University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

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


I would tell myself not to stress out to much about college life. Yes, it's different in many ways such as having to leave home for a long period of time and taking more responsibility for your actions, but chances are that you will meet people there that you will come to consider your second family, and they will be there to support you through the tough situations that you're in. People think college is a time where you have to start thinking about your career and how you're going to live the rest of your life, but you should also know that you won't be alone. There are other students experiencing some of the same struggles as you are, and together, you guys can make it through. Plus, being away from family and parents will allow you to truly figure out who you are as a person and what you really want to do with your life without someone over your shoulder telling you what is right or wrong. College can be stressful, but in time you'll get used to it and it will a period of your life that you'll never forget.


The sleepless nights of high school are worth it towards your GPA. This GPA will be asked in most college applications, and can either help you into one or be the decision that won't get you into your dream school. It is essensial that you take into responsibility and I mean it. What everyone says it is true, colleges will judge you on what you did throughout the high school years. Accomplish something big, get involved in school. Enjoy those years because they will go by fast and it is free education and you will miss that.


If I could go back in time I would tell myself to not just push my comfort zone, but to break through it: to make new friends around every corner, and to get involved with several different clubs, not just one. I would also tell myself to develop better study habits in high school, because the way you study in high school is vastly different than the way you study in college. I would tell myself to spend more time with my family, because it is really hard to leave them in September. I would tell myself to call them more often once I got here, and maybe even text Dad out of the blue because, believe it or not, he misses me. I would tell myself that the macaron business is worth it, that Maggie's Macarons succeeds, and that all the time put into it paid off. I might also encourage myself to get a second summer job to help ease the burden of college expenses. But if my past self didn't listen to anything I had to say, I would be fine, because life right now is how it was meant to be.


Expand your mind and open your heart wider than you thought possible; the world is unimaginably full and richer than you know. Be a sponge and allow yourself to absorb every last drop of your experiences. There will joy, heartbreak, a dismantling and rebuilding of your identity, a rediscovery of your values, and endless opportunities for self- and other-exploration. Fear not novelty; expose yourself to possibility, question everything, accept the challenge of uncovering the answers, and watch yourself grow in ways you had not previously considered. You will struggle; you will feel lost, you will feel alone, you will question your journey and the destination, and you will doubt your ability to achieve success. Take comfort in knowing that everyone around you has felt, does feel, or will feel this way from time to time. Embrace these struggles, as they will teach you more about your strength and inner resources than anything else. Welcome change and transformation with open arms, but remember who you are and do not compromise yourself. Above all, be proud. You have already achieved more than you realize, and if you want to, you will thrive in this new world of endless possibilities.


I would tell my high school senior self to take advantage of the many interesting courses the school has to offer, and not feel so pressured to decide on a major in my first year. Finding a good balance between academics and a social life is important, and first year classes should still be taken seriously. The ultimate would be to get the best grades in the first year while also forming incredible friendships. The way to do this is to hang out with people who share both your work ethic and your need to relax and have fun. What's more, going to a Professor's office hours really helps improve your grade, mostly because he/she will be more inclined to help you if he/she sees that you made an effort to do well. Lastly, college is about finding yourself and figuring out who you want to become, so go on more spontaneous adventures, befriend different types of people, and learn as much as you can about yourself and the world you are a part of.


Plan everything ahead and make lists. Don't be afriad to ask for help and feeling overwhelmed is totally normal. My biggest advice would be to create a support group to help emotionally and academically with the struggles ahead. Keep breathing and keep working, it's worth it.


If I could go back, I would tell my high school self to take advantage of all the campus resources. It took me a few years to figure out that going to the tutoring center, and speaking to counselors helped me advance in school and raise my GPA. They are there to help, and you definitely don't have to do anything alone. Take the help, the advice, and use it to your advantage because this WILL help you succeed. Everything can be done if you set your mind to it.


