There are many reasons for going to college. I don’t believe that an education is overrated. There are many hidden benefits (social and personal) for going to college even if it’s not right for you. It also makes sense to pursue an education if you know exactly what job you want (lawyer or accountant).
But what about if you’re completely lost after high school? Is college still worth attending?
Darren wrote in with his reasons for going to college…
I went to college because that was (and still is) the “normal” thing to do after high school. Looking back now on my college years, I believe that college might be encouraged a bit too much. By this I mean that I don’t think everyone is a right fit for college. For some, college may make sense after they take a few years to “find themselves” or save up some money to help pay for the costs.
From the standpoint of getting a decent job, college has done a good job of that for me. But as far as my college experience itself, I didn’t study a subject I’m passionate about. Rather, I just chose a major I knew I could pass, and tried to finish as fast as possible.
If I could do it over, I’d take a few years off, get a job that only requires a HS diploma, and earn money. Then after getting a better idea of what I wanted to study, I’d consider colleges that offer those majors. This way, I’d actually study with passion, and a greater sense of purpose.
This brings me to the point of this piece, is college worth attending if you’re lost and not sure of what to do?
Not at all. The whole point of this article is to let you know that it’s okay to try out other options instead of going straight to college after high school.
If you’re wondering the following question:
Why should I go to college?
You need to take some time to figure things out.
What can you do right after high school if you’re lost?
- Take evening classes. This way you can figure out what interests you and what sort of path you should follow. An evening class requires less commitment and will give you the whole day to stay busy.
- Find a full-time gig. You can look for a job to see if what it’s like to start off in an entry level position. Working will either motivate you to work more or to go back to college to earn credentials that pay more.
- Work with a family member. Do you have this opportunity available to you? One of my good friends worked with his father in a construction company. This experience helped him out big time with learning how to run a business and hustle to make money.
Brad wrote on the idea of figuring things out before spending money on college…
I would just say that a person needs to figure out what they want to do BEFORE going to college. For example, I was great in math. I distinctly remember sitting in some class my senior year and thinking I will never use this crap! I read a stat the other day that 80% of college grads – 10 years after graduating – are working in a field different from their college area of study. How much money has been wasted and how many times was the major field of study changed?
I’m in favor of a college degree when it’s needed to do the work you love to do or it will really provide a great education in the area I love.
In my opinion, there ought to be classes in high school helping kids to know their passion and letting them interact with bankers, engineers, construction workers, etc. so that college freshman have a much better idea of what they want to do.
Do you know someone attending college that’s lost? While there are many advantages of going to college, it makes no sense if it’s not right for you. Why rush? Unless you find a clear plan to graduate from college with no debt, it makes no sense to let others force you into attending college.