't choose a college based on prestige and money, but instead choose the college that speaks to your soul and to your heart. Go with your gut feeling because it's your life and where you will be for this new chapter in your life so choose what is right for you! Not was is right for your parents, friends, family, significant other, etc! Follow your heart, be smart, and follow your dreams until you succeed in touching the stars!


Really enjoy and appreciate your college years. I wish I had begun that way. Instead, I got too wrapped up in my future and what my next big move was going to be. So I decided to drop out of college and pursue other occupations. But that has been the biggest mistake of my life. Stay in school. A college education doesn't come easy, I know, but I know how worth it it must be knowing your path and your destination in this life with a college degree in hand. Don't walk around aimlessly, jumping from job to job, praying you find your way, like I did for over a year. Let college guide you in the right direction, and don't give up the end goal of one day obtaining a college degree.


Caitlin, you have a long life ahead of you. This is a temporary period in your life during which time you are not as mature as you will later be. I know it sounds fun to goof off and not take things seriously, but getting good grades and participating in extracurricular activities is really important at this stage of the game. Colleges look back on your high school period and want to see how dedicated you are to your education. There will always be time to have fun. Right now it is important to study hard. The hard work you put in now will definitely pay off in the future and you will be glad you did it. Listen to your parents. They have been through it already and only have your best intentions in mind. They know what they are talking about. Listen to your counselor. She is there to give you the right advice. That is her job. She is the pro at knowing what is best for you. Most of all, listen to yourself. You know when to trust your instincts.


Sherrie! Reality and adulthood are right around the corner so prepare yourself for what lies ahead. I know you want to go into teaching so don't procratinate in taking that journey. Take the leap! College life is what you make of it, so make it count. You will be responsible for your decisions so pay attention to your professors and do more than what is expected of you. I really want you to take this dream seriously because I believe in your ability to make a difference in the world. People will look up to you as a mentor because you have persevered against the odds and your students will learn from you because your lessons are from your heart. I know you're going to be the best at whatever you aim to do. Good luck!


i would tell myself to focus more on my studies instead of friends. and to pick people who do equally the work so that the work overload and close due dates will not fustrate me that much.


If I could talk to my High School self, the first thing I would tell her would be to take risks. In the very beginning of my college career, I was afraid to do things that I assumed I would be bad at. For example, I love ballet but was too afraid to take a class because I didn't want the other dancers to judge me. Or I didn't take film classes because I didn't know enough about film. I'm just now discovering my mistake in being to shy to try new things. I would also tell myself to plan ahead and ask for help because I could have transferred earlier if I had payed attention and known who to talk to. Junior college is all about figuring out what you want to do and transferring to a college of your choice. I wish to Transfer to Long Beach in the fall. Had I been more willing to ask questions and get organized, I could have accomplished this a lot sooner.


The advice I would give myself if I would go back in time would be to be very focused. I would want to tell myself that college isn't all about fun and games and all of that should come after college. Also that the work you hand in is a whole lot more valuable then the work you did in high school. All professors each grade you differently and have their own take on grading your work and seeing what is more important in their class. Not every professor is going to come to you and tell you if you missed an assignment or that you are on the border of failing their class. That not every professor will ask if you understood everything they just went over. But that in case, for every professor you have, go to them at the end of every class you have with them to ask if you missed anything, how many absents you have, or how to do what they just asked you to. If you show them you care about your classes, they will make the effort to care more about you and take you more seriously the other students. Thanks


I've gone through a whole lot during my college years. Being the first in my family to attend college, my parents urged me to move from Hawaii to California to pursue a good education. Having roommates who did drugs and partied constantly was something that I thick about through this day. Suddenly independent and seeped in a drug infested environment, I became a person who habitually partied and did not care about school. I was going through the traditional college clich? of ?discovering? myself, but instead I stumbled across a new norm in a new society where partying was expected. During my 1st year in college I thought through my actions and witness my life of brokenness. While struggling in college with a cumulative GPA of a measley 2.9 I found myself afraid of the person I was becoming. But from encouraging friends who I've met from a local church I started changing my behavior for the better. So if I had the opportunity to go back in time I would have done more research on the people who I was living with instead of randomly picking roommates.


