1. You can always go back to college!
If you take a year off to work on your art or music or business and it does not work out, guess what? Yep, you can still go to college when you are 19 or 20, the same way that you can when you are 18. There's no age limit (obviously)! But for me, however, I cannot go back in time and save myself the time and money that I spent in pharmacy school. But I don't regret it. Everything in life happens for a reason, and if I had not gone to pharmacy school, I wouldn't have met Gary and all of the friends that I have, so college was a blessing in that regard.
As Bill Gates once said in regards to his status at Harvard,
"...if things [Microsoft] hadn't worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on [a] leave [of absence]."
2. If you are hesitant, don't waste your time (and money!) on a business degree
If you have goals and dreams to start your own business, invent something, etc. don't waste your time on a business degree. While I can't say this from experience, clearly, there have been numerous business major graduates that have told me they have not used their degrees once. No employer has asked or cared!
3. If you excelled in high school but don't enjoy going to class, college is not for you
I was a 4.0 student in high school and received a 30 ACT score aka I was pretty damn smart. So college seemed logical for me. But there was only one problem: I HATED school. In my senior year of high school, I skipped class ALL the time. And that carried on into college. I regularly skipped class, and even when I did go, I sat in the back row scrolling through my Facebook or Pinterest feed. So how did I manage to graduate with honors from a doctorate program? Well, I learn best from teaching myself. I would leave class, head to the library, and read the textbooks and notes on my own. Each student has his or her way of learning, and that is how I learn best. I don't retain information by someone talking at me. That method of learning continues in my life today as that is how I have taught myself photography, how I have taught myself to create a website, etc. I am so determined to make a career for myself through self-education. So if you're anything like me, skip the pricey tuition bill and reach your goals through self-education.
4. The parties and sororities and friends that come along with college are pretty awesome but...
...all of that can be obtained without having to get yourself into student loan debt. Well, maybe not the sororities but you get my point. I will admit the one benefit that I got out of college was the social interaction. I developed life-long friendships and learned valuable life lessons such as how to live independently away from home, how to manage my time between studying and having a social life, and why I'll never drink vodka again. Then again those life lessons can most certainly be learned outside of going to college.
5. If you decide college is right for you, please make sure you take your time choosing a major!
Choosing a major is a daunting task and for good reason! If your major is going to reflect the career that will earn you a living for the rest of your life, the one you choose is crucial! Of course, you can always change your major if you have a change of heart, but from what I hear that can be a brutal process. So take the time to find out what you love! How? Here are a few ideas:
- Follow prompts to reflect on what is important to you, what you value, and what you want out of your life. I keep a journal to reflect on these topics whenever I am feeling unmotivated!
- Go explore! If you want to go to college, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to go somewhere AWAY from home! Although I missed seeing my family and friends on a regular basis, leaving home was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Duquesne was merely an hour drive from home, but it still was far enough that I did not want to commute. So I lived on my own first in the dorms and then in an apartment all while exploring a new city!
6. MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS
If you don't take anything else away from this post besides this piece of advice, I would be happy! Don't be like me and enter into a career that you do not foresee yourself falling in love just because it is a high salary job. Trust me, no amount of money would ever get me to go back to being a retail pharmacist! And now I have to take responsibility for my wrong choice of career and hustle until I create a successful business for myself. I refuse to live another second of my life doing something that makes me so unhappy.
7. College: the most glorified scam there is.
It is the belief in our society that young adults need to get themselves INTO DEBT receiving a college education... just so they can graduate and hopefully get a job to GET OUT OF DEBT. I don't know about you, but that just sounds like pure insanity to me. I love learning, but why does it have to come with such an expensive price tag? I would be more supportive of higher education if universities and loan companies weren't wringing me dry for every penny that I'm worth. That is why I (and Gary!) believe that college is the most glorified scam there is!