Carla Villanueva UO

Am I smart enough to go to college?

Carla VillanuevaFor Teens and Parents Leave a Comment

Admitting My Fears

I never thought that going to college was possible for me. I am a first generation Latinx student, I went to a traditional public high school, I just didn’t think I was smart enough to do anything beyond high school. My parents were really afraid of me going to college and getting into debt. They wanted more for me, but their fear meant that I didn’t get very much support from them. My own basic fear was that I wasn’t enough. And I had a list of other fears too: I wasn’t privileged, I couldn’t afford it, I am not smart enough, I will fail, I will be embarrassed, I don’t know what college is or how hard it will be, I am on my own, no one has ever done it in my family,  what are the rules, I have family obligations, I’m Mexican, I have to work and help pay bills, is college even available to someone like me? Have you ever felt like that or have asked yourself some of those questions?

Believing In You

Well guess what, you are not alone and you are not the only one who is feeling this way. I found a lot of support but a few people really made a difference in my journey to college. One person was my high school counselor. That guy saw potential in me and believed in me in so many ways that I can’t thank him enough. He never gave up on me and he was the one that planted that “college” seed. He took us on college tours and helped us find scholarships. Another person was my high school science teacher. He wrote me this amazing letter of recommendation and always had my back when it came to school but also when it came to my personal life. My best friend who I have known since kindergarten was also there for me. She made me realize that we were all scared of going to college but that I would not be alone in this journey. It sure did take a village for me to work up the courage to apply to universities.

When my college acceptance letter came, I still wasn’t sure about going. My sister, who is the oldest out of us 5 kids, sat me down and said, “You are going to go because you are smart enough and this is your ticket out of this town. I will always be here for you.” Remember how I mentioned those family obligations? They are not your responsibilities and you deserve the chance to work on your own future. I’m not sure who needs to hear that, but I know that I did, and my sister was the one who gave me that peace of mind.

Lessons Learned

I did go to college, and then I epically failed my first term. I wasn’t prepared, and I felt so embarrassed. I knew nothing about credit loads and how much time it would take to study. High school had not prepared me. Because I was on Academic Probation, I was forced to meet with my college advisor. I didn’t even know I had an academic advisor or what they did. She said “Carla, taking 17 credits your first term was a heavy load. Let’s try scaling back to 12 credits next term and see how you feel.”  She didn’t let me walk away or give up – she helped me with all sorts of resources and finding the right classes, and she told me that I could do it. And she was right. 

Opportunity for You

So why does all this matter to you? What if I told you that you have an amazing opportunity that you should take advantage of, an opportunity that I did not have because early college high school programs did not exist when I was in high school?  What if you had high school alternatives so that you would be more prepared once you got to university? 

What if you could:

  • Try college for free
  • Earn some college credits or a certificate, or better yet, an Associate Degree all while completing your high school diploma
  • Have a flexible school schedule so that you could work, do sports or just have some free time
  • Have a whole lot of support while trying college out
  • Still live at home and have your family support so that you are all learning together and facing fears together
  • Be 17 or 18 years old and earn an Associate Degree in high school so that when you are done with high school you could have a decent job or 2 years of college classes completed that count towards a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Not be in college debt like I am (and thousands of students across the country)

What if:

  • You didn’t make the same mistakes that I made because you have experts that are going to make sure you are successful? (It sounds a little less scary right?)
  • You didn’t have to go to that traditional high school where you are constantly fending for yourself 
  • You didn’t have to go to that traditional high school where you are told that you aren’t smart enough?

What if I told you that it exists and it’s called Early College! Not many people know about this amazing FREE opportunity! I know it sounds like it’s too good to be true but it’s real, and Jump Education is here to help you. Check out our Teen and Parent page to see what other teens and parents think about trying Early College. We are here for you and we want to see you be successful financially, academically and mentally. Let us help you to have a better future. Let us help you be the first one in your family to go to college and not be alone! I am here for you and I believe in you!

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