Dear Me, Stop panicking and breathe. I know that you're in your last year of high school and big, life-changing steps are ahead of you. Remember, college is about you and your future, not anyone else's. Don't let anyone tell you you need to choose a major right now, I still don't even know what I'm doing half the time. Don't let anyone stress you out. After being in college for five straight years now, I know stress and it wasn't until recently that our parents got off our back about choosing some high-classed major that we can't handle. College is supposed to be the best years of your life, but stressing over every detail is going to cause you to miss those good times. Be who you are... not what others want you to be. Breathe and stop worrying about the future. Do what you want to do so you can actually enjoy life. Stressing over school and the future will take away the present. I know it's hard to hear, but what happens will happen. Be who you're meant to be, be the unexpected. -Future You
My mind did a back flip the first day I attended college a month following graduation from a Catholic high school; what a transition. No uniform; the option to decide what I study; and most imperative of all, the decision to attend. The list for what I have received from attending college is escalating. I begin with what has affected me to the highest degree: increased confidence. College has revealed what I can accomplish; I have come to know how to handle stress, deadlines, and difficult and different people. With this knowledge came admiration for coffee and ?five hour energy drinks.? It has been a journey filled with lifelong friendships, unforgettable memories, late night study sessions, and an experience that offers preparation and increasing exposure to the ?real world? adults discuss. I have become more established as a human, while being introduced to a variety of personalities, cultures, challenges to overcome, and goals to accomplish. In meeting new people I have come to value other?s opinions; which has in turn widened my own perspective and planted the desire to travel and further expand my knowledge. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I am 40 years old and began taking on-line college courses starting in October 2009. After I graduated from high school I married young and had two children; unable to attend college. Deciding to enroll in the University of Phoenix later in life to obtain my AA degree is for personal growth and has been something I’ve regretted not doing after high school. I was excited and nervous to embark on this journey; I have been able to manage my work responsibilities, home life and other daily hurdles while pursuing this goal. As stated, I have been in the work force for over 20 years; since graduating high school. I have done fairly well for myself considering I never obtained a college degree in my field. I attended many seminars over the years which greatly improved my knowledge of specific subjects. Now I am looking to improve myself even further by attending college and striving to obtain my Associates Degree (and hopefully beyond). I chose to obtain my degree in Psychology as it relates to many aspects of what the Employee Relations & Recruiting part of my job (HR Management) entails. College has been such a motivating experience.
Visit lots of schools. Don't be set in your mind where you want to go without doing so. Don't pick a school because of the football team or the parties. Pick a school that you feel can provide you an atmosphere in which you can thrive academically, socially, and culturally. Parents: Don't pressure your child into attending your alma mater, but let them be their own person. The aspects of college that you sought when looking for a college to attend aren't necessarily what your child values. Students: once you are in college, don't take anything for granted because it will be over before you can blink an eye. Play a club sport, join a special interest organization, and pledge a fraternity or sorority. Focus on schoolwork, but remember that communication skills developed through your social activities will be the most valuable supplement to your degree that you could ever possess. Who you know is as important as what you know. Most importantly: USE YOUR RESOURCES. The only thing I regret is not taking advantage of free tutors, writing labs, and other great resources that could have benefited my college experience.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I now know about college life and making the transition, the advice I would give to myself is to overcome my fears, be more confidant in my capabilities and potential, and pursue more opportunities or create volunteer opportunities in my areas of interest. Now, I understand the importance of taking chances and trying new things. For example, I was extremely fearful of a high school AP English course. I was concerned about meeting the course?s requirements, teacher?s expectations, and possibly lowering my grade point average. If I could go back in time, I would enroll in that course and take as much from it as possible. My grammar and composition could?ve been challenged and matured in high school, rather than my second year of undergraduate. I would?ve also volunteered more. There are several benefits of volunteering, such as networking, mentorship, applied experience, and insight into a particular field. If I had volunteer experience or information prior to undergrad, I would?ve been positioned for better internships and employment.
