Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Applying for College

When a young adult reaches the end of their high school years, the next thing on their mind is generally college. However, this process can be overwhelming, and it's important to remember that this isn't the only option. In this article, we are going to go over some questions you should ask yourself if you are thinking of going to college. Let's get started!

What career do I wish to pursue?

The very first thing you want to ask yourself if you are thinking of going to college is what career you want to pursue. In some cases, a degree might not even be necessary. By sorting out your long-term goals, you will be able to come to a decision much more easily. On top of this, it will also help you establish what courses you will chase if you do decide to go to college.

Where do I want to learn?

The next step to consider is where you want to learn. With over 5000 institutions in the US alone, there are many different options. You might think about getting into Yale or another Ivy League college. However, it's important to remember that these aren't your only options, and sometimes a smaller school can be more beneficial.

How much is this going to cost?

College is expensive, so before you go rushing into things, you should take a look at how much everything is going to cost. The federal reserve states, the average student loan borrower pays around $393 a month, with the overall average cost being around $35,397 all up. So how you are going to pay is something you will certainly need to think about.

Where will I live?

Another thing you will need to look into is where you will live if you plan to go to college. If you are nearby home, then you won't have to worry; however, a far-away college means that you will have to seek other arrangements. This might include paying to stay on campus or renting a property with others.

Can I afford to take a year off?

Taking a gap year is a popular choice for many young adults, as they can travel and save before starting their degrees. You should make sure you think about if you can afford to do this. While it does allow you to save and take a break between schooling, it will also put you behind a year.

Is this what I want?

Finally, the last question you need to ask yourself is if this is what you really want. College isn't for everyone, and chances are you may drop out if you are not enjoying yourself. It's important to remember that while a degree can help you land your dream job, there is more to life than a college education. At the end of the day, if it's not right for you, it isn't worth going through the entire process.

And that's it! These were six questions to ask yourself if you are thinking of going to college. This way, you will be able to determine what you really want, and if this is the best course for you. Remember, only you can make this decision, and you shouldn't let others sway your perspective. Good luck!

3 Min Read

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.