So all this week I’ve talked about getting through college while dealing with muscular dystrophy from picking a school to getting setup to the challenges I faced and some resources I used. Today I wanted to talk about how I’ve benefited from going through college.
First of all, when it comes to finding a well paying job, a college degree is extremely helpful. When I finished school I was transitioning to graduate school but also wanted an internship or part time job to help pay the bills. This is the first time my degree came in handy because I didn’t have any significant work experience. The company that hired me had certain expectations because I’d finished college. I also got paid more to start because I’d finished school.
After I started my business, having an impressive college resume definitely helped secure some initial clients, particularly when the initial portfolio of client work was minimal. After that, one job led to another which led to another and the college resume became less important. But it definitely opened up doors for me.
Aside from the career goals, I think college was a great lesson in independence. It’s a safe place to learn the ins and outs of being on your own with a disability, but also having a lot of people around you to help you and hold you up. I think this was particularly the case for me because I lived on campus with other students going through the same thing. There were always people around to ask for help or advice. Then eventually things like laundry, banking, cleaning, and travel become second nature.
Of course another invaluable asset gained from attending college is the network of friends you get. Nowadays I have friends all over the country who thanks to the Internet I am able to keep in touch with often. So when it comes time to get advice or travel or find new clients, there’s always a great pool of people to call on.
So aside from the coursework and learning, there are any number of intangible things that come out of going to college. As someone who started a business, I do think that learning via work experience can also be equally valuable if you’re the right kind of person. For me, I was so glad to have the transition period between high school and “real life” to learn some lessons, meet great people, and complete my degree.