Mistakes were made, but Jessica returned to college
By Jessica Kue, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
My senior year in high school was basically just a party. Honestly, I skipped a lot, thinking it wouldn’t affect my college future. I would give anything to start over.
A part of me was frightened of change and new responsibilities. I didn’t know what to do or where to start, so I kind of just faded away into my own little world. I rushed my way through college applications, not knowing what I’d do or where I’d go.
When I was accepted into St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota, I was shocked. I chose to go to the U of M not knowing what I was getting myself into. I did not think about all the financial parts of college and just registered last-minute and started taking classes.
About a month in, I was falling behind, so I dropped out. The stress of money for school was really bad, and my mom never wanted to me enroll because we had no idea how to pay for it.
About a year later, I enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, thanks to my mother. I had no clue about loans, grants, scholarships, or any type of financial aid, so my mom said that she would pay for my tuition
and that I only had to pay for my books.
I love her for the support, but I feel guilty and have asked her to help me take out student loans, yet she refuses. She doesn’t want to see me in debt at the end of college, plus she had already co-signed for my aunt’s student loan.
For the last three years, my mom and me have been paying out of the pocket. I do not have any scholarships or grants, but I am searching when I have time. I would love to do more, maybe study abroad, travel, live in a dorm or just be financially stable. I do wish I had gotten that college experience. But going to MCTC is the best path financially for me right now, and I hope to get into my career soon.
Paying out of the pocket means I need to work full time while being a full-time student. Trying to balance school work, my job, and social life is really challenging. If I had a choice, I would just be in school full time. I try to stay positive and focus and just hope for the best.