April 4, 2017
Did You Know? Student loan debt is the second highest form of debt in the U.S., second only to mortgages. Around 75% of student loan borrowers have delayed buying a home because of their debt & over 40% of borrowers have delayed starting a family because of their debt.
( v i a )
COLLEGE – DON’T DO IT!
Let me explain.
As I was growing up, teachers, parents, grandparents, cousins, graduates, & friends all stressed the importance of having good grades to get into a good college after high school. That was the only option for anyone who wanted to be successful. That’s why we worked so hard in high school, so we can go to college. Because who doesn’t know what they want to do with their entire life at 18 years old? And if you didn’t know, you can take classes until you find out. “If you don’t go now, you’ll never go back!”
I’m not sure how this path was drilled in everyone’s mind because it doesn’t make sense to me. I think for the generation before mine, college carried more significance than it does now. It actually meant something to have a general, liberal arts, communication degree. At least you had a degree on your resume. And because it meant so much then, it only makes sense that you wouldn’t want to miss out on it now.
But times have changed.
After graduating college & applying for real life jobs, all the openings required several years of experience. A degree didn’t matter, they wanted someone who has been in the field for years. Searching through job applications today is the same story: experience, experience, experience. When I met with a job recruiter, about a year ago, she sat down to look at my resume & saw my degree listed on the weeee bottom line & asked if I actually received it, when I said yes, she replied “Ok, I’m just asking because if you didn’t we can just take it off… It’s not a big deal.”
Big deal?! My family & I just paid 1 million fucking dollars for this degree at the weee bottom of my resume & you’re saying it’s not a big deal if I leave it off?!
I wasn’t surprised. I already knew the degree wasn’t what employers were looking for, but hearing her confirm my thoughts stabbed me in the gut. Not only was I hoping the million dollar degree would help me land a job, but I was assuming I would also find a job that would make the money spent on school worth it.
College WAS the best decision of my life. It paved the way for my future. Not because of the education, but the choice to leave home & grow up. I went from shy to strong. From self-conscious to confident. From scared to brave. From 1 friend to 3. I consider it the best & most important decision I made so far in my life.
But the truth is, I thought that was the only option for me to go out on my own. I thought it was college or stay home. So I had to make the move to college, because it was the only option & I’m glad I did.
That’s also why I wanted to share this post, because there are other options. All the money you’re going to spend on college could be invested in yourself. Your own business or ideas. Travel. Experience. Life. Work.
I went into college, failed fucking math & took the Communication degree. Here’s the deal, I didn’t know shit about finances or business so math was impossible. These days, I’m reading books about money, entrepreneurs, taxes, business – all things I wish I would’ve studied in college because now I actually relate to them. I can understand them beyond just taking a class & simply digesting information.
I don’t think college is smart. I talk a lot of shit about college. But, if you know you want a career as a doctor, or scientist or engineer then you need college to fulfill your career. You can’t follow that path without the education. BUT, if you question your choice whatsoever or don’t know what you want to do, why go spend a ton of money on a path you’re uncertain of? Take time off to work, travel & learn about yourself. Move to a different state. Take an easy going job that you enjoy. Party. Date. Order a ton of books off Amazon & start educating yourself for .99 cents. (because Amazon is the shit like that).
Then, when you’re older, and happily have a savings account without millions in student loan debt, and you know what you want to do & how to get there – go back to school. If that’s the path. School’s not going anywhere & maybe someday it’ll actually be affordable.
I should also mention, in other countries the college degree holds a very high significance. They don’t care what degree it is as long as you have one. I noticed that in Dubai, so as soon as I was regretting that expensive piece of paper I did have a moment of gratitude, otherwise I don’t know if I would’ve been able to work while abroad. Do I consider the degree worth it for my stint in Dubai? Not really. But it doesn’t make me feel as bad about the whole situation either.
There are SO many ways to be successful without college today. Education is at our fingertips in more affordable & accessible ways than ever before. If I’m the only person that’s saying this, then I’m glad to do so. You DO NOT have to go to college after high school. You are likely smarter than the people who do.
Have I fallen off my rocker or are you with me? Thoughts?