13: I Wish I Took More Time to Decide

13: I Wish I Took More Time to Decide

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting In...To College

I Wish I Took More Time to Decide

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.

~Alan Lakein

During my high school years, the most important thing was what I was wearing to the Friday night dance and who I was taking to prom. Although college was talked about and our guidance counselors generally inquired about it, college was the least of my worries. The football games, the cheerleading routines, the class council fundraisers... my high school years consisted of one event after the next.

When I was graduating eighth grade and starting high school, my older brother was graduating twelfth grade and going onto college. For my graduation, he gave me a card in which he wrote, “Enjoy your four years... they go by fast.” I remember not believing him then, but looking back... boy was he right. Those four years shaped who I was as a person, pushed me to my limit and encouraged me to become an adult. I wouldn’t change a thing about that time. However, if I could go back I might have spent a little more time considering college.

I was so engulfed in my junior and senior years of high school, that when someone spoke of college I brushed it off. I wasn’t ready to leave my comfort zone of having all of my closest friends together and knowing what every single day was going to be like. I wanted to live in the moment, and those moments consisted of cheerleading practices and school plays. Studying was something I did only AFTER I nailed my half-time dance routine. I knew my parents wanted me to go to college so I told them I would go to community college and I didn’t worry about my SAT scores, college placement exams or campus tours.

When my senior year passed and everyone graduated and went off to their own colleges, I started to wish I had done the same. My friends were living away, meeting new people, discovering new places, and I was living at home and driving to and from class every day. It seemed exactly like high school. I hated it! I thought college was supposed to be different! Why didn’t I take more time to research colleges and do the same?

Eventually, I did my two years at the community college and transferred to a four year school. But you don’t develop the same kind of relationships you do when you start a four year school as a freshman. Luckily I knew a few people on campus and made my friends that way, but I have heard some horror stories about people who transferred who ended up going back home and finishing their degree where they knew people. I ended up loving college and wishing I had four years to enjoy the campus atmosphere instead of two.

My advice to anyone thinking about attending college is to think about it very seriously and explore all of your options well ahead of time. Even though your senior year might be packed, squeeze in those college tours and take the time to make a good decision. My college years are over now and I am working full time and I would do anything to go back to my college days!

~Kristin Abrams

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