Making the decision to attend college is a big decision, perhaps the biggest decision you’ve ever had to make. With the cost of higher education increasing every year, it’s smart to ask yourself if it’s worth it to go to college, especially if you don’t know what career you want to pursue after graduation. If you don’t know whether college is for you, check out our post, “5 Things You Need to Do If You’re On the Fence About Going to College.” If you’re leaning towards attending college, but need a little more convincing, keep reading!
While there are many factors to consider when making the decision to attend college, there are many benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree. If you’ve researched some schools which are affordable and seem like they could be a good fit, here are a few reasons why you should consider going to college even when you don’t know what you want to do with your life:
1. Expand your worldview
In college, you’ll meet people you’d never bump into in your hometown, take courses that you wouldn’t think you’d be interested in, and read books you’d never choose to read yourself.
College is one of the few opportunities you will have in your life to live and learn with people who are very different from you, gain a breadth of knowledge in a variety of subjects, and be exposed to different perspectives and opinions.
Depending on your major, you may also have the opportunity to travel abroad. Explore another country, meet people who don’t speak the same language as you, and discover how big this world really is.
2. Pursue your interests and passions
Interested in literature and biology? Business and art history? Music and political science? In college, you can explore your diverse interests by choosing two majors, a major and a minor, or one major and two minors. Some schools even allow you to have two majors and two minors! If you’re worried about wasting time and money, fear not. You’ll have to take general education requirements, so you can work towards your English degree while taking a biology class to fulfill your science requirement and vice versa. Some majors are less flexible, so talk to your advisor before registering for that underwater basket weaving class.
At most four-year colleges, the professors will hold doctorate degrees and are experts in the field. If you think you may be interesting in a topic, meet with a professor in that field to discuss your interests and future career goals. They may provide valuable insight and point you in the right direction.
3. Figure out what you believe
You will be challenged by the people you meet, the books you read, and the lectures you hear from your professors. In college, you’ll be in a place where people have different beliefs and values from you. By engaging in conversations, discussions, lectures, assignments, and personal reflection, you may find that your opinions start to change. Or you may find ways to defend your beliefs and grow more confident in what you believe. Either way, college is a great time to explore, shape, and affirm your core beliefs.
4. Form meaningful relationships
There is nothing quite like the relationships formed in college. You’ll become friends with like-minded individuals and people who share your passions. You’ll also become friends with people who have completely different interests and are from parts of the world you didn’t even know existed. Many people say that their college friendships are their strongest friendships and considering the amount of time and growth you experience in college, this makes sense.
In college, you’ll also have the opportunity to network and form connections which will help you land a job or internship. There’s a saying in business: It’s all about who you know. There’s some truth to the saying. In college, there are job fairs, professional fraternities, associations, societies, and more to help you network and develop professional relationships.
Some of the relationships you have with your professors may turn into mentorships or friendships. College is a wonderful to make lifelong friends and mentors.
5. Gain experience
While you don’t have to be a college student to apply for internships and jobs, some companies only hire college students for certain internships. For example, Bain & Company hires juniors and seniors in college as Associate Consultant Interns. Many of these hires go on to become full-time employees after their internship is over. In these cases, it’s a worthwhile investment to go to college and gain professional experience. After you graduate, you’ll have a degree and experience, which will make more you more marketable when it’s time to look for a job.
6. Learn transferable skills
You’ll be required to take classes such as English composition, philosophy, speech, and American literature. Even if you don’t like the humanities, these classes will help you become a better critical thinker, writer, and public speaker. By taking general education requirements and core classes in your major and joining a club or organization, you’ll learn a number of transferable skills, such as how to…
- Adapt to situations
- Analyze and solve problems
- Cast your vision
- Communicate effectively with others
- Delegate tasks
- Make major decisions
- Manage your time
- Organize events
- Plan ahead
- Set goals
- Work with others
7. Earn a higher salary
Last but certainly not least, research shows that college graduates earn more money than high school graduates. The Economist states, “College graduates aged 25 to 32 who are working full time earn about $17,500 more annually than their peers who have only a high school diploma, according to the Pew Research Centre.”
College is an investment, and while the initial costs can be expensive, your degree will provide you with the skills to be qualified for more jobs, job promotions, and higher salaries.
With so many articles going around discussing the value of higher education vs. the cost, making the decision to attend college is not an easy one. Talk to your high school counselor, college admissions counselors, and your parents as you do your research and make your decision.
If you are considering attending a Christian university located in Pennsylvania, contact Cairn University admissions counselors for any questions you may have at 877.786.2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.