For many people, going to college is the next logical step to take after high school. For others, it’s a welcome opportunity to change direction later in life. However, for some, it’s simply not an option that fits their aspirations or temperament.
So, how do you figure out which camp you fall into? While there’s not always an easy answer to the question of whether college is right for you, going through the following steps should help you to reach an informed decision about your future.
Think about your career goals
To begin with, it’s worth taking some time to work out exactly what your career aspirations are and whether they would be best served by having a degree. For some job roles, a college degree is a necessity. For many,they’re an advantage, and for others they’re irrelevant.
Of course, furthering your career is not the only reason to go to college. If there’s a subject, you’re fascinated by and would love to explore more deeply. College is a fantastic opportunity to do so. There’s nothing wrong with learning for learning’s sake!
Work out if you’re eligible
The next question to look at is whether you are actually eligible to apply for a college program. This will mostly depend on what qualifications you already have and which courses you’re interested in. Each college will have its own entry requirements, so check out CampusReel.org to find out your chances of acceptance at different institutions. If they’re low, see what you can do to bring them up if going to college is definitely your dream.
Consider the cost
Sadly, college isn’t free, so you also need to look into how much a degree will cost you and whether you can comfortably afford it. Don’t be discouraged if it’s outside your price range because there are plenty of options out there in terms of scholarships, loans, and financial aid that can make your college dream a reality. Distance learning can also be a way to save some money.
Another option is to work at the same time as studying to help cover your costs. In fact, some employers will even pay for your tuition if you agree to remain working for them for a specific number of years. Just make sure not to work so much that your grades suffer, as this would make the endeavor pointless.
Look into the alternatives
College is far from the only option that’s open to you. Some other possibilities include:
- Taking a gap year to go traveling or do some volunteer work
- Getting an apprenticeship, internship, or similar type of position where you learn on the job
- Starting your own business or working as a freelancer
Trust your instincts
Ultimately, no one can tell you whether college is the right path for you. It’s a decision that you must make for yourself. Getting all the relevant information together is part of it, but don’t be afraid to trust your gut too. When you imagine being at college and studying for a degree, does it feel like the right place for you to be? Sometimes the answer to that question tells you everything you need to know.