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Western Kentucky University

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

Looking back on my high school career, and seeing the many different challenges and speed bumps that I had overcame in my own way, there are many things I would change. High school seems like fun and games to many people. I, myself didn't take it as seriously as I should have. Now, understanding and seeing how difficult things may be, I would have taken it a lot more seriously, and studied as much as possible. It never really seems true when people tell you over and over how important it is to get an education, but now undergoing the life as a college student I understand the difficulties such as paying for college, buying gas, keeping my grades up to a certain GPA, I would definitely face high school with a total different attitude.

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I would give students and parents the advice of surfing the internet and looking into every possibility out there to try and find the best school that is suited to their own individual needs. I would also tell the students to socialize as much as possible once they do enroll in a school, because that will give them the opportunity to meet some really interesting people. I would also tell them not to overdue it, because the outcome that matters the most is how satisfied they are going to be with their education and what their career ends up being in the future, because they will be the one living with their decisions later, and they may not ever have the opportunity to go back to school again, because changes occur as life goes on.

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I would suggest making a list of all of the colleges you're interested in and why you like them. After visiting each one of them (without friends from home), hopefully one should just stand out and "feel right". Be sure to consider things like class size to accomadate the style of learning that fits you best. Also, does the town fit you? Would you be able to get around and function? Be sure to not make your college decision based on your high school friends, you will make new friends and you don't have to lose the old ones! GET INVOLVED. The only way you're gonig to acclimate to your new environment is by establishing a new active social life. If you continue to drive home every weekend, your new school will never feel like home.

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If I could go back and tell myself about college life, I'd tell myself to calm down. I came to realize that college is very challenging, but I have prepared myself for college by being an excellent student from kindergarden through senior year of high school. I would tell myself that I can handle what is coming, and even though I need to prepare for an intense year, it will not be as bad at it seems. The one negative thing I would tell myself is that you have a lot of freedom, and you need to use it wisely. I did very well my first year of college, all A's and B's, but I could still have studied harder. I would have told myself to be even more responsible than I thought I should be, and to study before hanging out with friends.

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If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would keep telling myself to keep up the hard work and to not give up. During high school I was a good student, but had a hard time studying. There were a lot of times that I just wanted to give up and I heard myself saying a lot "Oh I don't care about this test. If I fail one test it won't hurt my grade that bad and I can do better on the next test". I would love to go back and redo my junior year of high school when I would think like this. I have learned from that experience to never give up and to keep working no matter how hard the subject is. It will almost always pay off in the end. Overall, most importantly I have learned to believe in myself.

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I was in community college and I liked it - I did well in my classes, but I felt like I wanted more. I wanted to know that I could get an actual career out of what I was going through school for. But attending a school like that also helped me realize that I wanted to know that my education was really gonna take me somewhere instead of simply allowing me to say "yes, I went to school." "Yes, I have my degree." I want to be able to say "Yes, I have my licence to do this, this and this." "I'm already trained to know how to do this and that...". I want to be proud of what I've achieved and what I'll be able to do. With this scholarship, I'll be able to feel like I can help people with what I'm able to do, without limitations.

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First of all, I would tell myself to get off my bum and get to work on scholarships! The financial strain of college was more than I could ever imagine, and something that still haunts me to this day. In addition, I would tell myself to work on my organizational skills. College is quite demanding when it comes to being prepared, and I was simply not ready. I would need to learn how to manage my time, and quit procrastinating , as well. Life in college is fast-paced and there is no time for distractions when there is work to be done. Focusing on the task at hand would allow me to truly maximize the value of my time. All of this advice is precious, and I would hope that my stubborn past self would come to realize this.

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I think the best advice I would give to myself as a high school senior would be to really search myself for what I want to do as a career. This will enable you to get a really concrete idea of what degree you should pursue. I wish I had chosen more carefully and had gone with a degree that had a specific career as its goal (accounting, teaching, etc) so that I could have gone directly from college into that career. I instead chose a degree in a subject that I loved but that does not have a natural-flowing job attached to it. This made finding a good career after college difficult. Choosing a specific career and getting a degree based on that from the beginning would have saved me time and money in the long run.

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Parents, you have to let your child begin to be their own person in highschool, so that they do not fall prone to certain social diseases in college, such as drinking and drugs. I know all too many students which have fallen prone to these, all because their parents were so overbearing in highschool, that the freedom of college was far too much for them. Students, you have to do well in highschool, to prepare for college. The curriculum is challenging, but is quite bearable if you study, and keep on top of your classes. Attendence is crucial to success in college; even if it seems that nothing is being accomplished in some classes, or class attendance is non-mandatory, if you don't attend, you won't do well.

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If I could go back in time and give my high school self one piece of advice, I would say to be sure to study. High school was relatively easy for me. I learned the material in class and did not have to devote much time to it after hours. College is a different story. When your teachers tell you that college is hard, they are not trying to scare you. Do not shake it off like my friends and I did. These teachers went to college and they know how truly difficult it is. I would want my high school self to walk into college prepared to give her studies the amount of time that they require and deserve. Doing so would have given me a much smoother transition into college as well as higher grades on my report cards.

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