Is the College Experience for You?

A breakdown on the crucial aspects of college.

For some high school students, researching and applying for colleges can be extremely stressful. Things like location, price, and major, all come into play all at once. The experience can be overwhelming and confusing. Luckily though, you can find help for this sort of thing from counselors, teachers, parents, upperclassmen, and even the Internet.

The location of the college you’re attending is very important. You want to make sure that where you’re going is convenient and fitting for you and your needs. Do you want to be close, or far from home? If you do go far from home, what is the cost for traveling going to look like? Can you put up with very cold or very hot weather? All of these factors change depending on the person. Even though sometimes you won’t end up in the exact location you prefer, being somewhere where you enjoy your time is a priority. 

Today, attending college can be quite expensive. Especially for those who are attending out of state universities and need to also take into consideration the cost of housing and traveling to and from your home. Almost all colleges offer scholarships and financial aid. If that’s something that is necessary for you, it’s always a good idea to look into the school’s scholarship or financial aid programs to see if you qualify for either. Some people also have college savings set up for them to help pay for costs, and some even have help from relatives.Whether you have this sort of financial help or not can also be a big factor in what colleges are realistic for you to attend. A lot of high school students don’t truly take into consideration all of the costs that come with going to college. They are more focused on the social aspect of it, and that simply isn’t realistic. It is very important to do your research.

The 4 year college “experience” is not meant for everyone. 32.9% of college students dropout before completing their degree program. This is why it could be beneficial to either go to a community college your first one or two years or even take a gap year.  Going to community college is generally a more affordable alternative to going to a 4-year university and you still get the same amount of credits. Taking a gap year could give you more time to better figure out your plans and goals going into the future, including your college agenda and personal ambitions.

Even though college is not meant for everyone, it is a possibility for everyone. No matter the location, living situation, or financial standings, you most likely can get your issues worked through. Whether you get help from your family or counselor, college is a reachable goal. You can start preparation as early as you please and can work towards applications as aggressively as you feel necessary. Dedication and motivation are key. Know that you are capable of going to college and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.