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University of Baltimore

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

Going into my first years of college, I have gained a stronger sense of pride for myself. Attending college has taught me to always reach my greatest potential, set goals, and never give up. I would stay dedicated and focused no matter how hard life gets and no matter how stressful. Being the only person in my household to go to college has pushed me to want more for myself. I never want to struggle, worry, or be unhappy with my career choice. One day I want to be able to have my degrees hanging on my wall and be confident in the choices I've made in school. If I have ever failed at anything, I have always gotten back up and tried again. Because of my motivations, I can proudly say, I have started out at Baltimore City Community College, but in the Spring I will be attending the University of Baltimore as an Interdisciplinary Studies Student. I am honored to say I will be studying three different areas; communications, criminal justice, and information technology. Being in college has taught me that no matter what, I can say I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to put less emphasis on where I attend college. I constantly stressed out over what school I would attend and whether it would affect my life in different ways. In reality, it is not about where you attend but what you do with the information and knowledge you gain from the college. College is about strengthening your skills and intelligence to apply those skills after graduation. As long as you apply yourself and dedicate the right amount of time and effort to school, you will be successful in any setting. Another piece of advice I would give myself would be saving more money to help pay for college. One never really understands how difficult paying for school can be until the time comes to do so. Student loans are helpful; however, it can be quite a burden to bear after graduation, especially in today's economy where jobs for graduates are scarce. I would have saved more money to ease such a burden during and after college.

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Attending University of Baltimore has build me into a more mature and organized person. It is the first time where I live on my own and in a different city. I once had to juggle school, two jobs, and my secretary position for the marketing club, family and friends. There have been many times I haven't achieve it all, but living the experience has shaped me into who I’m now. I now know how difficult life can get, but there are so many people and ways to help you get through it. It has been valuable to attend University of Baltimore because of the courses I have taken and the effect they had on me. I'm outspoken now, able to do research on my own and have helped the community as well. I stand tall now, knowing what I want to achieve in my life and University of Baltimore has been a major impact to my growth. My college experience will stay with me forever. Everything I have learned will help me throught-out my career and one day will influence others to better themselves or help others do so.

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If I could go back in time to high school and talk to myself, I would have done a few things differently. Knowing what I know about college life and making the transition, my advice to myself would be to take things more seriously. I would have ceased every opportunity I could to make myself a better candidate for collegel. I would have participated in more extracurricular activities to become more rounded person; such as Student Government Association (SGA), the school newspaper, and maybe I would have run for an official spot on the Student Council Board( like treasurer). I took two college courses while I was in high school, I wish that I would have taken more because I could have been further ahead when I began in 2006. My biggest regret is not taking full advantage of many of the opportunities presented to me.

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If I could go back to high school and speak to myself as a senior I would tell myself to never lose focus. During my senior year I began put very little effort into whatever I did. I consider this to be a mistake because I personally feel like it would have given me options on the schools I could have applied to if my grades were a little bit better than they already were. Many of us don’t take high school seriously which is a big mistake that I feel most of us teenagers make. I would also tell myself to be cautious if the decisions I make on picking my college that I’m attending. I was so focused on getting away from home and moving to another state to be away from everyone back at home, that I didn’t look at all my options. We’re all given options, but it’s up to us to make the right choices.

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Honestly, If I had the chance to go back to my high school senior days, I would have a serious conversation with myself explaining to myself about what the future would bring. I would explain to myself that If I would join one of the many academic clubs in my high school, it would look better on my college applications. Also, I would tell myself to just do better than what I did as a senior even though I got A's and B's, I would work harder to get all straight A's. I would have applied to different Univeristies that would accomedate to my specific major instead of me changing my major in the future. I would just tell myself in the past to just to continue to work hard and to pace myself and to do the best that I can as a high school senior and to have the utmost fun in the process.

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While money and being able to support yourself and future family are surely main reasons for attending college, it is critical that you do not make these things the sole reasons for your career path. It is important that you study and eventually work in a field that you are passionate about. Once college is finished, those four years spent studying will feel miniscule compared to the thitry plus years you will spend in the workforce. If you dreaded only that little time spent learning, you surely will destate any work that relates to it. Try to find an area that you love and are willing to work in for the rest of your life. If it is lucrative --great, if not, at least you'll be able to spend your life being happy and doing what you love.

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Araina, this is your future self talking, stop goofing around in Algebra because you really do NEED it! Stay in percussion ensemble and enjoy it because you need an extracurricular activity to put on your college application. Yes, you're almost done with school but you have so many more years of it ahead of you, and you need to learn as much as you can. Drink a little coffee here and there, so that you can be less sleepy and more productive. It won't kill you! Actually read your textbooks; you'll need to develop good reading and studying skills in just a few months. And, lastly, slow down on the junk food. Not only does it do a number on your figure but it also kills what little energy you have. You can do it! I have faith in us!

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I'd tell myself to persevere even though classes can be tough and a schedule packed with classes and two part time jobs can be truly stressful. All of the effort and hard work is worth it as you get closer and closer to your college degree. Also, beyond the degree, it's worth it to learn just for the sake of broadening your horizons and gaining knowledge. No class, no matter how tedious it may seem some days, is ever a waste of time. Each professor, each lesson, has something you can use to grow and improve yourself. Take advantage of every educational opportunity and be grateful for the doors that open to you. Not everyone gets to go to college, so make the most of it.

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Self - as a high school senior knowing what I know today, I suggest this: 1. Focus and investigate the subject (s) that you wish to major in 2. Any weak subjects needed in your major, get remedial assistance or practice skills prior to entering school 3. Go to first student orientation, manage finances, get help from professors, counselors and students. 4. Continue to be able to cope with stress and don't "bit more then you can chew". 5. Continue to shape your future in the direction you wish to go in and no matter what you become later, and what you may accomplish, you will reflect on your college years as a time you developed your potential.

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