If I had the opportunity to go back in time and give high school self any advice about college that I wanted, I would decline the offer. I do not want to change the person who I have turned out to be. The person I am today, along with all my friends and the knowledge I have acquired are all based on my previous learning experiences. If I changed one little aspect of my past then there is no way of knowing what impact it would have on the present. My college experience has been enjoyable. I have passed my first two years with Dean’s List grades and have made many friends for life. Naturally I have made a couple mistakes, but none of which I regret. College is a stepping stone in the path to adulthood, and if someone else is taking those steps for me then would I ever actually reach the end goal? My father once told me to “live with your mistakes and learn from them”. That was excellent advice, but by high school I had already been living by that advice for years, and that is why I would decline the offer.
If I could go back and talk to my high school self, I would tell myself to better prepare myself for the stresses that college would bring me. I would tell myself to eat as much home cooking while I still could and to fill out as many scholarship applications as possible because those numbers sure add up quickly.
Yet even now, these things seem not only material, but trivial. The most important piece of advice I could ever give anybody like myself- moving away from home for the first time, ready to tackle the next huge chapter of my life all by themselves, to just sit back and absorb their life in that transition moment as much as they could. Before you go to college you have a lot of 'lasts', and I am afraid I was so caught up in all the tiny preparations that needed to be made, they passed by me without me truly being able to appreciate them. If I had to do it over, I would not change much, but I would open my eyes to the changes that were already set in place for me.
Although I am only a freshman in college and have not been able to experience much of the college life, the best advice I would give myself as a senior is to follow your heart. The school I thought would be the school of my dreams ended up not being a good fit for me. However if I would not have tried going to this school I would have regretted it in the future. Also get involved in anything and everything that catches your interest. The more you are involved the more people you will meet and the better time you will have. Last but not least, it's college. Have the time of your life but don't forget when you need to study instead of going to that party all of your friends are going to.
Dear 18-year-old college-naive self,
Don't panic. College isn't as scary as it seems, and the people you will meet will be lifelong friends. Don't be afraid to explore the city with newfound friends, join in on an ultimate frisbee tournament, or befriend a cafeteria worker. If anything, fear and nervousness will hold you back. Be courageous.
Please study as much as you can. In the end, that extra hour studying for your General Chemistry exam might and probably will pay off during finals. There are less points earned and rewarded for hard work in college; do not loose yourself in the many tempations to put off studying. Be focused.
Parties are an inevitable part of college life. Party in moderation and stay in control. Many people will drop out in the first semester and loose sight of their goals. Be safe.
Above all, have fun. Make friends, join clubs, and enjoy the experience.
With love and much wisdom,
Kayla, you know high school is a joke. Yours in particular has little concern, help, or resources for those students who are looking to prepare for the future. It is focused on keeping kids in school and out of jail. That doesn't matter. Find the resources, bring them to your school and share them with the few that are success driven. Rally with them, make information known. Yes you are smart and don't need to study. You are going to get one huge reality check when you hit college sweetheart. Teach yourself how to study now. Force yourself to study, learn how to learn. Learn how to know information backwards, upside down, underwater with your eyes shut. Otherwise you will spend your entire first semester figuring out how to do just that.
Learn how to manage your time better. Don't take on more than you can handle just to get things done faster. Learn more leadership skills - you were in a lot of clubs, but you just participated in most of them.
Parents and students should find the college that will accommodate all of one's academic, financial, and social needs. Whether the incoming student knows what career they want to go into or not, the student should figure out all of his/her interests and research a prospective college's structured programs and classes and its professional and social organizations. A student's future school should have classes related to his/her interests so if he/she does not want to pursue a particular degree any further, available classes at the school will allow for career-direction changes. The last thing anyone wants to do is waste a year or two of expensive schooling. Students should find a school that will work with them financially. A student should be able to attend any school he/she desires and lack of money can be a major problem. Furthermore, a student should get involved with appealing extracurriculars to keep one's mind off of the daily stresses that are common with starting a new school. Meet new people and make decisions that will lead to meeting more people. Lastly, step outside of your comfort zone without compromising who you are.
Parents: Let your child pick what they want.
Students: Don't take advantage of the distance between your new school and home.
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