if I could go back in time and talk to myself when I was a highschool senior, I would tell myself to breathe. Id be honest and say "i know senior year is very stressful, college will be the same way, but hold on, keep breathing, help is coming." Id tell myself "the transition to college is scary but empowering at the same time, the independence is bittersweet but its all about the journey of growing up and learning about who you are as a person and how you react to change." "things never stay the same." will be a difficult lesson to learn but it is pivitol, so when I have hard times just hang on, change is coming, but also when I feel like Im free-flying through life, something can always upset that balance. But all in all dont be a perfectionist or beat yourself up when things dont go as planned, because there is no way one can reach perfection until one accepts all aspects of life.


Do not allow anything to come in the way of going to college full-time. Apply for financial aid and scholarships. Set aside time every day to do your homework. Do not procrastinate on assignments spend time to complete them early. With hard work you can earn a 4.0 GPA. Knowing when to stop working on an assignment is also important. The assignment does not have to be perfect in order to earn an A. Keep a schedule of when assignments are due and have them completed one day early. Find balance in your life between school and extracurricular activities. The key to success in college is time management and hard work.


Spend more time during senior year learning to think critically and asking questions in class. Use any opportunity you have to talk with teachers about how to improve your study skills. Read some of those books that you always meant to read---they may be assigned in your first college English class. Save information your senior counselor handed out about scholarships and other financial aid. It will help you later when you are looking to find other sources of aid because college is much more expensive than you thought. Visit the college before school starts and find out where the classrooms, bookstore, financial aid office, etc are located. The first week of school will be crazy and even a map may not help much. Talk with parents about how to handle the daily chores of life, like laundry, banking, car insurance and easy meals. Get the name of car mechanic and best places to find bargains. Spend time with your friends. No matter what you promise, once college begins, you won't have much time to spend with one another.


Immediately recognizing the importance of resources available on campus including the dozens of faculty members who would go out of their way to help a driven student. During my time in school, I constantly hear of students who have participated in amazing "life changing" programs, sometimes beneficial to their career goals. I was fortunate enough to catch some of these programs or events, but they were insignificant compared to those I had missed. I attribute my lack of participation in such life changing events to my unwillingness to research and hunt. Returning to the year 2006, I would stress how crucial and benefical it is to search for programs such as the Guatemalan Project rather than wait for them to find me.


I would tell all high school students that college is another level from high school. They must be prepared and ready for challenge because the classes are much harder and quicker than high school classes. There is lots of reading, homework assignment, quizzes, and tests during one semester. I would tell the student to hold their personal activities until they know the how the college system work. I would tell them the rules about managing time, not to take easily on the homework assignments. For example, telling them that missing one week of homework is like missing one chapter of the book.


Be more discipline and stay focuesed. Do not get distracted by what's going o around you. Start on homework early even though time is not a factor. Enjoy college and don't make everything to difficult.


If I had the chance to go back to myself as a what an opportunity that would be! I would sit me down, maybe over a chai latte, and explain a few things to myself about life and personal restraint. I would encourage myself to stay strong, not to give in or give up in school; as I did in high school. (I did not graduate, but received my GED years later.) I would instruct myself to find value in who I was and that it's ok to be individual. I would try to instill confidence and self-esteem and that self worth doesn't come from others, but from within one's own heart. I would implore myself not to doubt my own abilities and talents and to stop procrastinating! Time moves quickly and life is too short! I would tell myself to love my family, for they won't be around much longer and to make the most of myself NOW (take advantage of my youth). Use your stree-smarts, experience and wisdom and take a chance and go for what you want while remembering to respect others.


