University of California-Irvine Top Questions

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

Jennifer

Dear Jennifer, We have come a long way since high school. Through the challenges and successes personally and academically that made us the person we are now. It is difficult give advice to you since I wouldn't be the person I would be now. However, if I had to give you an inspirational talk or advice to motivate you, I would say don't let your fears keep you from taking the steps to make yourself happy. I have always been afraid of speaking up in classrooms since I had a speech disfluency when I spoke and was self-conscious that I would be made fun of. I realized that the fear we had was all in my head, it's not situation where you couldn't do anything about it, it's a situation where you have the choice to get over your fear to pursue self-appreciation and the feeling of accomplishment than having your fear eat you up. Fear is nothing but a obstacle that is keeping you from being the person you've imagined yourself that you wanted to be. It's better to have the "oh wells" rather than the "what ifs".

Lily

Dear High School Senior Lily, First of all pay attention in your SAT prep classes, try harder and get a better score! This will open up so many more opportunities such as more college acceptance letters. Secondly, research the college you are going to and do not pick a college due to location and proximity to the beach. Find a college that has a major that suits your passion. Thirdly, follow your passion. Do not go into the route of business and economics (although lucrative, you will be miserable); go into Health Sciences and get A’s so you can get a scholarship into the Baylor Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. Save your future self the trouble of going back to school while working a full time job trying to obtain the proper prerequisites to apply to graduate school. Fourthly, get your masters right away. Do not be tempted by graduation and getting a “real job” by ending a few classes short. Lastly, forget about popularity and trying to fit in. Be yourself, meet new people, be comfortable with you are, explore new hobbies, don’t be afraid of anything and have fun. Sincerely, 2015 Lily

Sarah

Breathe in, breathe out. You'll be okay. It's fine to be undecided, college is meant for you to discover what you actually want to do. Enroll in classes that seem interesting (no, economics is not interesting, please save yourself from that one), and eventually you'll be able to sort through your likes and dislikes. That's the easy part. After that comes the hard part: so you've found that you love English, now what are you going to do with that degree? This is where college is much more helpful than high school--there are so many opportunities that will help you pin down future career ideas. Make use of the campus career center and academic advising--they know what they're talking about. And don't be afraid to apply for internships, even though you may not feel qualified, the experience you will gain will be invaluable to help form your future decisions. It's scary not knowing where you're going in life, but college is meant to guide you through it, and I promis you'll come out a bit more knowledgable and a bit more confident. Enjoy your time there--breathe!

Ryan

Don't be afraid to be different. Be who you are and celebrate the uniqueness you bring to life. Everyone in high school is so caught up in fitting in and being like everyone else. Allow yourself to be unique in college. Try different things and open yourself up to what the world has to offer. There are so many experiences to be had and you don't want to reget later in life that you held yourself back from trying things because the people around you weren't comfortable with them. College will expose you to many different lifestyles and cultures and will be such a great time to experience a small slice of what is out there.

Martin-John

Overall, I would say to take advantage of all college has to offer, but if I could go back in time, I would tell my high school self not to rush into what you may think are your career plans and goals, but rather take time to learn and be true to yourself. In other words, do not just go with the rest of your peers and head to the best reputation college that accepted you. At 18 years old, you may think you know everything, but there is still much to learn about who they are and what they want; I am still learning about myself years after college. For instance, I should have taken the academic environment and rigors into consderation. That would have allowed me more time to socialize and perhaps make lifelong friends. It also would have allowed me to join clubs, activities, and organizations allowing me to really find my passion and purpose. I also realized I preferred smaller class sizes where I could actually interact with and learn from professors. Now that I know myself better, I can definitely choose the best school that will meet my needs and goals in the future.

Alex

If I were to give advice to my past self, I would tell myself to have done more work and looked for scholarships beyond than what my high school was showing to students. I would say that because college is more expensive than I had thought, and that the scholarships I had done aren't even enough to cover me for a whole academic year. In addition to that, I would also tell myself to do scholarships in the summer. Non-scholarship wise, I would tell myself to brace for the sickness that comes with the transition of moving away from home and the sudden difficulties in academics. All the AP classes taken during high school only count as elective units, so I had to relearn everything that I had learned in a year in an AP class in one quarter during college. But most importantly, take extra care of my health. Because I was sick nearly the whole quarter, I could not go out too much because I was forbidded by the doctor to exercise, and I had to make and pay for several doctor visits because of me falling ill. So, work harder and bring medicine to school!

