First I would go into college with a different mind-set than I did at the time. I did not do very well and therefore I did not finish. Since I have gone back to school at a later stage in life, I feel that it was helpful to start out at a community college. It has helped to get the feel for the expectations of college classes. Which in turn helps to build confidence and successes. In any realm of life this is a big part of the battle, knowing that you are capable of not only being able to reach your goals, but be successful at it! Education is one of the most important things a person can attain. Yes it does take commitment and discipline to do this but the rewards will far outweigh it. Try to stay focused and surround yourself with others that are making good choices and have similar goals. There are times for fun and relationship building but it must not be the main reason for attending college. Those that feel a large colleg or university is more for them try to find an organization that you can join.
I believe that one of the most valuable assets I have received from attending college has been a stronger sense of self. My college has been accepting of me as a person as I grow in spiritual, emotional, and academic areas. Growing up takes a long time to do-perhaps a lifetime-and college is an important step for me in discovering what I was meant to do in this world, and who I was meant to be. I have found it important during this time to be surrounded by people that support my journey and can celebrate my success. As any college student, I have had challenges and changes along the way, and my school and professors have been more than supportive during these times. I have changed majors, changed colleges, moved states, and even married in college. My professors take time to work with me in what I need to follow for my future, and I will be forever grateful to them for their kindness and sincerity in believing in my success, and helping me get there. So to all those who may never hear these words, thank you.
I have gained much by attending Union College. I have been able to travel around the country as a recruiter, getting a chance to tell high schoolers what an amazing institution Union is. Working for the school, I have gained knowledge about computers and admission processes. I have had the chance to be involved in multiple leadership roles and to get involved in the social aspect of Union. Through education classes, I have been able to gain over fifty hours of experience in elementary classrooms in my first two years of schooling. This helped me realize that I truly do want to be an elementary educator, and when the going gets tough, I just remember that I'm taking these classes so I can be in a classroom everyday with students of my own. Because of the ability to be involved, the good academic aspects, the sincere and helpful professors, the friendly and comfortable atmosphere, and the strong spiritual emphasis, Union College has been one of the most valuable experiences of my lifetime.
I believe that you should choose a college that fits you. Go to a school that offers what you want. Don't just go to a school that you've always wanted to go to. If you go there and it doesn't have your degree or it's not what you expected you lose time. When choosing a college make sure you visit. Get a feel for where you will be living and going to school. I think this is improtant so that you feel comfortable because I truly believe if you're not comfortable with your surroundings it's harder to succeed. Choosing a college is a hard thing but once you've found the one for you it's so exciting! You can make the most of your college experience by not being afraid to try new things. Make sure and go to join clubs. The memories you make are the memories you'll have forever. Also, don't forget to study because the grades you get you'll have those forever too. Also I'd like to mention that if you ever in doubt, just go for it! You don't want to have any regrets.
If I could go back and speak to myself in my final year of high school, I would look that driven seventeen year old in the eye and say, "You do not need to be perfect. That belief will only drain you. College will provide you with greater challenges than you know, so save your energy for that. You need only do your best, and after that let it rest. If you do this, when you enter college you will know how to work until the words blur into lines and you fight through the wall that tells you to stop, but you will not push yourself so hard that your health packs up and leaves you and that bird called joy flies away. And if you can accept that not only do you not need to be perfect, but that you cannot be perfect, then when you enter college - your first taste of adulthood - and mistakes are inevitably made, you will be able to forgive yourself. So find balance now and you will discover that it leads to success later."
If I could go back in time to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself that there will always be things on your checklist. You will never have a day that you can say, "Wow, there is not one thing I have to do." Give up trying to mark everything off, give up constantly having to work endlessly, and give up trying to be so... perfect. Because when you are dead, there will still be things on my checklist, and if you spend your life trying to mark everything off, you won't be a human being. You will regret your life, you will regret that you didn't have fun, you will regret not hanging out with your friends, you will regret not spending time with your family. You don't want to be known as the girl who marks things off her checklist, you want to be known as the girl who loves life and gave her life to God's purpose for her: helping those in need and loving Him deeply.
Make sure to manage your time effectively. You will be surrounded with an abundance of opportunities and ways to be involved in the campus. From intramurals, to a job, to volunteering to weekend social activities, it's important to learn to say no. Do NOT join every club that asks you to. Do not focus on working so many hours that you miss out on fun activities with your friends because the relationships you form in college will last far longer than your GPA. At the same time, realize that you are paying for an education and that needs to be your main focus at this point in your life. Make the most out of it that you can since you will never get this time back. But also understand that a high GPA is not everything; employers are interested in your professional experiences, leadership roles and volunteer work. A balanced life is the key to succeeding.
If I was able to go back in time to talk to myself when I was in high school I would tell myself that I need to practice on studying a bit more and try to get great grades. It would be my freshmen year in high school, because I know I did not do all that well. I would also tell myself that I need to practice writting more, because over the next couple of years I would have a lot of homework that deals with essays. I would also try to practice reading over everything that I write and fix what needs to be fix. I would also work harder on getting my lisence and not let my parents tell me that it is not important to have. Even if I did not have a car to drive to start will, I can at least have my lisence and work on getting a car.
College has been a valuble experince for me. I come from a second generation of college students, my dad was the first one to take initiatve and go to college in order to give us a better future. I now see why he did it. With a college degree, one opens many opportunities in the working world. Not many young people today know the significance from going to school and getting a college degree. Many students today just view it as a place to get away from the parents and go party and have fun, little do they know that they are drinking/dancing/partying/etc. their future away. A school that can make you feel challnged and compettative and yet still keep that social balance, has certianly done its job.
Life is what you make of it. While I feel that I could have received a better education elsewhere, I do not regret attending the school I did. Instead, I got to know people well, and opened my mind to their ideas. While I was unchallenged in the classroom, I utilized the internet and used bookstores to dig deeper into subjects that interested me and expand my worldview. I discovered resources in my community on my own, even though my school experience was culturally and socially limited. Regardless of where you are accepted or choose to attend school, concentrate on understanding the people around you and learning from them, and you will grow and succeed.