This is some advice I would tell myself as a high school senior: Don't be feel bad because you're going to a community college while everyone else plans to go to a university. Just because you didn't score the highest on SAT's, going to college is like getting a second chance to redeem your grades. Just study hard to gain knowledge and achieve the highest grade so you know you did everything you can to deserve it. Then when you have all the credits and the 4.0 GPA, you can transfer to the school of your choice. I actually think back to high school and I really wish I told myself as a freshman to concentrate in school because it would better prepare me to do college work and colleges look at historical grades. By senior year, reality strongly nudges you on the shoulder to get with it. By then, damage has already been done. I thought about how college will change me as I sat in my first course at Santa Monica College on the day of my high school graduation, and now I know that it has molded me into a diligent student.


If I had the chance to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself that I don't have to worry about deciding on a career. College will offer me so many classes that will help me understand what I truly want to do. There will be counselors to aid me in my future career path. Being a senior means that it will be my final year in high school and I need to enjoy that last year and take my time in capturing every moment of it. I shouldn't be worrying and stressing on finding a major or career right at that moment in time. College should be a great experience and I should not worry about the transition because I am a strong person and am capable of doing well.


It is good for some people to take time off before college. Get a job and have fun, but remember to strive towards something greater, be it anything. Pursue music or dance, but do them with intensity. Learn to play an instrument in your free time. Never count anything out of your future, I know you may think that college is not for you right now but that does not mean it will be that way forever. Finally if you are going to spend money on somthing, DO IT!


I know that you think that it's over because you're about to graduate high school but it's not. I understand that you want to take a break for a semester or a year but by then you may change your mind and not realize how important colllege is until later in life. It's never too late to go back to school. I know, because I'm twenty-seven, still studying my prerequisites. If I could go back in time, I would have never taken that year off.


Assuming I could go back to my sophmore year in high school, this is becouse I was never a junior or senior in high school becouse I recieved my GED, I would say to my self that to be able to blossom in college more efficently I must read more books. This would improve my vocabulary and help me to better comprehende the opics that are taught to us in college. This would also provide a variety of examples to use in the many essays, one would have to write in college. The next thing I would tell my self is that I should learn how to stop procrastinating and stay on topic with the subject that is being tought, by this I mean create a better work habit and work enviroment. The last peice of advice I would give myself is not to worry about the transition between high school and college and that it should be the last thing on my mind. This is becouse there are alot of people in the college that will help with the transitioning and later transfering to another school.


If I could go back in time and find myself to tell myself some advice it would be, to never let go of that dream. Regardless of anything that crosses my path. Hold on to that dream and let it guide me throughout the years. If I keep that dream in mind, I am sure to hit the top. I wouldn't change anything about the life ahead, it's made me who I am today and I love it. Just hold on to that dream as tight as I can. I can do it!


If i could go back in time to when i was a senior, i would probally tell myself to apply for every scholarship i could. College is expensive, and not easy to pay for. I would love to pay for my classes without worring about other expensis that need to be paid.


If I can go back in time to talk to myself as a senior in high school, I would tell her to apply to as many scholarships as she can. For she will never know what the future is like. I would want to mention about all the work one have to do for a class, all the essays that my old self will be writing. I would want to let her know about AP classes, and for her to take the tests. I would tell myself to save money for college, just incase other unknown events will appear. And for the most part, for my old self to study hard and stick to one specific major, to concentrate well and work for what she wants.


If i could go back in time i would have told myself to pick a mojor that was for me. I would have told myself that money is not the important thing choosing a career that i was right for me is the most important thing. I would have told myself that it didn't matter if my parents never finished college, that it was still possible to make the way myself, with confidence. I would have told myself that my friends and my sports come second to my schooling and that i have so many opportunities available if i just stay focused. I would have told myself that college isn't as big and scary as it seems and once you get into the groove of things it can become the most amazing experience of your life.


Juan, you must not give up, do not ditch school because school is too hard or too challenging. Do not give up on your dreams because withouth education their really is no alternative. Juan if giving up in high school is an option you have in mind then you really have not seen the real challenge nor the real deal. Let people help you, let yourself be open because help will be the best gift anybody can ever give you. And learn from your teachers and your fellow students because advice never hurted anybody.


