Going to college is scary, expensive, tiring, exciting, exhausting and, most importantly, fun.
You meet so many awesome people and get to experience so many awesome things that you never would do without these people because you just wouldn't have thought to do it. But, there's a trend I've noticed among people I went to high school with: they're ditching the traditional classroom and going to online schools.
There's nothing wrong with that. Literally nothing at all. I just think if you have the option to go to a college with a campus (even if you commute, like I do) you should do it.
Why do I feel like online learning is the inferior option?
1. It can be boring sitting by yourself all day staring at a computer screen.
I mean, that's just my opinion. This whole article is my opinion. But, I think sitting at a computer screen trying to learn on your own can be boring.
2. Online school can be lonely.
Sitting in a library cubicle is lonely, so I can only imagine how lonely going to school completely by yourself is. Think about it, your classmates are only able to communicate to you through the computer or phone (if you even meet your classmates).
3. You don't get the full "college experience" with online learning.
No, college is not meant to be a place full of parties and binge drinking and excessive stupidity. BUT, college is meant to be a place of warm hugs and long nights and really funny stories your parents wouldn't approve of.
4. How are you supposed to make new friends if you never enter a new environment?
Yes, college classrooms can mimic those of high schools. Except one thing is extremely different- the people. The people are from all walks of life from all over the country and have all different experiences to share with you.
5. New friends = New experiences.
Through my friends from school I have traveled to: New York (Manhattan and Upstate), New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware (on accident), and a few other places that I wouldn't have been able to go because A) traveling is expensive if you need places to stay and such, and B) I wouldn't have thought to travel to half the places I have.
6. Dorming means being creative with food.
I commute, but there is the occasional weekend I couch surf in my friends' rooms. Our freshman year of school we perfected the art of easy mac. However, we did not perfect the art of microwaving with a sleeping roommate.
7. College's have so many clubs and activities to join that really open your eyes.
Maybe you want to join Future Ice Cream Business Leaders of America or Blue Hair Vegans United Against Cows (both are clubs I just made up in my head). You get the point. Diversity is key to opening the world up.
8. College is four years of new experiences that shouldn't be wasted.
If you have the opportunity to go to school full time, even if you have to work full/part time like I do, do it. College is full of excitement and new things and is really the last chance you have to experiment with a bunch of different things, like dying your hair bright blue because it'll fade before your parents visit or getting your nose pierced. Maybe you try hummus. Whatever it is, college makes you try new experiences because that's just the culture of it.
So, if you have the opportunity to go to school instead of doing online learning, do it. Don't opt for the "easy way" because you think you'll get a degree faster or you think you'll learn better.
College teaches you much more outside of the classroom, that's why it's so God damn expensive. *And yes, online colleges are just as expensive, sometimes even more.
The point is, don't rush college out of the way because you think you need to start your life right this moment. There's plenty of time for that. Relax, play Frisbee on the green space or go get a venti iced mocha whatever the hell at the campus coffee house.
Whatever you choose to do or wherever you choose to go, just remember one thing, enjoy college.