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Transitioning from Unschooling to College

My name is Autumn Slage and I am 17 years old. My family and I began our Unschooling journey in the Summer of 2006, just as I was starting the 7th grade. Unfortunately, my 7 previous years included: Control, fear and lack of imagination. As you can probably guess, I am talking about the public school system.

I could probably take up pages on how the public schools affected my life negatively and mentally on a day to day basis and how I am now completely free of the unnecessary stress and control… but that’s a whole other article. Today, I’m here to explain to you my transition from being a full time Unschooler to starting College. Your probably thinking, wait. An Unschooler starting college? Thats crazy talk! Or, how did she manage to do that? Well hopefully all of your unanswered questions (and doubts) will be answered as you continue reading this article.

My first day of technical school was a little scary. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what to encounter. For all I knew, there could be evil teachers with rulers.. or students queued up in silent, straight lines. There wasn’t. Basically when I walk in everyday, there’s a big cafeteria with teens and adults chatting away. As I make my way to the elevators they have a security guard that asks to see your school badge. Then I finally take the elevator down to the basement were the 3D Animation room awaits me. My sanctuary!! Haha. I enjoy my class very much and am glad I decided to take it. I no longer have the fear that when I think of “learning”, in a place other than home, you are at school becoming a programmed robot. In reality, your learning everyday wether it’s the mistakes you make, or a simple trip to the library. Your minds constantly working and getting smarter as you grow older and wiser. Instinctively we want to learn. It’s how we are designed naturally.

Don’t get me wrong, I did have some road blocks along the way. One of the toughest things I had to accomplish before I could even start the class, was the TABE Level D. I was really anxious because I hadn’t taken a real “test” since 6th grade. I immediately raced over to Barnes and Noble the week before the test and picked up a copy of a book called TABE: Level D. I basically learned everything I needed to know for the test in a few days. Soon enough the day came. I was so nervous my hands were shaking. On top of that, I had to pay a $27.50 testing fee.. So I new I had to get this right the first time. I sat at the testing station for a good hour and a half. At the time I thought for sure I’d fail. Turns out, I was wrong on that…..I got all high scores. I was so proud, and felt as if a HUGE brick was lifted off my shoulders. It was wonderful!! I also had to have an interview with the instructor of the class. Not a problem either.

Starting college and being an Unschooler may be a little scary at first. Through your journey your confidence will grow and so will your knowledge. Both of mine increased tremendously. I enjoy what I’m doing and am looking forward to continuing a life full of doing what I love. I always like to say: “ Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” These words of Confucious are ones everyone should follow. Now please, go for your dreams and go with all your heart.

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3 Responses to “Transitioning from Unschooling to College”

  1. Kimberly Sharpe says:

    Awesome post, Autumn. Thanks so much for sharing and caring about the transition and hopefully giving others the information they may need to make this choice.


  2. kim leuzinger says:

    thank you for helping remind me that my daughter will be ok when she enters the college realm of her life! after all, its all about WANTING to, and LOVING learning…and that’s what you discover when not in public school system. great blog, keep up the good work!!

  3. irene says:

    I am so happy for your success! You have done a wonderful job and are a role model for other unschoolers!

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