We are in the thick of looking at schools, and I post this for all who ask the question WHY????
You asked me why you have to go to college. I thought about it, and while some of these answers may not make sense for a while, here goes:
If we find the right place, a college or university is one of the few and last fertile soils in this busy world where the life of the mind still can thrive. With all the fast paced media, and utilitarian racing about being efficient, there is something rich and innately beautifully and uniquely human in contemplation, dissertation, discussion and research. The right college will help you stretch mental muscles and develop new ones. You will be appreciated for your mind. I joke about the lack of respects for geeks, but so much of popular culture makes one feel like being an intellectual is a bad thing, and yet intellectuals are always what has moved civilization forward, and they are treasures not often valued in a market driven world.
College is a good and right place to meet people who think like you (Or NOT) where you can debate for long hours. In what is commonly called the real world, its hard to find compatriots, and easy to find ninnies who filibuster your ideas.
College can be a fertile environment to continue growing and finding out who you are (or who you are NOT, which can be just as valuable) Hopefully we all help you pick the right school (though the choice is governed by so many external factors I wonder if its just luck of the draw) and you will find it a good place to grow yourself.
College can be a place to explore a discipline or topic you never thought of before, a place to explore your own alternative realities where it won’t cost too much in terms of reputation and aggravation. You are supposed to be experimenting.
Finally, and this is the reason most people give, a bachelors degree is an entry ticket, in our twisted economy, to self sufficiency over time. It is not however, a warranty or guarantee, and it’s the least important reason to go. If all you needed was the piece of paper, that can be done on line. What spending the time and steeping yourself in academia will do is so much more than just a ticket to the next stage.
So look carefully, and look with your heart.