Western Governors University Top Questions

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

Robin

If I could turn back time, knowing what I know now about school and the impact the lack of a degree would have on my future, I would definately tell myself to go to college instead of entering the work force right after high school graduation. The advice that I would give myself would be to enjoy the college life, where my only responsibility would be to study and make good grades. Do not put work above school at this time in your life, because returning to school is much harder when you are older and sometimes never becomes an option because of family and work obligations. Enjoy being in school and learning new things, thus preparing a better future for yourself. Enjoy meeting new people who share your interest, and when this time comes to enter the work force be proud that you can apply for the job of your dreams because you chose to go to school and earn that degree.

Melissa

Don't try so hard. It's not as hard as it seems, just go with the flow.

Laura

The advice I would give myself as a high school senior is this. pretend college is your job. From Monday morning till Thursday afternoon, devote yourself to your studies, then you can take Friday, Saturday and Sunday to do the fun things and enjoy your college experience. I understand that you want to go out and socialize, do that, but do it on the weeekends, use the week days to study, learn and work. If you can do this, you will succeed in school and in life. If you dont, you will regret it when you end up in college when you are married, working, and have kids. Beleive me, its much easier to do Monday through Thursday when you aren't caring for other people and working a full time job. Take the opportunity while its there.

Nicole

I will tell myself to keep focused and don't full around. It is better to start college later in life than to still be thirty trying to find a scholarship or someone that will give you a student loan because you have exhausted all federal funds to pay for your education.

Anjuli

Stay the course and focus on school. College will provide plenty of distractions that you have a lifetime to explore. Work hard, then play hard, that's the motto. And try not to get discouraged when the plans don't go your way. Instead, embrace the changes life brings you. Oh, and start locing your hair a bit sooner; it makes life so much easier.

Denver

That this is a college and you must be a self starter to really succeed. Although, the course mentors and student mentors help keep you on track.

Sarah

I would tell myself to stay focused and to ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help when you need it.

Ranisha

Take advantage of the every opportunities that is presented during the high school year. Participate in much as possible, especially scholarship opportunities because the more scholarships you have the less debt you will be in. Be very attentive of the course work and do the best that you can to get the best grade that you can get, so that you get many college opportunities upon graduation. Seek as many clubs, after school activities, sports, and tutoring that you can to assure that you stay focus and don't let things that don't matter, get the best of you. High school will be some of the best years handed to you, so take advantage and do your best because there are many opportunities that are out here for you to be successful as you are trying to be at an early age.

Jennifer

If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice regarding the transition into college it would be “nothing is as bad as it seems”. When I moved to college, I had to work and provide for myself. I had been working all through high school but it was much different being in an unfamiliar place, on my own. Not long after my first year started, I was overwhelmed financially and academically. I was always a straight A student in school, so the fact that I was struggling in my college classes made me feel like I was failing. The stress of providing for myself financially didn’t help. I was constantly panicking about how I was going to pay my bills. It wasn’t long before I gave up and vowed that someday I would return to school when I was more stable both mentally and financially. I am now thirty years old with a full time job, a husband and three children. If only I could have told myself that it wasn’t that bad and that I would get through it, I would not be starting school now, with more obstacles than I had originally!

Nick

As I take a seat next to my high-school self on a bus, I find myself giving this advice: Be confident in who you are. Right now it feels like everyone is competing for attention, for looks, for being cool. We both know you are only revealing parts of yourself because you want to fit in. A wise person once said, “Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, and magical person that you are.” Secondly, you don’t need to have a perfect plan. Imagine you are in a car at night. You may only be able to see the next 100 feet in front of you, but you still know your final destination. Make decisions that allow you to graduate in four years with a degree that will help you move on in life. Finally, you will learn as much outside the classroom as you will inside. Find mentors and take leadership opportunities. Make mistakes and learn from them. Use moderation when it comes to all things. This will help you create a balance in your life that is sustainable and prevent burnout. You will change the world for better!

