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Troy University

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

Although things right now seem to be all about fun and there will be some fun in your future, do not be so quick to dismiss going to college soon. You will excell in the courses that you take because you are smarter than you believe you are. Your future will be great no matter when you begin attending a university, but you are going to be the sole provider for your child. At this moment in your life, your priorities are not in line. This is alright, because you are young. Your life will be full of wonderful experiences and the greatest love you will ever know on this eaerth, your child. I know that sometimes it seems that your mother and father are bothering you about education, but they are right. They are right about more things than you think, even though you will never admit to it. Also, more than anything, I want you to know that you are an intellegent, kind, beautiful person. This will reflect in your future friendships and these will be more important than anything you are involved in right now.

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Dear High School Senior Caitlin, Please do not ever stop applying for scholarships. The money is not always there. You want to get out of college debt free. There is money out there, so please keep looking for it. Also, don't give up on your job search, but you will eventually find jobs I promise you. Don't stress too much. Also, the friends you have as a freshman are not the friends you will have when you graduate, but that's okay. People are meant to be in your life for a set period of time and then they move on. What you actually need to do is let go of the friends you had in high school. Do not completely discount them, but do not hang onto them past the point of them wanting to be around you. It will only cause you heartache. Embrace new friendships. Embrace being a nerd, because it is a niche you have found yourself and while it won't get you any money (in fact, it'll help you spend some), it will make you some great friends and experiences. Sincerely, 22-year-old Caitlin

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If I could go back and have a conversation with my high school senior self, I would tell me to live the college life more fully! I would tell me to decide what I truly want to do in life. I would say, "Ask yourself what do you want to get up and participate in every day of the rest of your life? What would make you wake up in the morning and say 'Hey, I get to do this today!' It's not just about what has the highest pay scale. Money can buy things, but they can't make you happy. Loving your life and being fulfilled is what makes you happy." Also, I would tell myself to find a college that not only prepares me for that career, but one that would thrust me into that life while still in college through organizations, societies, and activities. Then, I would say, "Hey, everything is going to be ok. You will have a great life and an awesome family! So don't to rush that part of it. Be sure to create many awesome memories in college to encourage your children when they are starting college."

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There is so much I have learned when I "thought I knew it all", but the first thing I would have done was not stopped furthering my education in the first place. I am 33 years old and I could have been finished this degree and would not have had to struggle so hard in life. If I were a high school senior I would tell myself that cute little boys can wait. I got pregnant my senior year causing me to not be able to get a athletic scholarship. Things could have been a lot different for me if I would have went to college after high school. The other thing I would tell myself is how important my GPA is to attend a awesome college and for scholarships. I always just did enough to get by, never did I think it was important back then to go above and beyond. I have a son who is a junior in high school and my goal is to be finished with college before he graduates. I told him that I would be walking across the stage right before him and with this financial blessing I could easily complete my goal.

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Now that I am a college Sophmore, I have a better understanding of how collge works and would share some helpful hints with myself if I could go back in time. For starters, are you a "B-A" student? By that I am referring to your total number of B's is more than the A's on your report card. And you think, "Hey, B's are good, right?" B's are good if you are studying alot and working hard for those B's. My guess is that you are not, afterall, I am you two years after your Senior year. In high school you are taking tests on one chapter at a time; study a little in the current section of the chapter you're being lectured on in class each night. In college you will be covering multiple chapters before taking a test. Learn the material as you go. Going to class will help you out the most, but you must study outside of class. Homework won't pull your grades up in college - there is none. Responsibility and time management are key factors in college - use them wisely.

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When I left my home in Tampa, Florida to attend Troy University I put myself out of my comfort zone. My initial motive when I decided to become a student at Troy was to be a student-athlete. What I didn't know was all the experiences I would have, all the people I would meet, and how these events would mold me into the person I am today. Troy is a place where the culture differed from what I had grown up around, and the people I have met here have really broadened my horizons to new things. Not only can I respect differing values, I have also learned to appreciate them.The fact that I moved away from home, and went to a place where I knew nobody really tested my character as a person. My parents were very far away, so if I ever needed anything it was up to myself to get it. I stumbled through my first year with a couple of blunders, but now I am steady on my own two feet. College has changed my perspective on life for the better, and has given me a new self value.

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If I could go back to myself in high school and tell myself anything it would be not to take off a semester before going back to school. Don’t spend 7 years trying to figure out what to do because you wanted to take off a semester and got caught up in life. Don’t get caught up spending credit cards you have on things you don't need. I’d tell myself to save any money that I had because books, oh man, books are expensive! Not to mention tuition which had I known then goes up every semester. I’d tell myself that we’re going to have a recession so any penny saved is eventually a dollar earned that sadly school will consume all of. I’d tell myself that just because your friends aren’t going to college, doesn’t mean you look like a nerd for going. College really is to better your own life, and you can pretty much choose your own schedule. Lastly I’d tell myself to work my butt off because you get more scholarships if they see that you weren’t a slacker in high school.

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If I could go back and talk to my former self before attending college, I would say relax and be yourself. Everyone attends college anxious about making friends, finding their way around, and maintaining good grades. Personally, I became a nervous wreck as soon as I watched my parents leave without me. Being left alone in an unknown city by yourself can leave you with an unsettling feeling. Eventually, I realized that I was surrounded by helpful individuals who understood exactly what I was going through. Once I calmed down, I came to the conclusion that college is not as scary as some people claim it to be. I have really enjoyed my experience at college so far and I cannot wait to see what my remaining years will bring. I know many prospective college students main problem is ususally being anxious about what is to come. The most important advice I could give to my previous self and present seniors would be to relax and enjoy your college experience to the fullest.

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Be more grateful. Say thank you more, be kinder to people and appreciate them more. Time flies and while an education is important how you go about getting it is just as important. It’s the old saying that it doesn’t matter if you when the game if you cheated or won be other means. Fairness, kindness, and most importantly love is the answer to any questions that might arise. Love for you fellow man, love with patience in the times of anger and in rushing. Love is patience and love is blind, it is the best way to be. It is with love that the greats succeed and it is with the lack over that they fall. For what one victory was won alone? None. There is always someone cheering you on, telling you to get up when you think you can't go any further. It is with love that the greatest of battles the battles on the inside are won. So younger me, say thank you more, breathe in times of anger and let it go. You only get one family and they leave all too soon.

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By attending a Military College, I am able to obtain leadership skills that are absolutely pivotal in the outside world. I am pushed to my limits in both an academic, physical, and mental sense. Being a cadet is like having a full time job as well as full time courseload, your everyday activities but immense ammounts of pressure on you, but by doing so, bolster your confidence. I believe that this is vital for a successful lifestyle outside of the College Campus. I know that when I go out into the civilian world, I'll have not only a fantastic academic experience, but also an absolute confidence that will help me reach my goals. College is like a diving board, without it, you can still swim, but if you want to compete; you need a decent diving board to delve into the waters of a successful life. The experiences and education you obtain in College, are incomparable and more important than anything you will ever achieve otherwise.

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