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What to know before going to college?

I am an indecisive person. I don't want to go to college but at the same time I do. #college #college-advice


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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Diana! I understand why you say that because it can be an expensive option and I think it is one that requires time to think about and make sure you have a plan for why you would like to go to college. I would love to answer any questions you have, but a couple things to know are information about the campus size, do you like big campuses or small ones, large or small class sizes (+100 vs 30), does being in-state matter to you (many students like to go out of state to have different experiences and/or for a college they really like but many can also stay in-state to be close to family as well as save on tuition). It is also important to see what you are interested in, and analyze colleges based on that information, does a college you are interested in have a strong curriculum you want to excel in, such as nursing or teaching (just some examples-it can be any interest you have). I would also make a pros and cons list for each college you are interested in as it will help you be more decisive and more organized in making a choice. Check out FAFSA.ed.gov to get more information as well to paying for college and loans as these will help in solidifying your decision and being aware of the costs that lay ahead.

Lastly, and most importantly plan out where you see yourself, what do you like, what would you like to do? There is nothing wrong with going to community college and knocking out some general education classes and saving money while exploring your interests or even taking time off, working and volunteering. Education is an important experience and one of value but it is important to make this choice with care, as every class will offer something but it should be conducive to your overall goals!

I hope this helps!
Please feel free to ask more questions if needed and best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

check out FAFSA.ed.gov
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think about future interests and how college can help
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Diana,

I totally understand that feeling of wanting to go to college and not wanting to go. You have just finished 12 years of the school that you have to attend and college is completely optional. And in another way, college is also very hard. It is probably harder than anything that you did in school. It appears now that you have decided to go to college. What you need to know varies on your situation. Where will you live while you are in college? Living at home is a different experience than living in a new place, whether or not you live in a dorm or an apartment. I would say that if you can, live at home as you start the college experience.

If you opt to go away to college to live, you need to learn about the area as quickly as possible. Make sure that you are proactive about figuring out places that you will need to go - grocery store, dentist, hair stylist. Being proactive about figuring your needs out allows you to avoid surprises or panic when something comes up. For example, I didn't know where I would go if I was injured on campus until I was in an emergency situation. I had severely sprained my ankle. The stress was double because I was panicking about how to handle it. I didn't know if I needed insurance or anything. The challenge here is getting to know your environment as soon as possible.

Gloria

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Kelsey’s Answer

Hi Diana,

I also felt very indecisive when it came to going to college, not only deciding what I wanted to do in college but also if it was right for me. Looking back, if I could have started over, I would only start by taking a couple of general classes that were requirements before diving into anything more specialized. I dove headfirst into specialized courses, like Anatomy and Physiology, and totally struggled through the course and failed, which in turn hurt my confidence and made me feel unsuccessful as a student. I would recommend starting small and then building up the course load once you gain confidence in what you want to do.

Good luck in your journey!

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Jim’s Answer

Hi Diana,

This is a bit of a tricky one to answer without any additional information, but I'll try. If you have or had an interest in school and advancing your knowledge base, college is probably a good way to continue with your educational pursuits. It is easier to continue with your education now than stop and try to start up again once you are working full time. That being said, thousands of people have successfully done just that for many good and valid reasons.

If you do not have a real interest in school, then you may not want to jump right into college and find that you have spent a lot of money and aren't getting any real value from it. There are certainly other options, such as community college or a trade related school. You may find that many credits will transfer toward earning a college degree at a four year school.

I hope this is helpful.

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Carrie’s Answer

Hi Diana,

You could try taking courses at a community college first. Many courses will transfer to a university if you decided to transfer at a later date (check the college catalog to know for sure). Community college courses can also be a more cost effective way to get started.

Good luck!

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