Added: Chelsae Wilkerson - Date: 11.12.2021 06:09 - Views: 12210 - Clicks: 3255
Of course I knowI wanted to counter. That was all changing in the drafty hallway at the small university 45 minutes from my hometown. I was dropping out. Everyone did, right? But what awaited me on campus was not reinvention. I was toggling back and forth between being a student and commuting 45 minutes to my off-campus job. For the first time, I encountered adults older than me who asked me why I was working so much and not focusing only on school.
I was severely depressed but had no language to explain it, and subsequently felt isolated and lonelier than I ever could have imagined feeling in spaces where I was perpetually surrounded by people. Of course, there was a little more to it than that: I had the privilege to move home until I figured out what I was doing.
But in that moment when I dropped out, I felt like I had ruined my life before it had even begun. In retrospect, the pressure to have my life figured out, sealed and ed on the dotted line for student loans by 18, still feels unrealistic and insurmountable, but familiar enough to remember the ache of thinking it was all downhill from here. Instead, I was doing something every young person should have the opportunity to do, especially in college — building a life that felt more like me.
Among all Americans over the age of 25, college graduates are just shy of the majority. But the share of young people attending colleges is rising steadily with the big exception of the pandemic — from toenrollment of those under 25 increased by 11 percent. Among those who attend, leaving school is a strong possibility: A whopping 40 percent of students drop out, sometimes because of financial pressures and needing to work, or lack of support and feelings of isolation.
Barriers to staying enrolled in college impact low-income and first-generation students, in particular, with systemic inequality embedded in degree attainment. A report thoroughly debunked the myth of every college student being a recent high school graduate: Around 41 percent of college students in were 25 or older, despite many universities being slow to accommodate needs that make education more accessible to them, including child care, flexible class schedules, and more expansive financial aid and payment plans.
According to a survey of 86, students by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, 56 percent reported experiencing housing insecurity in the year. And success looks so different today, and even the idea of success is super diverse today.
Rebecca, who went from community college to a four-year college and is now in graduate school, likened college to a popular conception of marriage, in which your partner is supposed to be everything — the love of your life, your best friend, your therapist, your financial support, your whole world. Louis, and a specialist in college mental health, medical education, and physician wellness. More from the Schools Issue. When I dropped out of college, I was sure I had decimated my future with my own uncertainty.
Goodbye, I thought, to the chances to try new opportunities, or courses of study, or meeting new people. The expectations felt insurmountable.
But eventually, I found my footing. I took online classes with classmates who were both younger, freshly out of high school, and older, midway through careers or during retirement — an experience I loved.
But my experience set me up for the kind of adulthood I embraced, not just one I thought I should aspire to: Deciding to finish college a different way gave me the opportunity to have dreams beyond just getting through. Students I spoke with described opting to take gap years, working full time instead, or pursuing a couple of classes at a time while they continued working as opportunities to craft a college experience that fit with their lives, rather than them working to fit it.
Colleges need to do their part, too. Instead of students working to fit their lives into the confines of a specific experience, these institutions should work to meet students where they are — particularly those who are working, parenting, or caregiving, who are first-generation or low-income students, or who are experiencing basic needs insecurity. That means acknowledging college students have lives and identities beyond school.
During my college career, I was hustling, I was achieving, but little of it was driven by curiosity or exploration, two things I thought college would provide in spades. And I was a white, privileged student with a job.
First-gen students, low-income students, students of color, students who are queer, and otherwise marginalized students all face challenges that often go undiscussed, because our society still believes that as long as we get them to college, the rest figures itself out. There are a lot of moments I remember from college. The college experience has changed. Rainesford Stauffer is a writer and Kentuckian. This essay has been adapted from her new book, An Ordinary Agereprinted with permission from HarperCollins.
Identities For protesters, trauma lingers long after the marching ends. Delivered Fridays. Thanks for ing up! Check your inbox for a welcome. required. For more newsletters, check out our newsletters. Give Give.Looking for college girl good time
email: [email protected] - phone:(159) 605-9060 x 6916
Connect to Colleges