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Southwestern Illinois College

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

Before anyone goes to an institution of higher learning, they should look back at thier high school career and ask them selves three simple questions: 1. Did I excell in high school academically? 2. Was I in school by choice, or because I had to go? 3. Have I taken the time to really decide what I want to do for the rest of my life, professionally? Some people are not cut out to be college students and some prefer to enter the work world immediately or enter the military. There is nothing wrong with any decision, as long as the person can look at themselves in the mirror and honestly tell themselves and family, that they made the right decision. Some people are not ready for college immediately after high school and working until they decide the path they want to follow is fine, college will still be there and maybe they can excel after a period of maturing. Every person is different and the choice they make at such an early age will be with them for life. Ask questions, talk to councelors and friends before deciding anything. You can afford time to be cautious.

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If I could back in time and tell myself what I know now, how would my life be different? Senior year is supposed to be fun, visiting college, and deciding what you want in the future. For me, this was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. Everything in life was about to change and I had no idea how college would be. Looking back after spending two years in the college life, I would tell fearful me that college will be the best experience of your life. You will become more than you will ever imagine yourself now. I would tell myself not to fear, because new and exciting experiences will bring a resilience and confidence you never had before. I would say not to fret learning new things and new subjects; you will find a passion in learning that will animate your soul. I would tell myself to never give up your dreams because of doubt and uncertainty, if you want something go for it. Do not let anyone tell you something is too hard, the apprehension of others should not define what is possible. Lastly, I would say to never give up on what you believe in.

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If I could go back to talk to my high-school self, I would reassure her that starting out her college career at a community college wasn't the end of the world. At the time, I felt like SWIC was the worst option for me. It made me feel like I wasn't as good as the students going straight to four-year schools. However, SWIC was the best choice for me. Its reputation did not proceed itself. At the Red Bud branch - the one I attended - the professors were insightful and always willing to stay late and help, or offer office hours. Some provided cell numbers for around-the-clock help, some checked their emails every few hours. I was employed by the Success Center as a student tutor, which has been the most rewarding job I've ever had, and I've been able to keep a steady GPA while taking classes that are challenging enough to hold my interest. I graduated this Spring, and am on my way to Webster U as a full-time student in the fall. My high-school self wanted to go straight to Webster, and after two years she will be.

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Listen when somone says "Scholarship opportunity" and apply for it. Every little amount of money you can get will help. Also if yo want to go to a 4 year college right out of high school, well don't. Start at a 2-year community college. Why you may ask-first you don't really know what you want to end up doing right after high school and could end up changing your mind a million times, do to the many options out there. Also going off to a big 4 year college in will be most likely the first time you are away from your partents and a some what stuctured life. So you will have this new found freedom that sometimes gets the best of first time colleges students. Meaning that some drop out the first semster and are back at home with mommy and daddy, with there freedom gone. So by going to a 2 year college first you can get your general done, which will most likely transfer to the 4 year college, and live at home, which will save a good amount of money, and maybe have a job too.

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I would tell myself to do my research more thoroughly, even if I have a career picked out, I would tell myself to research the quickest and smartest way to go about getting my degrees, whatever they might be and to never let anyone tell me that I can't do it or I shouldn't do it just because it's difficult. The best things in life are hard to come by, so I would tell myself to work for it. And not to be so lazy and look for scholarships! If I have trouble, ask someone qualified for help. Don't rely on others to do my work for me. Take music lessons outside of school to better myself. Stay focused. Be positive. Surround myself with people who will love me and support me. Be aggressive in going for what I want, forget about stage fright, nervousness or anything else. Keep my eyes on the prize. The road to success is paved with temptation, but it'll be worth it if I stay on the path and never falter. And thank God every day for the blessings I'm given.

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I would have given more thought to what I really wanted to do in life. I got out of high school and graduated with a business degree and I was very unhappy. I have truly found my way and decided to pursue my education in Nursing. This is what I really want to be and do. It is such a good feeling to come home from clinical and know that I have made a difference in someone?s life directly. I have learned so much from going to the Nursing home and caring for these special individuals. Elderly people really are unique and have their own wonderful wisdom that has been shared with me this semester. I love this type of work and I can't wait to be able to give myself to individuals that really need me to show support and nurturing when they are ill. This is the best decision I could have made! In giving advice, look inside yourself and really think about who you are and what you want to become in life!

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If I could go back in time and offer advice about the "college experience" I would say that it is not as scary as perceived. Do not fear the transition simply because you are not knowledgble of it yet. To be afraid of something you do not fully understand seems a bit foolish, because we can't know everything can we? And yet, at times it seems some people are so afraid of living and constantly worry about the future, but we should not be afraid of that either. If we're constantly worrying about our future, we are not able to completely enjoy the present. To live in the "now" is to fully experience the present. Savor it, because all we have is the present moment. Do not waste your life away by living in the future because it is the present events that influence the future ones. Simply be, and be yourself, and know that everything will be taken care of. : )

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Getting out of Belleville is the one thing in the world you are determined to do, but maybe you should take a little bit more time to research and look at the good and bad aspects of staying in Belleville. The first week of going to school in Florida will be a blast but then you'll realize that you miss the life you had at home. After you are in Florida you will spend days just wishing you were in Belleville and at the last minute the day your supposted to drive back to school for second semester you will change your mind and end up staying in Belleville. How last minute? You'll turn the car around in Tennessee to come back to Belleville. If you really take the time to way out the options and what you are losing you will choose to go to SWIC like mom and dad are telling you and not waste the money going somewhere you will end up hating.

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I've known since I was a sophomore in high school what my major would be. I am the type of person who likes to plan out everything. I've known what I want to do, when I want to get it done and where. Since I've known all of my plans, I don't really have much more advice I could of given myself. I feel that all of my plans are going well and I wouldn't change anything. After I finish at SWIC with my Associates, I plan on attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to achieve my Masters in Accounting. I've got a long way to go and big ambitions that I know I will accomplish as long as I work hard and keep in mind all of my goals. I would appreciate any help that I can get in accomplishing my goals. I am currently paying for my own schooling and would love all the help I could receive.

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If I could go back and talk to myself as a senior I would tell myself to treasure every day of high school. Try and cherish the time you have at school with all of your friends instead of trying you rush yourself to get out of school everyday. I would also tell myself to really appreciate the opportunities that you have in high school. In high school there are so many people that will do anything at all to help you succeed. I would go back and tell myself to give every effort to focus in one getting to the college level, in academics as well as athletics. But most of all i would tell myself that everything will figure itself out in time and not to spend the whole year worried what your going to be doing for the rest of your life.

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