posted by At A Crossroads .
I am a senior rapidly approaching the end of my high school education. Of course college is on my rader.
I plan to go to double-major in journalism and art.
I want to get my bachelor's degree in journalism so I can become an editor. I can work this job from home while caring for my family, and it allows me the opportunity to get to know literary agents. That knowledge is key because it takes knowledge to get published, and I would like to publish a few of the novels I have written.
The other half of my major, art, was chosen because I spend a lot of my time sketching and drawing, and I would like to learn everything I can technique-wise. I would choose art as my proffesion, but I know that it is extremely difficult to make a living as an artist (or as a writer, hence the reason I chose editor as a career).
My parents encourage me attend college, but I am a Christian and have been homeschooled since grade school. Entering campus life makes me very nervous and, quite frankly, scares me. I do not want to do drugs, drink, or get pregnant out of wedlock. I know that I am naive and easily distracted from my goals, and I know online classes are the best way to gain an education without getting sucked into the mess that usually comes with college life. But with the courses I plan to take, can I do them online? Doesn't art require me to be there?
All this to say that I would like an opinion or several on this plan. Please comment.
Please, please, please -- do not consider an online college! We have seen a tremendous amount of questionable academics, little learning -- and no examples or student-teacher interactions.
Investigate your choices of
*State and private colleges with dorms set aside for serious students who don't want to be involved with alcohol or drugs.
Your parents and your faith have instilled in you strong moral principles and knowledge of right and wrong.
No student needs to be involved with the seamier side of some campus life.
You need to meet the world sometime. Now is that time!
You need to discover yourself, I suspect in two years at college you will realize you have no clue about your goals, or yourself.
I recommend do not focus on a major yet, wait a year or two. Art? Do you have any talent? Graphics art is a wide open field, however, you have to have natural talent.
Journalism...to be an editor? You need to relax, and not worry about a major yet. Worry about getting a broad liberal education first. Math, literature, science, composition. After a year or two you will have more perspective.
I do not want to do drugs, drink, or get pregnant? You have lead a sheltered life if you think this is what happens at college. College is for education. Don't believe all the stories you have been told. You can always say NO to evil, you don't have to hide from it. Fear college not.
Stay away from online grade mills,there are plenty of them seeking you and your money.
I appreciate the advice from both of you and think it is sound, but to bobpursley, I must say this(and I apologize if it comes across as disrespectful):
I know what I want to do, and I know that college is for learning. But I also know that it is easy to be sucked into the sketchy side of campus life. Those challenges may not be the only think going on at a college, but they ARE present. I am cautious. I am a little scared. I am NOT hiding.
I won't wait to decide my major. I don't want a broad, liberal education. I have trouble with math and science concepts. I excell in English and Art. That is what I want to focus on. My perspective is clear. I know what I want.
As to Ms.Sue's advice: Chrsitian colleges are expensive. State and private are better, but I am still an unemployed student. I am also one of six children. My parents say they will help with tuition, but my brother is only two years behind me, and another a year behind him. We are stair-stepped, all six of us. My parents say they will help us, and I know they will. But they cannot pay the tuition, even part of it, for all six of us. That is why I am cautious about college enrollment. On the flip side, a college degree is key to getting a good job. This is part of why I wanted an opinion. Should I get a full-time job and support myself finacially before enrolling? Or go to school and then get a job in my degree afterwards?
Go to school! Get a full time job later.
You can go to school full time and work at a part time job. Many students work at fast food restaurants and still carry a full load of classes.
Investigate scholarships and grants at several colleges. Consider small loans.
You may want to attend a local junior college for two years. They are usually cheaper and have the advantage that you can live at home.
Finally -- you probably wouldn't make enough if you got a full-time job now to save for a college education.
As I sit and contemplate what I could potentially add to what has already been written, I am brought back to when I was a young, naive 17 year old girl about to go to college for the first time. Unlike you I was not homeschooled, but I was from a small town, and was pretty sheltered from outside influences. I remember the excitement and fear about what might come in the future. It is from that experience I want to address two issues in your question.
The first is your fear of what will happen at college. No college, whether it be Christian based or secular, is free of temptation. Heck, there is temptation when you step out of your door or even go online. You can't hide from it. Online classes while they may keep you secluded, do not prevent temptation. I had so much fun at college. I went to a state university and learned so much not only about my major but about life. Life is about choices. You can choose to go to a college, secular or faith-based, and get in with the wrong crowd, allowing yourself to be tempted to do inappropriate things. You can also CHOOSE to go to any college, get a good degree, and when faced with any temptation, lean on your faith and SAY NO to the things you know to be wrong. There are a lot of faith-based groups and clubs on campuses. These are wonderful places to meet new friends and people who will support you through the college experience. Please don't forego yourself this opportunity to grow and experience life because you are afraid of what temptations might come at you. If you don't feel strong enough in your faith and beliefs to stand up for these things when faced with challenges, I encourage you to spend some time one-on-one with your Bible, and even maybe with a pastor so that your faith can see you through.
Secondly, your choice of major and college. As discussed above, a lot of online institutions are not accredited or even thought highly of in the academic world. Whether looking at a faith-based college or a private or state school, one thing is important. Where will you get the best education? This is in fact why you are going there, right? As far as major, you say you are sure about where you want to go. I wonder, have you spent any time talking to editors? I know my career choice is quite different but bear with me. I graduated high school thinking I wanted to be a research scientist. Very wise people in my life steared me in the direction of pre-med and I was forced to spend time with both researchers and physicians. I found myself drawn to a career in medicine. These careers while both rooted in science, have very different environments. The scientist often stuck in the lab, working hard to publish, not in the public view. The physician spends the majority of her time with people, attending the sick, working a large amount of hours. My point is, even if you know the general direction you want to go, until you really spend time with that career or in that direction, you really can't know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life.
In conclusion, I recommend a few things:
#1. Find someone who can guide you through this. A guidance counselor from a local school. A recent graduate you know who is in college or just finished. A youth pastor at your church.
#2. Think about taking a year off to discover more about yourself. You obviously are very nervous about how you will cope with college and your future. Why not take some time to discover more about yourself before taking that step?
#3. Don't pick a college or career based on lifestyle alone or what you think will keep you secluded and home with your family. Pick a college that will give you the best education and preparation for your future. And pick a career that you are passionate about.
#4. Don't let money stop you. My husband and I both had no money to go to college. There are enough loans, grants, and scholarships out there to get the job done. You may have to spend time paying things back, but if you get a good education, it is easier to do that.
Remember, the choices you make now will effect the rest of your life. If you aren't ready to make them, that is ok. Take the time you need to figure it out and get some good advise from someone you trust.
I just might. I just might.