Get Your GED and Get On with Life
It's easy to put off little things like going to the grocery store, paying a bill or returning a favor for a friend. You perform a simple risk-reward calculation summed up by the simple question, "What's the worst that can happen?" and decide that the answer isn't sufficiently upsetting to warrant action. If you've used this logic to put off getting your GED and decided inaction was preferable, you may be in for a lifetime of regrets and missed opportunities. Nothing else predicts success in life like earning a high school diploma or GED.
Why Get Your GED?
You don't have to quit your job or move anywhere to get your GED. Studying for the test is an involved yet straightforward process, and many high schools, community college and continuing education centers offer help if you need it.
- Increased earning power. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a GED increases your annual earnings by an average of $10,000. That's an increase of nearly 50 percent from the average earnings of someone who lacks a high school diploma, currently around $21,000.
- Role modeling. No matter how old you are, it's never too late to get your GED. Your decision to go back to school will send a positive message to your kids and younger siblings or cousins, increasing the likelihood that they'll make the right educational choices down the road.
- Self-esteem boost. Sometimes you have to be your own role model. If you've been putting off getting your GED because you think you're not ready to go back to school or couldn't handle the workload, just think about how proud of an accomplishment finally earning it would be.
Earning a GED has concrete benefits beyond brightening your immediate job prospects or boosting your self-esteem. As the American economy becomes ever-more specialized and competitive, using your GED as a base from which to earn your associate's or bachelor's degree is more important than ever.
According to a study run by the US Department of Education, nearly half of American high school graduates were unable to pass the GED exam on their first try. That's actually good news for you: Since the GED is perceived as even more difficult to earn than a typical high school diploma, colleges and universities may be more likely to accept you if you have one. According to the same U.S. Census Bureau study used above, a bachelor's degree boosts your salary by $25,000 per year.
Is It Hard?
As if you needed any more convincing, the process for earning your GED couldn't be easier. If you live near a "practice center," you can get study materials and professional advice in person. If not, a full range of study materials is available online. Once you're ready, you can register for the test at your testing center. It takes about seven hours altogether, but many testing centers offer evening sessions if you have to work during the day. The testing centers usually turn tests around with a couple of weeks, so you'll know whether you passed before long.
Don't procrastinate any longer. Taking the time to earn your GED and, hopefully, continue on to a four-year college is one of the best investments that you can make in your life. Your future self will thank you.