I’m going to be a senior in high school next year. Hola! And I’m trying to make plans for college. Four generations of my family have gone to BYU and it’s an expected thing that I’ll go there, too. The education is great, the price is great but I’ve lived in Utah my whole life and I have secretly dreamed of going to school back East. My parents worry that I’ll drown in college debt or leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with so few members around. I know a lot of people who go to school away from home and they’re fine. How can I convince them that I’ll be OK?
Your parents have a point with college debt. Student loans are the worst. But, if your dream is to go East, you can definitely make that happen. Parents like to see a plan, so put one together. Find scholarships that will help with school and apply for them. Look for grants, fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid and know everything there is to know about financial aid so you can be like, “Yeah, it’s expensive, but this is how I’m going to pay for it.”
Do the same thing with the church aspects. All of my siblings and I went to school in the East where the Latter-day Saint communities were small, and we had varied experiences. Reach out to the schools that you’re interested in and find out who the Latter-day Saint Student Association representatives are. Ask about their activities, the bishop, where the nearest temple is, etc., then tell your parents. People tend to doubt and question dreams, but when you have a strong plan it’s like WHA-BAM! And they can start to see and believe in the dream, too.
Where you go to school is a big choice, so stay close to the Lord, be prayerful and work with your parents to make a good decision.
Readers: Did you leave home to go to college? What was your experience like?
Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Mormon experience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: askange_column