Crystal

If I was allowed to go back in time in order to give some advice to my high school senior self, I would first emphasize the advice that everyone always states, "DO NOT PROCRASINATE!" Then I would advise myself to keep my notes or study guides so that I would have the chance to be able to review the basics of the subjects that are discussed and taught in college. I would also advise myself to communicate with the teachers and advisors about colleges and scholarships. Then I would tell myself to properly research the colleges and ask friends that are already in college about the classes offered on campus. Lastly, there would be a moment where I would lecture myself about the importance of saving money because money important.

Michelle

My cousin is a current high school senior and I will pass along my words of wisdom when she graduates next June. It’s been 9 years since I’ve graduated high school and I've learned a tremendous amount. Looking back, I would tell myself (and any high schooler) these things: 1) Confidence in yourself is crucial. Before you are able to convince anyone else of your abilities, you must first believe in yourself. Self criticism and negativity will put you at a disadvantage, so change your mindset from “I can’t” to “I am.” 2) Academics and grades are important, but it’s not everything. Be well-rounded: find internships, improve your social skills, and network with as many people as possible. Continue to challenge and strengthen yourself intellectually, physically, mentally, and emotionally - it’s all about balance. 3) Failure is part of the journey. If you aren’t failing, then you aren’t trying. Do not get discouraged when things don’t go according to plan because there are multiple routes to success. In whatever you do, be kind to yourself. Look back at your accomplishments and failures to see how far you’ve come. Stay humble.

Beatrice

First, I would tell myself to be more active in school in terms of extracurricual activities. It looks good to colleges and you get to make new friends in the process. To study more and study better. "Just getting by" is an easy way to go but it's not the best way. Forming good study habits will help in the long run. APPLY to as MANY scholarships as possible. One of my greatest regrets is not taking advantage of the time and opportunites I had to get free money because college is expensive and loans are stressful. Most importantly, I'd tell myself to spend as much time with my dad as possible. I spent a lot of time with my mom and never enough wtih my dad and by the time it was time for me to move out, it hit me hard just how much I was going to miss him.

Julie

Julie, do not be scared about the future or what it has to bring. You are capable of great things in life and all you have to do is believe in yourself even if that is something cliche to do. Be okay with who you are and love yourself. Don't stress too much about school because it's just high school. You end up doing great in the end so don't worry. In relationships, don't be so willing to believe the worst in people. There is good in everyone and all you have to do is find it. So, do not be scared to put yourself out there and stop shutting down on those who are willing to make you a part of their life. Those who accept your flaws and mistakes are the ones worth keeping around. Do not focus on trying to make other people happy and try to find happiness on your own terms. Finally, there are times when you believed that you deserve the worst. Stop carrying around that type of mentality. You have made your mistakes and it is essential that you forgive yourself. You'll be okay.

Brittany

I spent four years in community college after graduating high school, because I left clueless about what career I wanted to pursue and wanted to gain a sense of direction before attending a university. I spent two years at community college completing general education requirements before I discovered my passion for biology, and then another two doing biology prerequirements for transfer. If I could give myself high school self a piece of advice, it would be to not feel underwhelmed with my choice to attend community college. At the time, most of my classmates were sending off applications to impressive schools, and I only sent out the one. Even though I spent a long time at community college, I've never regretted it. I was given so many opportunities during my time there that have made me into a better student and a better member of the community. I had the chance to tutor biology on campus for two years, I got to work in the gardens on campus, I got to explore all kinds of majors, and I don't think I would have gotten to do that if I had went to a four year college right away.

Madai

Stop caring about what other people think. Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because you see their many achievements and you see you have none does not mean they are better than you as a person. If you envy them so much then stop being lazy and learn to be like them. Stop slacking off and procrastinating. Complete everything way before the deadline and don't be afraid to ask questions or talk to other students, chances are they are as clueless or as scared as you. Don't be afraid; take chances.

Alexandra

Having come from a mostly Hispanic and low income community, I was not ready for the amount of diversity in the student population I encountered at UC Irvine. The experience of being around people from different cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds was really new to me. Although I always have been, I would advise myself to be open-minded. The best way to learn is to accept all new ideas. I would also advise myself to accept the sacrifices I will have to make, such as financially. I believe I must do what has to be done, whether it may be loans or picking up a job, because all sacrifices will be worth it in the end. Most importantly, my advice would be that everything happens for a reason. I will have to make decisions that might seem permanently binding but, after consulting with advisors, the answers to those big decisions will lie inside of me. I would remind myself that I know what is best for my own future. If I could go back and give myself some advice, I would tell high school senior Alexandra to not be nervous about what is to come in college.

