Career. Marriage. College. There are many big decisions you will come to make in your life, and the older you get the more time and money commitments may be tied into these decisions. One of the earliest decisions we make as we start to become independent adults is going to college. It could take anywhere from 2 to 12 more years after high school and could cost you over $100,000 grand if you so choose. While there are many factors that go into college choice, the very first one is deciding if going to any college is the right step for you to make in your life. Knowing whether you are ready for college or not, means assessing yourself or with someone to determine whether you are emotionally, academically, or financially prepared to embark on the college degree journey.
The 50% average retention rate of undergraduate students means that many students do not stick with a college until they receive a degree. Many factors can play a role, but one of the biggest drivers is the emotional duress a student can undergo. A lot of these stressors can come from a lack of esteem, loneliness, depression, home sickness, and health issues caused by stress. When you enter college there will be a ton of freedoms and new experiences. Finding out if you can handl
e stress in positive and healthy ways will be a big indicator of whether or not you can navigate the sometimes rocky waters of social life in college.
College requires a lot of writing. Some schools may be more rigorous than others, but either way a high amount of academic work is expected in college. Although most students may groan about mid-terms and finals, the academics of an institution is what makes your degree worth it. Some students expect to skirt through college without having to put forth any brainpower. Finding out if you are academically ready for college is much easier than pinpointing your emotionally preparedness. Take college tests such as the SAT or ACT, as well as examine your current grades to see if they meet the average of the schools you may be interested in joining. Another way to see if you are prepared is by taking a local college class as a guest student, or emailing professors to get there insight on what it takes to be a successful student in their program of study.
Going to school can be quite expensive and can have multiple sources of expenses. Not only is there tuition costs, but also costs for a place to live, eat, and sleep. Then there are the textbooks, gadgets, and other devices meant to make you a better student. After that there are the fun social things that you’re friends will want to do, but might costs, whether in gas or admissions fees. Making sure you can manage to pay for schooling while in school is important, but knowing how to manage your money overall could help you avoid unnecessary costs that could come along with college. Learn about paying for college and how financial aid works. Speak with someone on the benefits and dangers of having a credit card. Planning for your financial future while in college could help to sustain you while you there and for years after.
Deciding if you are ready for college is a decision that you must be able to make for yourself and with the guidance of others. It is an important one to make and understanding the emotional, academic, and financial factors involved could help you from wasting a lot of time in school. If you’re wanting to talk through your case sign up for one of our Limitless Ambition mentors.