When I first came to the United States going to college was just a dream. I didn?t know where to start and what to do. I though my language difficulty was going to be a huge obstacle to my success. However, it played to my favor since early on in my journey I found out that there is a great resource for those people who want to learn: the amazing faculty members in my community college. They encouraged me to start building my dream towards furthering my education in a four year college. I talked to the faculty members of numerous colleges and finally chose Woodbury University, whose faculty members where the most enthusiastic, caring and knowledgeable people whom I met. In this college great faculty members are accompanied by diverse group of students who create a great campus life. I am extremely happy with my college choice and am willing to share the secret to my happiness for those who are in the first steps of this amazing journey: find your passion, base your choice upon the faculty members and choose a college whose faculty members and students are as enthusiastic and knowledgeable as those in Woodbury University.
Naturally, parents tend to influence what college/university their student attends. Therefore, I would advise a parent to be open-minded and to pay attention to what their son or daughter wants and more importantly, what he or she needs to excel academically and socially. Supposedly high school years are the best years of your life, for me that was not true because so far, my college years have been the best years of my entire life. As for the student, I would tell him/her about my personal experience. Freshman year I was a social outcast, I didn't have friends, and I hated school. Sophomore year came and I decided to get involved, I became a student leader and became Vice President of a club while simultaneously being involved in other organizations. I significantly succeeded academically and made sure that before anything else, my education came first. College is the time in your life when you learn to be independent and mold yourself into who you want to be and not into what anyone else expects you to be. It is the time in your life when you discover yourself and grow beyond that to become someone great.
Marine, be smart about the decision you are about to make. Being accepted to multiple 4-year universities is a great accomplishment, but take your time and decide what is right for you, not what you SHOULD do in consideration of family, income, career goals, age, and so on. Pick a school that you will be happy attending, if you want to study abroad, embrace the opportunity! If you want to move away and attend a college far from home, do it! A Business Major is a great place to start but don't limit yourself to the typical finance and management concentrations. You love to travel so focus on International Business or apply your creativity and study Marketing! Last but not least, remember, completing the first 2 years of general education courses at a community college is not an emberassment. Yes, you did graduate high school with honors and vowed to never step foot in a community college regardless of the savings. But think twice, you could use the money you save by attending a community college towards building the business of your dreams. Be a little selfish just this once and do what is right for YOU!
If I could revisit myself in high school to offer advise, I would advise him to not change any decision he had made. He will have a journey that tests endurance and ambition. Attending a college in the mid-west and taking initiative to transfer back to California. I will say that as life gets complicated, he should pursue a life of simplicity. To pursue needs instead of wants. Architecture is not cheap. Architecture will be grusome; sleepless nights, loads of work, and endless possibilities to design. There will be hardships but it will get balanced because he will encounter others who share the same devotion to further push themselves. As final advise to myself I would say, " Life is full of surprises and challenges, it should not be easy because then where is the excitement of overcoming the difficulties of life? My advise should not guide you one way because there is never one way. You will encounter this dilemma in design and you should approach life in college the same way. Life is about experimenting and expanding indefinitely. One thing is for sure, do not lose your ambitious work ethic."
Unlike many college students, my senior year did not project any college plans. I was what many would consider to be a "good student" academically; however I did not excel in mathematics or the sciences like most of the college prospective students at my school. I did not feel confident or enthused about the career options that my school has suggested for me. The semester following my high school graduation I began working and attending a community college. Still without much ambition I knocked out my GE classes one by one. Slowly I became more confident and determined to pursue a career that no teacher in high school had mentioned? business. Today, I have found a passion for business and it is something that I excel in. If I could go back to the seventeen year old artsy senior I would say "you are right, math and biology are not for you but there is something that I promise you will love, keep going." Being the person that I am I would not tell the seventeen year old me what it was that I would grow to love; I would make "her" find out the exact same way I did.
Coming to the US is the best thing that has happened to me in my adult life. Even though I love my country –Bulgaria, I am proud and honored to be an American citizen and live the American dream. I was born and raised in Rouse, Bulgaria during communist times. I graduated from School of European languages in my home town. I graduated with French and regardless my great grades, I was forced to work as a waitress for a few years, because the employment opportunities for young people were very limited in Bulgaria at that time and the pay was less than adequate. I’ve always wanted to continue my education and have a career, but this dream of mine only became an achievable goal for me when I met my husband and moved to the US in 2002. I recently graduated from the Radiography program in FTCC and have a 3.8 GPA. I’m always striving for excellence and I’m determined to graduate from college, make a better life for me and my family and be a respected member of the society. I would be grateful and honored if I’m been considered for this scholarship.
So far my college experience has really helped me transition back into American life. I spent the year after high school abroad in Germany doong school, work and an internship. So being able to come back and be with people in my age group with the same interests has been invaluable. I also love how it really is so much different from high school, and how the level of learning is more advanced. I love learning, and will hopefully continue for the rest of my life. I also find the connections i have made here invaluable. We have such a broad student base, with representatives from dozens of states and even more countries, which makes this a wonderful place to be. I have also found that living on my own how much i need to rely on myself and only myself. I have to cook and clean and work for my rent just so i can contine going to school. And before this i had never really needed to do all these things, and now im smack dab right in the middle of life. In the last month i have already felt myself become more responsible, and self sustaining.
In high school you are about to enter the hardest part of the beginning of your life. To make this process easier is to do your best in high school. Doing your class work, homework, and participating in your community would be your only worries at the moment. These tasks will make a detrimental impact on your future. Completing your school work, enables others to believe that you have qualities that are worth investing in, therefore, colleges do so. In what way? Money. Money will become a huge factor to your independence. In order for you to be free of debt, parents, and worries you will need money. Money will have to come from a source such as a job. This will create a split in your concentration between work and school, and there in lies a problem. These problems grow larger but to avoid all, is to do your school work. Then and only then will you successfully complete your college education in a timely manner and avoid being in school for as long as I have, eleven years after high school graduation.
I would tell parents to allow their student to pick their future. Do not dictate where the student will go; work with them to find their calling. I do not know where I would be without the support of my parents. Knowing this allowed me to express myself without limitation and encouraged me to pave my own path. I would also tell parents to be supportive of the major their child chooses. It makes life so much easier knowing that you have people to fall back when you need support, instead of people who will say "I told you so". For students who are looking for the right college I would tell them to look into the program and make sure the school has what they are looking for to help better their career. Check the facilities, talk to the faculty and take a tour of the campus. Get involved in a summer program at the school to get a better feel of the student body, if such a program is offered. When you walk onto the right campus you will know, it will just feel right. You will feel like you belong.
The first day of college I was nervous just like every other student. The structure of Woodbury University is constructed in a way to help students help eachother. In the four years that I have attended here the students have grown into a small family because we have spent so much time together. The universities group projects in studio classes as well as lecture classes allowed students to become closer together which has made all the hard work feel so much easier. The studio aspect of Woodbury University has helped me grow many memories of professors as well as students. The studio classes is what makes Woodbury and other similar institutions so valuable to attend and it is also a great way to network for future references. The proffesors are also so involved with the students that they take time out of their own schedule to help students become more succsessful in their passion. All these opportunities at Woodbury has made my college experience worthwhile and meaningful as well as influencal.