Things to Think About Before College

College isn’t free but tips and advice are and they can help you learn how to graduate debt free.

Ashley Cromer, Journalist

With graduation coming up, many students are very stressed and worrying about what happens next especially with college. Below are some tips to prepare yourself for what to expect.

  • It is okay if you do not know what major you want to do.

Many students go into college not knowing what they want to do with their life, and many never will. But, it is okay because you can change your mind later, it is always okay to realize what you thought you wanted to do is not what you really want to do.

  • You don’t have to know everything about the curriculum before you go.

It is okay if you know nothing about what you’re majoring in, they will most likely end up making you forget about everything you learned in high school anyway and teach you from scratch. You are there to learn, not there to already know everything, they do not expect you to.

  • Paying for college can be difficult, but there are things you can do to minimize the cost.

Doing something as simple as the A+ program at school, joining certain clubs, applying for scholarships and grants, and filling out the FAFSA can really push you toward paying off any debt. There are even jobs on campus you can get to help you even more. Getting an apprenticeship during college can help you get a job immediately which leads to your first paycheck which helps decrease what you owe. Every bit helps.

  • Most colleges and universities (accept for community colleges) will make you spend the first year or two living on campus.

While on campus, it is more expensive but with living off campus you would have to worry about utilities, food, transportation. Living on campus allows you to have a little community around you, employment opportunities, and it gives you the chance to get used to independence for those who have not had the chance.

  • Even with an associates degree you will have many more opportunities open to you.

A high school diploma won’t get you very far nowadays, and an associates from a community college will be easier to pay off with a better job than McDonald’s or Walmart, which will be open to you even with just two years of college on your side.

  • If college doesn’t seem right for you, there is still trade school.

Trade school is much less expensive than college and you’ll be trained for the job you want. People doing trade school get hired very quickly due to the experience they get. If college isn’t right for you, a bit of trade school is a perfect alternative.

College of DuPage 2014 Commencement Ceremony 10