Is College the Best Fit for You?


Shani Key, Co Editor-In-Chief

The world around us is shifting everyday, and with it are the variety of opportunities given to us. Back in the 1930’s getting a college education was all anyone could wish for. The thought of having a higher education meant you were considered smarter, and sometimes even “better” than your peers. In our day and age college is more important than ever; however, we are now presented with numerous options and career paths that present us with the same opportunities as those who attend a four year university. 

So what are the pros and cons of going to a four year university? Well, the debate all starts in elementary school. From the moment we walk through school doors we are pressured to start thinking about college. We are constantly asked what we want to be, where we want to go and WHY we want to go there. This pressure drives us to consume ourselves in hundreds of AP classes, clubs, internships, mentorships and job opportunities. Although being driven to be a part of something bigger than yourself is inspiring, the stress put upon us by these opportunities has to be one of the biggest obstacles faced when choosing your future endeavors. 

Kaeli Bryant, a senior at Denmark High School, just recently moved here from Colorado and is now drowned in the college application process. “The application process has been very stressful. This is mainly due to all the things toppled onto senior year–recommendations, graduation, senior trips, family, friends, jobs, the list could go on and on. I also do not see the need for some of the questions asked within the application. Some of them are very redundant and do not hold much purpose in my eyes,” Bryant explains. ”College itself pertains to the individual, but when focusing on society as a whole I do think college provides great importance and benefit to everyone.” Although the process itself is very stressful, Bryant, much like other seniors, is still pushing forward for her dreams and aspirations to be achieved.  

Another con in addition to added stress and pressure put on young adults is financial. Not only is applying to college expensive but many can not afford the tuition or the debt they are faced with afterwards. With this, students from lower income families and environments are less likely to get into prestigious universities in comparison to students from higher income families.

Aside from going to a four year university there are numerous other options available to you. For example, community college. Community college is a cheaper, quicker way to earn a degree. In comparison to four year universities, community colleges take only two years to complete. Many believe that community college is a form of lower education, however the only true difference is that community colleges do not offer certain classes needed to achieve a certain career path. Because of this many choose to go to community college for undergrad then transfer to four year universities.

 However, there are also many benefits to attending a four year university rather than 2 year colleges that are generally commuter schools where students live elsewhere. For instance, access to an intellectual community. By living on campus you are given housing, meal plans and more opportunities to meet the people around you. You are also able to attend your classes easier because of how close you will be to the university. Additionally there are numerous majors available to you in comparison to most community colleges. Although these are all great benefits, the most important thing is that you get to have an incredible college experience. You get the opportunity to make new friends, create new memories and truly find who you are.

Another alternative to traditional post-secondary education iis entrepreneurship. Many students have started and/or owned a business after highschool. A good example of this is former Denmark graduate Justin Bradford. Bradford was a highly recruited Division 1 football player who now owns his own real estate investment firm. “You do not need college to be successful in life.” States Bradford. “Even if you have a degree, no debts to pay off, and a good head on your shoulders, if you don’t know the right people to get mentored by or get your foot in the door of the industry you’re interested in, then you are an individual with zero experience. I got into the position of owning a real estate investment firm by networking at a young age, and knowing that I needed to take high risk to gain high reward. Although I was a highly recruited Division I football player, I know that playing sports is another form of the lottery. My best advice to anyone looking to take the leap of entrepreneurship is to start now! The older you get, the harder it becomes to do so. If you have an idea that you’re passionate about at a young age, just take a chance and bet on yourself; the worst thing that can happen is you fail and start back from exactly where you were before, but now with more experience.” In addition to entrepreneurship and community college, being involved in things such as internships, apprenticeships and trade schools are also very good options and opportunities aside from going to college. 

You can do anything you wish to if you put your mind to it. Whether this means you go to a Harvard, Kennesaw State, trade school to become an electrician, or choose to simply travel the world, with the right mindset, finances and connections, you can do and go anywhere in life. So, the next time you map out your plans for the future, remember to research all possible options and think to yourself, what is the right fit for me?