The decision to attend college is one that will always be appreciated and will always in some ways be regretted as well.
You hear about it in economics class all the time. Something about the total financial and personal expenses you cause yourself by sacrificing at least four years of your prime to attend classes instead of choosing to work full time after high school.
When you think about it, the idea of working as much as possible at such a young age makes a lot of sense. In your late teens or early 20’s, you have the stamina, maybe even the motivation, to work long hours at strenuous tasks. The options are available to save a lot of money with only a small collection of bills and living expenses to worry about, and the rest of the time is yours to do with however you want.
We all have those friends back at home who took that route. They kept their high school cars, snagged a decent apartment and some of their parents’ furniture and started working. Now, after a couple of years, they have a stockpile of movies and video games, LoveSacs and probably a few empty alcohol containers. As glamorous as that life may seem at times, especially at that moment when you realize that splurging to us college students is called Super-Sizing, take a step back.
The next four years for some, considerably less for others that still need to hear this, are going to be rough. They will be filled to the brim with part-time or full-time jobs, extra activities, more homework and study groups than you can stand and about one or two more relationships than truly healthy. On top of all that, whether you remember every day or not, there are those pesky class things that are a really good idea to go to as much as possible.
What is attained through all of it is not just a diploma, and certainly not simply the edge over those friends at home who will not be eligible for nearly as many jobs.
This part of our lives is a period we did not necessarily have to go through. We did not have to spend thousands of dollars on classes we sometimes don’t care about, be constrained by an overwhelming schedule or be forced to interact with people we would have nothing to do with on our own.
However, by going through this time in our lives, we will leave with more exposure to living not necessarily a harder life, but one that requires the ability to do a little bit of juggling. Our friends at home working full-time or more certainly have their crosses to bear, and it’s provincial to think otherwise.
However, when we finally get our diplomas, pieces of paper that in our minds will acknowledge all the things we handled in these turbulent years, we will have gained much more than we lost.
You made a decision that, though it will temporarily make things more hectic, will have long-term benefits. You will be able to use your degree for the rest of your life, you will benefit from the many lessons learned in class and out, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have some amazing experiences along the way.
Congratulations on making the choice to attend, or continue attending, Sam Houston State University. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the caffeine and these years will pass sooner than expected.