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Is College Really Right For You?

Updated on August 17, 2011

I remember when I made the decision to go to college. I honestly thought I was doing the best thing at the time. No way was I going to drop out for any reason and whatever came up I was determined to suck it up and stick it out. There are times when no matter how good your intentions are or how determined you in the beginning, life simply has a different plan than you do.

First of all, I didn't even know what to expect when I first got to college. When I say I didn't know, I absolutely had no idea how anything was going to be. After all the movies I'd watched over the years depicting college students embarking on their new lives, I thought I had it all figured out. How could anything go wrong? It was going to be just like high school with more freedom -- and it was, but it was exactly what I didn't need at the time.

I was never a particularly good student when it came to studying and doing my homework. I slacked off and did the bare minimum (and at times less than that). When I got to college I just assumed that I would buckle down and have the will to study, but it just doesn't work that way. So many people reassured me with their stories by saying that they did better in college than they did in high school and this motivated me. Not only that, but I was told collge was more about taking notes than anything and if there was anything that I was good at, it was taking notes. Even if I never bothered to study them. How did I pass tests? From the information that I remembed during class lectures, that's how. And after a few days in class on campus I thought the same rules applied. WRONG!

Besides money (I'll get to that in a bit) you need a whole lot of discipline to get you through your college years if you want to make decent grades and make your family proud by getting your degree. I had no discipline whatsoever. I'm also one of worst (or best, considering how you look at it) procrastinators ever. I will put off everything till the last minute and still will barely do it. I've always told myself that I work better that way, but really it's just laziness when I don't really want to make the effort. And college was something I just wasn't making an effort towards no matter how promising my future may have seemed at one point before I started attending my courses and living on campus.

Another thing that put a damper on things was money. Actually, that was one of the main things that completely made me give up on college altogether. My parents had it in their heads that if I just went to college everything would just work itself out, and I wasn't thinking any different either. If they didn't seem worried that we had no money for it, why should I be worried? It all became apparent that none of us knew what we were doing because I didn't have enough loans to buy all the books I needed and they didn't have enough money to give me to buy my books with. I was looking for jobs in the area so that I would have money, but no one would hire me because I had no job experience. Any kind of student jobs on campus had already been filled so that was a bust as well. All of a sudden, what had seemed so promising was starting to look bleak. Without money and complete and utter lack of motivation, I dropped out of the four year university after only two semesters. It had all become just too stressful with the money woes and other things that I didn't want to return. I later regretted that choice, but I don't now. Back then, that was the best choice at the moment for me and I'm glad I made it because to put it quite simply, continuing my education at that time just wasn't right for me.

Just a couple of years later I enrolled in a technical college. I was unfocused and changed my major about three times. I would bounce around between things like Associate's in Arts, Associate's in Science, Nursing, and Early Childhood Education. When I was at the four year college it was between English, English Education, and Psychology. I was all over the place with what I wanted to study. The two year institution would've been great if I could've made up my mind and stuck with what I wanted to do, but that didn't work out either.

It took me a long time to realize the mistakes that I made in the beginning. I went to college for all the wrong reasons. I went because people expected it of me and because it was "normal" in society to go. When I was still attending high school and said that I just really wanted to get out there and work a lot of people (mainly adults) warned me against this and told me that if I just started working then I would get comfortable and never want to go back to school to continue my education. That scared me since I did, I just didn't want to go right then. It was my mistake for listening to people and not following what my heart and head were telling me to do in the first place. All in all, the most logical decision for me would've been to join the workforce and then decide what I wanted to do mainly for financial reasons. I had lots of time, I just didn't realize it then from listening to all the noise in my ear from what others had to say. Now I'm stuck with tuition loans that represent a total waste of time.

When it comes to attending colleges or universities or going in a totally different direction completely, go with the most logical decision, the one that's right for you, and the one that you'll be happiest with. In the long run, it will be your life that was affected by your decision, not anyone else's.

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