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The Kids' College Almana : Why Should I Think About College (part 7) - Life Opportunities

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Life Opportunities

When you think about college, you may think first about studying and preparing for a career. But college also enriches your personal life. It helps you make important transitions.

Living Independently

Like many students, you may find that your first real opportunity to live away from your parents and family comes when you go to college. You will have to take greater personal responsibility on a day-to-day basis.

For example, you may be used to someone asking you every day whether you’ve finished your homework. Maybe you’re not allowed to do certain things—watch TV, play computer games, talk on the phone—until your homework is done.

When you go to college, you probably won’t be asked about homework all the time. You won’t be told when to do it. Although you might like this freedom, you might find that being asked about homework helped you stay on track. Now you will have to motivate yourself to succeed. You will have to set your own schedule.

For every freedom that you gain, you also gain a responsibility. Learning to balance these two—freedom and responsibility—is just one part of college. But it is a very important life skill.

You’ll find lots of support at college for making this transition. Professors will tell you when assignments are due and exams are scheduled. And lots of college services will be nearby, ready to help you organize your time.

Establishing Goals

You don’t have to be sure about what you want to do after college in order to start college. But college gives you the chance to think about what is important to you and what you want your life to be like.

Starting college is like starting a new year and making resolutions. You may have goals that include preparing for a career, getting good grades, trying new activities, learning new skills, making new friends, or even learning for its own sake. Setting goals will help you get more out of the college experience.

Meeting a Wide Range of People

When you go to college, you have the chance to meet people with backgrounds different from your own. Your classmates may be from other parts of the state or country. They may be from other parts of the world. Their cultural or religious backgrounds may be very different from yours.

You will meet people of all ages with various points of view. Your classmates and teachers will have experiences different from yours. Therefore, you will be exposed to new ideas, viewpoints, and lifestyles.

You will want to think carefully about how other people’s perspectives fit with your own opinions, goals, and values. You will be able to use this experience to learn more about yourself and others.

And you will make new friends. Some of the friends you make in college may become important to you in other ways, for example, in helping you find a job later in life. Others will become lifelong friends, enriching your life for years to come.

Exploring New Opportunities

Perhaps the most exciting part of college is the chance to try new experiences. You can take some courses simply for enjoyment or to satisfy your curiosity. You can try a new sport—perhaps rowing or lacrosse—or a recreational activity that may not have been available to you before.

You may be able to perform in a play, work on a newspaper, or join student government. You might get involved in the college community, perhaps coordinating a food drive, helping build housing for the homeless, organizing a political rally, or raising money for charity.

You will have the opportunity to listen to and meet artists, journalists, political leaders, researchers, and others who visit the college. Some of the people you meet may be able to offer you advice about careers and maybe even a job! You may have the chance to travel, studying in other parts of the country or the world. Every day of college will provide new opportunities that will help you grow in new and exciting ways!

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