Never be afraid to ask questions about anything you are unsure of. Even if you feel like it is the silliest question in the world, it may be the same question your peers are thinking about. Do not allow yourself to feel intimidated by your classmates or professors. They are there for the sam reason you are, to achieve their lifelong aspirations. So please seek out help from your professors and teacher's assistants, they are there to help you not confuse you. College is practice for the real world and failing only teaches you to not make the same mistake twice. So do not be afraid to take the time and ask yourself, "Why am I in college?". There is nothing more unsettling than forgetting your goals and how you came to be who you are. It will help reevaluate your ambitions and your motivations for success. Attending the social events and seminars on campus is where you will get a hands on understanding of the major contributions your professors and peers are making to the academic world. Most importantly join a student-run club or organization that will help you unwind and create relationships that last a lifetime.


The high school experience is difficult for every adolescent simply because it is a tug-of-war between finding yourself as an individual and conforming in order to fit in with your peers. During that time you don't know what you want, you haven't experienced enough in your life to understand your purpose, but our expectations from our teachers and parents remain high. I attended Los Altos High School in the heart of the Silicon Valley, an area known for its wealth and successes. My family however lives on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to income and accomplishments. Going to high school every day with kids who had it all was challenging. Looking back at it all I would tell myself that it means absolutley nothing! Materialistic items and striving for perfection is all useless in the long run. High school is a time for you to enjoy your youth. Embrace every moment of it because when you go to college all you will take with you is the memories you made. Be positive and don't let what you don't have bring you down. Appreciate every moment and chance you are given.


The first thing I would talk about is the extreme differences in environments. I grew up in South Los Angeles, near Inglewood. UC Santa Cruz is right in the middle of the forest. It is very different. I would tell myself, "Aneshia, enjoy the silence of the forest. Don't be afraid to explore just because you've lived your whole life in the city." Another thing I would talk about is the work load. The work load at UC Santa Cruz can be overwhelming, especially in the quarter system. I would tell myself sternly, "Don't get cocky! Just because you were an A student in high school doesn't mean exceptional work will come naturally in college. Learn to accept failures, and learn from those failures. What's important is not how many times you fall down, it 's learning how to get up every single time."


What you will get from your experience here at UC Santa Cruz will be exactly what you put into it. Understand that you must be the one to reach out to the professors, that you must be the one to find internships over the summer, and you must be the one to reach out to any of the clubs or campus organizations. The resources are there to excel in any field you wish, but you must be the one to take the time and make the effort to find the resources that are available for you to succeed. And, no matter what, don’t stop believing that you can pass any and all of your classes, don’t ever doubt that you are smart enough to major in engineering, for at times it will be hard, almost unbearably so but you will succeed and accomplish amazing things.


Dear Josh: I know you are pretty exhausted from your intensive high school career at Lowell High School, especially in your junior year, and yet your hard work and altrusim regarding the significant community service you have done as well as the helpfulness to your classmates and youir you8nger brother will serve you well. Before you leave home, let Mom and Dad help you be more independent - it will really help when you are away from them at college. Take on more personal responsibility to obtain healthy food, do your laundry, and keep youirself as organized as you can. Don't forget to take youir Ritalin and Strattera for your ADHD, even on the weekends, because it really helps you stay focused and orgasnized, even if you think you are not as outgoing or funny when you are taking them. Plan to continue the friendships you made at Lowell with those students who are also going to attend UCSC with you. Consider asking Kent to be your roommate, since you won't have any idea of the kind of roommates you get or how well you will get along with them otherwise. Be welll and take good care of yourself!


I would tell myself that I should always trust my gut instinct. If a subject in interesting I need to pursue that to the best of my ability. That I need to make friends with my professors and have a simple chat with them. That as long as you focus and put your mind to it you can fly beyond your expectations. I would tell myself that I need to be myself more to really enjoy my life and that Santa Cruz will allow me to do that. I would tell myself to go talk with other students and make friends. I would tell myself that it is okay to give strangers a smile because you just might make their day and getting a smile in return will make yours.


I would have taken more extra curriculars and been more active in my community. I would have also taken a lot more AP classes. It would have been best for me to not be so stressed out and not have worried so much about school and where I would end up in University. However, I have greatly learned from my mistakes and do not truely regret any of my decisions. I honestly am fine with how things ended up, and how my life has ended up. I love University of California Santa Cruz and would not have chosen any other place.


