Outside the Bubble: So, are you Coming Back?

by Garret Meier

<Garret’s monthly series about spending a semester away from campus on a co-op continues!  You can find other posts here and here>

Yep. It’s the question on my mind, and the question I’ve been asked the most in the past month. Are you coming back to school? Whether it’s friends or family, it seems like everyone wants to know the answer.

Really, it didn’t even seem like a question when school ended in the Spring. Going into the past six months, the road ahead seemed pretty well-defined; work through the summer and fall, then back to the books and the standard college track until graduation. Well, let me be the first to tell you, it sure hasn’t been the case.

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There are quite a few factors that go into making the choice to continue your adventure at Iowa State or look elsewhere for a bit, and making decisions can be tough. While everyone’s situation is unique, I would bet that every student comes to a point (at least once) in their college career where the time comes to really evaluate the investment of college. Higher education truly is a big investment of time and resources, and the benefit from years spent at Iowa State can influence lifelong goals and opportunities. One the other hand, plenty of people do just fine with no degree or a degree that takes less than a four year time span. As tough as it can be to admit, sometimes serious changes occur, and continuing college just doesn’t become the right choice at the time.

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Though college isn’t always the answer, finishing school benefits more often than not. Especially in startups, a few outliers are often mentioned as examples of success without a complete college education. A few might have succeeded, but for the majority of us, a degree leads to greater opportunity. More important in my mind than the practical measure of ‘success’ are the experiences and information you’ll gain over this period. At Iowa State, you can learn everything from how Feminism relates to film (sign up for an honors seminar if you haven’t already), to what an entire whale song sounds like (if you stay up until 3am during Kaleidoquiz, that is).

Sure, the real world sometimes looks like a great place full of freedom and opportunities to explore, but there’s no better time to take advantage of the adventures at ISU than right now, so stick with the college experience, and don’t forget to take in the moment.

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