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Virginia Western Community College

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

I think the advice that I would have given myself is to take advantage of EVERY single opportunity no matter if that benefitted me in a negative or positive way. Opportunities in the past few years good and bad, have taught me more than I ever knew possible. The opportunity to be a pharmacy technician and then find out that it is not my calling. The opportunity to try out for a high-quality dance intructor training program and then not make it. The opportunity to serve over 40 plus hours with a Dr. in Physical Therapy so I could get into a 28 person Physical Therapy program and then not get accepted. The opportunity to be accepted into a 38 person Respiratory Therapy Program but not attend the school because I now have options. In high school, I didn't have options because I didn't take all my opportunities to my full advantage. I will now be attending Roanoke College in Fall 2015 and majoring in Communications. I have never loved school more or felt more positive in my life to continue this journey!

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From my short time after graduation I have come up with the idea, that to work and live to reach a large amount of money is to work and live for your death. In other words coming from the perspective of a highschool student with no knowledge or network of individuals to help put you in the postion to make a large amount of money is unrealistic. A better way to think would be to find the thing in your haert that you love , are passionate about and would do for free if need be. In highschool I would have argued why would I find something in my heart when I can many differnet things to to make money. I now can answer back by saying I have seen people come to work every day hating there job. I even know individuals who have attempted suicide becuase of the stress that thier job create. Do you want to be the next person hating their life in pursuite of money? I can tell you for a fact that if you dig deep in your heart and find passion with out a doubt the money will come.

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Raymond, Despite what you may think right now, you are truly ok. The fear and insecurity you feel in yourself, mind and soul are all stemmed from a mental illness and as scary as that might sound, it will be the largest blessing for you. With the knowledge you gain through learning about yourself, you will do great things through advocating for others who suffer from the same. More so, your illness actually makes college and learning come easy! So suck it up buckoo and take the leap of faith! You can achieve so much for so many in this world if you just take that first step and i wish you could see that. So please, know that not only i believe in you but every person you connect with will as well and it's all due to the uniqueness of your brain. You will accomplish so much with so little and because of that, i'm proud to know you. Sincerely, -R

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I'd look myself in the eyes and tell that young girl to be brave. I'd say it's a big world but your determination is bigger and any dream worth having is worth working hard for. Dont be afraid to take that first step and to keep climbing even when it hurts or seems impossible. Dont let anyone stop you, not even slow you down. You are a strong and brilliant young women. You may make mistakes and fall short, but dont ever stop believing in yourself. Always dig deep and keep pushing because you have so much to keep going for. Stand tall in the face of adversity and have faith in everything you do. Life is only beginning and your story is unwritten. I'd give her a pencil, and tell her you may not understand it now, but you have the power to create your own destiny!

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In high school I was always very shy. Going into college, I was so scared about the possibility of not being able to make friends because of my shyness and tendency to be quiet. However, the students in my classes have put me totally at ease and I have made closer friends at college than I ever did in high school. I remember calling my mom after one of my classes and just being so excited while telling her about all the new friends I made. If I had one piece of advice to give myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to just relax and enjoy the last little bit of high school before venturing out into a more grown-up world where many people aren't nearly as scary as I thought; many people are amazingly friendly after all.

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If I could go back in time and talk to my senior self, I would tell me to stay focused and organize better. One of the big things I have learned about college is that I have a lot more freedom but at the same time more responsiblity so I really need to remember to keep all of my studying, test, and notes in order because it is entirly up to me to succeed. I would also tell myself not to worry because the horror stories are not ture, I won't get kicked out if I am a few minutes late and I won't get laughed at if I don't get the right answer. I would also say that yes the people are smarter, but they are also more mature so don't feel inferior or nervouse about speaking up in class.

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I would tell myself that college is something not to be taken for granted. As a senior in high school, I allowed myself to not concentrate on my studies as much as I now know you need to. I would tell myself that working hard to get a good education is something that needs to be done. A person is not going to just get a degree by not doing anything. I would tell myself that I need to be sure to work hard and not allow myself to use up all my spare time with friends and my social life when others things need to be accomplished to be able to ensure a good future. I would tell myself to get my act together and make school and my studies my number one priority.

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If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that I should of picked up better studying habits. I know how to study but back in high school I never really had to study as much as i do now, and sometimes it always takes me hours to study just for one class, back in high school it only took me about an hour to study for a couple of classes and I was done and on to do my own social thing. I just wished that I would of spent more time on my school books then anything else because it would of helped me in college now as oppose to staying up all night and cramming for my next test.

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I would tell myself how much different the workload is in college and how stressful it will be, so I could better prepare my study habits. I would have told myself to do some research on my career path and to really do some soul searching. College life is so much different than high school life, and high school doesn't really prepare one for college as much as I thought so. The movies and people lie when they talk about how much fun it is and how much freedom there will be. Bottom line to my high school me : Work really hard and learn to study properly!

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Hey! I know you are definitely freaking out right now. You are so confused about where you are going to go and what you should do versus what you want to do. My only advice is do not fret. Everything will work itself out. Do not blow through these years just so you can "make it through" college. Enjoy each class, each assignment (I know those things are hard), each person, and each day. Drink in your college experience. Before you know it you wasted everyday just "getting by." That is no way to live. Be patient.

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