College invites fears and cheers

College wasn’t easy for me at all, and even though I graduated from Westlake High School in 1994 with honors, I wasn’t ready for it.

My biggest fear in entering college was not having enough discipline to manage my time as a student-athlete. I was always the kid that ignored his parents and teachers when advised to “manage your time well.” Ironically, what I most looked forward to was the freedom and independence to do what I wanted and what made me happy.

What made me happy was to play baseball, and so that’s what I concentrated on to the detriment of my studies. I wasn’t a dumb kid. I was smart. Even so, I failed to apply the discipline necessary, and do what I needed to do, to maintain my status as a student-athlete. More specifically, I failed to manage my time well between what I wanted to do – play baseball, and what I needed to do – study and keep my grades up. As a result, I failed out of Georgia State University and Dekalb Junior College.

Lucky for me I had a second chance with the Chicago Cubs and was drafted again in 1996. It wasn’t until my career was cut short with the Cubs and I returned home to Atlanta, that I realized that in order to be able to do what I wanted to do, I’d have to balance discipline and also do what was necessary.

I recently asked our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors what their biggest fears were about attending college, as well as, what were they most looking forward to. Here’s what they had to say:

My biggest fear in attending college is being home sick and with regards to that, the distance between home and school is something I will be looking forward to and how it will effect me or will it effect me at all?

~ L.E.A.D. Ambassador Austin Evans, New Schools at Carver c/o 2015, Texas A&M University Fall 2015

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Austin Evans and CJ Stewart
I fear that I’m not going to be the smartest one in my classes. I’m looking forward to establishing and maintaining great relationships.

~ L.E.A.D. Ambassador Cameron Tucker, Henry W. Grady High School c/o 2015, Tuskegee University Fall 2015

My fears regarding college is the negative peer pressure from the upperclassmen. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and getting a great education.

~ L.E.A.D. Ambassador Desmond Jones, Benjamin E. Mays High School c/o 2015, Tuskegee University Fall 2015

My fear regarding college is being so overworked and stressed out that I develop bad eating habits and losing sleep. I’m looking forward to being independent.

~ L.E.A.D. Ambassador Jacoby Evans, Booker T. Washington High School c/o 2015, Georgia State University/U.S. Army

I fear while attending college that I will not make a name for myself. I most look forward to making everyone on campus love me.

L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct) is an Atlanta based non-profit organization that partners with Atlanta Public Schools to empower an at risk generation to lead and transform their city of Atlanta.