High school graduates are usually eager for the next stage of their lives and the majority of students choose to go to college or university after their high school graduation.
Other students choose to differ college for a year and use that time to travel, get a job and earn some money, or to take a language course.
However, some students decide not to go to college due to personal interests, financial problems, wanting to avoid debt, seeking another sort of experience, and more.
Many students who differ college also do it because they're not sure what degree to study, others aren't sure that higher education is the answer; but whichever your reason, we believe that you should consider all your options before making a decision.
If you feel like you're on the fence between wanting and not wanting to go to university or college, continue reading this article and learn about the pros and cons of college and the alternatives to college.
Keep in mind that no one else, but you, can make this decision, and you are the person that knows yourself best, so take all the information in this article and apply it to your reality. Talking to your college counselor in your school can be a good idea, especially since they can provide a different perspective to yours.
If you need help figuring out where to go after high school check out A guide to choosing a university.
Why should you go to college?
Getting an education is probably one of the most important things you'll do to pave the way for your future, and the way of doing so is by attending classes and getting a degree from a certified institution like a university or a college.
When students graduate from high school they usually carry on to obtain a higher education degree so they can later go off to the real world to work in whichever field they studied for.
Many students don't want to go to college after they graduate from high school. They would rather get a job, earn some money, learn a new language, and gain different life experiences and opportunities.
However, its been proven time and time again that people with college degrees earn more money over the years, compared to someone who didn't go to college or university.
Aside from earning more money, college graduates also have many opportunities available for them. They can apply to better jobs, get better benefits, gain more experience and skills, work for great companies, meet more interesting people, and so on.
Attending college or university will prepare you to face many obstacles and challenges that life will throw your way because during four years you'll have the opportunity to develop skills that will allow you to overcome said difficulties.
Additionally, in college, fellow students will become your friends for life, you will build a community and a support system with the people around you, and you will learn to work with people different than you.
If you believe that all of these things you can learn by obtaining a job after you graduate from high school you aren't entirely wrong, but we want to show you how college and university can be a singular and exceptional experience, that you won't find anywhere else.
Learn more about this subject on What are the best universities in the USA?
Pros of attending college
We already gave you some great reasons why colleges and universities are designed to prepare graduates for the real world and why getting a degree or various degrees is more important than earning money right away.
However, we want to tell you about other pros of going to college.
- Having fun with few responsibilities - getting a degree is about attending and passing courses. As a student, your only responsibility will be to be a student, which most of the time is studying and having fun.
- Student life - the life of a student is simple and oftentimes easy. You don't have bills to pay or a job to pay attention to. Besides, you get to do everything with your friends!
- Learning specific and broad skills - going to school is all about learning and growing. You will attend classes where you'll learn different and new things, you'll have the opportunity to develop new skills, and through the years you'll become a professional and an expert in your field of study.
- Future opportunities - with a college degree you will have way more opportunities in the future, compared to someone who didn't obtain their higher education. You will have a chance to find the job of your dreams, live in the state and city of your dreams, and have the life you always wanted. Besides if you do well in school, you can obtain scholarships for your master's degree or doctorate and avoid financial issues.
- Become an above-average person - getting a degree and having a career will set you aside from millions of people in the world, and every year you will improve and become better and continue to stay above the average.
- Getting financial aid or scholarships - if you don't want to study you'll have to find a job and figure out a way to pay the bills. However, many colleges, universities, and schools offer scholarships and financial aid for students who need help. These scholarships pay for everything, from tuition to housing, transportation, food, and more.
Cons of attending college
We've told you all about the great and positive aspects of getting a higher education, however, we have to admit that sometimes even great things have negative aspects.
Here is a quick list of the cons of going to college.
- Some programs are too expensive - let's face it, colleges are a business and they need to make money to continue functioning and sometimes students can't afford to pay for the career they want to pursue because certain programs are more expensive than others.
- Online classes are a thing now - with the pandemic we've had to adapt the world into an indoors kind of lifestyle, and that includes having classes online, which can be boring, monotonous, and tiering. Besides, students miss seeing and hanging out with friends outside of class and having a chance to interact with their teachers.
- Early mornings - young adults are bad at waking up early in the morning, and sometimes classes start as early as 8 am. Many students decide to skip early morning classes but if you want to graduate and obtain your degree you're going to have to pull through.
- A vast sea of options - high school graduates are faced with an infinite pool of career and school options and making a decision can be overwhelming, and sometimes confusing. That's why you need to spend a lot of time doing the appropriate research and figure out in what state you want to live and what you want to study.
- Competitive job market - we are overpopulated, that's a fact! And while we all get a chance to go to college, getting a job afterward can be a little challenging due to the number of graduates per year.
- Debt - the cost of colleges and schools is high and many students decide to go into debt to pay for everything. And even though debt can sound like a good idea to afford every cost, many people don't learn how to manage that debt once they are done with school, and it becomes a problem for the rest of their lives.
Continue reading about school on What to consider when choosing a university?
Are there any alternatives?
You might be wondering what are your options and alternatives, and we are here to give you a quick list of the things you could do instead of going to university.
- Travel the world - you can come up with different ways to finance your trips and create a travel blog and go see the world as a young traveler.
- Apprenticeship - some jobs don't require a degree and you can learn a skill or trait by working side by side and learning from someone.
- Online courses - if you don't want degrees you can always get diplomas and course certificates for different courses and apply for jobs in the field.
- Military - The military offers a variety of programs, a chance to learn a wide range of skills, travel to multiple locations, and serve your country.
- Entrepreneurship - if you have an idea for a business you can set it up and work really hard to make it come true.
- Work your way up - you can start working for a company as a messenger or serving coffee for the meetings and learn to work your way up. In a few years, if you learn how to do things right, you could have a great job and career.
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