Why Do People Go To College?
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Student Life

Why Do People Go To College?

An exploration of the reasons people submit to the self-induced torture that is higher education

Why Do People Go To College?
Chocolate Covered Lies

In our day and age, it doesn’t matter what your financial situation is, where you went to school or any other factor in your life — generally, college is a necessary part of life. Many businesses won’t even consider an application if you haven’t completed a college education. Granted, this can take many forms, community colleges, four year universities, online, but any way you look at it, employers want to see an extremely expensive piece of paper that says “I know how to do stuff with things.” Forgive the cynicism, but in reality, all that is required is a diploma really, your major seldom matters unless you make it into a specialized field.

With this in mind, it eliminates the top reason to go to college — employment opportunities. With the work you put in to that education (not the grades mind you, just earning the diploma) you imply that you have the responsibility and where-with-all to make it in the real world. This may not be entirely true, but that piece of paper says otherwise. You instantly have more respect and credibility in an interview, regardless of any other factors, by simply having that education. This nearly universally results in higher wages across the board, with many college graduates making several hundred thousand more over the course of their life than those without one.

But, in going to college, there is something that must be kept in mind. If you are going to college just for the degree, that is understandable. If you’re going to get certified for some specialized profession, like nursing or engineering, it is clear why you need to major in those fields. Otherwise, why go to college and study something that you don’t like? Why would you suffer through classes that are boring, complex, and difficult to understand, when there is absolutely no reason to put yourself through that torture? For example, I am majoring in English, yet for some reason I found myself in a completely unnecessary calculus class. The reason was delusions of genius, but that’s beside the point. I realized on day one that I made a mistake and dropped that class ASAP, because college is too expensive to waste your time on classes you’ll never need. In high school, you didn’t really have a choice about your classes, but in college, the power is in your hands. So, study what you like. If you’re one of those lucky few that get to study what you love because it’s the field you want to break into, more power to you. If you’re anybody else, try to enjoy college as much as possible, because you’ll rarely have this much liberty ever again.

This brings us to reason number three freedom. Many kids go off to college to get away from their parents, and this is the image that Hollywood throws at us again and again, that of the rowdy, party all night types that couldn’t care less about their grades, they’re at college to have fun. In some ways, this image has more truth than you would think. College, if you’re doing it right, can and should be some of the best years of your life, meeting new people, trying new things (no judgement, it’s what college is for), and making new friends. The people you meet could stay with you forever, but so could the decisions. So the next time you’re out having fun or are trying something new, please, remember this article, and college responsibly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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