There Is More To College Than the Academics
The last year in high school is terrifying, you're becoming an independent person. You're potentially moving out of home or state. You were told all your life, this is a defining time in life. If you don't get into a good college you won't get a good job and you won't have a good life.
There's so much pressure put on college, it can be daunting at times.
There's pressure from your family, your school, from colleges, your friends, and surprisingly we let society's "Red Pen" define our decisions and self worth.
Junior and Senior year, my friends were so stressed out about college. One of my friends actually applied to 50 different colleges, and half of them were for things she never ever wanted to do. She is a dancer at heart, always dreamed of becoming a professional dancer and teacher, but here she was applying to colleges for Law, Marketing, Computer Programming, and a few science related ones too.
She was freaked out!
Thankfully, she snapped out of it and focused on dance and sport related colleges. Now, she looks back at the time and she laughs, because she would have spent years doing something hated even thinking about, instead of following her passions and talents.
That's the things about college. For a high schooler, college is so unknown. There are so many out there, and they all offer something different, if you're set on going to college there is going to be something for you. You just have to know what you want to do, what you love to do, and what your talents are. When you figure that out, the path will be incredibly clear to you.
I recently went down to Nashville, Tennessee to see my best friend, Cate. I slept on campus with her, so I decided to ask her and her friends a few questions about How They Chose Their College, Why They Chose Their College, and What It Is Like To Be In College.
~Interesting Fact: I became a zumba instructor in my first year of college.
~Interesting Fact: There is an underground cave in my neighborhood
~ Interesting Fact: I learned to screen print my own shirts, why pay extra for someone else to do it?
~ Interesting Fact: I have entered a couple poetry contests, placed 2nd
Piano Performance - Savannah
~ Interesting Fact: I have been on 10 mission trips within the U.S.
- All students attend Lipscomb University
choosing The school -
Senior year I went with Cate to Nashville to tour Lipscomb. Even though it wasn't me who was checking the college out, I was still super nervous.
You're the youngest one there and for a second it feels like you're starting your high school career all over. It makes everyone there seem like they really know what they want out of life. As if they had never gone through what you're going through now.
Since there are so many different colleges out there I figured the biggest, most daunting question a high schooler could face is deciding which school to go to....
What was your biggest struggle when choosing the college?
Cate - The financial situation for sure, that was one of the biggest things I struggled with. For the longest time I was sure I was going to go to college in state. When I got a few financial aids that allowed me to go to a school in Nashville. I was ecstatic to go out of state and start a new adventure.
Aedan-I went back and forth on whether to go to college or not, especially since there are several paths you can take. You can do online classes, which are cheaper, but you lose the community feel. You could choose to go to college, you'll get the education and the community, which is super important. I was still trying to decide between English or Animations. When I went to visit Lipscomb, I got to know the teachers. I saw the community and knew that if I didn't go,I'd miss the opportunity of having peers
Caleb - I was looking for a college that had a good program and great community. I'd been looking at Belmont, they have a great program, but are lacking in the community that Lipscomb does. So when I went to check out Lipscomb and I saw that they had a great program and an even greater community, I knew it was the place for me.
Savannah - I didn't really want to go to Lipscomb. It wasn't my first choice, but I got a scholarship and I knew I'd get the best education here. After having been here for a few months, I feel like this is where I am meant to be. Though I will admit, it was both scary and exciting to choose a college.
- Apply for scholarships and make sure you check the financial aids of every school you apply to. They are there to help you, if you really want to go to the school - they will get you there. Pray about it.
- Make sure to check the schools community, you don't want to lose that. It's important to have people you enjoy being around, especially during low times. They are there for you, to support you, and encourage you.
Arriving At College-
While touring the campus there were plenty of other high schoolers there as well. All of us - wide eyed with curiosity and intimidation. Actually choosing your school and arriving for the first time is possibly quite different than you'd expect...
What Did you Expect?
Cate - I was expecting it to be intimidating, which it is, but there is more free time than I ever had in high school. I have time to do homework and for my new friends who have made my experience so much better than I thought it would be.
Aedan- I was expecting it to be completely different. I am an introvert and was homeschooled. It takes more for me to reach out and talk to people, I was worried that it would be overwhelming for me. Surprisingly, it wasn't too big of a difference. The structure of it is very similar to my schooling. Though, I have had to put myself out there a little bit more than I usually would have, but it's definitely worth it.
Marah - I was worried about going in with too high of expectations, or with bad expectations. When I came here I made sure I had neutral expectations. I knew that high expectations would cause me to be disappointed, and that bad expectations would create unnecessary anxiety and worry. In order to go in without expectations I'd keep thinking to myself "I'm just going to check it out, see what it's all about."
Caleb - I was expecting the people and social life to be different, not like what you see in movies. It's still different than what you're used to in high school. It was different than I expected. While it is still different than high school, you have to change your way of reacting. Be more open to new things and react in a mature and open manner.
Savannah - "I thought it would be scary, busy, hard, and I wouldn't enjoy it very much. It can be all those things, but it's mostly the opposite, it's the best. I have met so many great friends,and despite the intense craziness, it has been super fun.
