As you reach the end of your high school career, the eternal question of ‘college or not college’ is likely to be right at the forefront of your mind. Even if you have always thought you had a clear idea of what is the correct next step, you should still take your time and think about the pros and cons of each possible route.
College has a ton of benefits that aren’t just getting a degree. Here are a few of them.
You’re likely to (eventually) have more money
Yeah you’ll be putting off earning a full-time wage for a few years, and could potentially start your career in a lot of student loan debt, but people who have college degrees do generally earn more money than their counterparts who stopped studying after high school. Over a lifetime, the difference can run to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, so it’s something worth considering.
You’re more likely to get a job
In the increasingly competitive jobs market, there are a lot of positions that require an undergraduate degree as a minimum. If you don’t have one, they won’t even consider you for an interview – never mind offer you the job. Think carefully about what you want your long-term job to be, and even if you don’t know (as most young people don’t), think about whether skipping college is likely to limit you in the future.
The unemployment rate is also lower amongst people who graduate from college.
Boost your resume with other skills
While at college, it isn’t only your academic qualifications that get a boost. You can take additional classes to gain other skills outside of your major, take complementary courses and get involved with a range of extracurricular activities that put high school’s offerings to shame. Don’t miss out on the chance to make yourself a truly well-rounded individual. Use every resource available to you.
Look to the wider world
It is a fact that when you go to college, especially if you move away from home for school, you will have experiences that people who skip college don’t. You could take part in a work-study program, meet people from all sorts of different backgrounds, and perhaps even spend time studying abroad. College broadens your horizons in a way that staying home doesn’t.
Bridge the gap to adulthood
If you want to take steps towards adulthood but don’t feel ready to make the leap just yet, college is a great way to bridge childhood with being an adult. You’ll learn financial responsibility, how to take care of yourself, how to cook, do laundry, navigate new places, meet people – all skills you will need throughout your life. But college gives you the space to pick up these skills in a much lower-stakes environment; you’re out on your own, but not entirely. It’s the perfect place to learn, grow and make mistake before you head out into the big, wide world.