College isn’t just for high school graduates anymore; more and more people are enrolling in secondary education classes later in life for various reasons. If you’re still without a degree, is working towards it later in life worth it? Recently, men and women of all ages met in an online discussion to reveal the benefits and considerations of starting college in their 20s, 30s, and beyond.
1. You’re More Mature
Let’s face it: Fresh-faced 18-year-olds are the most mature people on the planet, and that is why many believe high school graduates should wait a few years before entering college. By waiting a few years (or, in some cases, many years), you’ll undoubtedly be mature enough to handle the college courseload, requirements, and overall experience. When it comes to your secondary education, a little maturity goes a long way!
2. There’s Less Distractions
Waiting to go to college has many benefits; namely, there will be fewer distractions later in life! By avoiding the campus life, you can focus on what matters most: Your studies. I remember how distracting living on campus was when I was 18; my school was secondary to meeting new people, having fun, and creating lifelong memories outside the classroom. For many people, avoiding those distractions provides them with a better roadmap for their future.
3. It’s Okay To Start Slow
If you decide to take the plunge and receive a higher education later in life, you don’t necessarily need to do so at a breakneck pace. “Take it slow,” advises one woman. “Take in a little at a time and take on zero debt, which will be hard as they automatically sign you up for loans in many cases. Only take a class if you can pay for it. Start with a two-year degree, and you will likely get a promotion before you finish so you can get a better job.”
4. You’re Doing It Because You Want To
Unsurprisingly, many teenagers feel pressured by family and friends to attend college immediately following their high school graduation. Being thrust into a competitive collegiate environment can be overwhelming and intimidating, leading to countless students walking away, wishing they had taken a few years off before starting college. By enrolling in college later in life, you know you’re doing it for the right reasons; you’re doing it because you want to!
5. You’ll Be More Focused
By committing to a higher education, you’re making a focused promise to yourself. You (hopefully) won’t feel the need to endlessly party at this point in your life, freeing yourself up to be laser-focused on your studies. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how old you are when you decide to enroll in college; if you are dedicated to bettering yourself through education, you can’t go wrong!
6. You May Feel Insecure
Feeling left behind in the grand scheme of things can affect your psyche when starting college at any time other than immediately after graduating high school. One person puts it all into perspective. “The obvious answer is that yes, you should go to college if that’s something you want,” explains one recent graduate. “You have an entire 60-plus years of adulthood ahead of you, and you’re still super young. But how do you cope with the insecurity of ‘barely knowing what you want’ at an age where other people already have bachelor’s degrees?”
7. College May Not Be for You
Countless people reveal that college may not be the right path for you, so making yourself go down an arduous road may not be as illuminating as you expect! “Life paths are dumb and overrated, especially in your twenties,” confesses one man. “Deciding to go to college because you feel left out or ‘behind’ is not a good reason to go. Have goals in mind if you do attend college. However, don’t feel guilty for not going at all. Trust me, it’s overrated.”
8. It May Not Give You What You’re Looking For
Many men and women advise against attending college if you’re just “throwing things against the wall to see what sticks.” There are other avenues to improve yourself and set yourself up for a brighter future. “You’re not going to know what you want before trying, but trying doesn’t only mean college, and it doesn’t have to be expensive,” explains one woman. “There are lots of free resources as well that you can try out before making a decision.”
9. You’ll Be Able to (Hopefully) Afford It More Easily
College is expensive. For some, it is the sole reason they’re in massive debt at a young age! However, by putting off going to college until they’re more financially secure, men and women can avoid many hardships commonly linked to secondary education. Theoretically, you’ll have more money later in life than you did when you were a teenager, so common sense says you’ll be able to afford college more easily! Imagine not going into debt due to schooling; it’s an opportunity I wish I took advantage of!
10. There’s No Reason Not To
When you get right down to it, the advantages of going to school later in life outweigh the disadvantages by a considerable margin! The upside is obtaining the life you’ve always dreamed of; many believe you should never pass up that opportunity. “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start college later in life,” advises one man. “I just got a second degree at 30 years old. That’s a decent gap right there from when I last went to school. If you think it’s good for you and the expenses won’t be too much for you to handle, then go for it. Never be afraid to invest in yourself.”
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