College was easily the best time of my life. It’s a time in life that has the perfect mix of freedom and security. You can stumble into your dorm room while the sun is coming up and sleep until your first class at 1pm, and you can always call your parents when you need some extra money to buy an e-book for that class you had hoped would be an easy A. Showing up to class hungover is acceptable (usually) and for me personally, it’s where I learned a lot about myself.
While those four years were fun and exciting, they were also extremely stressful. For some people this isn’t the case, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in and just picked college because I thought I was supposed to. I changed my major six times and I transferred twice trying to figure out what I wanted. Neither of my parents went to college and it was important to my mother that I attend, but looking back I wish I had been given other options. Eventually the frat parties and the cram sessions faded away and I was still left with the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what I’m doing.
If I hadn’t gone to college I’d have a lot more money, that’s for sure. I could’ve been working all those years that I was just screwing off and saved up a ton, plus the fact that I wouldn’t have that looming student loan bill that seems to pop up every month. Maybe if I had waited then I would’ve decided on doing something that I knew I wanted instead of just going into college without any clue. Then maybe I’d be working doing something that I like and making more, instead of working somewhere I don’t mind making the same I would be making if I didn’t have a college degree. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I can’t say I regret it because college made me the person I am, more open-minded and good under pressure, I was none of those things in high school. But I wish I had weighed my options, maybe things would be different for me. I think it’s important to just know yourself and know what you want, I didn’t know what I wanted at seventeen. I knew I wanted to leave my little town and go somewhere new, but did I need to put myself thousands of dollars in debt to do it?
Of course there are pros and cons, as a person I feel I am all around better for going to college. I learned a lot and made some good mistakes, I saw the world for what it was and was finally on my own. But I’m in a lot of debt, I chose a major I was unsure about and now I don’t even work in that field, nor do I want to. I moved back to my hometown to save money and am putting travel plans on the back burner just to be able to afford to pay my student loan.
Before making a choice analyze your own thoughts, what do you want? And if you’re like me and you have no clue, then think about what you don’t want and align your life accordingly. You are the only person who needs to live with your choices, and unfortunately the choices you make as an eighteen year old define the beginning of your adult life. Choose wisely.