Every Dream Has a Price
Before you decide to turn in your application to your local community college or institution of higher learning, you might want to consider the “price” you will have to pay to bring your dream to reality. Price is much more than the literal financial cost that is almost certain that will be necessary; such as student loans or even federal or state grants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average, individuals with a college degree make $459 more per week than someone with just a high school diploma. The true cost of receiving a college degree is more in line with what Webster defines as “that which must be given, or undergone, in order to obtain a thing.” In a simple word, Sacrifice.
A very common myth about attending college is that it is too expensive. Yes, it can be expensive, but once students understand what college really costs, you will realize that your higher education is within reach.
The biggest part of college costs is usually tuition and remember your tuition is the price you pay for classes. Along with tuition, more than likely you will have to pay some other fees to enroll and attend a college.
Other college costs include room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Just like tuition, these costs vary from college to college.
Those sacrifices are not going to be easy or they would not be called “sacrifices”. A sacrifice is never easy and more than likely it will affect more than one person. If you are willing to give up your time, are you the only person that is giving up time? Perhaps, the sacrifice of your time will also mean a sacrifice for your family. How many sporting events, dance recitals, scout meetings, school events and other activities will you be willing to miss in order to pursue your dream of a college education? One major question needs to be addressed by you; is that dream of a college degree worth all the sacrifices?
Consider the situation that you are currently in, perhaps you are a single parent or you have a more traditional family setting and one parent wants to finish or start a college education. While the decision to go back or to even start your education is admirable, and it is very much worth pursuing, what price must that parent make in order for it to happen? Certainly there is a much higher burden than a financial one in order to achieve your dream. The most likely outcome is the parent spending a considerable amount of time away from their children, when in reality they would much rather be with them, than in class. Perhaps the parent will feel a little guilt and sacrifice their grades rather then miss something they know is important to their child. Sometimes parents try to justify their sacrifices by going or returning back to school and receiving a lower grade in exchange for less study time but more quality time with their child.
So what decision will you make? Only you can make that decision. Just as you are the only one can answer the questions regarding the decision you will make when it comes to your decision. Have you considered your sacrifices? It is going to take some introspection. All too often people are looking for someone to provide them the answer. It is like they are screaming “Tell me what to do, please!” You might want to ask a family member or a friend for advice but, ultimately, you have to make the decision regarding your own decision and the sacrifices you are willing to make.
Besides sacrifices, believe in yourself. Remember, Theodor Geisel? You may know him better as Dr. Seuss for his inspiring and witty quotes. He has had many highly successful kids books that have a clever way of teaching strong lessons. However, did you know that he was told by his high school art teacher that he could not draw and 27 publishers said that he could not even write, however, he focused on his talent and above all he believed in himself. Finally, a publisher took a chance on him and in 1937 they published And to think I saw it on Mulberry Street. Theodor Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 and according to Google (25 years after this death), Dr. Seuss quotes are searched roughly 135,000 times per month.
While I am not trying to dissuade you from moving towards your dream of a college degree a reality, I am just simply asking you to consider how your decision will impact others. Yes, the sacrifices can be great but the rewards can make them worthwhile!
Sometimes people are able to compartmentalize their time and pursue their educational dreams while at the same time being there for their families, which are unrelated to their dreams that can bring joy them. Remember that even the lucky few that can achieve their dreams and family commitments often make a painful sacrifice at some point during the journey. For some people, it is a breaking point that causes everything they have hoped and worked for to come crashing down around them.
Remember the words of Walt Disney, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’.