I would advise my eighteen year old self to take control of stress. Stress can be the spark that lights the fire of motivation. Or, the taunting devil on one’s shoulder. The difference is mentality. One cannot eliminate stress from their life; it is a fact of life.
Applying to colleges, keeping up with classes, and being a competitive athlete was a good learning experience. I used stress as a motivator, and I am very happy with the result. I was a Division I athlete at University of Washington my freshman year, and now I focus full time on school and work. I should have been grateful for the opportunity, instead of fretting about possible rejection. Needless to say, I spent the remainder of my senior year stressing about getting into college, even after I sent in my applications. Complete. Waste. Of. Energy. I realize in hindsight that it distracted me from my classes, as well as robbing me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. I don’t have a time machine, so my only option is to implement this advice going forward. Stress can be an undermining force or a source of strength.
It is difficult to know exactly what I would say to myself as a high school Senior because it took me 10 years after that to realize that higher education was a necesisity and something I would be successful in. I would tell myself to continue to work hard at the things that I am pasionate about and spend more effort in trying to make college and my studies a priority. I am grateful for my experiences but wish I had someone to cheer me on and tell me how important college would be to me one day. I would want my younger self to understand that college would give me opportinities to interface with people that can help me succeed in the career of my choice. The straight A students in high school are NOT the only students that will be successful in college. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is aboslutely possible for you.. or myself to be successful in College. Just go for it!
Don't be afraid of your own potential. Start a business. Tell her how you feel. Start longboarding. Stop adapting and just be who you are. Say no. Start a group on facebook for those coming to UW who go to high schools in the area to create a network.
Dear High School Self,
Your mind is full of 'what ifs.' What if this isn't the best college for me? What if I'm not smart enough for college? I am here to tell you to stop. Stop stressing about the 'what ifs.' You worked hard to get to where you are today and you need to take a moment to be proud of yourself. Now, here are a few key things to remember to be successful in the transition to college. First, make sure to set goals that are for yourself and not anyone else. It is YOUR life, and you are the only person that knows what will make you happy. Secondly, push yourself outside your box. That can mean anything from participating in study abroad to trying rock climbing. Don't let your fears hold you back from things you may fall in love with. Finally, make sure to enjoy yourself. College is as much for personal growth as it is for academic growth. You will discover who you are in college, so don't get your nose too stuck in those books. Go out there and rock this whole college thing!
I would tell myself to start saving a lot of money because college is really expensive. I would also tell myself to study harder and always do my own work instead of using a friend on some assignments.
If I could somehow communicate with my high school self, I would emphasize, more than anything, that I devote myself to my schoolwork. I thought I was a "smart" kid, who could maintain good grades with minimal work. Out of that mindset, awful habits develloped that really crippled my college career. UW demands much from its students, and that high school attitude would not prepare me at all for what was to come. That being said, there are many opportunities that will present themselves in college that are not at all as exciting as you might think them to be. Stay away from drugs. Above all else, say no to drugs. The mystery and danger they present might be alluring, but they are nowhere near as exciting as you expect them to be, and not at all worth the cost. Not only are they financially taxing, they place a physical and mental burden on you that is not only unnecessary but also extremely difficult to overcome. In the end, you won't feel any wiser or more experienced for having experimented with them. Certainly go out and make friends, but always ensure that school comes first.
After completing my Fall Quarter at the University of Washington, I flew home to my hometown, San Clemente. Visiting my high school and speaking with my high school friends, I gave them one important piece of advice. In high school I was always concerned with what people thought and how successful I would be. However, after being in college, I told my friends that none of that matters. The most important thing to do is to be yourself and do what you want to do. Ultimately you are in control and whatever you choose to do, you have the opportunity to be successful.
As a child on family hikes, I loved to follow rabbit trails off the main path. Usually, they dead-ended with blackberry bushes, but sometimes I made jaw-dropping discoveries, like a giant, abandoned tree house.
By high school, I had forgotten how to follow rabbit trails. I was on an honors track, involved in Wind Ensemble, and church activities. I assumed once I began college, I would be a real adult who knew exactly where she was going.
Actually, college is much more about accepting that you will always be a person in progress. It's about goals and exploration, ambition and flexibility. College broke down many assumptions about myself, the order of things, and what success should look like.
I switched my career path from music to social work to English. Writing a poem abroad at the coliseum and helping children make paper machete balloons were my unexpected tree house moments. These moments have led me to where I am now in pursuing Elementary teaching.
