One thing that was kind of good about being the first in my family to apply to college was that I didn’t have many fears when I started applying to colleges my senior year of high school. I knew that people from my high school usually received more than enough financial aid to go to any school they wanted and just focused on filling out my applications. My mindset for applying to colleges wasn’t to focus on things I couldn’t control like worrying which schools I got into or how hard the classes well be, but to focus on doing the best I could in my classes for my transcript and write awesome writing supplements. When I started to receive some acceptances I did start to worry about affording college being that I didn’t know how much my family income differed from my peers. Some schools offered me over $20,000 in loans and still expected me to pay thousands more. Boston College was the only school that gave me a reasonable financial aid but even still I knew I needed more so not to have my father work himself more than he needed to. My freshman year of college was hard in that I didn’t have a chance to work as much as I thought I would’ve needed to make money for school, but I applied to be a resident assistant in order to save money on room and board.
For the past two years, I was able to save some money and didn’t need to take out any loans, but the stress and demands of the job made me choose to resign earlier this month to focus on academics and the job search. Quitting Residential Life brought back many fears about affording college but I chose to move to a dorm that had a kitchen so not to worry about paying for a meal plan and took out some loans so my father didn’t need to join in my stress. As far as classes, I started the semester worrying that I bit off more than I could chew academically but I try to quell my fears by taking tasks a day at a time and learning how to tell people “no” to people and opportunities that distracted me from school work. I needed to start curving things that either didn’t provide value socially, monetarily, or academically and am now enjoying a somewhat less stressed senior year. I still got many fears about applying to jobs and the next phase after college, but I try put those thoughts aside by keeping busy with my academics and commitments.