DeLaci

The end of my senior year in high school was when I first realized that I had to have a sense of drive and ambition. My honor roll streaked ended in tenth grade; from then on, my grades continued to drop. I developed a “who cares” attitude. I would appear to her before she graduates high school. I would show my high school self the consequences of not trying. I hope she would find strength to excel through adversity because I shared with her the benefit of never letting go of her dreams. That “kick in the rear” would lead her to push on to earn an Associate’s at a two-year school. She will spend some time after that working in her field before she re-enters college to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. She will be a capable and resourceful member of her academic field and an inspiration to those who know her.

Zach

If I was able to go back in time to talk to my senior high school self, I would tell myself to slow down and just enjoy everything that is infront of you now. I was so focused on getting out of there and going off to college where I thought I was going to play college hockey and just live the typical college life. When talking to myself I would say that your hockey career will not workout the way you hoped it would, but don't focus on that so much because there is so many other things out here in this world that you will enjoy. I would tell my past self that I need to not push away from everyone so much and to spend more time with the family because the day you leave high school time begains to move faster than it ever did before. Lastly I would just remind me to live in the now. Every moment you live will not be a memory you will hang on to forever, but its the small ones I often think about and laugh at. I would tell myself to slow down and enjoy it.

Ashlyn

Take it seriously and don;t look back. Follow your heart and do not make choices because other people want you to, do it because you want to.

Jessi

Make your college education a priority - not work, or boyfriends, or going to the bars. College education is the most important thing at that time, and if you work hard, study, and do a good job, you will be a better person for it.

Mahamadou

If I could back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior and give myself advice I would tell myself to get a 4.0 and take as much honor classes and AP classes as possible. I would say, "If you get a 4.0 it will a pay off in the future. You will be able to go to any school you want thus you will be awarded many scholarship and grant oppurtunities. You wont regret it, TRUST ME! It all seems boring now but it is really not hard to get a 4.0 in your classes. Just do all your work and you can have fun after school. The better the grade point average the more more you will recieve that will go toward your tuition and other living expenses which will make your debts much lower. Do not think about now, think about your future."

Bianca

There are many things I would tell my high-school self if offered the opportunity to go back in time. One of the main things I would tell myself is how important a good education is. I would also tell myself that I should work harder on my studies so I might have had other options upon graduation from high school. My "first love" died prior to my senior year in high school and I thought my life was over. I would tell myself the pain will subside and your heart will mend. Don't take things so personally, because life can change at a moment's notice. I would also tell myself that I should be happy with how I look and not be so self-critical. Most of all, I would have told myself to enjoy life and take one day at a time. Things will happen in life that you have no control over, and stressing over it will only make things worse. Live, laugh, love!

Apryl

I would tell myself to start at Western Governors University right after highschool. I went to two other colleges before this one and always felt like I didn't matter to the staff or anyone else around. This school is so supportive that I feel like my family is the staff and students. Also, the schedueling and how grades are done fit better with me.

Tracy

I would tell myself that it's all right to be overwhelmed, but it is how you deal with it that counts. Use the campus couselling center if you need to and do not be ashamed. I would tell myself to calm down and breathe slowly during those times when I felt like I was holding my breath out of fear. And I would try harder to get involved in organizations because making friends is difficult at the best of times,but when you are in a place where you do not know anyone, a campus organization may just be your one saving grace. A campus is what you make it. Any campus can be a party campus ,if that is what you want you will find parties and booze, if you want academics and good friends, you will find academics and good friends. It all depends on what you want your experience to be.

Cheryl

If I could give myself some advice, it would be to stay focused on your goal. When you get to college, you can lose that accountability that comes from high school. Your professors do not require you to do your homework or even attend class. However, without attending class or doing your homework, you will not learn. See college as an opportunity to learn new things. For the first time in your life, you are responsible for your own decisions. College is expensive. Make sure that you are learning everything you can learn. Show that you are ready for that kind of responsibility.

