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University of North Alabama

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

Looking at how I went about school and work as a senior in high school, there are several things I would tell myself had I the ability to speak to my 'high-school senior' self. First would be the problems with procrastination. I had a problem with getting tasks done ahead of time and I would find myself frustrated and overwhelmed when due dates drew nearer and nearer. Looking back, I would tell myself to at least start on everything right away, regardless of its significance or urgency. Its better to have more done now, than little done later. I would also encourage myself to read more often and to spend less time on the computer and even less time watching television. Reading keeps the mind busy and will help to increase comprehension skills when in college, making it easier to understand and retain information. I would say that getting involved in community services, school clubs, societies, and things like All-State Band or other similar groups, will help your area of experience and will not only benefit in terms of personal growth, but colleges will look upon your interests and involvment very fondly. Don't settle for good enough.

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I was not sure I wanted to attend college until my first day of class. Everything around me was new and exciting; and for the first time I actually looked forward to learning. Electricity filled the air as we all leaned forward in anticipation as the instructor entered the room. As if to know our apprehension, he smiled and welcomed us all on the first day of our grand adventure. Two years into the journey, and I continue to expand my horizons. I have made friends that may last my lifetime and I find the knowledge acquired being used on a daily bases. I am able to communicate effectively in most situations and the community college atmosphere has provided the self-confidence that I would have never been able to achieve elsewhere. I have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. High school students can be very cruel and are quick to point out personal flaws. Most of these flaws seem to have fallen to the wayside. I am now able to walk across the campus without hearing the childish laughter at my disabilities. If I had not gone to college, I may still be just another disabled young adult.

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If I were you, I would get a job as soon as possible. College is a lot more expensive than you think . You are most likely going to go to a community college, so take as many AP courses as possible. Study hard before you take your SATs because we all know that you are not the best at taking tests unless you study. Visit as many colleges as possible and DO NOT apply to out of state schools because you cannot afford them. Money is vital, much more vital than you may realize. You do not need another pair of boots, because they end up just sitting in your closet anyway; save your money. College is not as hard as you think, but it still requires a lot of time management. Please consider your options, before deciding which schools to apply to. Be more confident and do not let others bring you down, because you are possible at achieving anything as long as you apply yourself. College does require being more independent but do not take advantage of it. Learn and read as much as possible. Remember that the friends your make this upcoming summer are life changing.

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If I could visit myself during my high school years, I would urge myself to enroll in college straight out of high school rather than postpone. And I would elaborate by letting myself know that if not, I would get exactly what I “thought” and “wished” I wanted-- adulthood, and the adult life that comes with it. However, the adult life I dreamed of wouldn't be such a fantasy if I didn't have the skills or money to sustain it. The 6 years I wasted after graduation could have been spent completing my education, rather than doing nothing to better myself. In those 6 years, I would likely have already obtained atleast a Master's level degree and be well-prepared for a likeable and great-paying career. Instead, it's 2014 and I haven't even achieved my bachelor degree yet. Education is a lot easier to obtain when children, a recession, and general adult problems aren't involved. I have no regrets and wouldn't change a thing about my life, but being an adult is inclusive of an education. The education would lead to money and growing up is what should have been postponed.

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To choose the right school for you ask yourself are you easily distracted from school work? Do you value your social life over your classwork? Do you know what you want to do with your life? My advice would be if you are very social, but have your priorities in line I would attend a bigger college that you have your heart set on. Do not let your friends talk you into going with them because you will always have them as your friends and will meet new people and have new fun experiences. If you are like me and worried about how you are going to pay for the college of your choice there are a lot of grants, scholarships, and student loans available to help financially. Attending college is a one in a lifetime opportunity to improve your education and experience the world and to grow as an individual. If you have the chance to go to college do not pass you by you will regret it. The experiences you have will make you, who you are today and build a the framework for a wonderful career through the education you obtained at the university you choose.

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Knowing what I know now, I would having taking advantage of my classes, teachers, tutors, and schoolwork. Staying focus is the key to succeeding in college yea its ok to have fun but make sure you take care of your schoolwork first the same effort you put into having fun should be used in the classroom and towards the assignment outside of class. In college you have to discipline yourself since there is so much freedom, you have to set a goal to get things done and still make time to have fun. Sometimes, you have to make a sacrifice there will be some days when you cant do what you want due to schoolwork. This is when you have to be mentally strong because at the end of the day you have to remember what is important and getting your degree is what you came to college for. Finally, you have to stay organize this will help you stay on top of your work, there will be somedays you will get distracted but having a planner or some type of remainder will be useful. Make sure you let your teachers know immediately if you dont understand something no matter.

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Looking back seven years after high school graduation and two years after college graduation, there are many things about life I have learned. From all of these life lessons there is one piece of advice in particular I would love to go back in time and give myself as a high school senior. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University in the midst of the job market crisis. I was able to find a job within a month of graduation but it is not what I would consider a career. This is because I did not pick a major that would lead to a promising career path. I am now going back to school to become a nurse. This means going into debt with school loans while working fulltime to pay monthly bills. Therefore, the most important advice I would have given myself is to chose wisely the degree you decide to earn while in college. The economy is tough and it is important to do the research to determine what career paths are in demand. Because going to school is so expensive it is pertinent to pick a major that presents a sucessful career path for the future.

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If I could go back in time to my high school senior self I would give myself the advice of never give up anything you are passionate about and make sure you go to plenty of college fairs, take every opportunity to job shadow taht you can, and never take any of your friends for granted. As for the transition from high school to college dont worry about it, its not hard or scary its like the transition from grade school to middle school. Scary at first till you realize it hold a lot more opportunities and fun within. You will make many new friends, but make sure you still have time for all the old ones too. Dont stress about the little things like how will I find my classes because there are many nice people to help show you around. Make sure you pay attention in anatomy class in high school because it will help you tremendously in anatomy class in college, practice your study habits and make sure you find a way that works for you so that you can use that to your advantage. Know your strengths and weaknesses and make them work for you.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself not to overstress and worry so much about the small things or things that are out of my control. I would tell myself that life is a precious gift and nothing is certain,things can change and everything always has a way of working out way better than I expected. I would tell myself to appreciate relationships with my family more and really work on my attitude and not be so uptight or angry with events that happened and are not my fault, such as my parents divorce. To study more and really keep all my options open for places to attend college. I would more than anything tell myself you are beautiful and have so much going for you, don't let anyone or anything stop or keep you from achieveing great things. You can achieve anything you set your mind to and to keep postive beacuse things that were a big deal and issues or situations in high school really arn't that bad and years from now it doesnt really matter. Have fun and balance life better.

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It's not a walk in the park. Late nights often turn into early mornings, and there never seems to be enough coffee to satisfy the exhaustion. It's hard to catch a break, but don't let that scare you. Whatever anxiety you're feeling, whatever doubts you may have, leave them on the graduation stage. Leave them in the box you'll keep under your bed with all of your high school mementos, because you'll want to remember them one day. Because, one day, you'll be sitting in your own apartment that you help pay for with your own hard earned money, writing a letter to yourself about college life and about how coming to college was one of the greatest decisons you ever made. College is hard, yes, but it's also rewarding. You've got dreams and this is the place to help make them come true. The people you meet will be lifelong friends, and you'll learn more about yourself in your first year than you have in your past eighteen years of life. So, don't be afraid. Be excited. Be ready to learn. Because every late night is worth it.

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