5 Reasons you should delay your bachelor’s degree:
Just recently I came across some brilliant lecture videos on machine learning by professor Andre Ng from Stanford. Those videos reminded me how as a young teen in school I was so interested in computer science and programming but somehow lost that drive through my bachelor’s degree in computer science.
I have spent the last week pondering over my options of doing a masters, repeating my bachelor’s degree but from a good university in the US or continuing with my plans of pursuing an MBA. All my pondering made me wonder if it would have been better had I delayed my bachelor’s to a later stage in my life. Here are the reasons I think it might be better to not run into a bachelor’s program straight after high school:
1. Young and Inexperienced – Just as we finish high school we are young and inexperienced. No one really thinks too hard about their interests and who they are as individuals. We just decide what we want and get into it without taking time off to think things through, setting achievable goals for ourselves and mentally prepare ourselves. Personally, I just went into college without knowing what I wanted out of it, except for a decent job. I spent 4 years in college partying and basically doing nothing!
2. Change of Interests – Our interests might change often and it is hard work trying to get our act together if we have already spent the time and effort in getting a bachelor’s. Our options are restricted more or less to the field of study that we did the bachelor’s in. While in college I always thought I wanted to pursue an MBA, but things seem to have changed lately. Having done some programming, hands on lately, I really love it.
3. Lack of maturity – Students may not be mature enough to realize how important a bachelor’s is in the context of modern day education. You want to switch fields, you want to pursue master’s, you want to apply for jobs – It may be anything – your bachelor’s GPA is written in stone and if it is not great it definitely sets you back. While I was in college I was never mature enough to understand how important a bachelor’s GPA was. I’d think no one cared about my high school marks and this would pass too.But boy, was i wrong!
4. Unreal Expectations – We haven’t had the chance to experience life for ourselves till high school is over. I wanted to run away from some of the realities of my life and party away my time. So I did in college. I did not know what real life- out in the world, on my own – would be like. Now that I have been working a corporate job I realize how important putting in hard work and maintaining focus is. I just let golden years of my educational life slip by semester by semester. My mistake – I couldn’t tell real from unreal; I was too young to know better.
5. Understanding yourself better – I feel that I understand myself better than I did when I was 18 and moved to college. I know my strengths and weaknesses better and I feel I would be in a better shape to handle challenging situations – Be it family stress, college stress or peer pressure. I feel more adept at taking on anything than I did when I was 18. It doesn’t feel right to think that for my profession I was going through some of the most important years of my life at a time when I wasn’t at my best.
I think I would have fared much better in pursuing a quality education if I had gone in to get my bachelor’s now when I am around 24 rather than when I was just 18 and not ready to take on the world. I call for a change in the way we perceive education. Eighteen is too young for most people to make sense of their lives, leave alone their professional lives and education. There are so many people who are pulled into fields they don’t like when they could have fared better had they deferred their bachelor’s by a few years without it impacting how they came across in selection interviews.
Would you agree with me on this? What have your experiences been when it comes to college degrees and bachelor’s programs?