Dear Past Self:
It's me. Or, rather, it's you.
Time has graced me with both insight and hindsight, both of which I'd love to share with you. Remember those daily writing exercises that you have to do in English class? They appeared to be the most annoying timewasters known to mankind, but I now thank my teachers every day for asking me to put pencil to paper. Not only have I become a strong essay writer, I am also composing material for comedy blogs as well as my own monologues. I was even able to perform my poetry for local high schoolers, the faces in the audience not so different from myself two years ago. I anticipate this skill will be useful; I do not expect by any means to write the next great American novel yet, but written communication is a powerful force that only one species has been able to master so far, thus to be able to take the reins on such a versatile medium is a true gift.
Keep writing. Keep telling stories.
If I knew what I know now as a senior in high school, the advice I would give myself would be so much different. I would tell myself that attending a christian based university would become very important to me and would've encouraged myself to find the one that fits me. I would've also encouraged myself to apply to more schools and look at all my options, instead of just attend the one that offers me the opportunity to play volleyball. I would've also told myself to attend a cheaper school because I don't believe the curriculum offered at Wheaton are worth the extremely costly tuition. One piece of advise I would never change would be to not be afraid to attend school out of state. I'm from California and attend a school in Massachusetts and the experience I've had is priceless. The environment and society is way different and I'm happy I've got to experience that.
I would tell my high school self not to be so worried about what other people think. I attended a pretty small high school and in order to have a social life you needed to be well liked by a majority of your peers. I had gotten so used to that mentality that it was hard to give up when I got to college. The first few months I agonized over what I should wear and how I was presenting myself. I didn't join clubs that interested me because I was scared of what other people would think. I didn't take advantage of on campus events because at my high school it wasn't cool to take attend the school sponsored events. But I soon learned that my college didn't operate like my high school; that is why I chose my college in the first place! At my school everyone took advantage of the events and I soon realized why: they were fun! I joined clubs that interested me and found a really supportive community! College is a time for independence, so take the classes you are passionate about and make new friends that have similar interests!
Looking back on my undergraduate experience, I would tell myself to relax. Often we approach an experience with a preconceived notion of how it will play out. This not only ruins the experience but also our potential to grow as human beings. Life becomes a lot more fun when you realize that you can only control what's in your power. There's no need to stress out about planning every aspect of your life. When you plan, you limit yourself to only that option. By relaxing and taking one step at a time more options appear, some even better than you originally planned. Understand that even though I'm advising you to relax, there will be times when you're stressed or mad or sad. Those emotions are part of the human experience and you're entitled to feel that way. What will give you solace in those situations is if you can find one positive thing to latch onto; because, even if it's only the sun shining, it's a positive in a sea of negatives. College flys by, why spend your time upset when you have the potential to be the happiest you can be?
You are going to be faced with a very diverse community, both students and teachers alike. It won't be like how you grew up, with everyone the same. Embrace the change. College is not only about the education received in a classroom, but also the one from learning about the experiences of others. You will learn more about yourself from interacting with people who at first don't seem to have anything in common with you. You'll experience new opportunities and obstacles, and they are some of the best parts of college. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone; this is the best time to explore who you are and where you want to fit in the world. Who you were raised to be doesn't mean that's who you have to be.
I was about a hundred words into an answer to this question, when I realized it wasn't very sincere. I was giving an answer I thought you would want to hear, as apposed to my real answer. The truth is that while I have learned from my college experience, I wouldn't go back and give myself any advice. I feel people learn better from personal experience, rather than just words. Sure I could tell my self not to procrastinate, to join the student government, or to spend more time with other extracurricular activites, but the fact is, those lessons will stick with me longer, because they were more than just words. And let's be honest, if I could travel through time, going back to visit myself would be a complete waste. That time would be better spent learning from our founding fathers, or seeing what being alive during the great depression was like. So, while I have learned from my college experience, I feel it best to let past me learn those lessons on his (my?) own.
