Sunday, April 5, 2015

Insight - A decision of a lifetime - By Michelle Libby


It’s that time of year again. College acceptance. I love watching as parents of seniors post pictures of the acceptance letters and crow about how proud they are of their child as they are accepted into the school of their choice. 

I remember the proud feeling and the utter terror of my child heading into the world by herself. Off to a college, and I remember what happens at college, to experience life and move on without us. 

Making that choice was very difficult. How do you decide where to spend your hard earned dollars? Does the student go far away from home? Live at home and commute? The decision is usually a family one. The more I listen to families and the college plans they are making, the more I realize that there is no one plan for everyone. 

Some may live at home and attend a local college or a local community college to get their core classes out of the way, then transfer. Some students may attend a college for a year or half a year and decide it’s not the right place for them or they hate their major. (My sister switched her major after her freshman year and never looked back. Thankfully, she didn’t have to switch schools). If the university is big enough, it may have the new major, if not…transfer. It’s not the end of the world. I’ve heard of some students who have transferred three times before realizing what their passion really was and concentrating on that. 

Where finances are concerned, some students try to save money by attending an in-state college. Others get amazing scholarships and financial assistance from colleges, making their decision that much harder. Some take the scholarships and in-state tuition for their bachelor’s degree and then attend an Ivy League school for their graduate work. 

One school I know of offers a Masters’ program in five years if you do all the work at its school. Others offer teaching jobs for those getting higher education at their institution. 

How in the world does one decide? There are so many choices. So many options. So many paths to travel. But none are set in stone. So take a chance, roll the dice and take that first step toward success. 

Happy decision time.