Debra

It has been a long time since my high school graduation in 1974. I have already attended a Technical School, a university to complete nursing classes, and of course nursing school. But that was then (1974-1979), and this is now, along time from being a high school senior. Yet there are always things to be learned no matter how old or experienced you are. My high school voice would be cheering me on, for wanting to go back to school at age 57, and simultaneously delivering a firm. "You can do this no matter how old you are." From past experiences, I know I have the knowledge, focus and perserverence to complete anything I start. It is the uncertainty of todays technology that causes me hesitation, since I will be doing online classes, and being distanced from that competitive edge for so long. My "senior" self would advise me to "Do what you have always done in the past, but now your eyes ARE wide open, to continue the path you have begun so many years ago."

Hailee

I would say get as involved as possible. Although I am very involved, sometimes I wish I could be more involved than I already am. When you go to a new school, the best way to make new firends is to spread yourself out over as many activities and groups of people as possible. Also, stay true to yourself. It is easy to pressure yourself into trying to fit into new groups of people when your in a place that is unfamiliar to you. But when you stay true to yourself, you are guaranteed to find people who love you for who you are.

Joshua

The advice I would give myself would be to not waste so much time. These people you hang out with and see everyday are people you won't be seeing later in life- most likely not even in college. Make your education a priority and you will reap the benefits. Having fun will always be there so make this time about studying and getting good grades. Learn how to take good notes. That is so important! You will have a lot of freedom in college. Don't slack off because nobody will push you to do anything. You will need to be your own motivator. Think of the people you love and think about the type of future you want to have. Make that your motivation!

Krystle

If i could go back in time to tell myself as a high school senior, my advices would be on being prepared for the next chapter of my life. By all means, is to work hard in order to succeed better grades. I want to be able to pay for my college on time, and for the future i want to be able to support myself and my family as well. what i know about college is, it is more challenging than high school and expensive too. From what I know is that with out college there is no good job dropped in your hands, which all i can afford by this time is mininum wage. And since my parents are decest, I am now living with legal gaurdians. I'm the only one that wants to continue my education and being an independent student. College has been a hastle for me, I have been paying more tuition than what i had to pay for my classes and trying to stay on task as much as possible. It takes much more to focus, especially with double work as being a full-time student. This is what college is mostly about.

Jennifer

Hold your breath and imagine a world flying past your heels The whirl of a million tiny pinprick lights ignites your your eyes as you take flight across the countryside Others, many, all about zip in twining, twisting lines but none fly the same tight path as you Suddenly the truth slips through the hapless bliss and the stark kiss of fear wiggles in it's way You are alone. Many hands surround strengthening fingers guide along singing soft songs of the future of knowledge of despair and grace of mentor's words You are alone but there are those that will walk the long block of road that leads to everywhere with you I dedicated this poem to myself as I journey on through the adventure that is college. The transition was difficult, but no more so than getting married, having children and loss experienced as one lives their life. I think the most important thing I would want myself to understand would be that I will not be alone for any of it.

Jose

The advice i would give myself is that, with dedication and passion, I can strive foward and finish college. I would advice myself to contiue believing that with the right education, anyone and even undocumented students, can become something in this country. College is and should be, or at least for me it is, the motivation i needed to do something for myself and my family. As college for me became the motivation, I became the motivation for my sibblings. Because they have seen me as a college student, an undocumented college student, now they believe that can make a life, a life with a carreer for themselves as well. College is fun, interesting, and motivating.

Gabriel

There is only one thing I would tell meself. That being only one word, "focus". Take more classes then is allowed, work part-time, and join clubs force yourelf to be overwhelmed and thrive on it. You know you can do that, simply listen to your sister and do as she say take all the classes you can and focus.