Now, I would say: high school self, don't be afraid of rabbit trails. You will never have everything figured out. Embrace the messiness of an unknown journey. Enjoy the person you become.
If I were to go back in time, I would tell myself to prepare for college in advance. I would have done much more research and tried applying to more scholarships. I would decide much earlier in advance what I wanted to study and what I wanted to become. I would do this so that I could do more research on what goals I have to accomplish and what requirements I have to meet. In general, I would tell myself to be more prepared.
You need to sit down and think about your future and what it is going to take to get there. Because your parents have not attended college, you do not have the same guidance as other kids on how to prepare for college and what to do once you get there. You have big aspirations, and with those big aspirations come a lot of hard work and thorough planning. Doing your research is very important on what it takes to become a doctor and the standards that come along through your education. Knowing what is coming will help tremendously so you won't start college without a clue what you are doing. If you knew what to expect, then you will not waste time and money. Most importantly, you will know the importance of grades and studying and how dire they are to your success as a doctor and even just getting into medical school. Advice for anyone getting ready to go to college is to know what you want and take it very seriously because it is a whole new world completely different from high school.
To not procrastinate and put absolutely everything you have into your college applications because they truly determine where and how happy you are going to be the next four years.
Life as a high school senior differs greatly from the life of an undergraduate in college. One of the major differences is independence. As a high schooler, you learn to depend on teachers to tell you when certain assignments are due and you also occasionally depend on your parents to help you with homework, laundry, and food. However, once you're in college, you must learn to do these things yourself. The single most important thing to master independence is to learn how to manage your time. The best way to manage your time is to use a calander. Using a calander allows you to see when certain tasks are meant to be done. By learning this time management technique, you will easily be able to depend on yourself.
College. That word which causes even the strongest of high school students to tremble a little inside. However, after three years of college, the concept of higher education is not as daunting as it once was. I have shed much blood, sweat and tears to arrive at this point, but college has made me into a much stronger and well-rounded person.
If I could travel back a couple years and tell myself something, it would be to stay one step ahead. When I maintained a jumpstart on the syllabus and my fellow students around me, I was very relaxed and able to contribute better to my classes. On the flipside, when I was just barely hanging onto my classwork, I was extremely stressed and started to fall behind. As a result, I would highly recommend to my senior self to schedule my time in a calendar to peacefully work on my assignments.
However, the bottom line of college is just to enjoy the experience, your fellow classmates and most importantly the incredible opportunity to gain knowledge of this world!
Young lady: I am going to tell you some things that you need to keep close and grasp with all your strength. I am going to tell you things that you will not like to hear, things that you will cry over, but will ultimately make your young life easier. You resisted these things as best as you could, but I am here to tell you now that these things will resurface again in ten years’ time. First, you cannot escape the essay. Writing will dominate your world from now until the end of time. It will define your college career in more ways than you can imagine. Second, do not fear your classmates. You should all work together to reach your final goal. They are not your enemy; they are not your competition. You may meet them again one day and you may rely on them once more. Finally, you cannot be shy anymore. Even if it is scary, even if it is painful, you must expose yourself. You must meet and greet and hang onto the lifeline of every last soul you cross, because that is how you will advance through your life. You cannot do it alone.
I would tell myself to enjoy the presence of my friends in high school while I still can. Although I still talk with them every now and then, it is not the same as it used to be. Sure, I made new friends when I went to college, but one of the best friends that I have now is someone who I was acquaintances with in high school and is in the same college as me now. I did not have many true friends in high school, only one or two, most of the people that I hung out with were barely more than acquaintances like the friend I described above. For some reason, I was not letting myself get close to these people that I saw every day, but now that I am in college, I see that friendships are extremely important when going for a higher level of education if you want to remain sane. If I would have allowed myself to enjoy my friends more, I would have had a much more relaxed final year of high school, and many of them would continue to be my friends today.
Those whose joy bursts from their bodies like firecrackers are those who choose to be happy. You are just a young kid – the world that surrounds you now is not the world that is waiting for you. Don’t let shy passivity stunt the growth of your creativity. You are not old – don’t try to act older for the sake of blending in, your youth is worth so much more than to be wasted. Clutch your joy in your hands and don’t let it go.
