Anxious to grow up, not caring much about anything, looking forward to the future, these are the memories I have of being a high school senior. Like most young students, my view on the world may have been obscured and unrealistic, but exciting and hopeful nonetheless. I can still remember my first day of college. The initial feeling of maturity and accomplishment would soon be overtaken with a sense of doubt, and fear of being overwhelmed. College was nothing of how I originally imagined it would be. I never took in account that along with the excitment of meeting new people in a new environment, would also come harder work, and unforgiving professors. If I could have told myself one thing as I walked towards the new stage of my life I was about to enter, it would be to forget everything I thought I knew about college. I would advise myself to proceed with an open mind, and to focus on my own success rather then acceptance. If I had known what I know now, my first year of school would have been easier. But, life is all about learning experiences and I am better person because of it.
I was educated at home for most of my academic life. The only time I attended "real school" was in 9th grade. I graduated last spring, a year early because I could not wait to go to college. While still a senior I took an English and History class at the school I am currently attending, Broome Community College. I thought college was full of scholarly people, professors who wore thick-rimed glasses, smoked a pipe and wore slippers and a bathrobe to class. My first day of campus I was armed with highlighters in all the ROY G BIV colors, color coordinated notebooks and a million post its; I was so ready to learn. I took my first step onto the magical campus and stepped in goose poop. Hey, it?s New York, what else do expect? I would go back and tell myself that college is nothing like I thought it would be. Professors are (for the most part) normal people. You?re going to step in bird crap everyone in a while. But it is the twist and unexpected turns that give you a well rounded college experience, and I wouldn?t want it any other way.
While attending college the last two years I have gotten a new found understanding of myself and what I am actually capable of. I never actually applied myself while attending high school, and while recently looking over my records I was 94th in my class of 144 students. Now, after graduating high school in 2006, taking two years off school and another two years attending college, now have a GPA of 3.69. I have gotten an understanding that I can do whatever I set my mind too. I realize now that education is the way I can grow some wings and be independent and free. After graduating high school I started working as a manager at a small restaurant. I was miserable and knew that I needed to do something with myself, for my own sanity. I felt like I was going to be stuck in this dead end job forever. Now that I have attended college for two years I realize that I can go and do whatever I want. I have grown to value this new found power of education, and my own abilities to utilize this power.
Going back in time to my senior year in high school I would tell myself to be more open to what previous graduates had been trying to tell me. I had scoffed and shaken my head when friends told me to consider Broome Community College as an option, and I was determined to go as far away from home to a "premier" college that was going to, over four years, put me nearly $200,000 in debt. I was being stubborn and wanted to just "get away" from the small town of Windsor that I had spent the majority of my life. I was so detemined that I applied early decision to the other school. Until later that year when my application was defered, I fought those I loved and tried to convince them I was right. If I could go back, I would tell myself to stop being riddiculous and listen to the people who loved me because they truly only had my best interests in mind. I am grateful everyday that my application was defered because I know my family could very well have been destroyed my actions.
In high school the education levle was not high scale. Three out the four years I was homeschooled taking online classes. The online schooling program was fairly new so it wasn't at its full potential. The quality was very poor especially in the math department. I then tried public school my junior year and found out that the online was even better. The online classes were actually challenging and made me work hard everyday. In public school there were many free days when would only research papers and such. It wasn't until college that my brain actually started taking in real knowledge. What I really excelled in was English. They fixed my sentence structure and taught me how to organize papers. I had learned that in high school but not on the level that college did taught. So my college experience has played a huge role in my schooling; without it I would not have everyday skills.
I would tell myself that there are more important things in life than money. When I was in high school, the main concern was "what job pays the most?" and "where will I make the most money?" Since then I have learned many things, not the least of which is that happiness and satisfaction are much more important than income. I've come to realize that going to work every day, knowing that you can put a smile on someones face, or "make the world a better place" for at least one person, carries a value that income could never match. The personel satisfaction and rewards far outweigh any kind of paycheck. Lastly, I would tell myself to trust the higher education system. Even though some classes might not seem important, every class serves a purpose!
If I could travel back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior. I would have told myself that I really did not want to be a teacher and I really wanted to go into the health professional field, and become a nurse. I could've saved myself a semester of tuition and the cost of books. However, other than that I am pretty satisfied with how I chose my path towards college.
I would have applied for more scholarships. Though the school I am currently attending is reasonably priced, it still adds up, especially with how much I spend on gas driving there. Had I applied for more scholarships, I may have had a bit more help in paying for my education - and any little bit counts.
Take AP classes very seriously. That is all. You do not want to have to retake them!!!!!!