Have you ever been to a store that has a shelf full of piggy banks with decorated signs on them that designate their particular purpose, such as shoe fund, vacation fund, girls’ night out fund, etc?
Among those different banks, one designed for a “college fund” is almost always an option. It’s a little ironic though, that there are college fund banks in abundance, when one of the main reasons why people decide not to go to college, is money; either tuition and fees are too expensive to begin with, or many wonder if the loans they’ll have to pay back post-graduation are really worth it, since we live in a society with an unpredictable economy and job market, and those with degrees often find themselves on a seemingly endless and difficult job search anyway.
The unfortunate nature of our economy, however, has seemed to cause this intense preoccupation with money to be extended to all facets of life, making it seem like it’s the most important aspect of an individual. In turn, the main focus that’s been attributed to getting a college education has been on finding a lucrative career afterwards, which means that your degree was a positive investment. However, doing things in life that don’t necessarily profit you monetarily are still worth it because they enrich you in many other ways. More focus should be placed on the quality of one’s life, rather than focusing on how best to quantify every moment. There’s more to life than money, and there’s more to college than simply using it as a stepping stone to finding a way to make money afterwards.
College is an experience.
It’s a place where you become a well-rounded, knowledgeable individual. Being away at college exposes you to so many different kinds of people and ideas. It introduces you to different viewpoints that challenge your beliefs that can expand your thinking or further solidify you in your own positions. Either way, you’re able to understand various backgrounds and cultures, which allows you to appreciate and respect diversity, rather than judge or be wary of it.
College also allows you to learn important skills
…such as strong writing and discussion skills. Being able to effectively communicate and formulate thoughts, whether through writing or speaking with others, will benefit you in both your professional and personal life.
You also foster your commitment and dedication.
It takes focus and drive to stick to a program for 4 or more years and to finish it successfully. Throughout those years, you’re forced to develop self-discipline and time management skills since you’re in a huge bubble filled with tasks, assignments, and events that always overlap and happen simultaneously. Life is the same way, and not just life in your career. As adults and parents, nothing ever happens neatly, one thing at a time, and life in college, in and out of the classroom, teaches you to budget your time and find your priorities.
College also helps you become self-sufficient.
You’re on your own so you have to figure out where and when to go, do your own laundry, make your own doctor’s appointments when necessary, grocery shop, and possibly cook your own food depending on your living situation. When you’re home, even when you’re 18 and older, I know from experience that it’s hard for parents to stop being parents. Therefore, if you’re in their house, they’ll want to feed you and do all of those little things. Going to college allows you to grow up, and rightfully so. It’s not fair to take advantage of your parents and milk them for all their worth, just because you may be able to.
College is a time to find yourself.
Since you’re exposed to a wide variety of ideas and subjects, you discover and solidify what you like, dislike, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. You’re able to put yourself out there, try new things, and develop lifelong relationships.
Is money important? Yes. But it shouldn’t necessarily be why you don’t do something if it’ll be an unforgettable experience that will enrich your life in multiple ways, and will foster character traits that all employers are dying to have.