When the conversation about going to college begins, most of the time, the narrative is centered around how exciting it is. And it is exciting. But it can also be scary. This is a major life transition, and it is not uncommon for hopeful college students to have mixed feelings about taking this next step. In the spirit of solidarity, here are common insecurities that hopeful college students face that can make you feel less alone in your worries.
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The Burden of Cost
College is not cheap, even when you do everything you can to lessen the financial burden, short of receiving a full-ride scholarship, there will still be, some element of a financial burden. Instead of letting this cripple you or convince you that you cannot afford to make this dream happen, spend some time thinking about all the ways that you can piece together payments to add up to the total cost of your education.
Loans are traditionally the first place people turn, but scholarships, arguably, should actually be first. Why would you opt to borrow money when you could instead, simply get it with no repayment expectations? You can find college scholarships faster and start applying for scholarships by using a free scholarship search and application platform. Explore options like Going Merry college scholarships to get an understanding of exactly what this process looks like, and how you can qualify.
Not Fitting In
Even the most confident people have a little apprehension in terms of fitting in at college. Since it is unlike previous educational experiences where there is forced togetherness, people might feel concerned that they will be a small fish in a big sea, and thus, never comfortably acclimate. The good news is, there are tips for non-traditional students as well as traditional ones that can be applied to everything from getting good grades to making new friends.
College is a wonderful opportunity to really get to know yourself as a young adult. This is a place too, where you can dabble in so many different things with little to no commitment or cost, and you should take full advantage. Here is where you will learn not only where your true interests and passions lie, but also where you can start creating your social network and bonding with new people over your commonalities.
If you are moving out of your parent’s home, into a collegiate living situation, and this is your first time having to do life for yourself, of course, you are going to feel anxious. It is standard practice for new college students to have a million questions about things like how to do laundry, make their own meals, and pay their own bills on time and in full. If you think you are going to be the only person standing in front of a coin laundry machine highly confused, you are wrong.
Let your fears create your camaraderie. Maybe someone you live with, or near, can come over once a week to teach you a few cooking basics. Or maybe you and your roommates divide up the bills so that you each only manage one account, instead of you having to handle all the bills for the whole group. Embrace the fact that you are most definitely going to burn a few frozen pizzas during these years knowing one day the things that were once your biggest fears will turn out to be some of your best memories.
Keeping a Schedule
Attending college is a ton of responsibility, and that can really overwhelm a person. Even the most responsible students are probably not used to the level of self-accountability that has to happen to be successful in this role. When you are in high school, things like attending class, for example, are really not an option. Whereas in college, even when a professor has an attendance policy, nobody is going to make you go to class.
Learning effective time management skills and scheduling strategies is going to be your biggest ally. College schedules often include a lot of freedom and while you should not deny yourself a mid-afternoon nap, it is important that you learn how to include those luxuries into your schedule, and not at the cost of your studies. Expect to go through some trial and error here. Maybe you will learn that you are a morning person, and here is where you are most mentally sharp. In that case, do what you can to front-load your days, and take classes that occur during this window.