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Some Lessons for Success in College

If you don’t want to go to college, then don’t go. You will only be frustrated and miserable. Forcing yourself to attend college will kill your motivation. It takes dedication and persistence to finish. If you are dying to work as a poodle-groomer after high school, then do that.

If you do go to college, be sure you are prepared. The stunts you pulled in high school might not go over so well with college professors. If you were undisciplined before college, you will likely be undisciplined in college and you will likely not meet your main goal–which is to graduate on time. Don’t make a career out of being a college student. The pay is awful.

There are many different types of colleges and universities from which you can choose. The better your academic record, the more choices you have. Each college or university has a specific mission or purpose. Knowing what that purpose is isn’t vital. But you do need to visit the campus and talk to some professors and students in order to determine if that particular institution is right for you. The school you choose should fit you. You shouldn’t try to fit the school.

The cost of higher education continues to go up. It is likely that you will acquire debt in order to finance your education. Fine. But be wise. Getting admitted to a college or university doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford it. The truth is that you can get a good education at a cheap school. Prestige is beneficial; however, what really matters most is not the school itself but the professors who teach there. The job market for college teachers has been saturated for years. It is not uncommon to find PhD’s from prestigious universities teaching at small state colleges and community colleges. So, it is very possible to get a first rate learning experience for a fraction of the cost.

Of course, you’ve probably heard that student loan debt is “good debt.” If it is so good, try missing a few loan payments and see what happens. It won’t be all hugs and kisses.

Yes. You should major in something that you love. Sometimes, doing what you love does not pay the bills. If your first love is money, then preparing to enter a field that will provide you with opportunities to make money is very pragmatic. The trick is to find balance. Major in something that you love and that brings you the amount of money that will allow you to be comfortable, if not rich. By the way, capitalism requires only a few rich people and many not-so-rich people. Which group will you be in?

The degree that you earn will not be enough in today’s competitive workforce. You will need experience and you will not gain experience until you get a job. No one will offer you a job because you lack experience. You know the cycle is cruel. However, there is something that you might not know: While in college, you can offer your labor for free as an intern or volunteer. Your pay is the experience you gain and the relationships you establish with people in the workforce. You become more employable when you know someone who knows someone who used to work for someone who is now the boss at the place where you applied for a job.