Tristine

Knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would have encouraged myself to take more challenging courses, especially AP courses, during my senior year and I would have told myself to apply for scholarships much sooner. In addition, I would have told myself to set aside certain materials that are necessary in my dorm instead of just giving them away, to apply to more UC schools, and to cherish all the activities and events throughout senior school year because high school will end before I know it.

Darlena

Do not get so cocky about your high school accomplishments. Most of them do not matter once you step foot on campus. This gives you an opportunity to start over and make a name for yourself again. Do not get lazy, so join a few clubs and organizations to have fun and give you something to look forward to during the week. You may also think that since you did so well in high school, college classes will be a breeze. It won't, not because the work is any harder (some of it is, though) it's mostly because the grading is tougher, so you have to step up the work anyway. Do not underestimate the professor's ability to make you life a living hell, but also do not underestimate your own ability to overcome that.

Leah

If i could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself a number of things. First, I would tell myself to avoid all distractions of any kind, because they will affect your academic performance and self-value. Second, I would tell myself to work harder and do the best I can do and to not compare myself to others because my abilities and talents are far different from the rest. Thirdly I would tell myself to believe in myself and to not doubt myself because everything is possible regardless of the obstacles because hard work and suffering always pays off. Fourthly I would tell myself to join a sport, join clubs and volunteer at a hospital because later you will regret it later when you are filling out college applications and scholarship applications when you have nothing. Finally, I would tell myself to always sit in the front of the class the very first seat if possible or close, ask all the questions that I have and anything that I am not sure about and study until you understand everything that you must know and also do not procrastinate at all.

Aleczander

I would tell myself to just let it happen, but get a job and save my moeny wisely.

Sarah

Stop using the internet so much. Do all of your assignments for your classes. Study for AP tests sooner.

Haley

I was never someone who let anyone down, never someone who gave up on people, sports, academics, etc. But when high school came around, I really did start to give up on all those things. It became difficult for me to fit in, be myself, and not get judged for it. I played 3 sports and took as many AP classes as I possibly could. Let's just say I LOVED to overachieve. I was also really competitive, and sometimes, that affected my friendships/relationships with others. Now that I am in college, I see that a lot of those things hurt me, and a lot of those things helped me. Going into college I wasn't thinking that the people weren't going to change much, and that things weren't going to get any easier for me. So if I were to go back in time, I would tell myself to keep at the hard work. The people you went to high school with will probably not even talk to you when you go to college, and the people who matter most are the ones sitting on the couch watching movies with you right now.

Justine

I would tell myself to start researching ways to improve my studies and experiences in college. For example, if I want a job, I should have started looking for opportunities in the campus that were being offered for the fall quarter. Also, I would tell my high school senior self that I should continue researching the different majors and job opportunities in the schools that I am looking to get into. It is always better to know more about the outcomes and information of the educations you will be recieving before actually going through the education. And finally, when I have already chosen what college I will be heading to, I would look for the various major and minor options that are being offered at said college. I regret not knowing about the classes that I have to take before going to college, as well as the different minors that are offered.

Christopher

Even though you heard college experiences from your teachers, friends, and counselor, you only heard them. You haven't experienced them yourself. Don't think that you are ready for college because you are not. You cannot procrastinate. If you want to have fun, then learn to manage time. Time management is key to every student's success because then you can balance homework, readings, exercise, and hanging out with your future friends. They're great by the way. You must think about what you want in life. Don't feel pressured into having a major just because everyone else has one or knows what they want to do in life because chances are, they will change. The majority of students change their major at least once before junior year. You changed your major! College is a process where you discover yourself, learn new things, and build a social network of professors, colleagues, and friends. You should get involved on campus and pursue your interests because then you are just wasting your time and money away. That reminds me, do not waste money. If you're going to try something, then commit to it such as a future tennis class...

Thao

As a high school senior, I underestimated the college life thinking that I would get a 4.0 GPA and that college might be something that I can handle. If I could go back in life, I would tell my younger self to keep having great aspirations but also to take on college with caution because this is not something that I've ever experienced before. The best advice I can give to myself is to learn how to balance one's personal life and education and to not let one overwhelm the other, but above all, I need to be happy.

