The hardest part of any prison sentence starts the day they open the gate and tell you that you’re free. In prison there is no responsibility. You are told when to eat, when to shower, and when to sleep. It is not until you are released that you must face society and undertake the burden of responsibility. But what if society […]
How do you know that you are ready to go to college? You just spent the last, let’s say, four years of your life going to school and working hard to earn that sweet certificate otherwise known as your High School Diploma, and now you want to jump head first into another two-year or four-year institution?! Here’s another question: Is it really what you want for yourself, or is it what others around you say is best?
I believe that it is a little of both. You would love to see yourself going to college. You feel grown up. It’s on your own terms. You choose the classes that you want to take for your major, whatever it may be.
When reviewing the latter part of the question, it also holds a lot of truth. Would you initially go straight into college if you didn’t have family members or faculty members from your high school telling you that this was ideally the next step in your life? After all, high school is quite different from college, with of course some minor exceptions like the now slightly older “cool kids in the back of the classroom”, but that’s neither here nor there. As the saying goes, “little fish in a big pond”. Some people embrace this and are sharp and willing to take on this challenge. Others like myself, not so much.
I took a semester off from school once I graduated high school with the notion of going to college in the spring. High school for me wasn’t the easiest time in my life. Sure there were a lot of fun times, but when it came down to academics, I really didn’t have the focus. In the end, I did my best and by that I mean brown-nosing my teachers until I had to bleach my nose to get it back to its original shade, and I got to graduate with my class.
So if it was such a drag to actually get out of high school why would I want to jump into college where I would have to actually pay to learn and really work my butt off in order to earn a degree? Therefore, I stuck with my decision and took the semester off then when it was time to apply for school. I felt like I was good and ready to take on college. (The stink eye my mother gave me every time she would see me on the couch instead of in a classroom kind of helped me get motivated as well.)
Now, that was six years ago when I first stepped into LaGuardia Community College, and I am just now finishing up my degree due to all the times that my personal life got intertwined with my education, which would lead me to take semesters off. There are plenty of students who have had the same struggles as myself and are now older, let’s say more focused, and are finally getting their degree to mark the pathway towards their dream career.
After speaking with a fellow student here at LaGuardia Community College, Gonzalo Montana, 25, the idea of holding off on college wasn’t so far-fetched. Unlike myself, Montana went to college right after he graduated high school. Working a part-time weekend night job, he decided to take college courses during the week. Like most of us at a young age, he chose a major that didn’t really coincide with what he wanted to do in life. He also learned that a part-time job wouldn’t be enough to help him pay for school. With that being said he decided to take a break from school and work full-time until he felt he acquired enough self-discipline and motivation to juggle a full-time job and school. He returned to school at the age of 23 with a whole new perspective on life and school.
“Being an adult and working full-time makes school so much harder, but at the same time I feel like I’m living in the real world and getting myself ready for even bigger and better things for my future. I like to think of it this way,” Mr. Montana said. He is now on the brink of graduating with a major that he chose solely out of “the true interest of helping people,” which is Psychology.
All in all, there are some people who have always been great at taking on new obstacles in their lives, and there are some people that may need some extra time to think things through. Both cases are valid. So whether you jump straight into college after high school and rock it, or try but find out that it’s really not in the stars for you just yet, just know it’s OK. College will still be there whenever you feel within yourself that it’s your time to shine!