As a teen in the USA, one of the big decisions you will have to make is whether to attend college or not. It’s understandable that you may be worried about how you will manage financially, academically and emotionally with the harsh realities of college life. It is not the only option and it’s your future so it is your choice.
Your reasons for going to college
There are sound financial reasons for getting as many qualifications as you can and the higher those qualifications are the better. Salary statistics are clear. They show that college graduates can expect to earn a higher salary than those who have not attended college. This is because college graduates spend at least three years learning skills that employers value. When they leave college, they can communicate effectively both in a written format and verbally. They can deal with problems in the workplace with an analytical and critical approach and can think ‘outside of the box’.
They often enter the world of work at a managerial or supervisory level and do not have to work their way up from the more basic grades. This puts them on the higher pay scales at a much younger age than non-college graduates.
These skills are not just useful to employers. Once you have them, you are a well-informed and articulate member of society and you are able to interact with those supplying you with services from a position of authority. You are a discerning consumer and are less likely to get scammed and taken advantage of. These skills will also be very useful if you decide to launch your own business.
There will be sacrifices to make
The emotional cost is that you will probably have to leave your family and loved ones and travel to another part of the country to access the course that you want. This can be hard and you may feel homesick, to begin with. However, most students do settle within the first few months.
There will also be academic challenges. Students have to work hard to get the grades that they want. If you are not putting the work in, you will not get the grades and you will be asked to leave the course. Your friends who did not go to college but who started work immediately may appear to have more money and more spare time at this point in your life.
There is also a financial cost and you will have to find a way of financing your education. You can apply for a college scholarship from Capital Alliance where you can be granted up to $1000 to use towards your higher education expenses. You can also apply for student loans and you could get a part-time job.
A valuable life experience
Viewed in purely financial terms, college may not be the best option for you. However, life is about a lot more than money.
You get the freedom of not having to listen to your folks and you get to make your own life choices. This allows you to mature as an individual before you have to enter the world of work.