If you are at the crossroads of life, torn between the option of a high school diploma and university, here is a statistic you sure ought to know: if you are a university degree holder, the probability of you being unemployed is one in forty– less than half the corresponding figure for high school diploma holders. That apart, the earning capacity of a college graduate is naturally far higher.
Admittedly, opting for higher studies means that it will be a few more years before you can start working full-time. In all probability, you will see friends who are earning and living comfortably, while you slog it out at university. That may be a galling prospect in the short term, but the sacrifice is definitely worth it. The undeniable truth is that social mobility is on the decline and a university degree is one reliable means of securing a better future.
Having said that, it is also important to have a realistic picture of the challenges ahead, before embarking on the journey. Here are four things you need to keep in mind.
- Long Hours: Actual college life is a far cry from what you get to see in the movies. Anyone who’s been there would tell you that it is hard work, juggling between lectures, assignments, studies, research work and, very possibly, working part-time. There are going to be periods when you may go for several days without a proper night’s sleep.
If that sounds daunting, rest assured that it isn’t as hard as it sounds. There are millions out there who have been there, done that. Pretty much all of them still remember those years in college as the best days of their lives.
- Financial Planning: Planning the finances may not sound the most appetizing prospect at this stage in life, but assuredly, it is worth it. The fact is, studying in college in this day and age is a far more expensive proposition than it was at the turn of the century and you are most likely going to need an education loan to finance your studies. Therefore, it is imperative to make a realistic assessment of the cost of completing the course, the amount you will need to borrow, and your repayment capacity, before taking the plunge.
- Research: Most courses involve research at some stage before you get the degree. Now research is itself a gruelling task and you will need to report it all in writing. Not all of us possess a flair for writing, so it makes perfectly good sense to get professional help, provided you do not use it as a shortcut. As long as you are doing the research yourself, there is no harm if you employ essay writing services especially since not everyone is talented at putting pen to paper or ideas into words.
- Support Structures: Another thing you definitely want to do is to have the support structures in place before you set foot in college. Whatever those college brochures may claim, loneliness in the campus is a very real scourge. Before you select your college or university, find out whether there are extra-acedemic activities that can double up as an avenue for socialising. Also find out if there are student counsellors whom you can turn to when in need.
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