One factor sticks out when asked the question if I could talk to myself about what would ease my transition over to The University of Tulsa and that is stress. I grew up in a small town with a low percentage of peers who were going to attend college, none of whom going to The University of Tulsa. Therefore it was somewhat intimidating because I was taking on this experience blind with little applicable advice from others. Building on the previous statement, I believe that a certain amount of fear is good because fear is a good motivatior as well as a good indicator of integrity and a chance to test oneself in a once in a lifetime situation that cannot be replicated. In conclusion, the most important advice I would give myself would be more relaxed about the social aspects of college and still be fearful of the academic aspects. This advice would have lessened the amount of overall stress without losing the motiviational and focus to succeed in the classroom.
Dear Katie, I know you're really stressed out right now. College is a big step! But don't get too caught up worrying about whether you’ll make friends or whether you're going to do well in your classes. Just enjoy this step of your life. You know you’ve worked hard to get to where you are and no matter what you’re going to continue to work your hardest to get to wherever life takes you. Roll with the punches. You are going to get a few crummy teachers, you might fail a test, and while you'll make some new friends you'll lose others. But those things don’t define this time in your life; don't focus on them. College is a vital time in your life for you to find who you are. You'll meet the most interesting people, try tons of new things, and you may even step into a class one day and realize you've found something you'd be happy doing for the rest of your life. Look forward to it. Change your major if you must. Most of all, keep an open mind. Best regards, Katie
I wish I could go farther back than that. I didn't take High School seriously enough. I was depressed for my first few years in Tulsa, having recently moved from my home town of 12 years. I didn't pay attention in class, and I didn't give my high school education the respect it deserves. I realize now that I could have done so much better, and could have entered college with a better understanding of where I want to go in life. I'm better now, of course. I've fallen into place as a Computer Science major, and I do very well in my classes, and have fun with them. I'm much more involved in leadership roles as well. But I lack the financial support I need to not leave college with a lot of debt. My advice to my senior self would be: "Get it together. This is the last chance you get to do well and ensure better financial aid. You are going to love college so much, it would be a shame if you had financial issues looming overhead the whole time."
The senior year of high school is generally that "limbo" period, where you realize that you must leave this world behind and yet you are at the "top of the food chain." That generally leads most seniors to fall into a pattern of working and hanging with friends. Knowing what I know now, I would have taken these steps: 1) Once you get accepted, imagine that it is a new job and this is your first day. 2) Learn all about your school, now, while you're still in high school. 3) Keep on looking for any and all outside scholarships. 4) Find out what your basic classes are going to be, buy the books now, read them. 5) Get your friends engaged in your new adventure (even if they're going to different schools, they're still your support now). These few steps will get you mentally prepared for the transition into academia. You need to do all that you can so that you avoid that "shock" factor the first day you set foot on campus as an incoming Freshman.
High School Nate, First and foremost, I would advise you to take everything you can while you're still in high school. That's not to say you won't learn anything once you get to college. I have discovered that it is much to your advantage to have had exposure to certain course material before so that in your second time through areas that used to give you trouble no longer will. The easier you can make the classes in your first year will allow you to make a more gradual transition to college life. Secondly, I would like to strongly encourage you to sign up for and attend orientation even though you did wind up going. It doesn't matter that it will take a week off of the last high school summer of your life becuase it will jump start you on college and believe me you won't be missing a thing. Lastly, I'd like to encourage you to study subjects that you find interesting you can only be an undergrad once. Here's to your future, College Nate
Every year that we have to learn and grow, we realize that we know so much more than we did in the previous year of our life. As a senior in high school, I assumed that I knew everything I needed to know about college and finances, unaware that I knew very little. If I could go back in time I would definately put an emphasis on getting a job as soon as possible when you are old enough and saving every penny for your education. I would definately make myself make a payment plan in advance and know just how much aid versus finances needed I had. I would also make sure to let myself know that college is completely different than high school. You have to study and spend a certain amount of hours out of the week doing so in order to maintain high grades. Most classes have nothing but lectures, and in order to pass you only have a few chances throughout the year to turn in work. Therefore, in college you must really have a good start and be prepared.
I would tell myself that college is a major decision that will ultimately affect the way the rest of my life financially. From a financial point of view, colege is a very lucrative investment of both time and money. College classes will range anywhere from three hundred dollars to a thousand dollars depending on both college, and area of study. However, the long term advantages of getting a degree, make it all worth while. A typpical high school graduate will make anywhere from minimum wage to between nine and ten dollars per hour, while a college graduate will make roughly twenty dollars per hour as a starting pament. This figure also will vary greatly with the area of study a student chooses. Computer scinece makors earn a starting pay of between twenty-two and thirty-three dollars per hour. So the adivce I would give myself is; Though college takes a great deal of time, effort and money, the benefits it offers make it worth your while.
"Don't worry about succeeding or failing. Don't worry about where things are or whether people will accept you. Enjoy the ride. You'll find your way around campus. You'll be surprised by the people you meet: the friends that will be just like you, and the ones that are different. You'll appreciate both types of friends because they'll each make your life more beautiful in their own unique way. Some days will be hard, and you'll wonder if you can survive. But you will. You'll rise to the challenges and overcome the obstacles. You'll realize that you absolutely love to learn. You'll find out what matters to you: who you are, and what you want to do with your life. You'll be different... the same kid who had big dreams, but also a new person, confident and sure of yourself. The University of Tulsa will give you that. You'll never be the same, and choosing to make TU your home will be one decision you'll never regret. I promise."
The advice that I would give myself would be to step even further outside of my comfort zone. Instead of second guessing if I was capable or not, I would just go out and try it. I would advise myself to get involved with as many extra curricular activities as I could manage in order to experience as much of the Tulsa campus as I could. I would also have advised myself to got through sorority recruitment my freshman year of college rather than my sophomore year because I have missed out on a year of being in a sorority and connecting with some of the most amazing girls on campus. I would advise myself that grades are important, but building relationships and getting involved outside of the classroom is just as important. I would also advise myself to take chances because college is a time to explore and not be afraid of failure. I would tell myself to make the most of my college experience because it goes by so fast.
If I could go back in time and talk to my high school self, I would say, "Self. You really need to stop worrying about what everybody else is doing. You need to stop trying to fit in. Pay attention in your classes and really focus on learning because you're going to college! You're not just going to finish high school and not do anything for the next 5 years. After you wait too long, it'll get a lot more challenging and tougher for you to remember all the things you KIND OF paid attention to. Get on the ball and start filling out applications to colleges and for scholarships because if you don't, you'll just be trying your hardest to survive on minimum wage and going from job to job! If you want to live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life, go ahead! But I can guarantee you it's not where you want to be. Further your education so you can have a career, not just a job, that'll last you all your life!"