University of Maryland-Baltimore County Top Questions

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

Kelly

I would tell myself three things: 1) Perspective: Take a minute every now and then to truly appreciate where you are now, because in as little as a year or two, your opinions, politics, and views will change. Things you could never imagine enjoying or supporting will become passions. However, you have so much to offer right now as a person, you should not be afraid to express yourself and grow. 2) Honesty: Be honest with yourself as much as with others. Not only should you speak truthfully, but know who you are and never pretend to be someone else. Acting and behaving how you think others would like you to only sets you up for failure. 3) Strengths/Weaknesses: Support your strengths, but, more importantly, know and ameliorate your weaknesses. If you only put yourself out there when you can apply your strengths, you become only situationally reliable. Allow yourself to fail and learn so that in the future you will be able to help others grow as well. If I could talk to myself in high school, that is what I would advise myself. Unfortunately, the high school version of me would be too stubborn to listen.

Billy

Don't be afraid to make large changes, even your major. You learn a lot about yourself during the transition out of high school, and may find that your interests and goals aren't what you thought they were. Don't let yourself become stuck in a place you don't want to be, doing something you don't want to do. You have a galaxy worth of stars before you. Reach for them.

Jordan

The advice I'd give myself if I could go back in time would be to focus extremely hard during the first two semesters (or years) at university. Why? Many of the individuals who receive the best post-graduate opportunities are usually the individuals who have high GPAs, pursue majors that are in-demand (STEM), and who find and/or maintain leadership roles throughout their collegiate careers. It's easier to be one of these individuals if you sacrifice partying and making a ton of friends during your first year of college. Plus, if you receive 3.8+ GPA during this critical early stage it will weigh more heavily overall throughout your time in college as opposed to performing at a mediocre rate or performing badly. That first year sets the stage and if you choose a demanding, challenging major that you are really passionate about then you will most likely continue toward a trend of success if you realize that success early. Doing this makes it easier to conduct research in your major, find employment in your field, or find leadership opportunities on campus if you start working hard from the beginning. You can't fail!

Camille

To put more effort into taking the SAT as well as applying to more public schools and less private schools.

Kritika

The hardest part of joining any new place, including college, is learning how to fit into the culture and atmosphere of your surroundings. I would recommend that you first start off by learning about how the school works. A good way to do this would be to attend the welcome orientation UMBC has for freshmen. It provides freshmen an opportunity to learn how to select classes, where to eat, how to study in a college environment, and gives insight into the culture of the school. Of course, college wouldn't be a fun experience if you didn't do any meaningful extracurriculars! A good way to find out what you like is to try different clubs or volunteer activities until you find one or two you really want to stick with and dedicate yourself into. By doing this, you are actively contributing to the college community, and if you choose service activities, you can help out those in need. Additionally, doing extracurriculars is a great way to make new friends!

Nicole

Congratulations! The tassel has been turned, your diploma is hot in your hand, and there is pomp and circumstance in the air. You have graduated high school. As you strut off that stage there are a few things you should keep in mind before stepping into that first lecture hall. Quickly, learn how to study. The days of merely attending class and flipping through the chapter summary are long gone. Sure these habits proved profitable during your high school years, but only grant disappointment in secondary education. Find a successful study regime; your prime study environment. Do not be ashamed to utilize the tutoring center. Take advantage of the professor's office hours. These aforementioned actions are futile however without consistancy. School is more bearable when you associate yourself with others who share your struggle. Affiliate with those who have similiar goals, who also aspire to be great. Nothing can replace a good support team. The team offers advice, encouragement and assistance when barriers seem insurmountable. Positive relationships catalyze success and build lasting friendships that span countries and cultures. College is dynamic. The four plus years you will spend here will shape your character and your perception of life. Enjoy.

Olajumoke

The number 1 and only advice I would give my high school senior would be is to stay focus no matter what and to take advanatage of that summer you have before heading into college.

chloe

I would tell myself not to slack so much in high school. There is a lot i could have learned as a high school senior but because i was already graduating, i slacked a little bit. Also, i would tell myself to take more challenging courses because they do benefit you as a college freshman. I would also tell myself to not freak out about the college transition life because it is not that bad. Transitioning to college may seem scary at first but you get accustomed to it very easily because there are going to be people there who will help you along the way.

Gunner

First off, I would let myself know that it is okay to be who you are and let it all out there. Some people will accept you, others not so much but who really cares about what those people think. Don't say no. Try everything take any chance to do something new and exciting. Don't be afraid of screwing up cause you are gooing to do it a lot and you will want to kick yourself for it. Just learn from it, move on and try not to screw it up again.

