My college experience has allowed me to grow into the person I am today, without rushing me to grow up. I have learned the value of an education does not depend on how big or small the school you attend is, nor is it dependent on the price you pay. The value of an education comes from within you, the learner. If you choose to work hard and utilize all the resources at your disposal you will go far, however if you do not do this, it does not matter where you study or how long you study, you will not get as far as you hoped. That is the cold hard truth. I can pay thousands of dollars for an education but if I don’t push myself to learn I will be wasting my money. Many institutions expect 18 year olds to turn into adults overnight. This is not realistic and I strongly recommend each individual person takes as long as they need to become exactly who THEY want to be, not who the institution tells them to be. This is what my college experience has taught me.
As Dorothy Parker worte, "Drink and dance and laugh and lie, Love, the reeling midnight through, for tomorrow we shall die! But, alas, we never do." This quote speaks to me in regard to being able to go back into time and to offer myself some advise about college life with the knowlege I now have. I am a soccer player and play on SOU's soccer team. Someone told me not to base my decision solely on the coach or the sport, but to look carefully at the academics. This was helpful advise. At the time I heard it, but did not fully understand it. Now I understand. Education is and should be the focus. Luckily I made a good decision. I would say to myself that there's only so much preparation you can do in choosing the right school. After that, just let go, relax and trust in the process and keep a positive thought and attitude. Believe that you are in the right place for you and stop worrying. Then you will learn to adapt and adjust and enjoy!
Honestly and truthfully out this college experience so far I gained maturity and time management. In high school I was the type of student that procrastinated alot, I got the work done in the end but had to rush . In college I learned that when you get an assignment complete it as soon as you get it Dont hold off until later and later when it cant be done to the best of your ability. When you do that it allows your other work to pile up on you and that just makes it more harder for you. I started to bring my old habits from high school to college and then changed up my ways when I realized that college is not a joke, it's a serious setting, you must be able to sacrifice your social life for studying and homework. You must be able to say to yourself if I party tonight I know Im not going to be able to finish my work, so I must stay home and do what I have to do. College life is the best opportunity that would put you to where you need to be in life.
Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would tell myself to slow down and have a little more fun. For me, the first two years of college were so sports orientated that I didn’t have time to worry about my academics. I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher so I knew the exact classes I wanted/needed to take and sports was such a great stress reliever. It gave me that couple hours a day to get away from reading, homework, and projects and I just got to channel all my energy in to being an athlete. I was really uptight about school and sports that I never got to experience the “college life”. I went in already knowing what I wanted to do and focused and pulled through in four years got my Bachelor’s Degree and now it’s like I was on cruise control and I missed everything. Needing to have a happy medium balance of a social life on top of sports and academics would have made college more fullfilling for me.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a highschool senior, I would have told myself that things would be okay - that in the time from then until now, how I'd learn to become my own best friend and learn to face the challenges which had in the past, crippled me. I would say, "keep your head up"; I'd probably pat myself on the back too. I might mention the name of a few girls to steer clear of and a few other people to give a chance without passing judgement. I would say to myself that it would be okay not to know what I was doing with my life just yet, and that as long as I tried hard at what I did and found a safe place to collect my thoughts at the end of the day, that things would end up alright - and how I'd might even discover a new passion! I would remind myself to be curteous to others along my way and to be open to the many possibilities that I would confront on my journey to the West Coast and on my path of self discovery.
If i was able to go back in time and talk to the high school senior version of mysef, I would tell myself to keep up the hard work. Unike many of my friends, I took college level classes my senior year and did quite well in them. I also would've congratulated myself on takng the initiative to do things for myself rather than relying on my parents, because that skill is much needed in college life. The advice I would give myself would be to save more money than I spend. I had an issue with spending money on useless items and not realizing that I should've been saving it for college expenses. Without the financial support of my family, I am realizing how much I can go without. I would tell myself to apply for more scholarships than I could think of, because it would make college life much more enjoyable to not have to constantly be worried about money. The last thing I would tell myself is to keep an open mind.
If I had the chance to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would have much to share. I would let myself know that it is ok if you don't go directly through college in 4years. If you have to take time off to work so you can pay for school, it is ok; it doesn't make you less of a student. I would also stress the importance of selecting a workload you know you can handle; Its better to take a couple classes at a time that way you can manage your life, your job, and your school work all at the same time. Since graduating high school 7 years ago I have had to juggle school, money issues (both for me personally and issues involving sending money home to help my family), and the stresses of school. But I would also congratuate myself on some of the choices i made before i came to college, like getting my CNA license; such decisions have helped me immensely in my journey so far.
When choosing the right college it is important to keep in mind how you learn the best. Do you need individualized attention with professors or do you prefer to get lost in a crowd. Larger campuses can be a challenge for some students because you really need to take the initiative to contact your professors which are hard to get a hold of. However large schools have more academic programs to offer. It helps to know which area of study you plan to go into, this will help narrow down your options by looking at schools which offer the major that you plan to study. Keep in mind whether you feel more comfortable in a large or small city, this will help you adjust to your new surroundings. Most importantly visit each campus you are considering to get a feel for the environment. Ask lots of questions and talk to current students and professors to ensure that you make the best decision for yourself.
If I knew what I know now about college life I would tell myself to get more involved. I would tell myself to go to all the activities for new students so that I would know people before even beggining school. I would tell myself to join clubs that are of interest to me. I would tell myself to take honors courses my freshman year so that I could graduate with honors. I would tell myself to be more outgoing and friendly. I would tell myself to explore the campus and explore the town in my free time and to not be afraid to ask questions. I would tell myself to apply for a job on campus, because there are only a few and they offer very flexible hours and it is good experience. I would tell myself to look more into the opportunities the campus has to offer. I would tell myself to choose a place and volunteer freshman year to make a difference, get involved, and gain practical experience.
Beginning college has made me wish I had done a few things differently my senior year but the best advice I would give myself, would be to pay attention in all of my classes and not slack off on anything. No matter how insignificant or useless the class and the lessons being taught may seem, you will use almost everything at a later time and it will serve as a base for the new things you will learn your first year in college. Not paying attention during that final year of high school and having the whole summer off will cause you to forget things and playing catch up, while others who payed attention breeze through it, is no fun. Neglecting your classes and homework will ultimately come back to haunt you and make things much harder on you. Doing well in high school will benefit you more than you can imagine and will have you on the right path to success during your first year of college.