7.27.2016

Why I Decided To Apply For College


I'm 21.
And this year, I will be a freshman in college.

"Why is that?" you ask.

Why am I starting college three years after the average norm?
(Actually, I graduated in 2012, so hurray to being graduated from high school for four years.  So that makes the gap even "worse", right?)

I don't regret the wait to start college, though.  Looking back now, I would recommend at least a two year break between high school and college to almost anyone.  "Why is that?" you may ask again.  I shall tell you.

Being home schooled all the way through high school was absolutely lovely (minus the excruciatingly painful study times in my bed at 8am).

After graduating, I decided to not jump directly into college but instead find a job (newspaper reporter, then barista), buy my own car (paid for in cash), travel (in the States and out of the States), teach, write, invest in family and friends.  And I would never want to trade any of that time for being a college graduate at 21, instead of a freshman.

Not only did I have so much free time to dabble in whatever I wanted to, but I was able to learn so much about myself during these last few years.  It's a commonly known fact that high schoolers really don't know who the heck they are.  Teenagers are still discovering things about themselves, changing rapidly - physically and emotionally - trying to figure out what they like, what they don't like, who they want to date, where they want to live.  (Those are things you'll probably be dealing with for the rest of your life, honestly, but I'm specifically referring to high school seniors.)

I, for sure, didn't know what I wanted to go to college for IF I had decided to apply right after graduation.  I saw so many of my peers enroll in college and when I asked them what they were going for, 99% of them shrugged their shoulders and said, "I don't know.  I'm just going and in a few years, I'll probably figure out what I like."

Why waste your time, energy and money on studying for something you have no idea what you're working towards BY studying?

That brings me to reason number two for deciding to apply for college at the age of 21...
After praying about what God wanted me to pursue and life, and being open to whatever career direction He placed on my heart, it was made extremely clear to me this year.  And since that moment of clarity and peace, I applied to two colleges.  I got accepted at both, but decided to go to one of them.
I will be studying for a degree in Psychology.
And I am BEYOND ready and excited.

Hello to that college scene!  I'm coming for you.

---

So that's my little "Why I Decided To Apply For College" story.  
What's yours?

14 comments:

  1. Very inspiring Rachel. I took a year off after graduating high school (homeschool). I worked, taught classes, wrote a novel and explored who I was and what it was that I wanted to do. By the time the year was over the Lord had opened up the way for me to attend school in Europe, an adventure I never would have thought possible as a 18 year old. Now that you mention it, it doesn't make much sense to start a super expensive college program until you have a bit of an idea of who you are and what direction you are going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Susanna. Sounds like you made a good choice regarding post-graduation!

      Delete
  2. I really admire when people aren't afraid to take one or a few gap years before going to college, especially when it seems like everyone else is rushing to hop onto the college-lifestyle. For me, I was kinda lucky that I had an opportunity to explore what I wanted to eventually do and how college would help me get there. Super excited for you to join the college scene and congrats!!

    Jem | graceboat.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Raquel, I think your decision to wait to apply to college was very mature and wise. I started college right out of high school, was a full-time student for about one and a half years, and then decided I was going in the wrong direction. I was stressed and overwhelmed and knew the program I was in wasn't what I wanted to do, but I had no idea what to choose as an alternative.

    I've been out of school for about two years and I'm just now coming to grips with a new sense of direction. I've matured so much simply by living on my own, working full-time, buying a car, staying out of debt, and developing some adult life skills.

    Honestly, I wish I had waited. There's so much pressure in high school to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, but looking back I find it ridiculous that I expected my seventeen-year-old self to make that kind of decision.

    Psychology and communications are two fields I'm seriously considering now! I'm looking forward to following your journey through your education. Remember, no matter what happens or what direction God sends you in, learn from every experience, and never take any of it for granted, even if you end up changing directions. God bless you in your new endeavors!

    Dani xoxo
    a vapor in the wind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Dani! And regardless of if you wish you had waited or not, God had plans for those two years you were in college.
      Let me know what career you decide to pursue!

