Creating The College Mindset
Written by Mike DiAntonio
Middle school is a pretty weird time in everyone’s life. School is full of drama, homework always acting as a social inconvenience, and an ever-present feeling of angsty dismissiveness that turns each minor setback into a mile-long obstacle course. There can often be a “light at the end of the tunnel” mentality for students as they set their sights on high school, not really thinking of what comes after that. A few weeks ago, some colleagues and I sought to make that tunnel less about getting to the end, and more about beginning a journey toward a college education. We were fortunate enough to be brought into a college fair for a local middle school, where we would have the opportunity to plant a very important seed of thought: college can be, and is, for everyone. That morning, we as advisers were able to talk about our own college experiences and the countless opportunities that various colleges can provide. One of the most popular topics among students was the opportunity to study abroad; these students told us that they’ve never left their town, let alone travel to another country. After pooling our experiences and talking to them about England, France, Thailand and others, we had students ready to pack their bags and leave after the end of the school day. With no guidance, many students this age will think of college and shy away from the prospect of attending: time, money, grades, leaving home, and countless other factors come into play. However, through events like this, students can start to work towards real, tangible goals, and pursue a college education that works for them.