College seems to be a topic where some individuals get shy to speak about or something that should be left alone and not spoken about. Some of the reasons that may come to mind is the difficulty of visualizing where the future may take us. Since the future is merely an idea and is not something quite set in stone yet, pretty much anything can go. In circumstances like these we are forced to make decisions and not doing anything about the future is a decision a lot make because we have no clue what to do with the remainder of life. In the beginning of my freshman year in high school I had no plan as to what I wanted to achieve in my life, every time I were to be asked I simply lifted up my shoulders and recited the "I don't know". Some people had a scattered idea but it was better to have something to start with than nothing. Until my junior year in high school is when I had enough. To not be able to give an immediate or a solid answer for me was embarrassing. Here I am a bright kid with a passion for learning and then not to be able to name one college of interest or career to a family member, counselor or friend? I had to change that and by taking little steps into the wild is probably a good way to start.
1. Attend college presentations.
I understand that there will be times that a college presentation may not be of little to no interest of yours maybe because the college does not sound right or of the location but you should at least take an advantage of what is being offered at your convenience. The college adviser set up and planned this presentation not for themselves but for the students to open up their minds to college. Now I do not know how much time and effort the college advisers place for their students but starting at their title as College Adviser should allow the idea that their main focus is to assist and guide students to a college. To help find a college that the student could be compatible to. These presentations can be broad since they are limited to time but attend a few of these and slowly jut down which ones were eye catching to you then go research or call for more information. A dedicated student are like brownie points for colleges and to see that you have set an effort to gather more information is by far marvelous.
2. Talk to your college adviser or counselor.
Like I touched upon, college advisers or counselors are educators too except they specialize more based on the student. Grades, the counselor know. Test scores, the counselors know. What you had for breakfast, alright so not everything about you but they do know a good chunk of your academic life. You are pretty much out in the nude so what is there to hide? I have a little secret to tell you... they also went to college. THEY ALSO WENT TO COLLEGE! Of course they have been in your shoes, some point in their life they had to apply for college in order to get their job. Bonding with your counselor will make this transition so much easier and less stressful trust me they will keep you in check. Trust your counselor or trust in an educator that will help you strive and break you from your fears of attending college.
3. Be consistent and open minded.
At some point my oldest brother looked straight into my eyes and told me to apply for colleges. Apply to as many as you want that interest you and the rest will follow through. Do not repeat the mistakes that were committed by my brother where he only applied to one college and crossing his fingers that he will get in. When D-day came, he was declined and was stressing out as to where he would be going to college. The blessing was that a close family friend recommended him to a college that they had graduated from. Now in 2015 he will be graduating with his bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. Besides the point, be open minded but do not get discouraged if you are not accepted to one of your choices. This is why I want all of you to apply to at least five colleges. Just five. Easy, right? If you want to apply to more, be my guest.
4. Financial aid to the rescue!
Depending on the college you have applied to there will be numerous amounts of opportunities to get financial support to assist you in college expenses. By far one of my main reason of college is being able to afford it. Any scholarship that you are eligible for, you should really consider filling it out. There is money everywhere even in places you would doubt. See if they are any chances of being a student worker in your upcoming college that will provide any necessities or money to pay for college. There is also grants available which is basically free money so I would take full advantage of those too.
College at the moment for me is a surreal idea to think about but to be accepted is like confirming that surreal idea. Just know college is worth it so instead of being intimidated by them embrace them with full force. There are people out there to help you out, you just have to find them.
Which colleges have you applied to and what major did you have in mind?