Andrew

First of all I would have taken College Algebra and also done dual enrollment at the Community College. Those two would have helped tremendously. Also I would have went to college and finished before joining the Marine Corps. Because getting back into the swing of going to school becomes much more difficult after having been out for so long and having a family to take care of. Balancing school and a family is much more difficult than school alone would have been. But at the same time I'm happy with the way my life has turned out thus far and would not change it for the world. I wouldn't have done anything differently, because if I would have my life may have turned out different. So ultimately I would tell myself take life as it comes and don't look back because things happen for a reason, and you make the decissions that you make for a reason so be confident in your decisions for life. Every decision is a recipe for change, whether good or bad we do not know.

Diane

I would tell myself to develop good study habits. It's so much easier if you are disiplined and know how to study. I would say to take advantage of the time of life you are in. You have more time and opportunities to succeed in high school. Your teachers are there to help you succeed so go to them and make sure you understand the concept, not just pass the course. Always study hard and do your best. You will be so much better off if you know how to study and are willing to put in the time.

Allison

First I would prove that it really was me by saying things only I would know. I would try that approach since I know I would probably freak out and assume my future self was crazy or an illusion. Then I would say that I know highschool is tough, and friends are going to come and go and so are relationships, but all that matters is you'll find your way and you're going to meet someone that means the world to you and you'll mean the same to them. Then I would calm myself from all the stress over my grades and what college I was going to get into since my grades were not anything special like most of the kids at my highschool. But I would say not to worry because you're going to a great community college and be given a second chance at getting your grades up which you will succeed in doing so. You'll learn from an amazing group of professors and love the Drama department like your family. You'll also be given time to choose what your dream college is and where you want to finally be.

Donna

Listen to your elders. It's not just about giving them some unseen type of respect. It is about the fact that they have lived longer than you. They have survived more than you. They have learned more than you. They have experienced more than you. Talk with them, not at them. Tell them your dreams and aspirations and then listen to what they say. You don't have to take their advice, but listen, you might learn something. When you talk with them, listen to their stories about life, and accept their "lessons learned." If you can learn from their mistakes, then you are truly able to learn.

Vivian

Stop being a Daddy’s girl! This is the ‘70's. Woman-up. My math and science scores had gotten me a full scholarship from Brooklyn Poly Tech. Five years, and all I had to do was keep a "C" average. But in 1971 I was so naive. To prove my point, I remember at the age of 12 a female family friend remarked on how much I had grown. “You need to be careful.” she admonished in a low voice. “If a boy touches you now, you’ll get pregnant.” I’m ashamed to say I took it literally. One day a boy grabbed my bare arm. I would have obsessed for months, but my Mother had explained about menstruation, just not conception. Daddy reasoned that since I was going to marry soon, it would be a waste of time to go to college, and I should allow the scholarship to go to a career-minded student. I agreed!? So, if I could go back in time to talk to my high school self -- No, I would have to go back farther to nip this in the bud. Those were the worst two weeks of my life.

Nancy

Stay with it! Don't let dating and other distractions keep you from your goal! Be able to have a good career and take care of yourself before becoming involved in serious dating or marriage. Marriage and children will always be there and are a huge commitment, so take care of yourself and your life before making that kind of commitment.

Christopher

Chris your dad told all the time that you can be anything you want in life. Every dad tells their sons this to allow them to imagine what they might do with their life. But there is more to this statement. If you want to have something in this life you have to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve your goal. Every dream requires you to do the unglamorous daily work that nobody else is willing to do. The road to every goal is frought with with obstacles. Your success will be limited by the effort and work ethic you apply to those daily routines. Your goal will not be achieved if you allow those obstacles to stop you from going forward. The first obstacle you have in your life is finishing your education. Do not allow yourself to fail from a lack of self discipline and negative attitude. Do the work, focus on nothing else but doing the best you are capable of every day. Negativitiy is the food for failure and it's self perpetuating. Don't be a victim of your own bad attitude.

Melissa

Forget about all of the other nonsense in your life. Even if you don't know exactly what you want to do with your life, pick an area to study and foucs on it. The time will fly and you will be happy about it later.

