I have learned that I am smarter, stronger and more capable than I ever gave myself credit for. I completed my first year of high school then left home. I spent my life thinking I wasn’t smart enough to have a good job, or to go back to school. I have completed 26 units to date. I am surprised at how well I am doing in school. I am also surprised at this obsession I have to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Online studies works for me! I am committed to earning my BS, and I look forward to graduating April 2014. All of my classes have been challenging and valuable learning experiences. I learn something new every day!
The advice that I would give myself is to stick with it, no matter what! My husbands career, bills and children all came before me. I this ecomomy, my husbands "recession proof" industry no longer exists and instead of being able to jump in and help, I need to make myself marketable. No matter the obsticles, trials or road blocks I would tell myself to finish at least an undergraduate degree. I have over 20 years of "corporate" experience, but I am not as marketable because I lack a degree. I can't imagine that any one at age 52 would like to be going through this process, but it is now or never.
I would tell myself to make a 8 year education plan and make sure I stick to it. Do not be destracted by people around or compete with what thier plans are for thier life. Do ask for to much advice about my plans becuase everybody does not have the vision as myself. Be aware of so called friends whom are trying to steer you in the right direction, when no doubt they are just trying to get you off course for thier own benefit. Be confident in who you are and where your going, and know your vision for will get you where you want to go as long as you keep looking forward.
I grew up in a very small town with limited funds. I was very scared to move somewhere new where I didn't know anyone. I would never encourage someone to marry right out of high school without attending a year or two of college. Fears have dictated many large, life changing choices. Once I was out on the world on my own, my confidence began to grow and was no longer as uncomfortable in new situations as I once was. College not only lays the building blocks for a professional career and learning, but it also allows for personal growth and discovery.
I would allow myself time to know what I really wanted to do with my life. I felt so rushed to have all the answers at 18. There is plenty of time to decide. I would encourage young students to not be in such a hurry to attend college. I would start saving for my college years before graduating high school. The debt incrued by student loan is a scary thing today. It doesn't even guarentee a job after graduating. So take advantage of saving money before getting married and having a family to pay off any debts including student loans.
Knowing what I know now, I would not have wasted my time in the biology field. I had taken an abnormal psychology class and absolutely loved it. I would have switched my major then and by this time in my life I would have been doing what I really want to do instead of having wasted the last 14 years of my life doing something else. The most important thing is to really know what you want to do and go after it. Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't something you should or can't do. Once you find out what you want to do, go for it.
If i could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior i would start researching and applying for scholarships to pay for college before i graduated to ease the burden of student loans. In addition, this would help to minimize the burden of accrued interest that stems from loans so that i could graduate debt free. Furthermore, i would also save up money for college for miscellaneous items and buy a reliable car so that i wouldn't have to worry about car pooling which can be very challenging getting from point A to B.
College is completely different than high school. You get to choose your courses, which means you get to learn about things you are interested in. If you are unsure of what you want to do with your life enroll in a community college so you don't blow all your money on pointless courses. If you're still unsure of what you want take some time off, work, or travel, and come back when you're ready. The most important thing about college is to enjoy yourself because when you enjoy yourself and what you're doing you will be successful.
Getting your education is one of the most important thing you can do in your life. Not matter what people say, everyone is capable of getting their education and doing it with honors. Don't just settel for what you have now, push yourself to have more and to be more. These days with the economy the way it is we need every advantage we can get. I teach at Virginia College Online but there just is not enought money to pay for the last four courses, one more residency, and my dissertation, so close and yet so far.
Engage in the social activities but focus on grades and learning. Go beyond just passing with an "A" to understanding by demonstrating what you have studied. Take a proactive stance and apply for scholarships early with a clear set of goals and intentions and think of how your education will serve others as well as yourself. Be grateful for your time as a youth.