College… The price is right?

So you hear the word “college.”  You think of blue skies surrounded by friends, a sweet class schedule, maybe you don’t have to work this quarter. But then it hits you, more importantly maybe it didn’t hit you…why are you in college? What’s your plan? Where do you want to work?

Hang on to that thought, because it’s only one of the many critical errors past college graduates have crashed into. Let’s address that first question. Let’s assume you’re in college to get your education. Yes, the lifestyle is great. But at the end of the day when you finally get that degree in your hand was it really what you wanted? I’m hoping your answer is yes. Then you should get very familiar with your future employer. Maybe you should start right now.

Internships, work studies, anything. Odds are that you could already have a job well before you graduate if you are connected and already plugged in. Let’s talk about that big loan you took out, shall we? You might want to think about holding off using it. There’s an absurd amount of grants and free college money out there for all kinds of students. Loans are like little titans that grow and grow and then punch you in the face with interest and MUST be repaid. There’s no stopping them.

So pull out a good grant for yourself and get as many as you can!  Let’s move on to the last question: What’s your overall plan?

A good career takes planning, research and careful details that will eventually equate to whether you will get your dream job or be sent back to the drawing board. This is important, or at least it should be.

You may even have to transfer to another school to acquire the skills that will put you in the cream of the crop. Not everyone that graduates is getting a job and has their loans paid off. It’s a fact that nearly half of the college graduates aren’t getting work. Rather disturbing, yes.

It’s all in the details. Even research shows that getting an education is still important. Even if you are out of work for a bit you will still make $550,000 more in lifetime earnings than someone with just a high school diploma. That’s a Ferrari, a house, some free land, etc. if you play your cards right.

Look at it this way: If you were to just jump into a Formula One racing car and say “I’m going around that corner,” you are susceptible to end up in the nearest sidewall up in flames. But if you put every effort into driving that car on the edge of a dime, you might just go around that corner faster than you thought and right on to your dream straight away.

All in all, you need to start looking ahead of yourself to make sure everything you are doing is going to be worth it. If you need help with looking for internships or work studies or if you don’t know what you are doing and you want some help with your career path to succeed here at Bellevue College, go talk to your advisor.

Find a plan to make sure you are in college for the right reasons. No, saying that your parents told you to is not a reason to be in college. This is your life and your career.