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Is Getting Your Degree Worth It?: Five Reasons To Not Give Up On Your Undergraduate

School is hard — I get it, I really do. Sometimes you just break down and you feel like you cannot do it anymore. I’ve broken down every semester at least once and found myself asking if it is really worth it and yet I’m still here, third year in. Why? Well, here are five of my reasons to help you work through this conflict of staying versus leaving. 

1. It’s an Investment

For me, I’ve already put a lot into this and so have other people on my behalf who believe in me and support me. It’s not even just about the money, because your time and effort are just as valuable. It’s important to remember that what you put in, you should expect to get a certain equivalent out. So basically this is what you make it. 

When I first started off my university journey I didn’t realize how much say I had in how this was going to go: I let myself fall behind and lose interest. Even still, I’m great at starting off the semester strong, but then there comes a point where I start questioning my sanity and it all goes downhill from there. 

So you have to realize you have practically full say in how this is going to go and the more effort you put in, the more involved you are with the experience, the better you’ll be in the end. If you’re going to go to university, don’t just show up — be present. My advice then is that you’ve made it this far, at least stick out another semester, tackle your degree bit by bit. Consider continuing if only to finish what you’ve started.

2. The Opportunities

Whether you like it or not, a degree opens a lot of doors in today’s day and age. Of course, there are the exceptions in the world who are extremely successful but never pursued higher education, yet that path is not available to everyone (otherwise we would all be famous with no debt). 

You will never know the perks unless you go through the university experience in its entirety. This means that you should expect a roller-coaster of emotions, but in the end, it tends to be worth it. There are opportunities both within and outside the university which can be revealed through this journey. 

My next piece of advice is for you to start taking note of all the good things that come out of university. Maybe you will get an interesting summer job, maybe you will take a class which inspires you to write a novel or maybe you will meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. This is the place of the young and the curious. You’re only young once. Just wait and see where this may lead you. 

3. It Gets Better

My first-year kind of took me down a bit, which was humbling, to say the least. High School was a breeze and my first year of university was a tornado. I think a big part of it was that I was just thrown into a new environment, with new people and new expectations. This aspect of sudden change knocked the wind out me: the same feeling you might get as a kid falling off the monkey bars and landing on your back. 

Honestly, though it’s been getting better. Once I found out where I study best and how to write a decent paper, I was able to raise my GPA, which helped me regain my momentum and confidence. Now that I am in my third year, I feel as though I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned a lot about balance, about my degree and most importantly about myself. So don’t give in to fear right off the bat, you’ll adjust at your own pace. Give your degree time. 

4. There’s Room For Change

When you start off your university journey you may come to find out that you don’t actually like the path you originally had in mind — and that is A-OK. If I was still following my original path I would be at a law school in England right now, which is not a bad thing: it’s just not my thing. A lot of the time I find myself pursuing the most reasonable path for my circumstances. On the other hand, there are those with big dreams who see no limits and just go boldly in the direction of idealism. I admire the latter approach because it involves more risk, but potentially a better pay off. 

If I were to advise you to do anything, it would be to adjust your degree instead of dropping it. Find something that really works for you and that you are able to get excited about. Everyone has different strengths, take the time to find yours and apply it. 

5. Life Skills

It’s important to note that learning goes beyond the endless assigned readings. You will learn social and interpersonal skills. You will learn perspective and the value of hard work. You will gain an open mind. There is so much to see and do between the lines of your degree. Take advantage of this. Don’t make the mistake of associating school with only books and stress. Know that you have the ability to take so much more from this journey. 

Ultimately it’s your life. I encourage you, as a student myself, to put a lot of thought into your degree and what life would look like with or without it. It’s very easy to be impulsive but it’s a lot more valuable to be a visionary. ​

Simmone Huras

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Simmone Huras is a 3rd year Political Science Major at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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