Teacher Advice for Seniors
College is a chance to try something new. I think everyone should try joining a new club and taking a class outside their major that interests them. You never know what you might learn or who you might meet! Also, don't wait to write a 15 page research paper until the day before it is due...
Life advice- what matters is how you treat people and how hard you work. If you are polite, caring and have a good work ethic, you will be successful.
Make smart choices! Realizing that you have the world at your doorstep is a HUGE responsibility. Recognizing that everyone that comes into your life (for worse or better) can change the direction of your life if you let them is powerful knowledge. Unfortunately we tend to think "I'm not going to need that piece of information" or "I hate that topic, so I'm going to avoid that required class for awhile" can really short change you on life's road. Also acknowledging that this is a different world and will require that you can adapt and be creative can offer you so many more choices if you let it. This is for real. Make it count!!!
- Study abroad at least once. When else in your life will you be able to go live in another country for a few months and see what it’s really like there? Once you’re an adult with a job and a family, living in another country is no longer an option.
- Try to keep your dorm room clean. Nobody likes to live with a slob. That includes doing your dishes and not leaving them sitting, dirty, for weeks at a time growing a science project and annoying your roommate.
- Sheets should be washed more than once per semester. Aim for washing them once a week, but don’t let more than a month go by without washing them- that’s gross.
- Before you do anything questionable, think to yourself….Would you be embarrassed if your family, future spouse, or future employer found out you did this? If you would, Don’t Do It!
- Always keep cold medicine in your room. When you get sick (and you will), your parents won’t be there to take care of you. You’re not going to want to walk into town for medicine when you’re sick, so keep medicine on hand.
- If anyone ever asks you to do something that gives you an “icky” feeling in your gut,…go with your gut. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
- Ask lots of questions. It took me a long time to learn that I didn’t have to be embarrassed because I didn’t already know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Nobody’s going to think you’re stupid because you have to ask about how to pay a tuition bill, or apply for graduation, or whatever. Everybody has to ask how to do these things. Better to ask the question and have the correct information than be afraid to ask the question and miss some important information.
- Try to get a job as a tour guide on campus. Tour guides know where everything is on campus, they know tons of people in all the different offices, they have a personal connection with admissions counselors who can write them a letter of recommendation, and they feel more connected to their campus.
- Always wear flip flops in the shower.
- Don’t skip all your classes and then think you’re going to be able to pass the final- it’s not gonna happen.
- Go see your professors during their office hours- it can make all the difference. Frankly, that’s how I got through Statistics…without extra help, I would have been lost. With the extra help, I got an A. It makes all the difference.
- Don’t get a credit card if you can’t be trusted to use it responsibly. You do not want to come out of college with a mountain of credit card debt on top of your school loans.
- Take a PE class. It’s worth a credit, you meet people in a fun situation, you can learn sports and activities that you can pursue for the rest of your life, it’s great stress release, and it helps you to stay in shape.
- If you’re going to major in a liberal art subject such as Psychology, think about adding a career-oriented minor (such as Criminal Justice, Business, Public Relations, etc) which will help make you more marketable in the job market. As I know from experience, a Sociology major and Psychology minor prepared me to be…a waitress…and a graduate student.
- If you’re going to be a teacher, go to grad school full time right after you graduate from college. It’s so much easier to get your masters full time (when you can also have time to do an assistantship which often ends up paying for your entire tuition) than it is to try to work in a school as a brand new teacher, commute to your grad school, and do your school work and your “work” work at night…all while paying the full price for grad school out of your pocket because you don’t have time to work an assistantship. I went to two years of graduate school for free, plus I got paid every two weeks, and then I started my job knowing I was completely done with my masters.….absolutely the way to do it.
Understand that the professors will NOT constantly remind you of work that is due, nor will they allow work to be handed in late. Doing your work and getting it in on time is all on you, so being organized and using your time wisely is going to be key.
Do not hesitate to get help from professors or teaching assistants - they have office hours and will gladly work with you on concepts you do not understand.
