Is College For Me?
I graduated top of my class from high school and took the normal route of going straight to college after high school. I went to Armstrong State College, a school in Savannah, GA, and majored in health science. I majored in health science because employment trends were saying this would be a job of the future. I wasn’t on top of things like I should have been and college wasn’t appealing to me. I went because that’s what I thought I had to do. I was unmotivated and I wasn’t focused. I became a cautionary tale of what not to do in college and I become a statistic. I got pregnant with Raylan my freshman year of college and I felt like the biggest failure.
I didn’t drop out and continued my studies through my freshman year but I still wasn’t very motivated to complete my degree. I questioned if it was worth it to pile up all this debt for this degree that may or may not get me a good paying job. I finished my freshman year with an OK GPA and I lost my scholarship because of that OK GPA. I don’t regret anything that happened my first year because it yielded my greatest blessing. And I learned a lot of lessons about freedom, independence and how to survive being away from home.
I will make a few points about college that I wish I had known before I enrolled. College is not for everyone and not every job requires a 4-year degree. Some jobs require vocational training or even a certificate. A degree might not necessarily equate to a high paying job. You shouldn’t feel bad if you do not attend college right away or decide to take a year away to discover yourself and your passions. I didn’t fall in love with college my freshman year but I don’t regret going. I made great friendships, joined great organizations, learned a lot about myself and truly had a great first year pregnant and all. I did ask myself a lot what am I doing here and will it be worth it?
Growing up I saw my mom put herself through college and I didn’t see any true results from it. She blames it on majoring in the wrong field and not looking at employment trends. I can admit that I thought the degree would be just another piece of paper to clutter up space. After completing my freshman year, I went back home to Atlanta, GA. Since I couldn’t find work, I figured it would be a good idea to continue my education. At least, I would feel somewhat productive and feel like I’m progressing forward in life.
I enrolled at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and majored in business administration. This is when I fell in love with college. This was a community college but I met people like me not sure what college could do for us and our families but doing it because we figured it would be better to have the paper than nothing at all. I learned a lot about myself at Armstrong but I learned a lot about life while attending Atlanta Metropolitan State College.
I decided that while earning my degree, I also wanted to gain work experience so when I have my degree, my degree would mean something to employers. I feel a degree means nothing without some type of experience whether that is paid, volunteer service or an internship. I couldn’t settle for volunteering and an unpaid internship because I had a child to provide for. And most of the paid internships didn’t pay well or offer a lot of hours. I started looking for entry-level work that could eventually lead to a career. That’s when I joined Year Up while still attending Atlanta Metropolitan State College.
I graduated with my Associates in August of 2015 and decided I wanted a break from school to get my life together. I wanted to find things that I was truly passionate about and have time to research careers. I didn’t want to get my Bachelor’s degree in just anything like I did my Associates. After completing the Year-Up program, I became motivated to pursue a career in IT. I begin to look for careers in the health field that pertained to IT in a way.
I took a year and 6 months’ break from college and I honestly missed college during my break. I missed being a part of study groups, the rushing to submit assignments and the adrenaline of writing a paper at the last minute. When I first took my break from college, I had no idea how to function without college. Like, what do I do without school? I dove into my passion of writing, started reading again, researched colleges and careers and took time to just enjoy life. And as I was doing that, I searched for my dream entry-level job that will give me the perfect experience to go with my degree.
I found my dream entry-level job and figured it was time to get back into school and earn my Bachelor’s degree. Like I stated earlier, I would rather have it than not have it. It wasn’t easy finding a school offering Heath Care Administration in the metro Atlanta area. But I found one that offered a program that was totally online and I love online classes and I knew this program would work well with my work schedule. As I was trying to get into this program, I learned that I had to take two additional classes before I could start the program. I am excited to announce that I found a school to take those two classes I needed and a school to gain my Bachelor’s degree.
I am going to school this time on my own terms and because I want to. I found something interesting to major in and that I can’t wait to learn all about. It encompasses all my interests and passions into one. I cannot wait to buy books again and get back to the school flow. I am no longer going just because it can get me a higher paying job but because I know my education can supplement the work experience I am currently gaining. This is not a blog to encourage you to go to college because that choice is ultimately up to you but just to give you my story and thoughts on college.
After my freshman year at college, I began to look deep within and look at the world differently. I didn’t want to go to college, earn a degree and join the rat race of Corporate. I didn’t want that to be my story. I noticed that college is useless if you do not major in the right major and that some of these degrees become obsolete as you are gaining them. I learned college is not the only way to a high paying job and that college is not the only way to get where you are going in life. College will not prepare you for the job or life in general. Those are things you will learn after school and on the job.
I am going back to school because I ultimately want to finish what I started. I may or may not use this degree but the career I want will require this degree. Many things in my life change and I am not currently interested in working in Corporate America. But that might change and I’ll have this little paper if it does. College will help me expand my knowledge base and become an expert in my field.
After such a lengthy break from school, I am going back. I will be going back to Atlanta Metropolitan State College to take my Anatomy classes and attending Augusta State University in the fall of 2017. I will be majoring in Health Care Administration and I couldn’t be more excited. College wasn’t on my original goal list but now that I have started my career and see the importance of getting my Bachelor’s, it is now a part of my goals. My manager at AT&T told me you may or may not use your degree but it is still good to complete your education. And I think I can agree.
What are your thoughts about college?