Erica, although you have no clue of what you want to achieve after you graduate, but I suggest that you knuckle down on finishing your last year of high school with a bang. Focus on finishing school with excellent grades and also by playing an active role in your community. Volenteer for the city of Fallon, Banner Churchill Community Hospital, assisted living facilites, just stay busy by being of service to those around you, you will later realize this is what you enjoy. In the midst of your busy schedule, apply to colleges around the globe. You have always wanted to travel. Spark an interest in the idea of opportunity and roll with it. No one in your immediate family had encouraged you to further your education and with you being so naive to the world around you, you do not know what to expect after high school. But I can tell you this, that you are consistantly growing and evolving. The key to success is education, and by furthering yours, you're already ahead of the curve. Just never stop learning and always give your best.
The Great and Wonderful
Great events in life come from odd places and occur at odd times. It's okay if you can't see what's coming next and if there are disappointments at college, at least you're experiencing it in a different way than anyone else. Good and bad experiences can empower you to change, which is great! You will be awashed with shock of what you learn about the subjects, the people and yourself. What you learn may have never entered your imagination; those assumed impossibilities, ugly or fantastic or devastating, will drive you to realize there are few impossibilities and limitiations. One of those limitations will be you: you and your imagination. You will find that the ugly and bad in the world is inequivicollay reliant on the mind rather than the face and color of a person. Let that change you, and the way you touch people, for the better because the bad and ugly is only one part of a very large universe. What am I saying? You can fail, you are unique, you are the only person stopping you, you are learning, and you matter. And all of that is wonderful.
Don't worry about missing your mother. She won't disappear. You're more ready for this than you think you are. You'll find friends quickly, but don't fall into the same traps you did in high school. Be honest about yourself from the start. If you do, you'll finally be surrounded by people who love you for every part of yourself, no hiding. Challenge yourself. That's why you're here. Don't take the easy classes; take the interesting ones. Make time for your old friends, but don't get stuck in the past. Living in a dorm is easy. Bad feelings pass. People are good.
I would tell myself to be open minded and search diligently for schools because there are so many schools out there and there is one for everyone. I would tell myself to also look at school that are 100% need blind and offer scholarships to fill costs where my EFC is lacking that way I do not end up with so much student debt. I would also tell myself to apply to schools that are out of the New England region and look beyond my backyard to see what other schools around the United States have to offer.
I would tell myself to not stress out about every little thing. My major worries at first were making friends, fitting in, deciding what to major in, deciding what I want to do as a career, deciding what classes to take, figuring out where everything on campus was, and trying to find edible food in the dining hall. In time, I was able to find or figure out everything that I needed to. Just by talking to people who lived in my same dorm hall, I found some of my now-best friends. By trying out elective courses during my first year, I found my love of film-making which turned into my major and what I'm most interested in pursuing after college. Those elective classes also allowed me to explore things, such as mythology and the study of deviance in society, that I would never have considered before Wheaton. I think all the classes I have ended up taking in many different areas of study have helped me to become a more wellrounded student and participant in society. I would tell myself to just take things as they come no matter how daunting they seem in that moment.
I would tell myself that I didn't have to worry as much. My senior year was filled with anxiety having to do with the applications and the whole process of moving away from home, but I would tell myself to enjoy the process because Wheaton is amazing and I can be sure that I will get a good education and have a great time.
Out of my college experience, I have learned how to be independent. I learned what it is like to live by myself and how to take responsibility for my life. It is valuable to attend college not just because there are more job opportunities, but because you learn so much about yourself as a person socially and emotionally. College is a great place to express yourself in a way that you have never expressed yourself before.
