This is one of the most classic debates in anyone’s life, and it is that both cases directly affect the most important spheres that make up our self-concept. Deciding one or the other field, or both, is inevitably something that will change the way we live from day to day and our expectations for the future.
First of all, it must be emphasized that the personal situation of each one of us is the factor that will always influence us the most. It may seem a truism but it is of little use to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each option when, due to circumstances beyond our control, we will have to make a decision that does not attract us. Complaining will not help us if those circumstances are the ones that choose for us, having to try to look for the good side even though it is not what we wanted. And, of course, we should not degrade our personal image by doing the opposite of what we want, or seeing ourselves socially inferior.
The advantages of studying
When we are actively involved in the study we devote our time completely to get the most out of it, which translates into a way of life adapted to it. Partners who go through the same tribulations, attendance at the place where we give the course, contact with teachers, exams … while the work is usually monotonous the student’s life fluctuates continuously, being in constant contact with other people.
On the other hand, the majority conception of studying is that it is a prelude to acquiring a certain job, varying the degree of specialty in accordance with our level of studies. The correlation is simple: the more we study, the better work we will obtain. Although today it is more doubtful to maintain, it is undeniable that we will have more options the more studies we have, so at first there are no disadvantages in studying. It is a time we invest that will always provide us with a better future.
At the same time as we ascend in the educational sense we specialize more in our study, being able to focus on what interests us most. While at school it can be fatal geography we know that at some point we will stop studying it in order to increase the burden in another subject that, in principle, is more akin to us. Many of these previous knowledge will not be used in a practical way in the jobs that we will be able to access with them, while the more concrete ones will give us fundamental tools to carry them out correctly. This means that the more we study, the more control we will have over our work, the more responsibilities we will have and the greater our sense of personal effectiveness, which is so fundamental to maintaining our self-esteem.
One last advantage among the many that we can find little by little is that the more we study, the more we cultivate our knowledge and our abilities. This is one of the main arguments that defends the study of apparently useless subjects in school courses: activate our mind, make us gain mental ability. It is not a trivial argument, and it is important that we also take it into account.
The advantages of working
We all know the first obvious advantage: having a salary. But it is a trap if we are not careful because if we start working early we will be overwhelmed by the sudden change we find in our economy, running the risk of accommodating ourselves to that salary that, to our first eyes, seems more than worthy. With time, responsibilities change, as does our way of life, and that enormous salary for our early years becomes insignificant. And what is worse, if we have decided to give up studying in order to continue working we will find ourselves with a multitude of closed doors, having to look for jobs of the same level of qualification as the current one.
Working on the other hand makes us mature, to be in contact with real life. Managing convincing amounts of money, fulfilling strict work schedules, responsibilities for clients, is a wheel that we don’t really know anything about when we study full time. Of course we can also mature when we study but it is a different process, with a concept closer to personal development than to management skills.
The ideal path therefore is to study as much as possible in order to find a job corresponding to our personal abilities and interests. The less we study, the less control we have over our future work, despite having to dedicate more years to it than we might think we are losing. Even the option of working and studying at the same time is as legitimate as any other, where it requires a far greater degree of organization and willpower than being full-time with one of the two options separately.