Why I Value a College Education

Madison Dennis / Morehead State University

Coming from a household of educators, it was always made clear to me that education was important. My parents would preach the importance of college and all it could provide me, but since I had never experienced college, I had never made that distinction for myself. Through the last three and a half years I have spent at Morehead State University, I have learned about the value of socializing and accountability. 

Invaluable Social Opportunities

While obtaining a degree is the main reason people attend college, you gain so much outside of your degree while taking the time to complete it. These extra bonuses to college, in my opinion, are what make attending college truly worth the time and money you spend. You get the opportunity to socialize with the people who you will be working with, make lifelong connections within your field, as well as making some of your best friends, and enjoy this exciting time in your life. 

I was lucky enough to have two parents who went to college and are also educators, so they were able to give me a lot of helpful advice when it came to making the most of my time in college. I think some of the best advice I received was to join an organization that aligned with my values and goals, to which I found my sorority, Delta Zeta. Doing so has brought me some of the most valuable experiences outside of the classroom through leadership opportunities and people I have been able to make connections with and learn from. 

Outside of what I have gained career-wise from Delta Zeta, I have gained some of my best friends, the best experiences, and an amazing support system. I encourage everyone who comes to college to find an organization that aligns with you and what you want from college, because it truly can change the way you view your college experience. 

These connections not only better prepare you for your career, but they prepare you for social interactions and society outside of the workplace. Since, no matter what degree they are seeking, the people on your college campus are like what you will experience when you go into the “real world.” To gain these experiences, you can hold leadership positions and join organizations that help grow your social and technical knowledge. You can meet people who expand your way of thinking from what you have been taught or what you are used to. College is a breeding ground for social growth, but you must be open to new experiences and people to take advantage of all these opportunities ahead of you. 

Learning Accountability

In my work on Morehead State’s campus as a peer coach, I always ask freshmen what they feel is the biggest change for them in college. They almost all say the same thing: freedom. They are all so excited to have this new freedom these first few weeks of school. But, after a few months, I typically ask the same question and I am met with the same answer, but now with a less excited tone. While freedom can feel empowering, it can also start to feel scary when you realize you are the only one responsible for your actions and success. 

While many of us, to some degree, have experienced being held accountable for our actions before graduating high school, I have found that college is the place where many of us experience the most repercussions of our actions. College is set up to hold you accountable. You are graded based on the effort you put in and the knowledge you retain. If you decide to sleep in instead of going to your class that has daily quizzes, you are making a decision that could negatively impact your grade in the class. 

On the other hand, if you decide to meet some of your classmates to study a few days before an exam, you are making a decision that could positively impact your grade. Every day you make big and small decisions that will impact you and your education, and you decide whether these decisions impact you positively or negatively.

Thus, when it comes to college, you get out of your time what you put in. If you go out of your way to meet people, do as much as you can, and make as many decisions as possible that benefit you, you can get the most out of your time in college. College is so much more than a piece of paper; it is one of the most valuable experiences you can ever have. I would not trade this experience and all I have learned, both academically and socially, for anything.