      Delete
    2. I guess I should add that this fall I am officially going back to school! For now I'll only be taking classes part-time so I can keep working full-time. My major of study and, Lord willing, eventual degree is Mass Communications!

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  4. Exactly Raquel, there's no right or wrong! I'm really happy for you, have fun in Washington (Seattle, right?)!

    Where I'm from, you have to go to college for two years then it's three years of university. But for the rest of Canada, it's 4 years of university like everyone else. Long story short, I was able to go to university in Ottawa, making me a year younger than everyone else (I started at 17 instead of 18.). but I still remember my parents' friends telling them how I shouldn't and that I would have to stay there an extra year to compensate my 12th grade (in Quebec's province we graduate on the 11th grade). If I would've listened to them, I'd be miserable in college, learning stuff I know I won't need. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was four, and I had just wasted 5 years of high school in a maths/sciences oriented prep school, so I was so done with doing the right thing, or what people wanted me to do.

    You had to go to college and look for waht to do with your future, fine, but in order for me to even keep studying, university was the only road. But I won't tell everyone to do the same because it's way more expensive than college, so going there just to "find yourself" is plain stupid. God will tell you the plans he has for your life, not society, not your parents, not your friends, not commercials.

    At the end of the day, it's your life we're talking about so take a break if you feel like so, register for that program even you're scared to death to fail, but at least you'll know what to do to make you happy.

    (so long, but I really felt this post if you couldn't tell XD)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, girl! I'm in Washington now, but not Seattle.
      And amen to "God will tell you the plans He has for your life - not society, not your parents, not your friends, not commercials." I wish more people realized that and made their choices based on what's best for THEM personally... not what others are saying they should do.

      Delete
  5. Oh my gosh! I'm so excited to see that you're still blogging! I had a blog five years ago and I remember you specifically and HAD to check and see if you were still around! I can't find anyone else *cries*

    I'm starting college too! Except I'm 19 and I can't wait to see what God has in store!

    P.s. I deleted my blog from five years ago (it's was called Adorkable and the URL was dezzysblogerificblog) but I have a brand new one now and I'm so excited and would LOVE if you checked it out! I'm having to regain my knowledge of html... Yikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heyy yeah, I think I remember you haha Thanks for stopping by! Glad you found me again haha Welcome back!

      Delete
  6. I loved studying psychology in college. One thing that I would recommend though is to really consider what you are thinking of as a future career. It is extremely difficult to get a job out of college with just a psychology degree - instead most ex related degrees require further education (masters, phd, etc.). I would highly recommend connecting with a department counselor early on in your undergrad degree and look at where you want to end up and what the best path to get there is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Julianne, thank you for your comment. And yes, that is definitely something I have - and will continue to - consider. Have a great week!

      Delete
  7. I completely agree with your decision Raquel. The only time I think people should really go to college is when they know exactly what they want to do and have a plan, which many of us don't have right out of high school. As for me, I knew from junior year of HS I wanted to be a nurse but I became diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. I really regret not taking an entire year off from school! I wasted some classes and pushed myself too hard trying to study nursing when I knew my body could not take that career anymore. I ended up taking an offer from a university to study English and later add Art as my minor, something I never saw myself doing but it has been BEAUTIFUL. I made my closest friend here (we have the exact same major and minor too!) and I've realized I don't have to be a nurse to work in healthcare -- there's also the tech side of healthcare that I've come to LOVE. There's also the business side and I can teach if I decide to. Thus, that's what I plan to earn my masters (Health Informatics) in after I graduate with my B.A. next year. A lot of people, like I used to be, feel like you have to become independent so fast. Even now, I hate how being ill has slowed me down -- I don't drive yet, I can't work until after I graduate, I need a lot of rest, constant doctor visits, etc. But it has been a blessing in disguise because it taught me to have faith in God's timing and I realized, I like where God led me so much more than where I was going to lead myself! I would've missed out on so much had I studied nursing instead of English/Art! I never would've published novels, wrote tons of poems and had those incredible literature discussions that I'm going to severely miss once I graduate.

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy hearing my readers' thoughts. Please comment away!