How to Properly Prepare For College

Shaylynn Morris, Contributing Writer

College is a big step into a lot of people’s futures and not only is it key to furthering your education, but it can also be extremely expensive. College can cost you thousands of dollars and cause someone to have student loan debt if you aren’t careful about your money in college. Although it may be stressful and overwhelming a great career and planned future is the outcome. College isn’t for everyone, but those who do dream to go to college must have a plan and stick to it and I hope this article can help you figure out your future’s plan. I decided to interview my school counselor Ms. Harig. She is also my middle college counselor: she has a lot of experience when it comes to college and what we all should look forward to and prepare for. 

During my interview, I asked Ms. Harig about her college experience and what her life was like when she was attending college. “I actually have 3 degrees. I was in college from 18 years old to around 40, excluding 5 years.”  She said, When Ms. Harig was in college she was married and had kids at a younger age, therefore she didn’t get the time to enjoy the fun aspect of attending college. “I was mainly just focused on keeping my GPA high and staying on top of homework.” She added. Throughout my entire high school career, I have always assumed that keeping up with good grades would be the key to getting into college, but there is much more you have to do in order to prepare for college the right way. I asked Ms. Harig in her personal opinion what she thought would be the first and most important thing to do when it comes to preparing for college. “It goes way back to when you first started school.” She said She listed off a few things that she believes would help anyone prepare for what the future holds. “Good study habits, putting time aside, and organization.” She listed.  Another thing that should be done as early as kindergarten is saving for college. College is very expensive and needs to be thought out carefully. “You should start saving for college as soon as possible. People don’t think about food, transportation, and necessities when it comes to college. You won’t have a lot of time to work, so you need to start saving as soon as possible.” She stated. 

When it comes to planning your future people seem to avoid a lot of things that need to be done. Making mistakes is a part of life, but when it comes to your life, your financials and your career mistakes shouldn’t be frequently made. 

Ms. Harig is a school counselor, as well as a college counselor for the students that are involved in the Middle College program. Personally being in Middle College it is a hassle to keep up with both high school and college-level classes and Ms. Harig is the one that sees it all through all of her students. She sees students dropout of Middle College and loses a huge opportunity they are given for free. During the interview, I was interested in what the biggest mistake students make when it comes to college. “Procrastination.” She simply said. As I said, a majority of students seem to avoid what is most important and procrastinate when it comes to saving, planning and even studying. 

At the end of the interview, I thought of a few more questions that I thought would help more students to understand the importance of preparing for college. One of them is what type of programs should students look out for? “Try to combine interest with a job that is proven to show growth.” She said She talked a lot about the fact that a lot of high schools students have interest in Psychology, but don’t find any interest in it when it comes to finishing school and then when you do find a job, the success rates may be very low when it comes to certain aspects of Psychology. 

Overall this interview opened my eyes when it came to what I need to do in order for me to have a successful future. I have been interested in Criminal Psychology and talking with Ms. Harig made me see a lot about college and what my next steps should be. Prepping for college is an important thing if that’s what you want to do for your future. College is very time-consuming as well as expensive for everyone, looking for opportunities is important and can get you very far. Taking action now is key to preparing for college and I hope that all of you look into these steps to give yourself as many options as you can.