Since I started grad school I’ve gotten so many questions about school. But by far some of the most asked questions are it’s necessary or if they should even go. At first I told everyone yes. College is expected once you’re done with high school. But college is a whole different ballgame and something that everyone handles differently. Let me tell you know, there is no clear yes and no answer. So let me navigate through this.
[Tweet “Do you really need to go to college?”]
I’m a huge advocate for school. Part of it is because I genuinely love writing papers and school spirit. I also made some of my best memories in college. So I’m a bit biased because I want everyone to go to college because I loved it. But with all things, there are pros and cons.
Some of the pros to go to college are that you’ll at least have a degree to fall back on. You can make your degree work for you somehow. Plus, if you actively engage with professors you can make connections that can help you in your career. You really do learn a lot about what you’re majoring in and it can expand your thinking. I know people who ended up switching their major because they took an elective class they loved and realized their passions were different. On a more personal side, I’ve known people who come into their own in college. With new independence and no pressures of high school, people learned to be themselves and grew as people.
So now for some cons. In my opinion, the biggest con is finances. Thankfully I had a scholarship as an undergrad and did work study so my loans were low, but now that I’m in grad school and have to rely on loans to pay for it, I realize how expensive it is. Debt is what keeps people away. But there’s ways around it so do tons of research! Another con is that sometimes you don’t need it. I’ve known people who have gotten good jobs without a degree. You also have to switch your mentality about school. It’s easy to see the party aspect but I know people who struggled because they could get A’s without studying in high school but in college that didn’t work. It’s a huge adjustment.
Who Should Go to College
If you want to go into a career that you can only achieve with a degree, you should 100% pursue college. There’s some careers that there’s no way around this. If you’re uneasy, do deep research on schools and find one that fits. Sometimes disliking the school you attend also makes you dread college, so remember you can transfer out. Ideally, I say everyone should go and at least try it but you should go if you value the education you’ll get.
What About Grad School
Grad school is tricky. You can get your dream job without grad school. Personally, I decided to go to grad school because I wanted to prove myself. I did well enough in undergrad but I knew I could’ve done better, so I wanted to try grad school to see how far I can push myself. I also like the idea that I can be a professor. But I don’t feel like grad school is a required option. I recommend it if you want to continue learning about something in particular and if you want a career that requires you to have a masters. It definitely takes a different kind of commitment.
What do you think about this? Do you think everyone should go to college?