University degrees are worth more than memories

University has transformed from an educational institution of career preparation to a place of self-exploration and discovery. While both are very important to the growth and development of an individual, they shouldn’t be the main focus of an undergraduate degree.

When our parents’ generation went to university, a degree could almost guarantee a job. Now, the perception behind post-secondary degrees has changed, with them becoming much more common and expected by employers. 

This transformation has led to high school students applying to university without any real direction or career in mind, in hopes of discovering it along the way. Unfortunately, some never find it.

As a result, it’s inevitable that some of the people you meet in first year won’t be there when you graduate. This is because many students will make the tough decision to switch programs or schools, likely resulting in adding additional time and incurring additional costs to their degree. Some students may even choose to stop pursuing post-secondary education altogether.

While meeting new people, partying, gaining independence and moving away from home are often positive side effects of pursuing a degree, they shouldn’t be the most important. Looking back on my own experiences, students need to figure out why they’re really here before jumping into a degree.  

Even with that in mind, it’s also the University’s responsibility to help keep students on track. They need to do a better job of providing students with information about different jobs we can pursue with our specific degrees and the steps needed to secure them as soon as possible. 

As much as academic achievement is important, student success after graduation should also be in the forefront of a university’s mind. The best representation for a university is how successful their students are after they graduate.

Having individualized career fairs for each program is a good first step universities can take to help connect students to careers and employers that directly correlate to their program.

University needs to be thought of as a place of learning and gaining valuable experience for your future profession, rather than a four-year long party before adulthood. 

 

Nicole is The Journal’s Assistant Photo Editor. She’s a third-year Politics and Economics Major.

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