Should I Go To College? 10 Ways To Know If College Is For You

Should I Go To College? 10 Ways To Know If College Is For You
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With all the joy and excitement of graduating from high school, you can feel just as much fear and anxiety. 

Yes, you finally graduated with an amazing grade and everyone is rooting for you. And like every reasonable high school graduate you’re starting to consider going to college. 

However, a few questions pops up:

Should I go to college? What should I go for? Is it worth it?

These seemingly critical questions need to be provided with good and actionable answers at this stage to avoid regrets in the future. 

To answer these questions, you need to figure out who you truly are, what works for you, and what your goals are. 

Failure to answer these questions carefully and correctly, you can join the gangs of unemployed college graduates wandering about in the street right now. 

Contrary to what many people believe, college isn’t for everyone. And sometimes pressures from parents, peers, or school counselors can make getting through this phase a bit harder. 

If you’re still there asking yourself questions about a college to attend, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll share 10 actionable ways to help you solve the puzzle and answer all your questions effectively. 

Let’s slide in. 

Is it worth it to go to college?

Yes, going to college is worth it. If you’re looking to make lifelong connections with people of the same career and passion. It is a great way to achieve that goal. 

Going to college opens your mind, helps you build confidence in your abilities, and gives you better employment. 

Is it Ok not to go to college?

While there are many various benefits attached to going to college, there are also certain circumstances where it may not be perfect for you. 

For instance, if your chosen career doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, it’s probably a waste of time to start pursuing one. 

Someone who longs to become a graphics designer, freelance writer, or web developer can enroll in several trainings and courses and still become more proficient and better than a college graduate.  

Is going to college worth in 2021

Yes, going to college is still worth it and many people are still trooping in to obtain bachelor’s degrees daily from various schools. 

It helps you build creative abilities, problem-solving skills, and other in-demand employable skills. 

While not every career requires going through college for four years, most jobs requiring degrees come with benefits such as higher income, flexible work schedule, health insurance, private pensions, massage therapy, free psychological consulting, etc.  

Read: Who Are The Highest Paid College Graduates? | Top Careers And Schools In 2021

How do I know if college is right for me?

There are many questions you’ll want to ask yourself to find out if going for an extra four years in college is worth it. A few pointers include asking yourself questions like:

  • Do I have a chosen career yet?
  • Does my chosen career require going to college? 
  • Can I afford to pay for a degree?
  • Can I cope?

Answering these questions puts you on the right track and gives you a clear direction about what you want. 

Let’s say your answer to the question “Do I have a chosen career yet” is No, you’ll want to take extra time to figure out your passion or interests and choose a career along that path before deciding on school.  

What should I go to college for?

Going to college helps you gain valuable experience in your chosen career, build connections with people of the same caliber, and offer you better life opportunities. In other words, you should go to college to:

  • Acquire knowledge on your chosen career.
  • Sharpen your emotional and intellectual intelligence.
  • Build self-confidence and responsibility.
  • Develop employable skills, etc. 

10 ways to know if you do need to go to college

Now, let’s dive into the reason why you are here. These pointers give you a clearer insight into the question “should I go to college?” 

1. Motivations for going

A study by Degree Query found that almost 30% of students worldwide think they are supposed to attend college after high school. 

But, is that really true? 

I know you’ve been fed with many of those old clichés. Get to college. Get a degree. Get a job. Right? 

However, going to college without a clear definition of what you are going to do is almost guaranteed to fail. You should have pre-determined goals you’re looking to achieve before you even start the journey. 

Explore your reasons for going to study in college. 

Is it really worth it? 

Do you really need attend college? 

Are you sure you’re not going because your friend thinks it’s a good idea?

2. Your career goals

Knowing one’s goals in life might be quite tough. Especially when it is about your choice of career, it can be really challenging to find out what you want to do in the future. 

However, identifying this choice is critical to answering the questions like…

Should I study Law or Physics?

Do I need to go at all?

For instance, if your goal is to become a chemical engineer, you’ll probably need to acquire a degree to develop employable skills. On the other hand, if you want to become a photographer, you can go to trade school or enroll in a course to learn such skills.  

