College: Is it for Everyone?
Updated: Jan 21
As high school students study hard to get high GPA’s, tour universities, and throw their caps in the air during graduation, college is the next step. But does it have to be? College is usually a four year experience where young adults are thrown into the real world: more challenging classes, living in not-so-comfortable dorms, and studying in cafes on campus. College can easily become a wonderful experience filled with memories from roommates, parties, sororities/fraternities, and the friends that quickly become family. Attending university allows you to grow as an individual both academically and mentally and it also serves as a simulation for the workforce. High school students take standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, tour campuses, and prepare for the application process. Seniors part ways and say goodbye to their childhood friends as they prepare for their new endeavors.
Many students take college-like AP courses, participate in extracurriculars, and study late nights and early mornings in hopes of earning a 4.0 GPA. However, society exerts pressure on young adults to know what they want to do with their life at the young age of 14-18 years old. This pressure forces students into attending college when they are either not passionate about furthering their education or simply don’t know what field they want to enter in the future. Parents often make it seem as if college is a necessary step i order to be successful in the real world. Students fall into this trap and are often unhappy when attending college. Matter of fact, in 2018, it was confirmed that 1 in 5 college attendees have some sort of mental illness, most commonly anxiety or depression. College can become an extremely toxic environment once young adults stay away from family for long periods of time and deal with the high stress levels of rigorous college courses. Additionally, attending college is very expensive, forcing attendees to depend on student loans, and leaving graduates with an extreme amount of debt.
Personally, I believe that college is a perfect segue for a flourishing career and stable future. Not only does this experience allow you to grow independently and further your education, but it also allows young adults to be prepared for the real world, while making memories that will stay with them forever. While attending college, young adults will form long-lasting friendships and also involve themselves in extracurriculars and internships which will only help them in the future. This experience will allow them to get stable jobs, build successful careers, and ultimately, thrive in the future. However, I do realize that college isn’t for everyone. I think that college allows you to be really successful in the future, but the experience may not be for everyone. Tuition is expensive and the overall environment may not be the healthiest for everyone. I believe in the power of gap years! They allow young individuals to thoroughly think about their major and take time off school for personal reasons if necessary. This is more beneficial than attending college, switching your major or university, and end up having to pay even more tuition. Overall, I think college will help aid many struggling young adults into creating a more dependable future for themselves, yet is the not the path everyone should feel obligated to take!