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St Petersburg College

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

My high school senior self was technically already a college student through an Early College Program. But going through the hustle and bustle of its processes and learning what college really was, it all took a toll on me. I would definitely tell myself to STUDY, all capitals intended. I didn't really think first year college courses would be that much different from senior honors courses so I often on studied what I did during high school: roughly one hour every night. Boy, was that a slap in the face. While a couple of classes I had to take were in fact quite easy, other classes were on the other end of the spectrum. If only I had studied a bit longer and a bit harder, maybe I wouldn't have to retake the one class I failed. It also didn't help that I was also taking a full course of 15 credits at the time but that was still no excuse for slacking off and catching "Senioritis."

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"Don't let the door hit you on your way out!" I would have to tell myself to slow down and enjoy high school because before I know it, I would be in combat and experience the unimaginable. I would tell myself if you are going to go through all that for some college money you better get your high school diploma!! I was too eager to move on. I dropped out of high school and got my GED. I joined the military to help me pay for college, and shortly after was shipped to war. Whether or not, I finished high school I still would have joined the service. If I could go back, I would tell myself to get my high school education because I will get an extra $50,000 to help me pay for college. Unfortunately, because of being a GED student, my GI Bill was a fraction of what it could have been, had I finished highschool. Finish high school, it will pay off whether you believe it or not.

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If I could go back in time and speak to myself about my current years to come in college, I would tell myself to research and visit the school that I plan on transferring to and get information as soon as possible. By doing that, I would be able to complete any classes that are pre-requisits to the university while in pursuit of an associate degree. I would also tell myself not to take a semester off because the sooner I meet the requirements for my associates degree, the sooner I will be able to start taking classes for my career. If I had the chance to talk to myself, I would finally say keep your grades up and study very hard, because your GPA is what determines yor acceptance to the school of your choice. As an added bonus though, I would tell myself to have fun an enjoy it, because you are only young once and this is your chance to make your dreams come true.

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To immerse myself more completely in the process of choosing a school and seeking financial aid. I took a shortcut; the easy way out and attended a university that was too easy and didn't get involved in any groups or activities and and became a professional procrastinator because I thought I could skate through like I had in high school. Instead I would tell myself to take it seriously, budget my time, get involved in study groups and extracurricular activities and apply myself completely to the experience. Also, I would make myself stick with a spending budget! In college, money is hard to come by and it's easy to get carried away without having your family there to remind you that you don't really need an eight dollar coffee! Thats the advice I would give myself... to apply myself and to learn to budget my time and money effectively.

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If i could go back in time, I think I would tell myself to just put in the work more and take more chances. I didn't really learn that if you put work into studying, it'll pay off on test scores. I took a college algebra course and I just wasn't enthusiastic about it at all and I slacked off on homework because i thought i knew the material. When the test was in front of my face, I could barely answer half of the equations confidently. It didn't click in my head to try and practice with the homework assignments until the semester was a little over half way over and the hole that my laziness had dug for me was just to deep to come back from. I'm now re taking the course and am going full force with homework and tutoring on a regular basis. I'm hoping to pass with flying colors and prove to myself that hard work pays off.

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If I were able to go back in time and speak to my younger self, I think I would smack myself and say "Get a clue, go to college!" I would say that obtaining a college education is more important than that boy you didn't want to leave, you know, the one you broke up with the following year. That it is much easier to do it when you are young and single, without having all of the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood. I would remind myself of all of the things I might miss out on by not going to college as a young adult. I would tell myself to have fun and experience college to it's fullest. Enjoy the classes, make new friendships that will last a lifetime and remember to be true to yourself. Most of all, graduate and find a career that you love doing, something that will be easier to find with that degree.

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My college experience has taught me so much real life applicable concepts so far. Knowledge is a very important key to happiness. I have learned by meeting many new people that indivduality is what makes the world so ornate. As a young person, there are so many opportunities to take and amazing experiences to be had. Learning is a life long process that can be mostly enjoyable. It is important to surround yourself with positive people who want you to succeed. College has been so valuable for me to attend. I feel acomplished, empowered, and anxious to make a difference in life. I also think that by attending college I have a better and more enhanced view of the world. I think college is an inspiring and unique experience that I would highly recommend to people of any age.

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I would advise myself to do duel enrollment my senior year to get a head start on obtaining my degree. Saving money is a high priority in college, and with duel enrollment I wouldn't have to pay for anything-even books. I would also advise myself not to care so much about what outfit I wear to school the next day. As soon as I got to college I began rolling out of bed and going to class in pajamas with little to no makeup. No one is judging you in college because they are mature and have busy lives to attend to outside of school, so they hardly notice what their classmates look like. The high school bubble is broken, and you can see how silly it was to care so much, and how there is much more to life than being socially accepted by people we think are more popular than us.

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The one thing I would want to tell myself is to think about what I really want in life and how I will get to be successful. I never thought of this question before or what I wanted in my life, of course lots of money, but I did not know hard work or what college was. I have to take life seriously. I would tell myself that everyday someone out there is bettering themselves to achieve their goals, becoming a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. Just make sure that each day is not a waste. Go to class wanting to learn and make a change. I have to be more goal orientated. College is about finding out who you are. Just make sure you are true to yourself, and simply be yourself. If you do that good things will come.

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Thinking back to my highschool experiences last year, I would go back and tell myself not to worry so much about what everyone thought, but just to be myself. Everyone always told me how college would be such a dramatic change, but I never believed them. I figured the same kind of people would always be around the rest of my academic life, but I know now how wrong I was. I would've told myself to still work hard in my classes, but to have more fun and find joy in each day. It doesn't matter now what anyone thinks of me. I am who I am and for the most part people like that. I just wish I would've known then what I know now and accessed this "not caring what others think" personality sooner.

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