What to Think About After Applying to College
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Elias Miller and Moriah Adeghe in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
In this article, we will share advice to future college students from college graduates Moriah Adeghe and Elias Miller regarding topics like asking for help in college, choosing a major, and paying for college.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
One important lesson for high school students transitioning to college is to not underestimate the importance of seeking help when issues arise. For example, Elias shared that in his own experience at Tufts University, he initially had a difficult time adjusting to college and wondered if he had made a mistake in choosing Tufts. In retrospect, Elias noted that he should have sought help and talked to someone about what he was going through.
As you transition into college, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of students will be going through similar challenges to you and that you’re not alone. No matter what college you go to, there will be many resources devoted to trying to help students navigate the transition to college, as well as other issues that may arise.
When you experience challenges, seeking out someone to talk to and asking for help does not make you weak. It can ensure that you are supported and have a positive experience on campus.
Keep an Open Mind About Your Major
It is extremely important for incoming college students to keep an open mind about their intended major. When you get to college, you should take your time to explore career and major options, while really reflecting on what you are interested in before making a decision. While earning potential and career trajectory are certainly important factors to consider when deciding on a major, it is also important to consider things like quality of life, personal growth, and passion for a field.
One example of why this is important comes from Moriah’s own experience. In this livestream, Moriah shared that she was initially interested in studying fashion design, but after receiving feedback from her family and considering the earning potential of the field, she decided against that major. Instead, she chose from more “prestigious” majors, including business, law, and political science, and ultimately landed on finance. Moriah reflects that she wonders what her path would have looked like if she had chosen a major that she was passionate about, like fashion design, or even if she had just spent more time exploring before deciding her major.
In many cases, you do not have to decide on your major the day that you get to college, and being open-minded and taking your time can help you choose a major and career that you will ultimately be happy with.
Be Wary of Taking Out Loans
As students prepare for the cost of college, one more thing to note is to proceed carefully with student loans. From Elias’s perspective, it is not advisable to take out significant loans for the sake of attending a prestigious private university. Even if a school has awesome reported job outcomes and income averages for its alumni, this does not mean that these outcomes are the case for every graduate of that university. If you take out $150,000 in loans to attend a university, for example, you will be guaranteed to have to repay those loans, but your future income is not guaranteed in the same way.
Having significant student loan debt can limit your financial flexibility, making things like buying a house, taking a year off from work, or choosing a lower-paying job that you are passionate about more difficult.
That said, this all depends on your financial situation. If you or your family have the means to repay loans, or if you have a college savings account available, you may feel comfortable paying full price to attend a costly university.
Note: Elias and Moriah are not financial advisors, and the information reflected in this article is not official financial advice.