What are your next steps in life? Are you about to leave high school? Have you started a career that you don’t enjoy or that you love but want to do better in? Are you unsure about anything you might have planned for the future and want to have a good chance at finding as many opportunities as possible?
The answer to everything mentioned above, and much more, is to go into higher education. Getting a college degree or another similar qualification could be exactly what is required to make your life more successful and to help you move forward if you are currently feeling stuck. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your background is, or even what you study (at least to some extent; if you want to work in a specific area, you may need a degree that links to that); you can get the education you want and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
So just, what are those benefits? How can higher education enhance your life? Read on to find out.
You’ll Be Healthier
This point is borne out by a number of studies, but even so, it does come with something of a caveat; you do need to put in the work to be healthier. In other words, simply attending college is not going to suddenly make you fitter.
However, the fact is that studies have shown those who attended college or took online degree programs do tend to live healthier lives. Click here for inspiration on the type of programs you can take. People with degree qualifications have been proven to have a third less risk of developing heart disease compared to those with a high school education. They are also more likely to exercise regularly and less likely to smoke.
Although this will depend a lot on the individual involved and their motivation to be healthier, the study is certainly an interesting one. Being healthier shouldn’t be the only reason to attend college – there are many more that will benefit you – but it is definitely something to bear in mind when you are considering the pros and cons and determining exactly how higher education will enhance your life.
You Can Find Out Who You Are
If you want to, you can go straight from high school into a career. Or you could join the military. Perhaps you want to start your own business. You can do all of these things and plenty more besides. In other words, you don’t have to go to college, and you don’t have to obtain a degree.
However, there are some problems with finishing high school and moving straight onto the rest of your life without taking the time to breathe and gather your thoughts. The first issue is that you might rush into something – or perhaps accidentally fall into something – without having the chance to think things through. That could lead you to make mistakes, get stuck, and be miserable. This is bad for your mental health, among other things. Secondly, by entering the world of work or a similar when you leave high school, you may not have a chance to develop yourself. You won’t have had the opportunity to discover who you really are and what you want.
This won’t be the case for everyone. Some young people are determined and understand exactly what they want out of life. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone, and not giving yourself a chance to explore different ideas and get to know yourself better could be a wasted opportunity.
When you go to college, you’ll be on your own for the first time. Yet, unlike when you work, you won’t have so many pressures on you. It’s true there will still be plenty of deadlines, and you’ll need to manage your workload, but it’s not the same level of responsibility as if you were out on your own making a living. This means you have the chance to ease into adult life and try new things. Some won’t work. Some will show you your true path in life. This is one of the most important benefits of college (other than the education you’ll receive).
You’ll Meet New People
You’ll meet many new people at college, which is a good thing. The more people you meet, the more opportunities will be presented to you. At the very least, you’ll have a larger circle of friends, and studies have shown that good friends are beneficial to your health.
Not only will you get to know your peers, but you’ll be in contact with world-class educators – these are people at the top of their field who have chosen to impart their extensive knowledge to students. This is not something you can get elsewhere, and making the most of learning from these people is crucial. It will help you understand your own path, and it will help you move forward in life with more confidence because you have the knowledge you need to do what you want to do.
Networking is something you’ll have to get used to no matter what area of work you go into once you have finished school. You might assume it’s only something that business people have to contend with, but networking is everywhere and useful for everyone. Learning how to make connections and engage with people early could help you in the future, even if the people you meet at college can’t help you there and then. Networking is a skill; if you can do it well, you’ll have many more opportunities to choose from as you develop.
You Can Pursue Your Passion
Perhaps there is something you are deeply passionate about. It could be law, art, literature, sports, music, or anything else. What will you do with that passion? Could it be something you put to good use in a career?
The answer is difficult to find. It might be – you could use your passion to get a job and work in that field. However, for most people who don’t attend college, their passions are only hobbies, and they don’t have the knowledge or experience to help them get a job working in that field.