Georgina

Study a lot more in high school, aim high, and put your best foot forward. Compared to college, high school is a walk through the park. Take the work load more seriously, study for your AP exams and the SATs, even study for the little quizzes you get in class, get into the habit of studying! College emphasizes midterms and finals much more than high school. Give yourself goals and do your best to complete the goal you set for yourself, trust me, it will help with the transition. Ultimately, remember to always do your best. College isn't easy, it will push you down and stretch you past your limits, but do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of failure, see it as a lesson in disguise, learn from that lesson and try again. There is not a thing you cannot handle, Gina.

Shanae'

Stick to your goals...you have time to party and have fun. Work hard and become successful now so that you can enjoy your life in your thirties. Things will get harder in this economy in a few years so use all of your opportunities to your advantage while you can.

Jimmy

Hey, stupid! Yea, I'm talking to you; do not waste this opportunity that NC Wesleyan College is giving you. Once you move to Rocky Mount , NC do not become lazy, start skipping classes or staying up all night. However, I must first tell you, please see that mom gets seen by a doctor before you go off to college. Maybe if she gets a full examination, the doctors can treat the cancer, before it gets to far advanced. All or her health problems start in the fall of 2001, hopefully with this new knowledge, you can help her even more than you could ever know at this moment in time. Please don't worry about the small things, for God is in the small things. You have people around that can help you through anything, all you have to do is ask. The transition to college is easy, the only thing you have to remember is to go to class, and get some sleep from time to time.

Jasper

Dear young Jasper, Hey buddy, I’m you from the future. I’m finishing up my second semester of my second year in college. Since I’ve been in college, I received a 4.0 my first semester and maintain a 3.38 GPA so far. I know you’re nervous about what the future is going to bring, but hold your head up because God has a great calling on our life. Don’t let anything or anyone distract you from doing what you have to do in school. Come on Jay, we have to keep our priorities in order: God first, then school, then football. You can’t be a student athlete without being a student first, so handle your business. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do because we haven’t made a 4.0 since elementary, but we did it. That example should be motivation all on its own. This is hard to say, but you’re going to have to let go some of the people in your life in order to go forth in life. You’ve got a lot to learn. Don’t run from it. Love, Future Jasper

Alejandro

It is tough when you start out, trying to get used to your schedule, locating classes, and getting used to the workload. Becoming to involved in keeping those balanced won't do much to help your own sanity. With that I would certainly go with the cliche but true, "Don't be afraid to be yourself." A lot of college is about finding yourself and setting the desirable niche where you can grow as an individual and develop a strong stance. Follow what you want and don't be afraid about an "in-group" , because there aren't any in college. It is important not to mold yourself into someone you want people to like because there are plenty of people that will come and go, but the ones that like you for who you are will stay and most likely for the rest of your life. Don't be afraid in the beginning to show people who you are. College is an all around learning experience so you need to make sure you set aside time to learn about yourself.

Eric

Be prepared to defend and adapt yourself and beliefs to the new people you'll be meeting in college. Although you may see your old friends from high school, you will have to make the same transition they are going to have to make. But don't worry, a lot of people have a somewhat hard time transitioning and adjusting to college life, so that should make for some conversation starters for you to make new friends. Also, when you do start adjusting and established a group of friends, be prepared to micromanage your finances so you can save as much money as you can while going out and buying a ton of stuff. With that said, having a job will alleviate this concern as you will have a (hopefully) steady flow of money coming in so you can save or spend that money. As with any other fine educational institution, study hard and don't worry about not knowing what you want to major in. You'll have a considerable amount of chances to explore your options before having to declare a major (or maybe even more than one major, who knows?). Lastly, don't stress too much!

Amanda

More than anything, I would advise my former self to choose her school more carefully. I spent two years at a big University Wisconsin school before transferring to my new Media Arts College, at which point, my college fund was gone and my credits didn't transfer anyways. I went to this big university because I liked it, not because it was the best for my major or my funds. Don't rush into a decision on your major - it's okay to not know what you want to do at 19; just be sure you don't waste two years and 48,000 dollars deciding - go to a community college, live at home, work while attending school. Something, ANYTHING, to ensure you won't be completely broke when you finally find your major and the right school. Check into the schools around here, think about getting an apartment later with some people - you don't have to live at home forever, though free food and laundry service is wonderful too... Plus, you can keep in touch with your friends from second grade much better from home - who knows, maybe they'll help you figure out your next move!

