Tell us a little about you
Hi, my name is Bintou I was born and raised in The Bronx and I am currently a Sophomore at The City College of New York as an Undecided BS student, though I'll likely major in Jewish Studies.
Can you describe the highs and lows of your college experience?
My transition from high school to college has been relatively smooth, I consider that as a high in my college experience because of all the stress and time I put into the college application process. Another high would be the ability to experiment with ideas, hobbies you've never experienced before.
A low in my college experience is the lack, or more precisely, difficulty in building a meaningful relationship with a Professor, especially a STEM professor, I perform better in classes when I have an open line of communication with a Professor, and unfortunately most Professors are too busy to develop these type of relationships.
What was most stressful to you about paying for college if you could pick out one thing? Why?
The most stressful part about paying for college is finding out how and where to get the money to pay for college. Looking for loans is harder than looking for a needle in a haystack and it's sad that there really isn't much guidance or help when looking for loans, jobs, interest how to build a savings account, and how loans can affect your outlook in life. Also the sudden transition from being a dependent child to an adult is overwhelming and stressful and it is not a transition that should be taken lightly students need to be taught about the relationship with paying for college and become an independent being.
Who helped you navigate paying for college?
I got help from my college counselor when I was creating an FSA ID towards the end of my junior year in High School, but was left to my own vices,when it came to the FAFSA and college financing my senior year. We were given contact information for the counselors but most of the time they were busy and inaccessible because they each had 300+ students in all grade levels to counsel.
What are you majoring in? What has been your favorite class?
Since I am undecided I am considering Physics, because I enjoy being challenged and have a natural interest in the STEM field. Or Jewish Studies.
What do you hope to do with your career?
I hope to become either a Biophysicist or a Gynecologist.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy playing football, and I recently discovered my interest in classical literature and theater, and plan on joining a Theater club at my school. On the weekends I like to relax and try my best to reduce stress that built up through out the week. So that I can better enjoy my college life.
What is your biggest piece of advice for college so far?
Do not go in expecting everything you think is true, being open minded is key to success in college, never miss out on new opportunities because of prejudices, stigmas you or others around you have associated with them. Always follow your instincts especially if they scare you because you never know unless you try ( More than once!)
Why do you like about being a NextGenVest Money Mentor?
I enjoyed being a NextGenVest Money Mentor because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, made me more comfortable, and confident with my communication skills as well as myself. It also made me feel great knowing that I am helping students avoid experiencing the frustration and stress I felt when I was applying for college
What's one thing that you learned while being a Money Mentor?
One thing I learned while I was a NextGenVest Money Mentor is that you are able to write a financial aid appeal letter, something I've never knew, but wish I knew when I was going through the college application process.