Meet Annaesia

I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.

Grades

“I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.”

When I was a junior, I was expelled.

Grades

“When I was a junior, I was expelled.”

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I didn't know what I wanted to do.”

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I don’t really put myself out there a lot.”

I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I’m very proud to say that I’m doing very well.”

I went to school for practically nothing.

Cost

“I went to school for practically nothing.”

Money is out there to help you—just look.

Cost

“Money is out there to help you—just look.”

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

Cost

“It was stressful but rewarding in the end.”

I wanted to be a teacher.

Cost

“I wanted to be a teacher.”

I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

Cost

“I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.”

It hits you at once.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“It hits you at once.”

I wasn’t sure what to do.

Cost

“I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Everything was in fine print.

Cost

“Everything was in fine print.”

I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.”

I had to deal with a lot all at once.

Responsibilities

“I had to deal with a lot all at once.”

I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.”

It pretty much gave me a full ride.

Cost

“It pretty much gave me a full ride.”

People are willing to help if you ask them.

Cost

“People are willing to help if you ask them.”

I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was intimidated since I was undocumented.”

My father did not want to help me.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“My father did not want to help me.”

I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I have a good chance of becoming more stable.”

Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“Leaving the reservation is a huge step.”

Meet Annaesia

 

It was all there in the FAFSA.
Completing the FAFSA wasn't difficult for Annaesia, and she found that it really paid off.
I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well. (1:35)
After her mother died and Annaesia quit college, her sister inspired her to return.
I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.
Now Playing
Financial aid is a lifesaver. (0:37)
Grants and loans are making college possible for Annaesia.
Financial aid is a lifesaver.
Now Playing
It was all there in the FAFSA. (0:39)
Completing the FAFSA wasn't difficult for Annaesia, and she found that it really paid off.
It was all there in the FAFSA.
Now Playing

Snapshot

Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Accounting
Family income
$10,000–$20,000
College
Public two-year college
Published yearly in-state tuition and fees
$4,642
Favorite music artist
Tupac Shakur
Two things she can’t live without
Books and pizza
Dream job
Motivational speaker and civil rights leader
When she lost her mother, Annaesia dropped out of college. But after taking some time off to face her struggles, she realized she couldn’t be a role model for her sister unless she went to school.
Her obstacle 

Annaesia had just started her first semester of college when her mother passed away. The unexpected loss was so overwhelming that she just stopped attending class and went to live with an aunt in another state for a year. She felt her life was over, that she had lost her “spark,” and although she eventually found a job, she could not even think about school.

In the meantime, Annaesia’s younger sister was finishing high school and considering the army. Annaesia disapproved and felt strongly that she should attend college instead, but her sister pushed back because Annaesia herself wasn’t enrolled. She recalls, “It just really got me started thinking about the direction of my life . . . [and how] to mentor my sister to do the right thing.” But Annaesia was unsure about how to return to college after a two-year absence.

How she overcame it 

Annaesia was fortunate that her sister had access to a guidance counselor who could answer questions and advise on the financial aid process. “That high school resource really helped. [It was] much easier than doing it on my own after being away.”

As she learned to ask for help, Annaesia realized that she wasn’t expected to know everything and that there were counselors ready to lend assistance at her college as well. “I was always taught no one’s going to help you unless you help yourself. But it was quite the contrary . . . you just have to go and get help and overcome that [intimidation].”

Her school even offers a class specifically designed to help students get used to college life after time away, which she has found very helpful.

Life at college 

After re-enrolling, Annaesia decided to ease back into college by taking general-education requirements. “If there was a class that I fell in love with along the way,” she decided, “I would try to tailor my major around that.” She discovered she has a way with numbers and an interest in math and economics, so she has chosen to major in accounting.

Annaesia credits college with playing a huge role in how well she’s doing overall. She’s enjoying the success that’s come with her hard work and perfect attendance, including straight A’s. “It’s easy for people to go down the wrong path . . . education really helped me find myself.” She plans to transfer to a four-year college with a large campus. And while the size is a little frightening, she hopes it also means there will be more support available.

Returning to school has completely transformed Annaesia’s outlook. She now describes herself as dedicated, adding “I’m ready to get out there and show the world what I can do.”

Freak-out moment? Take control.

[field_how_headline-raw]

Break It Down

Think of the college application process as just a lot of little jobs spread out over a long period of time.

Make a To-Do List Daily

Put things that are most important at the top and do them first.

Be A Taskmaster

Set up a time budget and plan your activities accordingly. Figure out how much free time you have each week before adding any commitments.

Just Do It!

Wasting an entire evening worrying about something you’re supposed to be doing isn’t productive, and can increase your stress.

More tips: Time Management Tips for Students

If you're like Annaesia

 

Take a next step

Get started with these ideas.