My college experience has been one of the most liberating events of my life. If I would have stayed in my neighborhood I would be surrounded by people that share the same or similar socio-cultural beliefs. Because I am so interested in different backgrounds and how much I can take from that to influence my character, I decided to become an Anthropology major. The diversity of ideas and the ability to motivate others and be motivated in a space where there is constant exchange of information and skills has been vital to the development and the discovery of what my professional future will encompass. I have opportunities that I could not have obtained through a search engine and staff/faculty that truly care about my future.
I have gotten much excitement, knowledge and experience from my college. Everyday I loved to wake up and go to my classes because I know there going to be filled with amazing teachers that just know how to bring life into our books. As I walk from class to class I usually see my classmates filled with animation and light that makes them all unique.
I have learned to think for myself and to think out of the box. I alos learned to be on my own and do the things that will make me happy. I also learned that by going to school I will be successful.
For me what i've gotten out of my college experience is hard work. I was raosed always being able to come and meet any challenge through my 12 years of grade school. But getting into college I've realized its a hard world we live in and just had to man up and rise to my challenges. So all in all, I would say its been extremely valuable going to college. Because its made me a harder worker and its put me on the right path. I know where I see myself in 4 years and thats with a degree. The most I have to do is keep up with payments and I see myself making it.
Thanks for opurtunity !!!
I am getting a lot out of this college experience. I am gaining knowledge every day that I am in class and when I am studying. I am gaining self respect and have self worth. I am gaining indepence knowing that I am going to be financially stable. I know you can never or should never quit learning, once you quit learning that is when your life would stop. This world changes every day and I want to change with it. I want to learn as much as possible and be the best person I can be.
So far, my college experience has reopened my mind to new information. I have also seen that I can achieve more with college experience (and hopefully a degree), than I can by working at Safeway. With my college experience, I look forward to spending my life doing what I love to do and not working a typical 9 to 5 job for little pay. My experience may seem similar, if not exactly the same as other applicants' experiences, but I know each of us has a unique experience only we can truly understand-the relationship between us as a student and person to the college(s) we attend, and what we learn from each day and how it will tie into the rest of our lives.
Ive gotten a lot out of my college experience. It hasn't always been easy considering my background but I know a good education is key to success. I dont know where I'd be right now if I wouldn't have stayed in school. I love learning new things. I learned early in life through living with a very abusive family that things can be taken away from you, boundaries can be violated but no one can ever take your knowledge. School and music have always been my constants in life. Id like to go for a M. S or PhD. in Math or Physics.
Ive learned that you can't be afraid to try new things and get involved on campus. I will soon be completing Associates and then on to get my B.S degree. In college I've participated in a variey of activities including OSU band, Math Club, Society of Wemon in Physics, Real Life and many more. I've learned that you have to just get out there, try new things, and find what makes you happy. For me it is learning and no one can ever take away my determination to learn.
The best that my college experience has given me is inspiration to create art. I have come up with amazing ideas for storylines for movies and graphic designs to begin my business. This experience is valuable to me because my career is based on creative ideas and networking. I have met amazing people at the school and the future looks very bright for me. It is liberating for me to be able to find a school which is based around art and everyone who attends share the same mind set.
My college experience has been a real journey, I have actually learned to appreciate having an education more and more. I started off at a two year college and transferred to a four year college after only two semesters. Once I transferred to that four year college I became really overwhelmed with being in classes that had one hundred students or more. Also, being a single parent at the time and working two jobs didnt not help out much. I stayed at the college for over a year and then the amount of classes I took became less and less. At the time I think that I wasn't ready for the "Big" campus life, I also realized that I moved to fast and I should have just statyed at the two year college until I was finished and then transferred. After sitting out more than two semesters I finally am back at the two year college prepared to finish with an Associate and then move on to a Bachelors degree not only for myself but for my son also. Teaching him the importance of education is most important to me more than anything.
What I got out of a college experience is far more than just excellent academic offerings. Being at Wheaton gave me life skills that I have held to this day--basic things such as budgeting money and knowing how to have a checking account, to being faced with some difficult social situations and knowing how to deal with them. It gave me the tools to know how to prioritize, set good limits and boudnaries, and to have a strong inner confidence and direction in life.
