No time is better than now

Michelle Verne

Student-parents at CSUN,

Reminiscing about the past and when I graduated from high school, I sometimes regret not making the decision to go straight to college.  Economically, times weren’t as tough as they are now but I still wouldn’t have been able to afford school and the responsibility of living on my own.  It’s hard to imagine the tough time young adults face now.  I’ve spent this past week talking to some of them about wanting to go attend college right after high school, but they just can’t afford it.  Most are currently working and living at home to help a parent whom has been unexpectedly laid off from their job.

They all agreed upon one thing and that is that family comes first and if they had to wait to go to college, they had no other choice.  They used me as an example of how they could have the college opportunity at any time, but now financial stability was most important.  At the time I agreed with them, later I had a different attitude.

What if the education they want isn’t there when they are able to make the decision to go to college?  The way things are going now who knows if the accessibility will even be there or how substantial the system will actually be.  Financial aid is available now, but could be cut and become more limited in the future.  The ability to get school loans could also become more difficult.  These situations leave those that are less financially inclined in the dust.  It provides a wider gap between the class systems within American society, making us more divided as a people.

I talked to those young adults again.  This time, I told them that maybe the answer isn’t in waiting for things to get better before they make the choice to live their passions.  Maybe they should start doing it now.  The excuses are there, but they’ll probably always be there.  Whenever one tries to accomplish something exceptional, challenges block the way.  Yes, you can look at me as an example, but I have regrets at not doing this sooner, especially before I was middle-aged with three kids.  Hopefully now they have a different outlook.