Dear 18 year old me,
The college decision process is a very difficult one. You hope you make the right choice but there are so many factors to take into consideration that you don't even know yet.
I know right now you think you waat to go to a large university with stadium seating lecture halls where you can remain invisible. However the future you will find the ability to converse one on one with not only your classmates but your instructors an invaluable asset.
You were concerned that going to a small school with a number of students you attended grade school and/or high school with would be a problem. What you didn't know was how comforting it would be to see familiar caring faces every day and how much it would make the transition to living away from home much easier.
Don't be afraid to go to a different school than other family members. Be yourself and let yourself grow. A large university may not be the best solution for everyone.
Since I did not go straight to school out of high school I would give myself some advice about what to do when i did get ready for college and to not be lazy and to find an apartment so I don't have to live in the dorms.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior. I would tell myself to study hard, to get good grades and just grasp, as much knowledge as I possibly can. The reason why is I wasted so much time doing pointless stuff, when I could be trying learn new and useful skills. I would also tell myself to try to make as much money as possible. So I don’t struggle financially as much as I do. Another thing I would tell myself is to take college more seriously and not take it as an easy task. Even though it will not be an easy task, it will be a fun and life changing task. Most importantly I would tell myself to apply myself, to my fullest potential and not to hold myself back, in fear of messing up or failing. With that point being made I would also tell myself I need to embrace failure and accept it’s going to happen. That I need to learn from them and grow from them.
College is something you need to take serious and if you can’t take it serious you need to realize you you’re the only one holding yourself back. You didn’t come from money and you told yourself growing up that you never wanted to struggle with finances but without doing well in school you might not get a good job, so you’re going to struggle. You need to get good grades and work as hard as you can because this is the rest of your life you’re looking at. Learn as much as you can so when you graduate you can confidently say you know a lot in your field and you will do a great in any situation you are put in. Be proud of yourself and how hard you work, both at school and at work. When you do something do it with the best you have, don’t slack or make excuses. Be the best person you can be so in the end you can say you tried your hardest and know it’s not a lie.
The advice that I would give my high school self is to be more open to the new experiences. With school work and a job, it can seem impossible to actually keep a social life with clubs. Joining clubs was the main way I made friends and helpful people who were in my classes. I was extremely fearful coming into the university just because I was worried about being a failure. When you have those thoughts in your mind, it can seem impossible for you to have an enjoyable experience at college. I would tell my high school self to enjoy these moments of your Freshman year just because they will never come back. College can be pretty stressful and tough at times, but to not let the bad times mess with my head.
Go to a good collage like ITT and then stay in class do not skip and study hard in all classes and pick a good job that you will like to spend the rest of your life doing.
College really isn't as hard as you think. All the fear inside is mostly stranger anxeity, and not stress of the transition from high school to college. If you studied hard in high school then don't worry. Use whatever you have been doing before college. The more stressed and overworked you are, the chances are you are not going to survive in college. Always keep a calm, level head. Most importantly though, make as many friends as you can. They help boost your self- worth and confidence. Both are the keys to a successful college career. One more thing, do not change yourself to fit in with others. College is about accepting who you are, and not forgetting who were. Bad thing may have happened in high school, but it does not matter now. There is no from high school where you're going. Good luck with your new world.
I would tell myself to aim higher because I could have gone to a better school and not be in the perdiciment I am in today. I would also tell myself to go for what I really want instead of just trying to please everyone else. A higher education is up to you, and if you aren't happy with what you are learning in college, then you aren't going to be happy in that career. I would tell myself to go for what I want and enjoy life at college.
I would tell my high school self that college is going to be okay. Even though I have gone through three majors I am now on the right track and know what I want to do with my life. College is not as bad as you thought it would be, and you are happy with the decisions you have made. You have made some great friends and have been living life fully and you are loving every minute of it. Your job is great and you are volunteering as a coach for your high school softball team. Life is good for you and you have a great support system in your friends and family.
If I could go back to my senior year and tell myself some words of advice it would have to be to never limit my dreams or aspirations, as cliche as that may sound. Back in the eighth grade before I understand who/what I wanted to be, I took a vocational placement test. My results indicated that I would best be suited for a teacher/counselor position. Needless to say, after playing teacher throughout my childhood, and then to hear from some test and my family that it was best for me, I decided as a senior to settle upon the "good" or "safe" decision and major in secondary education social studies. However, after getting deeper into my education classes, I realized that teaching was not at all what I wanted to do! I realized that my true passion was and had always been history and that that is what would truly fulfill me, no matter what anyone else told me. Therefore, in late January 2010, I withdrew from my program and took on a dual major in history and communications, and I have never looked back since!
College is nothing like high school, it is much better. College learning is stressful but it is also much more enjoyable than high school. It's a want to, not a have to, and you learn a lot more than you think that you would. It is actually something that you would enjoy experiencing. Look at what your role-playing as a child consisted of (being a nurse and being a teacher), which you did for hours at a time. That is obviously what interests you the most in terms of a career. Look at what goals you need to set in order to achieve these options and go for it. Don't be impatient, but take it one step at a time, and advance to the next level when you are ready.