College is a place that I have ti take seriously and work and stdy hard to achieve my goal of transferring to a university.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to be open minded. In school we were always taught certain things are bad and other things are good, but we were never given the opportunity to see situations from different perspectives. During my time at SMC, I have met so many different people with different experiences and opinions, that I have learned how to look at a situation, and understand each person's actions. Decisions that I once thought were bad or wierd, I now see simply as different. This has led me to try different activities, explore different cultures, and interact with different people. Had I known what I now know about being open minded, I would have been able to exercise different options earlier in life and come to the conclusion of being a nurse much sooner thus saving me a lot of time and only taking the classes that I need to transfer to a University. I also believe that I would have made much for friends without prejudice and would have gotten a lot more out of my high school education.


try to save up as much money for college and never give up.


Now that I am in my third year of college, it has always been essential for me to have money to pay for tuition. I would advice my high school self to apply for as much scholarships as possible (such as this one) and if that fails always apply for the FAFSA which has helped me out unfailingly these past years. Another piece of advice is to always plan, plan, plan. I have taken some classes and found out that they are non-transferable so make sure you are not wasting your time in one class when you could've had a transferable one, this helps a lot in building your credits when you transfer to a university. It has only been recently that I have been able to plan out my life from this point onward. Now I know every step I should take towards my goal and I feel assured with having this plan compared to having no plan at all and wandering aimlessly through my college years. And finally--study hard, and have fun!! its all worth it! college should be some of the best times of our lives.


Go to college right after HS. Don't wait!! Its a lot harder to go back.


The advice that i would have given myself was to pay attention in class and to not procrastinate in school. i would also have did the best i can from the start instead of trying to be the class clown. i would have also prepared my self for the adult hood of independency.


If i could go back in time and give advice to myself as a high school Senior i would have a lot to say. I would tell myself not to slack off on anything at all because it will affect the rest of my academic career and classes cannot be retaken. I would also tell myself to be a little more outgoing andwork on networking, the more people you talk to the better informed you will be. Most importantly I would tell myself to ask more questions, or to be more specific, ask for help. Unfortunately it took me a year to learn that everyone is there to help and there is a department for everything. There are people who can refer you to just about every opportunity you want tor need. i would also advise my young self to become more involved. Knowlege is power and the more people you know the farther you will get and the more you will discover.


IF i could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself great advice. I would mention that the efforts a student makes in high school does play a significant role in how they begin college and when they graduate. I would tell myself to not take education for granted because its the key to one's future. In college, students have to pay for thier books, their classes, fees, and even parking. I woudl tell myself that appreciating the courses in high school and learning the most from the subjects is the best initiative one could take. I would tell myself that having fun a good, but priorities should be recognized. Many teenagers really only think about the present and little about the future. This is normal because people are nto inclined to worry much about ten years from the present. However, I woudl tell myself that every choice one makes today dictates where they are going to be in the future. The entire college process involves sacrifices that are no where near comfortable. However, if students find their passion, then thier drive will fuel thier pain through the difficult journey.


Don't work so many hours!!! Put most of your time into studying and making friends. School is the best time of your life and only what you make of it. It's diffcult to meet people when you leave school which is why you must utilize your time efficiently. Don't worry about saving money; money well spent is better than no money spent at all. Don't forget to have fun and learn what you study. Don't just study to get a letter grade and then forget about it when exams are over...TRUST ME, I KNOW.


I would tell myself to apply for financial aid early. Then I would say take the classes you need to take not the ones you want to take. Its important to get your General Ed classes out of the way first. Make sure you study a lot.


If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to focus more academically. If I knew High School was a preperation for life ahead I believe I would have commited myself 100 percent. I regret not doing that because now as a College Sophomore, I see that I wasted a lot of my years in high school focusing on the wrong things, such as, boys! My only advice to myself would be "Carpe Diem' which means seize the day. Every second in life is important, and what you do with your time is definitely key"