Am I Ready?

December 1, 2008
By Kirsten Prost, Nashotah, WI

How does anyone know they’re ready for college? College cannot be compared to anything done in your first 17 years of life. You have your own building full of kids your age, no parents, and teachers who don’t even know who you are and don’t care if you show up for class. You’ve got infinitely more chances to get in trouble, but you’ve also got infinitely more chances to start becoming an adult and building a future for yourself. I recognize this choice and because of this there is no way I am going to chose the former.

My plans are to graduate in January, study abroad in Australia, then attend college. Early graduation for me means I can go down to Australia without worrying about taking typical Wisconsin public school classes, like gym, that are needed for graduation. It’s exciting that I’ll be able to take whatever classes interest me and learn about whatever intrigues me.
Living and studying in Australia is one huge step in my college preparation process that I’m thrilled to be receiving. There are things I’m going to have to do down there and then in college that I’ve never done before. I’ll be 12,000 miles away from home, which will make a 1,000 mile distance between college and home a pittance. This means when I’ve got problems, I’ll have to solve them. In Australia, I’ll be essentially independent of my parents. Similar to college this means I’ll have more chances to misbehave. Instead, I plan to use this opportunity to prove myself a responsible adult. I’ll be managing a budget. It will cost $250 per month for the six months in country. All of that money had to be earned by me before the trip. While I’ve never created a budget, I will have to do this for my Australia trip. A personal budget is another thing I’ll have to manage for college. In Australia, I won’t have the lifeline I currently enjoy - a cell phone to keep in touch with family or friends. Occasionally I’ll be able to use the Internet, but that’s it. Other people might be nervous about cutting ties and forming new ones like this. I’ve never moved, never been in a situation where I’ve known no one, and never been away from home for more than a week. Instead of apprehension, I feel a sense of adventure. Australia and college will give me the opportunity to be whatever and whoever I want to be -- the potential for so many great things to happen is endless.

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