Heading off to college or university is a really exciting time in your life. You’ve probably chosen to study a subject that you love, or think will lead to a career in a particular field, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you realize that you don’t want to work in that particular sector or you find another vocation after a while.  Whatever happens, it’s important to know that college is about way more than a diploma and student loans. There are many other advantages which will benefit you for the rest of your life. These include:

Gaining independence

College is often the first time that people leave the family home and need to fend for themselves. Independence is a great skill to cultivate. You’ll become responsible for your own time, activities, shopping and cleaning as well as keeping on top of your studies, there’s no one there to do it for you. It can take a little while to get the hang of, but that’s what college is for, making mistakes and working things out.

Expanding your view of the world

It’s easy to see the world through the goldfish bowl of your home town. If you’ve not travelled much in your life, then going to college can really open up the world for you, even if you’re studying close to home. Suddenly, you’re surrounded by different types of people, backgrounds and opinions. It’s often this realisation that causes people to rethink their choices for the future. Perhaps you are studying law but developed an interest in health and decide to take health coach qualifications as well to upskill in your new passion. Try and be as open to new experiences as possible.

Making friends for life

The friends you make in college are special ones. Sharing this important time in your life can build bonds that last for the rest of your life. You also get the chance to make friends with people from outside of your local area, not just the people who have to go to the same school. Having a good group of friends in college is important for a lot of reasons, including helping you to cope with being away from family, the pressures of studying and developing a good social life.

Study skills

Learning and studying are important skills. As you go through your career, you will need to use these skills all the time. It could be conducting research, taking further qualifications or getting a project over the line. So even if you don’t use the knowledge you’ve gained while studying, you have definitely learned a wealth of new skills.

Key points

The experience of college needs to be taken as a whole, not just as a pursuit of a particular diploma. The opportunity to change your surroundings, get to know new people and ideas is an important one and can really change the way you think about yourself and the world. You’ll probably also meet the people who will be your friends for decades to come.

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