If I could go back in time and give my highschool senior self any advice about college, it would be only a few things. "First, enroll in smaller classes. The college of business and other math and science classes are huge and I don't want you to become a "face in the crowd." You are an exceptional young woman with a lot to offer this world and attending smaller classes to nurture your intellect is best for you. You will be able to speak with your instructors with no problem and class assignments will not get lost as easily as it would in a big pile. Also, if you are thinking about gettting your MBA, you should start studying for you GMAT or GRE exams around your junior year of college. UTC does not prepare its undergrad students for those exams. The classes offered are expensive and offered by other organizations. Third, continue utilizing those great study habits you have. You are hitting the ground running by leaving your highschool as Valedictorian, do not lose that momentum. Most importantly, stay focused with your studies, never abandon your dreams, and continue to take care of your family."
You are going to change man. Take Najberg's composition and Evans's sociology classes. Switch that engineering major, you haven't picked that silly schematic stuff up since 9th grade. Ever since you read Orwell's 1984, you realized your fascination with the human condition. Don't be shocked if girls like you and don't blow it with Jessica. You will create friends virtually ex nihilo by tagging along with your roommates. You and Nicole will always be "just friends", so please move on. Avoid girls you aren't interested in, even though you like trying to figure our their problems. Habitual singleness gives you a lot of free time. You think hipsters are cool, but they really aren't. You will realize that partying is indeed fun, so loosen up and grab a few shots of vodka. Agnosticism will be accepted more, but you will seem to have a deeper reason and experience for jumping off the cross. You will not be the smartest, which in time will feel liberating. Don't take freshman seminar, that is for potential dropouts, which you really won't be. Have fun, be yourself, and keep your grades badass.
In order to find the right college for a student, much information needs to be researched. Things that need to be researched are the differrent programs and or classed the college actually offers. Some colleges offer freshmen seminar programs to help students transition from the high school level to the college level. Freshmen seminar is a good program that students should look for. Also students should have an idea of what their major may be and talk to an advisor in college to start planning classes or activites they may want to take to further their education. Coaches for a specific college should also be contacted because many students who play sports in high school miss out on the college level because they fail to take that chance. Housing should also be looked upon because that may be where the student spends the majority of his or her time. Different financial procedures should also be looked at like work-study and grants. Always look for scholarships even if it doesnt seem to be going well. Scholarships are free money that parents do not have to come out of thier pocket for.
The only advice that I can percieve giving to the High School Senior version of myself is not to worry. It may seem rather cliche, but if I had not stressed about college so much throughout my Senior Year then it would have went by much more smoothly, and with an infinite amount less of emotional breakdowns--struggling with the ideal of college level work, and crying over tuition costs--had all been for not. My college offered me grants, work study, and loans to help cover some of my costs. In addition to that, a free-tutoring lab is almost always open on campus for all students in need of assitence; and the friends I've met at college I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I would have forewarned myself about the constant...inconviences of dormitory living--such as leaky faucets, and moldy shower curtains--and would have strongly cautioned to bring a cell phone, as they come in handy during emergencies. Oh, by the way, self? Your 11th Grade History teacher was right when he warned you about the strict essay gradings of college History professors. Keep on moving, you can do it.
My High School senior year was very easy academically, yet the college search and application process was quite overwhelming. However, I did apply to all the colleges I wanted to go to, got accepted at every one I applied to, and completed everything I needed to. Everything went smoothly, aside from the financial aspect of college. Having applied for numerous scholarships, not getting even a single one was incredibly discouraging, and I ended up not attending college because of it. My parents have decided to have me pay for my own college with no assistance from them, so finding a way to close the gap between what is paid for and what is needed for college is a serious challenge, but one that shouldn't have discouraged me in to not going. Although I did work and get a better hold on my financial situation, I wish I had gone to college, even if it were a community college. With everything that has happened in the past year, if I could go back and tell myself one thing, I would simply say go for it, and worry about costs and all the technicalities later on, or as they come.