If you’re looking to go to college then you might be wondering if it is as great as everyone says.
This post will show you a number of reasons that it can be as great as people say as well as a number of things to consider.
So, is college as great as everyone says? Deciding what you learn, being around people you like, a lot, having more independence and boosting your earning potential are all factors in favor of college. However, it can be stressful at times and the major will have a big impact on your earning potential.
There are actually a lot of reasons that college can be as great as everyone says and there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you enjoy your time in college.
You decide what you learn
One of the main reasons that people enjoy their time in college more than their time in high school is that you get to choose what you learn in college.
In college, you decide on your major which determines the set of classes that you will need to graduate. In each major, there will be some classes that you must take and some classes that you will be able to choose from. Since you can choose your major it means that you should be able to enjoy your time as a student in college a lot more than in high school.
Often, people that say that they did not enjoy college will have chosen a major that was not appropriate for them. This is why it is important for you to put a lot of consideration into the major that you choose.
There are usually lots of social events
One reason that people will often say that college is a lot of fun is that there are usually lots of social events.
Colleges will also usually have many different clubs that you can join in areas ranging from languages to dance to finance and many other areas. Whatever your interest is in you should be able to find at least one club that interests you.
In addition to that, there will be lots of parties that you might get invited to especially in your freshman year when you are living with lots of other students.
It will help you earn more
One of the main reasons that people recommend college is that it will usually boost your earning potential.
Over a 40-year working life bachelors degree holders are expected to make 66% more than those without a bachelors degree.
This means that going to college should help to improve your quality of life over the long run since you’ll usually be earning more. So, even if you don’t enjoy college a lot then it should still be worthwhile for you overall provided it helps you to earn more once you are done.
There is one caveat to this though, the degree that you get will have a big impact on your earning potential. Some degrees, such as those in the STEM field, will tend to offer more jobs upon graduating while other degrees will not provide so many opportunities. While it is important to choose a degree that you enjoy it is also important to choose one that will put you in a good position when you graduate.
Your schedule will be more flexible
Another reason that people tend to enjoy college more is that their schedule tends to be the way that they want it to be.
In college, you get to choose the class times that you have. This means that, if you don’t like getting up early, you can choose morning classes, if you want to block your classes together then you can and if you want to space them out then you can do that as well.
However, that is assuming that there are multiple class times being offered. Sometimes, especially in your junior and senior years, you’ll find that a class is only offered at one time. In this case, if you don’t like the time, you’ll either have to take it anyway or take the class at a later semester.
You choose the professors
Another reason that college tends to be better is that you can choose your professors.
This means that you will be able to avoid the professors that you do not like unlike in high school. This, combined with the fact that you’ll likely be taking classes that interests you, will likely mean that you will have a much more pleasant time when in class.
However, sometimes you will find that a class is only taught by one professor. In this case, you can either take the class anyway or you can take the class in a later semester.
You can use the website ratemyprofessors.com to find the professors that other students recommend. You will likely find that the classes taught by these professors will fill up quickly so it would be worthwhile for you to schedule your classes as soon as scheduling opens.
Your classes will go smoother
People will also enjoy college more because the classes tend to go more smoothly.
The classes taught in college will be taught by professors who are usually experts in the field. It will normally be easier for them to explain complex topics in a more understandable way and to spot potential sticking points.
The other students will also have chosen to be there so they will likely be much less disruptive than your high school classmates might be. Since they’ll be taking similar majors as you it is also likely that you will have a lot in common with them.
This does also mean that you will get through more material in-class which is one reason why you will be expected to study more outside of class.
You have more independence
Another reason that college can be as great as people say is that you get more independence.
In college, you will be the one that decides on your major, your schedule and what you do outside of the classroom. This means that you will have a lot more freedom to do the things that you want to do.
Assuming that you move out as well, then you will also be able to do what you feel like doing in your free time as well. It will also give you a chance to get used to living by your own means before going on into the real world.
There is more support
Another benefit that college has is that there tends to be a lot more support and resources.
In college, the professors will have office hours and many colleges will offer free tutoring. So, when you get stuck on something there will be more people that you can go to that will help you with it.
You will also usually have access to an academic advisor who will be able to help you ensure that you are making optimal progress towards your degree.
You’ll also likely have access to a much larger library, computers for you to use, the college will usually have wifi for students to use and there will be many more forms of support available to you.
You decide on the college
One thing to consider is that the culture of a college can vary a lot depending on a number of factors. The size, location, age, acceptance rate, type and size of student body can all have an impact on the culture of a college.
Before deciding on a college that you want to go to it is important to consider what you want and the type of college that would suit you best.
It can be difficult at times
One reason that college can not be as great as people say is that it can be stressful at times.
In college, a lot more weight is given to the exams, especially final exams. This means that college can be stressful when you have a lot of exams coming up.
However, this can be avoided by planning ahead, making sure that you stay on top of all of your assignments and study throughout the semester.
It costs a lot
Another reason that college can be not so great is that it can cost a lot.
If finances are tight then this can put a lot of stress on you especially after graduating where you will need to start paying off any loans.
With that being said, there are many colleges that you can choose from so you should be able to find one that is cost-effective for you.
One option that you have would be to go to a community college first and then to transfer to a 4-year college after. By doing this you should be able to save some money since community colleges tend to be a lot cheaper. If you do decide to do it then make sure that the classes from the community college will transfer over into the major that you want to get at the 4-year college.
Another thing to consider is that colleges will often give need-based aid and will charge less to in-state students. They will also often give extra scholarship money to students that get high SAT or GRE scores.
It won’t guarantee a job
Another reason that college can be not so great is that it won’t guarantee you a job. But, you’ll still need to pay off any debt. This can cause the years after college to be particularly stressful.
With that being said, as mentioned earlier the degree you get will have a big impact on the job opportunities that you will get upon graduation. This is why it is important to consider the job prospects that a degree has when deciding on one.
You can do things to make it more enjoyable
How great college is for you will depend a lot on how well you plan for college and how you go about your business while you are in college.
You can make your time in college be much more enjoyable by doing things such as:
- Using ratemyprofessors.com to select the professors that are recommended
- Scheduling your classes early so that you get the professors and times that you want
- Researching the prospects that the different majors provide before deciding on one
- Researching how well a college fits your personality before deciding on a college
- Studying consistently throughout the semester so that you don’t get stressed when exams come and you keep your grades up
- Planning your entire semester out in the first week of classes so that you don’t get caught out with deadlines
- Meeting with your academic advisor regularly and deciding on an optimal class sequence
- Doing internships in the summer to put yourself in a good position upon graduation