The vision of college in the present vs. in four years
By Gissele Cuanenemi
As college application season came to an end, the Girls Write Now financial workshop helped me choose which college is best for me.
College is a transition from being a teenager to a step closer to becoming a young adult. Having the ability to have more freedom, and make friends on campus. Get the chance to live the life of the actors that we see in movies and how they are invited to parties. Making college some of the most memorable years. Though, yes, it is true all of those factors matter, the most important one that is left out of the equation is the financial aspect. But many seniors tend to forget that since they’re wrapped up in the idea of college.
Girls Write Now had many workshops that inspired my writing and connected it to my life. There was a workshop that was more focused on one’s financial goals and how one spends money on a daily basis. In the meeting, they had planned activities such as having a fictional college student and using a spreadsheet in order to see what she spends in a month. That activity reminded me of what I want to see myself do in the future when it comes to finances. When one thinks of having the college experience at first it seems fun and one would want to fully live it. It reminded me that without good planning, it could lead to my pockets crying by the end of my college years. I was stuck between two options: to go to college at Baruch College or St. John’s University. St. John’s was the full college experience that I had fantasized about and heard many good things about. It is known to have the full college experience like people see in the movies.
Meanwhile, Baruch was giving me a chance to go debt-free while receiving extra money for any expenses through one of their programs that I had been accepted to. Baruch is a public college, while St. John’s is private. At one point I had thought of the stereotypes that are between these two schools and they were influencing my choice—even though I was told it doesn’t matter what others say about the college that I go to because everyone will go their own separate ways in the end. I’ve also heard that it is hard to have a social life in a public school rather than a private one where they host constant events for their students.
When choosing a college, students like myself often throw themselves into the private ones. When making my college decision, I realized St. John’s wasn’t worth the money since my true goal is to go to medical school which is double the expenses. The financial workshop had made me view myself as the fictional college student we had made in the breakout room. After all four years and each year of increasing tuition, I’d have debt that I’d be stressed about paying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying private colleges are not the way to go— because they are for certain people such as people who would only go to school for those four years for a career they wish. Every person has their own point of view on working with money.
As I had to make my choice since the deadline was soon, I reflected on my main goal, and I am happier with myself for choosing a college that will help me and make my pockets happy. And so I am grateful for the Girls Write Now workshop since it ultimately helped me choose a college. I keep in mind that college is how one views it and the mindset that one enters. Whether I would have gone to a private or public college in the end I am glad that I had made a choice that was a smart financial decision and the best one for me and my future.
One of the Girls Write Now workshops that had inspired me to write this piece was the financial one, which reminded me how money is a big factor when it come to college and how it is easily spent. The workshop made me think as how I want to take charge of how I manage my money. I learned not only how to manage but how to invest money in stock, which I had gotten really interested in.
Gissele Cuanenemi is a New Yorker who likes to enjoy the city a lot. She likes to read a lot, especially classics and romance novels. She’s a coffee lover and she likes to take walks around the city surrounded by the tall buildings. Her goal is to get into a good college and major in neuroscience while also pursuing her passion for writing.