Give your all to the college you are accepted to: opportunities will ebb and flow as your time there grows, seize the ones that bring passion to your life. You are entering a time of “brand new” – go on adventures, stay out, explore, make choices based on the person you strive to be in order to better the one you will be at college.
Most importantly, don’t hold back on forming new relationships – your friends will be your comfort when you feel homesick or lost among a sea of work. Nurture the time you spend with others.
I will look back on college as one of the best times of my life. However, there are a few pieces of advice I would give to a high school senior about to begin college:
The first is purely practical - I highly recommend looking for a job on campus soon after you start. You will be able to get valuable academic and research experience that will skyrocket your chances of landing a successful job or graduate school application after college. Many of my extracurricular activities and recommendation letters came from a job I got during my freshman year.
Second, stay organized and on top of your classes, both with your lecture material and with the schedule you need to keep in order to graduate on time. This will save you lots of stress and possibly a large chunk of tuition money if you don't need to stay an extra semester to take a missing class to complete your degree.
Finally, meet as many people as possible, find friends to live with, study abroad, and take as many opportunities as you can. Make the most of your time in college, and be prepared to love your newfound independence!
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to relax and center my undergraduate experience on what suited my career personally, not on "what I was supposed to be doing" or my GPA. I would tell myself to challenge myself with classes that I found interesting as well as subject matters that I wasn't as good at, in order to be well rounded and make sure that certain career options did not suit me. With the exceptions of fields such as pre-med or business, the undergraduate experience is a privilege that allows a student to explore and find what they are good at. Many do not take advantage of the tools at their disposal because they are set on a certain path or mindset, even if they haven't taken the time to test our their different options.
Second, I'd tell myself that having issues adjusting to college is perfectly okay. I feel that I would have coped better with the mental health issues I struggled with (anxiety and anorexia nervosa) if I had allowed myself to be okay with how hard adjusting is.
I would tell myself to do more research on colleges and majors before deciding what you want to do. The more research that you do, the easier it will be to make a decision that will effect your life. The earlier you research all options, the greater the chance of you making a definite decision in your career path. The sooner you start searching and applying for scholarships increases the opportunity of receiving financial support. Stay focused in school and make the best grades you can for this will also increase your chance of receiving a scholarship to the school of your choice. Do not settle for second best. Strive for excellence.
Going from high school to college was an exciting yet nervewracking experience for me. Having gone through that period of transition before, I am about to go through it once more. I will be attending graduate school this fall and the same questions are running through my head. "Is it going to be harder?" "What will the people be like?" "How different will it be?" Advice that I give to my high school self is the same I'd give to my current self. It would be to take advantage of all the opportunities available. Take the fun classes like graphic arts or ceramics that are seemingly frivolous because those classes may actually help you in your career or become a serious hobby. I would also tell myself that I can do much more than I think I am capable of and to not be afraid to take on challenges. I never knew how hard I could work until I got to college. Don't sell yourself short because you are afraid you won't do well. I'll make sure to follow this advice to my past high school self as I embark on a new academic journey.
I would say: "Elizabeth, congrats on finishing high school. I'm talking to you now in order to help you avoid the same mistakes I made as a college student. Here's the first thing: I can't stress enough the importance of joining clubs, internships, and organizations on campus. Not only will this help you make friends, but it will help you perform better in your classes and help you get into grad school (yes, you're going to grad school!). Secondly, take advantage of your professor's office hours. Again, there is no better way to do well in class than to get personalized advice from your teachers after hours - plus you can ask teachers for graduate school references if you get to know them. And finally, spend your time doing extra reading! You want to be a philosophy professor. You need to get yourself familiarized with as much academic philosophy as possible because finding jobs and grants in your field is pretty competitive. The sooner you can get ahead of the game the better. If you keep these things in mind, you will make this whole process much easier!"
Be better organized, as time management will make you or break you. There are only 24 hours in a day and getting things accomplishment in a timely manner is the only way to survive. Procrastination will not be tolerated, and sleep is of little importance if good grades are the goal. It is imperative to speak up, get involved in classroom discussion, exhibit energy and passion in the topics at hand. This mindset creates inner happiness and personal drive to produce success. Being involved in leadership positions, volunteer activities, sports/teaming groups, and employment opportunities create a well rounded person. The many friendships and multitude of learning opportunities enhance personal development. This is the college way and stepping up has got to be the mantra to obtain all possible from one’s education.