If i knew than what i now know. Yes this is a question i frequently ask myself. And to be honest the one most important thing i would tell myself is not to be embarresed and dont be shy. Reason being is that you are not the only one with questions. There are more like you with a lot of doubt. Remember no question is a stupid question. Stupid is not to ask and always be lost and not know whats going on. Also dont worry about what your friends are doing or going to do. they are not going to help you pay the bills later, and they are not always going to be there when you need them. To tell you what will be there? Well guess what? Your education will be. There is nothing or no one that can take that away from you.


As a college student now I have learned many things of which I lacked the knowlege to back as a high school student. The information I know now are things I could of easily figured out when I was in high school, but to which I never knew because I didn't want to take the time to ask my counselor how I could start preparing for college. The embarrasment and low self-esteem blocked me from learning and getting informed, and now I regret it because this has now put me in the spot as to where I recieve no financial aid what so ever, when I could of easily over came my emotional feelings of embarrasment and spoke to my counselor. The best advice I would of given myself was that instead of spending time with friends and being embarrased I should have met with my counselor at last once a week to prepare for college, and more than anything to figure out how I was going to cover my financial charges.


Remember when me and mom sat in the back of the classrom and I began to translate for her. Remember how as I spoke people turned their heads with their eyes pointing at us irritated, hearing my voice in the background, but I had to do it. This was a milestone for me, for us; it was the first time mom had taken a day off to come to parent’s night. In the back of my mind I knew mom was being criticized, but I learned English so she wouldn’t fight ignorance and racism by herself. Rrember that night when we returned home I cried thinking of those faces looking at her with disgust; that day I knew I had to do my best in school to prove not the world, but my mother, that I could become a face people would look at with pride not repugnance. Every day stereotypes try to dictate who you are, but you are always ready to overcome anything others bring upon yourself. You were the Hispanic kid less likely to succeed, yet you were the one who proved that people cannot be judged based on how they.


All right, listen up soldier. I mean, senior! The minute you leave for college, your drill sergeants (your parents) will cease to be your commanding officers. Their authority to make you do push-ups or scrub toilets when you get lousy grades will be stripped away. Once you leave home, the external scholastic motivation your sergeants gave you in high school will vanish faster than a stray bullet. This means you’ll have to become your OWN college drill sergeant. I don’t care how much of an academic wimp you think you are. Even kids with featherweight brains can do well in college and reach their educational goals. Just remember these three things: 1) Motivate yourself. Believe that you can reach your goals and then seek out people (like tutors and advisors) who will help you succeed; 2) don’t procrastinate. Bad grades on late assignments are instant enthusiasm killers; and 3) arrange your educational goals in steps, starting with the most attainable ones. You can’t win a war in a day and earning your degree won’t be easy. But it IS possible and it WILL be worth it. So square your shoulders and buck up, soldier!


Dearest (past) Christina: Please, for the love of everything, concentrate. You're in a rough place right now, and I know it's tough to balance everything, but you have to focus on what matters. I love our friends, too, and I haven't forgotten any of them, but if you want that theology degree that we always wanted, you're going to have to escape from the school with good grades! I know we tried so hard, but I think we could have done better. Forget about the teachers and the other students harassing you. Forget about the way that one principal always has to have something to say. Forget the girl in choir who outshines everyone. We could have done this! I'm sorry I can't change you, but I can change me, and right now I'm trying so hard to do right by us, to do right by everybody: so I guess this is a bit useless. But I'm going after that degree—and I have high hopes. I'm on the way. I know we didn't do so well back then, but I wouldn't be here without you. Love, (present) Christina.


My advice would be, "Talk some, and keep some." Not everyone has to know what goes on in your personal life. Be careful who you open up too but you don't have to keep a tough guard up all the time. It's a jungle out there but there are ways to navigate through it. Stay focused on what you came to college to accomplish. It's really easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by everything. You don't have to go to every party or every event on campus. Yes, it's good to get involved but don't bite off more than you can chew. Network with people and make connections! These people don't have to be your best friends but keeping in touch with certain folks can really benefit you in the future. Always try to put your best foot forward and if things start to go wrong, keep pushing on. Don't ever give up or run away. Always stay true to who you are no matter what. Don't pretend to be something you're not. Be yourself and get through it. And remember, your degree is the most important thing. The goal.


