Realizing the Truth About a College Education


March 19, 2013
by Carly Gerber

During my time at college, I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled. I despised my major and I wasn’t a fan of my campus. This being my second college, I figured it must be that college itself wasn’t for me, so I decided to drop out. I took a few months to experiment with careers that didn’t require college degrees but my choice to leave school kept haunting me.

During my time at college, I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled. I despised my major and I wasn’t a fan of my campus. This being my second college, I figured it must be that college itself wasn’t for me, so I decided to drop out. I took a few months to experiment with careers that didn’t require college degrees but my choice to leave school kept haunting me.

In the midst of my time away from higher education, I came across a Chicago Tribune article which detailed common misconceptions students have about college....and I realized right away that I was one of those students! Here are just a few points the Trib covered:

  • There’s a misconception that a college degree doesn’t hold any value; like any investment, however, a college degree pays off over time. A college graduate’s earnings rise faster and peak later than the earnings of someone with a high school diploma alone. A college degree is not a guarantee of success but grads do have better odds of finding, keeping and excelling at their jobs long term.
  • Another misconception is that it doesn’t matter where you attend college...yet it’s the most important decision regarding your college career! Getting in is half the battle – the other half is deciding where to attend because that could determine if you stay there and get your degree. In real estate, they say the three most important things to consider when buying a house are location, location, location. The same goes for choosing a college: If you hate the location, it’s likely you won’t enjoy your college experience.

After realizing the true importance of a college education, I knew what I had to do. Recognizing that it was the location of my school and the major I had chosen that were bothering me, I spent my time off figuring out a major I want to immerse myself in and finding a university in a location I can’t wait to live. I’ll be returning to school in the fall!

Carly Gerber is majoring in journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She loves fashion and hopes to cover the topic for a Chicago-area magazine. In her free time, she focuses on her blog, loves making jewelry and spending time on Pinterest and Pose. She hopes to use this blog to guide and relate to its followers: college students like herself!

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Omar L  on  3/27/2013 5:06:35 PM commented:

Realizing the real truth about a college education: It doesn't matter if you get a college education, find out what makes you happy first. You are capable of anything. If you want to be a doctor, sure go to college. There are many cool jobs out there where you don't need a college education. I too dropped out of college because I felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied with how everything was going. Then I took the initiative to try something new: farming. After working on a farm, I realized this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I finally made the decision that I was going to own a farm one day, I also made the decision to go back to college for sustainable agriculture. Not because I needed to, but because I wanted to. Because I know everyday I go to class will be a fun and exciting adventure of learning more about the career I chose. Because I know the connections I make at the college will be more valuable than the actual degree. I disagree with your first statement that a college degree has value, it's what you do with your time and effort and your experiences that hold value. But I do agree with your second statement that location is important. Find a school that has many like minded people and a campus life that attracts you, and you will find it to be a very enjoyable experience!

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