Where to Begin the College Process [Teen Article]

Samantha is one of our teen interns who is a 17-year-old aspiring fashion journalist who lives in the O.C.

“Where to Begin?”

As preconceived, many have known the process of applying to college to be a lengthy and daunting experience….They are totally right. Lol. I know using slang language throughout this article is really not appropriate but I have allowed myself to draw a fine line between turning 18 and actually “becoming an adult.” I can truly thank the college process for helping me find my niche with who I am.

The good thing about me is that I already know what I want to do in life, be my career or where I would like to have my first job at. I think that’s the key ingredient when starting to apply to colleges. If you know what you want to do in life then all you have to do is to start looking at colleges that have the best programs in your career, or what they call it in college, “Your Major.” One thing I do recommend when looking at colleges is the origin in which it resides. If you’re a California native like I am, sub below freezing weather wouldn’t be so great to start your new journey. Instead of thinking about the final you have to study for, you will be more concerned on thinking about not freezing to death.

If you’re not like me and you don’t know what you’d like to do in life, another great suggestion that I would recommend would be to do a college “road trip” with your parents or someone that you trust throughout this daunting yet exciting process. I know college is suppose to be about breaking away from the parentals and start your own life, but as that may be true, this college process will bring you closer with them even more. They will be there for the ups and downs of your life, but mainly they will help guide you in the right direction for college. Being that my parents have done this before- my dad from UCLA for his BA, and my mom from Mount St. Mary’s college for her BA and now USC for her masters-they know a thing or two about this whole process. Great advice I would give to parents would be to hold your child’s hand throughout this process, but not to the point to where it’s annoying. I know you love us, but let us grow. Another tip, in which my parents have showed and enforced throughout this process, is that this is such a great moment in life that it needs to have a proper emotion match with it: excitement. Its completely normal to be super excited, for both parties. While college may seem daunting, its such a great process…it’s like a new beginning.

Another great aspect about this process would be to see where you’re at and go from there. For those that didn’t do so great in the academic department during high school, obviously a four year is not for you right away….as I can observe from very few of my friends (friends from now and some that have graduated). I would recommend going to a 2 year college first and then transferring to a Cal State, Private, or UC for the next two years, that way your diploma states the school you attended for the third and fourth year you transferred. And I think the beauty of going to a 2 year college is that for those that aren’t so proud to say they are doing that situation, they are saving tons of money and their college options for their 3rd and 4th year aren’t limited…so they need to realize that it’s only for 2 years and they are off. Yes it’s not where you want to be right away but that doesn’t mean you won’t get wherever you are trying to get, you’re just taking a backpedal for a little bit of time. For those that are not taking the 2 year transfer route, I would say to do as many activities at your college as possible. If you’re still undecided on what your major will be, your first year should be experimental classes-just to find your calling.

Some last advice I would say to those that are about to embark on this new journey, would be allow your-self to accept new ideas and new things. Don’t limit your options; achieve greater and beyond as to what you imagine for yourself. This is the time to not only re-evaluate your life, but to start making wise choices that will fit your new life. College is exciting. So don’t make it a burden. Embrace the years after high school. Go with the flow. Accept change.

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