I don't know if I would tell myself to do it any different. I took a year off between high school and college. I decided to go to community college to save money and get my general education credits out of the way. I worked hard and earned top marks and was very invovled at my community college, I was even president of our honor society! I do remember the first 2 months of school, I was going home every weekend, which was crazy now that I think about it because I lived 2 hours away. If I were to give myself any advice, I would have tod myself not to go home every weekend and to stay on campus. I missed out on crazy adventures with my friends. I would tell myself to not take things to seriously. I focused so much on school and grades and the organizations I was invovled that I forgot to enjoy my time at Ellsworth and really take in the moment. Like Ferris Bueler said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."


I was a very different person in my senior year of high school compared to myself today. My biggest fear before moving for my freshman year was associated with my girlfriend from my senior year of high school; I thought losing this girl was the end of the world, and it really destroyed my self esteem. I had trouble opening myself up to others and had no luck initially meeting friends or expressing interest in other girls. If I had the chance to go back I would tell myself to realize that high school relationships are not supposed to last for the rest of one's life. Throughout the last year I have matured exponentially and I am a very different person and I am glad to be seperated from all of the call backs to my old life, including my ex-girlfriend. The biggest adjustment I wish I realized about college is that all of the previous decisions and actions I've done don't come back to haunt me. College is the time to learn from the past, see the decisions I've made and decide to not make the same poor decisons again.


College is a time to grow. It is ok to have fun but you must remember why you are there and that is for your education. The first year will probably be the hardest since you do not know what to expect. So for your first year, set a good foundation. Make sure to prioritize your time, but also schedule some time for yourself or else you will get burnt out. College is not that difficult. Talk to your professors. They are understanding and will help you. Do not be afraid. Go into their office hours and talk to them about your homework or quiz grade or even just to say hi. They can write you letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, or graduate school. Let them be your mentors and check in often so they can see you grow throughtout the years. You should also create study groups and surroud yourself with encouraging friends who help you succeed.


Now that I have experienced the college life and how everything works, if I could go back in time I would have pushed my self even further than I had. I was taking only two ap classes per year since my juinor year. Understanding the workload from college and everything that was required my first year. I would have taken six AP classes every year becuase the little work given wasn't nearly enough to prepare oneself for the new and much more difficult college life. Studying in high school was an understatement hardly any was ever needed, however when it came to college it became a mandatory habit I was forced to learn. In high school I would of practice studying for everything at least two to three hours per class so that when I did get into college I would have already had the necessary skills to ready myself for college. These were the two main things I would have advised my past self to do so that I would be much more prepared for the future.


Spend more time researching the different colleges at UC Santa Cruz, and know that Merrill college is not one of the adequate ones you are looking for. There are a multitude of other colleges that offer an infinitely more interesting experience than what Merrill has to offer. The location is stiff as the location is inconvenient. Even as you have heard this advice before, apply to scholarships, there is nothing more worse than taking money form your mother and having nothing to give back. Focus on what you have left of your schooling and pay atttention to what's available. College life is a tough transition, not because of the time spent away from home, but because of the dynamism of people who go to college. Do not expect the people whom you knew in high school to be the same going to college, do not change yourself to fit that dynamism if it is not your own, otherwise you will end up hurt and regretful. No matter what, remember Conan O'Brien's words to be kind and work hard.


I would start college much sooner.


Dearest Jesy, I wish you would open this letter during Mr. Zeoli's AP English class. I know you really enjoy that class and to tell you the truth college will be much like that class--but better. Remember that quote from the movie An Education that really spoke to you back then? I'll remind you in case you can't recall which one I'm talking about: "I'm going to read what I want, and listen to what I want, and I'm going to look at paintings and watch French films, and I'm gonna talk to people who know lots about lots". Well, I can assure you attending a university is really like that! This also means you might have a little bit too much freedom, but I know you will maintain to be as organized and responsible as you are now, always carrying that little black agenda of yours with all your to-do lists and goals. College, however, can seem intimidating, frustrating, and terrifying at times, but I assure you, for someone like you who loves learning, this is the ideal place for you.


