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College Graduate - Toni V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     For high school students, it’s never too early to start thinking about what to do after high school.

Toni V., 25, decided to go to Plattsburgh State University and found college life very interesting.



Why is it so important to go to college?

Education is critical. I have seen many who didn’t go to college get laid off in their late 40s and be stuck without any job. Finally, their alternative is to go to college, but I think going to college early on is the best decision.



What did you study in college?

I have my bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, and for my master’s degree I studied school counseling.



What helped you decide what to study?

I have seen many high school students who don’t have positive role models. They are left without someone to turn to, so I want to be there to help them. That’s why I decided to study psychology and school counseling.

What do you think about your college life now?

College was stressful. I graduated high school young, entered college when I was 17, and continued full time until I graduated with my master’s degree six years later. I worked at a restaurant 30 hours a week, too, so I never took a break. I found it difficult to balance my time, but when I look back there’s nothing I would want to change because that crazy lifestyle is memorable.



What do you think is the difference

between life in high school and college?

In college you have to be more responsible. Decisions are yours to make. There is no teacher to tell you what to do, but the good news is you get to choose which classes to take, so they are interesting.



What were your college goals?

Graduating was my long-term goal. Short-term goals included finishing projects on time, keeping appointments, doing well in classes, and making it through the week.

You said it was difficult to balance your time, so why did you waitress at a busy restaurant?

I was required to attend counseling conferences for school and I needed to dress appropriately for my internship. Plus, I rewarded myself with vacations. These things cost money and I don’t like being broke. Therefore, I had to manage my time well so I could include studying and working.



What did you like most about college life?

Feeling like I accomplished something. I am proud of myself and the people I met there were very nice.



How do you apply your knowledge from

college to real life?

By taking counseling courses, I have learned how to talk to people about doing things that are beneficial for them. In my non-counseling life I am now able to convince people to do things. For instance, if I want to go to the movies, but my fiancé doesn’t, I can use my counseling skills to convince him to go.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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