Jennifer

After my first year at college, I realized that I didn't make the best decisions for my academic career. I regret not defining my study habits, and letting my laziness during senior year transfer over to my freshman year of college. I was focused on my social life, which led to less time studying and more time hanging out with friends. I did make a lot of new friends though, which I am proud of. I would encourage my high school senior self to do the same thing and get to know people in my dorm and classes. I would advise myself to not give in to the pressures of having a social life though. In the long run, it is better to really buckle down and get good grades because that is more advantageous for the future. I would tell myself that school is the first priority; I worked a lot during the weekends while I was in school, and sometimes let that get in the way of doing my homework ahead of time. Lastly, I would tell myself not to stress so hard about school. It is important to balance my personal life and my school life.

Jacqueline A.

The advice I would give myself is stay organized and stay focus there is alot of distractions on campus.

Malarie

Do all of your work in high school, especially senior year. It's not as hard as you think it is and college will be a lot easier to get through if you are accustomed to sticking with your work. Don't get down on yourself if you see things getting a little stressful. As long as you keep a positive mind set everything will be okay. You will graduate college, get a job, and then want to pursue a graduate degree because you want to learn as much as possible. Never give up on your goals and put yourself before all others when it comes to what is best for you.

Jessica

If I had the knowledge about college that I have today and the ability to talk to myself as a high school senior the advice that I would give myself is to have the courage to join groups that you know nothing about and make sure that you hang around the right people. I would tell myself not to get caught up in the drama of other freshman as well as to not worry and put myself out there. The reason that I would give myself this advice is because while dorming there was a lot of issues with relationship drama that was not worth dealing with, where I could be focusing more on academic success than the issues of other people. Also, I would tell myself to put myself out there, so that I could meet even more new people. The last thing that I would tell myself is to go straight to UMBC because it is the nerdies,t most fun experience that I have ever had and my younger self was much more hesistant about going to this college.

Pragya

There is always a story behind the person he or she is now and the story defines that person and all the events he or she has been through. The stories eventually become a part of his or her lesson and experiences. Three years of high school had already gone by and I was finally a senior. I was caught up between applying for college and trying to live every senior’s dream about going to the prom and getting ready to graduate. In this mist of events, I wish I did things differently from what I know today about college. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to procrastinate on any deadlines and prioritize every event that needs to be taken care of. I will advise myself to work harder in every classroom project to the best of my ability. Taking my education seriously and by reflecting on my classes, I can develop the necessary skills to help me focus in a college environment. I will start working on my projects and rather that wasting the time I was assigned. Lastly, maintain a relationship with my teachers who can assist me in future endeavors.

Danielle

You have survived through pain, loneliness, and loss. It will be okay: you will come to understand in time that you are being prepared for something more. These experiences are your first tastes of the importance of expectations and have taught you a valuable lesson you will hold close: to prepare for the worst, but to expect nothing from the world around you. You have always been a good student, precocious at times, and almost obsessive about learning. You see the potential for positive in all situations, with a determinedly rose-colored, cynical view, an almost rhetorical state of pessimism. This will evolve into an objectivity that will allow you to make the most difficult decisions of your life. You will be able to smile through heartbreak, intense rage, and physical agony. You will have the ability to endure, and the capacity to lend your strength to those you love in their times of need. You will be held in esteem by those you care for, though they will be few. Your childhood had been a battle, but your lack of preparation for it will not count against you in your journey in both college and life itself.

Bilal

"You can only do it once. Do it right." Those are the words I would say as I looked at my 18-year old self. My hands would have a suffocating grip around his collar, my eyes would pierce into his soul. Until he acknowledged the truth of my words. Before I started high school, I had a list of dreams and goals that I planned to accomplish. However, throughout high school, I became discouraged and gave up. Time flew by as I went through the motions of life, having lost my desire to become something much more. And I only recovered recently. At the age of 21, I have finally snapped out of this funk. I wish to become something much more than who I am now. I say this to my 18-year old self and anyone else at my age.: Never settle. You will look back and regret it. Never sit there and think something is impossible. Try your best to accomplish all your dreams. Where there is a will there's a way. You only go to college once. So do it right.

