Can a College Degree Make You Healthier and Happier?

Most of us equate college education with career opportunities. And while more education does typically lead to higher earnings and more job opportunities, there are many other more personal benefits.

Posted on | Donna Cardillo, RN, MA | Comments ()

Most of us equate college education with career opportunities. And while more education does typically lead to higher earnings and more job opportunities, there are many other more personal benefits.

For example, a recent study shows that those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher live about 9 years longer than those who don’t graduate from high school. The study was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. It found, amongst other things, that a much higher number of folks between the ages of 24-65 (31%) with a high school diploma or less are smokers, as opposed to only 9% of those with bachelor’s degree. There are also lower percentages of obese children in households where the parents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. And it seems those odds improve even with only some college.

The above information is attributed to the fact that more educated people have better access to health care and are more inclined to adopt healthy habits and avoid unhealthy ones.

But the benefits don’t stop there. As a recipient of higher education (although I went kicking and screaming), I know that higher education better equips you to navigate your way in life. You learn more about yourself and the world around you. It boosts your confidence, improves your communication skills, keeps you feeling young, makes you feel alive, and keeps the blood coursing through your veins in a figurative sense but, apparently, in a literal way as well. All of this leads to happiness, less stress, and greater self-fulfillment – each linked to health and longevity.

Education also keeps you engaged in life. There is an adage that says, “When you cease to learn you cease to live.” If you’re not learning, you’re stagnating. Bottom line is, it improves your quality of life.

No matter what your age, background or financial status, more education is good for you. If you need to get a high school diploma, contact the GED agency in your state today. If you want to get back to college, go to the public library or get online and search for programs and majors. There is plenty of scholarship money available for those who go after it, and it’s not all contingent upon financial need. Enrolling in even one course to start can get the ball rolling. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Furthering your education is a smart thing to do, for your health, your happiness and a longer life.

Blog written by Donna Cardillo, RN, MA
Donna Cardillo is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of diverse health-care experience. Donna is known as “Dear...