People say going to college will change your life and that everyone should have the chance to challenge themselves with a college experience. But my parents never had that opportunity; they didn't have the money or family to help or motivate them.
All during high school I wondered if I would go to college, if I would have what my parents never had. I would think about my future, about college, and what I wanted to do when I grew up. But then there were thoughts of not going, of believing what others said about college and thinking I had no chance to go.
As I reached the end of junior year, I knew I needed to make a decision. I didn't have money and knew my parents didn't either. Times were hard, and I needed to decide soon.
One day I was having a conversation with my volleyball coach. We talk all the time, but that day college was the topic. She knew I was having doubts about going and that my family had few resources. What she told me was incredible. Thoughts flew through my mind about what I wanted to become and what colleges I might be interested in. She mentioned things that I had no idea about, like scholarships and financial aid that can help you pay for college. All of this information inspired me to continue. She told me about her college experience and all the fun times she'd had. She told me not to miss out on it because I would regret it.
This conversation changed who I am today. It made me feel comfortable with myself and helped me believe in myself. If I hadn't talked with her, I don't know where I would be today. I now want to make something of myself. I want to become somebody that I wasn't before. I want to go to college.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.