Students should seek out college resources

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Today I’d like to share a message with our high school students.

It was not too long ago when I was in high school — something I’m often reminded of when I’m out shopping and a friendly stranger who doesn’t know me asks me which high school I go to — unaware that I’ve graduated from college.

And since high school wasn’t all that long ago, I still remember what it was like. I remember trying to juggle the stress of projects, mountains of homework, being a leader of multiple clubs and extra-curricular activities all the while trying to maintain an active social life with friends and spend time with family. I’m not going to lie — it was tough.

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As the final semester of my junior year in high school rolled around, my guidance counselor, teachers, and even my parents were shoving what felt like a million scholarship application forms and pamphlets detailing the criteria for college admissions into my arms that were already busy juggling everything else. The whole experience was in one word, overwhelming.

And I’m guessing that a lot of you are feeling the same way, which is why I wanted to share with you, as someone who is not so far removed from the experience, that it is so worth it to embrace all the advice your parents and teachers are throwing your way. If the thought of college is just an abstract thought — unattainable because of financial reasons or less than stellar grades — think again. There are so many people and resources available to high school students and all you have to do is seek them out.

One place you can start is at the city of Selma’s “Gearing up for College” seminar, which will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Carl Morgan Convention Center. Selma City Council president Corey Bowie said the free seminar would give parents and students a chance to get their hands on important information on college admission, priority dates, financial aid, student housing, dual-enrollment and more.
“They’re preparing for their second half … for their adulthood and what they’re going to do for the rest of their life,” Bowie said.

And while Bowie is correct in that this is a time to prepare for your future — don’t get freaked out and think you have to know your plans for the rest of your life when you graduate high school. It’s great to have goals and to have a plan, and that is exactly what this seminar can help you figure out.

By proactively seeking out resources on colleges, financial aid and career paths, you are taking your future into your own hands, and this seminar is a great place to start.

As high school students, you are probably all too aware that time is of the essence. Start early and let those who have been there before, help you shine your brightest.