When is the best time to go to college?

Cambrie Sevaaetasi

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The socially acceptable timeline expectation for life seems to go like this: birth, preschool, elementary school, junior high school, high school, college, marriage, kids, retirement, and death. Many say there is logic and a methodology behind this timeline. Each step leads you to the next, and the one after that prepares you as you go to move forward in life.

From the time we are born, we are learning. Elementary school or pre-k is our first institution of learning designed to give us the educational skills to move on to junior high school. In the short time span of junior high school, when hormones for most preteens and teens are beginning to kick in, we get a preview of how high school will be educationally and socially. High school comes around and we start to level out hormonally, maturity hopefully starts making headway, and educationally, we start to see where we may head professionally.

Then college comes, the place where people and profession marry. Hours upon hours are spent honing in on the skills needed to succeed in our desired field. Graduation slowly arrives and we are set free to pursue our desired profession with all that we have gained. Once a job is secured, it’s now financially safe to start building a family. You marry your partner, have kids, retire and start doing things you really want to do like travel.

There are those who have challenged this timeline in their own lives and succeeded, and then there are those who have not. For some, college comes later in life, and jumping right into the “real world” as many college students call it, precedes this.

Jumping right into the “real world” has its ups and it has its downs. On the bright side, you get hands on experience. You are able to see first hand what you like and what you don’t like. Through life experiences you see what it will take to succeed and for many your drive increases and maturity is no longer an option when waking up late means getting fired and getting fired means becoming homeless. It doesn’t get more real than that.

There’s a beauty in it. It’s like playing dress up. You’re still a teen, 18, fresh out of high school with real responsibilities. Inside you feel out of place, always the youngest at work; on the outside you are fighting for respect and to be seen as a full fledged adult. Older coworkers tell you to enjoy life, but seemingly never miss an opportunity to gift you with the dos and don’ts they’ve learned along the way.

You might start making enough money or save up enough money to do the things you said you would do after you graduated college or when you retired. With each new adventure, your view on life changes and then it clicks. You now have discovered your purpose, your passion, and you’re ready to start college.

For some, college comes later because the realization of what they were made to do comes later. They let life be their teacher, and with each corner turned, failed attempt and glorious achievement they made it their destination, figuring out what they want to go to school for in the first place.

There is no wrong or right time to go to school. On a personal note, there is. Always do what is best for you and not what you think will be more acceptable. You are the first person who has to accept your decision, so choose wisely.