I actually was asked this question yesterday, along with a whole slew of very particular questions asking for details of every aspect of college imaginable. The person asking was very curious, to say the least.
Not that it bothered me. I remember having all of the same questions. When you’re in grade school, the thought of doing school any other way just doesn’t make sense. So, allow me to shine some light on the subject.
First of all, you have to know that everyone has a different experience. Two people can live in the same dorm, eat the same food, participate in the same clubs, have the same classes, and still experience two different things. For this blog, I’ll share from my personal experience so you can at least have a picture of what to expect. Just know that you may talk to someone who says something different. I am also going to stay pretty general, that way if we receive more questions about one area, we can write a more detailed blog about that specific thing.
So, let’s get started! I went to Mid Plains Community College and Colorado Christian University. I have never lived in a dorm or been part of any clubs or teams. This is because my main goal is to receive an education and still graduate without student debt. This leads me to…
First lesson, college is expensive. You have to pay for classes, books, dorm room, food, and other fees if you’re part of any clubs. It’s nearly impossible to graduate debt-free these days. Nearly. To pay for school, most students accept scholarships and student loans, as well as work another job. You’ve got to learn quickly how to manage your time to balance it all, especially if you want to be on a sports team or speech club or anything else.
The nice thing is, you’re not at school all day long. You only have a few classes a day, and you’re usually done pretty early in the day so you have more hours to study and work a job. Some colleges, like Colorado Christian, don’t have classes on Fridays, so you even have a three-day weekend! The college will give you a list of classes you need to take before you can graduate. From that list, you get to choose which classes to take each semester so your schedule fits how you want it.
Depending on the school you go to, there will be more than enough clubs for you to join if you would like. Any interest under the sun – robotics, speech, sports, videography, hiking, or anything else! The more involved you are, the more you get to meet people and make friends. But also, the less time you have to study or make money. The nice thing is, you get to choose what balance is right for you!
Okay, okay. Let’s get down to what you’re really here for – the food! The answer is, yes. You have to pay for food. And trust me, it’s a real paycheck-drainer. Almost every school you’ll go to provides a variety of food for your breakfasts and lunches – all of which you have to pay for. You pay at the beginning of the year at the same time you pay for your classes and books, and you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the semester. Super easy! I have never paid for a food plan at a college, and I’ve saved a lot of money that way. Instead, I pay for my own groceries and bring my lunch to class. This is a much cheaper option, but does require more work and planning on your part. Again, you get to choose what is right for you.
So there you have it! The general overview of college. There are millions of details that could be included in each area, so if you have any questions, please let us know and we’ll write a blog specifically about it. I hope this explains some of the things you had questions about. No worries, there’s more to come!