As an older (I refuse to accept the term “old”) returning student I am passionate about school and learning. One of my great desires is to awaken in younger people a recognition of the importance of finishing their degree while they’re still young. Almost 40 years ago I was in my first year of college and deciding whether to continue. I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do, I didn’t have money to continue, and frankly, I was sick of school.
Like David Letterman, I offer the top 5 reasons to finish your degree now:
- People will think you’re more intelligent. I have experienced this in conversations when someone learns that I don’t have a degree—they suddenly seem to think I’m less intelligent. Weird, but true.
- Your earning power is much greater: According to 2012 data on the National Center for Education Statistics website, $30,000 w/o college degree; $46,900 with. $59,600 with a Master’s Degree. Multiply that times the number of years in your work life and that’s a significant difference (especially if you’re not starting later in life).
- When you do figure out what you want to do, the route to getting there is much shorter if you start with a 2 year degree.
- Cost of college is likely to increase. Average annual tuition and fees cost when I first attended college was an average of $984. It’s a lot more expensive now I know, but it’s probably going to cost even more 10, 20 or 40 years from now.
- College is stimulating/hectic/thought-provoking/challenging; and every person you meet has a unique story to tell.
The Earl of Beaconsfield, former Prime Minister of England, said:
“The secret of success in life is for a [person] to be ready for his [her] opportunity when it comes.”
Please, finish your degree now. Don’t let any obstacles get in your way, and you’ll be prepared to seize those opportunities when they arrive.