Merav

Choose the school that will challenge you. Choose the school that will give you the opportunity to grow. Don't be afraid to go further from home, but staying closer to home is not something to be embarrassed of, either. Concentrate on your studies and ATTEND CLASS

Katlyn

Although I have only been graduated for less than a year, I find my take of college so far has left me with a very different, but strong mindset. If I could go back to my senior year I would advise my self to keep my chin up because high school is not for everyone, but college can be. College is truly what you make it, the opportunities you take and relationships you make will follow you for the rest of your life. College is personalized; it is about you, your education, and making something of yourself! The only person who has the power to hold you back from your life's desires is yourself. Do not let that happen! You, only you have that power over your life. In the end, if you are not happy with your life's story, you will only have yourself to blame. So be brave, be empowered, be constantly inspired. Most of all, never let anyone hold you back from all that you want from the world, the only way they will ever get that power is if you personally hand it to them. Cherish that power and hand it to no one.

Janet

As a high school senior, I never took the opportunity to refine my test techniques, reading routines or improving my writing. Strengthening these skills in high school would have given me a greater preparation and less of a struggle in college. I did not take advantage of the resources available for me to enhance my study skills in high school that could have helped me better succeed as a college student. Getting more involved with academics would have greatly changed my experience at the beginning of college; for example, going to after school programs, such as workshops, that offered tips, guides, and help on school work. Or asking for advice from my teachers on how to improve. If I could go back as a high school senior, I would advise myself to invest time and effort to gain more effective studying strategies.

Leslie

Enjoy the time you had at home. You are going to miss your family greatly. Don't take them for granted. Always remember to trust in the Lord. Because he has great plans for you. Just enjoy everything from home because soon you are going to be far away from everything that you know. Also your leadership skills will be put to the test while in college so practice them in high school. And don't forget to have fun.

Kayleen

Be outgoing and be the first to strike up a conversation with someone. People will remember that you were nice and friendly, and will gain a good impression of you. Remember, everyone is just as shy or afraid as you are. Therefore, just be comfortable in your own skin. People can sense confidence, and it's always attractive. At the beginning of the week, write down all of the assignments that are due and break it up into manageable daily chunks. Find a club that is centered around your favorite activity, or something that you've always wanted to try. You'll have fun doing something you love with people who also share your interests. You will also have fun trying something new and gaining meaningful memories out of it. Just because you aren't dorming doesn't mean you can't have fun or be social too. Be sure to take risks and not spend all of your time studying. College is a time of learning and self discovery.

Reyes

If I could back and give myself some advice it would be most to learn how to manage my time better and to never give up and lose track of where I came from and what I have accomplished. I would start of by saying "Reyes, you had a great experience in High School and will soon begin a new chapter of your life. Do not be discouraged if you are away from your family, and if you ever feel that you are alone you are not." That would be the biggest advice I would give myself. I would say this to myself so I know that no matter how hard school may get, I can accomplish anything with a little bit of perseverance, support, and time management. I would tell myself to use everything I have been through to fuel my passions, and to overcome any obstacle that is thrown my way. You have made it this far and can accomplish so much more. You are never alone, your family is proud of you. NO matter what happens win or lose, pass or fail, you tried and that is what you need to do in order to succeed.

Jane

Hey Jane, I'm telling you this all from experience so please listen to me. You have to do better and work harder, way harder, than you did this year. Don't expect that you will get the grade you are getting now. Give yourself a huge goal, but always remember that it's okay to not be successful in the first try. Also make a lot of friends on the first few weeks, because they will help you enjoy college life by relieving your stress. GPA is important, but stress can destroy your GPA also. Always remember that you are not the most stupid girl in the class, so ask a lot of questions. Good luck!

Emeline

If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would have so much to say. I would tell myself that nothing is impossible that there is so much change and so much at stake but in the end everything turns out alright as long as you do your best. So I would tell myself to prepare for the physical and mental strain that will come but to never give up and always keep your head up. Things will get tough and life may throw you down but always get back up. I would also tell myself to always remeber that family is always there and that family is very important. When you transition from high school to actually living on your own it can be overwhelming and a bit scary but be open with others and they will open up to you. Also it will be very challenging once you enter a university so do not give up when the going gets tough. I woild also tell myself to try my best and to study as much as I can and to seek help. Do not change your determination that you have always carried.