The library should become your new best friend.
It's normal to be homesick, even if you couldn't WAIT to get out of high school. Immerse yourself in the activities and clubs that are available on campus, and pretty soon you will feel like part of your school community.
I think the best advice I could give is a quote from Joseph Campbell, Professor and Author on Mythology and Religion, who said many times "Follow your bliss." If you truly have a passion for something, no matter what you or others may think it might "pay" in the near term, if you truly enjoy that field, pursue it. Life will have a way of making sure it works out for you. The added benefit is that if your job is doing something you really enjoy, you will never "work" a day in your life!
I wish I had followed that advice much earlier in my life than I did!!!
11 random bits of advice to college freshman by Mr. Longo
- Don’t join a fraternity or a sorority unless it is a service or academic one. If you like being hazed and getting bad grades then go for it I guess.
- Get your required text lists and buy them online. This will save a TON of money and the aggravation of the bookstore.
- Get to class no matter what. Nobody will be there to wake you up in the morning. Set your alarm to something that gets you moving in the morning. If you pay $7,000/semester and take 15 credits, for every class you miss you will be throwing away about $50.00
- Utilize college resources such as your academic advisors, career services… as much as possible.
- Become a Resident Advisor. It is a great resume builder, will save you a boat load of money and teach you valuable leadership skills.
- Don’t take any guff from the office of the registrar, financial aid… They are there because YOU pay tuition. Remember to go to them prepared, ask specific questions and be polite.
- Explore the cultural opportunities in the town/village/city your college is located in. Go to museums, concerts, local sporting events… Why else would you go away if not to have experiences that you cold not have in your home town?
- Learn to play an instrument. This will sharpen your mind and open you up to new ways of thinking. It will also save you money as you will tend to go out less. If you already play an instrument start a band.
- Get a job… any job. This will provide you with structure and some money in your pocket.
- Pick a major that will land you a job, for example don’t major in Sanskrit or typewriter repair.
- Make good decisions, be safe and remember that there are people at home that love you and care about you…Make them proud.
As soon as you are registered for classes, get the information of the textbooks that are required for each class and buy the textbooks from Amazon unless you can find good quality used ones in the bookstore. Avoid purchasing new textbooks from college bookstore because they are usually overpriced.
1. Learn how to do laundry before you go away and stock up on rolls of quarters.
2. Even though homework will probably not be graded, DO IT!!! There's a reason it's being assigned.
3. Professors are probably not going to post a list of due dates on the board. Check the syllabus for when papers are due, chapters need to be read, etc.
4. Make as many friends as possible and have fun, it's the best 4 years of your life!!
5. Call your parents at least once a week and give your mother a break if she cries for the 1st month. :)
- Get involved, join a club; you’ll meet so many more people that way.
- Collect the college catalog for your school for each year. If you end up transferring and the course description meets another schools description, you will be able to get the credit even if they do not have the same name. Also, the course catalogues are continually updated so it is helpful to have the description while you were in attendance at the school.
- Be on time and always smile! It goes a long way
- Any job you have, make sure you obtain the business card from you manager! You’ll need all that information when filling out your job applications in the future as well as your resume! It is an easy way to remember your prior work history and everything is spelled correctly on it.
Our nation and our community are currently going through some very tough economic times. If you are receiving a college education, you should consider yourself very fortunate, as many people cannot currently afford college and are delaying their attendance or choosing to enter the workforce in order to save money for their continuing education. My advice to you is that yourself and your families are making a considerable investment of time, money and effort to make a college education possible. It is a great sacrifice. Be committed to excellence. Make yourself and your family proud. Whatever career path you choose, own it. Enjoy yourself and your surroundings. Having success with difficult academic work is so rewarding, but the cost to receive that reward is your hard work and dedication on a daily basis. You are not expected to know how to do everything the day you step on to a college campus. It will take some time. Ask a lot of questions and pay attention to what is going on around you. The professional staff at your college are just as dedicated to your success as your family. Lean on the staff for support and direction when you are unsure of your direction. They are there to help you and will be a great resource for you and your family. When you get a faculty advisor, see them often and rely on their advice. Four years goes by very quickly and the more assistance you can get the better your performance will be. Attend every class. Have a goal never to miss class and you will be rewarded. It might not seem like professors are taking attendance but they most assuredly are. If you ever need help in a class, do not be avoidant of going to seek it during the professor’s office hours. Believe it or not, teachers really appreciate helping students learn difficult material. The more resources that you can bring to bear on your education the more you will learn and the more success you will have. Good Luck and Congratulations!
