Is Higher Education Right for You?

This tough question is something most students, especially adult learners, must ask themselves before committing their time and money to earning a higher education degree. And there are other questions. Does it really matter to me? Do I have the time? Will it change my job? The list goes on and on.

There are infinite questions that people could ask themselves, but I’ve found a simple three question set that should answer all of those questions. It’s called the 10-10-10 rule. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s simple:

  • How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?
  • How will I feel about this decision in 10 months?
  • How will I feel about this decision in 10 years?

Ten minutes from now, you will be able to explore the excitement of making a major change in your life. Most people should feel pretty good at this point. If not, higher education is probably not for them. After 10 months, you question if you can truly commit the time, money, and energy to keep this effort going. It’s a lot of work to pursue a higher education, but if you think you’ll still feel great in 10 months, you’re in good shape. And in 10 years, you will be able to explore if it is really worth it in the long run. Will you love your job? Could you be making more money? Will you be happy with where higher education has taken you? If yes outweighs no, you have answered your question.

If you’re still not sure, add in 10 weeks to make it the 10-10-10-10 rule. It doesn’t sound as cool, but by the 10-week mark you can estimate how you’ll feel after the “honeymoon” of your decision to pursue higher education has worn off, or if it will not wear off at all.

It’s a simple test, but a very valuable one. Spend some time thinking about 10-10-10, and you’ll reach your decision. We’d love to hear results as you apply this rule to pursuing higher education or any big decision in your life.


Written by: Travis Taggart
Travis is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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