Dear Students, Listen Up

by Kaylee Chaffin 3 years ago in student

Don't coast...

Dear Students, Listen Up

One of the things I regret the most is coasting through part of middle school and all through high school. Putting in a little effort but not fully applying myself. I was homeschooled online, basically had to teach math to myself because there is only so much a teacher can do via live video and over the phone. I did very well in science and language arts/English though I will admit my grammar needs a tune up. Math, I suffered, or more like report card did. I could have tried harder; I didn’t apply myself like I should have. I was so afraid of my teachers because I remembered what it was like in public school where the teachers are often mean and don’t really treat you like you're human. I never really was subjected to public school teachers' wrath because I had been a good student. Now that I wasn’t, I was afraid that I’d finally get to experience that wrath. It took me until my senior year to get over that fear; turns out my teachers were awesome. My chemistry teacher was so patient with me and refused to get off the phone until I understood the topic at hand. I am still friends with my home room/biology teacher. I wish I had applied myself and gotten over that fear sooner. If I had, more than likely I wouldn’t have to take Math 023 as a college student. My math skills are so bad that I couldn’t even remember how to add fractions.

So, if you’re in high school or junior high and you're reading this, don’t coast. Give school your all because it's free until you graduate. I paid for a lower math course that I wouldn’t have had to take if I had been a better student. This is where I want to say that at my college each credit is $130 and it’s not university, this is a community college. No way I would pay more at university for the same class I could take at a more local/close to home college that is also more one-on-one than the teacher/student relationships at uni. Not to mention the $170 math book I had to buy, each semester comes out to around $2,000 assuming I take full-time 12 credits and add a couple hundred for books. It costs more if you need supplies like…a laptop. Yeah, it isn’t an essential, but I’ll vouch on the side any electronics company that it is incredibly helpful with essays. In high school they (teaching faculty) act like it’s going to be easy, going to college. For some it will be, even FAFSA can be easy, but usually there is a lot of paperwork. FAFSA will help you financially if you can’t pay yourself, but other than the grant chunk of it, you must pay it back after you're out of college for six months because if you’re like me, most of your financial aid is a loan. Not to mention that there is all that paperwork. After you apply for FAFSA you want to keep on top of it, because I didn’t. I got the impression from school that I’d apply then they would say yes and when the college requested the aid it would be done with. IT IS NOT like that at all. After FAFSA I had four more documents to fill out before I even got the money. I was unaware that this is how it went down so I missed a couple semesters I could have spent towards an Associate of science degree.

Well what if you don’t want to go to college? Why does high school matter to you? You could always go for straight C’s and still graduate. But if you do that you’ll still regret it. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky people who didn’t have to go to college and still make good money. Chances are you won’t. If you get straight C’s and still graduate great, good for you. But once you start college it all changes. In some programs you must have a GPA of 2.8 or your aid won’t apply. My friend’s college is paid for by the company her dad works for, but if she drops below a certain GPA she will get kicked out of university and she has to come up with how to pay her dues on her own. Wow, wish I would have done those inequality problems that were assigned to me in 10th grade. Maybe then I would know how to do it now and wouldn’t scramble to keep up.

I’m telling you, work for it. I used to think I wouldn’t want to go to college. By the time junior year rolled around I thankfully realized I would have a harder time in life if I didn’t go to college. Even a simple Associate's degree can affect your pay check to great amounts. Take advantage of your opportunities. I’m not telling you not to go out with friends or that it is detrimental to your future if you DON’T read chapter 3 of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. You're young, live a little, but you don’t have to party it up all week long. I have classes all week accept Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday, I do homework. Saturday is the day I go to a local coffee shop and listen to live music with friends, but that doesn’t start until 7 PM, so sometimes I go out with friends and sometimes I just stay home sleep or do homework. Maybe binge watch a little Netflix. It’s enough to keep me rolling. Ask for help; your teachers are paid to teach you. It just doesn’t come right out of your pocket until after you graduate. I guarantee they want you to pass because if you don’t, it looks bad on them. Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit it sweet.” Now…I’m done…wait…scroll on I’m going to add some more quotes about education I googled for flair.

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” -Brian Herbert

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein

Kaylee Chaffin
Kaylee Chaffin
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Kaylee Chaffin

I'm a young writer who is majoring in Biology but enjoys this and photography as a ruse to pass off time. I enjoy rock music above all and am particularly fond of 80's music.

See all posts by Kaylee Chaffin