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Don't let other people's ideas about what you should think, say or do control you. Find your happiness inside yourself. And to every single one of you that is reading this, I would say, "YOU ARE A WORTHWHILE PERSON!"
Create a relationship with your teachers and staff at your school. Your education is a collaboration and open communication is a useful skill in success.
My advice would be to take classes outside of your comfort zone. Instead of taking a basic Earth Science for your required courses, take something completely out there like Astronomy. Instead of taking pre-Calc or Algebra (again) take something like the History of Ancient Numerals. Instead of taking a basic philosophy class, take a class on World Religions. Instead of taking all the classes you took in High School over again thinking, "I've already done them so it'll be an easy grade.." learn something new! There are so many options at the University level and each professor is a dedicated researcher in the field so profit from them!
Also- look into study abroad programs. The amount of opportunities that can open up are endless. It looks good on a resume as well. This goes out to even those who never liked languages. Go to England, Ireland, Australia... get out and experience what the rest of the world has to offer! Most of the time (unless it's Ivy League) the tuition will be very similar to regular College's tuition.
Travel, explore, take chances and most of all be safe!
First, before you graduate from High School, take time to thank your parents, guardians, family members, teachers, counselors, and mentors for supporting you throughout high school, and who will continue to care and support you throughout the rest of your life!
Second, remember that everyone else who is graduating is just as excited and nervous about their future as you are, you are not alone! So make sure you remain open to the new people you are going to meet along the way!
Third, be confident in yourself and in your skills! Be persistent and disciplined in your efforts. Whatever you accomplish in life will be determined by your belief in yourself. Don't forget all the people who already believe in you, and trust that you can, and you will, continue to succeed! Best wishes for your future!
Find a professional "niche" that is best suited to your combination of skills and knowledge. Work hard so you can out-compete those who challenge you for that niche.
Challenge yourself and open yourself up to new experiences. You only have the next few years to figure out what you want to do with your life. Don't limit yourself.
Be responsible and learn to balance your academic and social life. You will not have your parents or teachers reminding your about attendance or assignments. Your success in life depends on YOU.
When you get to college, don't come home until Homecoming. Give yourself time to adjust to school and meet new people. If you are always returning to what you know, you won't grow as a person.
First, always keep your career goal in mind, but take advantage of opportunities to explore other subjects, disciplines, and cultures. Think about trying for a double major or adding a minor to your course of study. As I look back on my college years, I now wish that I had tried one of the semester abroad offerings; I also realized soon after college that I might have been more "marketable" had I added some dimensions to my curriculum. For instance, minoring in Spanish was a nice complement to my English major (and it did open some doors for me), but I wish that I had taken classes in special education, speech pathology, counseling, and sign language. I never realized at the time how quickly our college years pass and just how many opportunities are out there. If you start out studying physical therapy, for instance, how about going the distance for the full medical/surgical degree? How about going right into your Master's Degree and doctoral work? I would definitely recommend not stopping too long between degrees--I did that and it is difficult to keep the momentum going. Resist the pressure to join the work force; keep studying with that ultimate career goal always in mind. Study hard and try to remember how much your parents and grandparents really are counting on you to go farther than they did. Be a true competitor in the global marketplace, have some fun but don't get distracted, and if you get a sudden change of heart over your original career plan, it is okay to change and celebrate your true interests. Finally, keep your high school teachers in the loop. We too are counting on you and would welcome the chance to know what you are studying and what we can do to best serve your younger brothers and sisters. You are the future.
