As you get ready to consider if college is in your future, you might find yourself asking questions about college can actually do for you. If you were like me, college was always in the cards, but you did not really know what you wanted to do. Or maybe you are like my brother. He is 16 and does not want to do college; he would rather become an apprentice and learn a trade. Or maybe you do know exactly what you want to do, you have your degree all picked out and you cannot wait for the first day of classes. I am not here to tell you if you should go to college or if you should do something else. All I am trying to do is paint a picture of what college might be able to do for you. There are so many opportunities at Grove City College and you will have so many chances to grow. You do not stay the same person from when you graduate high school to the time you enter the working world. Everyone’s path looks different. That is why I wanted to ask some students how their perspectives have changed over the years. How have they grown? What has a college experience shown them? Are they ready to graduate?
A Bit About Me
In order to understand my mindset about graduation, you need to know a bit more about me. I graduated high school in May of 2018 and started attending Grove City College in August of the same year. I entered college as an English major and have remained so over my years here, but that is not how it is for everyone.
I was homeschooled my entire life and split my time between my mother’s instruction and homeschool co-ops. For anyone who does not know what a co-op is, it basically is a group of homeschool families who get together once a week, pool their specialties and teach everyone’s children like regular school. Then the rest of the week, parents help their children complete the homework. When I reached my junior year of high school I started attending classes at our local community college for dual enrollment. This meant that I graduated high school with about 32 credit hours (or almost my associates degree). I could have transferred into the College as a sophomore but my parents (and admissions counselor) felt that it would be more beneficial to enter as a freshman. I will not get into all the boring details, but essentially it meant that although I would enter as a freshman, I had enough credits under my belt to graduate a year early, as a junior.
I have asked some of our freshmen students to give me their perspectives on college. Although they have only been attending Grove City College for a year, so many of them have already grown and changed so much. Whether that be changing majors or simply solidifying their desire to attend college, these students are raring to go and are excited to spend the next few years at Grove City College.
Grant Baughman is freshman, class of 2024 student. He told me he is currently in the process of switching majors from Biology/Health to Exercise Science and adding a minor in Nutrition. He had a loose idea of what he wanted to do after school: physician’s assistant, and is now considering working with people on diet, exercise, and one day hopefully owning his own gym. Grant had an excellent piece of advice to give, “One thing that I wish I could have changed so far is not coming in with the mindset that this is going to be a breeze, because it isn’t. College really makes you think about what you want to do for the rest of your life. How much you put in you will get out of it. The hard work has to be there from beginning to end to really get something out of the college experience.” This is so poignant at any stage in life, but especially those considering school.
Next I talked with Ellis Shelton. She is an English major, also graduating 2024. Currently her job goal is editing for a publishing company. She has also really enjoyed getting deeper into her areas of interest with the classes she’s been taking. Creative writing and literature classes have only deepened her love for the subject and while she was originally worried about the work load, she has found it to be quite manageable.
Gianna D’Amato was the next student I interviewed. She is a freshman Bio/Health major and recently added a Biblical and Religious Studies minor (BARS minor). Since picking up a BARS minor, Gianna has been leaning towards working in the medical field but also incorporating ministry into her job as well which is an excellent example of how college can help you hone your dreams and ideas into a viable career. She has been learning so much and is excited to keep at it!
Lastly, I talked with Andrew Bergey. He is a freshman Electrical Engineering major with a Robotics minor. He is “look[ing] forward to continuing to learning, hanging out with, and just doing life with a group of my friends and peers. I’m not exactly sure what I thought college would be [like] but I wasn’t very surprised by how my experience has gone so far other than COVID of course. I have definitely enjoyed my time at college, I have a good group of friends and keep meeting new people.” He would tell you to not be afraid of getting involved with campus groups since there are so many unique groups available on campus!
A quick side note
All of the students I talked to throughout this four part series, when asked what they would change about their college experience, expressed a desire to no longer have to deal with COVID. However, not a single one of them has been resentful about this issue! All of them have expressed that it would be nice to return to normal someday but that they are still enjoying their time here and thriving despite the changes! So, if you are worried about not having a good time while in the midst of a pandemic, all of these students have something to tell you!