Daniel

If I could give my high school senior self advice on what to do to transition smoothly would be to do all the work as quickly as you can. It can be difficult but learn how to time manage and push the things that distract you a bit farther because you will always have time for that later. I would also advise to stay healthy fit because you have way more energy to do things and it builds confidence. To try the craziest things you can because you might like them and it will expand you to different values and beliefs. To not dwell to much on the little things like bad grade or a fight with a friend because those are moments you could have had done so much that would make you smile. However, the most important piece of advice you can get would be to understand that; all people have different thoughts of things and, the best thing you can do is be quiet and listen to what they have to say. It is wise to listen and think to everything people say you always learn the most that way.

Nafisa

I would have told my highschool self to tune out the distractions and focus on studying, getting a high GPA, and doing as well as I could in my classes in addition to doing extracurricular and volunteer work to better prepare myself for college. I would have made sure I reasearched all my options and aquired the information I needed to transition and apply to schools. I would have encouraged myself to reach out to advisors and counselors for advice. Last but not least, I would have planned early, had a clear path in mind, and worked hard to get to it rather than leave myself to figure it all out without help as I have had to do.

Jessica

If I could go back in time and speak to my high school self, I would have a mountain of advice to give. To begin with, in high school it was a lot easier to get by without trying your hardest, or completing your assignments to the best of your ability. The main transition that I had was associated with studying. In college, studying is the number one aspect behind being successful. During high school I wish I would have studied a lot more often then I did, allowing me to be able to learn about many different techniques and different ways in going about test taking. Aside from that, I would have also advised myself to do a lot more reading, in order to be a little bit more familiar with the work load of reading that is expected from in college, and not feel like it was something that I would not be able to manage. All in all, high school is a lot different then college, and doing as much as you can do to prepare yourself during your high school years will make your college experience a lot more enjoyable.

Christopher

When I was still in high school, my friend (a junior at CSULB) told me that as long as you study, do your readings, do your homework, and show up in your classes, then you should be fine in college. He told me that in high school, his GPA was below a 2.0, but when he studied in college, his GPA rose over that. I assumed that I would retain my studious personality and do all my readings and be the best I could be since high school; however, during my time in college so far, I barely did my readings, committed as much effort into my seldom homework, and I did not study as much. I may have passed all my classes with a 2.5 GPA, but I lacked what my high school self had, which was the willingness to try and be studious. So, my advice to my high school self as a senior would be to not give up your study habits, seek help from your future TAs and professors, and maintain a balance between studying and socializing. Just don't have too much fun, save most of your time for studying.

Merilyn

I would tell myself not to take a semester off keep going through. Making sure your classes are close together so you don’t lose motivation trough out the day and end up skipping your last class. Don’t take on too many credits every class needs so many hours of study and homework time, it is easy to over load yourself. Make sure every assignment makes it in your calendar, and place alerts on your phone to remind you that progress should be made on important assignments. This will help you avoid cramming and not turning in A+ work. The transition from high school to college is daunting but adding pregnancy and child birth makes it ten times worse. I would tell myself to take my time and think every decision through in and out of school, every action has a consequence. Starting college, becoming a mother and working, is not an impossible task just one that will place school on the back burner. The road will be long and hard but will time and lots of help it can be completed. Staying positive and knowing that all the late nights and long hours will be worth it.

Nicole

It is all right to fight for your dreams, 17-year-old Nicole. You struggle to fit a mold that has been prematurely casted. Doctor, docto, doctor. A single but potent word that has been drilled into your head. It speaks of filial piety, deference, and Ivy Leagues. Do not be timid. This is your life. It does not belong to your mother, your father, or your aunts and uncles. This is a journey meant for one. Pursue what you desire, and you will develop a thirst to learn. Molecules, organic compounds, and enzymes do not capture your interest and imagination. No ? you seek to grasp the complexities of the human mind. You will attempt to conform at first: You will sit in lecture, eyes glazed, mind wandering. You will not learn. Follow the path that you wish to take, and you will be happy. It may be a path that does not guarantee a high salary, but you will learn, and that is what I wish to focus on. The purpose of life is to grow and to learn, after all. Take the path that is less traveled, 17-year-old Nicole. You will not regret.