Listen to your heart and focus on what you want. Don't let others' beliefs about what your career and social goals should be influence what you are truly passionate about. Pick a school that feels "right" when you step on campus, but make sure it has all of the tools you need to succeed as well. When you arrive on campus, stay positive and take setbacks as learning opportunities. Conquer at least one of your fears. Branch out and interact with people from different backgrounds, different areas of the country and world, and with different interests - that's what diversity really is about. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone even if it means retreating back into it over and over again. Above all, take risks and always be true to yourself.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself I would say that the extra work helps in the future even if it doesn?t seem like it will. Homework shouldn?t be done quickly just to show some effort was put in, it should be done correctly to get in good habits and make it easier each time after. Learn the most effective ways to getting things accomplished as well as managing time so that everything gets done with enough efficiency. Keep in mind that everything is important, so spread out time and know that most things are not as important as they are perceived, so stressing will not help the situation.
Be open to new things that come up and be willing to go out and get involved. Enjoy everything and don?t be so stressed about admissions and the next year, live in the present and have some fun. Stay on top of work, but find time to relax and unwind. Take a real good look at yourself and decide how to improve to become the type of person you really want to be, and then do it.
If I was to go back in time and give advice to myself before entering college I think the most important piece of advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity. I would tell myself to get involved in as many activities as possible and go outside of my comfort zone. I would also say that it is important to take care of yourself and that you need to make sure that you're doing what makes you happy and not just your family and friends. Do not be afraid to defy societal norms and take this time in your life to explore what the world has to offer. I would also say that it is crucial to study abroad in order to get an even greater view of this world we live in. I was able to spend a semester in South Africa living in four culturally different homestay families which gave me the ability to learn about their cultures, this experience gave me the ability to begin to understand the world in an even deeper way which is crucial to a college education. Overall it is important to enjoy your time in college.
The best advice that I could give myself is "do not procrastinate". At the beginning of each semester most professors give out syllabi with assignment due dates. Use the syllabi to your advantage! Make up a calendar when things are due so you can see when you might have many assignments due at once. Then make a work schedule for yourself; how much to do in one day; how many hours to work in one day, etc. If you stick to your schedule you will not feel overwhelmed in your work. It is also very important that you give yourself little breaks throughout the day so you don't overwork yourself.
This is nothing like high school and to come prepared for a heavier workload than that of high school.
Find a place where you feel you fit in, a place where you can call home, a place where you truly feel like you would achieve everything that you want.
It's always to have an open mind and never rule anything out, especially early on in the process. What you might want in a school may change significantly. This is normal as we're only human and as such, were very prone to indecisiveness. Appearances may be deceiving, especially as portrayed in those college books. You should not base your opinion on what someone else say's but how you feel and what you're impressions are, regardless of the school's perceived prestige such as with the Ivy League schools. Although this seems like a daunting process, it doesn't have to be. You can look for help with guidance counselors, friends, family or coaches. Also, beware of those websites that rate a school based on quality of dorm rooms, food etc. College is going to be what you make of it. During your freshman year you don't have to try and do everything. Try and find a few things that meet your interest, while balancing your academics of course! But college is supposed to be the best four years of your life so have fun!
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions of everyone, the people on campus know about campus life the best. I strongly advise visiting the campus and doing an overnight if at all possible. While on campus keep in mind that not every day will be like it is when you visit. There may be seasonal changes, hard work days, school vacations, or celebrations. Campuses vary from moment to moment and you are only catching one glimpse of it. Also, stick to your gut, if a place feels right go there, don't put too much pressure on how prestigious the school is.