Brian

Brian, Don't bleach your hair this summer, you'll look ridiculous. Take your Dad with you to buy your first car, the car you are buying by yourself will fall apart and he knows more than you. Trust me. Chase your dream of going to film school now, but if you don't, just know you will still be there at some point. Worry less about what people think about you, they don't have the time to think about you, they're too busy worrying about what people think about them. Save! School is expensive and life is expensive. Save for a rainy day because believe me it rains a lot. Stay lean and mean, you're going to move a lot and its not fun lugging a ton of random things from place to place. I'm going to assume you didn't take any of my advice though because I have the same memories I always had. Just know you will succeed, every heartache or catastrophe will pass and everything will end up as it should. Oh and apprently the Princess Dy Beanie Baby will be worth a fortune. Grab one.

Leah

Having been through one semester of college so far, I have learned a lot since I first started. If I could go back and tell my senior self anything about college, it would be to take all the opportunity you can to learn about the opportunities you have as a first semester student. Scholarships, as well, are very important. I would tell myself to get on my computer and apply for as many scholarships as I can instead of online shopping or visiting social media sites. I took college seriously in my senior year of high school, but I would go back and tell myself to take it one or two steps further, to make sure I was as efficient as possible in applying for colleges.

Prachi

I would tell myself that stressing out about college, about all the possible things that could go wrong is one of the worst things to do. Instead, taking everything day by day is the best way to go. Each day, rather than focusing on the things that could go wrong, focus on the things that you need to do to make the day the best possible in whatever way. For example, having the best day possible could be doing something productive, like working and learning, or helping others. If you focus on doing things, rather than just thinking about things, then everything that you want, such as friends, good grades, et cetera, will follow.

Evaikhomo

Looking back now, if I could go back to high school there are a number of things that I would have changed. In High School, I was not so bad, but I would have challenged myself more. I was always ok content with being mediocre in the sense that I could have taken some AP classes or IB classes, I could have been more involved in the activities that were going on in school, I could have been an active member of a sport team instead of settling in managing them. In High school, I could have strived to make more friends instead of being anti-social and living in my own world with about two friends. If everything had been a little different then, maybe I would not be an awkward college student and settling for Health Administration instead of the Medical Doctor I wanted to be when I was younger.

Stephany

The best advice I would give myself would be to be on the computer applying for FASFA as soon as the clock is counting down for the new year, as soon as the calendar says January 1st hit the submit button. I would also tell myself to never procrastinate. Never leave certain things to the last minute because it only becomes stressful in the end. I would also tell myslef to check and know your deadlines because they are very important for applying for certain things. College is very expensive, and no one should have doubt about going to college due to money situations, apply for all the scholarships that you can because it is very helpful.

Joy

Struggling with applied calculus when I first came to Umbc, made me wish I took AP calculus in high school. My first time in a college calculus class was very weird. Because I could not make sense of what my professor was saying. All she said was “cos sin” “beta” “alpha” “derivatives” and the worst part was we could not use calculators. The bad part or you might say good part about high school is you get to use scientific calculator in finding stuff like derivative or finding the cos sin of something, but it was very frustrating that I could not use any calculators, so calculus 1 for me was a struggle but my professor was very helpful and since I worked hard, and i got a B for that class. Another thing I wish I did in high school was, playing sports from the 10th up to 12th grade so I can be very good at it and plays for Umbc. Athletes at Umbc are spoiled, they get free food, find jobs easily, get scholarship and go on road trips, and they even get extra time to get their homework done. They have more fun, they are respected.

Umu

Going back into time talking to myself as a high school senior, the advice I would give to myself is talk with other high school teachers and counselors for extra advice, apply early, look for the best, but least expensive school, and apply for many scholarships. I would also consider going to a local 2 year community college after high school. Starting off at a 2 year community college can save a lot of money, avoid college debt, and allow other opportunities to build your academic portfolio. I would also suggest getting involved early on in activities, meeting professors one on one outside of class, and explore many of the opportunities given as a college or freshman student. It is important to stay focused, if you don't understand something ask the professor for extra help; seek tutoring or other online useful resources to help in understanding any specific subject planning a weekly schedule and goals will help motivate you in disciplining yourself to become a great student and multitasking abilities. For instance, one should set a schedule for study time, extracurricular actives, or a part-time job etc. Overall, these suggestions can help in making a productive college transition.

