7 Reasons College is the Right Choice

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Is College Right for You?  Yes.  Uh-huh.  And, probably.

Of course, I am biased.  I’m a college graduate, so I see this from the perspective of someone who has been there and done that.  Additionally, I’ve taught at a college.  I’m on an advisory board for a college, and a portion of my income comes from me speaking at colleges.  So how could I possibly be objective in this discussion?  Maybe I can’t, but I can make a good case for why college will benefit you.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room.  Is it absolutely necessary to attend college to be successful in life?  No, but attending college is certainly not going to hurt your opportunity for success.  In fact, it will likely help to improve your chances significantly.  Plain and simple:  the odds lean in your favor when you attend college and earn your degree.  Elephant #2:  What if I don’t actually end up “using” my degree?  So what!  There is nothing wasteful about gaining knowledge for the simple sake of knowledge.  Even if you go on to do something with your life that doesn’t utilize the specific degree you earned, it is still beneficial.  I have a cousin with a history degree and he works in the banking industry.  My best friend has a computer science degree with a minor in business.  He lasted a year in the computer world and couldn’t stand it.  Now he owns a lawn and landscape business and is crazy successful.  Neither would likely be where they are now without their degrees.

7 Reasons College Is the Right Choice

1.  The Education

The most obvious reason is that you’ll receive a quality education from attending college.  It’s such an obvious reason that I almost didn’t list it.  However, think about it for a minute.  Attending college gives you the opportunity to study topics that actually interest you — unlike all of your schooling up to this point, which was designed to teach you what you need to know instead of what you want to know.  In college, you can discuss and debate your favorite topics with professors and other students in an academic forum designed to ignite your desire for learning.  Pretty cool stuff, but you have to attend to participate.

2.  The Connections

The people you meet in college — faculty, staff, and fellow students — will be in your life forever.  Seriously … especially in the digital age in which we live.  You’ll make lasting friendships.  You’ll forge professional relationships and, perhaps, even fall in love with the person of your dreams.  No matter what types of relationships you build, the number of strong connections you make in college can help determine your path to success.  Connections are so important, in fact, that I discuss them at length in a talk I do called, The Prescription for Success™.  Building a strong network of connections is so important in life, I would say this alone is reason enough to attend college.

3.  The Character Building   

College life  — just like “the real world” — is filled with ups and downs.  It presents the perfect opportunity to build or refine your character.  I had a college roommate in Pharmacy School who, in my opinion, was royally mistreated by one of his professors.  It’s a long story (I’ll save the details for a separate blog post), but the short version is that my friend had to take this one class three different times — mostly because the professor was overly zealous in exerting his power (in my opinion).  The point, however, is that this event was a character building opportunity for my friend.  Whether with professors, fellow students, or friends, college affords a lot of different types of opportunities to build the kind of character we all need to deal with difficult situations throughout life.

4.  The Life Skills

Attending college is like one stop shopping to help build, bolster, and refine many of the basic life skills we need to succeed.  You’ll improve upon things like (not an all encompassing list … not even by a long shot):

- Getting to places on time
- Working with a team of people
- Working on projects
- Meeting deadlines
- Interpersonal communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Task management
- Good old fashioned “stick-to-it-ness”

5.  The Social Equity

Colleges have this thing called “student life”.  You pay for it in your registration whether you partake in it or not.  My advice:  PARTAKE to the max!  I’ll explain why in a minute.  First, what is it?  Student life differs from campus to campus but mostly encompasses things like:

- Entertainment:  Your campus will bring in musicians, comedians, contortionists, poets, artists, and other types of novelty acts.  Sometimes it is throughout the semester and sometimes it is for a special festival or campus-wide event.  A lot of these entertainers are ah-mazing … definitely worth seeing!  Be sure you take a photo with them and get their autograph.  Who knows, you might be meeting a future star!

- Seminars:  Why on Earth would you want to attend even more lectures than what you already have to attend for your classes?  Because these are the “cool” lectures.  This is where you can learn some really fun, interesting, and sometimes bizarre stuff that they don’t ever teach you in class.  For example, my signature college talk that I do on campuses is called Sex, Drugs, & Red Bull™.  It’s highly engaging and very entertaining, and it delivers a powerful lesson.  You leave with a lot more knowledge, but without feeling like you just sat through a snoozer of a lecture.  There is no way you’d get to see all the stuff I show you in my lecture from a standard college course.  Other great lecture topics you’ll see on campuses include: leadership, diversity, success, etc…  Never miss out on attending the lectures your college brings in for you.  You’ll always walk away with a slight edge over those who didn’t attend, and that slight edge is often all it takes to succeed!

- Student government:  Boring, right?  No!  I was actually in student government when I attended college and I had a blast.  I made lots of friends and connections that have been beneficial for me even to this day.  If leadership is your thing, I would strongly suggest getting involved in your Student Government Association.  You’ll be involved in key decisions that will shape the future of your school.  The knowledge you gain will be beneficial for the rest of your life!

- Other examples:  Clubs, Sororities, Fraternities, Sports, Cookouts, Scavenger Hunts, Movie Nights, Rock Walls, etc …

Why should you participate in these activities?  It builds something I call, Social Equity.  These are the types of activities where you make new friends and strengthen your connections with your existing friends.  It helps build your network of connections.  In addition to building social equity, you are also having fun — a fast remedy for relieving stress (which is prevalent on campuses nationwide).  Stress is the number one reason for bad grades, so getting involved in Student Life could actually help you academically.  It’s a win-win!

6.  The Opening of Doors

College degrees open doors and set you apart from your competition.  If two people apply for the same job and one has a college degree, I can almost guarantee you that the candidate with the college degree will have a better chance at getting the job.  Degrees open doors, and you need doors opened if you want to improve your chances of success!

7.  The Experience

One of the biggest benefits to attending college is almost indescribable.  It’s really just “the experience” itself.  It’s like the first time you visited Disney and it really was cooler than you even imagined.  Better yet, it’s like the first time you went to Las Vegas and all of your friends who had already been told you to be sure to check out the fountains at the Bellagio.  You thought:  Fountains?  Seriously?  But you went anyway, and when those fountains started up … well, it was a magical experience.  That’s kind of the same with college.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s an experience that you should jump at the opportunity to take advantage of if it’s at all possible for you.

To Your Success!

- Chad Simpson, RPh


I'm a pharmacist who speaks to college & corporate groups. My signature program is an edgy, engaging, and entertaining talk called: Sex, Drugs, & Red Bull.™


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