Always make good choices knowing it will affect you the rest of your life. This applies to: studying, peer pressure - don't do something just because someone else wants you to and you know it's wrong, showing up for classes and trying your hardest, not going to the party because you know you have work to do, asking for help with anything or when you're in trouble, knowing that your parents/guardians would really rather know the truth and want to help you in even the worse case scenarios, not spending money that you don't really have. Live your life positively and you'll have no regrets. Have fun - there's nothing like the next big step in your life!
Part I: The “real world” is not an MTV television show. Rather, it is a complex and often very stressful set of challenges, obligations, commitments and problems. These stressors happen often, and many times without any warning.
- You’ve lost your purse/wallet with all of your important personal information. Worse, someone found it and has taken your money & identity.
- You or someone in your family loses a job, gets extremely ill, or experiences some other life-altering surprise.
- Your college curriculum is too stressful, and/or is something far different than what you had hoped for.
- A natural disaster roars through your town or even your house.
- You get into legal trouble.
- You have an automobile accident or some other type of incident with injuries.
- You or your girlfriend/spouse becomes pregnant unexpectedly with no plan for raising a child.
- With a bad turn of the economy, or because of a criminal act, you are financially wiped out.
However, much more often, you’ll experience conflicts: You have two or more “mandatory” events scheduled at the same time (a presentation at your workplace at the same time your grad-class has its final test; or, you’re required to be out-of-town for your work on the same date that you are supposed to be in your best friend’s wedding). So, just understand in advance ~ you will have conflicts frequently throughout your life. The important part – and the part which defines your Character – is how & when do you solve the conflict. Prompt communication with everyone involved is the only truly great path to follow, even if it leads to tough decisions. Procrastination is a bad, bad thing. J Oh, “If you can’t change your circumstances, change your thinking.”
Part II: “The Rules” are supposed to be for everyone. It might make me angry when a politician, celebrity or wealthy person gets to ‘slide’ on a traffic infraction when I’m still going to get the ticket, for example, but at the bottom line is that I did break a rule. I believe the world would be a much smoother place overall if every citizen would treat people fairly, respect the expectations, and – most of all – accept the consequences for their own actions. Why? You’ve already heard this a million times: “Because Nice Matters”.
Part III: Your true legacy in life will most likely be felt not by how much money you earn, what degrees you have, what books you publish, how “high up” you make it in your workplace, how many “friends” you have on FaceBook (ugh!), or even what inventions you patent. Those are all just things, and some of them are beyond your control.
Instead, your real legacy come from TWO parts of your life that are totally within your control:
- How do you treat people? You won’t remember what a person said, or did, or how they dressed on any given day, but you’ll always remember how they treated you. “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” ~ Jesse Jackson
- How do you raise your children? You might know people who ‘stretch the truth’ (lie); people who litter their trash; who spread rumors and say/write hurtful things about others; who freely spend their parents’ money; people who argue about ‘fairness’ even when it’s obvious that they’re in the wrong; people who cut in front of others in a line or take handicapped parking spots; or, people who look the other way when someone is in need. YOU have the ability to filter those people gradually out of society ~ start thinking now about what you’ll need to decide & plan in advance before you raise your own children. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ The Dalai Lama
Part IV: My last gifts to you
A. You will not all be brain surgeons, Supreme Court Justices, famous actors/athletes/musicians, or even college graduates. However, you all can (and should!) be important parts of our great human race. When my car breaks down, I need a great Mechanic; when I want a meal, I rely on a great Farmer; on garbage-day, I need a great Garbage Collector. Every occupation is important, and every person can make a wonderful contribution. Just be the best “you” you can be.
B. Finally, just a few selected quotes from people who are a lot smarter than me!
“I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~ Bill Cosby
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ anonymous
And my personal favorite:
“What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.” ~ Mrs.Linaberry J
Good luck to all of you!