In this article, we will be discussing some of the different considerations that you should remember when deciding if you should go to college.
Nowadays, after graduating from high school teenagers are expected to jump right into higher education – typically college, or sometimes university – and although this has been expected, it’s not the only route that you can take. There’s no doubting that deciding whether or not you should go to college is a big decision and requires a great deal of thought, although as a student you should also be aware of the other options that are available.
Why You Should Go to College?
Many people have the mindset that they have to go to college and they never take the time to think that other options are available, while others are borderline and don’t know whether or not they should send their applications in. However, below we have listed some of the reasons that you should consider going to college.
It’s no secret that with higher education on your CV there is a wider selection of jobs available that you can apply for. In this sense, you can think of the college degree that you receive at the end of 4 years as a “CV trophy” which let’s face it, it is, although with this metaphorical trophy you will be able to find employment a lot easier and you’re more likely to get a job that you enjoy.
This is one aspect of college that is frequently overlooked. When you go to college you are going to meet a lot of new people. You’ll be taking several different classes and the chances are that every class will have completely different people; this gives you the chance to meet new people, make new friends, and grow socially. From a social standpoint, college is a lot different from high school. The people that you meet will be more mature, you’ll have an easier time getting to know them, and college students are generally more accepting – you’ll know your college friends for life!
If you choose to go to college and move into a dorm, you’re going to have a lot more responsibility. This goes far beyond remember to eat, shower, and change clothes – you have to buy your own groceries, do your own laundry, clean up after yourself, wake up on time to go to your classes, and most importantly, you’ll have to take care of your own finances. This is a lot of responsibility and even though it might be stressful at first, it’s a great way to become more independent and ease into your adult life.
The thing about elementary and high school is that the people you go to school with are people that live around you, who you’ve likely known for a long time, and whose relatives your family will now (if you live in a tight-knit town then everyone knows everyone!). This leads to most people hiding their true self and having to “tuck away” a lot of their personality. At college, people are more accepting, and individuality is respected. You have a chance to start fresh and every person that you meet will be a first impression and this time, you get to choose exactly the type of person that you want to be.
What Other Routes You Can Take
Now, if you choose not to go to college then it’s not the end of the world. We can’t deny that college has been expected from teenagers over the years although, as we progress, society is becoming more accepting of those who take a more independent approach and either don’t go to college at all, or go to college at a later date.
Take a Gap Year.
Taking a gap year is a great middle-ground between going to college and not going to college. A gap year is simply a year between high school and college where you can do whatever you see fit. Some people decide to travel the world, broaden their horizons, and get to know themselves, while others choose to get a job and save up their money so that their future isn’t as financially demanding as it could be. Of course, you can spend your gap year doing nothing at all, although this may make you a very lazy individual and you may feel discouraged from going to college next year – make your gap year a year to remember!
Apply for Internships.
If you’re interested in a specific industry then internships are a great stepping stone. The only thing that you have to keep in mind with an internship is that you won’t be doing the most exciting work – some internships may get you involved with the main work, others may view you as an assistant, and others might ask you to get coffee for them – although it’ll look great on your CV and if a position opens up at the company, you’ll be in a great place to move up the employment chain.
Not interested in working for “the man”? There are a lot of different ways to go about freelancing. Some people freelance online, while others freelance in real life – it all depends on your skillset. Let’s say you’re a graphics designer who wants to start making money off of their artwork. In this case, you will be able to sell your services on websites like Upwork, Freelancers, or Fiverr. On the other hand, if you’re a handyman then you can freelance your services around your local town. Regardless, if you have a skill which isn’t easy to come by, then you can turn yourself into a freelancer and possibly even start a business.
The Downsides of College
There’s no doubting that there are numerous downsides to going to college too, although most downsides depend on the college that you go to and your current situation.
This is the big one. If you’ve been getting high grades throughout high school and you aspire to go to the likes of Yale, you’re going to have a lot of financial debt to pay off through life. If you know that your grades are great, and you intend on going to a high-end college, get a job as early as possible and begin to save every penny that you can. This may seem like an overreaction although the more money that you save up, the fewer student loans you need to take out, and the less debt you’ll have to pay off.
Handling the stresses of college isn’t an easy task. Some students can be as laid back as they want and still pass with flying colours, while others study day and night just to scrape by with barely passable grades. It’s important that you take the time to relax at college and if the stress is becoming too much for you to handle, you need to take a step back and ask yourself how you can make it easier for yourself (e.g. postponing a few classes until next semester or asking a professor for a short extension on an assignment).
The bottom line is that college isn’t for everyone. Most high school students are expected to fill out several college applications, study hard, and then jump into college with superb grades, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are a lot of other routes that you can take after high school, some of which we’ve listed above, and there’s no shame in making an independent decision to not go to college. Don’t get pressured into something that you’re unhappy with, do what you want to do!