Undergraduates must recognize value of degree

Education is a privilege, not a right, and sometimes college students take that opportunity for granted. Many people all over the United States have a strong desire for a solid education but do not have the means to obtain it.

About 45 percent of Americans hold an associates degree or higher, 36 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and only nine percent hold a master’s degree or higher, according to The U.S. Department of Education.

That is a little over 114 million of degree-holders out of 318.9 million in the U.S. population, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Think about it. The other 64 percent of the population does not have access to the resources students in a higher education environment have.

For example, people outside the college environment might not have access to guidance from seasoned professors or the opportunity to gain first-hand experience from an internship.

While college is worthwhile, it is understood that college is stressful. Pending deadlines, endless hours of studying, difficult exams and piles of homework can leave even the most prepared student stumped.

But where there is stress, there is learning opportunity. The college experience builds character, and this is something to be thankful for because it will remain long after classes dismiss.

While college is not always sunshine and roses, the experience is invaluable.

Higher education teaches students the meaning of hard work and dedication. It teaches the ability to juggle tasks, to persevere, and it teaches the meaning of responsibility.

Institutions of higher education provide students with important life skills, and it puts students in a position to achieve great things.

Sixty-two percent of college graduates said their years in college helped them grow intellectually and personally, according to Pew Research Center.

While the typical reason for going to college is simply to gain a better understanding of the career field one wishes to pursue, this personal growth can be the driving force behind a life well-lived.

This is an aspect college students do not typically think about, and it is a gift that should not be forgotten.

Students may think about the assignments right under their nose but often neglect to think about how what they do affects their career and personal well-being.

As finals approach and stress accumulates, remember this time as a chance to grow. Embrace this learning opportunity, and use this privilege as a chance to broaden horizons.

Students should make the most of their time in college because the time spent can never be regained.