5 Wrong Reasons for Going to College
It’s the summer before college. You’ve been preparing for it for years — studying, researching schools, talking with teachers, guidance counselors, family and friends.
It’s never felt so much like a decision as the next inevitable stage of your life. Now it’s less than a month away. Your mother is bugging you to start packing. Your younger sister is coveting your room. Your friends are talking about the big party you’ll all have at the end of summer. Everyone seems more excited than you are. What’s up?
Yes, a college education can be priceless. The friendships, contacts and networks you’ll make can be wonderful. The possibilities for finding new dimensions of yourself are great and varied. But all that only happens if you are engaged in school, not just hanging out there. The investment of time and money are only worth it if you are determined to make it worthwhile.
If you find yourself wondering if you are really ready, maybe you should listen to yourself. It’s possible you’re having only a momentary instance of cold feet. That’s absolutely normal. After all, you are leaving the familiar terrain of your high school, your friendship circle, your family and your town to jump into an unknown community where nobody knows your name.
But maybe in your heart of hearts you know that you are going for all the wrong reasons. Maybe you need to take time out to consider whether going off to school is really the right thing for you to be doing at this point in your life. If any of these factors was a big influence in your decision, you’re probably right to second-guess yourself.
5 Wrong Reasons to go to College
1. Because someone else expects it of you.
Perhaps you come from a family where everyone goes to college. Or maybe, on the other end of the spectrum, you’re the kid that everyone is proud to believe will be the first to get there. It seems that for years everyone has just assumed that of course you’ll go. It’s become so much a part of the air you breathe that you’ve never stopped to consider whether you want to go, whether you’re ready to go, whether you share the assumptions of influential adults.
Not good. You’re riding the tide of other people’s expectations. Think about what you want. You’re the one who will be at school. You’re probably the one who will be taking on loans. You need to make a conscious, personal decision to embrace a future that includes more school.