All Voices Matter: college process begins early

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In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

High school holds the four steps to college with each year harder than the last. Throughout the year, representatives from colleges all over the country set up in the cafeteria and send emails attempting to persuade students into applying to their college. Teachers are in on it too–they tell students about the importance of colleges and how it’s one of the basic necessities of surviving in the world. The two things these representatives and teachers have in common is this: they never tell students the specifics.

How can I access scholarships? What’s the difference between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree? Does every college have the same class? How do I know which class to take in order to excel in the job I want?

These are only the handful of questions that are swimming through my head whenever college is mentioned. I don’t know when, where, or how to start preparing myself for college. Sure, I’m just a freshman, but it’ll be three years until I’m finally eighteen; I’ll practically be an adult, and I won’t have any idea about what to do next.

My parents never went to college. My cousin, however, is currently going now. I’ve learned more from her than school has ever taught me from the time I was in middle school to now. But even then, that knowledge is somewhat limited. She told me that it’s never too early to look for colleges, and that you will always need several backup plans if something goes wrong. This was somewhat eye-opening, because I thought I could get into any college with ease–no stress of how I was going to pay for my first semester or anything of the sort.

But it isn’t like that.

School needs to make things more accessible. Everyone comes from different backgrounds. Not everyone is as wealthy as the other. Students need to have backup plans. Students can’t walk into life blindly, thinking someone else will handle their problems for them, because not everyone has that luxury.