Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went To College

September 1, 2016

 

The hard learned lessons are the ones that stick with us forever. When we are young, we imagine life as something so much different than how it can be, and how it usually is. We imagine it to go as planned.  The choices we make, the decisions we will face, and the problems that we may encounter are so inconceivable at a young age. When we grow up, we end up comparing our decisions, choices, and mistakes to the ideals of  younger versions of ourselves. That’s where guilt and anxiety comes from but also opportunity. Opportunity to advance ourselves, rebuild, and grow into the person that we want to become.

 

Going to college is a great opportunity to rebuild, educate, and enhance ourselves, so it's very important to not waste or misinterpret the value of this time. Often people get to the end of their education, reflect upon it and wish they had done things differently, wish they had known what they would be missing out on had they not put their best foot forward. I believe this situation occurs with most and it most definitely occurred for me the first time I went to college in 2010.

 

When I first went to college out of high school I was very ill prepared. It was a whirlwind of confusion. It was my first time living outside my parents house, my first time taking on bills, and  my first exposure to that type of freedom and to that type of responsibility. If a student is not focused on what they want and how they wish to achieve it when these exposures are first taking place, they can end up losing themselves inside of it as I did. I dropped out of  college mid semester that year, overwhelmed with it all and more worried about affording rent and food then I was on grades and the degree.

 

After dropping out, I began to focus on my work and my financial state. Things like saving money for a car, creating a grocery budget, putting money away for rent, and getting into a routine between my home life and work. I learned a great deal about personal financial management and its value. I also learned about the value of having a degree with a resume, because every time I would try and upgrade jobs, they all had requirements I couldn’t meet.. This made me seriously consider the path that I had chosen for myself. I didn't want to struggle with minimum wage jobs my whole life and live check to check, but I didn't have the knowledge, experience, or degree to push myself outside of that realm. This made me more focused. I studied different college degree paths to choose the one best for me. It didn't take me long after that to realize that I wanted to be involved in marketing.

 

In 2015 I applied to go to South Central College for Marketing. I was much more motivated, financially stable, and focused. After the first week of school, I attended a Collegiate DECA meeting due to my Professor and advisor, Roberta Moorhouse, recommending I go. Those two choices could very well be the best decisions I have ever made. They have impacted my life and altered its course in ways I couldn't explain on paper. Collegiate DECA enhanced my motivation and my education. I felt like I was on a clear path. Like I could see my end goals. I wasn't in a whirlwind of confusion any more. I was on a path!

 

I don’t know what path is right for everybody, but for me the journey has been all about taking a step back and finding the path. Coming out of high school and going directly to the college experience can be very overwhelming. Its very important to know the value of a dollar before entering this experience. Its also very important to discover what you want to do for a career. When I first went to college, I was very unsure of the path I was taking and it blurred my motivation. This time around, my vision is clear.

 

 

Your Minnesota Collegiate DECA State Officer at Large,

 

Benjamin Sears

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