Whether you come from a long line of college graduates or you are the first in your family to get accepted, going to college after high school has been ingrained in our culture. This doesn’t just go for traditional public universities. Some people choose to attend community college first to save money and get some classes under their belt. Others go straight to a skill specific school because they already know what they want to do for a career. Some people join the forces and earn their degree that way. The reason you decide to go to college may be completely different from why someone else wants to.
Here are some of the real reasons we go to college:
It’s the next step. Going to college after high school is what so many do simply because they don’t know any other option. You aren’t ready to get a job yet, and your family expects you to go to college. This decision can potentially hurt you down the road. It may take you longer to figure out what you want to major in, taking 5 years to graduate rather than 4. This will end up costing more money. This situation can also lead to the student getting burnt out. If you were feeling lost about going to college and went “just because” then you will probably still feel lost when you get there. Your grades may drop and you may end up dropping out altogether. You might change your major a few times along the way. You might join a few clubs, quit a few clubs, and join a few different ones. You might bounce around to different friend groups. Don’t worry, just be careful, be responsible, you will find your way and figure it all out!
The experience. We all know that college isn’t just about going to class and getting a degree. A huge part of attending college is about the experience. Making friends and making memories is what it’s all about for most people. While your grades may not be the best, you will still have something to show after graduation with all the clubs you joined, the abroad trips you took, and the networking you did. You will walk away from college with a different kind of knowledge, a knowledge of life. This means that you will know how to talk to people and you have learned life lessons through experiences rather than books. These are great attributes and can really help you in the job force down the road.
To win the rat race. Some people go to college with one thing in mind: money. It’s no secret that attending a good college and getting a degree will help you in the work force. You have this idea of what your life will be like in 5 years and it’s all about you living the dream. You want the car, the house, the whole deal. You are determined to graduate and land a great job with the opportunity to move up quickly, and make lots of money. You will probably spend your college days in a business/finance club and at your internship, trying to build up your resume the best you can.
You have a hunger for knowledge. For some people, education is everything. You were an over achiever in high school and had your mind set on an Ivy League school since freshman year. You are going to college to learn as much as you can. You form great relationships with your professors and you are always their favorite student. Grad school is definitely on your radar early on, and chances are that you are double majoring. As far as you can see, you are never going to stop learning. Maybe a job as a college professor is in your future.
You’re an athlete. You spent all your free time in high school playing sports and working towards your goal of receiving an athletic scholarship. The academics at the college you attend don’t really matter to you, as long at the athletics programs has what you’re looking for. Your college life is consumed by your sport and your teammates. You take classes like “leisure studies” and “coaching 101.” Free time is like a mythical unicorn to you. You run on little sleep and lots of food. You might go pro after college, or you might land a job where your ability to work well with a team is appreciated.
To accomplish something. You got a pretty good job right out of high school and have been doing well for yourself, but something is missing. You want to get a degree and graduate college. You may not be the typical 18 year old student. You are older, wiser, and have some life experience under your belt. Although the college course work isn’t easy, and you have to work your class schedule around your job, you are determined to get it done. Once you graduate you will feel so fulfilled, accomplished, proud, and happy!