Rethink Putting Off College
Senioritis. About this time in the year, it’s reached epidemic proportions in high schools.
Most symptoms really aren’t that bad. In fact, your friends and parents might actually be relieved by your senioritis because it’s generally characterized as a lack of effort or a lack of caring for things you used to take very seriously. So maybe you don’t spend three hours in the bathroom perfecting “beach waves” in your hair. Or maybe you don’t obsess over what it meant when that girl in your chemistry class laughed at your joke—was she telling you she likes you or does she just feel sorry for you?
Senioritis only becomes dangerous when it goes too far. The biggest warning sign is that your friends and family start hearing you utter phrases like “I’m thinking about putting off college for a while.”
If you’re talking like this, then it’s time for an intervention. Here’s the reality behind each of your excuses for putting off college.
“I Just Need a Break.”
Well, that’s what the three months between high school graduation and your first fall semester in college is for. Do you really need more time than that? Three months should be more than enough time for you to decompress.
And let’s face it—you’re a high school senior, so you’re basically operating on autopilot right now anyway. I mean, are you really doing anything that stressful? Think about it.
“I Don’t Even Know What I Want to Do With My Life. I Wouldn’t Know What to Major In.”
Your part-time fast food job isn’t going to help you figure out what you want to do with your life, either.
One of the best ways to find your future career is just to start college as an undeclared student (or as we like to call them at Angelo State, predeclared students). You can start out just taking your basic courses, which offer a good variety and expose you to lots of subject areas. You’ll also have access to the Career Development Office, which offers tons of resources help you find the right major for your interests.
“I Need to Save Up Money For School.”
I appreciate your concern, I really do, but first you need to become more familiar with all the financial aid options available to you.
Also consider that you could be missing out on the best renewable scholarships by putting off college. Angelo State’s Carr Scholarship Program is a perfect example. It offers several scholarships for different types of students, but the students who begin college immediately following high school reap the most rewards.
And one more thing that you may not realize is that it’s incredibly hard to save money for college when you’re working a minimum wage job somewhere. Chances are, you need to use your paycheck for food, clothing, entertainment and possibly even rent (if you’re not planning to live at home). It’s amazing how much that will eat into your savings plan.
“I Want to Travel First.”
It sounds romantic, doesn’t it—backpacking through Europe, meeting amazing new people, having new cultural experiences and basking in the glory of your youth.
But traveling costs money, and I’m talking a lot more than the cumulative $500 that your family’s giving you for graduation.
A better option is to consider a study abroad experience after you start college. Angelo State offers some great summer programs where you can travel to a handful of countries, experience the culture and earn college credit all at the same time. Not only that, but you can even apply for study abroad scholarships to help defray some of the costs.
So don’t give up on your dream to travel. Just reconsider how you can go about doing it.
“I Don’t Know if I’m Cut Out For College.”
This is the most legitimate excuse you’ve come up with. I can understand that the idea of starting college might be very intimidating. And maybe you’re not ready to devote four more years to your education.
If you’re in this boat, consider enrolling at a community college. Then, if you decide after two years that you need more education or training to pursue your career aspirations, you can easily transfer to a four-year college. Here at Angelo State, we love working with transfer students and helping them reach their career goals.
The key is that you need to continue your education and find an area where you can develop specialized job skills. You don’t want to work in fast food your whole life, so it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do and how you plan to get there.