Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

Latina In College: Take Control of Your Future

            With College Chica right around the corner I couldn't help but reminisce on my own personal experience with getting to college. Like most other young Latinas, the journey would prove to be a little bit harder than average. Most kids have the support of their family and even experience too much pressure with getting into a university by their parents. I had the exact opposite happen to me since neither of my parents graduated college. I remember all of my friends talking about the SATS, being on the wait list of their favorite university, and other things concerning their future. I remember feeling discouraged that I wasn't being proactive with my college plans, and even more upset that my parents were't pushing me to do so. Don't get me wrong- my mom and dad are extremely supportive and would be proud of anything that I did, but what the issue was that we never discussed my after high school plans. They expected me to go to a local community college and I knew I worked hard enough to get into a university. So I decided to take it upon myself to sign up for the SATS, gather recommendation letters and transcripts, and fill out as many college applications as I could. I realized that if I wanted to see myself succeed after high school I would have to take the initiative myself.

            It was scary taking on so much in the last few months of senior year (especially with the strict deadlines and tempting social aspects that come along with the last semester). I fought through the "senioritis" and had my eyes on the prize. Since my parents did not have an actual college fund set up for me I also had to figure out where the money would come from. This is also a HUGE obstacle for anyone, not just a Latina, to get through because getting that higher education definitely comes with a price tag. If you're seriously considering going to college DO NOT let money stop you from going further with your school. There are more than plenty of ways to figure out the financial aspect of it all. Plus, once you have your degree your chances of finding a good paying job than say someone who didn't attend college are a lot higher. 

            So, if you've considered going to college but see it as a long shot- think again! Even without the pressure from my own parents I knew I wanted to go to a university. Sure the process can be stressful and at times overwhelming, but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than the sun.  Remember to take advantage of the millions of dollars available in financial aid and refuse to become another statistic. Your future is up to one person only, and that is yourself!

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