Every high school senior faces the question of whether to move away from home and jump straight into a traditional four year institution, or to stay with their parents for a few more years and attend a community college. With teenagers becoming increasingly aware of status in the later years of high school, coupled with talk about which universities their friends plan on attending and parental pressure – the pull of the state university is stronger than ever. But, is it really the smartest decision to leave home at such a young age to attend university?
Although community colleges have a bad reputation of being for slackers or those from poor families, in reality they serve as the single best option for the majority of the youth today. Unless one has developed a deep passion for a particular field at a young age (highly unlikely), or receives a generous scholarship to attend a traditional college – going right into a four year degree is not always the best alternative.
Not only do most college students change their major several times throughout the course of their studies, but most eighteen year olds do not have the emotional maturity level required to live in a college environment. While partying and having fun are certainly important aspects of life, one doesn’t need to pay exorbitant fees to do so. Moreover, many students take a semester or two and realize that academia is not for them. I would argue that academia is not for anybody. However, for whatever reason, some people possess certain personality traits that make trudging through the world of degrees tolerable.
On a more philosophical level, why give any more money to educators then you have to? In the real world, no one cares that you happen to transfer throughout the course of your college career. By agreeing to pay a higher price for the same product, colleges and universities will continue to charge higher prices. Taking a stand, and refusing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars in tuition to take a general education class, sends a message to educators that lets them know you refuse to be taken advantage of.
It takes courage to go against the grain and not let yourself be influenced by those around you, however, the rewards of doing so are often great. So please, if you are thinking about attending a four year university please take a moment to consider the facts and really think about what is going on – debt is a much greater burden on your life then you can imagine.