When I was growing up, I often heard the phrase, “College isn’t for everyone.” I thought about those words in high school when I was visiting different universities, and I thought about them when I started to struggle in my first dual-credit college classes. I didn’t know if college would be for me, and I harbored these feelings long before my first year of college. However, when I went, I found that college was for me, and I loved making my degree my own — talking to advisors and finding out what classes I liked, figuring out how I learn best, and building a support system that focused on my success. I started wondering why I heard “College isn’t for everyone” so frequently because I found that college is what you make of it.
I started thinking that if students felt more comfortable in the residential halls, they would be able to build their support systems better and faster. I started working in Resident Life and loved being there for my peers. During a conversation with a friend and mentor, I asked, “Why do students think college isn’t for them?” I began learning about the financial complications and more significant emergencies. My friend, a previous AmeriCorps member, taught me about students’ different situations and the complexities of becoming a university graduate.
As a College Possible college coach, I actively work with college students who are moving toward graduation. Some students need me as a reminder to get their FAFSA completed on time, while other students need me to help them reenroll after having to leave their previous school. I know that education can be accessible to all who want it. College Possible has changed the way I think about education access, too.
When I was researching going to college, I found that the easiest way to learn about college programs of interest to me was by searching online. At first, this was very overwhelming for me because there was, and is, a lot of material to read. College Possible helps high school juniors and seniors take in this information by breaking it into sections. This is helpful to students who do not know how to do this themselves. Having someone in their corner who has gone through the process helps students build a support system, and they know they can turn to their coaches with any questions.
Having a support system in college can help you stay focused on your goals in the academic setting. These systems make it possible for students not only to go to college but to use their time at university to learn about themselves and what goals they want to achieve. The best part of having a support system is knowing that you can make the college experience what you want and make the university work for you.
This Great Story was written by Stacey Rosener, an AmeriCorps member at College Possible Omaha.