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What do I have to do to be successful in college? What would be the best course of action to take before college?

I'm in 11th. I like welding, blacksmithing, woodworking, and working on vehicles. I'm very literal. I am having second doubts about what I want to major in; I like working on technology, whether computers, coding, phones, or software. My dream college is Texas A & M, stationed out of college station.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Eric’s Answer

Dear James, I commend you upon your fantastic skills. I would highly encourage in keeping your grades up. as being successful now days they only read paper and sometimes never know the real you. So study hard and do your best but don't be consumed by certain mentalities that other's may put on you. Study Math, for electronics I know the electric cars are coming but there is a battery issue of dependence or what to do with the excess after they have been used up. So much is depending upon mechanical engineers.
Continue to look at trends, also you may want to look into the motor world like Earnheart's the world is yours to command. Learn all that you can, do your best but don't put too much pressure on yourself that you get caught up in yourself and forget life.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Mr. Snow. James
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May’s Answer

Hi James!
Choosing what to study in college can be confusing and it's really normal to have doubts about which major to go with, especially when you have wide-ranging interests and skills. Here are some of my advice that I hope you'll find helpful!
- If you're able to do it while completing high school, local community colleges offer courses (often cheaper than universities) that you can enroll to get a sense of what the subjects will be like. I took an intro to engineering at my local community and that helped me decide on my major.
- If you're leaning towards a major in engineering (including computer science), their coursework requires a lot of math (Calculus I, II and III, Differential Equations, and up to Linear Algebra for some majors). You don't have to be good at math but it's critical that you practice and put efforts into keeping up with it. With your skills in blacksmithing and welding, you might also find material engineering an exciting field.
- Having a minor in arts or something that you'll enjoy learning is also an option. If you love arts or literature, I'd say take those courses!
- Don't forget to take a breath and enjoy the journey. Getting good grades is important but so is the college experience and friendships that you'll make along the way.
Good luck, James!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for being so supportive. I didn't know this app existed, but I'm glad I came across it. James
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi James. Thanks so very much for this incredibly thoughtful question.

In my view being "a success" in college is driven by what bar you set for yourself. And then, once you set that bar...once you set those goals, how you go about achieving them. Certainly success can also include meeting and/or exceeding the goals you set for yourself.

As I remember how I felt during my first days and weeks in college, I was nervous for sure...because I had no idea what to expect. What I knew about myself though, was that I had an open mind and I was convinced that whatever I didn't know, I could learn it. I also became aware of and utilized a really strong support system filled with staff and peers who wanted to see me do well.

My "success" in college started with always remembering why I as there in the first place...for me, first priority was to graduate because graduating would then put me on a path to getting a good paying job. Candidly, building a career only came into my focus after a few years of working in my field of interest.

On your question of best course of action take before college, I agree a lot with the previous answer provided...and I will add a bit more. Be open to meeting new people and asking for help when you need it. If you are experiencing challenges, don't wait until you feel like you can't fix it...jump on fixing it as soon as you can. Seek out feedback from others. If you are in a space where you don't yet know other students, then seek out that feedback from your professors and other students in your class. It doesn't hurt to practice building a support system where you are new. This type of practice can come in pretty handy as you learn to build networks with others in spaces where you are unfamiliar.

Lastly, I will share that your college years can turn out to be some of the best years of your life. You get to learn, grow, challenge and achieve. Do your best to soak in all the positive experiences that attending college can offer...worry less...enjoy more :).

I hope this answer is helpful to you and best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. James
Thank you comment icon Absolutely my pleasure James...Best of luck to you :) Nicole Baillie
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Don’s Answer

I am into everything you list. I started my career doing the physical building and work that I love. Now I do more virtual planning and using my expertise because I did the physical side of the work first. It is amazing. I am able to discuss and understand what is really needed for work to be completed, and I also know what would make life easier for the people doing the physical side of the work. I am more efficient and really love this side of the work as well. It is funny, when I was young, I didn't think I could ever sit at a desk all day. Luckily even now my job allows me to do both, but a majority of my time is working with systems, documents and planning on the computer.

So do what you love, and build a resume that allows you to move to different phases of the work, as you get older. School is just like woodworking, welding, anything you do with your hands takes time to get good at, so does math, english and science. Don't neglect them now, it will be harder to pick them up later. Just think of them as another skill that you might not be the best at yet, but you can be. It is like the day you first use an arc welder, and you kept getting your rod stuck...
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