Did you go to build your network and a land a job? Did you hustle hard for four years so you that could proudly hold a diploma in your hand as a first generation college student? Or, did you attend college to challenge yourself and stimulate your intellectual curiosity?
For many college students today, going to college isn’t just about landing a job after graduation. It’s about the experience, the friendships made, and lessons learned. It’s about persevering and being able to say, “I did it.”
We talked to college students from all over the country and asked them this question:
What will make college worth it for you?
College already has been worth it for me. Being afforded the opportunity of exposure to so many different minds and ways of thinking—those of my professors, mentors and classmates—has been an eye-opening experience. I attended a high school with very little diversity, so I found the cultural experience of college to be quite profound. I now think much more globally than before. I think about travel and the interconnectedness of different cultures. I am much more open-minded to change, and more sympathetic towards others’ struggles, as I see now that, even if they are different, they intersect with my own.
Erica Cirino, Stony Brook University
Success. If I become what I set out to be, that’s the whole reason I am here. I want to enjoy college, but I am here to accomplish my goals, first and foremost.
Zack Centrella, New York University
Gaining lifelong relationships and finding my best friends. College is our last opportunity to be kids and be free. After we graduate we are in the real world. I just want to enjoy these four years and experience new things while I have the chance. As long as I achieve my academic and social goals, college will be worth it.
Will Armstrong, University of Akron
The biggest thing that makes it worth it is being able to say I have completed a degree, that I made it.
Kara Daniels, The Ohio State University
Seeing the smile on my mom’s face when I walk across that stage and get my diploma. Oh, and also getting a job.
Chelsea St. Clair, University of Kentucky