College: Is it needed to be successful?


Labeled for reuse by Creative Commons. About 69% of students attend college after graduating high school.

Many students here at Air Academy are questioning their futures as the end of their High school years approach. It is a well-known fact college is very important, but how far does this importance go?

While many students have pressed to find a college before graduation, others are unaware of what they want to pursue.

The question remains: Is college needed to be successful in life?

“Absolutely not! There are a lot of ways to be successful in life and career,” States Sean Brotherton, one of our Air Academy school counselors.

“No, Creative thinking is heavily endorsed in society, and opportunities [today] are almost limitless!” Said senior Sarah Bossard.

When thinking of the effects college has on people’s lives, it’s hard to determine whether pursuing a university will do more bad than good; And when the thought of college comes up, the heavy shadow of debt follows.

“It really depends on what you are doing in college. College should be a financial tool, such as an investment. If you spend a lot of money going to college 2 years, 4 years, masters, etc. you should be able to have a return on investment. That means you should be able to find a job that will justify spending that money. Almost anyone can work at Starbucks. You don’t have to have a degree to do that. Not everyone can or should perform a medical operation,” explained Brotherton. “A bad investment would be going into debt and not using the skills you spent the money on.”

“In my opinion, College does more good than harm. While it does leave plenty in debt, college is a great time to discover who you are without your usual parents/guardians telling you who to be.” Senior Gianna Walla said.

“College now feels like a for-profit industry that doesn’t have its students’ best interest at heart,” said senior Mary Sullivan.

It seems college has been a topic brought up in most children’s lives at a seemingly early age, is this important? Or too forced?

“It’s great to have ambitious plans for your child’s future [but] it becomes an expectation that can be tough to achieve,”  Sullivan explains.

“For me, I’ve had my life planned out for as long as I can remember, I do think college is brought up too early but it’s good for children to get an idea of what they want to do when they get older,” Said Krysten Barton, a senior here at AAHS.

When college is explained by those who have attended, it’s often brought up how important the experience alone can be. This begs the question: Does college worth lie more from the experience or education?

Brotherton claims that “100% the overall educational field is more important. If you want to attend college for dorm life, social interactions, meeting people- save yourself the money and get out in the world and work to be independent. You’ll form friendships with people that matter and that you want to be around.”

“I think it’s important to have both, the experience of college and the overall education. College is a place to experience new things and get out of your comfort zone and take that extra step to where you want to go in life.” Barton said.

Most seniors at Air Academy agreed that they will be attending college because it seems necessary and fit for their future goals. College might be an experience for anyone who attends, but students wonder about the importance to build a plan beforehand.

“As with many high school students, I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do for a living as a senior in high school. I went to college under the same premise that most high schoolers are fed with- go to college or you won’t get a good job. Guess what? There are a lot of ways to make a living. Military, trades, work, entrepreneurship, are all good alternatives to college.” Brotherton said.

“Here is the beauty about life. Make the best decision for yourself now. You can always modify your path. However, the decisions and choices you do make will always have a consequence- good or bad. Try to match your skills and interests with what could be a good fit for your future. You know yourself the best. Go forth confidently, go with your gut feeling, and go forth with a willingness to work and get better. There is so much to learn in this world!” Brotherton finished.