We often have options that are hard for us to see. Sometimes that’s because we’re just too close to the situation and we can’t view it clearly, so we need an outside perspective. That’s why we talk to our friends about relationship problems when we’re stuck; maybe they’ll see it in a way that we just can’t.
Our brain can get so wrapped up in the complexity of a problem that we miss the obvious solution sitting in right front of us. That’s also the case when it comes to critical institutions in our lives, like where we store our money and where we go to further our education.
Banks vs. credit unions<
Big banks are seen as an inevitability for a lot of people opening an account. Sure, sometimes banks do terrible things (look at the Great Recession that began a mere 10 years ago), but do we really have a choice? They have a lot of branches and a lot of ATMs, and there seems to be no avoiding them.
The thing is, big national banks are far from the only places that have a lot of branches and ATMs. Don’t settle for the minimum standard just because the minimum standard is everywhere. It can occasionally be hard to buck the norms and demand more, but you should do it, especially when your hard-earned money is involved. Local and regional credit unions provide just as much as the big banks do, and they do it without all the controversies and corruption. Credit unions don’t answer to shareholders; they’re not going to be concerned about their stock price on Wall Street. They answer to you, the customer. This focus on customer service allows them to offer better deals on things like home mortgages. Their goal is providing you with extra benefits rather than nickel and diming you with service charges. In most cases, all you need to do to become a credit union member is live or work in the town or county where the institution is based.
Classroom learning vs. online education<
We all need more time in our life. It’s one of our most precious resources, so it makes an unfortunate sort of sense that we never seem to have enough of it. Saying, “I don’t have time” can prevent us from doing a lot of things we really want to do. That includes going back to school and furthering our education. Brick-and-mortar colleges seem too consuming, but it’s also natural to be wary of some of the online institutions that seem to have appeared out of nowhere.
So what you want in this case is a college that can offer accredited BA degrees in fields that you care about. State, regional, and national accreditations are vital because they provide an assurance of quality from experts who should know.
If, for instance, you want to get a job in nursing, you’ll want to attend a school that’s received the seal of approval a state board of nursing, among other places. It’s also a good sign if a college makes online education one part of what they offer rather than their sole reason for existing. History and credibility matter.