Your personal journey: will it be worth it?

Everyone knows that college is expensive. This is why so many people don’t really care in high school – it’s free and, depending on the district’s system and educational tactics, oftentimes not respected. When a student goes on to college, though – especially later on in life, mid-twenties, once they’ve had to be on their own before – suddenly the money is much more appreciated, the amount of time and effort put into perspective, and the whole experience is more valuable.

That’s a really important part of life in general and making these big decisions: perspective.

When I was in high school, my world pretty much revolved around me, my friends, and our ridiculous drama. I didn’t care about my education or college, because I thought if college was going to be anything like high school, I didn’t want to go. I saw it as a waste of time, energy, and instead, decided to be home schooled for a good chunk of high school so I could get my work done quickly, pass, and spend the majority of my time writing, playing piano, and hanging out with my friends. Once I was 16, I bought a car and got a job. I couldn’t wait to be in the real world because the high school world seemed so… stupid.

When I finally did make it into college in my early 20′s, I absolutely loved it. An AS later, I’m back from a Bachelor’s. I plan to keep going after that because I was reunited with what I love to do: write.

For me, my college career will be well worth the money and the time and effort put into it.

So how do you know it’ll be worth it for you?

That’s a pretty individualized opinion for each person. It all varies. If you enjoy attending college to study what you study for years, then you’re probably in the right field. If you’re burned out after a few months, you may need to reconsider your major for it to be worth it in the long run.

Everyone has different passions, goals, and priorities in life. My priorities lie in taking care of my family and being home, which means I work and go to school from the comfort of my home office. This saves me time, gas, and time away from my kids – who still go to school and daycare so I can work, but they’re with me for most of the day, every day, I cook for them, and have an active part in their lives. When I found out I could attend college online, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I wouldn’t have to make extra money for gas or be away from my kids all day every day.

Now, going to college online and taking care of my family is still important to me, so once I found out there was an accredited college offering online programs in creative writing, I was thrilled! Of the schools I looked at and read about, my instinct told me which one to go for ultimately.

Which brings me to my next point: your instincts.

If you don’t trust yourself, how will you ever know that anything you’re doing is right for your life in the long run? How will you be okay if you fail but still take the most away from it that you can? How will you get back up and try again even if you don’t “succeed” right away?

What is your definition of success?

The debt that students rack up over the years is immense. Though there are a lot of different ways to pay for college debt and various programs to help those who are in financial crisis or need, it’s still overwhelming to think that there’s a good chance you could be paying off your student loans for the rest of your life.

This makes it even more important for the degree program and your career choice to be worth it. The effort and money doesn’t just last throughout your college experience; it also lasts well beyond that, sometimes throughout your entire life.

Why would anyone want to waste their life on something they don’t like or don’t want to do?

Ultimately, you need to decide what your goals in life are, what your ideal job is, and you’ll either already know or find out rather quickly if it’s the right choice for you. Between grants and all sorts of scholarships available, there are ways to help you pay down your student loans, too. It’s just a matter of effort.

So… is your journey worth it?