Let’s face it – going back to school is never easy. Maybe you are worried about balancing work and family responsibilities while finishing your degree or maybe you’re just nervous to be in a classroom again because it’s been a while. Whatever the reason is for your hesitation, here are five reasons to forge ahead and finish your degree:
- You will have access to a better job market and earn more money. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting a bachelor’s can give you a leg up in the job market; many employers require a bachelor’s degree of potential candidates. But getting a four-year degree can also put more money in your pocket. According to a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, a bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million over the lifespan, on average. This is 84 percent more than what high school graduates earn over a lifetime.
- You will be healthier. Several studies have found that, on average, college graduates enjoy better health than high school graduates without any college. College grads tend to smoke less, exercise more, and engage in healthy behaviors, such as wearing a seatbelt. Education can increase longevity, too; college graduates have a life expectancy of seven years longer than those with a high school diploma or less. (For details, see the University of Maine study, It’s Not Just the Money).
- You will be happier. In addition to enjoying better physical health, college graduates also report greater happiness and well-being. According to studies, even after controlling for income differences that come with more education, those with a bachelor’s degree or more reported higher happiness than those with no college. (See the University of Maine study, It’s Not Just the Money). Although a college degree isn’t a guarantee of happiness, why not increase your chances?
- You will have many opportunities for personal development. While increased health, happiness, and earning potential are important benefits of finishing your bachelor’s degree, there are other perks related to personal growth and development. While completing your degree, you’ll have opportunities to learn critical thinking skills, improve your writing and communication skills, connect with peers, and apply what you’re learning outside of the classroom. At Antioch University Seattle, BA students have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and engage in community projects that they are passionate about, whether that’s advocating for homeless youth or creating sustainable environmental changes.
- You will be amazed at what you can do. Any life-changing decision comes with some fear and doubts and deciding to complete your bachelor’s degree is no different. When you are able to face your fears, embrace your challenges, and move past the doubt, you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve. You’ll build confidence and feel a sense of accomplishment, and those around you will be inspired by your example. “Had anyone told me two years ago the difference I would be making in the world today, I would not have believed them,” says BA student Cara Mia Villalobos.