You hear all the stories..."I went to college and never even used my degree."  "I went to college and never graduated." "Going to college? It'll cost you an arn and a leg."

Let's talk about what college REALLY does for you.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

In a world where you can be what you want, do what you want, pursue your dreams or just dream; Reality is; if you are someone who is super active; not afraid to get involved; not shy in anyway; someone that will do anything to get to the top; You may not need to think about a college degree. Perhaps you are that person that just has that "I can do anything" attitude and you'll find your way of creating your own business; and making a name for yourself.

But realistically; whether or not you end up in a field that required the degree you received or not; college DOES make an impact. Lets talk about this.

MY STORY COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH DIFFERENT

For example; I wanted to go into Broadcasting. I'm a girl from a small farm. My parents both worked hard and were really good at their professions. They had on the job experience and found their paths.  The only experience they or I had in  Broadcasting was listening to the radio or watching the news.

I searched for Broadcast programs around the state...Brown Institute...Winona State...St. Cloud State..and finally decided on Bemidji State University.

THE EXPERIENCE MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE

I NEVER would have understood how to break into this industry; nor would I have really had anyone seriously look at me as an employee without first attending BSU.  I met new people; and actually just by meeting new people in my dorm; had a new friend tell me to JUST DO IT...Just go to the Public Television station on campus and volunteer. My answer was, "I can't...I don't know how to do anything."  His answer was.."SO? They'll show you."  So I fearfully approached the public television station and started volunteering....meeting like minded people.  I volunteered at night for pledge drives...watching how the talent worked in front of the camera...watching from the control room, all the people that are involved in a broadcast that make it look so seamless and easy.

Because I volunteered and learned some basics...I also got to know some of the staff. I finally got a part time job there, as a Master Board Control Operator. I DIDN'T know how to do it...But the fact that I moved away to college...I met new people...that enouraged me to stop outside of my comfort Zone...that lead to volunteering...that led to a part time job, that eventually led to full time work at that Public Television station. Not only that, I started getting connected with the radio community as well.  I did the same thing...meeting people around the area...working part time.

I work with a lot of people that either graduated, or didn't graduate from college...but they still went....they learned something...or they wouldn't be here working at our station. The experience WAS worth it.

I tell you all of this..because there were only two things I thought I could really do for a living....I could read really well.  I could sing. I wanted a back up plan in case I didn't find fame and fortune as a vocalist.  I know so many people that can just do anything they set their mind too. They may not be the ones who need college. But if you are like me; I really needed that experience. I wasn't great at math; I wasn't great at science...but I got through those classes and aced the things that I really WAS good at...which gave me more confidence to continue persuing those things.

SO...WHAT'S THE ANSWER FOR YOU?

Does going to college make a difference in your life? ABSOLUTELY. I don't work in a field that pays incredible salaries..but my education is paid for....I'm doing what I love...and I have specific skills that were made better by just changing my environment and being around people who knew how to get me to the right place.

If you want something...go for it.  Whether it's a two or four year degree, a Bachelor's or an Associates...the experience of learning will give you more than you had before...more opportunities to do more things...whether or not you end up in the field you studied, and whether or not you get the degree.  You'll still learn something and meet like minded people.  You have to be committed to paying for your education. Keep that in mind. No regrets.

My suggestion...Don't limit yourself. There are Four year colleges, and Technical schools that offer opportunities of a lifetime. Operate in FAITH...not FEAR. Don't worry about what anyone tells you...THINK FOR YOURSELF.  Know that YOU are smart enough...and you can DO what you set your mind to.

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