If I was given an opportunity to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would encourage myself to listen and take heed to my parents advice, by prioritizing my time to better organize my academic needs before hanging out with my friends in the community; I would listen harder in class as the teachers are teaching, take better detailed notes and be sure to ask questions when I don't completely understand how to work a math problem; I would encourage myself to get more involved in community service projects while being a member of several merit-based clubs/organizations, which would provide me a better pay off when applying for various college scholarships; I would encourage myself to keep my bedroom at home in a more organized manner by learning to appreciate many space-saving gadgets; I would encourage myself to get better acquainted with the "nerds" outside of my social circle and allow the "popular crowd" within my social circle to disassociate themselves with me... It's a blessing in disguse.
I would advise myself to take advantage of all of the extracurriculars and resources my university had to offer in order to get the most out of my education. While I was in college, all I did was take my required classes and nothing else. I even lived off-campus, so as soon as my classes were over for the day, I went back home. I wish I would've put more effort into trying out clubs or other organizations so that I would've made friends and experienced a lot more. I also wish I would have used the academic and career resources my university offered for free while I attended. I think I would have had a better idea of what I was going to do after I graduated with my degree if I had talked to counselors and my professors more about my goals and aspirations.
Put your faith and personhood first to benefit perspective and relationships. Consider skills and gifts. Regard adversity as an opportunity to learn, grow, and give kindness. Demonstrate empathy and compassion, and participate with loved ones. Confide burdens to credible people. Socialize with people whom you admire to improve. Accept necessary endings, and move forward. Put a process and timeline to indecision, and respect yourself enough to forgive and move on from people who mistreat you. Value sustainable self-care. Say no to that which opposes instinct or character, but adventure beyond comfort zones and transcend group boundaries to connect, network, and achieve. Talk less about yourself, write, inquire, and listen more. Encourage others.
Regarding love, be honest even if you feel scared or might lose all: Tell them how you feel, ask for what you want, and ask what they need. Let them choose. Share your life. Ask for help, and contemplate and reflect in solitude. Place yourself in community spaces, volunteer, and scale life beyond you. Laugh, play, and do fun things. Give thanks. Manage your time wisely with an ear to the ground for your future, which inevitably means leaving your world better off for those you love.
If I can go back and talk to my high school self the advice that I would give myself would be to pick classes wisely. It seems pretty general and sort of obvious, but it is very important to take courses based on your interests. It also makes transitioning into college easier because you get to take classes with people of similar interest so making friends won't be such a challenge. The classes won't make you feel so overwhelmed. It's not like high school where counselors put together your schedule, in college you have full control of it. Also, knowing what you are interested in and getting a sense of where you want to head in life would be of great advantage in college. College is no longer a time to decide what you want to do, it is the time that you start doing! Picking the right classes could help you get into the major that you want. College would be a much more enjoyable experience if you're learning about something you are actually passionate about.
I'm in my first months of college and things are getting stressful already. I wish I had prepared for the financial burden. If I could go back and talk to myself senior year, I would strongly encourage myslef to apply for every scholarhsip. Worrying about money instead of chemistry test is not productive. When you have to worry and cry about not having money for textbooks and food, it is not easy to concentrate on classes, joining student organizations and enjoying college. I would tell myself "Be smart now or you will regret it forever". If I had scholarhsips my college experience would have been better, I would have been able to afford living on campus instead of communting two hours and I would have more time to focus on learning.
I know you've got a full plate and the future is looming over you. I wish I could give you some advice to make everything easier, instead I'll give you some advice to make things harder: "the only way to know where your limits are, is to push yourself past them." Don't be afraid to reach. In Tae Kwon Doe, one of the first things they taught you was how to take a fall, and that's an important lesson to learn for life. Face rejection and failure head-on; they're both inevitable and you can grow a thicker skin in the meantime. Apply for everything that you can: scholarships, prestigious universities, jobs and internships. The worst thing that they can say is no, and you have so much to gain. Come out to your parents, it will be scary and hard, but you'll feel better afterwards. They say you never know unless you try, so don't be weak. Don't confuse humility with cowardice. Reach!
Take as many AP classes as possible
Apply to more, and less competitive, schools
Eat more ice cream.
