The idea for this original series comes from a number of motivations, inspirations and conversations. The first, motivation, stems from realizing there is a responsibility to make whatever space is inhabited a better one when tools are available to be shared with people who are unaware such tools exist when it comes to making informed decisions. The second, inspiration, has to do with people who paved the way before. It is only right to continue their work. The last, conversation, has to do with dialogue with a respected person who tossed out the idea of creating an avenue to arm people with information and direction to guide them throughout their college journeys.
The love for television shows, while time is rarely spent these days watching television, contributes to the idea of presenting this as an original series. Shows like Narcos (1) and 11/22/63 (2) do a great job of storytelling without overdoing it. That will be the aim with this series. A great deal of the information in this series is readily accessible online and in print, but for people who would not know where to look, this will provide people with information in one spot. It can help lay the foundation to seek more information independently, as well as lead to questions for more information, or simply provide people with material to think. Basically, whatever’s clever.
In the context of this series, the setting for first-time college students apply to those attending 2-year colleges. The reasons for the series taking this approach will be given throughout season one.
Episode 1 – Venturing into The Unknown
June of every year is often the time when high school seniors put on caps and gowns, step on the stage, walk across to shake the principal’s hand, and get their hard-earned high school diplomas. Camera phones are flashing everywhere, loved ones are cheering endlessly with students taking it all in. Graduation day, aka #GradSZN, is all about them and, up to that point, their crowning educational achievement.
Some of those same students know where they are headed to college. Some of them are fortunate enough to have a concrete idea of what they want to study when they arrive on their college campuses. For the ones who fall in these categories, more power to them. For a young man or woman to know where they are headed and to be confident and self-assured enough to know what they want to study at a young age, it is certainly a blessing.
On the other hand, there are graduating high school seniors who haven’t thought much past high school. Sure, a significant percentage of them want to go to college, but they don’t know where. Some of them may have an even more difficult deciding where to go because they do not have the resources, aka, human capital, to help assist them in the process of going to college. The reasons are vast, but the reality remains that there are countless students who want to go to college, and simply do not know where to start.
The days continue to pile up and the same students who want to go, and don’t know what to do next, begin to panic. Questions of how school is going to be paid for, along with the basic steps of how to even apply for college, pile up at a rapid rate. Damn not knowing what to major in; there are students who don’t know where to apply, and it really isn’t about placing the blame on anyone or anywhere. Students and families who don’t know the steps to take for college need help. As someone who has been in the higher education game as a professional for 5 years and has gone through the rigors as a college student, it’s something that is commonplace: where to go, who to talk to, what to do, where to live. It would be one thing if this was something isolated; however, it isn’t and arming people with information, while doing so in a personable way to make students and families feel at ease, is one of the most effective ways to help first-time college students and their families make the leap from walking across the stage as a high school senior who had no fear to an incoming college student trying to find his or her way. The journey begins now.