College Journey

Pre Term: 1 Blogisode: 1 Pilot

As a freshman in high school I never really had friends to hang out with or talk to during class. I was usually by myself . While I was alone in school I would take my time to research some colleges even going to my high school’s college counselor’s office almost everyday. At the time I was set on what I wanted to do with my future, of course writing. My first choice was Lynn University, only because my senior buddy was attending the following year. Once I saw the cost of tuition, I changed my mind to Barry, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and University of South Florida.

I applied to all of those universities my senior year including others just in case. The more colleges you apply to, the higher chances you have into getting accepted into at least one (just make sure you meet the requirements for admission.) The other universities I applied to was Bethune Cookman, Virginia Union and Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island.

I was fortunate to get accepted into those 3 however it was a hard choice. Before graduating high school I was set on leaving South Florida so JWU and VUU were at the top of my list. BCU was where some of my friends were going. I joined a group chat with my class(Class of 2022) and I was able to build a couple of friendships from that. Because of that I decided BCU would be the University I would go to that year.

Being that I never been through the college process I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing when setting up for admissions, Verifying FAFSA, even sending residency documents for instate tuition costs. No one called me and when I did call the school they never answered. If they were to answer, they would greet with an attitude and have you on hold for 30 minutes then call drops! Mind you I already sent them a $300 non-refundable fee for admitting. BY early august I realized I would not be able to attend BCU because of the complications I was having. If I couldn’t verify my FAFSA there was pretty much nothing more I could do. I was so upset with this, I have been excited for college since the ninth grade. That school completely ruined my hopes for ever attending college, I decided to take a year off.

A lot of people dislike Gap Years mainly because not everyone actually goes back to school. But with me I like to chase after my dreams and one of my biggest fears is leaving this earth without accomplishing them. I feel like with school, they will help me hone my skills into being a better journalist, college will give me job opportunities to work in the field I want to be in. I can not not go to school otherwise I would be working somewhere that won’t make me happy. I’m not settling for anything less!

During this year off I was working, trying to save up and also learning more about myself. My co-workers even managers/supervisors gave me so much advice on how to set up and pay for college. I don’t know why, but everyone who has entered my life always pushed me to further my education, supporting all of my academic success. Even before high school people would say that they see me going to college, telling me how smart I am. Even a close family friend of mine who sat me down explaining how University could wait ,and how I could just start of part time at community college with just 2-3 classes.

So when everyone was giving me college advice I made sure to note it. In high school I told everyone, I am not going to community college in town, I swore up and down I wouldn’t. Now I realize, that’s my only choice if I wanted to save money while getting an education, instead of just working working working, then forgetting what you were working for.

In early 2019 I decided to move to Jacksonville with family, just for new surroundings. I immediately looked up close by community colleges, which was Florida State College of Jacksonville. There was a handful of my co-workers who attended there so they knew what to advise me. I applied to the college, tried to apply for FAFSA, I even went to orientation and got a Student ID card, the closest I’ve ever been in the college process. Due to the fact that I could not get any FAFSA information at the time, I was stressing out! I was not making enough at the job I was working and the school wanted residency documents from me, and when I called to know what exact documents they wanted I could not provide them with it. So then I owed them more than $4,000 for out of state tuition costs. I made the decision to drop out of the classes I had set up and go back home, Broward County. Not only because of school, but because I missed my family and friends.

Once I got home I looked into my town’s community college program’s and applied for fall term, I contacted my mom’s tax person and even emailed my high school for transcripts. I did dual ennoblement in high school for the college so I figured it was going to be an easier process setting up for admission. I was kind of right, kind of wrong. My high school told me that they sent the transcripts, and it usually takes up to 24-48 hours to get into the college’s system, after a month, they still haven’t received it. I also have not received my mom’s tax forms from 2018 from her tax person after requesting multiple times. This was in October, I was already going through alot so with these complications I figured that I would have to put my education on hold and deal with what was going on at home and work.

We are now in March, I was in the process of applying to online college for the summer, even though most people disagreed with it. It’s better than missing classes because I don’t have a ride and I will be able to work full time. Literally the day after requesting my transcripts and Tax forms again, an admissions counselor called me and saw that I applied for fall term and told me how that she would help me with enrolling into summer term, I didn’t even apply for summer yet! I told her all my complications and turned out all I needed was the 2017 tax forms, which I already enter into my FAFSA from when I was suppose to go to BCU. She also went into the system to look for my transcripts and in under a week, everything was set up. I also told her about my expectations with my enrollment. I wanted to earn enough credits to transfer to my dream University, which I will talk about in another College Journey Blogisode.

I was only waiting for my financial aid to come in, because I sure did not have $1500 lying. I was expecting my financial aid to cover at least, maybe $600 and I would be able to set up a payment plan. But each day I checked to see if my aid came in, there was nothing! Days before the due date, I emailed the admissions counselor and asked her if there was anything I would need to send in. AllI had to do was update my SSN, she told me that then my financial aid would come in the day of my due date. You know I was stressing when she told me that. My eye was even twitching for a whole day. The day of the due date I check my for my aid every free second I had. Of course I was working so I couldn’t be on my Laptop. Once I went on my last break, I checked for it again and the remaining total went from $1,480 to $0! FAFSA covered everything! I was only expecting it to cover part of the tuition. I wanted to email the counselor to thank her for her help with everything like she saved my life or something. But I mean she kind of did. This is a small milestone in my journey that can lead to bigger things. She saved my hopes of accomplishing my dreams.

Now I check my college email everyday to see if my professors emailed me anything even though I start school on May 11th. I’m just super excited, and I know I won’t be as nervous as I was when I was in high school.

Thank you so much Danielle for actually guiding me through this process. Thank you Ms.Creary for your daily morning college advice, and the college opportunities you still send to Class of 2018. Thank you Sophia for the advice, otherwise I would still be struggling trying ot pay for a $30,000 University. And thank you Ms.Kay for the push, I won’t let you down.

Stay tuned for the next blogisode. I will be talking about the University I plan on transferring to and why I chose that school.For the following I will be talking about my first week of online school!

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