Kaitlin

Traditional college is not for everybody. Make sure you are picking an educational option that fits with your personality and personal needs.

Jamie

Looking back, I would advise myself to follow my dream. Upon attending my first undergraduate university, I wanted to major in nursing but was advised against it. I listened to my academic advisors and earned a bachelor of science in political science instead. Upon graduating, nursing was still calling my name. I quickly applied to nursing school and was soon accepted into a program. Now, ten years later, I am working on my doctorate in advanced practice nursing. While I am grateful for the time I experienced as an undergraduate student at the first university I attended, I wish I had listened to my heart and majored in nursing from the beginning. I would also tell myself to immerse myself in all the experiences available to me while still maintaining satisfactory grades. College is a time to gain a better understanding of who you are and to grow as a person. While I did become involved in some extracurricular activities, I did not take advantage of all that were offered to me.

Abigail

If I could go back to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give myself this quote: "Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." I focused to much on beating other people, I now realize that to make myself better, I need to beat myself. Beating other people may at times be satisfactory, but they're not the ones who will be living with me and making my decisions later in life. I need to better myself and in turn better others.

Jennifer

Since becoming a college student, not much has changed around us but we certainly changed. The best advice I can give you is to prepare yourself for all your classes accordingly for what you want to do in life, even if it has changed a few times. Make sure you always study for your classes as much as possible and don't forget to have fun. Another little useful tidbit of advice I can give you is take each moment in stride and don't let the relationship drama get in the way of focusing on your school work. Oh! and since I know you still want to go to Saint Leo University, make the clever little suggestion to go on a campus tour so mom can see for herself why you want to go so badly.

Kimberly

I would tell myself to not be afraid of the future and unknown. To interact more with people and explore the world around. I would also encourage myself to work harder at everything because knowledge is power and it opens more doors in the future.

Julie

It is really hard to think of what I would say to myself as a senior. My life then is what has led me to this point my life now. I have always had to rely on myself for everything, to finish high school, to graduate Marine Corps bootcamp, to make the choice to have a family, and to decide to go back to school. I didn't have the option to continue my education as a new high school graduate. Nothing I say to myself in the past would change that fact. I would tell myself to never give up hope. That the future with all of its technologies offers a different kind of college opportuny, and while it is still expensive, there are still many options. I would tell the younger me to remember the things that important life, education being among the top five. Even if that means just taking a few classes at a time, it is still worth it.

Dianna

If I could go back to high school I would tell myself to finish college before I had children, to follow my dreams.

Tonya

Congrats on graduation! I know you're looking forward to college and trust me, you'll love it. There are just a few things that you should know before you go. First, don't be afraid to say yes to new experiences or try new things you haven’t tried before. You get out of life what you put into it, so make an effort to meet new people. Take time to embrace not only the academics but also the challenges and experiences along the way. Never be afraid to ask a professor for help. Be aware of what you're doing to your body. Sleep, even if you don't think you need it. Put down the tacos and hit the treadmill once in a while. Stay safe, but most of all enjoy yourself! This is a really fun time in your life so relax and enjoy the ride, but always remember that graduating from college is your ultimate goal.... no matter how long it takes. Good luck!

Dana

I would tell myself to stay the course. I was very fortunate growing up. Both of my parents had good paying jobs, and I could've had my college education paid for. I, being 19 at the time, wanted to take a year off and work. So, I found a job working full time that didn't pay bad for 23 years. ago. Well, now, 23 years later, I'm still working at the same job, only in a different position. It's taken me 23 years to work my way from a customer service representative, to an assistant manager. 10 years ago, I decided to go back to school and get my associates computer networking. I graduated in December 2002, 1 year after 9/11. All the entry level jobs that would've been available to me and my classmates were gone with the collapse of the dot com industry. So, once again, I found myself back at square one. Now, I'm determined to get the education that I so naively walked away from so many years ago. And I know, once I graduate, it will be even more appreciated because I did it the hard way.

