#IApplied: Students share their reasons for attending college

November was National College Application Month, when many high school seniors are busy applying to college. In celebration of their efforts, we asked current college students and recent graduates to reflect on their own experiences. They shared their thoughts about what motivated them to attend college and what kept them going when things got tough. This is the second blog in the series. Read our first installment here.

“I thought I was nothing and no one. I thought I was never going to amount to anything. And, literally, college was a complete door opener for me. It’s giving me knowledge, and no one can take that from me. It’s going to give me a career that gives me financial stability, and that gives me longevity and then I can financially support my family. College is really life changing.”

– Krista Fortenberry, Class of 2022, Linn-Benton Community College (Oregon)

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Garrinecia Singleton

“I understood that continuing my education beyond high school would open many more doors for me and my family because I am a first-generation college student. As corny as it may sound, college has fueled my need to make connections. Whether it’s for an internship, employment, group project, thanking the dining hall workers, or reaching out to a current professor, there’s something for everyone. Self-advocacy and building connections opened doors for me in high school, but college put that into practice.

– Garrinecia Singleton, Class of 2022, Rhodes College (Tennessee)

“College helped me get outside my comfort zone. It pushed me to uncomfortable spaces that allowed me to grow. It also pushed me to be a better advocate for myself, which is something valuable to take into the workforce and the rest of life.

– Beth Groves, Class of 2018, Greenville University (Illinois)

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Xavier Johnson

“In 2021, over 35% of the jobs on the market require a BA or higher. College has helped me develop my social and professional skills in a real-life setting.

– Xavier Johnson, Class of 2022, Clarke University (Iowa)

“Without attending college, I do not know where I would be in my personal and professional life. College,  saved my life. College opened my eyes to the endless possibilities and opportunities available to me. Without college, I would not have met my mentor, who helped me get my first job. I also would not be working on my master’s degree and serving as a Florida Gubernatorial Fellow. College is not just about what you learn in class. College teaches you relevant skills that you will use in every facet of your life. Attending college will teach you social skills and how to maneuver through difficult times and still get things done. It teaches your resiliency and the importance of investing in yourself.”

– Zenani Johnson, Class of 2020, West Florida State University; Master’s of Public Administration Candidate, Florida State University


Ready to hear from more students? Watch the recording of our #IApplied Instagram Live with current students Isabella Macias (University of Florida) and Nolan Henson (Central Michigan University).