When I was in high school I was scared about what was going to happen to me in my future. I did not have money to go to college, and I applied to just a community college. If I was to meet my youngerself I would say to relax and just do your best. Go to the community college finish all you general classes there so when you go to a four year college you only have to pay for the things you want to learn and nothing else. Even if you love music and do not know how music is going to get you any kind of income, just think about the other things you like, for example languages. In high school you started taking French and Italian, so apply that to your back-up plan, may be you can even combine both. Always tray your best, have good grades and try not to stress over the little things.


Ian, It's me. Well, it's you... but you know what I mean. Listen up. Community College isn't going to be exactly what you expected. In some ways the classes will be easier than High School -- at least you're going to enjoy them more -- but at the same time there will be different kinds of challenges. But that's not what I'm here to say. College is about more than education. Actually, I'm not even sure college is at all about education anymore. It's about so much more than that. It's about socializing. Not with friends (though you'll have those too) but with peers. With collegues. You're going to practically run this place when you're through. You get an internship under the head of the IT Department and the semester after that he hires you. He likes your work ethic and thinks you're brilliant. You'll be accepted onto a faculty-run committee and be in charge of real decisions. You'll experience the life of an adult for the first time. And really, that's what college is about. So be ready for it. Because it's coming.


After spending almost two years at the University of California Santa Cruz, I have learned that it is very important to stay focused and make time for your studies. In saying this, it is also important to separate your social life from your academic life. From all my experiences thus far, I would advise my high school self to be patient and self-disciplined. I have conitnuously thought to myself that if I worked just a little bit harder my last two years of high school, then I would have more options on where i could attend college. In college, self-discipline is the key to success; it takes self-discipline to go to the library and study, it takes self-discipline to stay in on a Saturday night and study, and it takes self discipline to get up and go to an early 8 am class. High school should have prepared me for college, and it did academically, but not mentally. In high school I was so dependent on my parents and in college I had to instantly become independent and self-disciplined. If I had been more self-disciplined then i would be more successful.


If I could go back in time to high school I would tell myself I am capable of succeeding in a larger university and encourage an open-minded attitude. Growing up in a rural, small town I worried I was not "good enough" to keep up with the challenging academics of college classes. Students from larger high schools had Advanced Placement and honors courses available. I thought I would less prepared comparatively and feared failure in college level classes. I wish somebody told me that by attending discussion sections for my classes and asking questions during a professor's office hours I would do more than simply keep up with the rest of the class. I would advise myself to find the most helpful TA's to aid my studies. Part of reaching out and benefitting from the resources available involves a level of openess. Initially intimidated by the campus size I feared getting lost trying to find the professor's office or section. Had I entered with a more open-mind, I would be less inhibited by fear and maximize my experience. Knowing about the resources available and being open to exploring them would have increased my confidence.


I would tell myself to fill out more scholarships and join more groups in school to stay active. I would of told myself to work less and study more in school. I would of also told myself to listen more and talk less becuase people have went through what I'm going through now and all they are trying to do is help me become sucessful. I would of told myself to save my money because now I am struggling to support mysef and looking for all types of aid just for this school year and if i would of saved I probably would need less aid then I need now. The last thing I would of told myself would of been not to slack at the end of the school year because people were looking up to me and I made a couple of bad choices at the end of my school year. Like not going to class because I knew I didnt have to go anymore to pass. I would just mainly advise myself to stay focus and remember what I'm preparing myself for.


If i was able to go back in time, I would change the way I applied myself towards my studies. First of all, taking my studies more seriously and trying to achieve the best grades possible. When I was back in high school I tend to not focus on school and play around.Since I was in sports I worried more about the sport,rather than my grades. Now that I have started college and see that if I had payed attention more in my math class I wouldn't be taking remedial math. I would be college ready and not wasting time and money in a remedial class. In college the professors have a more higher expectaiton of us as students. Professors want you to be in a college level ,to know the extensive vocabulary and difficult math. Therefore, if I were back in high school i would take my education more seriously to be able to be a better student in college.


