The road to college is different for each person, including those in the same family.
When I was a high school senior, I was scared to apply to college. I didn’t know what to do. Although I was a good student, active in school and community, I didn’t know how to complete the college application essay. I froze. I applied to one college. The one that didn’t need an essay.
I’m able to admit all of that now. When my oldest daughter entered middle school, I knew I’d have to face this fear in order to help her. I wanted to make sure all of my children would have the help they needed to achieve the next step in their education.
Each child has their own path to higher education
I learned how to find resources for my oldest daughter by attending college information events and asking questions. These events can be very inspiring! When it was time to bring my younger daughter along, I was motivated to continue to find more ways to exposed them to opportunities. We all attended events and participated in workshops. I learned and continue to learn about the college going process.
Now that my oldest son is in his senior year, I’m learning to approach this process differently. This time we are taking things slowly, step-by-step. However, the goal is still the same – to attend college. I found that he and I were able to talk more when we attended events together, just the two of us.
How to help your children achieve the next steps in their education
- Start talking about college early. The earlier the better helps to normalize the thoughts and conversations about college. It also helps you to be prepared and take advantage of opportunities early.
- Attend conferences and events to expose your child and yourself to other careers and fields of study. Working in healthcare, I’ve learned there’s many ways to find a rewarding career besides becoming a doctor or nurse. Attending the Stockton Health Empowerment Conference will open your eyes to various healthcare careers.
- Gather up resources! The best book I can recommend is Flight of the Quetzal Mama by Roxanne Ocampo. I was so motivated after reading it, I found her blog and followed her on social media to keep up with the great info. Our family sought out more resources like the Ivy League Project which gave my daughters the opportunity to visit Ivy League Colleges on the East Coast. Now, with the Stockton Scholars program and our Stockton Unified School District providing more college and career readiness services, our families have many resources available.
Share your story
How are you navigating the college conversations? What was the conversation like when you were in school? Let’s talk about it! Sharing our stories help to show all the various sides to this process. We can learn a lot from each other.