Unlike high school, college has lots of distractions. Remember the goal, whether it is to find a good job after graduating from college, to learn a subject well, or to network with other people. Focus on your goal. Still, keep relaxation in mind. Rest is for the further road in front of you, but do not get lost in the field. If you feel difficult to survive, utilize the resources available. They can be your instructors, classmates, alumni, school utilities, libraries, labs, and etc. The Internet is useful, too. Think, and you might find a way to go through the hard time toward your goal. Best wish.
I would sit myself down and insist on a conversation about likes and dislikes. I think that this would lead to passions and life goals, which is a hard focus when you are 18 years old. I would make it clear to my past self that its truely important to study something that is important to you and not just something that will make you secure financially. I would also stress the importance of money and staying on a budget while you are in college. It is very easy to take out loans while you are in school but you need to be aware of the implications that this will have. Becoming financially responsible is a part of growing up and college is a great way to facilitate that.
I would look her right in the eye and say, "Girl, you need to listen to your parents, teachers, and counselors, they know whats best for you. Stop trying to just squeeze by. You make good grades, but you're taking the easy courses. You're capable of much more. Don't settle for Business English and Math, take English IV. Learn how to write that paper, some day you will wish you had. Get all you can from your classes. Just because you can make B's and C's without studying doesnt mean you shouldn't work hard to get all A's. You may not want to go to college when you graduate, but one day you will, and you will wish you had gotten all you could out of this year. It's fun to be a social butterfly, but one day you will wish you had been that little book worm. You will wake up one day with 3 kids to take care of by yourself. Dream big and achieve all you can now, while your young and your mind is open to learning and not clouded by this crazy world around you."
I would tell my high school senior self to try my absolute hardest, and do not slack off on any type of work in any classes. I would say to join as many clubs and extra curricular activities as I qualified for, and to branch out because that will help when you get to college life. I would also tell her to apply and research more than just one school and explore options as far as majors go. I would tell her it's okay to be unsure and to go in as an undeclared. I would say to do your best and to not fear what the future holds, but to embrace it. Most of all, I would tell her to enjoy high school because she will miss it once she's done but to also enjoy college because it's the last step before starting your own real world life.
I would tell myself to stop and smell the flowers. Also, appreciate your family even though they might not necessarily understand the kind of arduous road you are heading down when aspiring to become a doctor. I very much enjoyed my time in college and had fun through it all, but sometimes there would be low points in school where I would put myself down if I did not meet my expectations. This caused me to always work; relentless in my studying and attacking the books. Whether this made me more knowledgeable or not I cannot prove, but I do believe I know myself well enough now that when I becomed burdened with anxiety, my test scores will falter; and sadly that is the only measurement schools have when defining your aptitude. My advice to myself would be to slow down and relax. College is one of the best times of your life and you only have one opportunity to live through it while you are young. Gaining wisdom about life is the true measure of knowledge
Life is good after high school. Have a steady job, a family and a house. But that Bachelor's degree would make life even better. Think about the possibilities once you have a bachelor's degree. The doors that will open for you, the greater the opportunities it there will be. Starting college right about high is the best option for a, no....the only option for a better life! Dont believe the "I'll take a year off and then go back to school" theory. It wont work. Once you have that itch for making money working a daed end job, it'll comsume you. Starting college right after will give you the edge and chance to accomplish greater things at a younger age. It will be easier for you, right out of high school, you'll still have that school-mentality and not the "I have to work because I need money" mentality. Other have tried, I have tried and I am not 29 years of age, barely starting University. The greatest school accomplishment at the age of 29 I have to show, is a high school diploma. Dont make the same mistake twice. Good luck in college!
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior; I would tell myself to focus on your career and make a better life for yourself!!
First of all I will tell myself to quit messing around. How hard or how much easier the future can be will be determined by what you do today. Success is not something that just happens over night or in a few months let alone a couple of years, it is a life time pursuit. You must begin now for the future. You can not erase what happen's and replace your regrets. Life is not all about you, its about something much greater than yourself. You will have a wife and children to love and care for, you will have a family that will depend of you to provide for them the necessities of life you will have enormous responsibilities lying ahead. It is the one with greater knowledge that will be far better prepared for the storms life, the more you learn know and apply, the far better of you will be, so with more knowledge comes endless options. Do you desire a safe more secure future?!
