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University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee

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

If I could go back in time to talk to my high school senior self, I would tell myself to pursue my educational goals even though I didn't have the financial support of my parents. My parents always required me to have good grades, but when it came time for college, they didn't offer a means. I would tell myself to explore other options such as financial aid and scholarships, as I now know that those are available. I didn't know about these options then, and I would advise myself of becoming more aware, more involved, and to taking a larger role in my education. I would also tell myself to get more involved in the extracurricular activities offered by the school such as student government and sports, as these arenas could have opened up some opportunistic doors for me . All in all, I would tell myself to pay attention and make the best of the opportunities that are available, as it can make all the difference for your future success.

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First, I would convince myself not to graduate early like I did. With that extra time I would research schools more in depth and really consider a career I am interested in. I would talk to my counselors and seek sound advice instead of just going into it blind. I would also take tours of the schools I am interested in and take the time to really see what each school has to offer. I would then make sure to talk to the counselors at those universities and better educate myself on what it will take to finish my degree in a timely manner. Finally, I would apply for different scholarships to assist with my tution bill instead of accumulating student loans.

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Don't give up. Everything may seem hard and pointless, but in the future you'll thank yourself that you didn't procrastinate (even though you're really bad about that). I know right now you're probably wound up like a spring but I promise everything mellows out after high school. It's kind of ridiculous how much stress high schools put people under but I can guarentee you that the real world is not that scary. Embrace it. The people you try so hard to be friends with aren;t worth it. They're not going anywhere and they aren't worth your emotional energy. Be you and no one else. Love yourself and be proud of who you are.

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If I could go back in time and speak to myself as a high schooler, I would start off by saying, it gets better. Maybe not easier, but better. The worries become fewer. Studying is more important than going out with friends. Sometimes it's easier said than done, however, later on, it will all be worth it. I would tell myself not to be afraid to give my all. If something doesn't work out, keep pushing and always have a plan B. Whatever happens, DO NOT GIVE UP; failure is not an option.

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