There is a buzzfeed article called “18 Questions Teenagers Have About College”. It gives the questions, but no answers. So I thought I would take it upon me to answer some of the questions that I have personal answers for.
1. How do I know what to take? -If you go on your suu.edu portal, on the right there is a link on the right called “degreeworks”. If you click on that, it will tell you classes you have to take for your major. If you don’t have a major yet then it will show you general education classes you can take. May I also recommend you take a “fun” class? I highly recommend bowling or badminton. Don’t worry too much about taking higher classes your first few years. Those are to make sure you’re in the right major or to help you choose a major. But take it seriously enough so you’re not just taking fun classes.
2. How do you keep in touch with friends from high school? -Personally, I text and snapchat them. I also post funny things on their facebook walls or send them pins from pinterest I think they’d like. Facetime/Skype is also great at keeping you in touch. The first year is hard to keep in touch. You’re starting to make new friends, you or your friend(s) might live far away, etc. Don’t give up though. It might be a little weird when you guys visit in person again, but it gets better. Don’t give up.
3. Is it better to choose a major I’m passionate about, but hard to find a job, or something where I can find a job or something that will pay well? -Well, if you’re lucky, both of those will be the same thing :). For me, I chose passion. I want to be a teacher, which doesn’t pay very well and can be hard to find a job sometimes. It just depends on what you want in life. If you want to work all day at a job you hate, but you get paid well then go for it. I would probably die if I had to work all day but I hated what I was doing. The money wouldn’t be worth it to me. I say go for passion, but the choice is ultimately yours. Also don’t base it off of what your parents want either. Do what you want to do. It’s your future job, not theirs.
4. Are loans worth it? and will I ever be able to pay off debt? (I combined two). I think loans can be worth it if you work it the right way. Don’t take them out just because you can, take them out if you really need them. I think your college experience is important enough that you shouldn’t put it off because you can’t afford it right now by yourself. I recently took out a loan for my study abroad and I think that experience is going to be worth it. I didn’t want to look back and say “I could’ve gone to London but I was too scared to take out a loan that I could’ve paid off a few years later”. Yes, it is possible to pay off your loans/debt. When you graduate, you’ll have a grown up job that pays more than $7.25 an hour (hopefully). You will be able to pay off your debt, eventually ;).
5. How do I make new friends at school? -Don’t be scared to talk to people. When you sit next to someone in class, talk to them-don’t pull out your phone and ignore them. Make study groups for your classes, you never know, they might become your hang out buddies too. Also be friends with your roommates. Don’t be people who just live together, be friends too. My roommates have been some of my best friends down here at school. You can also join clubs. Here at SUU we have over 150 clubs. They are a great chance to meet people who have the same interests as you. Also don’t lock yourself in your room, get out. Go to school activities. You can also meet your neighbors, they could be really cool.
6. How important is it to go to college vs. getting a job right out of college? -Well, in the world today, people are looking to hire people who have college degrees. You might not be able to get a good paying job without your degree. So if you want to work at McDonald’s the rest of your life, go for it. But statistics state that people with an associates earn more than a high school diploma. They also state if you have a bachelors, you earn more than someone with an associates. Then so on with masters and doctorate. If you want to make more money, you’ll go to school.
7. Should I room with someone I know or someone new? -It depends on who you would want to room with. If you have gone on a trip with them and shared a hotel with them for a week and they didn’t drive you crazy, then sure. If you don’t think you could last even a week without killing them, I suggest someone new. I had a friend from high school who wanted to room with me and I knew rooming with her would drive me crazy and thus ruin our friendship so I told her no. We’re still friends to this day now because of that. Getting new roommates will also help you make new friends. I know plenty of people who room with people they know and they get on great, but I know some where it has ruined their friendship forever. It just depends on both of your personalities. You find out a lot about someone when you live with them.
8. Is it as hard as adults say it is to focus in college? -It depends on who you are. If you’re a studious student, then no. If you’re a party animal then yes, it can be. You just have to be self-disciplined enough to not get distracted. Sure, having a good time is necessary to let the stress go for a night. But it is definitely important to focus so that you can graduate and get a good job. If you have a test the next day, have the discipline to stay home and study. If it’s the weekend, go have a good time with your friends.
One common factor in all of these is you. It’s you who decides what goes on in your life. It’s you who decides if you want to be social and make new friends. It’s you who decides what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s you who will have to discipline yourself to do well in school. It’s you who will be making your life choices from now on. It might seem kind of scary but it’s great, as long as you make the right choices :).
I hope I helped with some of your questions. If there are some I didn’t answer that you really wanted answered, let me know and I can answer your questions :).