Updated: Aug 15, 2020
With life comes changes and with changes comes anxiety. Whenever we feel we have everything figured out - something goes wrong, something that wasn't in our plan appears, and we let this one thing change our entire mindset in the moment.
We need to better understand the term that college isn't for everyone. When people say that, we only take into account the academic standpoint. The emotional toll that college takes on someone who wasn't as prepared as they thought they were will make them give up.
When I first thought about college, my choice was always IU Bloomington. My cousin went there, I thought I was going to follow her footsteps & then I didn't get into the groups program. And honestly, I saw no other reason to go to that school. So I looked into schools, broadened my choices to HBCUs and I fell in love with Xavier University in New Orleans. I went to visit the came, got accepted, and felt completely in love. I was so excited to move to a state and start a new life in a place close to where my grandfather loved. The whole time I was there to visit, I felt his energy - and I cried when I left. That was the place I wanted to call home.
Then my financial aid package came. And I only received an $8,000 grant. That left me with $30,000 to find - not including my moving costs. My dream died instantly. So I had to commit to my second choice, Ball State. I hated orientation, but I met some new friends. I tried to make the best of the situation.
My new friends lived across campus. The day of move in, I was exhausted. They wanted to explore, they wanted me to drive us places - and I just wanted to relax. They didn't want to come across campus to me & I didn't want to make that trip either. After a few days, they decided that I was no longer someone they wanted to be friends with. For weeks I had no one to eat with, I didn't have a roommate, I didn't have family - I was lonely, afraid, and depressed.
I didn't want to force myself to be social. I didn't know how to walk up to people and just be their friend. My classes were huge, so I didn't talk to anyone. I was premed and had no downtime to go to different campus activities. And even if I had the time, my social anxiety wouldn't dare let me.
I didn't know if I wanted to be in college anymore. I loved school, but I hated living in a dorm. I hated being around politically ignorant people. And I was tired of being away from home. After three semesters, I still didn't adjust - so I transferred out.
I ended up at IUPUI, and working my dream job - and it was the best decision I've made in a while. I was finally somewhere where I was not forced to be social, forced to eat at certain times, or forced to live with someone I even know.
So when someone says college isn't for them, it's more than academics. It could be a financial, mental, or emotional issue. Encourage people to try other places, start at community colleges, or enter a trade school instead. Education after high school is not about who comes out the smartest or has the best social experience - it's about the tools you finish with that can set your future up for a more successful destiny.