This has been a common theme throughout my recent blog posts, so I’m sorry if you’re bored of all of this, but this week I wrote an editorial for my school newspaper concerning college and I thought I would share it with you.
There are two questions every high school student is tired of making up answers for by graduation. They are: “Where are you going to college?” and “What are you going to major in?” Even if you have a decent answer to either of these questions, some people still insist on giving you their advice on where you should go and what you should do, which can range from boring to nerve-wracking.
College is a big step, and to some it can be terrifying. There are oodles of colleges out there, zillions of possibilities of what one could do with the next four years. The choices alone are overwhelming. You could take a gap year, you could go to trade school, you could skip the whole college thing altogether—but the realization that the decision you make now could have a lasting impact on your life is more than a little intimidating.
I am less than qualified to give advice about college. Just like most high school juniors, I’m just making up each step as I go along. Sure, I’ll visit a college or two and talk like I’ve got my life together, but I have no idea what I’m doing. However, I talked to some people that do know what they’re doing and have gotten some good advice from seniors, college students, and adults that I will now pass on to you.
You don’t have to decide your major before college. Many colleges focus on the students’ time there as a time for exploration and discovery. At some schools, students don’t even declare their major until their junior year. That’s plenty of time to take a myriad of classes to figure out what you’re passionate about.
There are plenty of scholarships out there, but you have to work for it. Most students don’t take advantage of the scholarship opportunities available. Because they’re lazy. Don’t be lazy. Check collegeboard.com for scholarships you can apply for, or even just google “scholarships.” Between that and financial aid (which you also have to apply for), some students can get enough money to make it through college without paying a ridiculously high price.
Consider everything. Don’t rule out a school because of its reputation or lack thereof. Visiting a school really helps in deciding whether or not to go there. Even if you’re 87 percent sure you do not want to attend a certain school, it still would be a good idea to visit to be totally sure.
Despite the fact that the one thing high school students (especially upperclassmen) need less of is advice about college, I still think it is helpful to have a plan in place. There’s no need to stress or worry about getting into college and finding a college to get into if you start working on it. At least, that’s what I tell myself.