What Would You Do?

My Education or My Girlfriend?


Dwayne is a sophomore in college studying electrical engineering, and hopes to own his own electrical company one day.

He attends a school that’s over 500 miles from home, but hasn’t really missed his family and friends, except for one person…Emily, his 19-year-old girlfriend of three years. Unlike Dwayne, Emily decided not to go to college and still lives at home.

Emily has been pressuring Dwayne to quit college so he can come home and be with her. She wants him to work as a lineman for the city electric department where her father worked, “You’ll learn as much there about electricity as you will in college,” she begged him one day, “ And, you can see me every night.”

Dwayne would love to be home with Emily, but he knew that a college degree was important and could open doors for him in the future.

What should he do?


Which choice should he make?

1. College will never pay off in his career so he should leave school and go home to Emily.

He could be with Emily, wouldn’t have to study all the time and wouldn’t have to worry that Emily would date someone else while he was away.

2. He could do both. He could come home and start taking online engineering courses while also getting to be at home with Emily.

He would have the best of both worlds, his education and his girlfriend. Some of his friends were taking online courses and they seemed to be doing okay.

3. He should stick with his current education plans, return to school and keep working to improve his grades.

Even though he missed Emily, going to college would prepare him for his future with her. She might not be able to see further down the road, but he knew that if he went to school and became successful, it would all be worth it. 


Which one did you choose?

Choice #3 is the correct answer.

Dwayne and Emily are young. It’s too early for them to decide if they are firmly committed to each other. Dwayne shouldn’t let her—or anyone else, for that matter—interfere with an academic plan that will be beneficial to him.

A college education teaches self-discipline and self-esteem, two important tools that are needed to be successful. These skills might not come with an online academic experience. Most importantly, Emily is being selfish. She is giving bad advice and isn’t putting Dwayne’s best interests first. He shouldn’t throw an important opportunity away just so he can be at home with a girl.

Dwayne, if you are listening, run don’t walk back to school.

To learn more:

Read our 3-part series in this section about the importance of education.

Why Is Education So Important Anyway?
Part 1 of 3

7 Tips for Getting Motivated
Part 2 of 3

7 More Tips to Keep You Going
Part 3 of 3

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Good habits formed at youth make all of the difference in life. Aristotle