With all of the joy of learning something new and having a diploma added to your curriculum vitae… comes the student loan. Whereas higher education meant something fundamental to our parents, now we know plenty of examples of famous people who never finished or did not even enter a college or a university, including Beyonce and Prince Harry. So the question is – is higher education even worth it in 2020? If so, how not to regret spending huge tuition fees and make the most out of it?
Is Higher Education Worth the Debt?
Everybody knows that the first step toward a career that pays well is a college or university. The will to enter the world of great careers may be strong, but higher education still remains relatively expensive. The evidence shows that graduating from college raises one’s chances 177 times to earn more than four million. What is more, only 2.2 percent of people with a college degree was not employed in 2018. Is it because college graduates need to be employed to pay off the debts? Although we do not know the personal motives of people with a degree, a college diploma appears to be financially rewarding, as statistics prove.
In modern times of technology, there are a lot of professions, mostly digital ones, that are not represented in educational institutions but can be well-paid, such as a social media influencer. At the same time, some jobs that did not need any special education in the past evolved and now require getting a diploma first. It is relevant, for example, for assistants and some positions in sales. To crown it all, getting a college degree is an excellent solution for those aspiring for a traditional career path, and it can be optional for some professions.
Pros and Cons of a College Degree
Besides providing jobs that are well-paid, getting a college degree usually means a significant accomplishment in one’s life. A diploma is a culmination of several years of hard work when a student learns how to manage their time, digest big chunks of information, cope with stress and finish projects, which, in other words, can be called personal growth. We surely work on the same qualities in high school, but postsecondary education is more demanding and is more relatable to the future working experience of a person. It also undoubtedly helps meeting new people, which also means growing the network of future professionals in different domains.
Among the disadvantages of getting a college degree, there is the fact that not all of the people entering college are conscious of their choice, and some of them simply pursue the dream of a life on campus full of parties. This may result in an irresponsible approach to studying and, eventually, a lack of competencies and unpreparedness for the working life. On another side of the coin, we have students who choose consciously but, due to the lack of information upon entrance, they sometimes feel disappointed about the career they chose. This is okay for young people to try as many domains and occupations as possible; however, it is harder to be flexible when your family invests some considerable amounts into your college of choice.
Tips to Make Your College Experience Successful
- Define what successful experience means to YOU
The notion of success means different things for different people. For that reason, it is crucial to prioritize your goals when entering a college to make the most of it. Take a moment to think, what brings you here? Which goals would you like to achieve? How can they be measured? Write everything down and save this list for later. Keeping your priorities on paper will help to keep them in mind, too. Do not pressure yourself on the accomplishment of the goals you noted. It is totally okay to modify the list throughout your studies as with the time, you have more knowledge and get to understand how the world operates better.
- Learn how to manage your budget
For many students, money is tight during their college years. Here’s the tip: use this opportunity to learn how to manage your personal finances. Believe me, plenty of adult people spend money on expensive courses learning how to control their budget, and you get to learn that by yourself even before your first million!
First of all, keep track of your spendings. Just write down your expenses, categorize them, and think about how you can improve your financial behavior. Do you spend too much money on groceries because you shop without a shopping list? Are you eating out too often? Also, you can do research on free entertainment in your area. You will be surprised. The options to have fun for free are numerous.
- Use campus resources
Many students complain about their college assignments, forgetting that actually, it is not professors who use students for their personal benefit. Another way round, you should use the time of professors and their competence for your own sake. Interact with the educators whenever you have questions, check the students’ services department, in general, be curious about what your institution can offer to you.
- Most importantly, have fun!
Being serious about your studies doesn’t mean you should skip all of the fun on campus. All work and no play makes Jake a dull student, remember? Make sure to schedule your leisure time and do some work in advance to remain unbothered after that upcoming big party.