It seems like high school students are pressured to go straight to college after graduation and to have a university and major already decided. However, this way of thinking can do more harm than good to a student.
These are huge decisions to make, and seventeen to eighteen-year-olds are probably ill-equipped to make them. With a decision that is such an investment of time, effort and money, it might pay to take your time reaching it.
Take my case, for example. Straight out of high school I went to The University of Dayton to pursue a business degree.
I had no idea why I wanted to do business, I just knew I had to pick something. My dad did it and I knew it made decent money, so I picked it on a limb.
I hated it. I checked out mentally in my classes, and my GPA fell pretty far because of it.
I’m in debt from them and have three business classes that are useless to me now. I went to Sinclair the next year. I floated around, taking classes I didn’t need to take.
It took me about a year to find out what my passion was, and that ended up being journalism.
It might have been more worthwhile to take a year off after high school. I could have done some soul searching to find out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It would also be beneficial to work a job or two during this time to build up some income to pay for tuition.
Time off would help students focus on what they are interested and passionate about doing. That way, when they go to college, they would be more mature and perhaps less likely to succumb to distractions like drugs and binge-drinking.
I also believe society pressures students to go through the process of college so quickly. We all work at a different pace. Some people can get a master’s degree in five years, while others might struggle to get a bachelor’s in that time, and that’s ok.
Community college shouldn’t be seen as a bad path to take either. As long as the effort is put in, you can get almost as much knowledge out of community college as you can a four-year university.
It is also a better idea financially in the long run. $2,500 a semester is much easier to handle than $25,000 a semester.
In the end, I believe that more students thinking about going to college should take their time on their decisions, and we shouldn’t judge people for earning their education at their own pace.