Should I go to college?
It’s an important question. One that is asked of you when you start high school. Because that’s the goal of high school, to get you good enough grades and to score high enough on all you AP and SAT tests so that you can get into a prestigious college. The more well-known the college, the better, because once you get your college diploma, you are more likely to get a good job.
But what if you don’t have the necessary scores to get into one of these “famous” colleges?
The best advice I can give anyone is to find a place that you fit in.
Don’t go to a school just because your parents went there or want you to go there. It may not be the school for you.
Don’t go to a school just because your boyfriend/girlfriend is going there. There’s a chance you could break up and then you are stuck somewhere that you may not have wanted to be at in the first place.
Don’t go to a school just because it has a good track record.
I was at a college that I thought was a good fit, but it wasn’t. I was miserable. The best thing I ever did was leave. And then I ended up at a school that really offered me what I was looking for.
When you go and start visiting colleges, see if they offer an overnight program. That is probably one of the best ways to really gauge a university. A tour of the campus is nice, but they usually only show you the nicer aspects of the school. They want you to see the sparkle and glamor, and shove some of the other aspects under the rug. It’s just the way it is. Hang out with some of the people that go to the school. That is a huge indicator of if you will fit in. I didn’t do this and that was one of the big problems that I had. I just didn’t really mesh well with the other people on campus. Sometimes it happens.
My other suggestion is to go to as many different universities as you can. Get a feel for a small campus and a large campus. When I was looking at colleges, I knew that I wanted to go to a smaller school. In a larger classroom, you are sometimes just a number. I wanted the ability to form a connection with my professor, so I was looking at smaller universities.
College is expensive, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from looking a school that you think would be a good fit. These universities sometimes offer the biggest scholarships. Another suggestion is to go after as many scholarships as you can so when you get to the end of your college career, you aren’t up to your ears in debt.
So back to the original question. Should you attend college?
The answer is this: it all depends on you.
Some people are not cut out for college. And that’s okay. Some people don’t continue immediately after high school but then go back several years later, and that’s okay too.
If you didn’t like high school, that doesn’t mean you won’t like college. College is a lot more laid back and you actually get to take classes that you want to take. There are a few required classes, sure, but you can space them out over the four years and take them alongside what you actually want to be taking. You also have the opportunity to do things that you never could have done in high school.
The best thing I ever learned in college did not come from any textbook. It came from my professors that challenged me to think. Challenged me to solve problems. That is the college experience that has made a better person and opened me up to more job opportunities than just straight knowledge and facts. I had the ability to adapt to any situation. I am in a job that is not exactly within my field, but I was willing to learn. I was willing to take what I knew and apply that to something different.
Is college beneficial? Hell yes.
But if you’re not ready, you’re not ready. But that doesn’t mean that someday you won’t be.
Shop around. Figure out what exactly it is you want to do. You control your own life and destiny, not those around you.