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Should I Go to College: Pros and Cons

Should I Go to College: Pros and Cons

Weigh Your Options to Find the Path That is Right For You

College is seen by many as the natural next step to take after you finish school and while it may be a great option for many, that isn’t the case for everybody. This article will examine some of the pros and cons of going to college in order to help you make the best decision for your future.

Pros of Going to College

First we are going to look at a few examples of the pros of going to college.

Job Opportunities

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of college is that it can open doors to a future career. Nowadays, many jobs have some sort of college requirement as a part of the application process meaning a non-college grad will be frozen out of many roles. 

This is particularly true of more specialized careers like law, medicine and of course, academia. These industries can’t just be learned on the job, instead they require detailed and specific teaching that can only be gotten from a structured course of study.

College also provides career benefits in less overt ways too. Many programs include internship and networking opportunities that you wouldn’t even know about if you didn’t attend the school.

New Experiences

For many, college is truly the first time where you can discover who you really are. You may be living on your own (or at least away from your parents) for the first time and you get to learn how to take care of yourself. 

You also have the opportunity to meet a wide array of new people from all over the world. This is a great chance to make friends and connect with people on a deeper and less superficial level.

Many college’s also offer their students a plethora of exciting extracurricular activities that you would otherwise have never found. Whether you want to study abroad so you can visit another country, join a club and learn a new skill or even get involved in sports; your school can likely offer you a pathway to do these things.

Learning Opportunities

Above all, college is a place of learning and that’s exactly what you can do. With a multitude of interesting classes for you to sink your teeth into, you may just be able to discover or reaffirm a love of learning. 

As a college student you have access to world experts across a number of academic fields, as well as an expansive library whose collective books are likely to be worth thousands if not millions of dollars. 

And if you discover that this is what you want to do, then you might find that your future belongs in the field of academia and you can learn, research and teach for a living.

Cons of Going to College

Unfortunately, while college does a lot of things right, it isn’t for everyone. Here are some cons that are worth considering.

Debt

College isn’t cheap… and that’s an understatement. In fact, the average debt of college grads currently sits at almost $40,000 per person! This is typically the biggest turn off for prospective students and something you will certainly want to be careful with. 

Now, the debt can be offset if you rely on financial support from your family or a scholarship program but that doesn’t change the fact that for most people, college is an enormous financial investment. It’s all about risk and reward, and if you intend to go into a high paying field like medicine, law or engineering, then the price tag may well be worth it. It all comes down to your situation.

Non-Academic Careers

While college can be a great pathway into employment, it isn’t the only one. There are plenty of careers out there that don’t require a college degree and can be done straight out of highschool. All sorts of jobs from mechanics to law enforcement to being a commercial pilot can be achieved without a college degree and can pay really well too.

Bad Fit for your Personality

In the same way that you may love college and get a lot out of it, you may similarly hate it. It’s not for everybody and you shouldn’t feel obligated to go just because your peers are. If you didn’t enjoy the process of structured learning that highschool provided or aren’t interested in academic study, then college might not be for you.

Ultimately, you get out of college what you put into it and if it clashes with your personality, then college may end up being a miserable (and not to mention expensive) mistake.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

So, when you start to think about applications, it’s worth asking yourself a few personal questions and providing an honest answer to each.

Did you enjoy school? 

And are you willing to go through another 4 years of it? You will have exams and essays and all the stress associated with that. If you dreaded these things in school, there’s no reason why you’ll suddenly like those things in college.

Do you know what you want to do?

If you lack a concrete plan, then it could be worth waiting before you go to college… it will still be there if you change your mind.

Do you really want to delay the real world?

While college can certainly be a lot of fun, it means for four years you are going to be in education. For four years you won’t be getting a proper job and earning a living.

Conclusion

The decision to go to college should not be one you make on a whim. It’s a big choice that will affect you personally and financially for years to come. And while there are a ton of advantages to going, you can easily make the argument of why it’s worth missing too. So, what it really comes down to is you. Do you really want to go to college? Weighing up the pros and the cons can help you make the decision, but in the end, it needs to be the right call for you.

Shamrck strives to help students discover their strengths and decide what is the right direction for them. Visit the Shamrck platform to help you consider your options and decide what profession is right for you.

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