Kimberly

College life, a stepping stone to a whole new world of adulthood. As a high school senior, I regret not researching campus programs and opportunites. Although many enter college with the intent of "discovering themselves," I ended up settling for what I could afford and not what was best for myself. I wish I knew how affordable it was to utilize grants, scholarships, and work-study to pay for colleges that could have provided a new life above and beyond my wildest dreams. But regardless of the decisions I have made, I wish I knew as a high school senior that the campus I chose did not define my future. Each colleges has its own set of opportunities and the students are given the freedom to take advantage of them or not. I waited until my third year to get involved and I regret it, I wish I knew then that college is what you make of it regardless of where you go. So have an open mind, make new friends, and enjoy yourself. College is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, but its your responsibility to take that initiative.

Vianca

If i was given the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making transitions, the best advice I could give myself would be, to not take advanatge of what teachers have to offer, what they teach, and of making great use of the time to do more academic work. I would tell myself to focus more on classes and get as many extra classes to help me prepare for college. I woudl also not take for granted what teachers teach us actually take my time to learn the material because it shows back up in college. I would not try to just rush through highschool and graudate, because then I would not be prepared for the wokr load that is to come. I would advice myself to challenge myself with mangaing my time and my workload, and ofcourse, not proscrastinating. I would also make sure that I know that i want to do and not waste so much of my college time trying to figure it out, because it can affect your time left here in college.

Christina

I would tell myself to not be afraid. I remember how concerned I was with acting "right" and dressing "right" and doing all the "right" things. Now, having been in college for 3 full years, I would tell myself that I would find better friends and be happier if I just let my personality be my own and didn't concern myself with what others thought of me. I also remember being afraid of joining new clubs or activities. I wish I had jumped in with anything that ever interested me so that I could have been making the most of my time at college learning things I will never get the change to again. For example, now that I am loving the sailing class I signed up for, I wish I had started sooner and could go even further with developing my sailing abilities. Overall, I think approaching college fearlessly and exploring all your interests is the only way to make the most of an incredibly special time in your life and I wish I could have started off with this mentality so I could've done even more.

Kristen

Kristen, I know that you are in an adolesant state right now, but you must know how important education is going to be for your future. You will end up graduating from a police academy which is great but you need more to satisfy your craving for education as you get older. You will have a mortgage, two beatiful boys that adore you and a dog named Jelly. Your sons father will be deported and you will have to be strong and do everything for yourself. Bills, homemaking, emotional support for your children, working full time and school. You should take the time while you have no responsibility to take on the responsibility of school. You are intellegent and level headed and can do this 100% It takes a load off of you after being laid off after 6 years of dedication, having back up education. Your radiology dream will come true! Hard work and dedication! Make sure you study because its very difficult to do so with a 1 year old slamming on the laptop you are using to study. Waiting 13 years is tough to transition into a full time college education so take this seriously and succeed!

Narineh

If I had the ability to go back in time as a high school student, I'd tell myself to save my money and spend it wisely. I recently realized how high the costs of education is. If I saved all the money I spent for prom, I would have had much more than I do now, and I'd be less worried about making ends meet during the school year. I'd also tell myself in the beginning of the year to try my absolute hardest and be grateful for the free books we have access to unlike in college where I have to pay over 200 dollars for my chemistry book.

Randi

Look, I know that you didn't think much of the 3-6 essays you were required to write weekly for your AP courses -- trust me, though, that practice was al worth it. Classes at UC Irvine are much faster paced than you think; those AP courses were just getting you ready. If I could give you some advice, past-me, I would say to take those essays more seriously than you did. Practice writing advanced essays in short amounts of time is hard to come by now that you're out of school, and it is a skill you need. The only other advice I can offer you is just to relax. Aside from transitioning from a semstre to a quarter system, the transition to UC Irvine was actually quite smooth. Things do work out.

Ashley

Ashley, right now you feel a strong sense of purpose at your high school; you feel that you are well-rounded and that you have the knowledge to lead people. Do not lose this. College is a different ball park, but the same rules will still apply. You still posses everything you need to succeed in college; not just with academics, but with your work and your social life as well. Just remember that if you put in just a little more effort into everything you do, it really does make a huge difference in your life and in other's lives. No work you do will ever go unnoticed; even when you think people don’t appreciate what you do. Practice how you perform, because this too will be noticed. As well, your perspective on the world will change. Embrace change. Things will never be as worse as they seem. When you are down remember you have a purpose, and you still have the knowledge to lead people. Overtime, you gain the strength to lead them, and yourself.