Feel free to experiment in college, but do so with the intention of finding what works for you. At the same time, don't be in a rush to throw away everything that has defined you up to this point. While it is good to branch out, it is important to remember that there is a valid reason why you have been involved in the pursuits that you chose up to this point. Also, don't do anything easy. When it comes to picking out classes, take things that will challenge you rather than things which make your workload appear like it will be more manageable. You'll only be in college for a few short years, and it is better to extract the most value from the experience that you can. Last of all, join the UCSC Ninjutsu Training Group during your fall quarter. You will grow more as a person with this group than you ever have before, and they will help mold you into an effective, contributing member of society. You'll learn to defend yourself, but you'll also learn to be a strong individual who can confront problems whenever they appear. Good luck.


Do not settle for what other people want for you. Research the opportunities available to you and make an informed decision. Invest yourself into your education, in a field which you enjoy. You will end up with more opportunities available to you than you ever suspected were available.


I understand that life is hard at the moment and that the future may not seem promising -scary at that. College is just about the corner now and one important thing for one to note is that life in college is what one makes of it. It can be a fun and safe place for anyone who wants it. However, life in college can also be very challenging for anyone not ready for it. Some become lost and overwhelmed, while others find peace and excel. It is all up for the individual to find resolve. Know that only one to have control over their life, is ones' self. Therefore, it is up to us to make sure this is an enjoyable experience. One can make long time friends and create long time mermories, if one tries. College will only be a scary thing if one allows it. Look forward to it; for there is only one college experiece. Let us make it count.


I would tell myself to prepare


Dear Tem, Listen to your mom and spend time with her as much as you can. You'll miss her too much cause she was the reason why you pushed yourself. Eat all the filipino food you can. Learn how to do your laundry. Study your calculus. And make sure you spend time with your grandma. You won't get the easy chances in Santa Cruz but try to surpass the mountain on the way back home. P.S. Go to class. Your GPA will thank you. -Your struggling future self


Advice to my old self: you do want to be a teacher and pick a school around that, do not waste time at a more expensive school when you could get the same education for cheaper.


Embarrassed to tears by the noise of a dropped pencil within the hush of a test, desperate at lunch as I searched the quad to meet the smile of just one socially accepted kid so I could sit down and eat, for the rest of the year, without the degrading title: “loser.” In short: me in High School. I’m an old bat now, and my son is 15 ½. I contantly get communications from his school like this: Your son refused to take off his hat in the hall during dismissal. He argued that because he is Jewish, whether he wears a Kippah (Yarmulke) or a knit cap, or a baseball cap, he is nonetheless asserting his constitutional and religious right to wear a head covering. Your son replied in the negative to the hall monitor, he pointed his fingers in a ‘gang-related’ pose, cocked his head to the side, and said, ‘Oh Yeaha, take that …Uh Huh!!!” and touched knuckles with passive Jewish peers. My boy got in trouble, but he did right; I was proud. Listen to your gut, your constitutional rights, and your Mom: and you will always win!!!


“That phrase you keep muttering to yourself, that ‘everything’s gonna be okay’? That's not a lie you’re trying to make yourself believe. It’s the truth. Everything is going to be okay.” This is what I would tell my high school senior self because that year was the hardest I have ever gone through. Because of my parents’ divorce and home foreclosure, my older sister and I had to live alone in an apartment. With my family shattered and home taken, the depression and anger I felt consumed everything making school nearly impossible. I failed one class and almost failed several others, despite my previous 3.5 GPA. I never even applied to colleges and had no idea what I’d do once I graduated with no money and horrible grades. I pretty much gave up. I didn’t believe things would turn out alright. Yet, they did. It was really difficult but everything worked out perfectly. So if I could go back and give myself advice, it’d be to never give up and to push through the pain. No matter how screwed up things are, keep fighting to stay alive because it will get better.