- Be open to change. College will definitely be intimidating - guaranteed- it's change, and any sort of change can be hard to get used to. It's going to happen one way or another. Allow it to happen, and greet every moment as a new and exciting, experience for your personal growth.
2. Put yourself out there for the first 2-3 weeks. It's the most important time to meet new people and make friends. It's the easiest time to make friends since everyone is new and looking for someone to befriend.
3. Have an open mind, be accepting to all experiences, good or bad. It will allow you to make clean decisions without worry or disappointment.
4. Learn Time Management. There will be plenty of free time in college. Make sure you use it wisely: homework, extracurriculars, friends and self care. It is important that you use every moment of your time for a purpose.
5. Persist even if it's hard. There will be intense and hard times, when you get through it the reward is going to be more meaningful.
Struggles Of A Freshman-
Change is constant throughout life. Your body changes, your mindset can change, your likes and dislikes change. College is another change you'll go through. Going into anything new there will be something you struggle with.
Just look at puberty. There is a whole list of struggles that come with that kind of change. We all know them so there is no need for me to list them here. College is like puberty for school. It can be awkward, uncomfortable, and a bit scary to begin with, but in the end you'll be a whole new person.
What Were Your Struggles, And How Did You Overcome Them?
Cate - Being relaxed, still do at times actually. Sometimes I get worried that something will go wrong. Being new to everything here I won't know how to deal with it and fix it. I usually handle this by reading a book for fun, hanging out with friends, or calling up my friends and family back in Minnesota.
Aedan - So far the academics are pretty straight forward, they're generals, so it's mainly what I learned in School. The biggest struggle has been being uncomfortable. You have to assert yourself more because there are so many things happening in college. If you stay in your dorm and don't engage in the group activities, school events, or event friend events, you will miss out on everything great about college.
Marah - For my major it's the amount of reading, some of it is fun, but most of it is tedious and tiresome. Most of them focus on grammar and punctuation. There are so many books to read in a small amount of time, lots of papers. I still enjoy it, but it can be pretty intense sometimes. I deal with it by making sure I stay on top of it and use good time management practices. I go somewhere quiet and I clear my head and get in a positive mindset, especially for the drier books.
Caleb -The free time. It takes a lot of motivation to finish the things you need to do. Having so much free time it's hard to get out of the dorm. I enjoy staying in and working on music and art. I make sure to text and stay in contact with friends to help me keep from wasting my free time at college.
Savannah - Being a Performance major I have to practice 2 hours a day, and it can be hard to get myself up to practice. Sometimes I end up having to practice late at night because I pushed it off so long. When it gets bad I have to push through mentally and realize it's worth it in the end.
- Treat Yo' Self...- No matter what, always make time your yourself and your friends. They are what will keep you sane while going through the crazy first year of college. Find your favorite self-care routine and make sure you follow it 1-2 minimum a week.
2. Remember that being uncomfortable is growth. By sticking through the tough and sticky parts of college you are developing yourself and your skills. You can't improve without getting a little bit uncomfortable at times.
3. Find a routine of studying that will help you focus. When you have an overload of homework a sense of familiarity can help your brain retain the information and make the time pass a little easier.
4. Commit to your friends. They are there, going through the same things as you and looking for a way to relax and do something other than school work 24/7, and they'll help you feel like you have a life outside of school.
The Major Question-
I just love hearing people's stories. They're all different, and they have different reasons for everything that they do. I could sit and drill someone for hours on their life. Hearing everything about them and enjoying the ups and downs of their lives. I
sometimes have to hold myself back when I meet someone because I can freak people out about my interest in their lives. (I may or may not have used this blog as an excuse to ask these students questions about their lives.... 'is fine.)
Why'd You Choose Your Major?
Cate - I chose this major because I wasn't sure what else to choose, and it's a good base for really anything that I want to do. I am considering an English or Journalism major. I really want to edit for a magazine or company that has a purposeful meaning, not something super secular. I wrote for the local newspaper and for the school newspaper and really enjoyed it. I actually am writing for Lipscombs news, which is really exciting, and I have my own blog as well, it's all about chocolate!
Aedan- The first time I thought about art was when Tom Bancroft was commissioned by my dad. We went to a restaurant where they talked about what he was going to be doing. The restaurant tables had paper tablecloths, I watched as Tom drew mickey mouse on the table. He brought him to life right in front of me. Since then I have been following blogs and artists and reading up on art, I have also been working on my own drawings as well
Marah - I have been writing for a really long time. I went to a writing camp twice. It's a month long, you go with a book idea, a pen, and a notebook. They provide lessons on character development and allow time for you to write, write, write, at the end of the camp, they publish the book.
Caleb - I have been creating music and art for years, so I just knew what my major was going to be. I was also interested in film and maybe graphic design. I am a fan of art. I think art encompasses all forms of life, there is no restriction on what art is. You don't have to be talented in visual art to create it.
Savannah - I have never loved anything as much as I love piano. It's something I am passionate about and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I don't want to be a performer for the rest of my life, for a little bit -yes. I'd really enjoy teaching others.