Student Author: Mason P.
Future academics (college), is usually the thing that pops up into the back of your mind when you hit sophomore year of high school and you’re trying to figure out what you'll do with the rest of your life. Then comes your senior year in the blink of an eye. Thinking about picking a career to look into, then choosing what college is best for you, or whether you even want to attend a college or not. Now you are getting really confused about the whole concept and how to even begin, all in the matter of one year.
That was me, never knowing how to go about applying for college, or when the right time is, let alone how to do it all. All of this is a “jump in head first” type of deal. If you are like me, asking people for help wasn't an option, because I feel the need to be independent when it comes to college. It is really the first “adult decision” of our lives and I can’t ask for help with that. I ended up going to people for help, but that was after the fact of applying to universities; thankfully, I had done that step right.
The next step for me was picking the right college, my first suggestion is to tour your dream college, that perfect one that has been stuck in the back of your head forever, even if you think you won’t get accepted. After that, go down the list from there, find the place that really feels like home and fits your career path. I would even suggest touring a two year college, maybe closer to home, because that will only save you money and sometimes even time. Whenever you are finished with that, you need to move on to your next step.
After picking the college in which you are interested, have applied to, and have been accepted into, you have made it partly up the hill. Now it's time for scholarships and FAFSA applications, (applying for the green stuff to help pay for college).
When you get those important pieces done, I would suggest sitting yourself down and making a financial plan. Figure out how much money you will actually need to put aside because, while student loans can be helpful, if we can save ourselves from as much of those as possible, the better. They can become a burden down the road if you go too far with them.
Now that we have our financial side of things down, we need to enroll ourselves in classes through your college. If you have taken college classes in high school, you might have already received a credit for those. Most of the time, you will not need to take those classes again. This is assuming that those credits are transferable to the college you are interested in or going to. The next step is to be sure to get your class schedule made.
Before you know it, it’ll be time to graduate high school, your cap and gown highlight.
Then, you're finally ready for move in day! Spend the summer doing all those things with friends and family you wanted to. While college seems intimidating, you have to look at what you can get out of it, a future career in something you are passionate about doing.
Like Thomas Edison once said, “If you want to give up, just try one more time”.