Oh Past Self. If only you could see a glimpse of your future self, would you be able to believe that eventually you will someday be me? I do not want to spoil the excitement of the life experiences you are about to encounter as you enter university life. However, there are some suggestions you should consider as you begin to have independent thought and begin to make your own choices while you are outside of your parents’ home. I strongly advise you to begin reading and asking questions about what you know and those new things being taught to you. Outside of your course work, study different cultures and beliefs. Do not be afraid to explore your own beliefs as you experience streams of consciousness. Accept who you are and be open to new ideas as you encounter them. Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to draw different conclusions compared to those beliefs found by the ones you love. Trust yourself, be involved and offer what you have to your community. You will discover a love and passion you could never have imagined. Keep this in mind, and your college experience will be everything you need to learn and grow.
I know you are scared but let this school sweep you off your feet. Don't let your fear of stretching yourself too thin prevent you from joining all of those clubs you were interested in at the begininning of freshman year. Not everything you do has to directly relate to science or medicine for it to be worthwhile. Maybe you will find a new passion and that time you spend smiling because of it will be time that you remember better than that one math exam you got an A on. College is a time to explore so keep your goals in mind but be open to falling in love with something unexpected. You took classes with the same people for years but now, your classmates change every three months so by getting involved in a club, you can have some constancy in your friends. You will make great friends in your classes but make the effort to stay friends after the quarter is over. On a different note, invest in some rain boots. I know Toms are cute but your feet will get soaked in the rain.
Now that you are about to graduate high school, I have a few tips on furthering your education. First off, stay organized and dont loose your paperwork -especially loan paperwork and transcripts! Speaking of loans, you really don't want to take out any. That means your going to have to step up the scholarship searching. Try campusdiscovery.com's scholarship, its a good start! Trust me, a few years down the road when you have a third the debt of your friends, you will thank me (yourself). Also, I know you really want to move out of state for school, but it may be good to think about sticking closer to home; tuition is crazy expensive for out of state students and it is really nice to have mom and dad close enough to use their washer and dryer! Lastly, don't sweat it when you change your major four times. I did and I'm still getting along fine. Trust me, you think you know what you want to be when you grow up but as you do, that will change. College is about learning more about who YOU are!
I would tell myself to remember that this is a transition period. There will be hiccups, sad days, challenging courses, etc. What you must focus on, is to roll with the punches. With any large transition in life, there will be some hard days, and also some good days. The key part is to know it will get better. It takes time to get used to a new schedule and a new way of life, but it will improve. It is inevitable. I would also tell myself to not focus so much on the letter grade you receive, but to focus on the information you are learning. The knowledge you will gain will help you so much more than a grade letter in your future. Do not take for granted the classes you are taking, and do not think negatively about any of them either. Just remember, every day that you show up to class and sit in that chair, you are learning. For this stage in life, that is your main goal. The world is your oyster, so start making a pearl.
Do you recall that time when dad said your life is an investment. Well it turns out that is the most valuable advice you will ever hear. It comes down to one big idea, you will get out of life what you put in. Honestly if you just think that becoming a dentist like you dream is just going to happen, then I know sports authority would love to keep you selling shoe's till your 50. Karan, buddy, I am not saying that life is all work and no play, thats like throwing your entire 401K into goldman and sachs, its stupid. Life is an investment, a balanced investment. You have a goal keep it in mind, but keep your path to that goal open, invest in other people, new interests, new opportunities, fall in love with learning. But realize that balancing balls to the wall work ethic and caffinated 4 year old play time will be difficult, and near impossible sometimes but it will sure be a life worth living. You have one life, invest it well, and don't forget, dad's still right.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life, I would definitely encourage myself to read more, study harder and attend class on a consistent basis. During my senior year of high school, I was a single parent and a working mom. I was determined to achieve, but did not put forth as much effort as I could have. I would study when required, but I never had a set study time. I graduated from high school with a GPA of 90.59, Rank: 11 out of 161 students. However, had I truly put forth the effort, my grades would have been higher and my transition into the college life would have been sooner. I enrolled in Rutledge College in 1988, majoring in what is now called Computer Technology. I graduated in 1990 and decided that I needed to go back for my Bachelor's Degree. So, I am currently enrolled in the University Transfer program at Durham Tech, majoring in Sociology. College life has truly opened my eyes to the importance of being consistent and persistent in my education endeavor.
