In the current environment, it’s not surprising to learn that even top students are down on the notion of higher education. They see the recent college admissions scandal involving celebrities and others who allegedly paid bribes to get their kids into top universities and wonder why they’ve worked so hard. Is the system rigged against kids who are honest but lack great family finances? these earnest students ask.
If you have worked diligently in high school and are feeling bitter about the college-admissions process right now, please don’t let that deter you from applying to a four-year college, doing well in college if you’re enrolled, or from applying to an elite school if that’s your dream.
The case for going to—and graduating from—college remains strong.
The Case for College
- First, the most obvious, but it bears stating: Whether you’ve graduated from an Ivy League school or a state college, you’re more likely to get your foot in the door for a job interview—and be a successful candidate—than someone who hasn’t graduated from college or hasn’t gone. You may also earn more money in the same job starting out than someone without a degree.
- A good college program will teach you how to think analytically and critically in ways that high school never could. So, while you’re growing in your major and gaining skills to apply toward your chosen profession (another reason why college still rules), you’ll also be learning how to think outside the box, which can help you in numerous ways in life, not just on the job.
- Depending on your school, you may meet people from many walks of life and from outside the country. This diversity can give you a better understanding about others and make you a better citizen and team worker.
- You can connect with people who will enter many different industries. This expands your network, which can lead to amazing work opportunities later.
- If living on campus, you may get your first taste of life on your own away from your parents or guardians. This experience can be critical to helping you become an adult with complete independence from your mom and dad or guardian(s).
- It exposes you to opportunities and experiences you might not otherwise have. Often, campuses post information about special opportunities in their student centers, cafeterias, and academic halls. A friend interned on a national-TV town hall broadcast that was filmed at a neighboring university because she learned about the experience from flyers posted around campus.
- While college is tough, it provides a respite “from real life.” If you’re still single and have no children, college gives you time to enjoy your freedom. You’re not in the workforce, so you don’t have to deal with work politics. In short, it gives you some time to just be you.
- College gives you time to figure out your next steps. Your undergraduate years may show you that you want to study a subject that requires a graduate-level degree (which you can’t get without an undergraduate degree) or that you want to take more time to determine what career you truly want to pursue.
- It’s the place where precious memories of your last years of youth are made. These are memories you can cherish your whole life.
As you can see, the benefits of college are numerous. I urge you to go, or to stay, do your very best, and get the most out of the experience. After college, many work options may be available to you.
It’s all part of careering.