” Mic check, mic check. This is a special announcement to all the people who made the conscious decision to take the college route.”
If anyone had told me 10 years ago, I’d be writing a piece about getting into college I would have thrown a bottle…. of invaluable knowledge from this fountain of wisdom! Now for the most part, when I look back, I see how a lot of sidetracks could have been avoided however that’s a story for another day.
College is hard. Hard is relative. You have so many elements and expectations hitting on you because completing college means you’ve made it ( according to the educated class of humans). College is more than academics, it’s a stepping stone to discovering, building and transferring your growth towards a wider audience. College is not a privilege, it’s an opportunity that beckons to many, but few can respond to.
Here are 5 things to know before applying to college, locally and internationally.
Depending on the who, what, when, where, how and most importantly, the WHY you would make the decision to get into college is quickly reflected on how well of precedence you’re setting. I went to a secondary school in Nigeria, and I still believe the process is the same when I tell you this ( especially if you’re going abroad) YOUR👏🏾GRADES👏🏾MATTER. Schools always want to recruit the cream of the crop. The chances of better financial packages are higher. But as we evolve as a civilization, holistic growth and achievements also count that are not always reflected on paper.
College is NOT High School
It isn’t. Let me explain. High school is a controlled environment that is structured to get you into the habit of following through with routines. It coaches you in time management which is going to make or break your ability to actually survive college. Yes, not all school systems are equal regarding available resources to ensure this is successful. However, if you had the opportunity to pass through a system that does enable you to be your best, know that when you get to college, no one is going to monitor your actions but instead will be available in the event you need some form of support. Take full advantage of it.
Ever seen those campus marketing photos that shows happy college students sitting on a field of green without a care in the world? Issa scam. The internet is designed to give any institution the platform to put their best foot forward. Never believe hearsay about a particular college. This is a considerable investment. Not every school is meant to be on your radar. It is essential to schedule an in-person visit to get a feel for the type of environment you’re going to sacrifice a couple of years to ( that includes empty bank accounts, insomnia and lots of caffeine). Understand that there is no pressure in making an immediate decision. Take your time and see what the best feeling is.
Keep Family in the Loop
It might seem like the perfect opportunity to gain ‘freedom’ from your overprotective parents or guardians ( in some cases, depending on your background that might be what you need but I will talk about that in another blog post). But your family is your ride or die. Everyone who genuinely cares needs to be kept in the loop of your progress so that they can know how to lend their support as you go through this journey. It is not just about you. Your success can impact some other individual who wants to follow the same path, and a healthy relationship can make or break the strength to weather the storms ahead.
Be Prepared or Be Repaired
College is not for everybody (argue with your ancestors). It is a conscious and ongoing effort of self-determination and self-motivation. College is the sandbox that swallows you whole and then decides spits you out without warning. Is it a scary place? Of course, it is, that’s what I have been yapping about on the last 4 points. But the beauty of it is not to prove who’s the smartest or who has the most participation with campus organizations. College is the frontier to make mistakes and to unlearn what you thought life was about. You will meet a diverse community ( this is hoping you go to a college that actually has some diversity, some of them be lying). You will be presented with opportunities to make adult decisions and live with the consequences. Be prepared to grow. Be ready to learn about the world. Or be repaired by failing to understand all the wisdom I have generously given.
Fatyma Amadou is a college student, blogger and owns this blog.
Disclaimer: Not part of any college recruiting committee. All commentary is based on personal experience and reflection