Is College Really for You? Questions to Ask Yourself First Before Applying to College

woman carrying a backpack, a pen, and a set of books

Most people tend to view those with a college degree as bright or have done something in life in our society. Primary and high school teachers often encourage their students to get higher education, as they believe it’s a safe life choice. But the painful reality is that college isn’t for everyone. Some find it more efficient to start their own business and manage from there. Others might have skills that can pay considerably well.

So instead of saying the pros and cons of going to college, ask yourself these few questions that might make you think about whether college is really an undertaking you want to go through. Hopefully, after this, you’ll have a better idea of what you should do with your future.

Do You Know What You Want to Do In Life?

If you have a specific career path or goal in mind, this question is all the more critical. Sit down and ask yourself what do you want to do in life? It could be something concrete like being a surgeon or any other health care practitioner. It can be something general or vague being wealthy or financially independent. Regardless of what your aspirations are, they’re valid and worth considering. However, you still need to be realistic about it.

If you’re looking to grow in a specific field or industry, then there’s most likely a college program you can take to increase your chances. If you’re thinking of simply gaining as much wealth as you can, your personal finance can still thrive without a college degree. Take your time in deciding what you truly want in life—it will make the difference when deciding whether you should go to university or not.

Can You Afford It?

money and a piece of paper with "student debt" written on it

This is a practical concern and one that’s critical. Going to university or college costs money—quite considerably too. Different fields and specializations will require you to invest large amounts of both time and money, and you might find yourself doing more to afford it. You might have to take out a college loan or work multiple jobs to support yourself. But if you know what you want, then it’s worth all the effort. You can apply for scholarships or look for an affordable college near your state. But being able to afford college is simply a matter that you shouldn’t ignore unless money is not an issue for you.

Do You Like Studying in a School Setting?

Going to college means going to school. And not everyone enjoys the school setting. As a matter of fact, not everyone learns best in this setting. If you had trouble learning at school, then perhaps college isn’t for you. Unless, of course, you can self-study your way to pass the exams or have an indomitable will to listen in class.

Going to college means even more schooling, so if academics aren’t exactly your cup of tea, you might want to look elsewhere. There are trade schools that can teach you skilled work that pays well and is in high demand. That’s a viable option, should you find the academic side of college unappealing.

Do You Want More Career Opportunities?

If you’re already in an industry that you like and are looking for career growth, then a bachelor’s or a master’s degree can help you with that. Getting a master’s degree can increase your chances of promotion, not to mention you’ll learn even more that can help you with your current job. If you’re unemployed, having a college degree makes you more appealing to employers and opens you up to industries requiring a degree.

Do You Have Enough Time?

Since you will be studying and researching a lot for college, you need to manage your time. While adults with full-time jobs would find this aspect challenging, younger people without professional commitments can work better. But it’s not just a matter of time but also age as well.

Do your life plans allow for a large chunk of your time to be taken away and invested into something like college? If yes, then that adds to why you should go to college. If not, then you should reconsider or find flexible options. Some colleges offer remote learning or ones that hold evening classes. Your options are there; you simply need to look for them.

At the end of the day, university or college is our choice. Making the right decision is a complicated process. So take your time, ask yourself these questions, and decide for yourself.

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