I was a part of a college-prep program in high school that promised to prepare me for all the obstacles I may face and give me a glimpse of what is expected of me when starting college. The program taught me test taking strategies as well as introduced me to resources. However, one of the things I would tell myself is that, no matter what anyone says or how they prepare me for college, time and experience is the best teacher of all time. You don’t become better by getting an “A” on a test, it’s the path to getting that “A” grade that sticks with you. It’s unfortunate that at the end of the day, more people seek the grade than understand the path to getting there which is why I really would like to emphasize this. I share this because one of the biggest problems that caused a lot of anxiety going through college is questioning whether what I was doing was right or not. I hope to reassure the younger me that time and experience is the way in which I will best mature as a student and person in college.
My first year in college was going smoothly for me until half way through the year when I realized that I had no passion for architecture. The thought of changing majors terrified me because I had never considered any other major. If I could go back in time and talk to my high school self I would advise myself to open up and explore other majors. I would say that while it is scary to consider changing your major, it is much easier and efficient to change sooner rather than later. Now going into my second year at the University of Washington, I am planning to major in civil and environmental engineering, a subject that both excites and scares me. The work load is daunting but I have passion for environmental issues that make the courses bearable. Looking back that passion was there in high school, I just hadn't recognized it because I was so focused on architecture, something safe, something I had a plan for. Engineering is a risk for me. It's challenging and terrifying and it'll take me longer to graduate, but I'm okay with that. I only wish I'd known that sooner.
If I could go back in time I would tell myself that college is a lot harder than you think. I would need to be dedicated to my work and know that there will be tough times and I just have to go through it. I also want to tell myself to keep staying humble because being true to yourself will make people respect you even more. I still am humble but now I’m starting to see the benefits of it while before I thought I had to be the same as everyone else. I also want to tell myself to keep on with your study habits because once you’re in college those study habits will help like being punctual and completing tasks ahead of time to make room for other work. Lastly, I just want to tell myself to just stay happy and everything will turn out just right.
Right now, you're filling out applications for college and imagining what next year will be like. Well let me tell you, college is everything you expect and more. But before you go on dreaming your entire senior year away, my number one advice to you is enjoy high school while it lasts. Take all the busy work the teachers give you and use it to perfect your work ethic. Complete every single task given to you to practice juggling different responsibilities at the same time. Join every single club you can to expand your network. Face every challenge knowing you can do it and you have support behind you. Accept all the help your teachers give you because once in college, the teachers don't come to you. You have to plan accordingly to them. So therefore, thank your teachers for everything and appreciate all the work they do for you. Last but not least, enjoy your time at home because once you move out, you won't have your family around 24/7. Other than that, enjoy high school and I can't wait for you to learn everything that you do in college!
Making the switch from high school to college means a lot more freedom. No one will tell you to go to class, to wake up if you oversleep, or to clean your room. While this may sound freeing and amazing, it means the responsibility rests on you. Don't assume you know the information and can skip the homework! I don't care what you major in - this will never end well. Take your time declaring a major. Explore a variety of classes and really think about what you can do with that major in the future. It's tempting to declare something because it's easy, or you already have the pre-requisites, but don't be afraid to change it if you decide it's no longer the right fit. Finally, don't get caught up with working. Yes, loans are a big deal, but you need to give yourself time to enjoy being a student and living away from home. Being concerned with homework and a paycheck can make that hard sometimes. Remember to schedule "me time." Most of all, have fun!
At the daunting age of 23, I find my life is truly just beginning to come into its own. Though I look back on a winding trail full of ups and downs I find it has all worked to not only shape me into who I am, but has lead me to where I am today for a purpose. As I look into the future I begin to see the women I want to become and believe that College have proved instrumental in empowering me to realize that dream. The opportunity for education at a God-centered university provides not only a strong knowledge base from which to launch the next chapter of my life, but also the opportunity to grow in my faith with it. I am not sure where my life will be years from now, but I know I could not be better prepared than having attended the University.
Make sure to enjoy every moment of your transition to the real world. College is an absolutely amazing opportunity to grow and learn more about the world as well as yourself. Be sure to get involved early on campus, because before you know it, you'll be a senior looking for jobs and will truly regret not capitalizing on the opportunities that you had passed on. Be sure to push yourself to be better in your classes as well so you can make yourself the best you can be. It's easy to be distracted by all the parties and social activities, but remember why you are here. That being said, go out when you can and make friends. Be curious! Explore your campus and the surrounding areas. The last bit of advice is to remember how far you have come, but also, how far you have to go. You're very young and have so much to learn about the world. Good luck!
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