Are you ready for college?

Hannah Klesius, Staff Writer

There’s no doubt that the United States is a major endorser of post-secondary education. With all the hype, it can be hard to know if you’re choosing college for the right reasons.

Below are 12 questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge gathered from teachers and faculty at Bellwood-Antis .

First is Ms. Alice Flarend. A CHS chemistry teacher, Ms. Flarend  often sees seniors through their final stages of high school and into their adult lives. Some questions she sugested included:

Are you willing and able to be an independent learner? 

College requires you to be independent and a self-starter. These traits can be hard to come by for some students.

Does the job you want require a degree? 

Not all good paying jobs need college, especially ones that cannot be outsourced to a computer or sent overseas.

Some students go to college for the “experience.” However, there needs to be a balance between social life and education. Only going to college for “College Life” can be an expensive mistake.

Do you want to be a well-rounded individual?

A four-year college degree is about more than just job training. Those Gen Eds everyone sees as pointless actually do have a purpose!

Another teacher at Bellwood-Antis, middle school English teacher Mr. Partner, is often regarded as the go-to career/college advisor. His advice? Ask yourself these questions.

Does your career choice require four or five years of schooling? Or can you go to a business or trade school to get the same degree?

Learning a trade or going to business school can be just as rewarding as going to college, especially when you finish with a lot less debt and a good paying job.

Are you mature enough to go away from home and be a productive, hardworking student who is there for the right reasons?

Some students go to college for the “experience.” However, there needs to be a balance between social life and education. Only going to college for “College Life” can be an expensive mistake.

Do you have an idea of what you want to do when you finish school?  

If you have no clue, look to the service or workforce until you have a better idea of what you want to do.

Mrs. Kathy Butler, the guidance counselor at Bellwood-Antis, also had a few helpful ideas to contemplate.

What are your career goals?

A lot of students go to college simply because they feel they should. What they may not know is that their career choice may not require a college degree.

Is there a specific skill you would rather learn? 

If you have not done your research, there may be a trade program that can certify you for a fraction of the cost of college.

Are you confident that the degree you want will land you the job you want?  

You may enjoy learning about a certain subject but if you can’t find a job when you graduate, it’s pointless to major in that area.

Another helpful source is Bellwood-Antis’ Vice Principal, Ms. Adams. She suggested asking yourself this:

Are you socially prepared?

I talk to many students who view college as a way to spread their wings from the watchful eyes of their parents. However, what they may not realize is how difficult it can be to move far away and not have their help.

What are you working towards?

Research! Research! Research! Once again, you want to have a plan and have thoroughly researched your goals. Make absolutely sure you are going to college for the right reasons and that you know it is the right decision for you.

Can you afford it?

While college may seem like the most logical choice after high school, you need to ensure you are prepared for the enormous price tag it boasts. If you go to college and drop out or go for a degree it is hard to find work for you may find yourself slipping into an enormous debt you can’t pay back.