Your high school graduation is one of the most important milestones of your life. It not only marks the delivery of your high school diploma but also opens doors to a new chapter in your future.
However, once you finish high school, you have some big decisions ahead of you – in terms of considering your higher education options. For some, the process is pretty straightforward; for others, it involves questioning the concept of undergraduate and subsequent degrees.
Here are 5 ways to know if college is right for you to support you through this difficult time.
1. Consider Your Career Choices
Before you start looking into tips to survive college, you need to determine whether a college degree is worth your time and money in the first place.
If you want to pursue a career in fields such as law, medicine, and engineering, you will need specialized or higher education through college and university. But if you want to delve into a field such as music or acting, you can chase those dreams without a degree.
With that being said, even a creative arts college degree gives you an exceptional grasp of your subject, which makes it worth the investment. Keeping this in mind, you should consider all available factors concerning your career plans.
2. Determine What Type of Institution is a Good Fit
The terms college and university are used interchangeably in many settings. But there is a huge difference between college and university that could make or break your plans for the future.
Simply put, a college typically offers 4-year undergraduate degrees and 2-year associate degrees but does not deliver graduate degrees such as Master’s and Ph.D. On the other hand, a university usually offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees all in one place.
Considering this difference, ensure that you are sorting institutions by this distinction for future education planning. For your convenience, you can also make a list of your dream options and their offered programs in a note-taking app.
3. Go Through Your Finances
For many students, the availability of finances is another significant factor in deciding their college options. If you happen to identify with this segment, you should also take a look at your available funds.
As an essential part of preparing for your freshman year of college, this step requires you to take account of your college fund, family savings, and any other liquid assets that are accessible to you.
In case you and your family members are running short of funding for your education, you can also turn toward student loan options. While these opportunities come at a high-interest rate, they can help you realize your dreams of attending your favorite college.
4. Look Into Alternate Options
If your finances present a major problem or if you have unavoidable commitments to your schedule, it may seem impossible to enroll in college even if you want it more than anything.
That is where the alternate options come into play. These include the availability of online courses as well as community colleges. While the former offer bachelor’s degrees in remote settings, community colleges only deliver 2-year associate degrees.
If you don’t want to study online, you can get your associate’s degree and then transfer your credits to a college that offers bachelor’s degree programs. From giving you time to learn how to take better notes in college to delivering flexibility over your schedule, this option provides you with plenty of relief.
5. Assess Your Ability to Hit Pause
Sometimes, even when you want to pursue a college degree through alternative means, circumstances may not allow you to do so. From responsibilities to finances, there could be plenty of reasons that could prevent you from continuing.
In such situations, you don’t have to bid farewell to your college plans altogether. Instead, you can hit pause on your higher education activities only to resume them a short while later. This gives you the time to get your affairs in order.
If you are afraid that you will lose sight of your college dreams amid the hustle and bustle of life, creating a timetable for your return and writing your goals can help you keep your eye on the prize. If you hold yourself accountable, you will resume your education down the road.
These tips help you decide if college is the right option for you at the present moment. By being mindful of these suggestions, you can breeze through an otherwise stressful decision-making process.