For many reasons, even the act of valuing an education unfortunately remains an indulgence that many do not attain. I entered the school system in fourth grade, which is tremendously late compared to many students. As one would imagine catching up on years of foundational learning is no simple task. As a result, I developed a hunger and appreciation for education. Having the opportunity to attend college in itself is valuable to me and serves as a testament to my accomplishment in not merely catching up but pursuing a professional degree. College and education have taught me that nothing will come free or easy. The pride I feel and the advantage of working for every ounce of success that I receive has proved to be a valuable part of my college experience. While I realize that I am alone in the fulfillment of my own goals I have learned that building relationships and balancing stress relief are equally important in achieving ones goals. College, in only one semester, has surely begun to equip me with skills that will lead me everywhere I want to go.
Before entering college, I had no conception of the words hard work. Most things were given to me or came easy. I never studied, yet was able to maintain my grades. My mother, being a single mother of four, drilled into me the importance of a college education because she struggled to provide for my siblings and me without one. She expressed that only through hard work and determination can someone succeed, yet my youthfulness made me ignorant and stubborn. I entered college with the same ideals I had in high school. Finally after years of stubbornness I learned you reap the fruits of you labor. I rarely studied and my grades began to plummet. It was not until I buckled down and exerted effort that my grades began to improve. College taught me the value of hard work because without it, one cannot succeed. Likewise without a college education, acquiring a career is almost impossible. Presently without highrt forms of education, even the simplest jobs will not hire. Furthermore, college provides interactions with people of different backgrounds and creates well-rounded individuals. It serves as a precursor for the real world and opens many doors not present without it.
So far at this point in my college career I have learned to manage time, I have learned more about myself, and I have became more well rounded student. It has been valuable to attend becuase I am trying to mold and shape myself not only as a student but as a person. I think that college is not just about your status, but it is about developing character while you are tryig to acheive your goal. The values I have gained and will continue to gain is self accomplishment, resilance ,and will power. Those are traits that cannot be taught, but can be gained through the journey through college. I think I am a vey good candidate of this scholarship and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity.
I have gotten not only a very good education out of college, but i have also received many life lessons. I have also gained many new friends.
In my time here at Pitt-Johnstown, I have had an amazing time learning and interacting with fellow students as well as my professors. I think that my experience at Pitt-Johnstown has been valuable in many ways. I am very glad I chose to attend a small school because I have had the opportunity to get to know my professors. I have a leadership posistion on campus which has let me be a role model to the incoming freshman. I have learned to expand my horizons and get involved in new things on campus and in the community which is the true goal of a liberal arts school. I have learned a lot here both on and off campus as well as in and out of the classrooms. Pitt-Johnstown is helping me get ready for the real world and shaping me to have a better tomorrow.
During my college experience at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, it have found it valuable to learn how to live on my own and become independent. I also gained time management skills from balancing class, i have met many new people, and made new friends. I have also endured a great education and professors with great knowledge. I also value the helpful proffessors that take time out of their day to help a student in need. Any problem i have had it is easily fixed with the help of the academic success center where they offer free tutoring for almost every subject, i found this very helpful when preparing for tests, or when i am having trouble writing a paper. I feel the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is a great campus with great oppurtunites for students who are looking for smaller class sizes, and helpful proffessors.
From my college experience, I have learned that finding out what you want to do with your life is important. You want to find a subject or topic you love and are passionate about so you always want to learn more. You never want to be bored or uninterested in what you're being taught. If you are, then you've wasted your time and money. When you love what you learn, then you'll love your work later on. That's what is most important to me; planning my schooling so that I will enjoy life after college.
My preperation would include, first taking my academic classes more serious, second saving more money from my job to apply for college and third applying myself more in activities outside the classroom and possibly forming better friendships with those in my classrooms.
If I could go back in time and give myself advice knowing what I know now, I would give myself two pieces of advice. First, I would tell myself about time management. As a freshmen entering college, I found myself being a social butterfly and not focusing as much attention on my academics. I would tell myself to use my time wisely and to get my work done before calling friends to hang out, or just slacking off. The second piece of advice I would give myself would to be follow my heart and not worry so much about money. When I came to college as a freshmen, I was a Pre-Pharmacy major because I wanted to be wealthy. Coming from a lower-middle class neighborhood, money was something I always strived to have a lot of. After completely 3 years of college and finally settling on a major in Communication, I realize that money can't buy you happiness. Only your passions in life can truly make you happy. If I knew these two pieces of advice entering college, I feel the transition into college life would have been a little bit smoother.
If I could go back to high school and give advice to myself I would tell myself to use better studying habits and do more than what the teachers told me. The teachers at my high school taught to the standardized tests and we learned very little in the four years beyond that. In senior year, I was taught very little and as a result I struggled at times in my first semester in college. Along with that I never read much and did not take many notes. I would tell myself to practice stronger study skills and read more books. I would also tell myself to read beyond what the teacher explains. These skills would allow me to do even better in college.
I would make sure that i put studying first and make sure that I following all rules and regulations. And sure myself with the people that are well adjusted and know thier way around the campus.
