What’s the objective: First and foremost, what’s driving you to the join the rush to a conventional college for a full-time programme? Because your parents want it?
Because everybody in your extended clan does it? Because your friends are doing it? Is a conventional degree from a regular college an indispensable entry pass to your dream career? Or is it important simply because graduation follows Class 12? Or is to have fun and enjoy a la those characters in make-believe campuses in movies? Once at a counselling session for university admission hopefuls, one chartered accountancy aspirant asked about doing CA (a correspondence course with some contact classes and an articleship which allows enrolees to study other courses full-time under restrictive conditions) and regular college. While doing CA, she did not wish to miss out on campus life, her mother added. Now think about the people who never took a college degree and yet made it big in life: Michael Dell, founder of Dell and Bill Gates of Microsoft are college drop-outs, not to mention innumerable leaders in different walks of life closer home. More importantly, think about how they succeeded, in the absence of a college degree. Do you have that in you?
Will it kindle your fire: If you wish to attend college for the love of a particular subject/s, will the curriculum, structured the way it is in most institutions, be able to hold and grow your interest or douse it?
Is this the best route: There’s no belittling the value of a good quality bachelor’s programme done full-time and, most importantly, seriously. But is that the best route to go where you eventually want to, especially in a field where the credentials will barely count for anything? Will you be better off doing a diploma in a polytechnic or a short-term course from a specialised centre or a distance-mode programme that lets you educate yourself at your pace maybe while doing a related job maybe?
Think wise: When it comes to settling the question, to-do-college-or not-do, you also need to factor in your socio-economic background. One should be cautious about the Bill Gates stories (“few and far between”). Make your decision wisely.