Looking back, on the information I know now, I would tell myself to find a school that provided an educational experience as well as a social experience. I would recommend attending a college with a student body that was made up of predominately traditional college students. A college experience that was rich in age appropriate acivities that were exciting and stimulating to the students body. And a school that fostered a strong sense of school spirit. In terms of education, it is important to find a college that believes in the importance of a healthy student-teacher relationship. As a student, you should feel comfortable in the classroom and know that resources are available to you when you have questions or need help.
Number one, don't take that year off. Yeah it sounds tempting but that year turns in to two and then you wait a little too long. Take chances with your classes and network, being a loner because it's only community college and you're planning on moving in a few years doesn't mean you can't make some great new contacts. Be yourself and listen, many people will really understand who you are and really like you for you. Most of all, don't be afraid to ask for help! It's fairly easy to be overwhelmed sometimes, but everyone wants to succeed and is willing to help you do the same, that includes you're professors.
If i had to go back and talk to myself as if i was a high school senior i would tell myself not to stress out as much. College may be harder but it comes with a lot of positives, the teachers are there to help you and the people you go to class with are going to be very friendly and want to help you too. i would also tell myself that all the information i learned in high school you use in college and it is important to remember and retain that information, because by doing this it will make college a lot easier.
The best advice I would give myself would be to stay focused and no matter how hard things get do not give up. As the only person in your family who attended college there is a lot at stake. As long as you keep God as the head of your life and keep your head in the books everything will work out fine. Entering the real world is not a game, and your education is very important.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would simply tell myself not to be afraid of the college atmosphere, to set goals and accomplish them. The transition may not be easy, but it is a positive life changing event that will never be regretted. No one can take away one's knowledge. It is truly power.
I would have created a stronger work ethic and schedule for myself so I could get everything I needed done. I would also have taken a semester break between high school and college to get ready for the major commitment I was going to make.