Become involved in as many campus activities as possible without overwhelming yourself and neglecting studies. Working is essential and may be necessary to complete college, however extracurricular activities, publishing contests, and any other curricular motivated work is greatly looked upon after graduating. While extraneous pressure to decide on a major is prominent, take your time to research your likes, dislikes, and future occupational goals, dont be afraid to change your mind or tweak your decisions if you find out new information about set goals that no longer may be applicable to your plans. Graduating in 4 years is always the goal, however rushing to reach that goal may cause you to make mistakes that could be prevented if you work at your own pace. Do not succumb to competition in school, tho you may gauge yourself academically by your classmates progress in the class, allow yourself to work on your own level and dont stop asking questions until you understand and can explain it to someone else. Dont be afraid to reach for goals higher than what you have imagined, you will surprise yourself. And turn a deaf ear to ANY negativity!
To stay focused, and to work harder throughout my Senior year. I feel I have so much wasted talent because I did not apply myself throughout highschool. I would tell myself about what College has showed me about myself; my strengths and my weaknesses. I would tell myself to study more, and focus on the kind of future I have always wanted for myself. I would also tell myself to do my best to keep in touch with friends because College can be a very lonely place when you have lost all of your true friends. I would also remind myself that my parents will always be my biggest fans.
Finding the right college should first be addressed by academics (i.e. major availability and reputation), and then on location, and finally on cost. If a decision still can't be reached after sifting through the options, then the student's reaction to the campus upon a college visit should act as the deciding factor between any competing schools.
When trying to make the most of the college experience, I think it is important to take the time up to the first exam to learn or relearn how to study. The first exam marks should then be used to evaluate the techniques tried. Any students should keep in mind that having fun and blowing off steam isn't only enjoyable, but is an absolute necessity. Take the time to hang out with friends, and especially make sure you allow yourself study breaks to recharge your mind. You won't learn nearly as effectively if your mind is never allowed to reorient itself and is constantly bombarded to the point of numbness.
Choose a college where you are comfortable. Base your decision on an enviroment that suites you best.
Make sure it is somewhere you want to go. You have to find a place that makes you feel comfortable and like a home. Remember home is where the heart is. To have your heart in a place where you want to learn helps even more and keeps you motivated! You won't always find it on the first pick, you have to try out a few options. Pay a visit, maybe even stay over night. Just pick the one that you feel the best at . Thats the way to find the right college for you!
The one thing i would say would be to go with your gut. When you step on the campus that is right for you, you should just feel it. But also, i would say look as the student to faculity ratio. You don't want to be just a number to your profesors. You want them to know your name and know who you are. And lastly, get involved. Every college has many different clubs and activities. Look for a club that has to do with your major and join that. This will help you to get to know upper classmen in yout major and they will come in as a big help to you by telling you which professors and classes are the best to take. It will also help you make friends and a big part of college is being social.
If you are looking for a place that is not too far from your family but enough space for you to grow into your own person, look for a place that is 2-3 hours away. There is always going to be a great school somewhere around you that has exactly what you want. I never saw myself staying at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for all four years, but I managed to form a life here. College is what you make it. I started with no friends and now everytime I go somewhere I see someone I know. But be sure that academics are high on your list for picking a great school. Also, get involved on campus. It is a great opportunity to see what you are capable of doing while having a great time. So visit schools, meet people, and be sure "the shoe fits" before you make your decision!
Chose an environment that you will be comfortable in because you are going to spend the next four years of your life married to the college of your choice. If you are a country person and like small class chose a smaller school. If you are a city person and like the night life go to a bigger college closer to the city. Just choose what is you!
My advice to any incoming college student is that the college you choose isn't what matters. You need to pick the right learning environment for you, and choose a place that you will enjoy living and learning for the next couple years of your life. College can be the best years of your life, but you have to be mentally prepared. It is no walk in the park, and you will NOT get by as easily as you did in high school, trust me. The best advice I can give is to be aware of what?s going on around you. Read the information pamphlets, take advantage of the opportunities on campus, and get involved!
To find the best college for you, go on as many tours and visits as possible. After you see enough you will start to get a feeling for what you like best. Try to visit a variety, big ones, small ones, 2 year and 4 year schools. The more you go to the more likely you will find one that fits you, and besides even if you don?t like the school you will probably get lots of free stuff at the tour! To make the most of your experience you need to be open to trying new things, I?m not saying break laws, but get out and have fun. Join clubs, hang out with new people, and go on trips offered by the school. Most importantly don?t be afraid of new experiences, if you don?t like it, don?t try it again, but you never know you may find a new passion!
When looking for a school, don't just choose based on where your friends are going on the cost. Take some time, do some research and pick the right college for you.
Visit as many different types of colleges as you can and early. Try to spend a night or a weekend there or something and see how you like it.
I feel that when students and their families visit a school the tour guides show them what they want to see. The university's staff does not show anything bad on the campus. I feel that a prospective student should be able to spend the night at a school to get the right feel about the college. There will not be any surprises then. Whenever I was looking at colleges I stayed the night at a few of them and that is how I decided that I wanted to go to Pitt-Johnstown.
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