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Texas A&M University-Texarkana

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

I now live by the proposition that one is limitless in potential; the ability to create and define ones self is simply limited to the ability to think in a different way. I am passionate about this concept because when I was a high school senior, I was confined by the thoughts and judgements of my small school environment. College life is exceedingly different than a high school environment; it is about limitless choices and possibilities, discovering and defining who you will be the rest of your life, meeting people that differ in ways you never thought existed, and making a connection with the world that always seemed too far away to grasp. My high school self was very hesitant and anxious of the world, and I would be sure to demystify the distorted beliefs I held. It took quite a while to make the transition of acknowleging the infinite resources and choices available to me after I graduated. My main advice: the world is much bigger than you imagine, go with it and let college change your view of the world and yourself. Seize the opportunity and embrace the change.

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Looking at myself as a high school senior and giving college advice, I would give myself one good advice that would undo everything I did awful so far in my life. I would tell myself to listen to the academic adviser about classes and no matter what the college coordinator in a place called "The Center of Cultural Diversity", you will meet soon, says dont listen to them about Biology 191 because it is too advanced. The outcome is that you will fail and most importantly lose your Millennium Scholarship. I know how much you want to go to the University of Nevada, Reno, but if you enroll into Biology 191 the Spring 2011 Semester, It will end badly and end up transfering to Truckee Meadows Community College. I would tell my Senior High School self that special and deeply important information and advice. Also I would tell myself that If the advice is obeyed, the education in the future might be awsome than it is now, because now I am having financial aid complications in paying for college expenses. "Listen to the academic advisor, not to the college coordinator."

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Although I waited until my late twenties to start college, I feel that the benefit I brought to my college experience was dedication and drive. I know how hard life is, and raising a family while attending college has been a tough challenge. But, I know that if I put my all into everything I do, I will be rewarded when all is said and done. I love going to college and broadening my horizons so that I can survive in this world, hopefully in a fulfilling career. Working in a school cafeteria, I realized how important a college degree was for a successful career. I know that my prospects in finding a satisfying job are much, much greater, because I have put forth the effort and time to make myself a stronger, better person. It is alittle strange attending college with people much younger than myself, but there are more and more older students entering the college atmosphere. I guess they have also realized that to be successful, you need a college degree.

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Going back to my past self would be helpful in my college life now. I would incourage myself to stick with my plan and go into the Marines to serve my country and make a difference. By doing that, you will find out who you are and what kind of person you aspire to be. Second, I would encourage myself to not worry, and not put sports as a main priority. Instead, I would enlighten myself on my real life experience that I received in the military, and how having a general understanding on how to learn would aid in making all aspects of my life better. I would stress the importance of effort and award. That no goal in life will be obtained without you being first broken down. Only then will you be able to build yourself back up in the right way to reach and achieve your goals. Lastly, I would reassure myself that I am smart enough and can reach educational goals as high as I can imagine, but only if I can be diciplined enough to put forward the effort.

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If I could go back in time and tell myself something to better myself in the transition of high school to college. I would tell myself that no matter how hard it gets, no matter how many test you flunk, no matter how many meals you miss, no matter how much blood and tears you shed and no matter how bad you want to sign out of the deal. You have to work insanely hard to get a great out come. I would tell myself to check out more resources for help and to never let the stuggle get to you. That you're not the only one struggling and to find others to make the journey with you. College isn't easy, and it won't ever change. Only you can get past the hard times and speed bumps that happen. Always give yourself a motivation to keep pushing through! That's what I would have told myself - so I would have pushed much harder than I did.

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Being at a smaller school, my education has been more valued by me simply because I was able to accomplish it at my own pace. My college experience has been abnormal compared to most college students because our campus does not have frat parties and things like that. Most of our students are employed full time and attend classes part time or part time employed and attend classes full time. Very few are fortunate enough to not have to work and able to attend classes full time. I have made friends that are able to help me in life outside of the classroom as well as inside. Because of our small classes, our professors are able to have a personal relationship with their students which makes it easier to go to that professor what help is needed.

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I would tell my self to make sure that I sign up for more scholarships. I would also tell myself to do better and work harder to et what you want. I would make sure that everything that I need for college was done. I would also feel out more college application out of state. I would tell myself to be a little more outgoing and to let go and have fun a little because life will not always go the way that you plan it to go, so be ready to make a change. I would also tell myself to go some where else and not stay in the town that you were born in. I would tell my self to get out more and met other students and not just be alone all the time.

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The advice I would give to my high school self, would be to relax and not let people steer me away from what's really important. I would tell myself that I need to focus and search on what I really would like to do for my career and stick with it instead of doing what my family and friends want me to do. I would tell myself to stay strong and not let the little things get to me and to be patient. I would tell myself that I am my own worst enemy and as soon as I can conquer that obstacle, I will be able to breathe easier and will enjoy life a lot more.

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If I could go back in time I would tell myself to enjoy life and not worry about everyone else. I was always so self conscious about my appearance and the fact that I came from a poor family. I would remind myself to focus on my education. Forget about the boys. They all turn out to be less than desirable after high school. A good education and the equation will equal itself out.

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Knowing what I know now, I would advise myself to take dual credit courses while in high school. By taking dual credit courses, it would have given me a feel for what college courses are like and what is expected from a college course. It would have additionally provided me with some college credit hours in which you can never have enough of.

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