A good amount of American high school seniors could probably tell you a million and one reasons about why they can’t wait to go to college. Unfortunately, an even larger amount of high school seniors could probably tell you even more reasons they can’t go to college. Whether it be money, a boyfriend or girlfriend, family issues, or simply no desire to leave home, none of these are good enough reasons to miss out on the college experience. Now, I know I might seem blindly optimistic right now, but that’s not the case. Here are the reasons you literally cannot afford to miss out on college.
Money talks. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to be rich, and going to college will get you there faster than if you didn’t.
A chart from the Wall Street Journal shows that in 2013, college graduates with a bachelor degree made approximately $17,500 more annually than high school graduates. Additionally, graduates with a bachelor’s degree made approximately $15,000 more annually than graduates with two-year degrees or some college.
These are hard statistics that can’t be debated, and this isn’t the only source that says getting your bachelor degree will make you richer in the long run.
I won’t deny that there is a different money issue here, and that is people who can’t afford to go to college in the first place. To these people, I say explore your options and your recourses. Go to a state school that isn’t very expensive, or save money by going to your local junior college for two years then transfer to a university. There is almost always a way if you try hard enough and utilize every option. FAFSA gives loans and grants to low-income families, and so do banks, not to mention scholarships. Get a job in college, and don’t be afraid to get student loan debt. Yes, I know that student loan debt is not ideal. But trust me when I say it’s totally better in the long run to suffer through the payments in order to make more money in the long run.
Personal and Professional Growth.
Have you ever met someone who never left their high school town, hung around the same people, did the same stuff, but totally became a better, more enlightened person? Me neither.
Moving away and going to college makes you a completely different person- for the better. College challenges you, pushes you, and rips you out of your comfort zone. It literally forces you to change. I’m not saying you’re going to wake up one day and be a totally different person, but the experiences you go through, the classes you take, and the people you meet in college makes the world so much bigger. Hopefully, college matures you, makes you more open minded, makes you smarter, and makes you want to try things you would never have tried before.
That’s the beauty of it- the possibilities in college are endless, mainly because it’s the main place where self-discovery happens. Let the change happen. And if your friends who never left home ever say “You are so different since you went to college,” you should respond saying “Yes, and that’s how it should be.”
Not to mention, you’re bound to grow professionally in college as well. Your courses, professors, counselors, internships and organizations you’re a part of will shape you into a more competent and confident professional. Even better, you’ll make so many connections that will help you professionally when you need it the most.
You Get Smarter.
As if this isn’t self-explanatory, indeed, college actually does make you smarter! (Who would’ve thought, right?)
Unlike high school, you get to study something you’re actually interested in, and that makes learning a lot more rewarding. And once you choose your major, you’re immediately surrounded by students in your classes who want to learn the same things you do, and that’s pretty awesome.
College is the only time in your life you’ll get together with your friends, grab a coffee, and sit in the library studying together for hours, and maybe even enjoy it.
Experience of a Lifetime.
Now that the serious business is out of the way, we’ve got to touch on how college will undoubtedly be the best four years of your life.
In college, you make the best friends of your life and create the craziest memories that will stay with you forever. The four years of college is the only time of your life you’ll be able to get away with living off beer, vodka, and bagels, and still be relatively healthy and damn good looking.
College is meant for experiencing the extremes in life. The wildest parties, the gnarliest hangovers, the best spring breaks of your life, and of course, the brokest you’ve ever been.
Do yourself a favor, go to college.
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