College: The “Higher” Education?

By Connor BrownfieldContributor

Avon High School sophomore Gunner Smyth lies in a dormitory bedroom at Brigham Young University in Utah, thinking about his future.

He is there as part of a summer camp that allows him to live like a college student. He can go to classes and tour campus. He knows he wants to go to college, but what makes one college different (or better) than other opportunities after high school? Is it really the best path? What benefits does it provide?

Smyth is not the only high school student wondering these same questions. However, many studies show that college has large benefits. Take a study from Georgetown University, which found that college-educated workers account for 50% of the nation’s economic input. A survey of Avon High School students showed that 87% of students plan on attending college, while 55% of students believe college is better than other post-high school paths.

“My grandfather didn’t attend college and he made good money, but I think college is vital to having a better and more stable job,” said junior Elizabeth Carter.

Carter said she has visited a college campus and noticed that there were a lot of paths for people to follow.

“They surprisingly do a lot. I thought people would go there for a basic education but there were actually a lot of majors,” said Carter. She said she plans on attending college, her search narrowed to a few Indiana schools.

Many have said that college is too expensive and that other paths such as trade schools can provide the same thing college can. Sophomore Owen Van Duyn said he agrees with some of this, but he still believes in the college route.

“Trade schools are making a comeback, but I think college will end up working in a long run. [College] is more expensive, but you will get the payoff eventually, possibly more than any other path,” said Van Duyn.

A major argument for college is how it grants a better chance for a good job, at least in the eyes of freshman Ashanti Skelton.

“College provides more opportunity in the field of jobs. You become far more marketable. I believe college will lead to better experiences in life,” said Skelton.

Skelton plans to be a chemical engineer, which you need at least a bachelor’s degree to become. Skelton said it would helpful to have your masters as well.

Master’s degree holder and former Indiana State University student Troy Brownfield has taught at three colleges in the fields of English and Journalism, and he said that college provides more benefits than one might think.

“College does a lot of things for you outside of simply educating you, which it does,” said Brownfield. “You learn in more detail and in more specific subject areas. College also allows you to interact with new people. Those simple interactions give you new perspectives and a wider view of the world.”

Wider views, new experiences, more career possibilities, and of course a higher education. These are all benefits of college that experts and students see and experience. Although it is not for everyone, many feel that college is a route that is sure to provide the smoothest sailing.

This is all good news for Smyth, who can now relax.

“College is definitely the route for me,” said Smyth.

“Student Voice” is a series hosted by the online edition of The Avon Echo in which students can submit their work for a chance to be digitally featured. 

If you are interested in submitting a student-written piece for approval, please e-mail Submissions may remain anonymous.

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