I would say that challenges to academics come in all shapes and sizes. While I decided to marry and have children before I went to college, I believe learning good time management and coping skills for those challenges are the most important. I would particularly warn against the tendency to become frustrated with students who tend to put forth much less effort into the classes than I do. I have had classes where I was the only student to put the effort into making informed opinions and citing sources for those opinions. These classes can be difficult since my grades depend on other people's participation and my ability to effectively respond to those students. But I would suggest to myself finding even the smallest relevant part of their information and encourage them to share the information you find through peer reviewed sources to increase their knowledge and maybe have more resources for their own opinions and be satisfied with the job that I have done. Getting frustrated over technical difficulties during major test time or research paper time does no good either. As long as you communicate with the professors, there are usually many ways to get around them.
College life...is real life...in real time. Take it serious. You cannot get these years back. Make them count...for something. The earlier you get your education completed, the sooner you can accomplish the many goals you have set for yourself. None of the goals I have had are attainable without a college education. I recommend figuring out what you want to do as far as your career, before you graduate high school...and think big! Do not lose focus, stay in school, and get the degree. Do not go into college undecided, like I did. I had too many different things that interested me as a career, and could not make up my mind. I completed half of the career choice education, and changed my mind, more than once. Now, at 40+...I am starting as a freshman, again. Ironically, in the same field I started ... Hoping to finish college before my son. Your career should be your Passion... Do what you love to do. Be the best you can be...and do not quit! Learn early, work happily, and enjoy the later years.
I would advise my self as a high school senior with these words, "Leslie! Never stop following your heart and chasing your dreams. The most opportune time to attend college is now! If you postpone or procrastinate life will get in your way! I know you are overwhelmed and consumed with the anxieties associated with college, but as long as you remain positive, focused, open-minded, and most importantly determined, I am here to tell you as eye witness of your future, your success begins now and your only limitations are of what you have yet to dream!"
I would advise myself to take more interest in school and what is being taught, to pay attention to the subject matter and to study hard and participate in class discussion. I would have chosen to take freshmen courses while in the last four years of high school to familiarize myself with what college work was going to be like instead of having to go through the initial shock of college life and the time and discipline that it takes to succeed to make the grade.
Today I am 39 years old. I am confident in my abilities, however, as a high school senior I was not. I would tell myself that I absolutely have the ability. That I am smart and that I would be denying the world the privelege of my abilities. would go back and tell myself how much I will enjoy the college atmosphere and the fullfillment of a great education.
Life is going to get a lot harder for you. Keep your head up and try your hardest with school. You're in a sticky situation right now and it's because of you not trying hard enough. Even though things get rough you can do this all by yourself!