Life After High School

Jorja and Priscilla (DO-IT Ambassadors and Summer Study Interns)

Most seniors in high school know college will be different than high school. The majority think that college will be much better. Some might be scared to leave home. However, the vast majority of students that move on to attend college are successful, as long as they keep one thing in mind, be responsible.

Responsibility is one way to become successful. As a high school student, your parents are the ones who mostly supported you. It changes once you're in college. For example, I, Jorja, was totally on my own. I had my own house, my own source of income, and had to figure out my own way of transportation, and among other responsibilities. I'm not saying this applies to everyone, but you might have some similar ones.

When going to college, there are certain things you need to prepare for. The first things that come to mind are getting the classes you want, the right books, and among other details. You may not think about your disability that prohibits you from doing certain tasks. That's where Disabled Student Services (DSS) comes in. They provide a way for students with disabilities to learn more easily.

Working with DSS might be a little scary. It was for me because I didn't know whether or not it would be a hard process. Also, I never had to describe my disability to anyone before. Once you contact the DSS office, it's a piece of cake. First of all, you need to be assertive; state your case. List your strengths and weaknesses. Between you and the DSS counselor, you should figure out what kind of accommodations you might need. Be open to suggestions. What you had in high school might not work in college. By trying something new lets you broaden you horizon in terms of accommodations.

It's best to build a relationship with your counselor rather than be demanding. Be kind and considerate if you don't get accommodations right away. It takes time. Some accommodations take longer than others. College classes are more difficult to some. If this is the case, you can't let yourself get down. Look on the positive side. When you need help with classes, or anything else, just ask. People are always willing to help. Also, allow yourself more time. Plan ahead. Don't wait until the last second to do things. It may work for a while, but it will wind up for the worse. The most important thing in college is to have fun. Do something you enjoy on a regular basis. Keep in mind that you need to have goals. Goals are what makes college worthwhile.