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How To Stand Your Opinion The Right Way
Today I would like to share a critical experience I had about a year ago where I had to make an unfavorable decision. But first, some background on who I am.
I am currently a 21 year old student who attends a large public university in California. I am in my 4th of 5th year in college studying economics with an emphasis in accounting. Right from high school I attended my local community college for two years prior to transferring to my current university. Even though it was looked down upon going to community college by many, I want to greatly thank my dad for pushing me into this direction. Not only did I save a monumental amount of money as I was able to afford my own personal and school expenses with my part-time job I had, but I also matured considerably. Growing up my parents had taught me to always be wise with money, I’m sure all parents tell their kids the same cliché quote “Money doesn’t grow on trees”. I was fortunate to always have support from my parents in most of my important decisions in life, however there were times where I had defend my argument and stand my ground against my parents.
The most difficult decision I had to make without the support of my parents would be to attend a large well-known university rather than choosing the easier choice of attending the local four-year university in town that was a significantly cheaper option.
Once I completed my two years at my community college, I essentially had three options of universities that I could attend. Option 1 was the local university that is relatively new and doesn’t have the exact major I was interested in, however I could still live at home and I would save loads of money. Option 2 was a university that had some prestige to it, but it was roughly a 45 minute drive to the school and another 45 minutes back to my house. The good thing about option 2 was that they did offer the major I was interested in taking, however the thought of commuting everyday was unappealing. The last option, option 3 was attending a large university that is just far enough away from my home that the only feasible way to attend this school is to live near the campus. Option 3 did have my major and had the most prestige out of all my options. On top of that, option 3 was a school that I originally got rejected to during high school, but accepted me after community college due to my excellent grades I earned in those two years.
My choice was extremely clear as I would want to go to the best school I got into, especially because I worked so hard to get accepted there. The only problem was that my financial aid covered half of my total cost to attend the school of my preference, which was great news to me, but not to my parents.
In my family, I am a first generation student who is also a person of color. This meant that my family had no idea what college was like, let alone the ability to provide accurate advice that could influence my important college decisions. It was tough to get to the point of my academic career I was immediately after community college, but I was naive to expect that the hard work was done. After talking to friends, coworkers, and multiple professors, I came to the conclusion to take the risk and choose my dream school.
Like I mentioned previously, the choice was pretty clear to me from the beginning, however my parents did not suspect I would actually be serious and decide to move out to pursue my academic journey at a large school. Maybe this could have been because I was a very reserved child growing up, I did not like to be put in situations outside my comfort zone and I had a close relationship with my mother, a “Momma’s boy” if you will. Nevertheless, I felt strongly about my decision and I kept my confidence as I argued with my dad about universities for weeks.
I want to make it clear that both my parents admired my ambition to continue to further my education and were happy that I was committed to it. The only real problem my parents had, specifically my dad, was that it would be a large cost that could be avoided had I choose the local university option. I justified that the larger cost would be worth it because the larger university has a rigorous program that has a large success rate in terms of employment and job satisfaction post-graduation. He was not convinced and had a firm belief that ” A degree is a degree” and no matter what that I will have a good job as long as I get a degree from a university. I defended my point and was just as firm and stubborn as he was, eventually I would move out three months to attend the school of my dreams.
One thing my dad was definitely right about was that going to a university like the one I choose, was pretty much just for the rich people. Even though I knew we didn’t have the means for me to attend this school out-of-pocket, I was confident that the loans I’d take would have to take out would be a quality investment on myself and my career opportunities. After my first entire year living on my own and attending the university full-time, I realize that the cost of living is extremely expensive, especially in California. I cannot even leave my house without expecting to spend money on simple things such as gas, food, and other household essentials. Gas prices are easily in the $3.50-$4 price per gallon here, that’s just too much in my opinion.
With the being said, living on my own has allowed me to finally feel independent and able to fend for myself. This is an accomplished feeling as I feel like I am now in full control of my life, no more suggested routes or mundane advice I had to hear frequently when I was living at home. Even though I know I have a long way to go, this taste of freedom is refreshing and gives me motivation to do my best everyday.
This sense of freedom did not come at a cheap price, my first year of university was an extremely rough experience as I suffered in both my mental and emotional health, but that is a story for another day.
Today I can look back on my decision and be proud of myself that I took the route that was disfavorable by the people that knew me the best of all, my parents. I am in debt of course, but I look at it as an investment that will open many doors in my future. I aspire to be a business owner one day, I’m currently taking additional business classes on top of my rigorous economic and accounting coursework to better equip myself once I have the time and resources to operate my business.
I strongly believe going to college is important, but more than anything, do what makes you happy. Don’t do something because it will benefit someone else. This seems obvious enough, but this includes your parents, don’t be afraid to speak up and express your thoughts, whether it is in your personal or professional life. People aren’t going to be able to guess what’s on your mind, if you let opportunities pass by you without taking advantage of them, you will eventually regret not taking as many opportunities as you could.
I recently lost a fair amount of money on a stock investment I made that didn’t go so well, but if i’m honest, I don’t regret making this decision at all. I learned a lot about how a company operates, regulations on the NASDAQ and how a reverse stock split is strategically used. I consider this a valuable lesson to learn and I look forward to invest again in the future.
Please feel free to ask me questions about anything! Whether that be college related or not! I feel like I may have some valuable information to share for those who are inclined to ask! I am an aspiring blogger so also feel free to give me advice or constructive criticism on anything, thanks!