3 Reasons I Chose a Campus Program Over Online for College
michael s.

Michael S.
June 24, 2016

Blog / 3 Reasons I Chose a Campus Program Over Online for College

Let’s face it: the world has changed a lot with the advent of technology.

Now, you can do almost ANYTHING from your house that you would not have been able to do 50 years ago! You can shop, do your taxes, even work, while sitting at home in your pajamas, drinking a cup of coffee. Granted, you can’t get your car fixed if you stay at home, but who needs a car when you can do everything virtually? …and actually, they are even working diligently on self-driving cars!

With all of this automation, the question of college enters upon the scene, and one might think, “Why should I uproot my life and go to a ‘brick-and-mortar’ college campus when I can do everything from home, maintaining the life I already live?

Now, obviously, each person’s situation is different. God has a special plan for each individual based on their specific circumstances, environment, talents, skills and personality. Some people are called to go through college, some people are not. Some people are called to do online schooling, while others are called to a traditional college campus. Each person must prayerfully consider their options to determine what God wants for their life.

“Why should I uproot my life and go to a ‘brick-and-mortar’ college campus when I can do everything from home, maintaining the life I already live?” 

For the first several years of my education, I was chiefly on my own through online classes and CLEP tests, though I mixed it with some community college classes. And when I was on campus, I still had some online classes. However, having that campus experience built me up and shaped me into the person I am in ways I never could have anticipated!

That being said, when I considered the question of whether to pursue my college degree mainly online or on a campus, there were three elements that factored into why I ended up choosing a Christian college campus, which, to date, has been one of best decisions and experiences of my life. Hopefully, these three considerations can benefit you as you may be working through this decision for yourself!

1. Personal Development and Maturing

For me, college was about more than the actual education and earning the specific degree. I wanted it to be a time of growth in more ways than solely intellectually.

There can be an awkward transition between moving straight from high school into the real world. For many students, college is the first opportunity to get out from under their parents’ roof and begin making life decisions, though still in a semi-controlled and safe environment. Obviously, the benefit of this depends on the maturity of the student and the college environment chosen, but if a person handles it correctly, it can be an effective way to transition into adulthood.

Here I am as a respectable, well-adjusted college student

2. Building Interpersonal Relationships

Before I left home, people knew me in a certain light because of shared experiences. When I arrived on campus for the first time, I remember thinking, “Nobody knows me here. They have no reference points for who I am based on what I’ve done. This will expose who I really am in my core and even give me a chance to build a new identity.

As the book of Proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron.” Being around peers my own age in similar life situations brought this verse to life for me.

As I rubbed shoulders with peers, lived with a roommate, and interacted with faculty and students on a day-to-day basis, I began to grow and learned how to interact with people in a constructive way. Conflict resolution, proper formal etiquette, and working as a team were all lessons that I gleaned from living on a campus away from home in a pronounced way because it was a new group of people that I was dealing with in a different way than I dealt with people at home.

As the book of Proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron.” Being around peers my own age in similar life situations brought this verse to life for me. 

3. Networking for the Future

As I was in the process of making my decision about college, I talked to people about the benefits they had gained from going to college. One of the benefits that was often cited had to do with the people they met in their degree field who later on gave them the kinds of jobs they were interested in the most. That networking came from building relationships on a campus in a way that is more difficult in an online experience.

We have probably all heard the old adage: “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.” There is a lot of truth to that. A college campus experience can benefit you in your career, not just because you have the knowledge of what to do in your specific field, but also because of who you know in that field that can position you in ways you could not have on your own.

Maybe attending a college campus, living with a roommate and sparring with professors and students is not for you because of your unique situation. That’s okay. Maybe it scares you because it takes you outside of your comfort zone. That’s okay too. My chief encouragement is to pray about the best way to pursue your education and to consider these three elements of a campus experience when making your choice!

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