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Western Kentucky University

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

If I were given the opportunity to go back in time and offer some insight into what the next two years of my life would hold regarding the college life would be quite an extraordinary advantage that I would definitely like seize. The first thing that I would tell myself is that it is critical to manage my time wisely. I would tell myself to stay home and study rather than going out with friends. I would tell myself to finish all of the projects that I am given early in the semester so that I can use the last part of the semester to just study the material harder without having distractions and deadlines to hold me back. I would also tell myself to not miss any classes or lectures because it does in fact affect your memory of the material. I would also preach to my past-self the importance of listening and good note taking as well as reading the entire assigned chapters in my textbook. The last things that I would tell myself would be to choose roommates and friends wisely, and quite possibly the most important advice would be to maintain your values despite scrutiny.

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Dear Highschool Brandi, You are almost done kid! College is only a couple months away. But listen up, because I have some good pointers for you! I have put them into an organized list, because I know how we both love lists. Tip Number One: GET INVOLVED! You will be bored out of your mind if you just sit in your dorm all day, every day. Join clubs, play intramurals, go greek! Do anything you can to better your college experience! Tip Number Two: MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY! In high school, I know it was easy to slide by without doing your homework one night or without studying for a test. However, college is a whole different ball game! You have to learn how to manage your time and set your priorities. After you figure this out, college is a breeze. Tip Number Three: TAKE A BREATH! Sometimes, you are going to feel like you want to just quit. College can be tough, especially after getting involved and taking difficult classes. YOU CAN DO IT! Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just take a minute, sit back, relax, and breathe. You going to turn out just fine kid. Love, College Brandi

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Enjoy life now. Simple as that. Throughout high school I was very meticulous and was very concerned about doing everything perfectly. I never missed class, and always gave school one hundred percent. I was always determined to work hard, but it took a real toll on me sometimes. I was always exhausted and would be in bed by seven or eight at night. My senior year I began working as well which made receiving high grades even more difficult. I continued to strive for the Stars Scholarship which was the deciding factor as to whether or not I would attend college. If I graduated in the top fifteen percent of my class, I would receive the scholarship. If not, I would not have the money to attend. Later I learn, I did achieve this scholarship along with several other prestigious awards. I wish that I could tell myself to relax from my stressed out ways. Continue to work hard, but it all pays off. Every bit of it. I would never want to change anything I did so I would make sure that my high school self would stick with it! Every second is work it, so enjoy life now.

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This is a writing assignment that I really wish I was able to do. Many say that high school doesn't matter as much as college. I say they are extremely wrong! High school is the greatest experience because it offers so many options to get involveed in your school and realize how you can help your community and make a difference in your school. This is an opportunity that I did take advantage of and that I am very proud of myself for taking action in. I participated in volunteer organizaitions like special olympics, clothing drives for low income families, and peer tutoring at a low income elementary school. These things taught me how I can benefit and devleop into a better person by helping others. One thing I wish I could tell myself before I started high school though, is to contribute every last effort into my school work. Now I know that the harder one works, and the better ones grades are, the more opportuinty and financial aid can be provided in college. I have found it very hard to collect all the aid I need to pay for college. My dream is to succeed, grades help!

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The advice that i would give myself is that time is limited and time runs out. By saying that, personally, I know how it feels to be fed up with work and studying and thinking that not all material learned in high school is neccessary to know throughout life. I thought wrong! EVERY concept that any teacher, counselor or adult has told you in the past pervious years, will come around to be used. It may not be understood right then and there, but as you grow , the wiser you become. Another thing that i would give myself advice on is that a good attitude and appearance can possibly take you further along than grades or your personal achievements can. Lets say for instant, your first job interview. You're outstanding in every class and you've done alot of volunteer work; good resume. But you come in with your pants down off your butt and your attitude is terrible. I figure that the person behind you that isnt the best in his/her studies will get noticed more,simply because of the way they presented themselves as if they wanted and respected the offer. It makes a difference.

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First, I attended Job Corp training. I quickly realized that the Job Corp was not the place for me. With my mother’s encouragement, I enrolled at a community college. I spent more time trying to get paperwork in order than in class. This time I was going to take my time and research what schools were out there. I knew I could not waste any more time. When I spoke to the representative from Virginia College, I was immediately curious. Each time I visited I became more excited. Everyone was encouraging. This school was going to get me to my goals. The first day was different from any of my other experiences. The President of the college came to each class. All of the teachers are amazing. They have helped me up before I could fall. This has been different from my other experiences. This school has helped me learn the skills I need for my degree but has expanded my outlook on life. I have learned from earlier schools that it is always good to know what you want and need. But you need to find the place that fulfills those needs; otherwise you are just swimming upstream.

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College is everything people say about it and so much more! I have loved every minute of my college experience. When you first arrive, go out of your way to make friends especially ones that may bring a little diversity to your life! But be careful to also surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your personal views. I went to college, and made lots of friend who believed things I didn't and things I did believe. I love that I have made so many friends with different backgrounds, cultures orientations, and beliefs, but as a Christian, I wanted to also make sure to surround myself with people who would help me through my time in college. I found great friends who I had tons of fun with, but they never once asked me to drink, party, do drugs, etc. Outside of that, work hard. Some classes are really easy and some are super hard. But push through it, and never be afraid to use acedemic resources. And, make sure that you major in something you love, not just something that your parents want or something that will make you lots of money. I love my major!

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College is what you make of it! There are plenty of schools to choose from and higher education is a can't go wrong option. Choose a school that makes you feel like you are in control of your future and they are just there to guide you along. While you are at school realize that you doing something great. College is nothing more than an empty storyboard waiting for you to fill in the storyline. There will be times where the storyboard gets a little messy and confusing but stay strong and focused on the story's ending. No two storyboards will ever be the same and I promise no storyboard will ever be perfect. It is the ability of the author to regain control of the story that truly makes college special. Get involved and evolve, because college is the time of your life where things start to make sense and lifetime friends and partnerships are formed. Fear finals time and know that everyone will have a nervous breakdown that will make you want to stop the story. Remember every story has a plot, but only great ones have a true happy ending. It's all on you!

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The advice that I would give to parents and students is to both research the schools their child is interested in attending. They should also take the time out to speak to reprensentives and students to get an idea of the school they will be attending and to makes sure it has the ammenties and things the student desires of the school. Another advice I would suggest is having a college fund or savings set aside for the student to help them through school. Again it would be good to research and look at all the prospects of financial aid, grants, and scholarships so that the students don't have to limit themselves into to having to take out loans. If the student has to take out loans, it's wise to speak to financial aides and ask many questions about the loan. How the student can make most of their college experience is to stay focus and study so that they do well in their classes. They should be actively involved with the school whether working or being part of a club. The last thing I would suggest is stay away from people who aren't focused and negative.

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College is such a radical transition. It’s like jumping headfirst into a pool full of mass information that you can’t possibly understand. Needless to say if I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently. My high school self was naïve and full of dreams of attending an expensive four year college, without the correct finances to do so, just to keep the friendships I had made. The advice I would give my high school self would be to attend a two-year technical college, so I would be able to get my basics out of the way. Then I could apply for a transfer scholarship to keep my finances low. Perhaps if I had done this from the beginning I wouldn’t have gone through three colleges (in three years), or racked up great amounts of debt. I would have found my perfect college from the beginning, a college where I could achieve my teaching degree without difficulty. However knowing all of this has allowed me to advise my little brother and others on what to do when he finally attends college. After all, college is the ticket to a fantastic future!

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