Being in college is hard in many ways: financially, academically, personally, socially, intellectually, physically. And most students question why they are trying to get a college degree at some point during their college experience. Simple reminders of the reasons why you want to get a college degree can help keep you on track when you feel like getting off.
Tangible Reasons to Get a College Degree
- You'll make more money: figures range from several hundred thousand to a million dollars or more over your lifetime. Regardless of the details, however, you'll have more income.
- You'll have a lifetime of increased opportunities. More job openings, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility with which jobs you take (and keep) are just a few of the doors that will be opened when you have your degree in hand.
- You'll be more empowered as an agent in your own life. You'll be better educated about the things that have an impact on your day-to-day existence: knowing how to read a lease, having an understanding of how the markets will influence your retirement accounts, and handling the finances of your family. A college education can empower you in all kinds of ways to be more in control of your life's logistics.
- You'll be better able to weather adversity. From having more money available (see #1 in this list!) in a savings account to having marketable skills and an education during an economic downturn, having a degree can come in handy when life throws you a curve.
- You'll always be marketable. Having a college degree is becoming increasingly important in the job market. Consequently, having a degree now will open doors for the future, which will in turn open more doors and make you more marketable later… and the cycle continues.
Intangible Reasons to Get a College Degree
- You'll lead a more examined life. The critical thinking and reasoning skills you learn in college will stay with you for a lifetime.
- You can be an agent of change for others. Many social service positions, from doctor and lawyer to teacher and scientist, require a college degree (if not a graduate degree). Being able to help others means you have to educate yourself to do so through your time in school.
- You'll have more access to resources. In addition to the financial resources, you'll have access to through your higher income, you'll also have resources in all kinds of unexpected and intangible ways. Your roommate from freshman year who is now an attorney, your friend from chemistry class who is now a doctor, and the person you met at the alumni mixer who may offer you a job next week are the kinds of benefits and resources that are hard to plan for -- but that can make all the difference in the world.
- You'll have future opportunities in ways you may not be considering now. When you graduate from college, you may have never even given a second thought to graduate school. But as you get older, you may unexpectedly develop a strong interest in medicine, law, or education. Having that undergraduate degree already under your belt will allow you to pursue your dreams once you realize where they are going.
- You'll have a strong sense of pride and self. You may be the first person in your family to graduate from college or you may come from a long line of graduates. Either way, knowing you earned your degree will undoubtedly give a lifetime of pride to yourself, your family, and your friends.