Although I dont think I would really listen to myself, because many people told me the same, I would tell myself to take school a bit more seriously. Even as I took AP courses and honors classes in High School, I would still tell myself to push further into my education. I didn't realize back then that I could have gotten much more ahead if I tried harder to get better grades and take all the classes I could. I got a bit lazy my last year and, as a result, I am a bit behind in my plans to double major. Also, I would tell myself to decide more quickly and confidently on my major(s) of choice. I do not regret the decisions I made regarding my majors, but I wish I could've done it sooner. Lastly, I would tell myself to noot waste time on te people I knew were not going to be there for me permanently and that I would come to school to form new, and better, relationships of all kinds. Don't worry Rachel; everything will be ok, better than ok.


If i could have a chat with high school seinor Aaron, i would encorage him to remain focused and determined to finish college. I was still wet behind the ears when my parents droped an immature eighteen-year-old off at college. I did not have the drive and commitment required to complete my degree. I failed most of my courses and was released on academic suspention in only one school year. I moved around working constructrion for five years. five interesting years that i don't regret, they taught me alot about life and the hardships that come from not having a college degree. Two years ago I found a degree program at a local community college that interested me, Viticulture and wine technology. I have completed the two year degree and plan on starting the 4 year degree in the fall. High school Aaron had no idea what he was stepping off into, but if I could talk with him I would tell him not to fear, the Lord has his back and he won't regret any of it. But life will be simpler if he stays commited to his education and finish what he starts.


Remember to let yourself experience new things and enjoy the first year because it is easier to keep up with GE courses and do whatever you want like stay up til 5 am and go to a 8 am class, then to take upper division classes in later years and try to have a social life.


First of all I’d like to ask you to work harder and to not procrastinate so much. Secondly, do not rush into college; take a semester off now to get your head together instead of jumping into a school you don’t even want to go to. Take the time to think about what you want with your life and stop trying to please your parents. Think about it for a few weeks, months, even years, as long as it takes, and when you know- that’s when you go to college; that’s when you succeed. Choosing a school is not like choosing a shirt, invest time into the decision and think about where you are going to belong. And let me tell you that UCO is not what you are looking for; it is a simple solution, a quick fix, but it is not the school for you, it will become more of a problem for you than a solution. So really, the best advice I can give you is to think. Think long and hard about who you are and who you could be. But most importantly don’t let anyone stand in your way.


I would definitely tell myself to apply for more scholarships! Also to go out of my way to make even more lasting relationships with professors and proffesionals in various fields. However most importantly, to save up enough to not have to work 2 or 3 jobs during my college experience so that I would be able to really enjoy just being a student.


You'll be surprised how many people don't have common sense.


If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, first I'd tell myself to relax. High school was stressful in that I couldn't see what was ahead of me. I was so worried that I wouldn't "cut it" in college and I wouldn't find my place. When in reality, going away to UCSC was the best decision I ever made. I'd tell myself to stop thinking of all the "what ifs?" and just trust myself and my choices. I'd tell myself to take a more active role in my classes and try to make learning fun. And most importantly, I'd tell myself that college isn't just about getting a degree. It's about becoming the person you want to be for the rest of your life; it's about the experience. Academics are important, but if you can't apply them to real situations, then your knowledge is useless. I'd tell myself to think hard about what I want out of college so I could make the best of it. I like to think I have done that though, and wouldn't need to go back.


If i were to give myself advice as a high school senior i would say that personal motivation is a must and to try your best at everything. I would let myself know that college comes with many distraction and that there are going to be times when you want to be lazy and not do anything; but with self motivation you can do anything.


College is just a step and it is different for everyone. Let down your expectations and do not be afraid to commit. Commitment is intimidating, but the only things worth doing are things you must commit to. Commitment does not mean that the path of your life is set in stone; it means you don't know what to expect and you're still willing to run with it. So embrace friendships with people you thought could never be your friend. Attend classes and clubs you could never see yourself joining. Take on a job or internship you never thought you would succeed at. Don't let yourself become stagnant, go abroad, play capoeira, take an art class, or learn to study just a tad more- you'll be surprised what the tipping point might be. Don't stress because in the end, all things work out.