Ryan

I have learned a lot in my college career so far and there is a lot of advice I wish I could go back and tell my high school senior self. One thing sticks out in my mind however over all, to embrace the struggles and changes that are bound to happen. I currently am in attendance at my fourth college since high school and am studying my now third different major. Although this was not the plan right out of high school I would not go back and change a single thing. It is likely that my undergraduate degree may take longer than the average person but the life lessons and the things I have learned about myself far outweigh what could be learned in the classroom. I embrace the fact that I was wise enough to realize when situations were not what I wanted and I was not afraid to stop myself and start from scratch. There are peers my age that are graduating college right now with a degree in something they may not thoroughly enjoy; I however have found my passion and truly love the path ahead of me. Embrace the Change.

Oladimeji

i will advise myself to prepare financially for college. i would advise myself to take up more jobs and make more money because college is very expensive.

Daniel

If I could go back in time, I would have taken my academics more seriously. Being a first generation college student, I wasn't really prepared for the challenges that college presented.

Andrea

Ok, so you have been told a lot of things about the college experience and what is expected of you but, there is so much they did not tell you about college. They are right now telling you about how you should go to the best school in Maryland because a Hispanic student will look better attending one than a regular public university or a private institution; well I am here to tell you that they are wrong. It does not matter what university you attend or even what you decide to major in because it is not all about what they want, it is all about how you piece together your future and how you make of your time. Just because they say that Hispanics will make better money as doctors or lawyers, do not let that keep you from your dream of becoming who you want to be, an educator. Only you can decide if their vision of you is worth wasting in college instead of following your path in life.

Mary

I would tell myself the same words my mom told me halfway through my college freshman year: Don't dwell. As a high school senior and a college freshman, I suffered severely from anxiety. A lot the anxiety stemmed from my mind not being able to let go of small, insignificant events. Telling myself to not dwell on the things that I can't change, to let the insignificant events go and instead work on coping with the events, would have saved me from feeling trapped inside my head. I would also tell myself that I'm not alone, that I'm not the only person dealing with anxiety. Just knowing that there are others out there dealing with the same issues I was dealing with would have helped me to not feel so isolated from my friends and those around me.

Jasmin

Jasmin, By now, you've grown accustom to your isolation. Things have been rough for you, indeed. Don't allow that to hinder you. Don't be afraid of your past. Don't be afraid to open up to others. Be loyal to the good people you meet because the friends you make here could be the friends you have for the rest of your life. Often the responsibility you have makes you feel older than you actually are. Remember that you are young. Don't allow yourself to settle in one way of living. I know how badly you crave love but romance will blind you from the opportunities that lie in front of you. You are an ever-changing being and you should put yourself, your growth, your development and your goals first. Love will come after you love yourself. All of the choices you will soon make will have long-term effects. Each action is engraved inside of you and affects you in subtle ways that you may not even notice. Keep in mind what you want for yourself and the person you want to be. Be conscious, be selective and most importantly be yourself.

Austin

College is an incredible place. It's an entire institution built to give you the tools and time to make you the best version of yourself. You won't find that once you graduate. You have vast potential and raw ability that you need to harness and hone. You'll have access to the most accomplished minds you'll ever meet, and their sole purpose is to pass on knowledge and experience to you. Be smart enough to take them up on the offer. Life after college is full of responsibilties and distraction. Work will consume your time like you never thought anything could, and then you'll start a family and forget what sleep is (and to think you'll have trouble making your morning classes). You'll have bills to pay, rent to make, and children to feed. When you get to where I am, you'll want to look back and know you made the best of every opportunity. Over the next four years, focus on making yourself the best you can possibly be. There won't be a better time.

Ashley

If I could speak with my high school self, I would advise her to take studying seriously. College is very different compared to what you're used to in high school. You need to find that motivation within yourself to get your work done and learn the material you need to know. Keep focused on your goals and try not to get distracted. Organization is going to be key because no one is going to put everything together nice and neat for you so make sure you're on top of everything, including assignments, exam dates, reading schedules, and anything else you need to be planning for or working on. Develop a clear plan as soon as possible for what classes you're taking during which semester so that you don't end up spending six years as an undergraduate. It may seem sometimes as though you aren't as smart as other people in your major but don't let that mindset overtake you. Realize that if you aren't finding the motivation in one major, there is a reason and maybe your heart is trying to guide you in a different direction. Listen to it.

jennyfer

If I had the opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would say that I should be more informed about college before taking any decisions on where I would like to go. Knowledge is a wonderful tool, and knowing the right information would be the start to a rewarding experience. At college you will expand your points of view about life and become a problem-solver. I would also advise to not procrastinate. Most of the times good opportunities will cross you path to success however, if we let them go, there is no turning back. Finally, I would like to remind myself that I may not always get what I have planned but as everybody knows: "when a door closes a window opens," and if I push myself my goals will be accomplished, and my hard-work will be worth it. I will like to thank you for giving students this opportunity; we have to overcome a lot of obstacles to reach to our goals. With this scholarship you are helping a hard-working student to get closer to his/her goal.

