5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to College


Guest Post by Levi Heiple


I am finishing up my last few credits of a bachelor’s degree. It’s a bachelor’s of science in music theory. I will leave with $20,000 in student debt. The degree will not help me much in my professional pursuits. Don’t let your child make the same mistakes I did.

If I could go back in time and tell myself five things before going to college, here is what I would say:

#1: College is not job training, it’s a certification program.

A college degree will not get you a job. You have to create your own job opportunities. A degree is simply a certification that shows that you made a good investment with the first several years of your adult life and are therefore more likely to have a good work ethic.

#2: Your friends and family do not always know what’s best for you.

Your friends and family only know about the vocations that they have first-hand experience with–the jobs that are on the surface. There are thousands of jobs that they don’t even know about. Browse through the Occupation Outlook Handbook. Talk to professionals in an industry that interests you. See what kind of work is being done.

#3: Money is a means of fulfilling your calling.

Get a solid grasp of the purpose of money. Don’t think that it won’t be important. Money is not evil, it’s a tool that allows you to do what you think is most important in life. Don’t get a dead-end degree. You’ll regret it soon enough.

#4: Take a complete inventory of your abilities.

You likely have more than one talent. Which ones can be the most lucrative for you? How can you combine them to gain a competitive advantage?

#5: Learn about the lifestyle of your career of interest.

Just because you enjoy doing something, doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy it as a vocation. Meet real-life professionals in the field. See if you can tag along for a day. Find out what the “real-world” is like. It might not be what you want.


Count the costs before you send your child to college. If you do not know exactly what the degree will help your child achieve, it might be best to reconsider. There might be better investments.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at You can find his professional website at  You can find his web design service at