So, you’re on your way to finishing high school and decisions about the future are looming.
No doubt one of the options you have considered is college. Incredible options are available to you, but we also know that higher education isn’t your only choice these days.
In recent years, the idea that college is the first step to a successful and financially stable life has been challenged. College once seemed to be a “no-brainer,” but now there are numerous options as you begin the next chapter of your life. So, as a smart soon-to-be high school graduate, you have to weigh those options, including their pros and cons.
Many colleges will give you the same pros for college you’ve heard over and over. College graduates earn more on average, you get better opportunities, you can expand your horizons, the list could go on. While all those reasons are true, they might not speak to your reasons for considering college. But these might.
Go to college if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up.
Most people tell you the opposite, to put off college until you’re sure of your career path. After all you don’t want to waste money on classes when you really don’t know what you want to do, right? In reality, most major-specific classes don’t begin until you’re a sophomore or junior. This gives you an entire year to take advantage of campus opportunities and explore fields of study that you might be interested in – opportunities you won’t get while working at Starbucks during your gap year. Then, once you find something you like, you can go for it.
A liberal arts education gives you more options after college.
For some, like the aspiring doctor or lawyer, a specified degree is necessary. However, most of us will spend our working years in an ever-changing job market. Even now, employers aren’t looking for a specific degree, they are looking for hardworking, dedicated, trustworthy, and teachable employees to train for a position specific to their company. A liberal arts education gives you those skills, and in so doing, makes you a valuable asset to multiple employers, giving you even more opportunities.
You’re preparing for the future – all of it.
College teaches you to be a lifelong learner. In a world that is changing as rapidly as ours, the academic knowledge you’ve learned in college might be outdated in 15 years. A liberal arts education reaches beyond academic knowledge and reaches into a broader knowledge that will teach you how to adapt as the world changes. Soft skills never go out of style and neither does the ability to adapt.
Expand your horizons in the right ways.
In addition to earning your degree, universities have opportunities for students to be involved in sports, music, drama, debate, society, community service, and so much more. So while you’re earning your degree you can simultaneously round out your resume with extra-curriculars that will indeed expand your horizons. A college sanctioned extra-curricular is worth more to an employer than a random community activity, and at college, such opportunities are readily available.
When considering college options, look below the surface. College is so much more than a piece of paper that helps you get jobs. College is an incredible growing experience that will change you and shape you to be a more effective worker, leader, and believer in the world.