John Ashley attended Sonoma State University majoring in Communications. During his time there he worked at the on-campus TV station, SSU-TV, as a producer, editor and equipment manager for the station. He also participated in local film festivals where most notably he won Best Picture for Campus MovieFest at Sonoma State University. Currently he works at the production company, Pixel Corps, on live-events, in-house edits and studio shoots. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnAshley.
With most people looking to attend a college of their choice, they have a lot of questions to ask themselves. Whether if that college’s life style is for them, are there enough activities for them to participate in outside of classes, or will the dorms would be good for them? There’s all these concerns that passes through their heads.
But the one thing that most people seem to overlook completely is one simple question: is college right for me?
A lot of people applies for colleges thinking that it’s the thing to do, or because their family puts the pressure on them to attend college. They don’t think half the time about the benefits they really can get from going to college. Sure they enter college undeclared and within a quarter or a semester, they’ll have an idea of what they want to truly study at college. But going in without a clear goal may hurt you, especially after a year or two you realize you may not need a college degree at all.
We live in a world where there is a ton of accessibility and resources through the web that we have access to for free. You can easily teach yourself how to build a website, learn various programs or even make your own content and promote it through social media. Although not all career choices benefit with the accessibility of these resources through the web.
With these resources at hand, you could get a plethora of experience without having to spend a dime for the experience you need. Just remember though that it does vary for everyone. Let’s take myself and my field of work, video production, for example.
Within my field, a lot of production jobs doesn’t fully benefit from having a degree. Employers may look towards a skill set or the amount of years working within the field. You might see a position where they look for a degree within the field of communications, but communications is such a wide range that it becomes less of an importance compared to your skill set and years of experience.
Of course there are plenty of benefits to attending college within the field of media. Easily the biggest benefit to attending college is that you can easily get the work experience with a video production company by interning for the company while taking a course for your major, while people may struggle trying to get a company to hire them with only experience and no college degree.
There have been moments where I’ve doubted myself attending college, even having an idea of what I want to do with myself. Back then, I entered college because I felt it was the thing to do. I didn’t have a need to travel and see the world then; I was the one that just entered college and hoped to figure out the rest then.
Looking back, I wish I thought about it more and really plot it out more for myself. Right now, I’m glad I attended college because it made me a better person, I made a lot of connections, and I developed my skill sets and had accessibility to equipment and software that would be much harder to use without those resources.
I’m not trying to deter you from going to college. Rather, I’m trying to empower the process of thinking more about college than diving in blind and hoping to figure out the rest from there. If you’re in your first semester of college right now, definitely take the time to look more ahead and see if attending college is right for you. You may save yourself some headaches down the road, and a bit of money in the process.