Growing up, I never questioned whether I’d go to college. I’d always been about my studies at every grade level, so college just seemed to be the next step in the natural order of things. I’ve been to 3 different institutions. I’ve studied 3 different subjects.
I didn’t question the value of a college education until I’d already gotten so deep in the process. These days, I question my education more than ever–especially as I make my car payment for the car that I don’t have. (Too bad you can’t drive student loans.) Should I have gone to college? Is it still possible to get a position in my field of study? Should I just commit the rest of my life to finding a sugar daddy?
SO MANY QUESTIONS!!
Unfortunately, like Sway, I don’t have the answers. I’ve done a bit of research in my quest to answer the “Is college worth it?” question and I can’t say that I’ve gotten any real resolution. What I HAVE concluded is that a college education can be beneficial if you’re able to figure out how to make it sweeter. Studies show that degree holders earn more than those who only have high school diplomas–which I think kinda evens out when you think of the ridiculous amount of student debt in this country. HOWEVER, in so many cases, graduates don’t get jobs in their field of study which means they don’t necessarily earn more at all!! Long gone are the days of a degree guaranteeing a career. A degree just isn’t enough.
Degrees are amazing. Want to know what makes them even MORE amazing?
NETWORKING IS KING!!! I’ll be the first to say: Networking has never been my strong suit.
It really is about WHO you know. The saying is as old as time, but I think that it means a lot more in today’s time. I sometimes have trouble maintaining connections with people, and if I’m completely honest, I’m sure that it has caused me to miss out on some opportunities (whether I knew about them or not). You’d think that networking is easier to do with so much technology around us–it’s not. You have to be very intentional in your networking. Networking can be a full-time job of its own.
No matter how frustrated I am with the overwhelming grip of student loan debt, I guess an education can be what you make it. I still don’t think that everyone needs to go to college–it’s ok to not want to attend. At the same time, I find it amazing when people pursue degrees beyond undergrad. I’ve also seen plenty of people make really good money without a degree. I think that it’s a bit easier to avoid these question-filled moments if you choose a degree and career path that has the most opportunity for graduate employment. There are ways out here to make whatever money and opportunity you need; you just have to invest the time to learn what it takes–even outside of the classroom. There is no one way to do it. There is no EASIER way to do it. The key to success is definitely knowledge: You can learn for free, or you can learn in debt.
Were my years spent in college worth the debt? It depends on which day you ask the question. Most days, I find that cons outweigh the pros so I may not be the best person to ask. Whether you’re a graduate who cringes at the thought of that monthly loan payment or you’re not even a student yet and are trying to decide whether it’s right for you, whenever the nagging question of the worth of college crosses your mind ask instead this question:
What result is necessary for you to believe that the struggle is worth it? A guarantee of higher income than those who’ve opted out of a college education? The idea of a career over a job? Little to no student loan debt? If you truly believe that a degree will give you what you’re looking for:
MAKE IT WORTH IT.