Enoch Jemmott wrote, “I came to realize that, in every step along the way, we had to do more because we had less,” which resonated with me so much because it is true. I had to insert so much energy, so much time, and so much sleep over the college application process because I didn’t possess the resources to assist me. I had to obtain my own resources whether they were my high school counselor, my teacher, or an online website. I dreaded the FAFSA because it was so long and so confusing. If it wasn’t for the FAFSA nights at school, I don’t know how I would have pulled it off. Furthermore, having parents who never went to college made the process so much harder because my parents didn’t know a thing about the FAFSA. Everything depended on me. I hated putting in the tax portion of the FAFSA because it was so complicated. Luckily, I knew where to find help. But even so, I had to do a lot of preparation on my own to figure out the FAFSA.
I realized that the FAFSA was not going to cover my tuition. I knew I wanted to live on campus, but my parents would not be able to help me pay for college. Therefore, I researched scholarships that I can apply for. Like many other first-generation students, I didn’t want to put the burden of paying for college on my parents. College is expensive and my parents were already working vigorously to make ends meet. I knew that I had to obtain my own way of financing my tuition. So I started applying for scholarships as soon as I started applying for a school. I submitted to over twenty scholarships. The process was exhausting because of all the different essays I have to write.
I want to end on a happy note. Even though the process is exhausting, the reward is worth it. The feeling of achieving something after so much hard work is satisfying. So for everyone out there who made it this far, congrats. If you are about to apply for college, I suggest you check out Fastweb, which is a website database that lists over millions of scholarships online. I highly recommend that you apply for local and community scholarships because you have a higher chance of getting chosen. These organizations offer scholarships to help students in the community.