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High school may seem like a time that is care-free, and a time where one is enjoying still being a 'kid’ with some responsibilities. However, high school is truly an important time, as the decisions one makes during high school, and right after, can have some extremely strong impacts on one’s future. The many routes that one can take can seem overwhelming. Do you go to summer school, and graduate early? Do you join the military after high school, or decide to go to college? Will you go to a community college, or start off at a larger university? Will you go to another city or state, or stay near home? There are many questions to answer and explore when it comes to considering the pros and cons of college. Sometimes school is the last thing that high school students want to think about, but college should be high on the priority list. Let’s explore why.
Pros of College after High School
There is a high probability that if you don’t go to college right after high school, you may decide to never go, as the educational momentum is gone. If someone starts to work after high school, with the intent of going to college later on, they may find out that they may become too busy with life, and other events, and college may become last, to null, on the priority list. Deciding to not go to college may cut into one’s future salary potential. College graduates make more income over their lifetime.
Going to college may present opportunities that may positively alter one’s life, as good study habits help enforce a more responsible adult lifestyle. Attending college can give one the opportunity to have a better job, especially through an internship program, which may help a student get a foot in the door to a high-paying company. In college, one may have the opportunity to make friends, and even find a lasting relationship, as well as a build a positive social and professional network. At this time, it is known that millennials who do not attend college end up being in the poverty range rates, and have a higher chance of being unemployed or unemployable. A Research study from Pew that was conducted in 2013 showed that almost thirteen percent of young adults between the ages of twenty five and thirty two that had a high school diploma only, were not working. Those who attend college have a higher chance of being married, and a lesser chance of living at home with their parents.
Cons of College after High School
Going to college after high school does not allow you the benefit of having a gap year. A gap year is a year when the student decides to ‘take a break.’ Many students who intentionally have a gap year to ‘discover themselves,’ and travel and explore the world become more mature as they experience the ‘real world’ in a way that may young people never may. There are many programs that cater to young adults, like AmeriCorps, and the military, and other volunteer programs that promise board and room to those who decide to become part of that group. It gives the young adult a chance to help others, or push their limits outside of the educational realm. Taking a bit of time can help a young person decide what they truly want to do. Not all students who graduate know exactly what they want to be when they ‘grow up,’ so time apart from school can help a young person shed light on their future goals.
A young adult may consider starting a business, becoming part of an apprenticeship, learning a trade, or making a difference in their community. They could attend a different form of higher education as well, such as an intense boot camp training. There are plenty of jobs available in the medical industry for people without college degrees, and there are many programmer jobs without degree.
In either route, one can have fun, learn about themselves and become more of an ‘adult’ in the process, as long as responsible choices are made, and an end goal is kept in mind. Taking random college classes with no goal, or taking a year off to just stay at home and watch television won’t reap benefits on a personal or financial level. Going to college, or an equivalent, would be a good option to help one reach their life goals.