3. Can you achieve those goals in a non-traditional way? 

While several careers do require a certain level of qualifications and certification programs, a few others require little investment in training than a traditional college program. 

For example, if you’re looking to become an optician, you don’t have to go through a four-year training in college. Instead, you should engage yourself in various on-the-job training to acquire the needed certification. 

4. Find out what works for you

There are several ways to jumpstart your career without having to go to college. 

College puts your life on hold for four years. And during this period you may not be able to explore your hobbies because of several school rules. 

Although this helps some people slowly transition from being a teenager to adulthood, for others, it may seem like a long haul. In other words, find out what works for you and stick to it. 

5. Cost of going to college

The overall cost is one of the factors you want to consider to help you conclude if it is really worth it. 

According to the National Centre for Education Statistics, the average cost of going to college is around $100,000. 

If you can’t afford this payment and wouldn’t love to take any student loan, you can consider exploring other alternatives.

Read: How Much Should A College Student Charge For Tutoring In 2021?

6. Financial goals  

What’s your expected annual income? 

While college graduates are likely to earn more than people with high school diplomas, certain skills pay you higher than graduates. 

Presently, college graduates earn between $3000 – $4500 per month, so, if you’re looking at earning around $10,000 monthly, you may want to consider starting a business or learning high-paying skills like coding and software enhancement or cloud computing.  

7. Enroll for a 2-year degree at community college

If you’re not still asking yourself “should I go to college,” perhaps you may want to try enrolling in a 2-year degree at community school. 

You’ve got nothing to lose. 

If at the end of the day, you feel you’d like to go to college, your experience at community schools helps you quickly adapt in time.

8. Interest in academics

Not everyone can sit in lectures, perform lab experiments, or do well in college. 

Are you passionate about studying in school?

Do you love exam periods?

If you’re not sure what you want to do, this is a good pointer to help you decide if you should still go.

Look for what you’re naturally good at and stick to it, Period!

Read: Top 10 Colleges with The Highest Paid Graduates in the World |2021

9. Take a gap year

In the words of Andrew J. Martin:

 “for many students, a gap year is about crystallizing their decision-making; developing self-regulation skills, broadening their competencies and self-organization.” 

If you’re still confused about your chosen career, taking a gap year might be a reasonable thing to do. 

This is a good way to learn new things, do what you love, and understand yourself better. A report from Gap Year Association found that 96% of students who took a gap year increased their self-confidence and maturity. 

10. Seek professional guidance

While your parents or school counselors can offer you some truly insightful advice on what to do after high school, they may not have the required experience to help you make informed decisions in this regard. 

So it’s best to consult an educational specialist to help you analyze your interests and goals. 

Do I have to go to college FAQs

Should I go to community college first?

If you’re not sure about what you want to do or you’re stuck at choosing your career path, then it might be pretty wise to enroll in a local community college first so you have the experience to inform your decision to go to college. 

Can you go to college at 16?

Although colleges in the U.S accept students who are age 17 or above, there are certain exceptions to this rule. 
If you meet all the requirements of the college of choice, they may consider giving you admission. 

Should I go to college if I don’t know what I want to do?

Don’t go to college to find yourself or you may end up with staggering student debt. If you’re not sure about your goals or career, you can consider taking a gap year, enrolling in a community college, or learning a skill at trade school.

Should I go to college or university?

College typically offers graduate degrees alone while the university offers both graduates and undergraduate degrees. 
Also, the university offers a variety of programs and classes. 
So if you’re looking to attend a school where you can explore a variety of programs, then going to university might be best for you. 
If you value building one-to-one relationships with your lecturers and fellow students, then you should go to college. 

Do you have to go to college to be successful?

The short answer to that is NO. Many college graduates are still unemployed today despite their education. The first thing you need to do to be successful today is to find yourself. Next, explore different ways to build yourself and walk towards your goals.  

Conclusion

Your choice of going to college is totally dependent on you and should not be done under compulsion. Take your time to look at your current situation, your family, or any other thing else said in this post and it will be easier for you to answer the question “should I go to college.”

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