2 answers

How can I find a balance in my college decision/choice?

Asked Chicago, Illinois

I attend a high school with 300 students total and this makes me jealous of students that attend a bigger high school than mine. Because of this, I would like to go to a farther college and live on campus to experience the full offer of college. However, I am torn because my parents require my assistance at home with my siblings and helping to pay the bills. How can I find a compromise/balance?
#college #family #highschool

2 answers

Jayavignesh’s Answer

Updated Alpha, New Jersey

My dad lost his job before I started university and I needed to work at least part time to send money back to them to pay the mortgage and pay for rent and stuff. There is no true solution for these types of problems, only subjective advice. Talk to your parents about what type of help they need, then you can create selection criteria that will help you choose a school that fits your goals and ability to help. Personal example - I decided not to go to any west coast school because I couldn't quickly go home in an emergency. I decided to go to a slightly lower ranked program because the living expenses were more manageable so I wouldn't have to spend more time working than I had to so I could focus on studying. If you make a decision out of jealously, you may make a choice that doesn't actually benefit you in the short or long term. Define your situation, the limits for you and your family, your future goals and how a school selection affects that, what help you can provide that will make the most impact on the situation, and then work with your family on a path forward. It won't be neat, it will be hard, but it's not impossible - if everyone supports each other, you have a good foundation for success.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

You are asking a very common and interesting question. It is something that is very personal and is somewhat complex. College can be very challenging and involve some very confusing aspects. Through my years in Human Relations and College Recruiting and my own experiences, I have developed some ideas that may help.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • When changing from high school to college and meeting the demands of college, which are different from high school, it is best to make that transition by going to school locally so you do not also have to go through the transition of living by your self and dealing with those life experiences which can complicate things further. Starting at the local Community College will allow you to go through the first major change simply. Also, the cost is very low, the classes are much smaller, your have much more support at that school, access to coop and internship programs, and the credits transfer to a four year school if you decide to attend one to further your education. Talk to the Director of Alumni Relations at your local community college to arrange to meet and visit and talk to graduates of that school who are doing what you might think that you might want to do to see what they are doing and how they got there. Also, arrange to take an interest and aptitude test to allow you to determine in which career are your personality traits mostly fit.
  • It really does not make a difference where you go to college. View this interesting video by someone who worked in the admissions office at Stanford University to give you some more of an idea about this: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##
  • Here are some good tips on how to balance life in college: ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective ## ## http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html ## ## http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/ ##
  • Here are some good tips on reducing the cost of college by making some prudent decisions that will make your education more economical: ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ##