PA Promise Makes University More Affordable

PA Promise Makes College More Affordable For Students So That Students, Like Me, Don't Miss Out On Attending The Best Schools For Them

Educate the state! Educate the state!

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I stand for those who missed out on a college experience because they could not afford one.

I stand for those that gave up education to work.

I stand for my young brother and sister in hopes that they won't need to be in the debt that I will be in.

I stand for PA Promise--legislation to ensure more affordable college for students like myself who had to give up their dreams to obtain an education.

My dream was to go to school in New York City and who could stop me? Hard work pays off, right? I guess my first mistake was assuming that a 4.0 GPA, two leadership roles, a job, and volunteer work does not count as hard work, but then again... I could just still be bitter. My dream was crushed when I got into all of my favorite schools, but could not front the bill. I knew instantly that this dream was about to die when I did not even know where I could get the deposit money from. To say that I was heartbroken and mad at the world was an understatement. With application deadlines from most schools quickly approaching, I knew that I needed a new plan--and fast. I clearly remember crying in my grandma's bedroom frantically typing "Cheap universities on the east coast". (And by cheap I meant ten thousand or more dollars a year) I can honestly that this was my first real, bitter taste of what it is like to have your dreams crushed because of something out of your control, and it sucked. It still does.

I was fortunate enough to have found the best possible alternative, West Chester University. After a "cheapest school in PA" search, a sloppy personal essay, and a quick visit to the school, I got accepted just in time and planned to spend my next 4 years here. As grateful and joyful as I was, the sting of being denied my biggest dream still stings. The worst part is, it did not have to.

With legislation like this being discussed, I cannot feel more compelled to speak out. Although the PA Promise Laws would not have prevented me from the college denial I faced, I can guarantee you that similar stories will no longer need to be said. Those that cannot afford college will have opportunities their parents never thought they could have. Hard-working, dedicated students like myself will find a purpose in their high school classes. My brother and sister can be excited about their future without the shadow of life-long debt getting in their way.

Education should not change the course of someone's life for the worst. If you stand with PA Promise, consider adding your name in support of my story and the thousands of others that don't get told here.

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On June 22nd I Celebrated My 22nd

*Insert cliche Taylor Swift song "22"*

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It's about time I turn 22. I've been told that after your 21st birthday, the years begin to fly past you in a blur. I don't know if I agree, but I can definitely say that I don't feel 22. Sometimes I look around at all the people who are freshmen in college, or juniors in high school, and I begin to reminisce about when I was their age. One thing getting older does do is make you a skeptical, cynical person.

I've thought a lot about my birthday as another day that I get to eat cake because let's face it, I'm not really here for anything else, except maybe a shot. I remember celebrating my birthday when I was younger was much different from what it turned into after I turned 20. Back in the day, I would celebrate my birthday with a pool party. Pizza, chips, cake, and soda. A few balloons and candles and that was it. I'd only invite my closest friends and we'd have so much fun.

I miss that kind of birthday. The kind you pick out an outfit for days prior, the kind you get so excited for and can't sleep, the kind that makes you feel special. It doesn't feel like that anymore. What it feels like now is, "welp, there goes another year." This line is also applicable to New Year's Eve, but we'll cross that bridge six months from now.

My birthday is pretty uneventful. It feels like the spark is gone, the excitement is gone. I wish I could feel happy that I'm turning 22, but I also know that it's just a reality that we all get older and things like birthdays begin to feel strange. You're faced to realize that you're supposed to have gained another year of experience and intelligence in the aspects of life, but it's almost like you feel the same.

It's safe to say that this has been a bit of an existential-crisis-themed birthday, but I'm just a little scared of getting older. I think we all reach a point where you realize you aren't invincible anymore. It's time to see what's in store for the future, what your career goals are, where you plan to move to after graduation, how to eat better, and how to feel like you've reached your full potential. It's a bittersweet moment in my life, but I'm ready to see what's next.

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Poetry On Odyssey: The Light That Is Manhattan

A poem about anticipation.

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Almost there.

The subway station is cold and narrow

But the staircase is just ahead.

No more corners, maps, or the like,

Just the light at the top of the stairs.


They say this city is filled with dreams.

Desires that may not even exist yet.

Dreams that have yet to be achieved,

or so the glow in front of me says.


The wonder builds as the ambiguous light at the top of the

Subway station stairs get brighter.

These steps are a two way street of

Excitement up

Fulfillment down.


May this light soon turn into

Roaring streets

Calm corners

Tranquil parks, and

dreams obtained.


The bright light I see in front of me is the glow of the city.

32 steps and I'm home.

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