Not registered yet? Why recent NJ high school grads should wait
So you recently graduated high school and still haven't decided on a school or college. What are you waiting for?
Those colleges and schools are trying to tell you to act quickly before you miss out. Before you know it, the fall semester will be here and it'll be too late.
Or will it? Why so much pressure on recent high school grads to get into a school as soon as possible? It certainly can add a certain level of anxiety to anyone's plate.
Try not to let it get to you, especially if you haven't registered anywhere yet. It's a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly.
I can speak from experience that sometimes I wish I waited. And here's why you should also consider waiting before diving into a whole new life experience.
You might not know yet
Something most of us are still trying to figure out even as adults. Not everyone knows what they want to do exactly.
Or, you may think you know because perhaps you convinced yourself otherwise. It happens to many of us.
It's simply the pressures of life and the heavy pressure of graduating high school. It's OK not to know quite yet.
You might be getting pressured
Pressure can come in many forms. One of the most common could be family members pushing you to get into college.
Or, maybe your high school put extra emphasis on picking a college, adding pressure to an already life-changing decision. It could also be self-inflicted pressure, where we feel we need to figure it all out and soon.
Wherever that pressure is coming from, don't feel obligated to act on it by picking something you ultimately won't be happy with in the long run.
Furthering education isn't cheap
Definitely a big part of why you want to fully think this through. Many of the finest schools out there, including both college and trade schools, don't typically come with a low price tag.
A college education especially can be a very costly one. If you're going to pay for an education, you don't want to throw away your money on something you might not use.
Now yes, there are grants available for some, along with scholarships. And some might've had a savings account building for furthering education ever since they were kids.
But even if you do have those resources, why risk spending it on something you might not want to do? Take your time, there's no rush.
Maybe community colleges to start
With two-year community colleges much cheaper than 4-year universities, this might be a good avenue for some as a start. No major is required, and you can start taking those required general education courses while you try and figure out what you want to major in.
It also would expose you to college life without the long-term commitment of a set-in-stone career path. It's a direction I'm sure some looking back wish they did instead of going right for an expensive 4-year college.
And don't forget, New Jersey also has fantastic vocational schools. College isn't the only route to take.
Don't rush it if you're not sure
The bottom line is not to rush it. It's a major decision and one that'll affect your entire life one way or another.
It's OK to take your time here and plan out your path carefully. In fact, I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self some of that advice above.
Don't sweat it. You'll figure it out eventually.
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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.