My name is Ericka and I worked as a work study student in the College Prep Program on behalf of seniors in high school, helping them to complete goals to successful enter college! I believe my experience as an undergrad prepared me in so many ways and I would love to share this advise to students who will be attending college for the first time this fall.
I began my college career at Temple University in 2007. I am originally from a suburb in North New Jersey, so moving to a big city away from home was an adjustment. Everything was thrown to me at once, including meeting new people, large amounts of school work and being away from home in an unfamiliar place, and all took some getting used to. I even had to stop going to Temple University for some time because of financial difficulties to work and save money to return to school. Initially, I was sad that I had to move back home and leave my friends at school, but in hindsight I think leaving school was a blessing in disguise for me. I returned with a completely new mindset. I appreciated school a whole lot more. My grades improved, I became more involved, I implemented time management, got an internship, I started working and I made the Dean’s List. Going home and saving money to fund my education allowed me to fully realize the how valuable my college education was and how badly I wanted to complete my schooling. I am not the first in my family to go to college, but I am the first to receive a degree and that makes me and my family very proud.
If I had to give someone in high school advice about college would say that one of the most important things to do is to manage your time wisely! As a freshman I would often put my work to the side to do later, which left me with tons of work to do at the last minute. Also, get to know your professors, talk to them, visit them during their office hours, and ask for help when you need it! College can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. You’ll meet great people, learn new things, go places, and do things you’ve never done. Make sure you keep in mind why you are there. You can do all those things but you must also stay focused on you goal of getting good grades. Getting your degree should always be a top priority. Delayed gratification was something I had to learn. Sometimes you have to put the things aside that you want to do, like party, and do the things that you need to do, like study, in order to reach your goals. Temptation to do things that won’t allow you to reach your potential are everywhere, but you must stay focused. You’ll thank you self later.
Though, it took me a little longer to finish school, I’m so glad I stuck with it and finished. I most recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in African American Studies, with a Minor in Sociology. I hope to continue my education in graduate school for an MSW (Master of Social Work). Hopefully you can take something away from my story. I know you will do awesome!
All the best!
College Prep Program Work Study Student
For more information, please contact:
Free Library of Philadelphia
The Office of Public Service Support (TOPSS)
College Prep Program
1901 Vine Street, Room 5A
Philadelphia, PA 19103