Students, and parents, should really, during the college search, consider schools that are not only a good academic fit, but a good fit physically. Try to determine the kind of place that as a student, and a person you will feel happy and a part of. If you really like knowing where your campus is, a big city school all spread out probably isn't for you. Or if a vibrant city scene is where you find yourself most weekends a little school cut-off from the city won't make you happy, no matter how good the acedemics and reputation is. College is definitely about preparing for your future, and learning the possibilites that exist, but you're not going to find those possibilities or oppourtunities if you're stuck in your dorm room feeling misirable, or driving back home every weekend. Find a place where you can be happy.
Talk to current students and look beyond the college rankings.
Who are you now? Who will you be several years from now? For a prospective student, the answers to either of these two questions may not be easy to answer, or even possible to answer. Despite the fact that determining academic or career paths isn't a task that can be accomplished in a quick meeting, it is important when looking at a school to remember that the place you choose to attend can have a great impact on the answers to both questions by the time you graduate. You of course will have great influence on what you choose to do while you are a student, but the environment of any college will in turn influence these very decisions.
Pay attention to the type of academics because that is the main purpose for going to college. You should know what will distract you or have you lost in a crowd, so find schools that fit what you need to succeed.
Go and visit.
College is both a social and academic process. If you are choosing to attend a 4 year college or university, your time spent there is going to be about making friends, growing up, and finding out what interests you. Though you may not know what you want to get out of college while on the big search, make sure that there are options available for possible future interests. Check out the curriculum and choose one that interests and makes sense to you--it is afterall the main reason you're going. Find out about campus clubs that are available and about options for socializing on campus. For me, the location was also key in my decision, and be sure to look past the boring town your ideal college might be in-- a boring town near a booming city can be an ideal situation. When in college, be proactive: meet people, join clubs, take a class you never thought you'd be interested in, and spend time with friends. You won't be able to do everything, but take advantage of the opportunies available to you while you're there and be sure to balance work and play.
I would say that Wheaton offers a lot if you look close enough.
The difficulty with today's current college application process is that there are far more students applying then there has ever been in the past. What does this mean? Now students need not only to worry about finding the appropriate college, but also successfully selling themselves to that college. Therefore, apply to a range of schools that are categorized as "reach," "likely," and "saftey" schools for you. This will not only help you get accepted, but also broaden your scope beyond the Ivy leaguers. Whether the school is considered to be one of the best in the nation, or not, it doesn't matter. What is important to remember, is that college is simply what you make of it. Get involved, especially your first year. Become an active member of at least one club or sport and form at least one personal relationship with a professor in your first year. To make this easier to accomplish, look for scools that have engaging professors and students, people who feel connected to their campus. Often times, commuter schools lack this element as well as extremely large universities. A big fish in a small pond is more noticable to employers than the reverse.
I would say let the student do an overnight stay, because that's really the only way to really find out what it's like to go to that school.
Make sure that you are chosing a college or university for the right choices... the most imprtant aspects are academics and social life. Academics will obviously help you to your future career, but the social settings of a university or college are the environment you will be expected to grow and learn in. It is important to be in a location or school where you can enjoy the company of people who will get along with you/share common interests, but it is also very important that your environment is helpful to your academic schedule and demands, as well as to the decisions that you will be making that may affect the rest of your life.
The biggest thing with college is to be involved in SOMETHING, ANYTHING at all. Sports, clubs, intramurals or theatre is the best approach to meeting new people and making new friends. Study hard once you're there. You have your whole life to drink, party, and stay out until all hours of the night. Right now, make sure you do your best to get the best grades you can so later in life, you can have the fun. Form study groups and see tutors if you need to. But don't get me wrong, have a social life too. You won't make it through college without one. It's also best to know the people living around you. Give your roommate(s) a chance and be open-minded. Also, try to get to know the people on your floor, especially your Residence Advisor, better known as an RA. Always have emergency numbers written somewhere close so you have them if needed. Finally, choose a school for academics and reputation because if you only choose to go because of athletics or just to have a good time, chances are, you may not have piced the best school for you.
do campus visits, interview if necessary, do overnights.
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