By attending college and taking a degree course in whatever you’re most interested in, you can pursue your passion for two, three, or four years. You can get to know so much more about it and understand whether or not it’s something that could help you get a career. If it is, a college degree proving you have extensive knowledge of that subject will set you apart from most people applying for jobs, especially in something popular such as film or media.
On top of this, you might develop other passions at college. There are all kinds of extra-curricular activities to try, and by allowing yourself to get involved and enjoy them, you might discover something new that you love. Even if you don’t take this further and turn it into a career, having fun and having a hobby to use when you need to unwind because you’ve been working hard studying can be a crucial element to your success.
You’ll Prove You Can Do It
If there is one rule to remember, it’s that you should never go to college because someone else told you to. If you do that, especially if they also told you what degree subject to study for, you won’t be happy. It has to be your choice, and the subject you take has to be something you’ll enjoy. Otherwise, the entire endeavor will be a waste of time and money, and the likelihood is that you either won’t use your degree at all, or you’ll go back and start again to get the one you wanted all along.
To stop this from happening, you need to be in control of your decisions. Getting advice from friends, family, and counselors is great, but the final choice will always be yours.
There are many reasons why this is so important, but one is that you can then be happy in your work, and you’ll be able to prove to yourself that you can do it. You can achieve what you set out to achieve. This sense of accomplishment might not sound like much, but it can be huge. It can boost your confidence, perhaps to such an extent that you’ll apply for jobs you would otherwise have bypassed, and it can show you that no matter what you want to do, you can do it when you work hard and put your mind to it. This will help you get past many challenges in life.
Develop Personal Skills
When you are at college, you’ll have to work on a variety of different assignments and learn many different things. This is true whether you are studying something specific or more generalized; there will always be things you need to learn that will help you get further, even if you hadn’t known they were part of your syllabus.
Yet, although this education is crucial, it is only half of the story. There is so much more you will learn when you take a college course, and whatever subject it is you choose, these skills – known as soft skills – will be part of the course. They may not be taught to you in a formal way (that will depend on the subject you’re studying), but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn them all the same. These skills include:
- Research skills
Plus, there are many more besides. The very nature of attending a college means that you will need to learn to do these things to help you succeed. You can then use them to your advantage throughout the rest of your life.
If you want to get further in your college career, you have to be productive. If not, you will fall behind and have lower grades. You might not graduate at all. College, therefore, is a great way to hone your productivity skills and ensure you know how to balance everything you have to do. You’ll learn your own ways of being productive and your own tricks on how to encourage yourself to do more. You’ll also know when you’ve done enough and need a break – listening to these cues is one of the most important things you can do.
Once you leave college, this useful knowledge of how you are most productive will greatly enhance your life. You’ll be able to read through job descriptions and immediately know which jobs you can do best at and which you should not apply for. For example, you might find that you are most productive when a rigid structure is in place. In this case, you’ll want to apply for jobs with set hours. Or maybe you like to work very early in the morning to get everything done in time to have a restful afternoon and evening. In that case, you’ll need a job that is less strict with working hours and works to deadlines instead.
Understanding your own productivity and how it works best for you is something you will gain a big insight into at college, and as you can see, it will certainly help you make good choices in life.
Although it can be hard to make decisions in life, it’s far better to have this issue and have to choose between two or more things than it is to not have a choice at all and be stuck with something you don’t like.
A college degree will ensure you have more choices in terms of your career. Without one, you will potentially fall into a job you don’t like and have to stick with it. Or you’ll find a good job, but there won’t be much potential for you to advance.
With a qualification, you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of options when it comes time to apply for jobs because employers often value a degree. Plus, you’ll be able to prove you have the knowledge and skills to work hard and learn a lot, helping you when it comes to a promotion, for example.
Having choices in life is a good problem to have, and it will help you be happier because you’ll be able to do something you want to do rather than something you have to do.
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