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Wake Technical Community College

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

Spending time in unproductive activities during college hours and frequently pulling of all-nighters to finish projects that were poorly done and graded, I was among the many students for whom the concepts of proper time management and effective study methodology were completely unknown. I would tirelessly rote-review my class-notes the night before a test to end up failing or passing with a C; nevertheless, I finally realized that this ill-devised modus operandi would drive me to utter academic disaster had not I changed my strategy. Thankfully, by reading the book “How to Become a Straight-A Student” by Cal Newport, I have learned that an excellent time management and effective study methodology are the foundations of academic success; were I a high-school senior again, I would advise myself to especially value and exercise them. By understanding and remembering better subjects, scoring better grades in exams and essays, and by getting more work done in less time than ever before, I have become a more efficient and diligent person in all aspects, and I shall achieve academic and professional success by applying the techniques described in Newport’s book and by exercising the two foundations aforementioned.

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If I went back in time and spoke to myself as a wee little high school senior, I would have precious advice: listen to your heart. This valuable tidbit has a profound story to it, but I willl have to cut it short for this purpose. Among the other senior fun, I was offered a full ride for volleyball at a big time school. It sounds great, but there was a catch. My heart was not in the sport like it used to be. I decided to ignore these emotions and commit. To make a long story short, I was miserable. Volleyball dominated my life. I developed situational clinical depression and an eating disorder. These two illnesses destroyed my personality and worth. I eventually quit the team and the harmful situation. My scholarship was taken so I am back home, attending a community college and recovering. I am grateful for this transition, contrasting with the last. Although I wish I listened to my instincts, I learned how to handle important future decisions, like which university to attend next year. I also know the perfect slice of knowledge I would share if I could go back-listen to your heart.

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Chris, take a step back from every relationship other than your own relationship with yourself, and consider where you are going. You could follow your friends or your lovers, but the truest path to success will be to follow your own independent dreams and curiosities. Do not worry about the notoriety of the university you attend; instead focus on what that school can provide for you. The most important factor in the next stage of your life is the sincerity with which you make the next step. It is going to be a tremendous one, but do not be afraid to make it. Here's a clue: Forestry. Right now you don't have a clue what exactly you want to do with yourself and your future. You are considering becoming a writer and questioning whether college is even necessary. Well, over these last ten years I have learned that the most important element to being able to write a good story is by having lived a worthwhile life to pull details from. Forestry is a career that you are deeply passionate about, so take that course as a means of inspiration and congratulations on making it this far already.

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Given the opportunity to go back in time to talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to slow down, take a deep breath, and realize that college is not about moving out of the parent's house, it is about investing in yourself. I know that the senior year of high school is a blur of excitement. Excitement about the prospect of "growing up" and moving out, of new found freedoms. Freshman year of college is a very different reality than the image that was idealized in my high school self's head. It is true that college brings more freedom, but that freedom brings with it responsiblity. There are choices that have to be made that will affect the rest of your life, and the reality of growing up is the realization that freedom is more than having fun, it is making decisions for yourself because you know you are the one that will have to live with their consequences. As you make the transition to college let go of the idealized fantasies, work hard and invest your time wisely and you'll find the true freedom that comes with the empowerment of education.

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Dear Young Me, You will be amazed at what life has in store for you. So many wonderful experiences are to come in your life. You say there is no one to help guide you, to tell you how to find financing for school. You are a smart girl. You need to ask someone before they can tell you the answers to your questions. Your guidance counselor, teachers, or family members can tell you how to get the loans, scholarships and grants. You can be independent from your parents and still get an education. You can have a boyfriend and still attend classes. If you could work and attend high school, you can do the same in college. It is so important get your education, so that you can accomplish all the goals and plans you have. Your life will be dramatically different if you take the time to get your education. A post secondary education will open up so many more possibilities in your young life. The most important thing to remember is YOU can achieve anything you set YOUR mind to do especially with the aid of an education. With love, older wiser me

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Like most seventeen year old high school seniors, I was ready to graduate. I had such desire to want to do things on my own and be respected as an adult. I wasn't thinking about what my life would be like in the next year. If I could go back in time and give myself advice on transitioning into college, it would be to apply for as many colleges as I can. Most everyone around me was already telling me to do so, but I was not thinking enough about my future school and I should have done more research on colleges. I probably missed out on some great opportunities. In the end it ended up working out for me, starting out at a community college and saving money was a smart choice. I am transferring to a really great deisgn school in the fall, but if I had just done more research and believed in myself just a little more, I would probably have gotten into the design school or another great school sooner. I just didn't believe I could get in, I didn't care enough, and it wasn't my first priority at the time.

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Dear highschool self, You are not a freak, not broken, not damaged. You have Asperger's Syndrome and, while you don't think like other people and you see the world differently than they do, embrace that. Being an Aspie need not be a disadvanage. It is up to you to choose your path in life. College may get hard, and you will experience bumps in the road that others won't understand, but you also have a gift for finding patterns and for out-of-the-box thinking that let's you find solutions no one else can. Also, you don't have to be alone. There are people out there that will appreciate your differences and see the wonder of what you are. They are rare, like precious diamonds, but they exist and are worth finding. They can help you understand the world and succeed in college and all of your other endeavors. Be proud, younger self. Be brave. Take chances and dare to fail. Fear and confusion will be your worst enemy, but they only have the power that you give them.

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You're young; you're starting your own life and becoming an adult. How exciting, right? You're going to make so many friends, and your "best friend" is going to the same school as you, but you have to leave your boyfriend behind. What if he cheats? When will you be able to see him agian? I hope we're going to be able to stay together. Don't think about stuff like that. Seriously! You are going to miss out on so much stuff if you go home every weekend to see him. Yeah, you're going to get home sick, but you are going to miss out on what college is really about if you're worried all the time. You're going to make friends, life long friends, that will be there for you no matter what. The "friends" you had in high school are not your real friends. You're going to find yourself and you're going to figure out who you really are. But, you're never going to really experience college if you're worried all the time. Have fun! Worry about yourself not someone else! Experience life!

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If i could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, this is the advice i would convey. High school differs from college in many ways. You are required to attend high school and get your diploma. The teachers want you to graduate. Most of the high school teachers will do every thing they can to help you pass. In college you are not required to attent. No one is forcing you to go. The college professors donot care if you attend their class. You have to take the initiative to want to learn and succede. In order to succede in college, you have to be able to balance your social life with your academic life. College courses are gererally more advanced which means you have to spend more time on assignments and studying for exams. So take my advice, if you put the proper amount of effort in your college studies you will succeed.

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College is the best investment a person can make. In college, you're allowed to be flexible and make your own choices. There is no requirements as to when you have to take classes. Jump straight into college after high school, your brain is at its peak and the transition will be much easier. When you're looking for the right program to study, take one that will last your whole life. Don't sign up for something because it seems the easiest. Study something that will make you happy and can withstand the tests of time. Be aware of the impact that economic hard times can have on your choice. Talk to your parents about what you want to study and what they think would be great for you. Your parents know you best and have much more life experience and will be able to help you find something that will both last your life and make you happy.

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