When I first started college I was super excited and relieved that I was not going to be living with my mom for the next 4 years. I felt like I could begin a new chapter in my life. While I was in college I started to hit a lot of financial problems and emotional issues that made me contemplate going to college in the first place. Despite hitting these road blocks, I am proud to say that I have graduated college. I am definitely grateful for the opportunity to go to college but there are some things that I wish I would have known beforehand. Here are three things I wish someone would have told me before I started college.
1. Attend a Junior College first.
Listen, if there was any advice I wished I would have received, this is it! I actually received a full scholarship to attend a junior college for two years, but because I didn’t know any better and nobody gave me the proper advice, I decided to go straight to a four-year college and while being there I accumulated a lot of debt. Going to a junior college would have been the smartest thing for me to do but unfortunately, I didn’t. I know so many students who are choosing this option instead and it is saving them a lot of money. Had I chosen this route I would not be in all the debt I am in now!
2. Apply for every scholarship you can no matter what!
I applied for some scholarships in high school but not a lot. One reason was because I was lazy. I know that it sounds bad but it is the truth. I didn’t want to do the essays that came with the application because I had so much going on between high school and home life, and all of it was very overwhelming. Another reason I didn’t apply for every scholarship is because I honestly didn’t think I would get the scholarship. I second guessed myself and didn’t have enough faith in myself. One guy that I went to college with received so many scholarships because he applied for so many, even the ones that he didn’t qualify for and he received ALL of them!!! Being afraid and lazy caused me to miss out on free money. Do not be like me! Go for it!
3. It’s Ok to take some time off.
To me this is some very valuable advice. When you first go to college you believe that you should go straight through and finish in four years, but sometimes that is not always possible. Many things happen in college. You may have issues in college or you may have issues back at home that can stress you out to the point that you might need a break. Being emotionally distraught is not good for you. I remember when I was in college I almost had an emotional breakdown because of the things that I was going through. I wanted to take a semester off but I thought that was the wrong thing to do. I am here to tell you that it is okay to take a semester or a year off. Remember your mental and physical health is very important.
All in all, despite the things that I have been through, I do not regret any decision that I have made because it made me the person that I am today. I also would not be able to help others and give you this advice if I did not make certain decisions. If you are in college or about to start college, please remember to think about yourself first and do not be afraid to make any decision that might ultimately help you. Remember this is your life!