Why Should People Go To College?

Not every high school student wants to go to college or has the opportunity to do so. But sometimes the decision not to go to college just has to do with the fact that someone just doesn’t want to or because they never saw themselves going there in the first place.

Everyone is different and although it’s true that college isn’t for everyone, and that it’s still possible to be successful without it (I mean, just look at Ellen), college is something worth experiencing and more valuable than that sheet of paper you get at the end of four years.

Not everyone is lucky enough to attend a university or college so if you have that ability, but are thinking about not applying or completely taking it off the table, take a moment and really think about it. There’s a place in college for just about everyone and maybe after reading the reasons below about why you should go to college, maybe your mind will be a little less made up.

So why should people go to college?

It’s an experience worth having

From the moment they read that acceptance letter to the moment they stood in front of the student union for a photo with mom and dad after commencement, people usually like to reminisce about their college years. There are some memories and experiences that can only be had in college.

Greek life, for example, can only happen during your undergrad years and that in itself is an experience worth having. With your newly gained freedom, you’re free to have many adventures with your friends without a nagging parent there to stop you or tell you that 11 p.m. is too late to go wander around campus town.

You’ll rarely remember those long nights you stayed up studying or the mornings you crammed for an exam, but you’ll remember those nights where you went out of your comfort zone, tried new things or had a snowball fight in the middle of the night with your friends on the night before your first final.

Open your mind, meet new people, learn new things

There will probably never be another time in your life where you’re surrounded by so many different types of people. And I’m not just talking about major-wise. College brings together students from all over the country. People who think differently than you, raised differently and come from different backgrounds.

You can probably learn more from the people you meet in your classes and dorms than your professors. Your classmates might be smarter than you think, and you could gain a lot of new perspectives from just immersing yourself into conversations with those around you. If you also happen to attend a university that requires general education courses, you’ll get to take classes you otherwise would have never signed up for.

For example, as a journalism major, I never would have thought to take any philosophy or world religions courses, but because of gen ed requirements, I signed up for them. I was able to broaden my knowledge about the largest religions in the world that I probably would have never known

Find yourself, discover your passions

I’m one of those lucky few that knew exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up right when I got into highschool. I’ve never switched my major and I’ve been learning about journalism for a long time, but not everyone is like that. Some people in their late 30s still don’t know what they want to do with their lives.

But a lot of people find themselves when they go to college. They’re away from the strong influence of their parents and finally get to join clubs and sports teams and take classes because they want to, not because it looks great on a college application.

College is a time to learn new things and gain new hobbies. Your friends will likely introduce you to new activities you have never done before such as hacky sack, which even after two years of college, I still can’t get the hang of.

You can get a better job with higher pay

This is the reason your teachers and parents want you to go to school, but they’re not wrong. Nowadays, you need a degree to do just about anything. According to gearup.wa.gov, people who didn’t finish high school earn about $18,519 per year, whereas someone who received a bachelor’s degree or higher earn about $59,539 per year.

So in order to get that big house you’ve always dreamed of or that shiny new sports car, a college degree might just be your ticket to getting what you’ve always wanted. Getting a degree also gives you a higher chance of financial stability.

Become your own person and gain independence

For a lot of people, going off to college is the first time being away from home. It’s the first time mom and dad aren’t there to give you their credit card whenever you need it. They’re not your chauffeurs anymore and long gone are the days of coming home from school and finding a nice warm meal from mom on the table.

College is a time where you learn a lot about yourself and learn how to do things on your own. Even if you do your own laundry at home and consider yourself independant, it’s completely different in college. No one is going to be there every morning to make sure you’re awake for that 8 a.m. If you oversleep and miss that pop quiz, that’s on you.

If you decide to skip lecture every week up until finals and bomb the exam, you have no one to blame but yourself. There are also no parents around to keep you from going to McDonald’s every night at 1 a.m. You make a lot of decisions on your own; some good and some not so good, but that’s the beauty of college. It’s more than just learning about laws and parabolas. It’s an overall learning experience. You learn how to become an adult and how to make decisions for you.

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Melissa Espana

Melissa Espana

Melissa España is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She hopes to one day write for a Chicago newspaper and have a group of loyal readers. When she’s not pursuing her dreams of being a reporter, she can be found at the Sigma Kappa house, watching reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” or correcting someone’s grammar.
Melissa Espana

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