The price of going to college today is astronomical. Is it worth it? Is it important to continue your education beyond high school? Here is one answer, my thoughts on the matter.
College is expensive no matter how you look at it but one thing that I am thoroughly convinced of is that education, whether or not you can attend college is vitally important to all of us and just because we can’t attend some fancy Ivy League school or other well known hall of education doesn’t mean we need to stop learning after we have graduated high school.
It is becoming more and more important to have that degree to be able to have a well paying job. High School is wonderful but it just doesn’t cut it in the world of employment. In most areas now days you need that degree. You need college; you need some form of continuing education.
Today there are student loans, grants and scholarships that weren’t available when I was struggling to attend college. I managed it anyhow and so can you, one step, one course at a time if necessary.
I guess you might call me a perpetual student. Hey, I’m 70+ and there is still a lot to learn out there. No, I’m not going to live long enough to know it all but I can enjoy learning some as long as I am able. I don’t ever plan to stop learning.
Is it worth it to go to college? Absolutely. I’ve changed careers a half dozen times and I have gone to school to learn more about my chosen field each time. I have grown as a person because I was willing to learn new things. There is an old cliché that I rather much believe in and encourage others to follow and that is…”Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss the moon, you will still land among the stars.” That is how I feel about education. I don’t think anyone has a real excuse for not learning. None of us really know it all. There is always something new to learn about and it keeps life interesting. Attaining new knowledge is never boring.
I graduated from a small, one year business college…My parent’s choice, not mine. I wanted to be a teacher, a writer and researcher. They said no, they couldn’t afford to send me to a Teachers College and I would become a secretary. As it was, I had to work part-time to defray the cost of even a one year, hole in the wall business college, even back even 50 years ago.
The business college I attended was three rooms over a local pub on a back street but the cost was reasonable and it was college, at least education beyond high school and I did learn some very valuable lessons while I was there, not all from book learning. There were only two teachers, one of them being the owner of the college and there was no campus. You either commuted or found a room to rent nearby.
It was not my idea of college but I saw it through. I wasn’t given a whole lot of choice in the matter. It was that or nothing. Being someone’s secretary was not my dream. Never the less, I benefited from the experience. I’m a fairly good typist. I take good notes. My math skills are still pretty much up to par. I can keep my check book balanced and figure a workable budget. I learned some skills that have been useful to me throughout my life. Those are all pluses and I learned them in Business College.
I didn’t like being a secretary and I liked my bosses even less and with more than justifiable reason. I lasted about eight years in that field. I’ve never gone back and at this point in my life I highly doubt I will. Was Business College worth it? Of course it was and several years later when I decided to go to college again, on my own, I was already married, filing for a divorce and had four children, I had a few credits carried over from that one year, only three but three was better than zero and starting from scratch all over again.
I attended the College of Saint Joseph the Provider. I didn’t graduate. I wish I had. I withdrew my junior year in the middle of the last semester because of some family problems. I couldn’t handle being a student and a mother and work all at the same time. Being a wife had long since gone out the window. My marriage had been over for some time. I put my dream on hold. Oh, by the way, just for the record, from my freshman year of college, I had a 3.9 average, and maintained that GPA my sophomore year and up until I withdrew the middle of my junior year, I had a 4.0 average at the time I withdrew. Had life’s situation been different I would have graduated with high honors. I had other responsibilities and I needed to keep my priorities straight. My first priority had to be and was my children. Was it worth it, those almost three more years of college? Absolutely. I learned about a lot of things I never had a clue about before. It helps me to be a better writer and a better person.
One of the most valuable things I learned, when it comes to writing or a teaching career, was how to research a subject so I would know what I was talking about. Going to college doesn’t mean I now know everything but it does mean I know how to find the answers. I learned a lot about people in those few years too and I learned a lot about myself. I found I had strengths I never realized I had. I found it takes real determination and a whole lot of hard work to make your dream become a reality.
It took me ten years to pay off my student loans from that little venture. I went in debt but I also had skills from my previous college experience that helped me to get out of debt. I knew which side of the ledger the debits and the credits went, which was which and how to balance them. And I had learned how to sort out and set my priorities. It was all worth it. And I still had my dream and kept my sights on it. I have never actually given up on my dream even though it has had to be placed on the back burner from time to time when other life situations had to become my priority. Slowly, one step at a time I continued to work toward becoming a teacher, researcher, writer, my dream for me.
I had a job working in a convalescent center as an aid to the recreational therapist. She encouraged me to take some college courses in that field. I took them through a Community college. I loved it. Eventually she got married and moved to another State where her husband was employed and I was offered her position. I still didn’t have a degree but I was working towards one and I had three years experience working with her. I worked in that position two more years and then I was in a car accident and had to have therapies of my own. I would be out of work for at least a year and might never be able to go back to that work. They had to replace me. Was it worth it to have taken those college courses? Absolutely.
I now have talents and abilities I didn’t have before. I have more knowledge than I had before and every now and then I get to use some of it when I am working as a substitute teacher. It also gives me a wide range of material and characters to write about. I’m a writer.
I’ve taken a few on-line courses and a couple of those courses that come to you in the mail to enhance my career. Most of them are not accredited and many of the religious colleges aren’t accredited by your State Board of Education either but I have enjoyed taking the courses and I have gained a certain amount of new knowledge by taking them. I also found out that even though they are not accredited courses, were I to attend an accredited college, most of them will offer you life experience credits for your efforts. Is going to college worth it? You bet your bottom dollar it is.
Do you have a dream? Is there something you want for yourself more than anything else? Go for it; one step at a time. Shoot for the moon. Maybe you won’t hit the moon, but you will still land among the stars. When I was sixteen I dreamed of being a teacher and a writer. Today I am doing both. I’m not a professional teacher but I have work as a teacher aid in the classroom and with special needs children. I have worked as a substitute teacher and I have worked as a tutor for students needing extra help. I’m a teacher.
I will probably never live long enough to be rich and famous as a writer but I write, have one novel published and two more in the works, I’ve written articles, essays and fillers for a variety of magazines and periodicals both locally and nationally and even had my own column in a religious magazine for about five years until the owner got sick had had to close her publication. I’m a writer and to be a good writer I have to also be a researcher, learn as much about the subject I am writing on as is possible for me; therefore, I am also a researcher. I have landed among the stars and my dream is indeed a reality.
Was it worth it to go to college? I think so, despite the price I had to pay. I think colleges today charge way too much but get that education anyhow, even if you have to do it one step, one course at a time. If you really believe in your dream go after it. It is worth the effort. College, it is absolutely worth the cost.
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