Joseph

Man, looking back now at my college experience the first time around, I would definitely not just tell, but threaten myself to get my butt in gear when it comes to studying. As difficult as my first couple years of school was, if I would have tried harder, studied harder, and focussed on what I was there for, I would have saved allot of money and allot of time that I just threw away.

Johannah

It's been said that 'you don’t really know what you’ve got till it’s gone.' You thought you had important reasons for putting off college. Today I've often wondered if the broken dream is worth thinking about anymore. I’ve spent many a long night talking with that young man I once was, wondering if I had it to do over, what advice would I offer myself? First, never give in to the temptation that there’ll always be time enough for college later. I’d tell my younger self to find “the thing he loves doing so he’d never have to work a day in his life” and that the way to find that would be to get his general education courses out of the way, first. I’d want to impress upon him that he could become so excited by a subject he might not otherwise have considered that others' lives will change as a result. Because that’s the purpose behind higher education – most people stop short of dreaming of the work they’d like to do. I want you to be one of those who end up doing what they dream.

Glen

Slow down; take time to reflect on life and the future. Where do you want to be in 5 years? It's a very legitimate question, and not just something your high school teachers asked you to write about to give you more busywork. Yes, it involves thinking about and planning to grow up, but it's going to happen so get over it. Learn to enjoy learning. Grades are important, but that 3.9 GPA you are maintaining can come at the cost of gaining a true education. You'll be accepted to pretty much any college you choose at this point, so focus on learning what you feel is important and relavent to you, and not the facts your teachers expect you to regurgitate. Last of all, spend more time with music and singing. There will be times in your life where that music will be an anchor and a support to you. That's it. You'll make most of the same decisions anyway because you're me, but I hope I can at least give you a little added perspective as you go through these next few years of life-changing decisions. Good luck!

Vanessa

Be ready to focus more. You must try to forego all the social activities and focus on what is really important in life right now, your education. Friends, if they are good ones, will always be there for you and you should finish your college now while you are young and motivated. Going back to college later in life is a lot harder than you think. Especially when you have children early in your life. This is the time in which you lay the foundation for your future. Lay a good one while you can! You can start life out on the right foot, be motivating for others around you, and be a good role model for your children.

Eric

There are four things that I would have to relate to my younger self. First, I would point out all the injuries, aches, pains, and damage that not attending college back then led to today. The second would be to point out that I have continued to learn for two decades, but that the lack of formal academic recognition and degrees would kill job possibilities in only a short time out of high school. The third would be that experience and knowledge has to be applied to sheep-skin in the 21st century. Regulations and restrictions are punitive and often unproductive, but a degree early would have led to a Ph.D. a long time ago. Most importantly, I would remind myself of the dreams I had, the academic ability I have now and had then, and that my responsibility is to do better for others than was done for me. "You always could do it. Just because no one is supporting you doesn't mean you won't find people who will. Just take the first steps and others will help you along the way. Don't let doubts lead you."

Amanda

Hey! Want a word of advice from the future you? (Don’t answer that, just listen.) Keep going! I know you’ve been fighting a terrible case of senioritus, and AP classes seem like the dumbest idea you’ve ever had, but trust me. All that hard work is really paying off over here. Do me a favor, and save us some embarrassment. Stop rolling your eyes when people tell you not to stress out about making a definite career choice. You really do figure it out as you go. No, I cannot ease your mind and tell you the answer. Don’t worry, though. It will come to you. Promise. Oh, and don’t get too bent out of shape when you end up sticking around town. The community college is cool. You save a bunch of money, and get your associates degree! Remember, a debt free college student is a happy college student! Plus, you get to meet your future husband! (Yep, that’s right! You’re getting married! Don't ask who because I can’t tell you that either. Sorry.) Let’s just say- the future is bright. You’re going to love college.

Damaris

I would finish college straight from high school and not do anything else until school is finished. I took the detour when I left and really did not care about getting my degree, and now it's been hard for me to go back since life happens every time you turn around.

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