Monet

I would tell myself to stay focused and not to procrastinate. I would also tell myself to get involved in student activities and to be open to people of different cultures, ethnicities and religions in order to make life-long friendships. I would remind myself how proud I am of myself and wish myself good luck for the future.

Fonjia

Focus on education, and get it out of your mind that college/university is a time of freedom and partying. Pray constantly, and no matter what; do not give up on God.

Ty

Nothing at this school is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. If you want to find people you really click with or do well in your classes, you need to put in at least a little effort. Some of the stereotypes are true and some of them are not. It's really up to you to have the college experience you want. First year students should also know that the majority of the students at UMBC have cars, so the school doesn't do very much to provide transportation to DC or Baltimore or even other colleges if you want to get out for the night. Be ready to befriend someone with a car!

Ty

Nothing at this school is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. If you want to find people you really click with or do well in your classes, you need to put in at least a little effort. Some of the stereotypes are true and some of them are not. It's really up to you to have the college experience you want.

John

If I could go back in time I would tell myself not to pursue a blue collar career, I wish I had made this decision to pursue a degree when I was a young man. Blue collar work is a respectable way to make a living, but it can take a seious physical toll on one's body. There is more to a career than just earning a living, you should pursue a career that will offer you personal fafillment. To become educated is an enriching experience that can help one to have a greater understanding of the world and it's future trends. The technology in the future will continue to advance at an unpresidented rate of speed, this will nesessitate learnig as an ongoing process.

Mikayla

In pretty much every college related movie/TV show, students are frequently partying, never studying and overwhelmed by drama. That is not UMBC. If you come here looking for the stereotypical college experience, you will be disappointed. There are lots of things to do, but you have to make an effort to find them. You will have to study for your classes. The amount of drama depends on your group of friends. Freshmen should also know that there is a LOT of help available if they need it. The first year of college can be tough at any school. At UMBC, there are tutors, counselors, resident assistants and particularly helpful staff members if they need help with classes or adjusting to college. These people are paid to help you succeed, so don't be afraid to ask.

Ariana

Fully research the universities to which you are applying to ensure the programs, faculty, resources, administration, finanicial aid, amenities are a good fit for you. Take time to get to know professors who can be great resources and references for your future employment/postgraduate studies.

Daniel

Rationality is an invaluable tool. Take an objective approach to every tribulation, event, and observation. Rationality will provide you with a mentality that is conducive to professional success, adding longevity to relationships, and perseverance in the face of personal adversity. It allows you to divest yourself of prejudice, which can only be destructive. You will no longer be impetuous, which I have found will primarily result in regret. Too few people have an ideal level of rationality, which would restrict them from jumping to conclusions hastily, cause them to be prudent, and show sympathy for others. I have seen far too many people damaged or begin lamenting over irrational decisions or the irrational act of another. Irrationality is a vice, avoid it as frequently as you can. Refining your rational thought will give you an outlook on life which I can only describe as mature. We face impending difficulties, and approaching them with rationality will not only facilitate the process of enduring personal adversity, but also will cause you to learn from the experience. You realize the inevitablility of trials such as death and illness, and instead of allowing these to be destructive, you can reconcile with life's challenges.

Shadab

College is definitely more tough than high school, make sure you don't carry the same study habits as high school when you come in. Also, try to plan your future early, or else you will have to switch majors deep into your college years and work very hard the last few years to make sure you graduate on time. Friends are great, but make sure you balance time between them and studying. Be involved in campus activities and clubs, you will meet many different kinds of friendly and helpful people. Enjoy your time in college, it's only 4 years so make the most of it!

chinasa

At this point in my life, of course there are things that I wish I had paid more attention to or taken a little bit more seriously. I've made a lot of mistakes throughout my college career, but I would have to say that the one that I wish I could go back in time to tell my high school self would be the importance of building a relationship with my high school counselor. There is nothing like not having to stress about the financial aspect of college and a strong relationship with my counselor would have given me that advantage. I envy those college students who can fully take advantage of the college experience because they are financially taken care of because they were smart and aware enough to obtain scholarships with the help of their counselors. I was blissfully ignorant in my belief that it would all work out for the better, now two years later I am working three jobs praying that one day I will get there. As a college student I realize that the only way I will reach my goals is through a college education, so I am willing to work.

