Overcoming the fear of college

By Meital Caplan
January 23, 2018

Markayla Epps is a OneGoal Alum who graduated from Chicago State University and is now looking to continue her education by earning her MBA. Here she shares her story of overcoming fear and self doubt to pave her way to success.


In high school, I had it pretty together. I was goal-oriented, got good grades and played volleyball. But I didn’t know a thing about college and that made the idea of college feel scary and out of reach at times. So when I learned about OneGoal, I thought, “Oh my God, finally!”

My Program Director Mrs. LaMonica-Weier did it all: she taught me about the program, talked me through financial aid options, helped me apply for college, the list goes on and on. OneGoal helped me focus on more than just picking a college but to instead think of what career I wanted to put myself in and find a college that would help me get there. If it wasn’t for that, I would have gone to college undecided, taking general classes and letting advisers decide for me instead of taking the lead in my future.

Still, there’s only so much you can imagine about college before you actually get there.

Starting my freshman year at City Colleges of Chicago Olive-Harvey College, I felt nerve-wrecked, excited and curious. I quickly learned that college threw you into the real world; you have to be focused all day, thinking about your next step, staying on track and doing what it takes to be successful after the four or more years of college.

Thankfully, I had Oudete from OneGoal to help me through college after freshman year. If I need something, she was there. She has shown me so much respect and has exposed me to so many opportunities to work for my success; she’s never just handed anything to me. She helped me believe in myself and now that I volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, I feel confident being a mentor to others. I show them that I can succeed so that they can believe that they can succeed too.

I’ve now graduated from Chicago State university, looking into Stanford Business School, and I still talk to Oudete almost every week. As a OneGoal alumna, I don’t have to stay in contact with Oudete or OneGoal but I chose to because she still helps me a lot, even though I don’t need it as much anymore. I don’t second guess myself anymore. I’m confident and believe in myself. I know how to network and use the resources around me. And now that I’m looking into the next unknown after graduation, I’m not scared.