Kristine

Kristine, no matter what college you decide to go to you have the ability to adjust accordingly. Friends will come and go, stay strong because those who will stay at your side through it all are the friends who make life worthwhile. Now that you're a senior, continure to work hard and gain better study habits! The stronger your study habits then the easier it will be for you to adjust to the workload. Don't feel too rushed about choosing a major, take random classes you'll be surprised at how much they will interest you. Choose something you love to do and happiness and prosperity will follow later in life, even if it's a few years after you graduate.

Mariah

I have learned not just information at this university, but also how to solve problems effectively and efficiently. I have learned that not all situations are ideal but there in our lives to make us better people. Attending this university has been valuable because it was exposed me to different people, religions, race and ethnicities in a way that makes these differences acceptable and fun to experience.

Mitchel

In the summer I had some problems with my housing deposit, and I had to send it again. Because of this my housing information was late, and I was put into a temporary dormatory for the semester. As soon as I found out I was very dissappointed. When I got to University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I had five roommates. Over time me and my roommates got very close, and we became like a family. We were a very diverse room, because everyone had a different ethnic background and customs. We were there for each other for everything. By the end of the semester I didn't want to leave. I learned a lot from this college experience. I learned how to deal with different people and work together, and I learned how to work with distractions around me. I also learned how to be dependent and stand up for myself when I need to. I think this is very important, especially in the business world, because it is very competitive, and I can get ahead with these skills.

William

Throughout my college experience, I have learned more through people than I have through my textbooks. I have been taught by many different types of teachers from all kinds of backgrounds, and through these backgrounds I have learned to look at the world with an awareness I would not have had if I hadn't attended college. There are many college students today that waste time and money going to college, simply because they don't care about the opportunity they have. They do just enough to get by, and graduate with nothing but a certificate. I have been to countries where education is more valuable than gold, and anyone who can recieve an education can recieve a completely different life. It is not the knowledge that one learns throughout their education that is important, but rather what one chooses to do with it that counts. After college, I wish to travel to countries like Kenya, India and Pakistan as an ESL teacher so that I might be able to give the children there a chance for a better life. I intend to use what skills I have learned in school to make a difference in the world around me.

Mbwenze

Leaving in the dorms have made me to be very responsible and time conscious. I've learned to appreciate what I have as a college student because some students will want to go to the extend of stealing from others. The act of giving and helping others has become a part of my life as a colllege student and I'm very determined and believe that I will make the best outside of college. Meeting with other students from diversed backgrounds has made me to understand how people live and interact on the other side of the world. I use to be a shy person but now, the shyness has faded away due to the fact that I interact a lot with other students. Academically, I've improved a lot compared to when I was in high school. I'm more serious and focused , the teachers are very encouraging and helpful. I put in all the efforts in my studies because college is no joke. Because of the competiveness among students, I tend to work so hard in order to achieve my set goals and to stay on top.

Nicole

College has given me the best present, in my opinion, that anyone could ever receive. My college experience has brougt me to life. In high school I didn't really do the whole school thing, I was basically a "C" student. I only went sometimes because I would get to see my friends. I always knew I was going to go to college but just didn't understand the importance. When I moved on to Valencia Community College it was like a whole new person came out. I finally got it, and I wanted to do better for myself. During my two years at Valencia I only received one "C". College has taught me the importance of organization, and not just in my school life. I am now attending the University of Central Florida, where I will be majoring in Criminal Justice. Going to class everyday is actually fun now. With this new attitude collge has gave me, I have a better relationship with both of my parents. It is now enjoyable to sit and talk with them about my future and how I'm going to get there. College has shapped me into the better person I am today.

Stephanie

I have learned more about myself in 15 weeks than my whole entire 18 years of living. I never knew how dependent I was on my parents and I never knew how strong I could be. I never knew that I could stand to peer pressure so easily, not forsaking the morals my parents taught me. I never knew the REAL me. Yes, there has been academic growth, but there has also been personal and spiritual growth. I have met people, who in high school, I would never have been friends with and I have learned to be diverse. I have not done well on some tests, helping me form better study habits and techniques. I have learned so much that I would not have learned if I had stayed home. Living on campus, I have gained every young adults dream, independence.

David

I have learned to not judge a book by its cover. And to be patient with scenarios that seem to be bad. Arrivingat UMBC, it seemed like a very boring campus and I felt like I was going to have a horrible time here but after a few weeks I made plenty of friends and have actually really enjoyed this past year and a half at UMBC.

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